There are 168 hours in one week. After we take away the time you spend sleeping (45-60 hours), we’re left with 115 waking hours during the week.
As a church staff member, you are likely at your church around 40-45 hours during that week, if not more. On top of the time you’re at work, you probably spend a couple hours each day thinking about things that are going on at church. Let’s be conservative and say that’s only one hour per day.
Conservatively, you spend 41% of your time awake (47 out of 115 hours) either at church or thinking about your church.
The average church goer is only at your church for 60-90 minutes 2-3 times per month. They spend less than 1% of their time awake thinking about your church.
While church is your entire world, to the common church goer, church is only a small piece of what they do.
They don’t have the next two months of events memorized.
They don’t remember last week’s sermon.
They don’t plan their life around church events.
And that’s why communicating with your church can be so dang frustrating sometimes:
As a church staff member, your life is nothing like the people you’re trying to communicate to.
When we put in our systems and schedules, we plan around what should work based on what we know. We look at articles about when to send emails or post on social. We stay up to date with the latest trends to make sure our communications look great.
The problem we all run into is we haven’t gone to church as a normal person in a really, really long time.
We haven’t tried to find a parking spot between services. We haven’t waiting in the kids check in line with what feels like the entire church. We haven’t had to go to the bathroom, catch up with a friend, get a coffee, and still get into the service on time.
In short, we can’t empathize with what the people we’re trying to reach go through every week.
If we can’t empathize with them, we can’t communicate with them on their level.
If we can’t communicate with them on their level, we can’t communicate with them at all.
So what should you do?
It’s simple: schedule regular time in your rhythm to go to church like a normal person. This may only happen once a quarter, but it’ll give you insight into the experiences of the people you’re trying to reach. It’ll help you understand them on a personal level which will help you communicate with them on a personal.
If I’m honest, it took me way too long to realize this. It didn’t click for me until I left my staff position. Church went from the central point of everything I did to something I did on the weekend… sometimes. That shift helped me realize that my communication has to be intentional, varied, and direct. We’ll talk more about that in the next post.
For now, begin to think about how you could take a Sunday and delegate some of your responsibilities. You won’t be taking a vacation, but you’d be doing market research to see how to better reach your people.
That’s my tip for the day! If you have any others, or have any questions, I’d love to hear from you.
Have a great day!