Be Your Best Self: Church Edition
Not one church in the world is exactly the same. Churches meet in different locations, have different worship styles, use different translations of the Bible, and even worship and preach in different languages. But, even with these differences, they are still unified under one God, and that’s a pretty incredible and unique thing, and exactly how God intended.
What does it take for churches to be their best selves? Some may say thoughtful and intentional prayer, strong, focused and God inspired leadership, or seeking wisdom from the Bible. All of these tactics are a great place to start for the success of a church, but church leaders also need each other, too.
Churches are often able to grow and develop through sharing community with one another. Local pastors and staff in an area often are familiar with each other and can even draw on each other for ideas, support, and inspiration. Humans are made for connection, after all, so getting together with like minded individuals that work in the same field isn’t out of the usual.
The only problem with collaboration is that it sometimes can turn into comparison. And while healthy comparison in hopes of gaining knowledge or facts is okay, your church’s unique vision and strategy can get lost if you are comparing for the wrong reasons.
It’s tempting to try to replicate a larger church or even a similar church in hopes that their method will help your church grow, too. If you are looking to grow or transform a ministry of your church, reflect your church’s values, culture, and vision to see sustainable solutions.
But what’s the best way to do that? Keep an open dialogue with your congregation. Communication at its best involves interaction with your congregation instead of only talking at them.
Keep Your Communication Open
Have you considered using digital lines of communication to actively establish a connection with your congregation? Technology makes it easier to start a dialogue using messaging services (think Facebook Messenger or WhatsApp). Messaging services have become more popular as people use them to connect with friends and even companies. According to Business Insider, the combined user base of the top four chat apps is larger than the combined user base of the top four social networks. That’s a lot of online conversation!
Messaging services have an advantage over email in that, messaging provides a continuous thread between customer and brand, unlike the disjointed experience of email. An order confirmation email, even one prompting further action, often dies in an inbox, but conversation on messaging apps is more like an ongoing dialog, as stated by the Harvard Business Review.
So, what can we learn? Rather than asking church members to find the group message on Facebook or in their text messages, let them opt-in for relevant chats inside your church mobile app. Now they can keep small group discussion going, post questions on your church Q&A, and ask other new parents if cloth diapers really work, and let others know quickly (and in one place) if events are cancelled. Give your church members a space to connect, and you will know how to communicate what they need.
The one thing that churches can really do to be their best selves is stay true to who they are. True to Jesus and true to the calling and purpose he has for your church. You cannot pretend to be more spiritual, more mature, wiser, older, more than you really are, because it will catch up with you. You can’t be the church down the street or the mega church on TV if that’s not who you or your congregation are. Your church will continue to grow and develop just as God has intended all along, and with an open and transparent dialogue between your church as a community of believers and with church staff, the goals and vision of your church will become even more tuned in to what God has for you.
If you desire to learn more about the ways that technology may benefit your church, the secret is out! Download our free e-book to discover six more approaches to technology that the church can tackle.