As children pack their school bags and the aroma of freshly sharpened pencils fills the air, we, the church communicators, stand at a pivotal moment. The transition from summer to the school year is more than just a change in the calendar; it’s a fresh opportunity for spiritual rejuvenation and increased engagement. As you reach out to those in your church and community, remember that brain science tells us we connect to narratives more than facts and announcements. Find ways to tell the story of your congregation in everything you publish.
Here are five strategies specifically tailored for church communicators to promote re-engagement as the school year begins:
1. Craft a Compelling Narrative with a “Back-to-School Blessing” Service
Narratives are powerful, and a “Back-to-School Blessing” can be a captivating story of hope, protection, and community. Through your channels—whether it’s the church newsletter, social media, or the weekly bulletin—share anecdotes of past blessings, testimonials, or even a behind-the-scenes look at how such services come together. Create anticipation, making it a must-attend event for families.
2. Showcase Church-School Collaborations
Show, don’t just tell. If your church is partnering with local schools, document it. Share stories of volunteers in action, interview students who benefit from the mentorship, or even highlight teachers and staff who are part of the congregation. Use visuals, stories, and regular updates to make the partnership come alive in your communication.
3. Tease New Programs with Engaging Content
Don’t just announce the new children and youth programs—build a narrative around them. Perhaps offer sneak peeks into the curriculum, interview leaders and teachers, or share testimonials from past participants. Use graphics, videos, and interactive content to keep your audience engaged and curious.
4. Spotlight Family-Friendly Events Through Multiple Channels
While hosting family-centered events is pivotal, as communicators, our task is to ensure maximum visibility. Create a consistent promotional schedule. Use visually appealing graphics, countdowns, and even user-generated content (like families sharing their past experiences) to build momentum.
5. Optimize and Diversify Your Communication Platforms
Remember, not all your congregants consume information in the same way. While some may religiously read the weekly newsletter, others might be more engaged on social media. Audit your communication channels and ensure you’re reaching out in varied and optimized ways. Consider leveraging new platforms or tools, and always encourage feedback to fine-tune your approach.
Remember that as church communicators, our role goes beyond merely disseminating information. We craft narratives, shape perceptions, and in many ways, serve as the bridge between the church and its congregation. The transition from summer to school is an opportune time, filled with potential stories waiting to be told. By strategically leveraging these moments, we can inspire families to not just hear our message but to actively engage with the church community.