In the popular book (from a couple of decades ago), “Who moved my cheese” the mice got complacent in their maze since they knew where the cheese was located. Then the cheese started to run out. So the smart mice set out to discover a new supply of cheese.
Similarly, the Church finds itself in a crisis of change. Their “cheese” is running low and they’re not sure where the new supply is located. Church leadership can’t continue to do things the same way and expect the same results. This isn’t about “cheese”; it’s about people, offerings, and evangelism.
Change has happened and every church needs to change in order to keep up. I’m not talking about changing our Biblical message but what I am say is: we need to communicate our message differently.
Because of these 3 Drastic Changes:
- Demographic Change. Our communities are changing. Have you noticed? Maybe it’s affected your congregation; and sadly, maybe not. God’s changing our communities and bringing different people to our doorstep. What an opportunity! Effective communication rises and falls on how well you know that audience. But God didn’t stop there (just knowing them) — He commanded us to LOVE our audience! Not just your internal audience (congregation) but also your external audience (community). Start externally with a demographic study and begin to understand the differences between what’s all around your church and who you are inside your walls. If you love your community, you’ll seek to reach them.
- The World’s Getting Louder. There are 1000’s of messages being pushed towards us every day. We feel this as we scroll through social media, browse the internet, watch TV, or look through a newspaper. The competition for our attention is getting ruthless. You need to coordinate your messaging well or you’ll get ignored. Everyone’s started to protect our sanity by ignoring the unimportant or what is perceived as irrelevant. So it’s gotten more difficult for the church to get the attention of people — inside and outside of the church! We all have our trusted channels where we turn for relevant information. Because they are known for something that we need. Want to get noticed more? Be known for being relevant and needed to your desired audience. That’s by being fiercely consistent with your content.
- Attention Spans Shortening. Have you noticed how difficult it is to get people’s attention? But, even more importantly, we need to HOLD that attention. And that’s even more difficult. A church may be able to hold the attention of a live captive audience (Worship Center) but when that same sermon is put on YouTube where the audience has the freedom to roam? It’ll feel extremely long. But even with those sitting in your pews doesn’t mean they’re listening the whole time. Phone distractions and random thoughts pull our attention continuously. One study says our mind wanders every 8 seconds! What we do know: the longer the content the more likely we’ll lose the attention of our audience. So the solution? Edit. Edit. Edit. A good church communication strategy allows you to say less so they listen more.