We live in an age of story telling. From books and movies to television and magazines, stories are all around us. Some connect and move us emotionally, while others leave us unmoved.
Think of the emotions you felt during Carl’s life story montage in UP!
Or the sense of excitement and uncertainty as Bilbo leaves the Shire to begin his adventure in The Hobbit.
The best stories all have something in common…
They let us see a piece of ourselves in the struggles of the main characters.
We relate to them and find ourselves hoping, even cheering, for them. Their victory becomes our victory, their loss our loss. Something about their struggle connects with our humanity.
Our church promotions hold the same potential…
To let our church and community see a piece of themselves in the story we are sharing.
To relate in a way that when they see life change in others they are encouraged and want the same for themselves.
This doesn’t happen by accident.
As I’ve written before, it begins with working ahead. Working ahead frees you to be intentional with your planning and and focus on the story you will tell.
As you focus on the story, you give your church a chance to see themselves in what you are sharing and connect at a deeper level.
Helping them connect in this way begins by…
Asking the Right Questions…
What do we hope to accomplish with this event or opportunity?
This brings clarity to the look, feel and vision for your event
Example: To connect & challenge men to a higher standard of living. For them to understand that life lived in community with others provides spiritual protection and opportunity for growth that living alone can’t.
What story will we share to connect with people emotionally?
This brings clarity to what you will focus on sharing and how
Example: Use a testimony from the group and a character study on the life of David. We will focus on the role of Jonathan (friend) and Nathan (spiritual leader) in his life.
What type of life transformation do we hope to bring and how will we challenge people to it?
This will help bring clarity to how you want people to respond.
Example: Men challenged to go further in their walk with God and connect to small groups for accountability and growth.
If we could write the post event “buzz” what would people be saying?
This will help bring clarity to what you hope is memorable about the event
Example: “I thought I was alone, but I found out others have these struggles too. I can make it. There is hope.”
How will we support the event and planning visually?
Graphics and design are the first hint of what to expect of an event. They set the tone and feel for your planning. It also helps the person responsible for creating the visual promotion to know what your vision is before they begin.
Example: Mountain climbing, A journey of steps, Teamwork in climbing together
Document Your Answers…
The natural tendency is to answer these questions mentally or skip over them altogether. After all, we’ve done this before. Why spend time working through something we know well?
Remember, the goal here is to help people see themselves in what is being shared, to inspire them not just inform them.
Resist the temptation to short change this step and take a few minutes to write out your answers.
When you’re done, post the paper where you can see it as you plan.