Church planting is one of the hardest things in the field of ministry. A church planter generally goes from the top of his or her game inside a larger church to stepping out into what feels like the wilderness. Now, instead of doing the one thing they’re great at, they also have to worry about insurance and taxes and accounting and all those tiny little things that add up if not taken care of.
One of my favorite quotes about church planting – and I’m going to paraphrase it – is that you shouldn’t plant a church unless you feel like it’d be a sin not to. That’s how hard it is.
So today I want to help make things a little easier for you. It’s prime season for church planting teams to be ramping up for a launch this fall. Over the past four years, I’ve had the pleasure of working with quite a few church plants both pre-launch and post-launch. Below are five simple church plant communications tips.
1) GET A LOCAL PHONE NUMBER
This sounds a bit silly, but it can be a game changer. When you go into a new community – especially smaller towns – people want to know you’re really going to be there and invest in them. A small, subtle way to reinforce that is by having a local phone number. And the best part? You can do it for free AND keep your current phone number. Google Voice will give you a local phone number that you can tie into your current phone at no cost without having to go through the hassle of changing your number at the phone company.
2) INVEST IN GRAPHIC HELP
I know you don’t have a ton of money. Church plants pull off miracles each week with three dollars and a lot of prayer. But simple graphic help can make you stand out above the noise of everything going on. There are two incredible services available that do great work and are super affordable:
Sunday Social (starting at $9/month) – Sunday Social gives you over 80 new graphics each month designed for social media and announcement slides. If you want the ability to edit their content, it’s only $19/month to get their Photoshop files.
Church Media Squad (special pricing for church plants and small churches) – Church Media Squad is one of the best deals on the internet. You pay a flat fee each month for unlimited custom graphics. They don’t do templated work and make each image you need custom. Whether it’s a teaching series or an event, you get a designer for your church for less than 10% what it would cost to hire someone full-time.
3) USE LIVE VIDEO
This one sounds scary but it doesn’t have to be. People don’t expect super high quality when it comes to live video on Facebook or Instagram. They see someone is on live and watch it. The beauty of live videos (as opposed to a produced video that you upload) is three fold: People get a notification when you go live. You can interact directly (even if it’s a simple “Hi ____!”) to people who are watching. It’s more authentic than producing something flashy. If you’re worried about not looking or sounding good enough, Pro Video Tools put together a great kit for only $139. It includes lighting, audio, and a tripod.
4) TALK ABOUT WHAT EXCITES YOU
Excitement is contagious. When people see that you’re excited, they’ll be excited too. Pull back the curtain and share the little things. Celebrate when your signage comes in, when the worship team is going to have their first rehearsal, when you have a great meeting with a town leader. Whatever it is, share it with people and let them be as excited about it as you are.
5) CELEBRATE YOUR TEAM MEMBERS
Church planting isn’t done by only the pastor. There are dozens or even hundreds of people who have dedicated their time to help plant this new church. So celebrate them. Make them feel like heroes. When people see that church planting is a bunch of normal people united behind a common purpose, they’re more likely to join up and want to be a part of it.
Those are my five tips. If you have any others, or have any questions, I’d love to hear from you.
Feel free to comment below.
Have a great day!