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Being the Little Guys

In our culture, bigger is better. Everyone, it seems, wants a bigger house and a bigger car. Businesses want to grow up to be in the Fortune 500, or the Inc. 5000. We buy stuff in bulk at big warehouse stores, and supersize our French fries.

It’s a mentality that has crossed over into the church world, too. Megachurches are celebrated, studied, and used as models for ministry. One ministry publication in particular trumpets the fastest growing churches every year in a special issue. Yet three out of four protestant churches in America today have weekly attendance under 200, with two-thirds of those under 100.1 And you can’t do ministry in a small church like you do in a big church.

We believe that God has

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Written by Larry Witzel and Vince Williams
March 8th, 2011 at 12:26 pm

Evangelism Lessons from Super Bowl Sunday

It’s time to love American made. At least that is the message Chrysler paid approximately $9 million dollars to tell us last Sunday during the Super Bowl. And whether you are an American car lover or not, the ad had impact. In fact, most Super Bowl ads do. But why? Is there something that churches can learn from these over-priced ads to help us better reach people for God?

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Written by Vince Williams
February 8th, 2011 at 12:56 pm

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

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

Thank You for Your Faithfulness

For many, 2009 will be remembered as a low point during the Great Recession. But some will also remember it as the start of personal spiritual renewal, because of the ministry of church leaders like yourself.

It is not just individuals who have been affected by the economic downturn. According to one expert in the industry, there have been more church foreclosures in the last year than in the previous 20 years combined.1 And nearly every church and ministry organization has faced a decline in giving this year, resulting in pay cuts, layoffs, and reduction in ministry capacity.

Yet there is good news in this. Today there is a hunger for…

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Written by Larry Witzel
December 14th, 2009 at 2:20 pm

Posted in Church Marketing

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5 Suggestions for an Effective Evangelism Campaign

With the heat of summer pounding it is easy to forget how close Fall is around the corner. For many churches the Fall season means an evangelistic series or outreach campaign—a stressful event for many pastors. A well run campaign takes time, resources, and even more time. The good news is that with a little help and a solid plan, by getting started early you can create an effective campaign that draws people in hungry to hear the Good News.

We can’t promise it will be a stress-free event. But here are 5 suggestions for creating an effective…

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Written by Vince Williams
July 9th, 2009 at 10:50 am

Posted in Church Marketing

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