The Bible is clear about controlling tongues. Why? Because our communication shows our hearts. And like a bit in the horse’s mouth or the rudder on a large ship, it directs and turns something much bigger than the small muscular organ. The tongue becomes huge!
The church needs to control the tongues of others too. Every church has two audiences (internal and external) and they need to control what everyone says about your ministries in order for the community to understand who the church is and why someone would ever attend.
Here are 3 reasons why you need to control what your audience says about your church:
- Many Reasons We Like Things. Pretend a person in your community is eating in his work’s lunch room. He’s had a rough time at home and is struggling with his life. He doesn’t go to church but he’s considering it. He recognizes someone from your church and asks “why do you go to your church? What do you like there?”. The reply has the power to change everything. But the problem? There’s so many reasons why we all like things. In fact, if you ask your congregation of 200 why they like your church, there will probably be 150 answers. From “I love the music” to “that’s where I grew up”. If your member goes with the latter, there’s no compelling reason to convince his co-worker to go.
- Controlled Language is Critical. When a church decides to control the tongues of their audience; so that the right reason is told, it becomes foundational for bringing people in. Church communication needs to regularly remind everyone why they attend, what they like, and what they’d miss if they didn’t attend. This “thread” is what you’re known for! The words need to be controlled, told, and reiterated. Regularly. It needs to be authentic, believable, and needed in the congregation and community. When this message is provided and controlled, the answer will bubble up quickly when someone asks the important question, “Why should I go to your church?”
- Be Benefit-Driven Not Spiritually-Driven. Your audiences need many things. What will they feel most? The temporal needs are usually on their minds. They have no idea that their ultimate needs are spiritual! Even Jesus engaged the woman about water before turning to the spiritual needs she had. If you lead with the spiritual, you risk having them ignore you. Lead with a temporal need? They’ll probably listen. And they’re more apt to pass the message along to others.
EXAMPLE: So pretend your church leadership researches the community and discovers a lot of broken marriages. Then, because of your relationship classes, marriage prep groups, and divorce care you excel at, you decide that you’re known for “Rebooting Relationships”. Now imagine the answer when the person at the water cooler (who’s having spouse issues), is asked, “why should I go to your church?”. The controlled language will woo them and others like them to reboot their relationship. Control their tongue!