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.

Read more from Rich here.

Download PDF

Tags: , ,

| What is MyVisionRoom? > | Back to Communication >

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.

See more articles by >

COMMENTS

What say you? Leave a comment!

Recent Comments
What happens when u dont have a meeting place any more. And u was forced out because the buliding wasnt available any more.
 
— Debra
 
If someone wants entertainment they're going to the wrong place. Church is not a place for entertainment...or in my opinion a barrage of coffee and donuts. Why are churches today bringing the world INTO them? Then there's the thing with children...age appropriate??? These little guys can pick stuff up in service. Besides Jesus said Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven. Mt. 19:14.
 
— Laurie
 
I love the intentionality here as well as the challenge to look at the data. That's missing so many times. I would like to offer a contrarian's take. Church members and regular attenders have so many ways to get information: Announcements, bulletins, social channels, relationships, and email being among the options. But brand new people are likely going to check out the website and that's it. It might be wiser for churches with limited time and resources to focus their website almost exclusively to guests. This group of people isn't looking for a calendar of events but wants to know about regular programs. They probably aren't interested in watching all of the messages but instead may want to preview one of the services. For the times we need church members to go to websites (sign up for camp, join a group, etc), we're probably better off designing and promoting a specific page rather than cluttering up the homepage.
 
— Michael Lukaszewski (@mlukaszewski)
 

Clarity Process

Three effective ways to start moving toward clarity right now.