Thanks for Responding

A couple of weeks ago, I asked you for your thoughts on the future of the newsletter. I heard from a good mix of Olders and Youngers, long-time Hopesters and new Hopesters. I was encouraged to see that so many of you regularly engage with the newsletter and took the time to respond.

As one might have expected, there was a wide range of thoughts and suggestions. Our pool of forty-nine people that responded is not comprehensive, but I think it’s safe to say that there’s a generational shift taking place in how one receives content and builds connection. More and more people are consuming podcasts and video content and are looking to build connections on social media. However, there’s also a great number of you that look forward to the walk to the mailbox and appreciate the weekly newsletter.

Here are a few insights I’ve gleaned from our unscientific newsletter poll:
  • A number of you expressed your ability to learn better from reading than from watching or listening. The opportunity to slowly process a newsletter, reread it, and physically place it somewhere as a reminder is valuable for many of you. I see the wisdom in a multi-generational church offering many routes to engage and learn.
  • Times are changing. It used to be that the weekly snail-mailed newsletter was the only form of communication from Hope that you might receive. But a handful of you mentioned the overabundance of emails and ministry blogs that you get in your inbox or mailbox. While I don’t think a church can over-communicate, I also think it’s easy for a weekly newsletter to just get lost in the noise of everything else that’s getting sent out. Currently, more and more people are looking to social media or short-form video content for connection. In order to reach the younger generation, I think we will need to explore ways to better connect in those spaces.
  • A comment I heard from a few of you was the importance of regularly hearing from our staff outside of Sunday mornings. I really appreciated this insight. We all currently have access to the best and wisest teachers right at our fingertips: amazing biblical teaching is available on demand. And yet, it is vital to hear from your local pastors. While our videos, newsletters, or other communications might not be as professionally polished or refined as some high-budget ministries, it is good to hear from, and take to heart the words from, the very pastors that know your name and will sit with you face-to-face. A Sunday morning connection is very important, but so are mid-week encouragements.

Thanks again for taking time to respond to me. In the coming weeks our staff and Leadership Team will continue to pray about what’s best. We would welcome your prayers!