Wonderful church communicators,
Yvon Prehn's Church Communication Blog
The Bible tells us that “out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks, (Luke 6:45)” or as the J.B. Phillips translation puts it “For a man’s words will always express what has been treasured in his heart.”
My goal in these blog entries (actually in all of the ECC Ministry, but particularly here) is to give your heart and mind a biblical viewpoint and foundation in church communications, so that your communications, whatever form they take, will reflect God’s Word and not primarily secular marketing or current cultural views, fears, or attitudes.
I used the word “primarily” quite intentionally in the previous statement because though we learn from secular marketing and contemporary culture, these influences should not be primary in our work. The primary influence on our work is God’s Word. God’s Word informs the Effective Church Communication ministry in our goal, which is to help church communicators create communications that fully fulfill the Great Commission.
Learning from, observing, and sharing other sources, while staying true to a biblical perspective and providing useful commentary is a challenging path to walk. No doubt I will often make mistakes, but to serve you in this way is my goal in these blogs.
Sometimes it is hard to do the right thing, but as disciples of Jesus, we must try.
As I’ve been working on getting lots of material ready for launching a new Effective Church Communications Membership that includes online Courses, Ebooks, Templates, and an Idea Bank of materials, some new guidelines have come to my attention about the “free images” on sites such as Canva, PicMonkey, and Snappa, where you can use the images they have, plus the free images sites themselves such as Unsplash, Pixabay, Pexels, and that many of us (me included) use to create social media and templates. What follows does not apply to sites in which you pay for a membership. But since many churches and organizations make use of free sites, it's important you understand the changing rules.
This has put a delay in releasing the ECC Membership of Courses, Ebooks, & Templates, and more importantly, what I learned has some significant applications for how you and your church can use images and I wanted to explain them to you.
The take-away conclusions from my research and limitations to the use of "free" images
I won’t bore you with listing the number of articles I’ve read recently, but following is the distilled research and application takeaways both for how it applies to you as a church and how you use things and for the Effective Church Communications ministry.
Overall, as a church creating communications that you freely give to church members and that are primarily shared within your church, you have much more latitude than I do in Effective Church Communications. Particularly with the new ECC Membership that has a monthly charge, what I create falls in to the “commercial” area and the usage guidelines for that are much more limiting than your non-commercial uses in the church.
I'll summarize my bottom-line recommendations shortly and then give you details from various sites.
However, and this is a big, However—if your church does something as seemingly innocent as selling a t-shirt for camp, or a cookbook as a fundraiser or selling anything else, you are now in the commercial category also. Sadly, there are some professional groups (Getty Images has a reputation in this area) that love to go after churches if they feel their image rights are violated. For these reasons, in addition to keeping you informed as to why I do what I do for you, you need to be as careful as possible in your communication creations and in the media you use for them. [Read more...]
All will be well. All will be well. All manner of things will be well.
Whenever I read this saying from Julian of Norwich, it puts my heart at peace. I know both theologically and from personal experience, how true these words are.
I created some cards with this saying on them ten years ago. It was during the recession. The company I'd worked with for 17 years had terminated my traveling to teach seminars with no notice and no benefits; I had a serious health challenge. Many people struggled far more than my husband and I did. God got us through as He always does.
It's ten years later and the world has a challenge that makes the previous recession seem minor in comparison.
The good news is that we have the same strong and good God. I was going over some things and remembered this saying and what an encouragement it was to me and others at that time. I have the older file of postcards I did up for people available again, plus I did up some new postcards and Instagram images—all free for you to use to encourage your congregations and friends.
Below are the sets along with the links to download them and then below them is the context of the saying and a little more about the woman who wrote it. Please make them for your people, pass them on and use them as continuing encouragements.
The orginal set of the postcards: the ZIP file for these has ready-to-print PDFs, plus editable MS Publisher files.
To download the ZIP file, click on the following link: ALL Will Be Well set of half page Editable files
To download the ZIP file, click on the following link: Instagram All Will Be Well
Postcards, non-editable, ready-to-print
To download the ZIP file, click on the following link: Postcards and Images of postcards all will be well
The context of the saying by Julian Norwich
Julian of Norwich was a 14th-century mystic and contemplative. She lived through The Black Plague (originating in China, brought to England via the international trade routes of the time), which makes her words even more appropriate for us during this time of the challenges of the Covid19 virus.
Following is the passage she wrote from which the quote is taken: [Read more...]
The world has gotten pretty crazy over the last year and it probably won't improve much next year. But as Christ-followers our hope isn't in dreams and prayers for a better life that may not happen, but in the Savior, whose resurrection we recently celebrated.
All will be well,
All will be well,
All manner of things
Will be well.
It is more than a comforting saying. For those who have trusted Jesus as Savior it is true—in the midst of the crazy world we live in and no matter how insane it gets, now and forever.
We forget the true meaning of "saved"
We forget how incredible our salvation is because sadly being "saved" in much of Christendom today is synonymous with the idea of goodies from God. And those goodies are supposed to include health and wealth or at least a comfortable life.
That's not how the Bible looks at it. Here are two verses we don't often think about:
Since we have now been justified by his blood, how much more shall we be saved from God's wrath through him! Romans 5:9
You turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God,and to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead—Jesus, who rescues us from the coming wrath. 1 Thes. 1:9-10
There is, of course, a sense that we are saved here and now in that we are reconciled to God and at peace with him. We are saved from our selfish selves and able to live for God. But as wonderful as these things are, more wonderful yet is that we are saved from final condemnation and judgment.
One day this present reality with all its pains and fears will be transformed into a new heaven and new earth. There will be a final judgment for those who do not know Jesus and we work hard in all we do to share his message of salvation. But those who know Jesus are saved from condemnation and judgment. For them, there will be no more crying or tears and all the sadness will be gone forever.
Never forget that your work as a church communicator has eternal consequences. Keeping up with trends and technology may be useful, but far more important in your work is that you consistently make clear the message of salvation.
The first advent was humble; the second will be triumphant
Jesus came the first time as a little baby to poor parents who could only find shelter in a barn. He died on a cross with common criminals.
His second advent will be triumphant and glories.
Now we can only trust and believe that "all will be well." But Jesus is coming a second time and then truly and without end, "all manner of things will be well."
I did up a set of cards with the saying "All will be well" on them. CLICK the link following to go to the FREE PDFs to download and share: https://wp.me/pDky9-8T4
More than one Bible teacher or commentator I trust has made the observation during this challenging time that "No, it isn't the end of the world."
But at the same time, they add, "But it might be a fore-shadowing, a warning, a practice for what's ahead."
This isn't what we want to hear
I know that. I know all of us hope that in a few months (we realize it won't be weeks now) that everything will be back to the way it was. That we can do what we want, go where we want, buy what we want, and worship how we want.
Dr. Fauci gave us a reality check when he recently said, "We probably shouldn't ever shake hands with anyone again.
An emblematic statement of how much will change to be sure.
We didn't expect this; we don't think we deserve it
Even those of us who don't ascribe to "name it and claim it" theology, in our heart of hearts, get upset when God doesn't give us what we want when we want it.
If we think we've been good, and haven't sinned too much, go to church regularly and tithe, we think God should keep us from poverty and challenges.
And then Covid19 hit. [Read more...]