Engaging CultureStrategy & Marketing

Church and Ministry Communication and The Power of Being Consistent

When our team at Cooke Media Group 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?

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  1. She nailed it. The problem is that there are so many levels of leadership that has to “get it.” The person who does the majority of the signage, print, and electronic communication can work so hard at consistency only to have exactly what was said happen (dirty bathroom, unfriendliness in the pews, etc)..or even to the person answering phones at the office on a Tuesday completely sabotage those efforts. And I wonder why I’m a frustrated control freak!

    1. I’m not even a control freak and I’m frustrated as well! You’re exactly right. If it doesn’t trickle down to everyone, it will never work… Thanks for the great reminder!

  2. If we are a welcoming church and are excited about newcomers, where does it go from there? Are we excited about them but deep down have enough friends, so we hope that they somehow will find other newcomers? And, personal observation: how do we care about other church members who have been oldtimers? If we focus only on newcomers, aren’t we risking that oldtimers are eventually fading away, revolving door style?

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