Let me be open with you. I’m not into the whole three-step formula and how-to books about churches and church ministry. It seems a bit artificial and used-car-salesmanish to me. Of course, if there is such a thing as an actual three-step formula to growing a church of ninety million people, I’m all ears. In the real world, though, such things are the stuff of pastoral fantasy and a waste of time. Understanding and applying biblical principles and commands is way more important. Having said all that, I’m about to tell you a how-to tip, but hopefully, it’s one that will work. (And no, it’s not about growing a ninety -million member church…but it might help.)
Is Technique Important? Making the Message Stick
Since this blog about media and practical church ministry, the technique we’re going to explain is about the technique of church media. More specifically, we want to understand some practical ways in which your church media can be more effective. It’s about better church media
Let’s face it. Church media isn’t going away. Church media is part and parcel of what the church does—proclamation, discipleship, evangelism, edification, etc. Church media is one of the vehicles for proclaiming truth. So, if media is part of what the church does, how can you do it better? That’s the crucial question.
All About Audience
The answer to that question is best determined by understanding your audience. “Audience” is a kind of ambiguous word (and not really ideal), so let me explain. Your “audience” is anyone that is listening to your message. Another way to understand “audience” is to think of it as the people in your church and community, those who are within the proverbial earshot of your media and message. Audience does not necessarily include only the people sitting in the pews on any given Sunday service. It can include those people who are potential attendees. It may include people who view your church website or church Facebook page. Your audience is the most essential part of your culture, which is a formative factor in developing technique when it comes to media. Make sense?
Let’s unpack this whole “audience” thing a bit more and see if we can get some more insight. Today’s audience—especially the younger generation—are a media-saturated culture. For better or for worse, life has a lot to do with digital screens, digital interruptions, digital friendships, and digital automation at every turn. As the church faces the reality of such a digitized and technologically-inundated people group, it’s necessary for the church to adapt.
Failure to adapt to a culture is failure to communicate accurately. Jesus did it. Paul did it. Whether you call it adaptation, contextualization, or relevance, the principle is as simple as having a Bible that’s not written in Greek and Hebrew. For the church today, adapting to the culture is a hugely massive deal! In essence, if you’re not adapting, you’re not getting your message accross to the people who need to hear it most. This has nothing to do with watering down the gospel, minimizing doctrine, or tossing the Bible out the window. This does have to do with the means and manner of proclaiming that message—the technique.
So, let’s talk about technique.
What is the best technique for proclamation in this digitized, automatated, media-saturated culture? There are two general features, or you can call them techniques, that will help your message stick.
- Church media should be digital. Although someone like Rob Bell, his dubious doctrine notwithstanding, can get away with writing on a whiteboard while he teaches, we must recognize the importance of digital media. Paper hymnbooks may not be entirely passé, but they are giving way to the cost-effective and appropriate tool of worship lyrics on a projector screen. Paper church bulletins are still around, but they are supplemented by welcome videos, and PowerPoint announcement slides. Sermons become clearer by means of PowerPoint sermon templates. Even the importance of paper flyers is increased by having easy digital download of church flyer templates for any occasion. Church email, an essential part of any church communication program, is an important digital means of communication. Today, a church website is a must-have for any assembly of any size. Digital media, its source, it’s storage, and it’s final product, is digital. And that’s the way that most people in this generation intake communication. Church, please adapt.
- Church media should be professional. We write a lot of articles on church flyer, church video, and church PowerPoints, because that’s the kind of stuff that is really important for featuring a professional approach in your church media. A twenty-nine year old can spot a trashy PowerPoint a mile away. Poorly designed church bulletins are not a good testimony. Church flyers with typos or tacky layout should not be part of your church media. By using powerful (yet simple) web-based resources, you can restore beautiful and professional media to your church, without having to hire a graphic designer.
Now, for the practical question. How? How do you do all this? What’s the next step for using digital and professional church media? How do you get everything we talked about in the paragraphs above? It’s easy…
Get a membership with Sharefaith. If you are a Sharefaith member, you may remember back to the days (before you joined) when designing a bulletin or PowerPoint sermon was laborious, time-consuming, and fraught with the dangers of ugly design. Sharefaith paves the way for beautiful media at a fraction of typical costs, and with the results of a professional graphic designer. Obviously, you’ll want to see this for yourself, and maybe even try it out for free. Go ahead, I don’t think you’ll be disappointed.
Now, what are you thinking?
- I think I’m ready to join. Get me a discount, please.
- I want to read more about joining Sharefaith.
- Start me out with a no-risk free trial.