“Out of the overflow of the heart, the mouth speaks.” – Matthew 12:34
For the last couple years, this scripture has been shaping the way our communication team functions. The communication team’s function in the body of Christ is to be a mouth. The mouth reveals the heart. So one thing we do, is continually check in with the leaders of our church to identify our core values. The word “core” comes from the Latin word cor, which means “heart.”
Before we speak, we have to have a clear understanding of our church’s core values. This gives clarity of vision and strategic focus. We want to speak with a consistent voice and a consistent tone. We’re still in discovery-mode on this one, but one thing we know for sure is our desire to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.
“All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and the Holy Spirit and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you, and surely I am with you always to the very end of the age.” – Matthew 28:16-20
As I read this, I remember that our goal as a communication team is the same goal as anyone else in the body of Christ – to bring people to Jesus! Something supernatural happens in baptism. If we can create easy navigation for those looking for new life to arrive at the foot of the cross, then we’ve done our job. The communication tools we’ve chosen are intentionally designed to lead people to baptism and into living the Jesus life. “The Jesus Life” is where our strategy for discipleship takes over. Both strategies are entangled, of course, but here’s an idea of the funnel we’ve created:
We have three primary audiences: Those outside the church, those who are connected but not committed, and the ones who have bought into the Jesus thing here at Ginghamsburg.
We’ve worked hard to create tools that communicate with each of these three audiences.
First, ginghamsburg.org has been designed as a front door for new guests. We know that before people step on one of our campuses for the first time, they’ve likely already experienced our digital footprint. Our presence on the internet is our first-impression opportunity.
Secondly, we’ve created the Event Guide for those who are connected, but not committed. In attendance, but not invested.
It’s an accurate monthly calendar that includes every upcoming opportunity. Take a class here, experience a trip there, connect with like-minded people, etc.
Third, the Ginghamsburg App is our primary tool for communicating with those in the family. The invested ones. Those who are committed to God’s work through Ginghamsburg Church.
You give through the app, register to serve through the app, watch message content through the app, pray through the app, and so much more. By downloading the app, you’re essentially telling us “I want IN”.
We’ve equipped our guest services team with iPads and have trained them to assist those who aren’t interested in the app but want to engage more in our community. Social media is our primary equipping tool through which we empower those invested in our church to carry our invitational DNA. We also use email for more targeted communication, and are equipping our ministry leaders to be in more direct communication with their ministry groups, through things like Facebook groups and group emails.
Just remember–once you identify core values, they should remain constant. Cultural practices, however, change all the time.
We’re doing our best to speak in a language that makes sense to the local community. As the organ is to the guitar and as stained glass is to the projector screen, so the old church bulletin is to the app, and the attendance pad (could be) to the new guest card.
Dan graduated from Asbury College in 2006 with a degree in media communication. A few months later, he joined the staff of Ginghamsburg Church in Tipp City, OH as a graphic design intern. After learning a thing or two over the years, Dan is now Senior Media Producer and leads a team of 80 unpaid media servants. Through his incredible creative ability, God has used him to change lives through the power of story. Dan lives in Tipp City, OH with his wife, Amy, and has 3 year old twins.