Often, because church communicators are required to lock down a brand, control messaging, and control ministry leaders, we become negative sounding: “No, you can’t do that”, “stop writing things like that”, “you can’t use that color”, “sorry, the logo can’t be used in that manner”, “no, social media isn’t an advertising channel” and the list goes on and on. We can sound so negative.
A good communicator will concentrate on ENABLING ministry and not discouraging it in a negative fashion. Except — when it comes to these 3 negatives that every person, church, and organization needs to be aware of in order to have effective communication. An effective communicator has to use these 3 things carefully to emphasize their brand:
- Communicate barriers. You must communicate solutions to engage and connect with your audiences. If you only talk positives though, you risk people forgetting what you’re solving. Good communicators know the barriers that are in the audience’s life, so they can be identified, communicated, and then after it all settles in, the audiences need a reminder of the available solution one more time.
- Define the enemy. A great story needs a terrifying villain that haunts, seeks to hurt and hold back. Regularly point out and name that enemy! It can be a person, demon, or character flaw. But point to its existence and evidence that its around every corner — but only because you want to protect your audience, give them hope, and ultimately overcome the “bad guy”. Think about every major story, fairy tale, movie, or illustration — and you can name the villain.
- Declare why the audience can’t. Something within every person in your audiences holds them back from doing the right thing, accomplishing their goals, and feeling victorious in their lives. They need to be reminded of what it is. So that with your help, they can overcome whatever it is. Truly, together you’re better. This creates a bond between your brand and them. Just make sure they become the hero of the story!
Should you ever stop after doing these 3 negatives? Never. They need to know that the Holy Spirit is ever present in order for them to defeat the things keeping them from a victorious life. And you are known for communicating that hope in a constant reminder of that Power that lies within every believer.
Simply communicate the negatives, then remind them of your positive brand thread (that’s what you want to be known for). This is the power of effective communication.