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10 Findings from New Research on Church Communications

Recently, The Unstuck Group released its latest research report: Say What?! Key Research on Church Communications. We paused to ask 186 churches about the ways in which they communicate. Here are the 10 most interesting findings from that research:

  1. Smaller churches (1-499 attendees) have significantly higher levels of social media engagement on all major platforms.
  2. Churches are most engaging on Facebook.
  3. Study resources are one of the least offered components online.
  4. More churches communicate their beliefs than their vision online.
  5. Smaller churches (1-499 attendees) engage more volunteers per capita in the area of communications.
  6. Larger churches (500+ attendees) keep communications more focused on church-wide programs than individual ministries.
  7. The average church bulletin includes 7 announcements. (In our experience, that is too many to be effective.)
  8. The average church service includes over 4 stage announcements. (In our experience, 1-2 is most effective.)
  9. Most churches do not have a style guide to communicate with consistency.
  10. Nearly half of churches with a style guide do not use it consistently.

This is definitely the short list of everything contained in this report on church communications. In it, you’ll discover key findings that could enhance the way you communicate in five critical areas. You will also find suggested action steps to get unstuck along with a Communications Scorecard to see how well you’re really doing.

Best of all, this report comes at no cost to you! We simply want to resource your team to get unstuck. So take a moment and download your copy of Say What?! Key Research on Church Communications from The Unstuck Group.


Posted in Creative Arts, Leadership

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3 Ways Leaders Lead at their Best

lead road

Over the last 15 years I’ve been blessed to lead worship with many talented musicians and singers. I’ve led at camps and retreats. I’ve led for different generation, for different gatherings, for different churches. I’ve led in large venues and small venues. And through it all I’ve discovered three principles that allow me to lead at my best…truth is, these principles apply to anyone who leads a team.

1. Trust Your Teammates

If I’m focused on whether or not the drummer is staying on time or if the bass player is playing the right notes then I’m not focused on leading the church and engaging the crowd. As leaders we need to equip and empower our teams and then trust them to do what only they can do so we can do what we’re called to do.

Key Question: Do you have confidence in the people you lead with?

In worship ministry, we audition. Then we train and equip. I provide whatever the musician needs in order to set them up for success. When they feel confident I feel confident and I can set my attention to leading the crowds.

2. Like Your Teammates

I’ve noticed that when there are people leading with me that I genuinely like to be around it is more fun to lead the church. When it’s fun I do better. There are certain people that I connect with more so than others. These are the people I want to do ministry with. Chemistry is a must in order for me to be at my best. This sometimes means I’d rather lead with less talented people in order to lead with people I like.

Key Question: Do you look forward to leading with the people who are on your team?

When working with volunteers this doesn’t always happen. There are certain roles to fill and we can’t always fill them with people we instantly connect with. But, when possible I try to have someone I consider a friend on every team I lead.

This leads me to the third principle…

3. Know What Gives You Energy

In order to lead with people you like you can’t surround yourself with people that drain you of your energy. I don’t care how talented they are.

In addition, like most artists I’m an introvert. Standing around making small talk with strangers sucks the life out of me. If I do that right before I go on stage I might not have the energy I need to lead worship. This is why artists have “green rooms.” It is being intentional about preserving energy for when it is needed the most.

A green room should be stocked with food, coffee and anything else that combats the early call times and the energy drainers. It is a safe haven that needs to be protected.

Key Question: Do you have a plan for gaining and maintaining energy?

When all three of these principles are aligned I know I’m getting the best out of me and that usually means a great experience for everyone else. As goes the leader, so goes the team.

Photo Credit: alexcoitus via Compfight cc

 


 

This is a guest post by Matt Thompson who serves as the Worship Pastor at the Tempe Campus of Sun Valley Community Church. To keep up with Matt you can connect with him on Twitter or Facebook.


Posted in Creative Arts, Leadership

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Why Your Church Needs a Mobile App

Sun Valley Community Church, the church I have the privilege of serving at, recently announced the public launch of a new app for mobile devices. While I know that Sun Valley is by no means the first church to go this route; I also know as a result of my work with churches across the country that there are many churches considering developing an app but still have questions before they jump into this technology and method of engaging with people.

I sat down with Mo Grimm, the Director of Communications at Sun Valley, to ask him about the launch of this app. Here’s what he had to say. Hope it’s helpful to you and your church as you engage your community with the Gospel!

Paul: Does a local church really need an App?

Mo: Every day there are over 1 million smartphones sold. The majority of the people purchasing those smartphones are using their devices to access data. The thought that people are accessing the website through their desktop computers is fleeting. About two-thirds of all Americans have a mobile device that they use for apps and they spend almost an hour and a half every day on those apps. Our desire is to reach people and interact with them in a language and manner that they use most frequently. So we went with an app. It’s actually quite missional in the sense of going to where people are and learning to speak their language.

Paul: You chose to partner with Subsplash on the project? Why this company?

Mo: Subsplash is a leader in app development for churches, and because this was a new endeavor for us a proven track record was important to us on this project. Not only are they developing apps for churches, they are developing apps for Fortune 500 companies. Their platform has been tested and continues to be improved upon. Their goal is to make the Truth of Jesus incredibly accessible to people both inside and outside of the church.

Paul: In designing an App what features should Churches key in on?

Mo: Our goal with the app is to provide people with the content they want most. We are keeping it pretty simple by providing the ability to watch sermons live via Livestream or recorded, notes for the sermons as well as for Small Group Bible Studies. We wanted people to have the ability to see our various campus locations, connect with our website, and give financially to the ministry of Sun Valley in a simple and secure manner.

Interested in downloading the app and checking it out for yourself? Just follow this link.


Posted in Creative Arts, Leadership

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How Churches Communicate in 2014

megaphone

At the Unstuck Group we work with all kinds of churches across America, and one of the common trends we’ve observed is that increasingly church leaders feel stuck when it comes to communicating beyond the pulpit. The options have increased significantly in recent years, giving us both more effective possibilities and more overwhelming decisions. Websites, social media and smartphones have transformed the ways we interact. With these new opportunities, we know it’s tough to stay on top of what your church should be doing to effectively communicate to people.

We want church communications to get unstuck, and we need your help!

Today, we’re asking you to take a short survey–just 7 minutes–that will help us compile communications data from churches across the country. Our team will analyze it to find clear benchmarks for what your digital and print media should actually look like to be most effective.

Every church, every size–your input is valuable to us. The more diversity we have in responses, the more useful our data will be to the Church.

Please consider participating in this brief survey. If you take the time, we’ll send you a free copy of our findings before we make them available to everyone else. We thank you in advance and we look forward to sharing the insights with you to help your church get unstuck!

Church Communications Survey


Posted in Creative Arts

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What you Celebrate gets Repeated

The best leaders know that culture isn’t formed in a moment but a series of moments. Consistently leading and making decisions from an intentional framework that runs consistently through out the organization. One of the best tools great leaders use to do this is stories. Stories move our hearts faster than speeches, emails, or edicts from on high because art is the quickest way to our hearts. That’s why when we want to build an outsider focused culture at Sun Valley we do it through celebrating life change…people’s lives who have changed as a result of saying yes to Jesus. Because what you celebrate gets repeated. Here is a series of videos we showed in the past couple of weeks to tell stories that both reflect and build our culture of life change at the same time. Check them out!

 

 

 


Posted in Creative Arts, Spiritual Formation
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