Top 10 church communication best practices

How churches connect with their communities has changed dramatically over the last 12 months. Effective church communication requires more than an occasional email or printed newsletter. The best church communication strategies create powerful digital experiences that help communities authentically and conveniently engage with their churches and each other!

If you’re ready to improve communications for your church, take a look at the 10 best practices that are helping churches create deeper personal connections and drive meaningful conversations this year and beyond. Plus, find out which tools are must-haves for your church communications team in 2023. 

Top 10 church communication best practices 

1. Know your audience

Would you talk to a new visitor the same way you would speak with one of your group leaders? Probably not! Make sure that the right people are getting the right messages every time by creating segmented group lists for emails, push notifications, and text messages.

For example, you can email a list of “new visitors” to thank them for coming and ask them if they have any prayer requests. Or, you could send push notifications through your custom mobile app to your church’s youth group about an upcoming event. 

2. Communicate relevant information consistently

Today’s online church audiences expect frequent messages with highly relevant, targeted information. Create a publishing schedule with multiple touchpoints—such as sermon videos, podcasts, blog posts, and newsletters.

Your audience will appreciate receiving information that helps them stay on top of current events and helps them along their discipleship journey. 

3. Provide two-way communication

As much as they’re eagerly tuning in to what you have to say, church members also want to have a voice, to feel like they’re a part of a broader community and develop meaningful connections with other members of that community. 

Having this kind of a dialogue requires a tool that goes beyond blasting announcements to your followers. You need a powerful two-way communication tool, like Subsplash Messaging, that allows your followers to interact with you, your leadership team, and with each other. 

4. Listen to your community and reply quickly

As any church communications director can tell you, people appreciate quick replies to their messages through instant messaging, social media posts, emails, and text messages. Take a minute to understand what they’re saying, ask clarifying questions, and avoid using canned answers when responding. 

5. Take advantage of social media

A church’s social media presence can be a powerful means of staying connected. Social media provides a widely used platform for reaching a broader audience, to showcase your church’s personality, and give people a real feel of how you’re building up your community. However, be careful to closely monitor your followers’ comments and direct messages.

Prompt responses and adding follow up comments can drive more conversations on your social media pages. 

6. Maintain a personal touch

Everybody likes feeling that they’re valued, but that doesn’t happen when someone receives a generic email or message. Make your communication feel personal by addressing your recipients by name when possible. For example, when sending out an email, use people’s first names in the greeting. You can also include a reply email or phone number so people can connect directly with the appropriate person. 

7. Don’t forget the power of storytelling

With everything else demanding your attention, it can be easy to forget one of the most powerful methods of human communication: storytelling. People remember personal testimonies and relate to shared experiences, so be on the lookout for stories that you can use to engage your audience. 

8. Leverage tools for group and individual communication

Using a tool that can handle individual and group conversations will streamline your processes and keep your community happily connected. A solution like Subsplash Messaging creates a single place for your church to communicate, whether sharing prayer requests with a group, coordinating a small group team, or having a one-on-one discussion about a recent sermon.

9. Seek feedback

One important component of successful communication is getting feedback from your audience. Take time to reach out with a survey and ask for their input for what is working and what can be improved. Asking for and being open to feedback also demonstrates your commitment to providing the best possible experience for your congregation. 

10. Adopt the best communication channel

Effective church communication strategies depend on using a primary channel that works best for your community. A good starting point for selecting this channel is by asking, “What channel will people actually use that facilitates authentic communication?” 

Modern church communication tools can help your community create and foster meaningful connections. But what are the features and traits of these tools that every church needs?

Must-have features for church communication tools

Compared to other organizations, churches’ communication goals are unique. You want to connect in practical ways: organizing small groups, sending updates, coordinating ministry teams, and so on. But you also want to communicate in meaningful and personal ways, like prayer requests, discussing a recent Bible study passage, and building relationships. 

For your communication efforts to effectively accomplish all of these goals and more, you need one tool that creates a primary hub for your church with powerful features they will love to use.

Let’s take a look at the features that separate the best church communication tool from the rest!

Church communications 1

Centralized and easy to manage 

Using multiple communication tools for different areas of your church—like email chains for gathering prayer requests and Facebook Groups for organizing small groups—can be confusing and frustrating, resulting in lost messages and disappointed users. 

With Subsplash Messaging, you can keep all of your communication in one place, right within your church’s mobile app. You can create multiple messaging channels and manage them with ease from your Subsplash Dashboard. Your community can have public and private conversations, share files and documents, create polls, and much more!

church communications 2

Safe and secure for members

A major obstacle to effectively using third-party communication tools is the inability to control who has administration permissions. Without these permissions, you cannot control who has access to your channels, who can remove users, and who can delete messages. 

For example, when a volunteer sets up a Facebook page for one of your church’s groups, that person has exclusive administrative privileges by default. There's no ability for the church administrative team to control this very public channel and ensure it's being used effectively. Having administrative access is also important for preventing inappropriate or harmful content being shared.

To protect your members, Subsplash Messaging comes with the best privacy and security features built in. Your dashboard administrators have a central location that is safe, secure, and simple to use for individual and group communication.

Church communications 3

Engaging two-way communication

Two-way communication is essential for engaging your community and building genuine connections. However, most traditional mobile communication tools are not effective for creating dialogue. For example, push notifications are a great way to get your message out to your audience, but they can only be received—not replied to. 

Similarly, some SMS messaging services offer subscriptions to help your church send and receive text messages with your members. However, they charge a fee based on the number of people receiving your messages, quickly making this option very expensive.

Using an unlimited in-app messaging service like Subsplash Messaging, on the other hand, allows you to invite as many users as you want! You can create as many group and direct channels as you want, and users can send any number of messages to each other. 

church communications 4

Simple setup and adoption

Your church should have a single solution that is easy to set up and they’ll love to use. Fortunately, Subsplash Messaging is just that—your congregation can quickly get on board and start adopting its amazing features. Because it is part of The Ultimate Engagement Platform™, your new messaging tool is automatically part of your church’s engagement platform that provides other amazing tools, such as your custom mobile app, church website, media storage and delivery, and online giving

Over 14,000 churches currently use Subsplash as part of their church communication strategy! With The Ultimate Engagement Platform, your church can use new technology to streamline processes, reach more people, and help them connect with each other. Your all-in-one Subsplash dashboard allows you to update your mobile app and website with your latest media, such as sermon videos and live streams, while also helping you manage your Subsplash Messaging channels. 

If your church is already using the Subsplash Platform, log in to your Subsplash Dashboard to find out more about Subsplash Messaging, or schedule a call with your Client Success Manager!

If you’re ready to provide your church community with Subsplash Messaging, the best tool for all of your church communications—[.blog-contact-cta]let’s chat![.blog-contact-cta]


Jeff Harvey, Guest Author

Jeff lives in Austin, TX and is a husband, father, and bonsai enthusiast. He’s served churches for over 20 years as a pastor, teacher, and missionary. He also holds a MBA from George Fox University and is fluent in Portuguese and Spanish.

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