These are not simply pre-done communications created to save you time. They are Templates on a Mission!
They are all created with a Bible-inspired, ministry purpose and many have Biblical and thought-provoking text that goes with them. They are part of the ministry strategy that will help you fulfill the Five Steps of Effective Church Communications that take people from outside the church and grow them to mature disciples.
This is an extremely easy to use and modify collection—you don't need Photoshop, InDesign, or Illustrator to modify the Templates. Many you don't have to modify at all. Some are in ready-to-use format for the social media temples, sized and ready to go for Instagram, Pinterest, & Facebook. Some are in PDF format where you simply put your information on the back of a PDF postcard or flyer and you're done. The editable Templates are all in MS Publisher and a few are in MS Word.
Categories of Effective Church Communication Templates
Click on any topic below to go to the set of Templates for it. They are organized under the Seasonal and Misc. Church Communications. All of the TEMPLATES here are FREE.
Misc. Church Communications Templates
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The Template files are in these formats:
- Native Social Media formats: In the templates that are labeled "Media Made for You" there is a selection of correctly sized, non-editable images for Instragram, Facebook, and Pinterest. A number of them also have short captions or a mini-blog with Biblical commentary to go with them that you can use if you want or write your own commentary or captions.
- A PDF file, only editable if you have a program that can edit PDFs. If you don't have a program to edit PDFs (and many don't) these templates were created to print as-is and you can then do your personalizations on the back.
- A MS Publisher file, created on the PC. This is the original file and can be edited to personalize it for your church. The files are in standard sizes and can be used for a variety of print needs: inserts, flyers, postcards, whatever is useful for your church. At present this is the primary format created by Effective Church Communications.
- MS Word, sometimes a Template will be in MS Word format, but most are in MS Publisher.
- Graphic images of the communications with boxes around the edges that were used when I put them on the website. I left them in the file because if you want to print them for example, in a newsletter you can tell people you are going to be giving out postcard invitations on Sunday and they can start to pray about who to invite, you would have a way to illustrate what you are talking about.
You must know how to use the programs, such as MS Publisher or Instagram to use the templates
Effective Church Communications does not provide training in or answer questions about how to use the programs the templates were created with. We strongly recommend http://www.lynda.com (it's now LinkedIn Learning, but is hard to get to on it's own, just go to that link) as a resource for learning MS Publisher and MS Word if you aren't familiar with them.
Most people won't want to edit the PDFs and they are very easy to use as is—just open and print. However, if you do have Adobe Acrobat, you can edit the PDFs with that program.
If you want to open and edit the files in any other program, that is completely up to you. ECC makes no guarantees nor do we provide guidelines for that process, but I also know it's amazing what some people can get programs to do. Anything that helps you create communications for the Kingdom of God has us cheering you on!
Why are the Templates free when you used to charge for them?
Usage Rights—please take time to read this once
Don't you hate complicated statements about this? Ours is easy; here it is:
You AND any staff member or volunteer who works with your communication ministry can use the Templates to create ministry communications without attribution, if you keep in mind the additional rights of the artwork below.
I encourage sharing the Templates with volunteers because one of the things I want to promote is training a person in every ministry in the church to create quality communications to promote their ministry (e.g. Kid's Ministry creates materials for that ministry, a member of the Women's Ministry for that one, etc.) . That's one of benefits of the Templates being in MS Publisher or completely done for you in other programs. This is so much easier than expecting a volunteer to learn to use Photoshop, InDesign, or Illustrator. I don't think church communications expertise should be an ivory tower spiritual skill for the overworked church staff only. Many of the people in your congregation have a better computer set-up at home than you do—they should be trained to help out.
As to the rights of the artwork in the Templates:
This is a little more complicated, but not much.
I've worked very hard to try to use ONLY legal images I either paid for or got from commercial use free sites. This takes a tremendous amount of time to sort through and modify. I am redoing many older Templates because some of the early sites that were free or allowed wider use of images have changed their rules. This is very time-consuming, but important. If you run across any image that you feel has violated copyright laws in any way, contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will check it out and delete if necessary.
As to this artwork in the Templates, please keep what is in the Template, in the Template, they are not a source of artwork for use in other projects. You can resize, modify, make any of the Templates into new communications online or in print, but please don't just grab and store images—that would violate the copyright restrictions of the image sites.
NOTE: Some of the Templates included are shared by Effective Church Communications Members as part of our Great Idea Swap (which I strongly encourage everyone to be part of) and I trust they used legal images, but I cannot check them all out. Again, if you come across an image that isn't legal for use, please let me know and that will be removed from the Template area.
The rights of the text in the Templates:
Super simple here.
A number of the Templates have extensive text sections, such as "Hark the Herald Angels Sing, but Why?" a Christmas evangelism piece, "One Mother's Prayer" an award-winning motivation to prayer, the many Easter challenges on the invitation sets, and many more. As the writer/creator of all of them, I (Yvon Prehn) am giving you free rights to reuse them in any way you want to help share the gospel and fully fulfill the Great Commission. I don't require attribution or a link back to this site (if you have room and it isn't intrusive, for the longer ones, attribution and a link back to this site would be nice, but it is not a requirement). You can pull the text off the templates, put it in bulletins, newsletters, social media, your creations, whatever you'd like with my blessing and prayer that the Lord will use the content for His purposes.
One request—if you use the longer text selections, such as "One Mother's Prayer," please use the entire piece—don't modify or change a written piece (anymore than you would a poem you found).
Translations are fine—do whatever you need to if you translate it to make it useful in another language.
Share your Templates!
What other Templates would be useful for you?
What other kinds of church communications would you like to see created for you? Let me know at email@example.com. I can't promise to answer all requests, but we have created a number of the Templates in response to them.
Now, enjoy the Templates and get to work communicating for the Kingdom of God!
Here is the menu of the most current TEMPLATES: