When our team at Cooke Pictures leads sessions on church communication and leadership, our growth strategist, Dawn Nicole Baldwin, always emphasizes consistency. I’ll never forget seeing a local church who advertised everywhere as a “family friendly church.” But when we visited on Sunday, we noticed a large sign that said “No children allowed in the sanctuary.” Inconsistent? Yeah. So I asked Dawn to write a guest post today to explain exactly how consistency can increase the impact of communicating your message:
How many times have you been excited about a new restaurant? The reviews sounded fantastic. The place is buzzing with excitement as you arrive. The host is friendly and the wait staff is attentive. While waiting for dinner to arrive you slip into the restroom.
It’s filthy. There’s water everywhere. Wadded paper towels strewn about along with other things you wish you didn’t see.
Suddenly your impression of this restaurant has dramatically shifted. If this is what the bathroom is like, I wonder what shape the kitchen is in? Do I want to think about how the food might be prepared?
Experiences matter. Oftentimes as organizations, we focus our energies on marketing and advertising. But that’s just the beginning. The question that needs to be asked is not just how to get them in the door, but how can we get them to come back. People experience your church through a variety of “touch points” that form their impression of what’s important to you as an organization.
So ask yourself:
➢ What does a weekend service feel like from the perspective of a first-time guest? Is it easy to find a parking spot, check the kids into the children’s ministry and find the service? Is it easy for them to know what are the next steps if they want to be more involved?
➢ Are we who we say we are… really? If our outdoor sign says we are a “welcoming” church, do we intentionally try to make them feel welcome or are new people treated like outsiders? If our brochures have stock photos of young people on the cover, is that consistent with who shows up on Sunday? If we say families are important, what types of resources do we have available to ensure they stay strong?
Consistency is key to ensuring your values as an organization are carried throughout the entire experience of your church. Otherwise, you could be selling yourself short if you claim to value excellence in ministry and pour all your efforts into a slick brochure but overlook what they actually experience once they arrive.
Church and ministry leaders: What’s your scorecard when it comes to consistency?