I was walking in a park and heard musical tones from the other side of a treed area. A brass instrument and drums, I think. I thought I heard some singing too. There was really no way to make out the song. Nothing sounded like it was mixed properly.
Our churches do the same thing.
I continued walking past the shrubs that obscured the musicians. Before I actually got past the trees, something changed. I could make out the song and clearly hear every word. It seemed so beautiful.
As I soon saw, it was a small group of singers and their instruments. When I first heard their music, it was them singing in harmony. I’m sure, up close, it was beautiful but because of the various parts, the words didn’t rise above all the instruments when I was far away. Then the song became clearer when the group united their voices into unison.
To reach farther, singing in unison works better.
Don’t get me wrong, I love singing in parts and enjoy listening to a group use tight harmonies. But when it comes to a communication strategy? You must think unison.
Our church groups and ministries individually create their own parts. They have lots of great things going on and they want to communicate everything. People close to the church, may think it’s wonderful. All the different stories, strategies, and missions communicating at once. We call these communication silos. They can even sound like great harmonies. Up close.
But we need to think differently to reach farther.
We must think larger than our congregation. Larger than other church people in your area. We all have a “greater community” that needs to be reached with our message of the Gospel. So we need to unify the core message of our churches by focusing all the voices on that one melody. You’ll reach more, they’ll understand the message, and be attracted to stop and listen.
Want to reach farther, clearer, deeper?
- Unify your message. Become known for something. One main thing that’s needed.
- Ensure all your groups will sing their message using that melody.
Silos only work internally for the leaders and followers of your individual ministries. It ultimately defeats the purpose of communicating and muddies the overall message of the church.
Church, sing in unison!
This post originally appeared in the Weekly Update for the National Association of Church Business Administration (NACBA). Mark MacDonald is a regular writer for this and other national publications about church communications.