I have spent a lot of years preaching, crafting messages, researching, and leading a church. I’ve also worked alongside pastors just like me who know what it’s like to be bogged down in the details of all that goes into sermon planning. So much so that you can easily miss out on what you are most passionate about – the people.
Building relationships with your congregation and the community that surrounds your church is a tremendous desire in the heart of every pastor, but being stretched so thin with the demands of your day-to-day duties can sometimes leave little to no margin for anything else.
If you’re like me, you may have wondered if a sermon series graphic actually matters. Should I be spending so much time thinking through a visual when it’s the teaching itself that holds the actual lesson?
The answer is yes! That doesn’t mean you should spend countless hours learning graphic design or adding “Creative Director” to your long list of titles. Instead, I’ve put together a few tips and tricks to help you effectively incorporate sermon graphics into your sermon planning process, allowing you to do what you do best – preaching and shepherding your congregation.
Why Sermon Series Graphics Matter
It’s helpful to know the why behind using sermon series graphics. You may be asking yourself why graphics are important. Understanding that will set your team up for success as you work toward incorporating strong visual support behind your sermon series.
Let’s first take a look at a couple of reasons why sermon series graphics matter.
1. Sermon Graphics Provide an Impactful Visual that Compliment Your Teaching Content
While it may be obvious that sermon series graphics serve as a visual compliment to your teaching, the importance of this may be lost. A strong visual to support your sermon series takes what someone may have missed through verbal communication and helps them make the connection visually. For those who are more visual learners, this is huge!
Just think, a powerful image or brand can evoke feelings and emotions within the listener.
You can leverage this power when you decide on the main point you want to drive home to your congregation. What’s your end goal? What do you want them to feel about your message and how it’s delivered?
Take those feelings and ideas and use them when choosing a look for the overall message content. The use of colors, fonts, images, and texture can all play a part into the feelings you stir up within the listener.
The proper use of a sermon series graphic can take your sermon and transform it into a vivid image that leaves an imprint upon their hearts and minds. This allows your message to have a deeper impact on those who receive the message.
The sermon tells a story and serves up the life-altering message of Christ crucified. The sermon graphic is the visual that taps into other senses bringing greater life to your message and allowing it to be more attractive and unforgettable.
2. Sermon Series Graphics Have Marketing Benefits
Talking about marketing in the church will make some uncomfortable—but good marketing is putting the right thing in front of the right person at the right time for the right reasons.
Our job as pastors is to put the Gospel in front of all people whenever possible so they can come to faith in Christ. There is nothing better in the world to market!
Believers and non-believers alike are looking for a place to belong. People will look for the relational aspect as soon as they enter your facilities, and quite honestly, that’s what’s going to bring them back. So you should apply this relational aspect to your branding.
If you blend these two marketing ideas together, you get a simple point: The goal of marketing in the church is to promote Jesus.
To do that when creating your sermon series design, ask yourself the following questions:
- Who are we trying to reach with this series? Obviously, we want to reach all the lost people, but narrowing your target audience will help you to more clearly communicate to that demographic, which will influence your designs across the board. Knowing your target audience will affect how you communicate through every avenue.
- Do I connect to this image or design? Why or why not? Put yourself in the shoes of the receiver. Try to imagine how you might respond to the image without any context, or better yet, ask a friend or colleague who has no context how they respond.
- How does someone outside the church connect with it? How about someone who has never attended church? Is it clear and enticing? When you consider these angles you are inviting new perspectives that you may have never considered; this is essential in creating something that draws in others who think differently than you.
- Would I use it to invite my friend or neighbor to church? Why or why not? Honestly answer this question and then go a step further and ask others the same question. This will give you real insight into how broadly or narrowly the series is speaking to others.
You may not represent your target demographic – that’s okay. But when answering these questions, keep in mind that the way you respond might be very different from how they may respond.
As we strive to grow our church and spread the message of Christ, it can actually be helpful to look to thriving businesses to see how they operate in the way of marketing.
Ask yourself these questions about thriving businesses in your area:
- What company, product, or brand do I use or connect with on a routine basis?
- Why do I continually choose this company, brand, or service over any others?
- What keeps me coming back?
- What about this company or product makes me feel connected to them?
- What aspect of their branding do I like and why?
- Are there companies whose branding I dislike? If so, why?
Understanding why you respond the way you do to these companies and products will help you understand how others think and respond. It will also give you insight into how others think and respond to your church.
An Example of a Series Graphic and How to Implement It
Now that you understand the importance of sermon series graphics and how they can make a big impact in helping people understand and receive your message, let’s take a look at an example of a strong sermon series graphic.
Off the Grid: Growth Found on the Road Less Traveled
This graphic from Cross Point Church in Nashville, TN, is a good example of abstract artwork that is supported with a strong title. The image itself is thought-provoking, artistic, and leaves the individual curious.
When you add the title it all makes sense and there is little question as to what the image is saying. In fact, now the image better supports the topic because the graphic displays a clear title with a supporting headline.
Where and How to Implement Series Graphics
When you finally land on a design for your sermon series, keep in mind that this graphic is much more than an image for the screens on Sunday morning. Sermon graphics can help support your series on a variety of platforms.
As more and more churches embrace the variety of digital platforms, your sermon series graphic can find new life on the internet.
Let’s start with your church’s website. Think of this as the meeting place for new guests. More and more people are doing their own research these days by visiting the organization’s website before they visit it.
Your website is a perspective new guest’s way of getting a feel for what they should expect and answering any questions they may have.
Because of that, your home page is a perfect spot to display an upcoming series and current series you are teaching. This will not only help to promote your series, but also gives those who don’t know your church some context into your teaching.
A church app can be an important platform for you to share your media as well as promote your sermon series. The app may be more geared toward your current attenders, but either way, it’s a tool to get them excited about what’s coming.
Social Media is another obvious platform where you’ll most definitely want to share your sermon series graphics. Depending on the platforms your church uses, you’ll want to have a variety of graphics that compliment each space.
For Facebook, you can change your page cover to show the series you are launching and run it during the series. You can also create shareable content through promotional posts and events. Ask your followers to share your content and invite their friends and family to attend the new series.
And don’t forget about digital platforms like your Google pages, YouTube, Vimeo, Pinterest, Yelp, and many more. It’s not necessary to be on every platform, but take advantage of the space you are on to share your sermon series graphics.
If your church does any video work, bringing the branding and sermon series graphics into any video that supports the sermon series itself is helpful to tie it together. This could be bumper videos, series promotional videos, stories of life change being shared during the sermon series, etc.
Does your church do a weekly, monthly, or quarterly digital newsletter? Depending on when and how often, consider pulling the sermon series graphic into this space. It will help to promote the series to your congregation and encourage them to share the invite with their friends.
The series graphic alone can be a great tool to equip your congregation to spread the word to their friends, family, neighbors, and coworkers.
While digital is a vast majority of where we share our content, your sermon series can continue to live on in print as well.
Consider plugging the sermon series graphic into your weekly program. You can do this in the weeks leading up to the kick-off weekend to help promote what’s coming up and get your congregation excited.
If your sermon series happens to land during a particularly busy time of year when you see new guests, creating more collateral is sometimes helpful. Branded invitations, postcards, business card handouts, etc. can all be printed tools that your sermon series graphic is displayed on.
Other print resources you may take advantage of could be an advertising spot within a community newsletter, a local paper, or flyer you create.
Conclusion: Series Graphics Done Right Will Help Your Sermons Make Bigger Impact
I get it. The idea of creating or choosing a sermon series graphic that supports your message may feel daunting. Maybe it’s not about your gifting but more about where you want to spend your time and energy, which is likely primarily on writing and developing your teaching content.
Remember, your sermon series is a reflection of your church and is an important tool that God has given you to further His message. Using graphics and branded visual elements to support your series content is a powerful tool that will give your teaching a lasting impact and carry it further than words alone.
To learn more about the benefits and impact of sermon series graphics, effectively marketing your sermon series, and to access even more helpful tips and resources on choosing the right graphic for your sermon series, check out the full article, Sermon Series Graphics – The Ultimate Guide For Churches.
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