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4 Ways for Non Designers to Create Church Graphics

4 Ways for Non Designers to Create Church Graphics

You have a church event to promote, and you’re stuck. The leader wants a graphic for Sunday Slideshow, Facebook image, Sunday program and you’re just trying to get through the day.

You didn’t go to school for design, but the responsibility is on your shoulders. What can you do?

In this week’s #AskRADIdeas Debi asks the question plaguing so many church staff members.

How do I create graphics when I’m not a graphic artist?

Thankfully, there are several options for your church.

Here are…

4 Ways for Non Designers to Create Church Graphics

1) Hire a designer

A graphic designer will be able to take your project and create something uniquely tailored to your church.

You can expect the process to include a project overview where you share your topic, goals and details. The designer will then get back to you with design options. When you’ve settled on a design they will deliver the finished graphics to you.

If you are looking for custom visuals this is a great way to go. You get the experience and knowledge of a designer, without the expense of another employee.

2) Library of designs

Several companies have created “done-for-you” design libraries that your church can use.

Pick a design, download the visuals and start using them immediately. You get the quality of a professionally designed graphic, in the time it takes to download the files.

The cost for download access depends on the company. Look for monthly, yearly or life-time access plans when determining the best fit for your church.

Recommendations:

www.open-edit-print.com

www.sharefaith.com

www.ministrypass.com

3) Templates

Using templates will take away the frustration of staring at a blank screen and creating a design from scratch. They give you the flexibility of customizing your promotion, while speeding up the design process.

The process is simple:

  • Download a Word, Publisher, InDesign or Photoshop template
  • Add your unique information into the editable regions
  • Save the file
  • Start your promotions

Recommendations:

www.open-edit-print.com

www.stocklayouts.com

www.creationswap.com

4) Image Editing Software

A number of online tools are available to help you create designs without needing Photoshop. You can pick a design size, add your elements (text, images, etc.) and save the file for use.

The trade off is your time. You should expect to spend time learning the tools and then creating the graphics themselves. If you need different versions of a design (Sunday Slideshow, Facebook image, Bulletin announcement) you will need to recreate it in each format.

Recommendations:

www.sumopaint.com

www.pixlr.com

www.canva.com

www.123rf.com

How is your church creating visuals? What other options would you suggest? Let me know in the notes below.

3 Communication Mistakes Most Churches Make

3 Communication Mistakes Most Churches Make

Have you ever gotten off the phone, thinking one thing about the conversation, only to realize later that the person you were speaking with understood the conversation differently?

You have both been talking about the same thing, but what was communicated was very different.

Unfortunately, church communications can be this way too.

It often goes something like this…

“We spent a bunch of money trying {insert great idea} but it didn’t work.”

“I can tell you what doesn’t work, but I have no idea what does.”

We’ve got great ministry ideas, and we’re working hard to connect people, but something isn’t working. We assume the issue is the event  or a lack of interest by the congregation.

The interesting part is, the “great idea” is seldom the problem. Other churches are doing similar things and having good responses.

More often then not, the issue is actually a communication challenge. What we think we’re saying and what the listener is hearing are two different things.

Thankfully, there are simple fixes to these communication challenges.

Here are 3 Top Church Communication Mistakes and How to Fix Them

1) We say too much

Please understand me on this. I’m not talking about saying less about the gospel. I’m talking about the volume of information we throw at people each week.

Our congregation and guests have limited bandwidth. We spend all week thinking about our ministry plans, but they haven’t. When we throw everything at them at once nothing sticks. A typical listener can only take in so much information before they shut down and stop listening.

Solution:

Be intentional about what we share.

Pick the top 3-4 things in the life of your church and share about them well. This is best done with a calendar so you aren’t caught off guard as events approach.

A good rule is… a ministry opportunity needs to relate to 50% of those in attendance for you to share about it. If it doesn’t, you should find ways to share with just the people who need to hear it.

Example:

Women’s Retreat – relates to 50%+ of Sunday morning attenders = Share

Men’s Woodworking Class – doesn’t relate to 50%+ of Sunday morning attenders = Find other ways to share with interested people

2) We only talk to insiders

I recently found a “secret menu” for In-N-Out Burger (a California based fast food chain).

The menus includes creative ways to take their basic ingredients (burger, fries and drinks) and switch them up.

I’ve been going to In-N-Out for 20+ years and had no idea these options existed. I can get grilled onions on my burger and my wife can have a Lemon-Up (combo lemonade and 7-Up).

Why didn’t we know?

Because they haven’t printed the information on the menu board. The menu is so simple, you have to know what to ask for or they will serve it like they always have.

Unfortunately, we treat our church guests much the same. Assuming they have context and understanding about our church that they don’t have.

We announce events in ways insiders understand but guests don’t…

Join us for Bible Study on Wednesday in the MPR.

Guests need to know more.

Solution:

Answer the questions guests would be asking

  • Who is this event for for?
  • What time is it occuring?
  • What is the full name of the location?
  • Where would I find this room on campus?
  • Can my kids come too?

Example:

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. Child-care is available by reservation.

3) We share details with no heart

The power of the Gospel is it’s ability to connect people to God. Broken people with real troubles, challenges, hopes and dreams. People who want something more from the life they are living and don’t want to waste time on trivial things.

Our guests come to church each week and we fill them in on all the “exciting ways to get involved.” But they don’t connect.

Why?

Because they approach every opportunity, subconsciously or not, with a mental question…

“What’s in it for me?”

They want to know what makes this opportunity something worth considering, and boring announcements with event details aren’t enough. Our guests are hungry for the solutions God offers. It’s our responsibility to show them.

Solution:

Highlight the benefit of attending and participating.

Go beyond the details and present examples of life change in your ministry. Look at: previous attenders, congregation members, your community. Share the way God has used the ministry in the past and the difference it can make for those in similar situations.

If your church is struggling with these church communication mistakes don’t worry. There is hope.

You can reverse the trend by doing one thing…

Say Less + With Greater Clarity + In Ways That Connect With People

Do it consistently and you will see growth in your congregation.

Neglect it and you will struggle to connect and retain new people.


What ways has your church wrestled with these or other communication mistakes?

What is your biggest communication challenge to keep at bay?

How can I help you increase your effectiveness?

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.

Church Communications Don’t Have to Be Difficult

Church Communications Don’t Have to Be Difficult

Do you remember your first car? The pride you felt in making payments because it belonged to you.

It didn’t matter that it wasn’t perfect. Just that it was yours.

My first car was a red Toyota pickup. I bought it with 13,000 miles on it and drove it until the engine died.

It got me where I needed to go and was what I could afford.

It was a great truck… Until the day the speedometer went crazy.

One day I’m cruising down the road without a care and the next my speedometer is freaking out. The needle would jump back and forth from 25 – 45 miles per hour, when I wasn’t changing speed.

It was frustrating!

I had no idea how fast I was going. Or, how much it would cost to fix.

Something that had run on its own for so long needed attention.

I’ve found church communications to be similar.

They cruise along without any issues and then… BAM. One day things don’t work right.

What worked last time didn’t work this time.

People miss information and ask lots of questions.

Event attendance is low.

Frustration is high.

Something is broken and we aren’t sure what is is or where to start…

Thankfully, fixing my truck ended up being a simple project.

With a little direction and the right bottle of goo I had a working speedometer again.

The solution was within reach, I just needed to know where to start.

Getting your church communications on track doesn’t have to be difficult. It can be as simple as getting a little coaching help to apply the right solution .

Providing solutions to church communication challenges is why I started RAD-Ideas.

If you’re experiencing challenges and want church proven solutions to stand out, increase influence and grow your ministry I can help.

I offer communications coaching where we…

[+] Assess where your church is currently

[+] Pick goals for where you want to be

[+] Implement a proven plan to get there

[+] Review and tweak the plan as needed

Don’t make the mistake of waiting until it is too late to find a solution. You need a solution in place that will increase your impact and help you be more effective.

Interested?

Contact me today for information.