Stepping Out of the Box: Lessons from a Christmas VBS Program

Our team is passionate about effective outreach. And nothing makes me happier than hearing about a church that created an effective way to reach people in their community.

In this article I want to share a timely event idea that I ran across, then use it to point out four keys to developing your own out-of-the-box outreach plans.

First the idea. It comes from a blog by Mike Fortune that relayed his local church’s Christmas outreach effort. This church decided to move their…

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Written by Vince Williams
December 14th, 2010 at 3:59 pm

Posted in Visual Preaching

The Creative Process: Developing Strategies for Effective Outreach Communication

I spoke with a church leader last week who said there are three types of people he could try to reach: (1) people who have made a decision to follow God; (2) people who have made a decision to not follow God; and (3) all the people in between. As he pointed out, we don’t need to spend energy on the first group, and the second are unlikely to change their minds, so the third is where we need to focus our outreach efforts.

I talk to pastors every day who want to reach out to their community, but feel blocked by…

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Written by Vince Williams
November 2nd, 2010 at 11:16 am

Marketing Your Harvest Festival

October means a lot of things to different people. In the church world, it often means someone is having a harvest festival. This alternative to Halloween has even more value in today’s unsure climate. Fewer young kids are participating in secular Halloween activities as parents look for more controlled, safe environments where their kids can have fun.

The key to a successful turnout comes in…

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Written by Vince Williams
October 5th, 2010 at 2:12 pm

Expectations Shape Our Perceptions

Expectations shape our perceptions. In other words, when we expect quality, we’re more likely to experience quality. I recently read about some research by Dan Ariel, a professor at Duke University, that confirms this. Here is one experiment his team did, in his words:

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Written by Larry Witzel
September 7th, 2010 at 11:29 am

The Four F’s of Church Marketing

Almost every week, as I talk with church leaders about their upcoming evangelism efforts I’ll hear this phrase: “Mailings don’t work.” And it’s true, mailings don’t work…unless they’re done properly. Firing off a mailing without a good plan is a waste of church funds, but by using some proven principles that have been honed by direct marketing professionals over decades, you can effectively reach …

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Written by Vince Williams
August 3rd, 2010 at 1:58 pm

Six Keys to Better Church Design

At SermonView, we regularly challenge churches to increase the quality of their design ideas. But looking through our newsletters from the last year, I realized that we haven’t given you many tools to help with that process.

So this month, I wanted to give you more specifics. Here are six key techniques for increasing the effectiveness and…

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Written by Vince Williams
July 7th, 2010 at 3:46 pm

Finding the Right Compromise

Every church has to find times to compromise.

Now, I’m not talking about doctrine. Practically speaking, you simply can’t do everything well all the time. Unfortunately, if we compromise in a particular area for too long we can end up off balance and with substantial gaps in our ministry.

Put yourself in the shoes of the non-Christians you want to reach. Where should they…

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Written by Vince Williams
June 7th, 2010 at 12:40 pm

Creating an Effective Welcome Packet

A first-rate welcome packet is an important part of the new visitor experience. Done correctly, a packet can help to draw someone back to your church again, by informing them of opportunities to connect with other members while also reminding them of the personality and mission of your church. Let’s evaluate this tool and explore how to create an effective welcome packet with limited effort while saving money.

Every welcome packet has 2 basic components…

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Written by Vince Williams
May 4th, 2010 at 8:44 am

Posted in Visual Preaching

Connecting with Newcomers

We love working with local churches because every day we see them finding more innovative ways of communicating with their local community. This Easter season, one of our churches in Virginia decided to go the extra mile with their new Easter attendees, and we worked with them to create a visually-compelling suite of welcome tools for their church.

Liberty Community Church’s goal was to connect with guests multiple times while using a consistent message. Their approach incorporated a single image and concept through an entire suite of communication tools in order to increase the possibility of repeat visitors. Here’s what they did…

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Written by Vince Williams
April 14th, 2010 at 2:46 pm

Posted in Church Marketing

Healthy by Design

As I walked into the church lobby, I saw it: a big, ugly stain on the carpet. Seven-year-old Katelyn was trying to publicly celebrate her parents 10th wedding anniversary, and in the process dumped an entire chocolate sheet cake on the floor. And her attempt to clean it up did little more than then squish frosting deep into the carpet.

In a way, that stain was beautiful. It said, “We do ministry here.” But what if nobody bothered to clean the carpet? What would that stain say about the state of your church as you stepped over it week after week after week? And what would that stain say to your guests? At some point, it no longer says, “We do ministry here.” Instead, it yells, “We don’t really care enough to clean this.”

The fact is, your church facility is a reflection of the health of the church. But more than that (and certainly more exciting), you can also use the building…

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Written by Larry Witzel and Vince Williams
March 10th, 2010 at 11:01 am

Posted in Church Marketing

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