I remember a church leader once told me, “Evan, the problem with our church is we’re trying to be all things to all people, so we have to communicate everything, to everyone, in every way possible, and that doesn’t move anyone to take a next step.”
So true. Maybe you feel that in your role as a church communicator.
Most communication leaders know focusing your communication around a smaller number of strategic priorities can help move your audience to action better than multiple messages about competing priorities. If you’re needing to communicate this concept to your team or church leadership, consider this illustration – it can be a story you tell, or even better, go outside and demonstrate the idea.
Picture a mess of some kind on your church sidewalk. Some mulch that strayed. Dirt off someone’s boot. Maybe a little treat left by a dog and his or her owner. Now, imagine you’re trying to use water from a garden hose to move that mess into the grass or flowerbed. You’re likely familiar with the nozzle that fits on the end of a garden hose allowing you to create a powerful spray for a gentle shower by twisting the nozzle open and closed – picture that or better yet turn on the water.
Unfocused communication is like a garden hose nozzle adjusted to a gentle shower. It gets the mess and the sidewalk wet, but it doesn’t move the dirt anywhere. In fact, the gentle shower might even make the mess bigger. Twist that nozzle and you focus that water into a powerful stream, and soon, the mess has been moved off the sidewalk. Focusing the water moves the mess, just like focusing your message and your competing priorities can move your people to action.
As you consider your communication plans, are they focused on moving people to take a next step? If not, perhaps fewer, focused messages is the answer.