There is more and more competition for people’s attention these days, on top of that, everyone has less time. (or at least shorter attention spans) When you get an opportunity to communicate with someone, you’ve got to make it count. This is even more crucial when our goal is to see eternal results from our message.
Let’s talk about the “how” of communication, with regard to multimedia. There are many ways to get your message out: Brochures, business cards, letterhead, video tapes, audio tapes, CD’s, web sites, radio and TV, newspaper ads, signs, etc. New media formats like CD-ROM, the Internet, and DVD make it possible to deliver tremendous impact in a very personal way.
Like most of you, I have a love/hate relationship with technology. It’s easy to get caught up in all the latest gadgets and uses for new media tools like email, the web, and audio/video. Without them, our work would be drastically different. But sometimes we need to step back and remember the higher purpose that technology serves, as it relates to our high calling. That is the foundation of our communication.
Yes, it’s cool to have streaming video, and flashy effects. But technology for technology’s sake falls way short. These toys can create a buss all their own, but it doesn’t last long. The answer is not in the format, it is (and always has been) in the message. The key is getting people to let their walls down, and hear your message, that’s where technology comes in.
So should the church abandon new media technology? Never! Imagine your ministry passing out 8-track tapes. How many direct mail pieces did you throw away last week? How many advertisements did you ignore, both in print and on TV? Creativity and excellence can bring honor to God in our work, and they can bring respect and positive attention to the messenger (your church, ministry, etc).
Choose the right tool and evaluate the results – not the “cost”. Yes, a mini CD-ROM will cost more than an average newspaper ad, but how many people will each one reach? And what is the quality and personal impact of exposure to each medium?
For example, how many families in a one-mile radius of your church have NOT ever visited? Of course, there are many reasons for people not visiting a church. But have you considered some basic, practical things you can do through multimedia to get more visitors and ultimately new members?
“What goes on in that church?” Imagine letting your neighbors look inside your church, hear the music, listen to a sermon, meet the pastor and the children’s workers, all from the privacy and comfort of their home! A video tape, CD-ROM or Web site can accomplish all these things and more. Do people know when to arrive, what to wear, where to park, and most importantly, what to expect when they come inside?
These tools let you cut through the clutter of modern life, and get the full attention of people for several minutes. Break down the practical barriers that keep your neighbors from coming to your church. Position your church as “user-friendly” and high tech.
Perception is reality. That phrase delivers some hard truth. All of us, and our organizations communicate all the time, whether we are trying or not. A high tech medium, delivering a timeless message, delivered by a loving messenger… that’s what it’s all about!