All posts tagged New

6 Affordable Ways To Promote A Sermon Series

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One of the most practical ways to equip your congregation to invite their friends to church is a sermon series. It gives them a tangible event where they know the exact topic that will be discussed. This makes it a lot easier to explain to their neighbors and coworkers because it’s not just, “Hey, you look like you need Jesus. Do you want to come to church with me?” Instead, it’s something exciting that will only be happening for a few weeks and, if you’re doing it right, will have a topic that is appealing to the outside eye. A series gives outsiders an excuse to check out your church for the first time.

Here are six easy and affordable ways to get the word out about your sermon series and equip your church family to invite their friends:

1. Invite Cards

This is one of my favorite ways to spread the word about a series. You can get 1000 business cards printed with your series details for around $25 and put them in the hands of everyone in your congregation. I like to give everybody a bundle of five cards and encourage them to personally invite five people to come check it out. Be sure to include your series graphic, dates, times, address, and website. Printers that I use regularly for these cards are Overnight Prints and Next Day Flyers.

2. Shareable Social Media Graphics

Social media is one of the best ways to spread the word about events, but you can take it a step further than simply posting on your church’s profile. Provide downloadable square (612x612px) promo images with all of your series details on your website. This will allow people to share them with their friends on their own Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram profiles. The potential for reaching people in your community is endless with this method.

3. Exterior Banners

It’s likely that numerous people drive by your church every single day. Take advantage of this by hanging a large banner that’s easily visible by drivers. Next Day Flyers has a 10’ x 5’ banner for only $140 that we’ve purchased several times for promoting events. When I was promoting for our movie theater church in Baltimore, the cinema manager even allowed us to display banners like this for movie-goers throughout the week.

4. Facebook/Twitter Ads

Facebook ads and promoted posts are super affordable and truly reach a lot of people. They are also really easy to target a very specific audience. These ads have been really effective for us. Also, Twitter has recently added some extremely powerful tools for advertising with graphics. Nothing stands out more on a feed full of 140 character tweets than a large photo.

5. Post Flyers Around Town

Take advantage of every community board within a 20 mile radius of your church. Print some flyers with your series graphics and post them at Starbucks, Panera Bread, and anywhere else that will allow it. These kind of places get a ton of traffic and require people to wait in line for their food. This is the perfect opportunity for them to read up about your upcoming event.

6. Email Current & Past Attenders

Have a database full of email addresses from people who have filled out your connection cards? Why not send out an email with the details of your series? Keep it quick and use images, rather than words, to do most of the communicating. Services like MailChimp are perfect for emails like this and have templates that make it easy to plug in your graphics.

 

Have you found any other affordable ways to promote a sermon series?

 

Inspiration: #HowTo Vine Video


#HowTo Vine from Potential Arts on Vimeo.

I recently discovered this video on Vimeo and thought it was worth sharing. Potential Church created it to show during their services at the peak of Vine popularity to encourage their congregation to get involved. The great thing about social media is that you get to hear from ordinary people rather than just church staff. This can create quite a buzz in your city if done correctly. I think it’s great how Potential used a video like this to communicate the best way to spread the word about their ministry.

Do you use social media for your church?

New eBook: Developing A Series

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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.

Purchase Amazon Kindle version from Amazon. (Also readable on Windows/Mac machines.)
Purchase iBooks version from iTunes. (Also readable on Mac OSX machines.)

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.

Introducing Church Print Ideas

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I’m extremely excited to announce a new project that I know you are all going to love. Church Print Ideas is a go-to resource for inspiration in printed materials for ministry. We’ve worked hard to create a place where you can discover what other churches are printing and share your designs to inspire others.

Like many great ideas, CPI was first imagined when I ran into a problem. Anytime that I would sit down to design a new print document for our church—such as bulletins, postcards, or flyers—I would search all over the web for some kind of inspiration. Unfortunately, I would rarely find any designs that I would call “inspiring.” Because of this constant struggle, I found myself collecting random print documents from churches that I would visit so that I would always have some go-to ideas. I asked myself, “what if there was a resource like this online?”

I believe that Church Print Ideas is the perfect solution to this problem. My team and I have created this new website to be a hub where print designers that are serving in local churches can share their designs for ministries across the globe to benefit. In turn, this provides a great resource to see what other churches are doing and glean from their creativity. Contributors are free to upload JPEG previews of their designs or share editable documents.

As the Church, we are always better together. We have intentionally launched this website small, so that you can be a part of this journey. We invite you to join us in making this collaborative resource a true blessing to churches everywhere.

Check it out and be sure to share some of your church’s print designs for the world to see!

How Church Media Saved My Life

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At fifteen years old, going to church wasn’t exactly on the top of my to-do list. That is, until I caught a glimpse of how I could get involved.

In my mid-teens, my small-town life consisted of skating by in high school and spending most of my free time on dial-up internet. All in all, I had a pretty good life, but everything was centered around myself. Growing up, I had visited church every once in awhile, but it had always put me to sleep. I knew that I had a void in my life, but didn’t expect to find any answers in God. One weekend in my freshman year of high school, my mom started attending a new church right down the street from our house. She loved it and quickly got involved in just about every program that she could. It was a small church, but it had a big heart and wasn’t afraid to venture outside the ordinary to reach people. Nevertheless, it still wasn’t really my style to spend part of my weekend at church.

After a few months of denying her requests for me to attend, I decided to appease her by trying out a service. I remember nervously stepping through those doors into what turned out to be a warm, inviting environment with “normal people” all around. (That was a big concern of mine up until that point.) I remember encountering some of the most genuine, loving people on that day. Another thing that really stood out to me was their music. It was a big deal for me to hear an early Hillsong setlist when I had only heard hymns sung in church before. Truly this was a forward-moving place, I thought. It was there that I can honestly say that I opened my heart and connected with God in a real way for the very first time.

A few weeks into attending this new church, I walked in on a Sunday morning to see that a new area had been added to the back of the sanctuary: a media booth. It was filled with a hand-me-down HP computer and a massive monitor that nearly took up the entire desk. I loved computers, so it immediately caught my eye and I couldn’t wait for service to begin to see how it would be used. As I think back, the PowerPoint lyrics and cheap clipart that I saw that day were ugly as sin, but all I could see were possibilities. After service, I spoke with the volunteer who ran everything and he was quick to get me involved. As much as I would like to tell you that he was a young, cutting-edge, tech guy who showed me all of the tricks of the trade…that’s just not true. Quite the opposite, he was an older man who had retired from HP about 20 years before and often got quite grumpy. But, he took a chance on me and it made a big difference in my life.

In what I know now as God’s perfect timing, it just so happened that during this same season I was taking a class on Powerpoint at my school. There was even a guy from my new youth group in class with me. Together, we dreamed of all that we could do with the projector at church and often created projects in class centered around it. During the rest of my high school years, I spent several days a week in that media booth after school where we grew it from an old HP with PowerPoint to a new computer with MediaShout. Our budget was always really small, so there were many times that I built computers to get the job done and even spent my own money to purchase media. It all sounds small now, but those were some of my most exciting times serving the Church. After experiencing the crowd’s response when I first showed That’s My King on a Sunday morning, I knew that Church Media was a big part of what God was calling me to do with my life.

I went through many seasons in my young faith journey, but my commitment to volunteering kept me coming back to church even when I didn’t feel like it. It even gave me hope in rough patches where I struggled with depression and thoughts of suicide. Looking back, I wouldn’t be where I am today without Church Media being in my life. Because I was simply given a chance to get involved, I grew and stayed on God’s path for my life and went on to go into full-time ministry. I had experienced the Gospel for myself in a big way and I learned that, through Church Media, I could help others experience it, too.

So, to those who are in charge of the media in your churches, I encourage you to reach out and take chances on people. You never know whose life you might forever change. To those who are just getting involved, keep at it. I learned so much in those early days about how my volunteering could make a difference in the lives of my congregation. You might have a shoestring budget like we did, but you can do incredible things with enough determination. As we all work together to spread the message of Christ, I know we can truly make an impact on this world and each other.