An archer is not successful unless he knows what his target is and assesses all the factors in reaching the target. The same concept goes for advertisement. One common mistake I see unfortunately is that churches tend to design for christians and market in christian circles when the advertising should be focused on bringing in non-believers.
The big tip here is to throw out everything you know about design and think through the mindset and eye of the secular world. What interests them, what style do they appeal to, where do they spend most of their time? Paul wrote, “I have become all things to all people, that by all means I might save some” -1 Corinthians 9:22. It’s not that he compromised his values or withheld truth, but that he adapted to become relatable with the people he was trying to reach. We should follow his example in the way we communicate with the public through advertisement. Make things modern with the world in mind, instead of the church.
One style that is very popular today is simple bold vibrant colors with a black and white accent. This style is easy to produce and is popular because it utilizes the bold and vibrant HD technology that is taking over. Advocates of this style include TBS and MTV.
For general public advertising, avoid church jargon like the plague. Saying things like, “worship with us” or “see the revival” will send non-believers the other way. Try saying something like “experience the difference” or “a new kind of church”.
More about wording
In the US, the majority of the public knows about Christianity, and has probably had some ties to the church in the past, but have rejected it due to a negative experience; so it is wise to speak to those who have had a negative experience in the church. As a guide, really know who you are talking to and speak to the needs, experiences, and thoughts of those people in a relatable and intriguing way. Being simply informative doesn’t cut it in todays world.
Again remember, that church advertising is not about money, it is about reaching the community in order to advance the Kingdom of God. Churches are not in competition with each other, we are battling for those in the world. So we must do all that we can to communicate and reach out to those who are without salvation.
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