Communication lies at the heart of every healthy community, the church is no exception. In Matthew 11:15, Jesus says, 'Whoever has ears, let them hear'. How do we make sure we are saying things in a way that invites all people - no matter their background - to engage with what it means to me church today? People rarely stay at or visit churches because of great teaching or amazing worship music - they stay because of relationships, they stay because of connections. Church leaders and members alike need to recognize that what they say and how they say it has the power to change someone's life forever - this book will help readers be more mindful of how they `communicate church' both inside and outside of it within our digital culture today.
In this incredibly practical and readable book, Mark takes us step-by-step to better church communication (both internal and external), proposing that great communication is how we grow as a church. Starting with a foundation of vision and values, Mark slowly builds up a toolkit that will transform the ways we extend the invitation of the church to both those already ‘inside’ the church and those people in our parishes and communities who have yet to be invited.
Mark does not offer a one-size-fits-all approach to how church communication should be done – rather, he offers a range of options, weighing up pros and cons to help us make an informed decision about what will best suit our contexts and the people we’re trying to reach. He speaks about the importance of inclusion and, ultimately, the power of storytelling. By starting with vision and values, we can then know whether our communications are aligned and consistent.
As a lay person, I like that any jargon or unfamiliar terms mentioned are explained straight away. Each step Mark offers is explained in its practicality but is also backed up and grounded in Scripture.
So Everyone Can Hear won't turn your church into the next mega-church – but that’s not what it’s trying to achieve. It will help you to equip your church to become all that God is calling you to be in your context. While this book is aimed at those who lead churches or are responsible for church communications in some way, I would argue that its principles are applicable to a much broader range of ministries and organisations. I would recommend it for anyone wanting to deepen the whys and the hows of their church, ministry or organisation’s vision and communication, so that everyone can hear and have a chance to respond to Jesus’ offer of love and salvation.
Preach magazine book review by Rebecca Coatsworth
AUTHOR: Mark Crosby is the Director of Communications for Vineyard Churches UK & Ireland and serves at Cardiff Vineyard church. He oversees communications for the Vineyard movement, including web, social media, resources, films, new platform application, training, and creative and strategic direction. He also works on all national events. Mark trains churches in Europe and USA on healthy communications as part of his role, whilst also consulting for Vineyard International.