Church Advertising?

By Mark Schultz

Posted in Culture

When I began in my first ministry placement, the congregation was preparing for Christmas.

Having not been in placement at Christmas time before, I delved in to research what had been done previously. I found old orders of service, carols sung, resources used and, of course, the command that the Christmas Day service would start thirty minutes early and could go no longer than forty-five minutes. That way, if you got there at the usual time, you only had to persevere for fifteen minutes!

The other piece of information received was that the congregation letter box dropped a postcard about the Christmas events to the local community every year.

As I pondered it, I thought to myself, “What a waste! It will take people’s time and energy, the congregation's finances, and organization (we were too late to utilize the offering of the Synod’s cards).” But we did it anyway.

I can’t say the whole community turned up to all of our Christmas activities over the period, but I can certainly say that over my few years with that congregation, dozens of people from near and far did come along because of those efforts. For some, it was a beginning of a longer term connection with congregation, for others it was a reminder that there were locals reaching out to give others the opportunity to worship locally when they normally did so further afield.

We are in a time when our Church has been declining for some years. And yet, as members of the community of God, the body of Christ, it is upon us to share something of the joy, comfort and fellowship of faith to those around us. To do that in an intentional, organized, professional way shows that it is a genuine priority to welcome others to your congregation.

There are many ways of doing this, some taking more or less effort. The Communications Team of the Synod of South Australia has been providing a simple way of doing this through their postcards, on which you can place your own events on the back. It is simple, fairly cheap and meaningful.

Mark Twain said, “Many a small thing has been made large by the right kind of advertising.” Even if you don’t think that many others would want to join with your congregation at important times of the Christian calendar, why rob the one or two or maybe many more of that chance? It might be just the right thing and it might be exactly what God had in mind. But if not, try something else. If you want more ideas, I would love to talk to you.



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Comments (3)

  1. Sue Ellis 10 march 2020, 17:53(Comment was edited) Link
    Thanks Mark.
    I always used the Easter and Christmas themes when I was in Ministry placement. Often there was creative writing and service content that went with them. These produced wonderful fruitful ideas for the worship planning teams and inspired fresh ways of leading people in these important festivals.
    I love the Easter theme for this year — thanks to the Engagement Team for providing such wonderful, downloadable resources.
    1. Eric Densley 12 march 2020, 10:11 Link
      Thanks for the helpful encouragement about the value of the postcards, Mark. I've been in the habit of encouraging my congregation in their use for a lot of years now. Yes, it takes effort, but like you I feel that it is worth it… sharing a message in a helpful way with our community, plus sometimes encouraging someone to join us for worship.

      But this year's postcards SEEM TO BE A RATHER WELL-KEPT SECRET.
      Or am I missing something?
      I looked back and did find one reference in the News from Feb 18th, but since then silence. Usually we get more information and reminders.