Tips for Staying in Contact with your Congregation

Meet the writer: Karen Pieper

Hi, I'm Karen! I've been in the industry for 21 years and can't wait to share my perspective on all things direct mail. I'm currently the Digital Marketing Manager at Letter Jacket Envelopes and deal with tasks from managing the website, facilitating conversations with customers, and much more!

What is the biggest, most important job for a church leader? Hint, it isn’t their service on Sunday. Rather, the biggest job for a church leader is building relationships. Of course, this relationship building can happen from the pulpit during Sunday services, but it needs to happen away from the pulpit as well. Think of relationship building, of keeping in contact with your congregation, as the next step. This isn’t just you speaking to your congregation, but it is really talking to the members of your congregation. As a church leader, it’s essential to be able to effectively communicate with your congregation. From utilizing multiple delivery methods to focusing on consistency, here are the tips you need to stay in contact with your congregation.

Follow The Rule of Seven

The more chances your congregation has to hear your message, the better their chances are to truly absorb it. In marketing, there is an old adage called ‘The Rule of Seven.’ Very simply, the rule states that a marketing prospect, in this case, your congregation, needs to hear or see your marketing message seven times before they will remember it.  Of course, in order for your congregation to hear or see your message seven times, it means that you have to be both consistent and repetitive with your messaging. Relationships, of any kind, are built with communication at the core. If you want to have meaningful contact with your congregation, reaching out to them can’t be a one-time thing, it has to be something that you repeat over and over and over again.

How can you avoid losing contact with your congregation?

Avoid losing contact with your congregation through written correspondence, social media, frequent email updates, online meeting spaces, and an expanded prayer ministry.

Church Communication Letters

Church letter writing should never just be a task on some to-do list for you to check off. The truth is, these communication letters can be a powerful tool to stay in contact with your congregation.

How can you effectively utilize church communication letters? Most church letters fall into one of two categories: communication letters or fundraising letters.

  • Communication Letters: This category often includes things like bulletins and newsletters. A bulletin is shorter and might focus on keeping your congregation up to date with all the activities happening as part of your church community. Include small group information, Bible study classes, playgroups, and any other activities your church hosts. A newsletter is a bit longer and might include a brief history of the church, volunteer opportunities, and donation options. Newsletters should go out on a fixed schedule, but that schedule is up to you. You might choose weekly, monthly, or bi-monthly.
  • Fundraising: Personal and thoughtful, fundraising letters are a tried-and-true standard for churches. Make sure to mail invitations for in-person fundraisers at least 6 weeks before the event. Don’t forget to include a stamped return envelope, like a small church offering envelope. By cutting out this task for your congregation, you’ll increase the chances of them both responding and donating.

All of your church communication letters should be formatted so that they are easy to read. Make sure your font is large enough to read easily and stay away from overly complicated fonts or hard to read colors.

Whether your communication takes the form of a bulletin, newsletter, or fundraising literature, keep the language friendly, welcoming, and uplifting. Use language that conveys gratitude for their time and for any past donations they may have made. Well-written letters can share information and strengthen relationships at the same time. Make sure to always be thoughtful and thankful when maintaining contact with your congregation.

Know Your Congregation

A successful church leader is one who communicates well with his or her congregation. In order to effectively communicate with your congregation, you need to be clear, concise, and consistent.

Before you start writing your church communication letter, you need to think about who your audience is. It’s important that you don’t let your message fall flat. The more you know your congregation, the more you can tailor your message to them.

You also need to figure out how to communicate with your congregation in a way that is most meaningful to them. That usually means talking more about your congregation and less about your church. Of course, your congregation wants to hear about the great things your church is working on, but they want to know how they are part of those things or how they can get more involved.

Instead of just telling your congregants things, include some questions as well. Another way to forge a relationship is by sharing something from your own experience that can relate to your congregation.

Above all, keep your messages simple. Often those simple messages are the most elegant. Remember, your goal is to enlighten and build relationships. There’s no need to pull out obscure references trying to impress them.

At Letter Jacket, we love envelopes. But even more than loving envelopes for their own sake, we love what they can do for you—things like keeping you in contact with your congregation and building those relationships. Come see how our envelope selection and customization tools make it easy to make what’s on the outside of your envelope just as impressive as what’s on the inside. Visit our website or chat with an ordering specialist to learn more.

Key Takeaways

  • The biggest job for a church leader is building relationships.
  • Church communication letters can be a powerful tool to stay in contact with your congregation.
  • The right envelopes from Letter Jacket can help you keep in contact with your congregation and build relationships.
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