There isn’t a day that goes by when I don’t face this challenge. Both professionally and privately.

And I don’t think it is just me. It probably impacts you too. What is it?

It’s competition for my attention.

If I just think about even today, the forces and voices competing for my time and attention have been huge. Social media, family, phone calls, missed phone calls, emails, staff, meetings and dare I say, even this blog. They are clamour for my time. It can be very difficult to focus. To finish a task. I’ve had four interruptions just writing this post.

If I’m being truly honest with you, sometimes it feels like I get nothing done well. 

So how does this translate to the world of church communications?

Those who show up on a Sunday have the same challenge. They’ve probably just endured a whole morning of noise and interruption before they walked through the doors of your church. In fact they are probably bringing that same noise into church in their heads with them.

That competition for attention is also in your audience’s email inbox. When you think you’ve sent them an email and they haven’t replied and you wonder why. It’s probably that your message got lost in the noise and the competition for their attention.

One of the most challenging communication channels you are competing on is social media. Not only is Facebook throttling your reach back (Yeah thanks Zuck), but your audiences ‘friends’ may be posting more compelling content than you. 

Again. Your voice gets lost in the noise.

This competition isn’t going away. The noise levels have been rising steadily and everyone is screaming for attention.

Your church, my church doesn’t have the right to be heard. We have to earn it. We have to figure out how we can rise above the chatter and clamour. Here are some ways that may help:

1) Email: Ask yourself what would make you open the email you are crafting for a ministry? You have about 1-2 seconds in-front of a person before they hit delete or open. How will you increase the probability that they will open your email? Read more here.

2) Social media – Not getting noticed? Are your posts disappearing to the social media graveyard? Ask yourself this simple question. Would you share your own churches content all the time? What kind of content do you love to share? There are clues there to rising about the noise and getting noticed. Again you may have their attention for about 2 seconds, or as long as it takes to swipe their device up. Read more here.

3) Sundays – Your congregations heads are full of noise, yet we insist on filling it with more ‘stuff’. Don’t get me wrong, most of it is good ‘stuff’. But it is stuff. When was the last time you had silence in your church service? I don’t mean silence for a few seconds, but as long as it may feel a bit awkward. Silence can be a wonderful weapon in de-cluttering our minds. Your service leader may throw a few prompts in that silence to direct people’s thoughts some more. We don’t use it enough. Trust me. This is a weapon you want to use. 

Your turn

What competition do you see out there on the different communication channels? How do you get your message through? What communication problems are you facing? Comment below.