Over the last decade, media has played a more prevalent role in the church than ever before.
And it shows no sign of slowing down.
By media, I mean everything from websites and worship presentations, to bulletins and podcasts. That flyer your administrator made for VBS? Guess what? It’s media! Your paper bulletin? Media! The accompanying track sister Elizabeth sang to? Media. It’s everywhere, and people can instantly spot sloppy, hastily thrown together work and the kind that shows you care.
In 1 Corinthians 14, Paul says that everything should be done “decently and in order.” In this day and age, that includes the quality of a church’s communication with those in the pews and in the surrounding community. Today, if you want to reach people, at some point you’ll use media. The quality of a church’s communication may convey how much (or little) it cares about the people it’s trying to reach. God is glorified when we ensure excellence in our ministries. Just as Jesus spoke to his audience in terms they could understand, we can learn to use tools, technology, and media that reach our people.
Here are three reasons high-quality media is important for churches today.
It makes a good first impression
Many of your visitors will first encounter your church on the web. In many ways, your online presence acts like a front door to your church. Whether it’s your website or a social channel like Facebook, this initial impression influences whether people visit. Having a great website isn’t about being cool or modern—it’s about being welcoming and inviting. Simply put, it’s about loving people. Do you have a sub-par site? Chances are you losing opportunities to minister to families who would otherwise love to be a part of your church.
It improves focus
In today’s visually-driven culture, people don’t just enjoy media-rich environments, they expect them! It’s their native habitat. Because of that, they’re more sensitive to the quality of media than ever. I’m not saying church services needs to be slick, Hollywood-quality productions, but a lack of care in the media you use may hinder people’s ability to connect and retain your message. When you’re trying to lead people in worship, you don’t want them to be distracted by a delay in switching a worship slide, or typos in the bulletin. Striving for excellence with lyric slides, videos, sermon outlines, recorded sermons, bulletins, and live streams are just a few ways churches have used media to help worshipers maintain focus.
It meets people where they are
Jesus frequently used illustrations involving money, farming, politics, fishing, weddings—things that people could relate to easily. He pointed out real situations such as the widow tithing at the temple. He gathered children into his arms and used that opportunity to teach on faith. By wrapping deep biblical truths in simple concepts and illustrations, Jesus’ message was clearly and profoundly communicated. When we use care with our media efforts, we are taking the time to connect with people.