I've been listening to the Andy Stanley leadership podcast and there are some great principles that any creative or communications person can use immediately..

1) State your message simply –  Churches often try to sum up everything which ends up being an unmemorable paragraph which no one remembers. Can you sum up your church's message in one sentence?

2) Are you interested in making your mark or His mark? As communications specialists, we have infuence way beyond our pay grade. We need to keep our ego's in check and focus on acheiving the goal of what we are communicating on His behalf.

3) Listen, Learn then communicate – Half the battle in communicating effectively is listening effectively. Listen to your ministry partner who is briefing you on what they want to achieve, keep your mouth shut, lean on in. Listen.  Listen and learn from those outside the church. Find out what makes them tick. What are they concerned about? What stresses are they facing? What makes them happy? After all they are your primary audience.

4) Keep your key communication out front – More communication = more noise and clutter. Select what's really important to the vision and mission of your church. Keep that communication out front. Not the bake sale or sausage sizzle. If your church has a million announcements you will need to be courageous.

5) Communicate to those who no one else is communicating to – To communicate to those who no one else is reaching you have to communicate in ways no church is communicating.

6) Communicate regularly and celebrate your wins systematically – There is an old advertising maxim, that for someone to remember a print ad they need to see it three times. Believe it or not, not everyone goes to church each week. Set out in advance your frequency and where you'll communicate your message. When you know a communication has worked, celebrate it with your team. We recently undertook a communications campaign to encourage more volunteers at church. Over 150 people responded. I've celebrated that win with my web guy, graphic designer, bulletin team, senior leadership. Everyone.

7) Mutual submission to your ministry partners – Your ministry partners are passionate about what they do. They pretty much own every little detail and probably understand their audience really well. When you know they know what they are talking about. Relax and submit. 

8) Create effective and sustainable communication systems – Everyone wants the best video, websites, social media ideas. For example I love Northpoint church's video news. Love it. Love. It. But I know to acheive the same level of production would kill my video and communications team right now. We are working our way to get there, but we will get thee in a sustainable way that won't burn our team out, but rather will build it up. Take your time in building to where you want to go.

What about you? Do you have any tips? Comment below and share the love.

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