By: Mark Wilson
For some of you, I lost you at church communication strategy. Others of you are thinking, “There isn’t a communication strategy in the Bible!” Those of you that don’t have a communication strategy for your ministry, then please pay attention; and the rest of you, it’s in there!
Jesus gave his disciples, and us, very simple and clear instructions for carrying on his ministry.
Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you… Matthew 28:19-20
In two brief sentences, Jesus outlined the objectives for a two-pronged strategy. First, go all over the world introducing “my story” to people and baptize them in the name of the Holy Trinity. Second, make new disciples of these newly baptized people teaching them to obey all the commands I have share with you. I know what you’re thinking again, “So what, I have heard that since I was a kid, what does that have to do with a communication strategy for my church?” It has EVERYTHING to do with communication because Jesus clearly and succinctly gave us what to communicate.
Jesus even modeled the behaviors that we need to replicate that will enable us to implement His strategy and achieve success on both fronts. First, Jesus engaged people where they were; spiritually, emotionally, physically, and even geographically. Second, Jesus developed a relationship, sometimes very brief but always deeply personal with the people he engaged. Let’s unpack these tactics and translate them into your communication strategy.
Engage. Jesus encountered thousands of people in his brief ministry, but he only engaged with a small percentage of them. Whether it was a tax collector cheating his community, an adulteress women about to be stoned, or a Samaritan woman alienated from her community, Jesus confronted these people with their sin and offered them a new life.
How do we engage with people where they are in their brokenness as part of our communication strategy? We share stories of how real people have been redeemed from their sin or reconciled relationships by turning their lives over to Jesus. Promote messages and images of encouragement so that when broken people encounter them, they see hope through a relationship with Jesus. We have to look for ways to engage and interact with people even when we haven’t met them yet.
Relationships. Jesus went out of his way to spend time with these people to let them know he loved them and that if they were willing to accept this love; their lives would be changed forever. This is a behavior that He modeled for the disciples who in turned taught the early church.
How do we develop a personal relationship with people who we haven’t met in person? Our culture, millennials in particular, are adept at building relationships digitally. The church has to adapt to having conversations online and be willing to accept the fact that we can share Jesus from a distance as easily as we can face-to-face. Hopefully you have greeters at your church on Sundays, but do you have moderators for your online, streaming service or on your website?
Today’s church has so many tools at its disposal to engage with people who are broken and build relationships with thousands of people that live anywhere in the world. The question is, are you willing to find a way to use them to introduce new people to Jesus?
By: Mark Wilson