All posts tagged New

Five Creative Ministry Tips: 6/26/14

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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!

Some of our biggest mistakes come when we lean on our natural ability rather than properly planning. Never wing it. Instead of making one announcement fifty times, make one announcement and put it in fifty places.The more people you can get involved on your Creative Team, the better. But, make sure you're all focused on one vision. Train your leaders and volunteers to be your church's #1 fans on social media. You should be able to count on their like and retweets. Consistency is important. But, if your media has looked the same for five years, it's time for a change. Try something new.

Have any other creative ministry tips that you’d recommend? Let us know in the comments below!

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!