Communication is, by far, the most important job within any church. From your doctrine to your daycare schedule, keeping your leadership team up-to-date with a logical and consistent church communication plan brings you one step closer to completing your mission.
My name is Alexandria Schmidt. I have been in ministry for most of my life. As the Technical Director, and occasional guest preacher, of MCC Illiana, I know what it takes to create clear, concise messaging and make sure the rest of the staff can deliver it.
Church communication is a wide-ranging subject that has many complexities that you and your church staff would do well to study. In this article, we’ll talk about church communication plans, and how to use them. I’ll provide you with a template that you can download.
- What Is A Church Communication Plan?
- Download Our Church Communication Plan Template
- How To Use The Church Communication Plan Template?
What Is A Church Communication Plan?
A church communication plan is, simply, a document that details how an idea is translated from the lead pastor’s notes to the congregation’s eyes and ears. As always, smaller churches will have some roles overlap, while larger churches might have separate people.
So, if your Treasurer also prints the bulletins or your deacons are also your greeters (or however your church is structured), use this template, not just as a worksheet but as a living document to suit your church.
The information contained in the church communication plan is the message, how and when the message will be delivered, and who will be delivering it. The message should be self-explanatory. It is your sermon, a church event, or any other information your church staff or members need to know.
“How” entails a list of all the ways that the information can be delivered to the church members and community. This includes social media posts, podcasts, follow-up ministry, and any other communication channels that help you reach your target audience.
“When” is where your church communications strategy comes in. Do you preview next week’s sermon in this week’s bulletin? How many weeks in advance do you advertise your Trunk-Or-Treat? Do you post upcoming sermon titles on your website or Facebook page? These questions will inform the specific timing of each part of your message. Each “how” must be accompanied by a “when”.
“Who” will usually be self-explanatory as well. The lead pastor usually preaches, unless a guest speaker is invited. The worship leader picks out the right songs and music to accompany the message. The printing team assembles the bulletin to enhance the message. You might even have your greeters incorporate a themed greeting (but try not to be cheesy!).
Overall, you will be able to fill-in the blanks on your church communication plan template, and everyone in your church leadership team will know what to do and when to do it.
Download Our Church Communication Plan Template
Follow the instructions inside the church communication plan template, and you and your church leaders will be on your way to effective communication. You can create an editable document by selecting File, and then Make a copy.
How To Use The Church Communication Plan Template?
The template itself contains instructions, but I will fill out a little more detail here to empower your communications plan.
First, the messaging section tells you to keep your message concise to avoid different avenues of interpretation. For instance, if you write too much in the messaging section about having a different perspective on Jonah, someone might be able to deduce that you’re going to preach about what the whale is thinking.
Messaging works best when confined to single sentences. Your most complex subjects should take no more than three.
In the second section, what I called the “Hows” and “Whens” are more professionally called the methods and timing of communication. In addition to the examples given in the template, look around your church and find the things that communicate to your members.
One example of this is your lobby area. I know you consider the lobby part of your communication strategy—what church doesn’t communicate their love of Christmas during the holiday season by decorating the lobby? The way you dress your altar, your lighting choices, and many more things all impact your message.
Most importantly, proper timing is the difference maker in good communication. Give your events time to breathe. Let the word-of-mouth develop over weeks and months for larger, yearly events. If you are excited about a sermon that is coming up, let the people know, so they can be excited, too. A ministry that knows timing knows growth.
Rounding Up: Church Communication Plan Template
Don’t be afraid to change your template as often as your church changes. Practice using it every time you need to say something to a number of people. From your first time and every day after, you will grow as a leader and a communicator the more you do.
Read more about church communication here, and learn how church communication software can streamline this process within your church.
I’ve been Lexie, and you’ve been wonderful. Questions or comments can be shared below. God bless!