Hype, Hope, or Help: Writing Sermon Series Promotions

When promoting an upcoming series of messages at your church you need to think carefully about the language you use to promote it. The right promotional copy can encourage your people invite friends while if you get it wrong it can actually repel people from your church. Here is a simple three part test I use when I think about the copy we use to promote upcoming messages:

  • Hype? // Does the promotion of this series over-promise on what you plan on delivering? Are you using cultural references just to draw people in but you know you aren’t going to actually deal with them during the series? Does the copy of the promotional material sound like it was written by the guy who advertises Monster Truck shows on the radio?? It’s tempting to use hype when promoting an upcoming series … don’t do it! First time guests will see through it … and your people will lose trust with you!
  • Hope? // When you promote an upcoming series do you offer hope for a preferred future? Would you describe this series as inspirational and aspirational in nature?Do you use language that gives people a sense that the series will give a path to follow towards something better for them? Hope is at the core of the message of Jesus. Often we get into ministry because we want to offer hope to this generation. My caution from a communications point of view is use it sparingly. If all your series sound like you are “selling hope” people may lose trust that you are connected to the here and now.
  • Help? // When people read your promotional material do they get a clear sense of how this series will make their life better? Is the copy written with obvious statements of what’s in the series for them? Can you clearly articulate the outcome for your people at the end of the series? People are drawn to solving the problems they perceive they have. Start with understanding the issues your people have and build your series around those. The Bible is a treasure of resources to help people … it’s ancient wisdom for today! Helping people is a great model of ministry.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Rich Birch

Rich Birch

Thanks so much for dropping by unseminary … I hope that your able to find some resources that help you lead your church better in the coming days! I’ve been involved in church leadership for over 15 years. Early on I had the privilege of leading in one of the very first multisite churches in North Amerca. I led the charge in helping The Meeting House in Toronto to become the leading multi-site church in Canada with over 4,000 people in 6 locations. (Today they are 13 locations with somewhere over 5,000 people attending.) In addition, I served on the leadership team of Connexus Community Church in Ontario, a North Point Community Church Strategic Partner. I currently serves as Operations Pastor at Liquid Church in the Manhattan facing suburbs of New Jersey. I have a dual vocational background that uniquely positions me for serving churches to multiply impact. While in the marketplace, I founded a dot-com with two partners in the late 90’s that worked to increase value for media firms and internet service providers. I’m married to Christine and we live in Scotch Plains, NJ with their two children and one dog.

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In this era, we have the opportunity of professional church staff today who utilize their gifting to shape the image and atmosphere of the church organization. But the 100% real impact on the church visitors is genuine evidence of changed lives by the gospel and the active growing discipleship (just as it was in the first century church). One demonstration is financially rich believers ministering equally together with poor believers (how odd, and incredibly miraculous; all humble and bow at the foot of the cross.). It is the awesome contrast of church members vocations, race, gender, age, maturity, gifting, humility that demonstrates to visitors "there is a Spirit in the place". That first-time guest list of 10 are "physical excuses", not spiritual excuses. Those don't tell the story. The condition of facilities and publicly greeting people have zero to do with it. The power of God in and through believers lives dedicated to impact other people with their relationship bridge-building of acceptance of the lost around them. Empowered believers are infectious, loving, helpful, giving, self-less, dynamic, compelling, bold, Christ-filled. As I have been in many church settings domestically and internationally, the facilities can be poor, and yet the fellowship can still be rich. We need to operate with first church humility. People come to Christ on His terms, not on our human abilities of hospitality. A huge catastrophe in a community, disaster relief brings lots of people into churches – many come to the church in those terrible conditions no matter the physical condition of the local church. Off the condition of facility, and onto the condition of God's people (living stones).... and everything else will grow.... and the other physical issues will be corrected by the staff.
 
— Russ Wright
 
"While I understand the intent behind this phrase" Expound please. What do you understand to be the intent behind that phrase?
 
— Ken
 
Thank you for this article! I'm the pastor of a small church. My gifting is in teaching and we are known for aiding Christians in becoming Biblically literate. Visitor's often comment on God's presence being very real in our services. But we just don't seem to be growing. I have some soul-searching, etc. to do and this article provides some solid ground from which to proceed. Thank you again.
 
— Jonathan Schultheis
 

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