I like to keep up on what’s happening in church communications through online groups and email news, but sometimes it discourages me more than helps me.
I got a major dose of that today when I was reading raving reviews and recommendations about Affinity Software (So easy to use! Cheaper than Illustrator!). And then I read about how you had to start streaming your church service and install online giving in your church before Giving Tuesday.
Please do not misunderstand—if you are a designer who thinks Affinity Software is easy to use and want to create advanced designs—go for it! It didn’t look very easy for me to use when I checked it out, but that’s just me and I did have to smile as I remembered the original Serif software the company created years ago. They have certainly changed. I thought it was too simple years ago and now it seems overly complex for practical church communication tasks.
If you’ve got time to set up a streaming service (more ways to share the gospel, what’s not to love about that?) or install online giving (that’s the one thing I hope every church implements at some time—because giving does go up, again), go for it!
But if you are like me, you already feel overwhelmed by the holidays and don't have time for all that
Time is always tight if you are juggling ministry tasks.
Maybe you had a morning like mine. When I went to the kitchen for coffee after the online discouragement I found my husband decided to have a little snack of some of the ingredients I’d stashed away for Thanksgiving cooking (he’s 6’3”, 260 lbs., works construction to support our ministry habits, and does like goodies. I'm usually sympathetic to his nighttime munchies, but when I discovered the results this morning I had a minor meltdown. My careful planning undone in the food supply area did not help my feelings of design inadequacy--I knew the two areas were totally unrelated, but at the time my mind screamed that my cupboard was bare and I was an inadequate designer and a terrible person and every other negative thing I could imagine all in less than 10 seconds.
In this church communication ministry, I’m simply trying to get out to church communicators the basics that you need to get through the holidays: motivation for your church members, invitations, postcards, connection cards, and the various simple tools you need to connect with people this holiday season, help them see Jesus as the reason for the season, connect with your church and come back after special events and services. But after reading about all these super design and software challenges, it didn't seem like enough.
Then I took a deep breath, got quiet before the Lord, and listened
When I did that, I was reminded of my calling. That calling is to equip and inspire you to create communications that will help people to come to know Jesus as Savior and to become mature disciples, in other words for us all to fully fulfill the Great Commission.
I believe that church communications are an essential tool in helping churches create communications that will fully fulfill the Great Commission, and I don’t believe that you have to be a world-class designer to create communications that will connect people with your church and Jesus. However, at the same time, I do believe that skilled use of the basics and tools of good communication, design, and writing will help you more effectively get your ideas across to your audience.
If had had to summarize what my ministry can do for you, it would be to provide you with training, tips, and resources in effective church communication creation, always keeping in mind the Biblical foundation for why we are doing church communications.
What I’m doing to help you NOW
For now—you need lots of communication pieces to get you through the holiday season.
I have dozens of them—all done and free. CLICK HERE to go to my section on Christmas Templates where you’ll find motivation pieces, invitations of all sizes, connection cards, Christmas gospel presentation, Christmas follow-up materials. The communications are in PDF format (simply download and print) and in editable MS Publisher files. If you use another software program, you are welcome to take the ideas or text and put them into whatever format you want.
If you are visiting this site, please sign up for the newsletter as I’ll be sending out tips on how to use the various communication pieces more effectively, plus links to new designs.
To help you in 2020—a new training school format and materials, but the same focus
I was going to be announcing this later—but I realized today I need to let you know what is coming and get your prayers and help.
For some time, I have been researching a new training program that I think will make getting resources to you easier and I will launch that fully in January 2020. I may try a free beta in December but I am still working on that.
Software aside (as I do try to practice what I preach) and that is to renew what I think is my calling and commitment to you to focus on training in the most basic and simple communication skills and tools I know.
I want to provide training that is useful to everyone—no matter what your skill level—if you know nothing about design, communication strategy, writing, or communication creation or if you’ve been doing it for a long time and feel you need to refresh your skills.
Though bigger churches and big budgets are welcome, I will provide training that is targeted more to smaller churches with tiny, if any communication budget.
I’m not going to try to make you an original, impressive designer—but I do believe I can help you become an effective church communicator.
To do all that I need your help
Part of being a good communicator is not having too much to say in one piece, so I’m going to ask for your help in more detail in another post after Thanksgiving is over—please keep your eyes open for it.
For now please PRAY for me for wisdom, strength and time to do all that needs to be done.
Help me help you—plans for 2020 and