All posts tagged creative

Five Creative Ministry Tips: 9/25/14

TheCreativePastor.com – Five Creative Ministry Tips: 9/25/2014

Every week, we’re excited to share a five-pack of useful tips for those serving in creative ministry! Each Thursday, we post practical advice on topics such as media, social networking, design, and marketing. While these tips may be simple, they have the potential to radically improve your church. These images are Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram ready, so help us spread the word by sharing them with your followers!

Choose your motion backgrounds not only by how they look, but by their speed. Use fast motions with fast songs and slow motions for slow songs. Social media should be a two-way street. Be prepared to respond when followers comment on your posts or ask questions.
Originality is overrated. If there is a stock graphic that's available and fits your purpose, use it! That frees up time for creativity in other areas. 
The best marketing campaigns start by identifying who you're trying to reach and what's important to them. Creativity is best in numbers. Get people involved on your team and genuinely seek their ideas for making Sunday morning better.

Like these photos? Get them here: Photo 1Photo 2Photo 3Photo 4Photo 5

3 Ways Your Church Can Win On Facebook

TheCreativePastor.com – Three Ways Your Church Can Win On Facebook

This morning, I walked into our neighborhood Starbucks and took my place in line for a Fall classic – the infamous Pumpkin Spice Latte.

This is one of my favorite places to invite people to church.

Several times a week I grab a seat here and as I work, I make an effort to invite people to our church. More often than you would believe, I get a surprising response to my friendly invitation.

“Oh yeah, I heard about you on Facebook.”

Ahhh… music to my ears. As soon as I hear these words, I immediately know that half the battle is already won. (I also consider it a good pat on the back that I’m not wasting my time on social media each week!)

You see, there are three big goals that I’ve established for our church’s social media efforts. They are simple, yet have been totally effective for keeping our posts focused on what will actually result in lives changed.

1. Introduce Yourself To Your Community

Promote Your Pageknown name brings legitimacy. It brings validation. It brings comfort. People want to know that your church can be trusted and that you’re respected in the community.

Leading up to our church plant’s first service, one of my biggest goals was for everyone in our city to have already “met us” online.

While a website was critical for this, I’ve always found it important to go to where the people are instead of expecting people to come to you. That’s where social media really comes in handy.

Make sure that your Facebook Page is a clear representation of who you are as a church. Then, be willing to spend a reasonable amount of money to promote your Page.

Just to be completely clear, you will have to spend money on Facebook for any of this to work. But, it’s a minimal expense compared to the return you’ll see.

Tip: To promote your church’s Page, simply click the “Promote Page” button located on the left side of the Page. The minimum daily budget allowed is $5, so make a plan on what your ministry can afford.

2. Show Your City What You’re About

Social Media SampleOf course, with every name comes a reputation. And if people are going to recognize your church, you want something admirable to go with it.

Make sure that you’re constantly posting messages and images that express what you’re all about as a church. 

I recommend thinking outside of the box on this one. You might be tempted to simply post scriptures and pictures of crosses every day. While that is what your church is about, you must remember that it doesn’t always translate well for your audience.

Instead, post messages that reach people right where they are and that nearly anyone could get behind. Often, this comes back to principles that Jesus taught. Focus on material that is easy to Like and Share.

Here are a few examples:

Today is not just another day. It’s a new opportunity, another chance, a new beginning.

Mondays can be tough. No matter how your day is going, remember that God is always faithful and His grace can get you through anything.

If you can’t get past your PAST, you will never make it to your PURPOSE.

Each of these got a tremendous response for us. And because we paid $1-$3 to boost each of these posts, those messages showed right up on the timelines of our followers’ friends and family members.

Tip: I’d also note that it makes a HUGE difference when you add images to these posts. I create square images that we can use on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. We use these with posts 1-2 times a day.

3. Get The Word Out About Services/Events

Social Media SampleTo successfully promote your church’s services and events on Facebook, the key is to not talk about them much at all. 

While it can be tempting to post messages about services or the next church picnic frequently, it will simply drive people away. Instead, focus on 1-2 great posts per week that have exciting images.

Then, pay a little bit more to boost those posts ($5-$10, perhaps). This will allow more people to see it without bothering your faithful followers with repeated posts.

Keep in mind that churches have a reputation for being all about themselves. Because of this, you must tread lightly with posts about you.

Post messages that are important to your audience on social media, not just what’s important to you. Then, when it comes the time for you to promote your next event, your audience will be much more likely to listen to what you have to say.

Extra Tips:

Be sure to have your church’s staff and faithful attendees be quick to offer a supportive Like and Share to get the ball rolling on all of your posts.

Your church’s social media is only as good as your willingness be social. Be sure to answer messages and comments when they come in. Pastors, add new Page likes as friends and build relationships.

To see more of what my church, Piedmont Chapel, is doing on Facebook, check us out here. Feel free to get inspiration for your social posts and photos from our page.

 

Five Creative Ministry Tips: 9/18/14

TheCreativePastor.com – Five Creative Ministry Tips: 9/18/14

Every week, we’re excited to share a five-pack of useful tips for those serving in creative ministry! Each Thursday, we post practical advice on topics such as media, social networking, design, and marketing. While these tips may be simple, they have the potential to radically improve your church. These images are Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram ready, so help us spread the word by sharing them with your followers!

Provide the main scripture for your sermon during your pre-service announcement slides so your audience is prepared for the message. Constantly evaluate your social media posts to see what works and what doesn't. Focus on the material that your audience interacts with most.Find subtle ways to display your church's vision around your facility. It should be noticeable, but not overbearing. Include "How did you hear about us?" on your connect card for first time guests. This is the true test of your marketing. Avoid volunteer burnout by requiring at least one Sunday off per month. This gives them a chance to fully enjoy service and connect with God.

Like these photos? Get them here: Photo 1 • Photo 2 • Photo 3 • Photo 4 • Photo 5

Five Creative Ministry Tips: 9/11/14

Five Creative Ministry Tips: 9/11/14

Every week, we’re excited to share a five-pack of useful tips for those serving in creative ministry! Each Thursday, we post practical advice on topics such as media, social networking, design, and marketing. While these tips may be simple, they have the potential to radically improve your church. These images are Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram ready, so help us spread the word by sharing them with your followers!

It won't matter which new font you use or how great your background looks if you fail to display song lyrics correctly. Take time to practice.  To increase your chances of reaching more people through social media, spread out your posts throughout the day. While all of your church’s designs shouldn't exactly match, there should be elements that tie everything into an easily recognizable brand. Portable church? Let your venue inspire your marketing. For example, movie posters and on-screen ads work great for theater churches.  Your production team should be more than just people you work with on Sundays. Building friendships makes serving more fun.

Like these photos? Get them here: Photo 1 • Photo 2 • Photo 3 • Photo 4 • Photo 5

3 Essential Elements of Video Announcements

Three Essential Elements of Video Announcements

Today’s post is from my friend, Brady Shearer. He is an extremely talented blogger, podcaster, and church media guru. I highly recommend following him on Twitter at @BradyShearer.

Video announcements for churches can be a toss-up. When they’re done well, they’re enjoyable to watch, informative, and brief. But when they’re done poorly, video announcements can be painful to endure.

In the last year alone I’ve produced more than 1000 different editions of video announcements. I’m the founder of ProVideoAnnouncements.com and we create video announcements every single week for churches across North America.

We’re continuously refining how we approach and produce video announcements. Instead of simply making minor tweaks, I like to find easy changes that produce maximum benefits. For instance, rather than obsess over motion graphics or perfect lighting, I’ve identified what I think are the three most important elements of quality video announcements. If your church can focus on these three core values, your video announcements will be excellent.

3 Essential Elements of Video Announcements

1. Tell a story. Don’t tout information.

Observe the following two examples…

Announcement Example #1

“Men’s Retreat is next week. The cost is $85 per guy. Make sure you get your money in to Pastor Dan before Friday at noon. We’ll be meeting at the church at 5:00 PM and leaving from there. Don’t miss it!”

Announcement Example #2

“Men’s Retreat is next week. [Insert hilarious story from last year about the flag football game] Every detail you need is on the website. Don’t miss it!”

Despite popular belief, the purpose of video announcements is not to share details, specifics, and extensive information. The purpose of video announcements is to inform your church of the most important things happening, and compel them to get involved. The two examples above are very similar. But in Example #1, every possible detail is crammed into the announcement. The problem with this approach is that people don’t remember details!

Hoping your church remembers dates, times, phone numbers, or email addresses mentioned during video announcements is a losing approach. If you want men to attend your men’s retreat, share a story that connects with them. They can always find the details later on your website.

2. The perfect length is…

Using stories is a smart approach, but it won’t really matter if your video announcements are eight-minutes long. We’ve found that the perfect length for video announcements is three-minutes or less. Anywhere between two-minutes and three-minutes is the absolute sweet spot. This works out to approximately five announcements included each week.

Remember, the purpose of video announcements shouldn’t be to share an exhaustive itinerary of church life. The purpose is to share what’s most important, and compel your church to get involved.

3. Don’t put that person on camera

Church on the Move in Tulsa, Oklahoma produces some of the best video announcements around. They’re a church of more than 10,000 people, and can you guess how many video announcements presenters they have? Fewer than 5.

Presenting on camera is unlike any other type of presentation. I’ve seen the most dynamic pastors freeze in front of a camera as soon as it begins to record. Growing to be a quality on-camera presenter takes time – a considerable amount of time. Be conscious of whom you’re putting on the screen.

Conclusion

Of course, I think outsourcing your video announcements is a great idea. When I was the Media Director on staff at my church, I spent more than 10 hours per week coordinating, scripting, producing, and editing our weekly video announcements. I can help with that.

The best question to continuously ask yourself is – what are we trying to accomplish with this announcement? Share stories, keep it brief, use a quality presenter, and your video announcements will be excellent.