Don't be guilty of bait and switch in your communications wherein you send out some slick, fancy printed piece, or display an over-designed, glitzy website if you're a little church plant meeting in a basement. Big, glossy and professional is not always more appealing—many people are looking for a real, intimate, and honest interaction about God. They might miss you if you come across looking too slick and professional. Worse, if they come expecting a big, fancy church and find you meeting in the church basement, they might assume that if you lied about who you are in your advertising and outreach, you might be presenting a false picture of God, Jesus, or salvation.
This is especially important for church plants. YOU DO NOT need to spend a lot of money on slick advertising. One of the best outreach pieces you can do is a simple business card that describes your church, tells people when you meet, how to get there and that displays your website, and social media info. Give them to your current members and tell them to share with their friends and the people they contact as they go about their daily lives. Every invitation becomes a personal one and is far more effective.
Keep in mind the parable of the talents
Jesus did not expect a person with one talent to do the work of the five talent person, but Jesus expected the one-talent person to make the most of what he or she had. If you are a tiny church with few resources, don't feel you have to create publications or a website like the ones you saw at whatever big church conference the staff most recently attended.
You could be burying your talent in a purchased design because it would not be an honest reflection of your church. Be who YOU are, communicate to your people with the resources you have, and the Lord will bless your efforts.
Variety is standard in professional communication
Contrary to what some communication companies want you to believe, there is no ONE perfect way to create any one communication piece. There is no ONE way to do any communication that is THE PROFESSIONAL way to do it. There is tremendous variety in all professionally created communications depending primarily on the target audience they want to reach with their message.
An excellent example of this is the variety in magazines. Go to your local Barnes and Noble or other big book store and look at the magazines. The design, style, and even the paper used, for example, is very different for Architectural Digest than it is for Car and Driver. Both are professional, well-designed publications, but both serve different audiences and their style reflects that audience, not some absolute, unrealistic standard.
For the editor of Car and Driver to think he'd be more professional or cutting edge if he created an issue of his magazine in the same style as Architectural Digest would make about as much sense as it makes for the pastor of a small neighborhood church pastor of a 250-member church in a farming community to attend a mega-church creativity conference in Dallas, come home and decide the church needs to create publications that look like the ones the mega-church in Dallas created. That is just goofy. [Read more...]