“Ya’ll must be quick to listen and slow to speak.”

My paraphrase, but you know the verse.

I’ve heard this verse many times, and still struggle. I know there are moments when I was not listening, just waiting for my turn to speak. You know, when your spouse is trying to make a point…

I know this is a big no-no. It is certainly one of those things I have to continuously give to God, and I am confident He has been working on me.

It has dawned on me that this problem is not unique to me. It happens on a larger scale, too.

What happens when the church doesn’t listen?

When it comes to church communication, we are quick to speak. Instagram photo here, tweet there, Facebook event there, plus all the paper goods you distribute on Sunday.

Are we listening? Are we even asking questions?

Communication has premises that are so basic, we tend to forget them.

Think about it.

Communication requires a sender, a receiver, a message, and a channel. Church communication isn’t any different.

Very often I see churches copying what other churches (aka mega churches) are doing, and they forget to see if their receiver is similar. Or if the channel is adequate.

I am not against sharing. In fact, I think we should share more, but the problem is that churches who copy churches are hopping over identifying an essential element of communication - their receiver.

Not every church needs Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. And maybe there are churches out there that need all 3 plus a few more.

Look around.

Understand your receiver. Understand who is on the other side of you. Understand the best way to communicate with them.

Once you know your receiver, the next challenge is to ask questions.

Asking questions creates channels for two way communication. That’s the key!

Here are a few ideas you might want to try:

  1. In your weekly/month newsletter ask a question that would motivate a response, for example: “If you could change one thing about your life, what would it be? Hit reply and let our team pray for you and with you.” Or maybe something as simple as “What verse has God been putting in your heart lately. Reply to this email and let us know.”
  2. Send a quick survey. A simple “yes” or “no” can go a long way as it wouldn’t take much time for people to respond.
  3. If your church is on Facebook start a poll with a simple question that wouldn’t require more than a click to answer.

My question for you is, do you have a megaphone or a telephone?

What other ideas would you implement? Share in the comments below.