church communications

Win a copy of Outspoken: Conversations on Church Communications #OutspokenBook

outspoken book
Written by Paul Steinbrueck

outspoken bookToday we’re reviewing, discussing, and giving away the book Outspoken: Conversations on Church Communications. Keep reading to learn how you can win one of 3 copies we’re giving away.

Outspoken is a brand new book about church communications that’s being released today. What makes Outspoken remarkable is that it’s a compilation of insight from more than 60 church communications professionals including Jon Acuff, Phil Cooke, DJ Chuang, Steve Fogg, Charles Lee, Kem Meyer, Tony Morgan, John Saddington, Tony Steward, and Leonard Sweet. I’m excited to be a contributor as well.

The book is published by The Center for Church Communications (known for its popular blog Church Marketing Sucks) and was edited and organized by its co-director Tim Schraeder. It covers all facets of church communications such as leadership, branding, design, words and stories, technology, creativity, and personal growth.

This is a book every person that does church communications, web design, or marketing should read and keep within arm’s reach at their desk. It’s a great book for pastors too because they do and oversee a lot of church communications as well.

Get a Free Book

Because all of us at OurChurch.Com and Christian Web Trends want to see churches communicate better, we’re not only helping to spread the word about Outspoken, we’re also going to give away 3 copies. All you have to do to win one is:

  1. Retweet this post or share it on Facebook, AND…
  2. Post a comment with one bit of advice for church communicators or a question about church communications. (Include your Facebook or Twitter username in your comment so I can connect your comment to your share/tweet).

Three people will be selected Friday, September 16, at 4 PM to receive a free copy of the book.

If you’d like to double your chances of winning, share/comment once each day.

In the mean time, you can download a free preview  or purchase Outspoken on Amazon.

About the author

Paul Steinbrueck

Paul Steinbrueck is co-founder and CEO of OurChurch.Com, husband, father of 3, blogger. You can follow him on Twitter at @PaulSteinbrueck.


  • I love communicating with stories. It seems like that’s the best way to move the hearts of people. Erwin McManus said, “The person who tells the best stories shapes the culture.” @farrtom

  • I'm curious if there are some good examples of communication strategies for reaching multigenerational church communities. Looking forward to this book as well.

    • Brent, thanks for the comment/question. When you say "reaching" are you asking about communicating with people in the community who are not yet connected with your church or people within your church? I think regardless of the ages of the people inside or outside a church, it's important to assess what media people are already using to communicate, and then use the media people are already using.

      I'd love to hear other weigh in on this too.

      • I would say both inside and outside of the church. I guess the difficulty I'm seeing with multiple generations is the media is vastly different at each end of the spectrum. I'm a bit of a communications newbie so just looking to see how others have approached it.


        • Because people use so many different media these days, churches need to use several media to communicate well with people – announcements during services, a bulletin/program, email, website and social media. The good thing is that you can often use the same content in multiple places. You can make the same announcement in the service, the program, the website and email and then post a link to it on Twitter and Facebook.

  • In communications, I've made the rule of listening, a golden one! The more closely we listen to others, the more effective we become in communicating our ideas to them according to their frame of reference. @mariellyjuarez

  • Keep the main thing, the main thing! Too often we try to fluff up or pretty up the information and the message just gets lost. Say what you need to say and that's it. (@karensdavis)

  • Like brentm, I'm also new at the communications game; I guess my hardest thing I have to overcome is to manage all of the communication channels effectively. Also not to try to impose my ideal communication methods on others who may not be as willing to adapt to new ideas.

  • Ask people how they would prefer their communication: for church cancellation because of weather, I need a phone call & need to be near the top of the phone list since I drive a ways to get to church…other events can be via email, bulletins & social media. @4himccm

    • That's right in line with what Brent & I were talking about above. With so many ways to communicate, asking people their preferred form of communication is important for good communication.

  • An important component of communicating, is respect. When we have issues concerning bringing "new" things into the church environment- music, new AV, twitter, whatever, we need to be mindful that although the "old-timers" want to see the church progress the progress thay have made before we arrived on the scene must be honored and respected. We need to work to integrate the old and new, rather than approaching the issues as an either / or and taking a divisive stance.
    They have great stories and memories that we need to preserve as we introduce new technology.

    • That's a good point, Martina. Innovation is important, but traditions and the culture that unifies a church are important too. And because people are most important of all, so is respect.

  • HI, Paul

    This book looks really cool. I particularly like the way you mix some solid leadership development and "employee" management in with the technical stuff. Too often we only get one or the other and both are needed to succeed.

    In the essay by Kem Meyer entitled " Themes To Lead By", he makes a great point about storytelling:

    "We tend to conform to the behavior of the people around us. We tell stories, we share stories and we are changed by stories. Positivity is contagious."

    Indeed. This one bit of advice to focus on stories, when used appropriately and effectively, pays for the book right there:).

    I took the liberty of writing a quick review based on my impressions of the table of content:), which will post on Strategic Learning Today via Tumblr on Saturday at 9:30 AM CST.

    I just Tweeted this page as @stratlearner – link to my tweet here:!/StratLearner/status/1145017

    Thanks for this great addition to the resources available to faith communities to "Tell The Story", which is the current theme of my denomination, The Christian Church (Disciples of Christ).

    • Thanks John. I think the importance of telling the stories of what God is doing in and through us is really taking hold within the church. It's no accident that the Outspoken book was launched at the Story Conference in Chicago yesterday – It's great to hear the Christian Church denomination has picked up on that theme. My own church's theme for this year is "1,000 Stories of Faith, Hope, and Love" –

      If you think of it DM me a link through twitter to the blog post Saturday so I don't miss it.

  • Don't communicate when you're angry which goes right along with having a humble attitude by Bill. Another good thing to remember is to consider which social network you're using and how to communicate on that one specifically. Not everything that you'd post on Twitter is great for FB and the other way around. Twitter seems to be for broadcasting while Facebook is a little of that plus conversation and interaction.

    What I'm wondering is if this book is covering 101 or more of a 200 or 300 level? Both are great, but am wondering, sounds like a great book!
    – Becky B. (@tijuanabecky)

    • Good advice, Becky. I don't know if you can put a grade level to the book. There is some very foundational insight as well as some more advanced concepts. But more and more I'm finding that learning about communications is not necessarily sequential.

  • Don't try to sell Jesus or make Him cool.

    Jesus existed before everything else did. You can't get "cooler" than that.

    Instead let every communication you breathe point to Jesus as Lord and Savior. Communicate real, understandable language that is founded on Scripture.

    And don't forget… the Holy Spirit is a very important part of this whole process. Ask Him for insight as you communicate, ask Him to keep you in God's Will and Nature while you communicate, and ask Him to Bless your message as He sees fit.


  • As a communicator its always best to seek first to understand and then be understood. When you do this you earn the respect of those to whom you communicate.

    • Neat concept. Less is more when it comes to communication, so prioritizing and saying no to some things is critical.

  • Hi, all – a further thought about "Outspoken".

    At least based on the sample chapter, a consistent theme appears throughout: Church communications is about working effectively with people, not just the tools or the strategy.

    In churchs, leaders both cleric and lay face the challenges of working with a smal number of paid employees and a much larger number of volunteers. Volunteers are sometimes brittle, sometimes headstrong, and sometimes so consumed by the mission that they do not always perceive the reality.

    Thanks for keeping that in front of us:)


  • Church marketing first and foremost involves to golden rule, in short, treat others as you would want to be treated. If you have a very formal approach to info about your church or the worship or other programs, compare that to how you respond to advertising and promotions in the day to day part of your life. What influences you to buy or make a particular decision? If someone approached you about food, clothing or entertainment the way you approach your community with your church, would they have a chance to get your business? twitter – BYRDMAN48

  • I am incredibly passionate about how the church relays the message of the Gospel. I am always looking for new, creative ways to present this delicate and life changing message that we have. I am a fairly young guy that has been involved in leadership at numerous churches, assisting in ministry development, community engagement & communications type roles. I get so excited talking about church communications & what we can do different/better. In addition, I LOVE church plants. I had recently been involved in one for the past 5 years & am looking to get involved in more & even head one up in the next 5 to 10 years. I love helping churches do what they do, but do it BETTER. We can't forget that the way we present this Message is important. I would love to have this book. I feel that it will be an incredibly useful resource as I continue my quest in helping churches communicate their message in the most extraordinary way possible.

    My best advice for church/business communications is this: Take everything you are doing, and make it simpler. The simpler it is, the more focused it is. The more focused it is, the more effective it is. Effectiveness beats out sophistication every time.

    Twitter: @BrandonRobbins_

  • Comment contributed by twitter – iconcmo – Have the ability within the church software when communicating to the group to know which ones do not have an email associated with their name. Within small groups many times they wont have an email and you must get that message another way to them (IE: SMS text, snail mail, call a land line, etc).

    • That's good. The challenge is that even if you have certain contact info it doesn't mean a person checks it regularly. For example, I have a friend in small group who will go a week or two without checking email. Another example, I only read my postal mail once a month to pay bills. My church has my mailing address, but if they mail me info on an event I probably won't see it until the event has passed. Churches really need to make it a priority to ask people what their preferred mode of communication is.

  • Having only read the preview, I can already say that this is such a necessary step in the maturity of church and communications.

    My question:
    Is at least some of this book aimed at leaders and pastors who remain unconvinced about the power and necessity of strong communications? It seems like it is. I hope that that's part of its intention, rather than one more effort to just convince communicators of what they need no further convincing of. 🙂

    • Hey Brad, a number of the articles challenge the church – pastors, communications people, and all Christ-followers – about the critical importance of good communication. Beyond that, many go into the specifics of different facets of communications, painting a picture of what good communications looks like and what its impact can be. I highly recommend Outspoken to pastors and church communicators.

      • That sounds fantastic, Paul!

        There are about 3 specific groupings of leaders in my context that I could see benefiting from this book. Despite the fact that there has been growth in communications within churches in the last few years, there is lots more capability available to us. I long for us to together to be an important, vibrant, compelling voice to the world.

  • OK, the moment you've all been waiting for. But before I announce the winners, I want to thank everyone who commented, shared and retweeted this post. You all provided some great advice and asked some great questions. This is what Outspoken is all about – CONVERSATIONS on Church Communication.

    And this is what we try to facilitate on Christian Web Trends every day. We don't have all the answers, but we try to share what we've learned and ask the questions so you can share what you've learned through your experience as well.

    Alright, so without further delay… the 3 people who will receive a free copy of Outspoken are… (drum roll…)

    – John Smith – @stratlearner
    – Becky Beery – @tijuanabecky
    – Brandon Robins – @BrandonRobbins_

    Congrats to all 3 of you! I think you will get a lot out of Outspoken. I hope in one way or another you'll let us know your biggest takeaways from the book (guest blog posts?) Please DM the address you'd like the book sent to @OurChurchDotCom.

    Everyone else, I encourage you to pick up a copy on Amazon –

    Have an awesome weekend and stay engaged in those conversations!

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