Weird Ways to Impact Communication
There are several methods, over the years, that we have used to impact communication and some are less conventional than others. Some are even down right weird but are functional. Here are just a few that have had an impact.
- What says Thanksgiving more than John Wayne? - That's right. To promote our annual Thanksgiving meal at church we decided to use an image of John Wayne from the movie The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance. The words covering the poster were, "Thanksgiving Dinner - Be There Pilgrim". I have never seen such a response to our Thanksgiving effort. People were talking. Some liked it and some complained, but attendance was extremely high. Don't be afraid to go out on a limb, be professional but have fun.
- Recently we promoted a Sunday evening church service and fellowship time. On all of the materials it said, "Fellowship Mandatory" in an old fashioned circus poster style. Taking the cue from the announcement slide, from the pulpit it was announced that fellowship was mandatory as well. I expected some blow back because in churches we usually ask and rarely tell. A principle that flies in the face of all of the marketing and advertising principles I have ever been taught, but in church you usually use the softer glove. The response was overwhelming and quite successful. Don't be afraid to tell people to do something. You will be surprised if done with the proper motivation and right event.
- Giving kids video camera and assignments sounds like a dangerous idea. It isn't. It is fun and a way to engage a different group that is looking for a way to contribute. The youth group was broken into teams and went out with an assigned list of things to do in a video scavenger hunt. (No children or video equipment was damaged in this experiment.) The kids loved it, they got to showcase their talent and love for God and will never forget the experience. Probably because it is on YouTube. Let go and allow others to express themselves.
- Don't claim credit. That's a real stretch and downright weird. You mean we have gone to the trouble of collecting donations, signing up volunteers, bringing out tables and chairs and spent our whole Saturday giving out school supplies to disadvantaged families and we don't hang a banner or hand out pencils with our name on them. That's right. Sometimes even the best intentions, if filled with service times and banners with our logo, come off as pushy to people in need. Sometimes think hard about ministry and less about promotion.
- Quit being scared of stating the truth. In our church blog we cover all sorts of subjects. But none of them has garnered as many views and comments as the blog, "I'm a Christian - Should I Get A Tattoo". The article was a well written piece (I wrote it) about what the Bible says about our bodies and whether we should allow someone to poke holes in it and fill it with ink. The funny thing is as a church we try to reach out in as many ways as possible, but that one weird blog article has more hits from more sources than any other. Don't live in fear of what the Bible says...just say it. Read it here.
This is just a short list of the different ways we have seen success when communicating with others. Feel free to use any of the ideas but, just as importantly tell us what you have done that is a bit out of the box but has worked well. I am looking forward to the response.