1. Invite Cards
2. Shareable Social Media Graphics
3. Exterior Banners
4. Facebook/Twitter Ads
5. Post Flyers Around Town
6. Email Current & Past Attenders
I recently stumbled upon this series promo from the folks at Eagle Brook Church and couldn’t help but to share it. I’m a big fan of simple, eloquent videos like this. It’s a powerful way to promote, yet attainable for churches with even the smallest budgets. You could easily create a similar promo with free video clips from Vimeo (Creative Commons) and free audio from Free Music Archive.
Have you ever created a promo video for a sermon series?
The year of the ebook continues! Church Media blogger, Jonathan Malm, just released a new guidebook for planning, branding, and marketing an effective sermon series. Developing A Series does a great job of outlining a step-by-step guide to planning and executing a great sermon series. Some of my favorite parts were the snippets of wisdom from different churches on what they’d done in their ministries. This ebook is packed with do’s and don’ts – the exact kind of content that you’d hope to find in a guide like this. And it only costs $2.99!
Chapter topics include:
Why your church should do sermon series’.
How to break down a complex and obscure concept into an easily brand able series idea.
The importance of developing a unified visual theme for your sermon series.
Planning individual messages, illustrations, and sermon titles.
How to brand your sermon series so it’s memorable.
Getting the word out about your sermon series.
A discussion on planning ahead and how far ahead is far enough.
Using pop-culture brands to assist in branding your series.
You can get the e-book in two different formats: Amazon Kindle and iBooks.
FREEBIE: Along with the release of this ebook, Jonathan released a free, printable sheet to help you keep track of your sermon series planning. It will help you keep track of and organize your thoughts and ideas. Download this planning sheet here.
My first full-time job in ministry was in a traditional church. I use that term loosely, though. We sang worship songs written within the last 15 years. We read our lyrics from a projector rather than from hymnals. The pastor always preached with sermon slides. But the style in which those songs were sung, sermons were preached, and the look of the sanctuary all communicated days of yesteryear.
Looking back to my time there, I’ve realized that a big part of my frustration in that environment was that I’m anything but traditional. That ministry was full of good, God-fearing people who I loved, but the style of the church was something that I always desired to change. In my inexperience, rather than seeking to create graphics and select media that were fitting for that setting, I always leaned towards what was popular in more modern churches. But whenever I showed that contemporary media in our traditional environment, it stuck out like a sore thumb.
As a young guy with big dreams for what I thought ministry could be, I always desired to push our traditional church forward. I think that it’s healthy and vital for all local churches to stay relevant to the next generation. However, I’ve learned that you cannot change an entire church through media alone. In fact, as I sought to modernize our ministry through my designs, because they stuck out so much, I wonder if they did more damage than good. The modern logo that I created may have reflected the latest branding trends, but it didn’t communicate who we were as a church. The sleek website I designed wasn’t true to what people would find when they came through our doors. The motions and mini-movies that I projected weren’t designed to communicate to our audience.
I spent all of my days at this ministry creating media for the church I wanted to attend, instead of the church that God had called me to. Looking back, I imagine how much more powerful our media ministry could have been if I would have embraced who we were as a church. …if I would have created designs that were tailor-made for that audience. …if I would have focused on the people rather than what was trendy. …if I would have told our story.
When you sit down to create your next sermon slides or download your next set of motions, remember my mistakes here. Rather than abandoning your church’s flavor for the sake of something new, learn to embrace it. Bring a level of excellence to that style that your leaders and congregation have never seen. Remember that you’ll never move an organization forward and change the minds of people with quick, extreme change. Instead, start where you are and make small changes for the better. Use your media as a method to point people towards Jesus, not a more modern style.
My heart was pounding so hard that I was sure the crowd would hear it over the sound system. As I sat backstage, illuminated by the glow of my computer screen, my eyes were locked onto the bright stage lights shining on him.
Ten years ago, rather than running his sermon slides, I was in the audience of this youth conference with my life being turned around. But now, Jentezen Franklin was preaching to a crowd of 3,000 teenagers and I was the one responsible for projecting his media. I was crazy nervous. I’ve ran sermon slides more times than I can count, but this was different. As I thought back to what a huge difference Pastor Franklin made in my life as a young Christian, my heart became heavy with responsibility. He was speaking to teens whose lives would be changed just like mine had been. His messages were the first sermons that ever actually stuck with me. Now I was playing a part in making a lasting memory for this audience.
To bring some of you up to speed – because our new church isn’t launching until September, our weekends are pretty open. Since we relocated to our new city, Holly and I have spent our Sundays visiting various churches for inspiration. But, when the opportunity arose to spend five weekends working production for a youth conference, I knew it was an invaluable experience that I couldn’t pass up. As I spend these few weeks in a different kind of Church Media environment, expect to see posts coming from a new perspective.
Thankfully, I can say that Jentezen’s sermon and the included media went off without a hitch that night. The response from that group of teenagers was absolutely phenomenal. After my heart rate had slowed down a bit and my nervousness wore off, I came to a realization of which I’m quite proud. While it was an extreme honor to serve Pastor Franklin and those 3,000 teenagers that night, I don’t feel that it’s what God has called me to do. If I was to be honest, my heart hadn’t raced in that moment out of excitement for the opportunity. I was simply fearful of messing something up. I didn’t want to be that guy who made everyone shake their head.
Instead, there are other parts of ministry that make my heart race for all of the right reasons. As I serve in our new church plant – even in these early days of planning – my heart overflows with excitement. There’s no other place that I’d rather be serving and I’m the happiest volunteer that you’ll ever meet. There’s an indisputable sense that I’m in the exact place at the exact time doing the exact thing that God wants for me. It was because of that security that I was able to leave a full-time ministry position with salary and move my family to another state.
As I write these posts each week, my greatest goal is to inspire and equip you to better serve in your media ministry. But my greatest prayer for you is that you’ll get to experience the joy of serving in a way that aligns with God’s calling for your life. It’s a life-giving feeling like none other that I fear so many in ministry are missing out on.