*RESISTS THE URGE TO EXCITEDLY TYPE THIS WHOLE BLOG POST IN CAPITAL LETTERS*
We’re especially good at maintaining this calm, collected exterior in church.
Of course, we do it in the name of reverence, and there’s a time and a place for quiet. But let’s listen to the apostle Paul for a second:
What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? By no means! We are those who have died to sin; how can we live in it any longer? Or don’t you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.
Can you imagine this being said in a dull, level tone?
Not said by the person reading it now, but originally, when Paul spoke/wrote/dictated these words. Go there in your mind’s eye!
Personally, I don’t think so. I think it’s clear that Paul is passionate here; he’s incredibly enthusiastic about his subject matter, and it shows in the way he expresses it. To be honest, I could have opened Paul’s writings anywhere and found a similar sort of passion. This is part of why it’s so infectious – his enthusiasm is clearly genuine.
So: how is this passion seen from the front of the church?
Be honest, is passion ever seen in your church?
Let’s look at an example with which we’re likely to be familiar – the weekly spoken announcements.
If we use the same words and tone of voice every week for the notices, is our lack of excitement likely to lead to a surge of enthusiasm from those we are addressing?
Let’s be clear, I’m not talking about shouting – no one’s suggesting that you should go mad and do something entirely out of character, but shouldn’t we be at least a little bit enthusiastic about what we’re saying?
Much has been written about giving spoken notices in an effective way, including this fantastic post from Steve Fogg, so I won’t re-cover this ground. All I will do is give an encouragement to think: not just about to the words you’re saying, but about how they’re coming across.
Enthusiastic Church Communications
This kind of thinking is important, and it isn’t just for spoken notices. It goes for social media too, and all of your other communications channels. We need to reflect on how we communicate, as well as what.
The chances are, your audience is going to be sympathetic with the message you’re trying to communicate, most of the time. This is because a lot of your social crowd is likely to be made up of those already familiar with the church. Unfortunately, because we know this, we take it for granted that everyone who hears will ‘take it in’ and respond. But this simply isn’t true!
Don’t forget, they’re not just ‘your’ audience! There are hundreds of people, brands and organisations competing for the attention of each person in your audience. This is true of every communications channel, but especially the digital ones!
Therefore, if the way you post your message is bland, uninteresting or ‘always the same’, you probably won’t have the desired effect, and your messages won’t produce the desired outcomes.
Think for a second.
What are you trying to get people to do? Sign up for an event, give their time to help something, learn from the Bible, give their money? Take the time to establish the goal of your message and then consider how you can passionately persuade them. Grab their attention, give them a reason to listen and make it clear what response you’re asking of them.
- Keep it light, it’s important to sound natural. Take some time to think about your brand voice/tone then keep it consistent. Consistency is not the same as ‘samey’.
- Spellcheck! Copy and paste your content into a text editor if it helps. Errors can switch readers off, and can sometimes cause awkward misunderstandings!
- Do something unexpected (within reason!). Prevent your audience from switching off. Try getting your thoughts across in a new way.
- Try this – occasionally run your scheduled content by someone else. Ask them to describe the emotions your text communicates. Observe their reactions as they read through it, too!
Passion is infectious – if you display it, it will catch on.
So be passionate with your communications, be passionate about your messages. Most of all, be passionate about the glorious gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ!