When your church's digital teams work at a regular cadence, you become more predictable. This is a good thing. It sets expectations of both your audience and stakeholders. It also helps teams become more sustainable. Here are a few key areas that will make church communications more effective over time.
Cadence should not be new at your church. The vast majority of Christians already have an expected cadence; weekly church attendance. Consequently, your pastor is already familiar with producing a sermon every week. I pray your church leadership sees the importance of rhythm for these digital artifacts and practices.
Produce content for your customers on a regular basis. Often you are meeting a need in their life. This probably include sermon updates, teaching for Bible studies, and daily devotionals. Often these content feeds trigger email campaigns. With a steady pace, you will feed your audience news, information, and teaching. They may not carry the same weight as a sermon. Yet they may be the elements that either bring in a curious visitor, or sustain a long-time member.
Social Media Cadence
As you publish new content, share it on social media. This should be a logical next-step for producing other content. Post regular requests for prayer. Share highlights from events within a predetermined amount of time. More importantly, ask for feedback after events occur. Whatever you do, remain disciplined in your approach. Ensure that new content posted to your website is highlighted on your appropriate social media accounts.
This is probably the most complicated piece of this article. This is the case because adding new features to your website takes a lot of planning, time, and effort. What features will make sense for your church and when? This requires close alignment with your overall church strategy and objectives. Depending on what those are, you need to begin researching and architecting a solution.
A rigorous web development process requires development standards, test environments, and deployment plans. If you rely on a platform like WordPress, you may only care about the last two. At the very least, you should manage the rhythm of how you instal new plugins. Often features will clash and cause glitches. This may be something small like an element not displaying in the correct place. It could also mean your entire site crashes. Test your new features, and when ready, deploy them with care. Based on your analytics, choose a time when your site has a low amount of traffic. You may find that the best time is shortly after Sunday worship. Most potential website traffic is in their cars leaving your church service.
This may not be as complicated as adding new features, it does need some level of technical skills. Keeping your guard up against online attacks requires vigilance. I have given plenty of tips on security over the years. Yet without your continued efforts their effectiveness will deteriorate. This includes resetting passwords, checking access logs, and reviewing sent email messages. All these areas could reveal where someone breached your security. It is better to discover a breach on your own, rather than after some serious damage has been caused.
Most of this article boils down to church communications teams remaining disciplined. I am just reminding you of a few areas just in case you forgot them. We often ask God for discipline when starting a new Bible reading plan. The same goes for daily devotionals, prayer, and even church attendance. Take some time right now and ask God for the strength we all need:
"Heavenly Father, thank you for allowing us to live in a time of great technological advances. We see the opportunities to spread your Word throughout the world. We also see the need to show your love. Give us the wisdom to chose a realistic rhythm, and the discipline to do it. We ask this in your Son's name. Amen"
Photo courtesy of Aeyvi Poe