No, An Annual Emphasis isn’t your Thread. Neither is a Vision.
Every ministry in your church needs to focus their communication on your community. Well, if you want the people in your community to pay attention.
We know that if you talk about a solution that someone is seeking or about a pain (or concern) that’s troubling them, they will listen. So, when we discover our community doesn’t find us relevant or required, it’s probably that they’re not aware of anything we’re communicating. In fact, I challenge you to consider that most people in your congregation doesn’t really know what’s going on either.
Therefore, do our costly websites and the time spent on social media end up being wasted money and effort? With the wrong content, yes.
Let’s solve this. Let’s reconnect with our community and discover something that will get their attention and promote engagement that will change their lives forever. You need a communication thread. What you’re known for in your congregation and community. Something that matters to most.
Many Pastors are quick to think that their sermon series or annual emphasis for the upcoming year will become their thread. Or they’ve been working on a vision or mission statement for a long time and that should be their thread. Nope. Here’s why:
Threads take time. To become known for something, you have to gain interest, keep it, and sustain it for a long period of time. For a brand to gain traction, it can take 3-5 yrs. That’s why a brand thread should be considered something permanent and only changed if the community or church drastically changes (or the thread doesn’t work well).
Vision may become a barrier. If you’re headed to a Chick Fil-A for a great chicken sandwich and you arrive to be greeted by the owner operator who wants to share “why” he creates a chicken sandwich, he becomes a barrier for what you need. You don’t want to know the “why”; you just want the sandwich. The “why” doesn’t get you to the restaurant; the product does. Often, as a church, we communicate our vision and expect people to come. Your vision/mission is an internal discussion but shouldn’t be an external communication. Your vision needs to be communicated as a great benefit. A thread.
Sermon series feel temporary. Your thread is an external communication of your permanent DNA that’s often communicated through many sermon series. Sermon series change regularly, a communication thread (brand positioning statement) shouldn’t change regularly. Especially if you want to be known for it.