The Communications Grid

At Brookside Church, the Communications Grid provides a useful starting point for understanding the relevance and potential engagement scope for each opportunity the church promotes. This grid consists of four quadrants that correspond to different levels of engagement and types of events based on the number of expected attendees and the types of ministries and events the church is promoting. 

Communications Calculator
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Reminder Text Message: This is an electronic notification sent to those relevant, nudging them about upcoming events or deadlines. It's our friendly way of making sure no one misses out.

Stage Announcement: Delivered in person by our pastors during services, this announcement reaches all attendees, creating a sense of unity and shared experience.

Website Banner/Pop-up: These are strategically placed digital reminders on our web pages. Pop-up on the homepage is used when the banner caters to another event. They're like gentle waves saying hello.

Printed Invite: Happening offline, these postcard-sized handouts carry forward the essence of Brookside Church - professional yet personal invites that connect us beyond digital. Ask for design here

Invite Text Message: Used for broadcasting invitations to specific audiences for events or important deadlines. Like a personalized call to action, brought right to your fingertips.


Lobby Table: Our physical hub situated in the lobby - a go-to spot where queries meet answers and signups occur smoothly.

Social: We announce and interact on platforms like Facebook, Instagram and Google My Business - catering not only to our existing members but also reaching out further into the community.

Weekly Video Announcement: A scripted video presentation that highlights imminent church activities or deadlines to keep everyone in sync with what’s unfolding at Brookside Church.

Weekly Guide - "The Weekly Guide": Your virtual guide book offering key information about registrations for events or other important timelines – bookmark it!
Weekly Email: An extension of The Weekly Guide delivered straight to your inbox ensuring access wherever you are.

Planning Center Registration: A pivotal tool for gathering participant details – Streamlining processes so we can focus more on creating profound experiences at every happening at Brookside Church.

Communication Values & Best Practices 

Why Does Communication Matter?

If you use words, you communicate for Brookside Church. Emails, social media, conversations…they’re all opportunities for you to represent our church, our leaders, and ultimately, Christ. Let’s do it well! It’s worth our time and effort to communicate with excellence.

Good Communication Removes Roadblocks

Whether it’s getting people to take part in an event or just try Brookside Church for the very first time, communication can help you reach your goals. These values, best practices, and guidelines are here to help you remove obstacles that might get in the way of people taking their next steps toward Jesus. 

Our Communication Values


  • We’re advocates for our audience. Our communication makes people’s lives easier, not more difficult. We’re on their side and put their interests before our own. 
  • We’re not sucky. If it’s worth putting into words, it’s worth getting right. We communicate with excellence.
  • We’re user-friendly. We answer: who, what, when, where, why, and how? We include easy-to-find information for any next steps. Clear beats clever
  • We avoid insider lingo. We won’t use words that are hard to understand. We avoid or explain Brookside terms and any phrases that may be confusing to someone who has never stepped inside a church.
  • We say less to communicate more. We keep it brief, knowing people are much more likely to engage with concise content.
  • We don’t sell. We understand people tune out advertising and manipulation. We inform, cast vision, and share experience. We describe real outcomes that can benefit our audience.
  • We’ll communicate what we want for people, not what we want from them. We’re not giving people to-dos. We cast vision for opportunities.
  • We’re dependable. We reinforce excellence by being consistent in our messages, in our style, and across channels. 
  • We’ve got personality. We let it shine through in our communication by being timely, passionate, genuine, and intentional. 


Best Practices


  • Get a second set of eyes on it. Have a qualified proofreader look over your piece. Typos and misspelled words undermine a beautifully crafted piece. Not only is this a best practice, it’s a must practice.
  • Have a goal. For every piece of communication, before you do anything else, determine the goal. Do whatever is needed to gain clarity about the desired outcome and keep it in front of you during the entire creation process.
  • Add an evaluation step. Once the piece goes out, it’s important to look back and ask whether it met its intended goal. What can we learn for future pieces?
  • Know your audience. The group we’re talking to determines how we approach our communication. What is their experience with us? Put yourself in their shoes and communicate based on their perspective.
  • Don’t load people down with too much at once. Maybe you need to delay communicating one message so another has a better chance of getting through. Or it might mean you only present the first step in a process instead of five action items.
  • Choose the right channel. Your message and your goal should determine the communication channel you use, whether it’s a text message, video, email, social media post, etc. For example, if people need to take action online, an online method of communication might be the best choice. 
  • Consider context. Where is your content going to live? What else is being talked about there? Does what you’re communicating conflict with that? Does it duplicate that? Is it out of place there?
  • Lead with the most important thing. Don’t bury key information under several sentences or paragraphs. Use an inverted pyramid style: keep the most important, foundational information at the top.
  • Cut, cut, cut! Avoid redundancy and wordiness. Once you write a piece, see how much you can eliminate without losing meaning.
  • Use an active voice when possible. An active voice gives your words a strength and motion that a passive voice can’t give. In an active voice, the subject takes the action. Example: “Thousands attended the event,” rather than “The event was attended by thousands.” Or: “Brookside Church partners with community organizations,” instead of, “Community organizations are being partnered with by Brookside Church.”
  • Avoid overused words. Tired phrases and words that are used too often fail to communicate anything at all since we start tuning them out. 


A Matter of Style

When expert opinions don’t agree about usage, it’s called a style issue. In those cases, it’s up to an organization to determine what it will do—and stick to it. Please use the guidelines below in all Brookside Church communication.



  • Correct: 6p, 7-8:30a, 8a-5:00p, 10 and 11:30a
  • Use a/p, not am/pm no spaces between the numbers and letter. (Do: 9-10:30p)
  • Use a hyphen (-) with no spaces. (Do: 8-9:30p)
  • Use noon or midnight, not 12a or 12p.
  • Avoid redundancies like morning or evening. (Don’t: 8a in the morning or 7p Tuesday evening.)
  • When listing gathering times, use singular for the day. (Sunday at 9 and 11a. or Sunday morning at 9 and 11 Don’t: Sundays at 9a and 11a.)



  • Correct: Tuesday, April 28
  • Use the day number only. (Do: 28. Don’t: 28th unless utilized in a full sentence)
  • Include the day of the week where possible so people don’t have to look it up.
  • Replace “from” with a comma and “to” with a hyphen. (Do: Thursday, April 3, 8-9:30p. Do: May 31-June 1. Don’t: Thursday from 8 to 9:30p.)            
  • Do not abbreviate days or months. The only exception is when character space is limited such as on Twitter or in SMS text messages. (Do: Wednesday. Don’t: Wed.)

    Drop the year unless needed.
  • Use the same rules for two-day events. (Do: Friday, April 4, 6:30-9:30p and Saturday, April 5, 8:30a-noon.)



  • Use words for numbers one through nine and use numerals for 10 and above, except when referring to ages. (Brookside 101 is a six-week class. Each weekend, more than 600 people attend Brookside Church.)
  • Write out numbers at the beginning of sentences. If your preference is to use the number, consider restructuring the sentence. (Three hundred people participated in the Worship Night. Thirty-five students gave their life to Christ.)



  • Always use numerals. (The girl is 5 years old.)
  • Use hyphens for ages expressed as adjectives before a noun or as substitutes for a noun. Never use an apostrophe to designate ages. (Do: The boy is 5 years old. A 5-year-old boy. The ministry is for 3-year-olds. The woman is in her 30s. Don’t: This ministry is for people in their 30’s.)



Use numerals (5th grade, 6-12th grade students).

Hyphenate if you’re substituting for a noun (5th-graders).



  1. Use italics on series titles, message titles, movie titles, and publications like books, magazines, and newspapers.



  1. Use bold or italics to emphasize words. Underlining is only appropriate for hyperlinks.
  2. Bullets: Use consistent bullets and indent spacing throughout your document. Be consistent within each list about whether or not there is punctuation at the end of bullet items.



  1. Avoid using all caps. It’s the written equivalent of yelling. 
  2. Do not capitalize random words. Only capitalize proper nouns.
  3. Lowercase seasons (spring, summer, winter, fall) unless it’s part of a proper noun (Winter Carnival). Don’t use seasonal references with a global audience.
  4. Use title case for headlines. Title case calls for capitalization of principal words including nouns and verbs. Generally, do not capitalize prepositions, articles, or conjunctions unless one of these is the first word. For example: Catch the Vision at Open Door, Try Online Giving. Tip: is a handy tool if you are unsure.
  5. See the style guide when referencing banners and website design.

When to capitalize:


  1. Bible: always (because it’s a proper noun)

  2. biblical: never (because it’s an adjective)

  3. Scripture: always (because it’s a proper noun) 

  4. scriptural: never (because it’s an adjective)

  5. He, Him, His, You, Your when referring to God (unless you’re quoting Scripture and the translation you’re using doesn’t capitalize it)

  6. God’s Word: always (when referring to the Bible or Scripture)

  7. godly: never (because it’s an adjective)

Social Media Handles and Hashtags


  1. Account Handles: Use what the person or organization lists as their official handle including capitalization. The same way we protect our brand integrity, others want to protect theirs. You may need to do some research on the person or organization to make sure. (On Instagram, usernames are always lowercase.)

Quoting Scripture in Print or Online


  1. Do not abbreviate books of the Bible. (Do: Galatians. Don’t: Gal.)

  2. When possible, Bible verses are always italicized. 

  3. Always include the version references, like NIV or KJV. (See for version abbreviations.)  

  4. Use an ellipsis (…) if it is not a complete sentence. In the following example, note the space between the last letter and the ellipsis: 

  5. For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son … John 3:16 NIV

Brookside Church Style Preferences

When there’s no grammar rule, deciding the right word, punctuation, or phrase to use can be a challenge. We’ve helped you out by giving you some guidance for Brookside Church communication.

Welcome or WelcomedAttender or AttendeeUse attender
Service, Experience, or GatheringGenerally, we use “service” externally, and internally, we use “gathering.”
Worshipped or WorshipedUse worshiped, worshiper, worship
Welcome or WelcomedWelcome as an adjective; welcomed as a verb
local mission partner global mission partnerNo “s” on mission; use lowercase unless in a header or title. 


Punctuation, Common Slip-Ups, and a Little Shot of Grammar

When there’s no grammar rule, deciding the right word, punctuation, or phrase to use can be a challenge. We’ve helped you out by giving you some guidance for Brookside Church communication




  1. No double, triple, or more punctuation (!! or ?!). Avoid using exclamation points in two sentences in a row or several sentences in the same paragraph. Save those exclamation points for when you really mean it.
  2. Sentence Spacing: Use one space between sentences, not two.
  3. Commas: In lists of three items or more, use a comma before and/or. (The event will feature games, food, and prizes.)
  4. Quotation Marks: Use for words spoken by someone else, in reference to the word itself, or for words used in an ironic sense. Do not use quotation marks to soften the meaning of words or to indicate an unconventional usage. (Do: Our campus pastor said we had “an excellent weekend.” The “short” meeting lasted from 1-6:00p. Don’t: We want people to “own” their development.)
  5. Punctuation in Quotes: The period and the comma always go within the quotation marks. The dash, the semicolon, the question mark, and the exclamation point go within the quotation marks when they apply to the quoted matter only. They go outside when they apply to the whole sentence.
  6. Hyphens (-): Use for hyphenated words, times, date ranges, and phone numbers. Although you use the same key to type them, hyphens are not dashes (see below). Do not allow websites or email addresses to become hyphenated; keep the entire address on one line.
  7. Dashes (–): When used within a sentence for emphasis, do not use spaces. Tip: If you type two hyphens without any spaces on either side, most systems will automatically convert them to a dash. If for some reason you can't insert the dash symbol, use two hyphens right next to each other: hyphen hyphen [--]. (Do: When Jesus taught us to pray, He wanted us to remember and acknowledge the fact that we are fully dependent on God—even for our next meal.)
  8. Apostrophes: Avoid using apostrophes in plurals. (Do: FAQs, 30s, DVDs, LifePacks)
  9. Colons: Use to clarify or expand what came before the colon. Only use them after statements that are complete sentences. (Paul wrote several books of the New Testament: Galatians, Ephesians, and Philippians to name a few.) 
  10. Semicolons: Use to separate two main clauses that are closely related to each other but able to stand on their own as sentences.                       

A Little Shot of Grammar


  1. Fix fragments. (Fragment: Lessons like persevering when times are rough, standing up for what is right, and honoring God alone. Correct: Kids will learn lessons like persevering when times are rough, standing up for what is right, and honoring God alone.)


    Make sure your subjects and verbs agree. When prepositions are involved, look at the word at the beginning of the prepositional phrase. (Do: Several formats of the file are available.)


    Ending sentences with a preposition is okay, unless it is an unnecessary preposition. (Do: We have a lot to think about. Don’t: Where are they at? Do: Where are they?)


    Use the right preposition. (Do: Information about. Don’t: Information on. Do: Questions about. Don’t: Questions around.)


    Don’t worry. It’s fine to use contractions since we favor a casual writing style.


    When two words are used together to modify another, hyphenate the words unless the first word ends with the letter y (age-appropriate, culturally relevant teaching).

Online Information, Email Addresses, and Phone Numbers



  • Email or email, not e-mail.
  • Email addresses: always lowercase and on one line. Never hyphenate for line breaks. (Do: [email protected] Don’t: [email protected])
  • Type out email address rather than hyperlink. (Do: Email us at [email protected] Don’t: Email us. This allows people with web-based email like Yahoo, Gmail, etc. to see the full email address so they can type or copy/paste it into their emails.)

Phone numbers


  1. Use 10-digit numbers with hyphens instead of parenthesis or periods. (Do: 260-250-4700. Don’t: (260) 250-4700 or 260.250.4700.)
  2. Provide your direct line or extension whenever possible.

Websites and Links 


  • Links: Avoid using “click on” or “click here.” Make the subject the link. (Do: Register for Brookside 101. Don’t: Click here to register for Open Door.)
  • Internet: always capitalize.
  • Website = one word (not web site).
  • Web is capitalized when using as shortened form of World Wide Web.
  • Online = one word (not on-line).



  1. Never hyphenate for line breaks.
  2. Do not capitalize, and don’t end a sentence with a URL and punctuation. (Do: Go to to learn more. Don’t: Head to!) More below.

Our Websites:


  1. Use www at the beginning when it’s a destination. (Visit for a free Bible study tool.) 
  2. Some websites do not use www, so be clear that you’re referring to an online destination in the copy. For online links, some software won’t recognize URLs without an http:// or other prefixes, so make sure your link works before you share it. (Register online at Browse helpful tools online at
  3. Drop the www and the extension (.com) unless it’s part of the name.
  4. When using electronic communication channels like email or social media, always hyperlink the website so it is a clickable link. 
  5. See the examples below.


Brookside Church Websites 

Names (note proper capitalization and no abbreviation)

Main Website

Church Online

Print/Screen Short Links

Social Media Short Links

The Weekly Guide

App download page


Brookside Church Ministries

Proper Spelling and Capitalization for Brookside Church Ministries for Body Copy*


  • Brookside Church 
  • Brookside Kids
  • Brookside Youth
  • Brookside Seniors
  • Brookside Women’s Ministry
  • Brookside Men’s Ministry
  • Brookside Outreach
  • Brookside Care
  • Brookside Groups

Social Media Policy

Our social media policy is intended to cover the responsibilities and guidelines for engaging in social media on behalf of Brookside Church. All social media accounts must be hosted by a Brookside email and adhere to these guidelines as a condition of their use.


General Guidelines


  1. Social media accounts are only intended for those that meet weekly.
  2. All posts should be timely, passionate, genuine, and intentional.
  3. All posts must align with the vision and mission of Brookside Church.
  4. All posts should be proofread and approved by the Communications Director or Pastoral Staff before being posted. 
  5. All posts should be staggered and limited to no more than three posts on each platform. 
  6. All posts should adhere to our branding and style guide. 
  7. No personal opinions should be expressed in posts. 




  1. Photos and videos should be high-resolution and edited. 
  2. Pictures and videos with children's faces or names must be approved by legal guardians before being posted. 




  1. Keep things short.
  2. Use emojis when appropriate.
  3. All comments should be opinion free and point to Jesus. 
  4. Prayer requests can be sent via direct message but should always be signed off with ~Name@brookside to identify the sender. 




  1. When in doubt or if further clarification is needed, please reach out to the Communications Director. 

Text in Church Policy

Brookside Church seeks to provide a safe and secure environment for communication between members and staff. To facilitate this, the church has established the following rules for text messages sent by members and staff.


General Guidelines

  1. Every text message must include a sign-off similar to ~Name@Brookside to identify the sender.
  2. If a text message in the inbox relates to a ministry, the recipient should respond promptly, include the sign-off in their response, and archive the message.


Design & Print Policy

Here at Brookside Church, we love to equip all our ministries with as many resources and tools as possible. Check out our Branding Page for all the help and tools. If you would like to be added to our Pro Canva account, let the Communications Director know by reaching out at hello@brookside .org If you would rather have our team design your graphic, fill out our Design Request form.




Before designing anything for use at any Brookside Ministry event or gathering social media posts or video/screen graphics, please consult the Communications Grid or our Communications Director.




We offer free printing for your approved designs in three sizes in limited quantities.


  1. Full Page front & back: 8.5 x 11
  2. Half Page front & back: 5.5 x 8.5
  3. Quarter Page front & back: 4.25 x 2.75


We offer paid printing for your print designs in four sizes in any quantity based on your budget.


  1. Small invite cards
  2. 4x6 postcard front and back
  3. 5x7 postcard front and back

Once your design has been completed, could you submit it for approval by emailing it to hello@brookside. org before anything is printed.