Ever feel stuck in a communication rut, wondering if people are actually hearing you? This feeling is actually quite new, ushered in by the world of technology. Believe it or not, there was a time where if you sent something like an invitation or a greeting, you were practically guaranteed the people you wanted to see it saw it and even responded to it, imagine that! Must have been nice, right?
The new era of communication we are in is constantly changing the rules of the communication game. My hope for you after reading this is you feel inspired to mix things up the next time you reach out to your small group members and small group hosts. Here are 3 ways you can creatively communicate with your small group hosts:
Leverage your social media platforms. Does your church have centralized social media channels? If so, have a conversation with the account manager and strategize a way small groups can be featured and promoted through those channels. Also, if your church has a social media account specifically for small groups, that is a perfect way to provide life-change stories, promote upcoming gatherings, events, and ideas that breathe fresh life into small groups. If you don’t have a designated small groups channel, start weighing the pros and cons of creating one. Perhaps being featured on the church’s main social channels are enough. The point is you need to take time to evaluate your best options as it relates to social media. Remember, what might be good for one church, is not always beneficial to another.
Test different mediums of communication. One option to play around with, as it relates to your communication strategy, is utilizing video. Not only do they break up the text, they offer the factor of human relationship. Saddleback Small Groups is an example of this. They have started a 30-second video campaign providing tips to small groups based on their felt needs. Videos are great to include in newsletters and highly effective on social media. Video is just one of many mediums you can use so experiment with some in your ministry!
Storytelling: the art of learning from others. Storytelling is timeless – humans love it and learn best from them. Every small group is consistently experiencing life change. The reality is there are enough small group stories to go around, but are you utilizing them? As small group ministry leaders we are doing our small groups and larger church community a disservice if we are not sharing these stories. Start archiving those stories and make it a point to communicate them with your hosts and the larger church congregation– they are that important.
Sometimes all we need in our communication strategy is a breath of fresh air in it. Don’t be afraid to take risks. Pastor Rick Warren encourages his staff to not fear failure but to learn from it and to make at least one mistake each week, but avoid making the same mistake twice. Take some risks, experience failure, and learn what new communication methods work for your ministry.