I’ve not been serving in a church for nearly two years now. I’ve learnt so much back in my marketplace role. I’m now a Group Marketing Manager across very different businesses in different market sectors that all require a different strategy.

Looking back has bought clarity about what I wish what I could of done a bit differently, and also what I wish other churches would do differently.

Change Your Communications Emphasis

Looking back I wish I had done this sooner. I had accepted ‘how it was done’. I fitted in the structure, rather than driving the strategy.

When I took ownership everything changed. The impact was profound. And immediate. Read and watch One Massive Shift You Need To Make Right Now In Your Church Communications

Leverage Social Media More

Social is still one of the best outreach opportunities bar none. I wish, wish, wish churches would not just understand it, but own it and excel in social media to reach their communities.

If you think you are going to run out of what to say. Don’t worry, it’s one of the most common issues. Read ‘How Gary Vaynerchuk’s Content Marketing Can Help People Find Your Church Online’

Learn The Art And Science Of Public Relations

My previous role before I started as a Communicators Director at my church was in a communications agency. It is one of Australia’s best. I was in a Creative Director role looking after the creative output with design and advertising, but I worked along-side some of the best public relations experts in the country and I used some of what I learn in my role.

Read 7 Practical Public Relations Tips For Churches.

Pastors to actually grasp and utilise the power of social media

Some pastors think it is someone else’s job to do all of the social media for the church. But they don’t understand the power of what can happen when they take some ownership and create content.

Read: 12 Social Media Tips For Church Leaders

Realise that branding matters

We live in a design culture. Having a strong visual identity matters. Yet so many churches fail to grasp this simple concept.

Good design can be invisible for the average person. But bad design screams irrelevance.

Read my interview with Hillsong’s Communicators Director about their Christmas branding The Story Behind Hillsong’s Cross Equals Love Branding or read How To Improve Your Church’s Brand.

Learn from outside the church world

There seems to be a cultural reluctance to learn from outside the church bubble. I think this just has to change. In my time back in the marketplace my learning has accelerated where I know there are strategies and principles that I would change if I was to serve again in a church.

Think digital first and budget around it

I’m seeing some good early signs on this. Churches are realising some of the potential here. But if I look around me I know that most marketing budgets in companies now are larger online than they are in mainstream media. Think about that. Your emphasis has to change. And more importantly your budget has to shift.

Start A Church Online

We are still in the early years of the digital age. But it will keep evolving and growing. Its my core belief that churches who adapt will be the ones that continue to grow.

Your online campus also needs to be on your own digital property (your own website). Facebook is great, but don’t just do Facebook as it’s rented and can disappear tomorrow and you’ve lost everything.

Church online is the ‘church growth movement’ of the early 1980’s. That caused a significant shift that is still being realised today.

Your turn

What lessons would you share with others that you’ve learnt? Got questions? Leave a comment below.