facebook pixel
559 325 4122 info@rad-ideas.com
Connecting with your church for life change

Connecting with your church for life change

You deliver life-changing ministries each week, yet your church and community are not connecting.

They are slow to respond and hesitant to commit, leaving your frustrated. Wondering how to connect with people so they can see the life-change you offer.

It doesn’t have to be this way.

You need something proven, that will ignite the growth you long for in your church.

I work with church leaders just like you, to cut through the distractions with visual communications that are…

  • top-quality
  • grab attention
  • compel a response

Let’s end the guessing game of what will work, and free you to focus on leading once again.

I’d like to get you on the phone for 15 minutes to talk about your church. What you’ve tried, what is working and what hasn’t. Then offer proven solutions to your church communication challenges.

Here’s a link to my calendar, pick a time that works best for your schedule.

21 Free Places to Get Photos for Church Promotions

21 Free Places to Get Photos for Church Promotions

In an increasingly visual society, our church communications have to stand out.

Recent statistics show:

  1. Content with a relevant images gets read 94% more than content without relevant images. (source)
  2. We retain only 10% of what we hear 3 days later, but when paired with a relevant visual we retain 65% of it 3 days later. (source)

Keeping that going takes a large pool of images. Between announcement slides, emails, social media and print, it’s easy to go through a stack of photos every week.

A subscription to a stock photo library is a great place to start, but it gets expensive fast. With that in mind, I’ve put together a list of sources for free photos your church can use in their communications.

Each site functions a bit differently, so be certain you read about the usage rules and restrictions.

21 Sources for Free Church Photos

  1. Pixabay – login using your FB credentials for access to the library
  2. Picjumbo– free photos for commercial and personal work, beware the ads
  3. Unsplash – free high-resolution photos, 10 new photos every 10 days
  4. Public Domain Archive/ – public domain images
  5. Gratisography – quirky, stylized images
  6. Free Images– overseas collection, some images feel too European to work but others are good
  7. Stock Photos for Free – login using your FB credentials for access to the library
  8. CompFight – check the copyright permissions on the images you chose, some require attribution to the artist
  9. Jeshoots – collection is good but currently fairly small
  10. Snapwire Snaps free high-resolution photos, 7 new photos every 7 days
  11. Skitter Photo– license free, high quality photos
  12. Startup Stock Photos – use the archive link at the top middle of the page to see the full library
  13. ISO Republic – high quality, free photos for creatives
  14. Designers Pics – free high-resolution photos, no attribution required
  15. Splitshire – great images but the ads are annoying
  16. Kaboom Pics – new pictures daily, nicely cataloged and easily searched
  17. Life of Pix – all images are public domain, from Montreal so some images  contain French signage
  18. Morguefile – free images plus ability to search major stock photography sites from the same window
  19. Flickr – check the copyright permissions on the images you chose, some require attribution to the artist
  20. We Function – download a set of images based on theme
  21. Pexels.com – 50 new photos a day

Bonus Image Collections

  1. Photo Pin – quickly search a millions of images from across the web
  2. Bible Places – high resolution photos of Biblical location
  3. Freely Photos – totally free high quality Christian stock photography
  4. Magdeleine – hand-picked free images
  5. Sitebuilder Report – single search pane for images from 27 differnet websites
  6. Vecteezy – vector and jpeg resources
  7. Flat Icon – vector based icons in Photoshop and Illustrator formats

 

I’m always looking for other resources for free church photos. If you have something to add, let me know in the comments below.

7 Ways to Be More Strategic with Your Church Bulletin

7 Ways to Be More Strategic with Your Church Bulletin

For many churches, the bulletin remains a staple of church communication. Weekly announcements, budget details and attendance records continue to fill the page each week.

While the bulletin is no longer a strategic option for every church, it continues to be for others.

If you’re still creating a weekly bulletin, don’t worry, you’re not alone. Here are some ways to be strategic and ensure you have a successful church bulletin.

1) Be intentional about what you include

The bulletin is prime communication real estate for the life of your church. Because of this it tends to become an information dumping ground. It’s easy to overwhelm our readers with too many announcements and event details.

Take a step back and filter the information through the eyes of a guest or non-Christian. It doesn’t have to be wordy, but it does need to serve a ministry purpose.

  • Is this information pertinent?
  • Will the reader understand what the ministry is about?
  • How can they get involved?
  • Is the bulletin the best way to share this information?
  • Is there a more intentional way to share this with the right group of people?

2) Repurpose your content

Let’s be honest. Time is our most valuable resource. You don’t have lots of it to spare.

So, don’t reinvent the wheel every time. Any time you work on a bulletin announcement, look for other ways you can share the same information.

Your listener has only read the announcement once and they aren’t tired of it yet. The challenge is, you’ve lived with it for a while, so it feels like you’ve conveyed it a lot of times. The reality is, you haven’t, your church is just getting up to speed about the announcement.

3) Confirm your information

Communication success is in the details. There is nothing worse than having to take valuable service time to verbally correct a bulletin announcement.

Take time to confirm dates, times, contact details and more when you put your bulletin together. You’ll be glad you did.

4) Make it scannable

I hate to say it, but people aren’t reading your bulletin. Most are quickly browsing, looking for details that interest them and ignoring the rest. Help them find what is most important to them by visually directing them.

You can get creative by…

  • Highlighting ministry names in Bold
  • Sharing details in a Regular font
  • Identifying contact details or registration info in Italics

Anything you can do to hep people find the announcements they are most interested in

5) Add visual elements

Our society is becoming increasingly visual and expects supporting images alongside information. Avoid using clip art, and look for images to reinforce your message or give your reader context for the announcement.

Need some inspiration? The Church Media Resource List has free and low cost image providers.

6) Let it breathe

You don’t need to fill every square inch of the bulletin with something. Find a balance between the volume of information, the font size and the blank white space on the page.

It will help your reader digest the information better and not get overwhelmed by the text.

7) Track your numbers

Get in the habit of tracking the number of bulletins you print each week and the number of leftovers. It will help you notice seasonal changes and holiday bumps, allowing you to better steward your resources in the future.

I’ve created a Bulletin Use Tracking Worksheet to help with this. There are places to put your numbers, plus notes about the specific day. Feel free to use it in your church.

 

What things are you doing to have a successful church bulletin? Let me know in the comments below.

5 Questions to Know What to Communicate, Every Time

5 Questions to Know What to Communicate, Every Time

One of the top struggles I see is with churches Knowing What To Communicate. Here’s what I mean.

We spend hours creating amazing ministry opportunities designed for life change. We announce it on Sunday and put it in the bulletin, but people aren’t engaged. Uncertain about its importance, and with a busy schedule, they put off committing until the last moment, and don’t attend. It’s the exact ministry they need right now and they pass on it!

Why?

Maybe it’s because we gave them information without inspiration. We talked about an event without inspiring them by sharing what was in it for them.

So how do we change this scene?

It’s going to sound crazy, but it starts with asking the right questions. They lay a foundation for what is coming and give us guardrails to keep us on task.

There are five questions to help you…

Know What to Communicate, Every Time

1) What problem, need, goal are we addressing with this event / opportunity?

Let’s face it. Most people are self absorbed. Sometimes it is just plain narcism but most of the time it’s busyness.

Think through your past week… what got your attention enough to make you stop in your tracks?

Most likely it was something that addressed an issue you have or need to solve.

Our church and community is no different. They are are always asking “What’s in it for me?”

When we can articulate the problem we solve or benefit we offer people will listen.

2) If I had no prior knowledge about this event / opportunity, what information would I need to take part?

(date, time, location, who its for, cost, registration info, etc.)

A solution without information is useless.

“Join us Wednesday for bible study!”

Uhhhh, that sounds great but I have more questions now that when we started.

Is it for men, women, students?

Is it at the church, a coffee shop, someone’s home?

Is it in the morning, evening, lunchtime?

What are they studying and how does it apply to me?

We often approach church events, especially reoccurring ones, from the standpoint of a connected person rather than a guest. When we think about the person who wants to connect but needs more details everything changes.

3) How can we share about this event / opportunity in a way that makes it accessible to the unchurched?

“Join our Wednesday night Bible study on the book of Proverbs beginning next week!”

For the churched that might be enough, for the unchurched, not so much.

A study in Proverbs means nothing to them because they don’t know what the book is about or that it’s even in the Bible.

Making something accessible to the unchurched doesn’t mean we have to water it down. It means we have to make it understandable.

How do we do that?

Tell them about the event in a way that applies to them and shows the benefit of participating, regardless of their biblical knowledge.

We could share about the same Bible study like this…

“Life can be confusing! Join our adult Bible study as we talk through practical ways to gain wisdom and understanding. Wednesdays, 7pm, Main Office Lobby”

4) How does our community get information about events / opportunities?

Every community has its own communication culture. A way it shares information on a daily basis.

Through personal invitation, social media, community events or online, your community is listening.

The question is whether your church is speaking in the spaces where people are listening.

Unsure of the ways most commonly used by your community to communicate… go ask them.

The gospel is too important to mess this up.

5) How will we deliver the relevant information using the communication channels our community is already using?

Now that we know what we want to say and how people are listening comes the fun part.

Pick an area (or two) and begin sharing.

Don’t feel the need to do everything at once, just get started.

Become part of the ongoing conversation and offer life through the solutions your church offers.

As people see you care and have solutions to the issues they face your church will grow.

Action Plan

Pick an upcoming event / opportunity and answer these questions.

Share about it based on the benefits of participating and see your church grow.


Have a story about how these principles changed your church communications and grew your congregation? I’d love to hear about it. Send me a message today.