Since completing my formal education, I have served exclusively in large mainline congregations. Communicating well is important in all congregations, but especially so for larger parishes. Regardless of how many people may have formal job or volunteer responsibilities for specific aspects of communication, it is essential that they all operate from the same playbook. Without a church style guide to provide direction, it is impossible to ensure continuity in design standards or delivery channels.
I have been a part of a few great interdisciplinary teams that have created and/or revised church specific style guides. They are incredibly valuable tools, and something I recommend to all congregations.
These documents can be very lengthy or somewhat brief, but should provide all of the direction needed. Brian Kaufman’s recent blog post on this topic asked readers whether or not their congregations have adopted a style guide, and provided a link to a recent guide designed by Greg Lutze for a church in Arizona called Redemption.
Does your congregation have a style guide?
- If so
- How has this tool helped strengthen your overall communication efforts?
- When was it last updated? Is a process in place to ensure regular reviews, updates and revisions occur?
- If not
- How do you treat each request for communication fairly?
- When a staff member or volunteer creates something that does not meet your unwritten standards, how do you communicate such?
- Do you think your congregation would benefit from exploring the possibility of creating a style guide? Why or why not?