Do people take your church’s marketing seriously? When someone sees a postcard from your church, do they laugh or do they consider it?
I must admit I’ve been tempted to mock many church’s marketing I come across. And I realized there are a few things that instantly turn me off from a church’s message. There are a few things that trigger a part of my brain, making me think these churches don’t want to be taken seriously.
So for a bit of fun, and perhaps an opportunity to learn, I thought it would be fun to share these five reasons people might not take your church marketing seriously. If you’re offended, there’s a good chance you’ve been guilty of these things. If you aren’t offended, please don’t be so quick to send this link to the church down the street. Perhaps be more subtle than that.
1. Too many exclamation points.
Punctuation is important. If I said, “I already ate, grandma.” That would be a polite way to inform my grandmother that I’m not longer hungry. If I added an exclamation point to it: “I already ate, grandma!” Well, that just makes me seem like I’m being a jerk to my grandmother.
Churches are often guilty of trying to force excitement from their readers by adding exclamation points. Don’t do it. It doesn’t add any extra value to the reader. Neither do multiple exclamation points!!!!
And of course, removing the comma makes me a cannibal. “I already ate grandma!”
2. “Coolizing” words with apostrophes.
The word feeling does not become cooler by changing it to feelin’. It doesn’t make you more hip to the younger generations. This generally applies to all words, unless you minister to farmers and the whole church has gone fishin’. Then it’s perfectly acceptable to cools a word with an apostrophe.
3. Using Christian buzzwords.
“Resurrect your heart and spirit by attending this life-changing fellowship event of eucharist using coffee and donuts.” Wait, we’re having communion at a coffee shop?
4. Unnecessary Christian imagery.
If you haven’t seen the Portlandia sketch, “Put a Bird On It“, watch it now. Go ahead, we’ll wait. Just like putting a bird on a graphic doesn’t immediately make it better, adding Christian imagery to your design won’t fix it.
It’s tempting for churches to see a graphic design piece and say, “Add a cross to that ‘t’ and it’ll be perfect.” Or, “Why not replace the dot on that ‘i’ with a dove?” Or how about, “Why isn’t there a globe with fire spreading throughout it on this nursery flyer?”
5. Awkward ministry names or language.
I ran across a church recently that named their fellowship time “Chat and Nibble”. I’m not sure I can think of a worse name for a fellowship time. But I’m pretty sure you can. So now it’s your turn! What would be a more awkward name for a fellowship time? Share in a comment below.