Leadership

Does Your Church Have Clear Messaging?

Having a clear message is important to properly communicate your church's vision and mission. Especially in an increasingly online world, there are a few helpful steps that can be taken to ensure you get your message across to both church members and potential visitors.

It’s not what you said it’s the way you said it. That cliche line that’s had husbands looking lost and nervous has been around for a while. But it’s more than an old sitcom punchline followed by a laugh track. We’re either communicating clearly to our audience or we’re leaving them confused, indifferent, or frustrated by the “way we said it”. In this post, we will help you sharpen your communication and clear any clutter that might be preventing people from understanding your message. 

What is Messaging?

Let’s define our terms before we start. When we say messaging, we mean the words and phrases we use to communicate our ideas, goals, vision, or purpose. This can range from how we advertise our next church picnic to how we communicate our church vision on a website. The words we use matter. The average reading attention span of an adult is 12 seconds or less. That means you have 12 seconds or less to captivate your audience with a compelling message that keeps them engaged and interested.

The amount of money major brands spend on marketing and brand messaging would make your eyes bulge out, and they’re just selling a product. We aren’t saying you need to spend money, but you should put thought and time into getting your messaging right. You’re not selling a product, you’re offering hope. Words matter because people matter.

Where Messaging Matters

Messaging is especially important when you communicate with people outside of your church membership. For example, your website, social media accounts, print marketing, and signage are all meant to draw people in. Let’s look at what works best in some of those mediums.

Website:

Church websites are mainly for visitors who want to see what you’re all about. This is why it’s crucial to keep information like values, mission statements, statements of beliefs, and service times easy to find and digest. Avoid using terms or phrases that are only recognizable to people inside your denomination or faith. Also, try to limit how much text you place “above the fold” of your website. Remember our 12-second rule? If it looks like it’s going to take longer than that to read, they might not even bother.

The design is either helping or hindering your message. If visitors can’t find what you want to communicate because of a crowded or confusing design, it’s time to get strategic. Below are a few examples of church websites where the design enhances the messaging.

Need help with your church website? Consider using Tithe.ly All Access to get an amazing website builder, custom church app, church management, and more (all in one package!).

Another tip to keep in mind is to tell people what to do. When you say, “Click below to schedule a visit” you will get more results than simply having a button to click. There’s a lot of information on why these calls to action are effective, but even if you don’t feel like going down that particular rabbit trail, you’d do well to implement it.

Lastly, keep any text on your website authentic to who you are as a church. The website should be an extension of your Sunday experience, not a contrast to it. Know your audience and stay true to the mission field God called you to. If you keep these things in mind, you’ll steer your church website well and true.

Social Media

This is a biggie. The percentage of Christians on social media has been hovering around the 70% mark for a while. Chances are good that this will increase over time. Whether you already have a social media presence, or your church is just getting started, here are best practices to keep messaging clear and focused.

When it comes to social media, photos and graphics are important. And if you need help buttoning up that side of things, go look at our church media resources (many free options!). When it comes to writing captions, you don’t need to be a fancy writer. You need to be a clear communicator. If you want people to watch your online service, tell them the topic, how it will help them, and how to access it.

Whether your church has a dedicated social media manager, or you are managing it yourself with your spare time, there are a few simple things to keep in mind. Take time to plan out what you are going to post on social media. Also, be sure you aren’t always posting the same thing over and over again, or else you could lose followers (I know, you aren’t trying to be insta-famous, but you want fruit from your efforts!). Having a plan also lets you account for future events or announcements and think through how you want to roll those out. Typically, social media is like the Casual Friday version of your website. Website = Sunday Best and social media = tee-shirt and jeans. Keep your captions clear, focused, and add in a little color or humor.

Consistent with Variety

When you consider your messaging on all platforms, you can step back and see the entire picture you are telling people. Do you have cohesive messaging with consistent language and repeated sayings? Or have you ridden the winds of inspiration a tad too much and now have something different on each platform? If you fall in the latter category, don’t worry! It probably means you have a lot of great ideas. Sort through which ones are the best to build on.

Over to You

A great online presence is about more than amazing designs, although that’s a big part of it. The words we use and the way we communicate can lead people to the church, and ultimately to Christ. With a little prep work and planning, your messaging will be clear and effective. 

H1 What’s a Rich Text element?

H2 What’s a Rich Text element?

H3 What’s a Rich Text element?

H4 What’s a Rich Text element?

H5 What’s a Rich Text element?
H6 What’s a Rich Text element?

The rich text element allows you to create and format headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, images, and video all in one place instead of having to add and format them individually. Just double-click and easily create content.

H4 Static and dynamic content editing

A rich text element can be used with static or dynamic content. For static content, just drop it into any page and begin editing. For dynamic content, add a rich text field to any collection and then connect a rich text element to that field in the settings panel. Voila!

H4 How to customize formatting for each rich text

Headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, figures, images, and figure captions can all be styled after a class is added to the rich text element using the "When inside of" nested selector system.

  • List Item 1
  • List Item 2
  • List Item 3

Headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, figures, images, and figure captions can all be styled after a class is added to the rich text element using the "When inside of" nested selector system.

Headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, figures, images, and figure captions can all be styled after a class is added to the rich text element using the "When inside of" nested selector system.

Blog

Does Your Church Have Clear Messaging?

Does Your Church Have Clear Messaging?

Having a clear message is important to properly communicate your church's vision and mission. Especially in an increasingly online world, there are a few helpful steps that can be taken to ensure you get your message across to both church members and potential visitors.

Show notes

It’s not what you said it’s the way you said it. That cliche line that’s had husbands looking lost and nervous has been around for a while. But it’s more than an old sitcom punchline followed by a laugh track. We’re either communicating clearly to our audience or we’re leaving them confused, indifferent, or frustrated by the “way we said it”. In this post, we will help you sharpen your communication and clear any clutter that might be preventing people from understanding your message. 

What is Messaging?

Let’s define our terms before we start. When we say messaging, we mean the words and phrases we use to communicate our ideas, goals, vision, or purpose. This can range from how we advertise our next church picnic to how we communicate our church vision on a website. The words we use matter. The average reading attention span of an adult is 12 seconds or less. That means you have 12 seconds or less to captivate your audience with a compelling message that keeps them engaged and interested.

The amount of money major brands spend on marketing and brand messaging would make your eyes bulge out, and they’re just selling a product. We aren’t saying you need to spend money, but you should put thought and time into getting your messaging right. You’re not selling a product, you’re offering hope. Words matter because people matter.

Where Messaging Matters

Messaging is especially important when you communicate with people outside of your church membership. For example, your website, social media accounts, print marketing, and signage are all meant to draw people in. Let’s look at what works best in some of those mediums.

Website:

Church websites are mainly for visitors who want to see what you’re all about. This is why it’s crucial to keep information like values, mission statements, statements of beliefs, and service times easy to find and digest. Avoid using terms or phrases that are only recognizable to people inside your denomination or faith. Also, try to limit how much text you place “above the fold” of your website. Remember our 12-second rule? If it looks like it’s going to take longer than that to read, they might not even bother.

The design is either helping or hindering your message. If visitors can’t find what you want to communicate because of a crowded or confusing design, it’s time to get strategic. Below are a few examples of church websites where the design enhances the messaging.

Need help with your church website? Consider using Tithe.ly All Access to get an amazing website builder, custom church app, church management, and more (all in one package!).

Another tip to keep in mind is to tell people what to do. When you say, “Click below to schedule a visit” you will get more results than simply having a button to click. There’s a lot of information on why these calls to action are effective, but even if you don’t feel like going down that particular rabbit trail, you’d do well to implement it.

Lastly, keep any text on your website authentic to who you are as a church. The website should be an extension of your Sunday experience, not a contrast to it. Know your audience and stay true to the mission field God called you to. If you keep these things in mind, you’ll steer your church website well and true.

Social Media

This is a biggie. The percentage of Christians on social media has been hovering around the 70% mark for a while. Chances are good that this will increase over time. Whether you already have a social media presence, or your church is just getting started, here are best practices to keep messaging clear and focused.

When it comes to social media, photos and graphics are important. And if you need help buttoning up that side of things, go look at our church media resources (many free options!). When it comes to writing captions, you don’t need to be a fancy writer. You need to be a clear communicator. If you want people to watch your online service, tell them the topic, how it will help them, and how to access it.

Whether your church has a dedicated social media manager, or you are managing it yourself with your spare time, there are a few simple things to keep in mind. Take time to plan out what you are going to post on social media. Also, be sure you aren’t always posting the same thing over and over again, or else you could lose followers (I know, you aren’t trying to be insta-famous, but you want fruit from your efforts!). Having a plan also lets you account for future events or announcements and think through how you want to roll those out. Typically, social media is like the Casual Friday version of your website. Website = Sunday Best and social media = tee-shirt and jeans. Keep your captions clear, focused, and add in a little color or humor.

Consistent with Variety

When you consider your messaging on all platforms, you can step back and see the entire picture you are telling people. Do you have cohesive messaging with consistent language and repeated sayings? Or have you ridden the winds of inspiration a tad too much and now have something different on each platform? If you fall in the latter category, don’t worry! It probably means you have a lot of great ideas. Sort through which ones are the best to build on.

Over to You

A great online presence is about more than amazing designs, although that’s a big part of it. The words we use and the way we communicate can lead people to the church, and ultimately to Christ. With a little prep work and planning, your messaging will be clear and effective. 

video transcript

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