Effective Church Communications Podcast by Yvon Prehn
By Yvon Prehn
Church communication is one of the most challenging ministries because it is the connection hub of the entire church. To do it effectively requires more than the latest images, social media, and technology tips. You need timeless strategy, inspiration, and Biblical challenges that work no matter what tech tools and channels you use, the size of your church, or age of your audience. You'll get them here. This podcast is part of the ministry of Effective Church Communications, www.effectivechurchcom.com. Go there for articles, resources, training, and templates that are ministry-effective.
#28 How to Make the Most of Halloween for Evangelism
Halloween—it has become such a contentious time in the church. Even mentioning the term "Halloween" upsets some because of its pagan origins. In response to that, many churches have switched from calling "Halloween" events to "Fall Festivals." I get it; I totally understand but bear with me a minute and consider that changing the name in this way takes away some of the potentials for using this holiday as an evangelism outreach time. What follows is not another Christian justification as to why you should let your kids go trick or treating, but an attempt to help you see how Halloween can be used as a significant time for evangelism. It really doesn't matter ultimately if you change the name or not but I want you to understand why I even bring up this point. The Apostle Paul said we should be all things to all people that we might win some and my contemporary paraphrase of his imperative of evangelism is that we need to use EVERY opportunity, every holiday, every time that we can to introduce people to Jesus. Please consider what I'm about to share in this podcast and I hope you'll agree that Halloween can be one of the best times of the year to motivate people to consider the gospel. To download FREE copies of the materials mentioned in the podcast on the Effective Church Communications website, CLICK HERE.
September 25, 2022
#27 Game changer! The loss of comprehension of cursive—what it means to church communicators and what to do about it
This topic is incredibly important for you to understand before you do ANY more outreach advertising, encouragement, or communications creation of any kind if you want the maximum number of people in your church and community to be able to read them. The reason for my urgent message is the realization that many people today cannot read cursive writing and that includes ALL the wonderful script fonts we like to use so much in our designs for church communications. That includes the group of templates I had ready to send out to you that I need to update. (Sigh.) This is not a happy post for me to write. I don't like change any more than the average person and to have to change something as basic and natural to me as writing cursive and using wonderful script fonts in communication design just seems like a bit much to deal with. When I am feeling grumpy like this I remind myself that the communication I do isn't about me, but about a world that needs Jesus and NOTHING should be too much to do, little or big if it can help us reach them. So I slap myself, ask for forgiveness and create a podcast, blog, and video about it. First I'll give you a little background on how I became aware of the loss of the ability to read cursive and then some very practical steps on what to do about it. Please go to the link here on the Effective Church Communications website for a printed version of this podcast and for the link to the video I did illustrating how you can make changes in response: https://wp.me/pDky9-9BJ
September 25, 2022
#26 Church Communications Survey Results and Comments
A few weeks ago, I did a survey to find out more about what church communicators are using currently and what they need to do their work more effectively. In today’s podcast, I’ll talk about the Results of the Church Communications Survey Summary, I'll give you some comments on it and what we'll be doing in response to it in the Effective Church Communications Ministry. For a transcript of the podcast, go to the link here: https://wp.me/pDky9-9zZ To sign up for the Effective Church Communications ministry newsletter and get notifications of the new free templates, training and related materials CLICK HERE.
July 28, 2022
#25 How the 5 Steps and Successful Seasonal Strategy Work Together
Seasonal events are an easy and natural way to invite guests to church—that begins the process They are ALSO a way to grow your congregation as disciples—that helps complete the process This podcast will go through each step and illustrate how to practically accomplish each step with Easter communications--keeping in mind that the same processes will work with every holiday or special event. For more resources, training, inspiration, and free templates to help you become a more effective church communicator, go to https://www.effectivechurchcom.com.
March 11, 2022
#24 Successful Seasonal Celebrations
Churches often have a great turnout for a special event or holiday, but few have the same number returning the following week. This podcast will show you how to change that and make holidays and celebrations time to grow your church in numbers and your people in spiritual maturity. For more resources, training, inspiration, and free templates to help you become a more effective church communicator, go to https://www.effectivechurchcom.com.
March 11, 2022
#23 A strategic plan to grow your church in numbers and your people in spiritual maturity--The 5 Steps of Effective Church Communications and Marketing
Why do you do all the hard work you do in church communications? In the podcast today I want to inspire you with a practical strategy to create communications that will help your church fully fulfill the Great Commission. All churches work hard to communicate their message and events to the people in the church and those outside the church they want to reach. However, most church communicators would agree that they are not as successful as they wish they were. They try new tools, new designs, new media campaigns, and still many churches are not growing in numbers, and even more disappointing for church leadership, many in the church are not maturing in their faith. What you need to turn around declining church attendance and spiritual maturity-- What you need isn't another media campaign, new technology, or catchy design. You need a strategy—a strategic plan that will work no matter what your denomination, budget, or the media preferences of your church that will grow your church in numbers and your people in spiritual maturity. The Five Steps of Effective Church Communication and Marketing will give you that strategy. CLICK here to go to the Effective Church Communications website where there are links to a chart and downloadable video that will further illustrate this strategy any church can implement to take people from outside the church and grow them into mature disciples.
March 11, 2022
#22 What would make you a more effective Church Communicator?
Church Communicators do an extraordinary job and often with little training for their demanding work. In this episode, I want to introduce you to an exciting new resource for you--the Effective Church Communications Library. In the podcast, I'll share what motivated me to put this resource together and some specific areas it can help you with. Here is the link to go to the Effective Church Communications Library: https://yvonprehn.podia.com/ecclibrary For many more resources to help you in church communications, go to: https://www.effectivechurchcom.com.
October 20, 2020
#21 A non-technical solution to giving for churches that are not meeting
To meet the challenge of how to keep donations coming into churches when they can't meet together is to emphasize or launch online giving. And though it's a great solution, it isn't realistic for every church, either financially or because a number of people in the church simply will not use it. To solve that challenge this podcast proposes an idea that will not only keep needed financial donations coming in, but that will minister to the scattered members, some of whom may be lonely and afraid. Technology is wonderful, but sometimes non-tech solutions can be solved in simple ways. For more information on church communications, and for the links mentioned in the podcast, go to https://wp.me/pDky9-8OO
March 18, 2020
#20 Summer Strategies for Church Communications
Whoever wrote that song, "Summertime and the livin' is easy" did not work in church communications. The pace and type of activities change in the summer, but with Bible camps and special events, there is a lot of work to be done. Hi, I'm Yvon Prehn and welcome to the Effective Church Communications Podcast! In our podcast today I'll give you some tips for more effective summer communications. Please go to the website www.effectivechurchcom.com for FREE TEMPLATES of communications that you can use for effective outreach this summer. There are many more on the site for communications at other times, so check it out. Here is the direct link to the FREE Templates: https://wp.me/PDky9-7oe
December 08, 2019
#19 D-Day and Church Communications: with words from C.S. Lewis and memories of my Grandfather as they left England the morning of D-Day
Today is the 75th anniversary of D-Day and while we commemorate and honor the sacrifices of those who stormed the beaches of Normandy I think it is appropriate to remind everyone who is involved in Church Communications that you are daily involved in storming the strongholds of Satan to win people to Jesus. To do that I want to share 3 things: A quote from C.S. Lewis and how it applies to us as church communicators A challenge for church communicators about the reality of spiritual warfare Finally, a memory of D-Day from my adopted grandfather as they were boarding the boats to take them from England to Normandy. For the rest of the content and to hear my grandfather's story, go to: https://wp.me/pDky9-8w0
June 06, 2019
#18 Father's Day—Beyond celebration—how to make the ministry most of it to grow Dads spiritually
It's easy to look at Father's Day as just another holiday to do up a special bulletin and social media for and to say a few nice things about Dads during the church service. But did you know you can do so much more as communicators for Jesus? We need to constantly remind ourselves in the crush of trivia and distraction that our job is not to be a holy version of Hallmark where our goal is to have the most appealing Father's Day social media and PowerPoint ever, but that our primary job in communications, as in all of life if we are followers of Jesus, is to grow as his disciples and to share his message of salvation—in other words, to fully fulfill the Great Commission. This podcast will inspire you to see how much you can do for Fathers on their special day, plus preview and provide church communications tools and templates that will help you do all the things we talk about. The free templates and resources for Father's Day are at: https://www.effectivechurchcom.com
May 30, 2019
#17 SPECIAL PODCAST: Yvon Prehn reading "One Mother's Prayer"
This short piece, One Mother's Prayer, is a true story that is both an encouragement to pray for children and an assurance of the power of prayer to change a destiny. The written version been published more times than anything else I've written. It was first published in Today's Christian Woman magazine. Then it was included in their Best of Ten Years of writings, it has been reprinted and republished all over the world, and it continues to bring tears to the eyes of any group I read it to. This year I decided to record it and I'll put the embed code at this link: https://wp.me/pDky9-5HO You are free to use it any way you want and share it however you want. In addition to the audio file at that link is also a Free ZIP FILE of PDF formats: 2 more 8 1/2 by 11 plus 4 other versions on half sheet size plus the jpgs of the larger files and an MS Word text file if you want to create your own publication. This is a great resource not only for Mother's Day, but any time of the year for Mom's groups and prayer groups.
May 06, 2019
#16 Mother's Day--Make the Most of the Untapped Potential for Evangelism and Outreach
Mother's Day gets the third highest attendance at church right behind Christmas and Easter. What churches often forget is that the large increase in people does not come from more Mothers attending--they are there every week! It comes from the unchurched children and spouses who show up to make mom happy on her special day. Churches that recognize this and use church communications in a way that makes the most of it can make it a day truly worth celebrating for Mom's because nothing is more wonderful to a Mother than for her child to come to know Jesus. This podcast will give you an overview of some of the strategies and communications you can use to give Mom's what they want more than anything else for Mother's Day--a way for their unchurched spouses and children to come to know Jesus. For access to the many FREE TEMPLATES that will help you do this, go to: https://wp.me/PDky9-7d0
April 30, 2019
#15 What can happen if you work hard on your event, but don’t have time to work communications FOR the event
Will you get the same number of people the Sunday after Easter that you have on Easter Sunday? We know we won’t, but in Today’s podcast we’ll talk about how you can increase the response by what you do on Easter Sunday. First, I'll share the true story about a church plant of 300 (growing and doing well) that had an off-site Easter service they aggressively marketed. 1,500 people showed up for the Easter service, but the Sunday after Easter, they were back to 300, because of a simple, easy-to-correct mistake. I'll share with you why that happened and how you can prevent it from happening to your church.
April 16, 2019
#14 Was Jesus a Zombie? Consider this question before you finalize your Easter Sermon
Was Jesus a zombie? Please understand, there is no irreverence or shock value intended with this question. It was an honestly asked question from someone who was totally unfamiliar with church. After I got over my shock of being asked this question (and a short time later I was asked it from someone else), I did a podcast that coincided with Halloween, but I think it is also appropriate for the Easter Season so I am re-recording it for Effective Church Communications. The rest of the podcast is primarily directed towards people outside the church, but I'm sharing it with church communicators and I hope with Pastors and those who prepare sermons for Easter to help you remember that if you did a good job on outreach to get unchurched people to come to your church for Easter, you need to think carefully about the audience you'll have. Many more people than those of us who grew up in the church can imagine did not grow up with ANY exposure to the church or the Bible. The implications of that reality are vast. You can't count on them knowing anything about the true story of Jesus, but they will come into the church with many pop culture ideas about life after death. I can't tackle them all, but now I'd like to tackle just one aspect of it—the question of........Was Jesus a Zombie? For a copy of the script of this podcast and for links to the free templates you can use to connect with people who visit your church for Easter go to: https://wp.me/pDky9-8tm
April 10, 2019
#13 Make it OK for visitors to reject Jesus at Easter
What are your expectations for Easter at your church? Especially for those that are visiting for the first time and who may be totally unfamiliar with the Christian faith? In answer to that question, I'd like to propose that you Make it OK for visitors to reject Jesus at your Easter Service and in our podcast today I'll tell you why. Before you consign this podcast and the blog that goes with it to me being a total heretic who thinks "everybody gets saved in the end, no matter who or what they believe in" —be assured nothing could be further from my intention. I take very seriously the truth that if people do not have a saving relationship with Jesus Christ (and only Jesus Christ, no other savior) they will spend eternity in endless suffering separated from God. That's why I want to share 5 reasons why you need to make it OK for visitors to reject Jesus at Easter. Be assured, we won't stop at their rejection, but I'll give you suggestions on how to move that rejection into exploration and ultimately acceptance. While you are planning ways to invite people and your PR for Easter, keep these ideas in mind and realize that Easter is just the start of a relationship with unchurched people. CLICK HERE for the blog and links to FREE templates that will help you connect with visitors this Easter.
April 09, 2019
#12 Connection Cards—What really works best to get people back to your church after Easter is one of the least impressive things you do
Many churches go all out for Easter celebrations: special music, drama, free food, an Easter egg hunt or petting zoo for the kids. Though all these things are fun and may impress visitors with the ability of your church to put on a special event, there is one thing they probably won't do—get people to return to church the next Sunday. Almost every church experiences disappointment the Sunday after Easter because few of the visitors return. It doesn't have to be this way. In this podcast we'll talk about 3 Reasons why big, special, Easter events won't get people back next Sunday. That's the bad news. The good news is that one of the least impressive things you do, the lowly communication tool of a Connection Card, can do what the big events can't. The big events might get people there on ONE Sunday, but it's the quiet link the Connect Card provides that will help them come back. On the Effective Church Communication website, CLICK HERE to go to a downloadable collection of Connection Cards that are in both ready-to-print PDF format and editable MS Publisher files.
April 04, 2019
#11 Beyond the Easter Egg Hunt—ways to involve children in Easter outreach and evangelism
Many churches hold Easter Eggs hunts of various kinds, petting zoos and other events for the children of their communities and that’s wonderful, but here are some ideas for ways that you can involve the children themselves in outreach and evangelism for Easter. In addition to the resources for children, I have a resource you can use to help parents share the true meaning of Easter with their children and the children of the neighborhood. Here are the three Resources that I’ll talk about: · Invitations for Children to give their friends · The Jelly Bean Prayer · Resurrection Cookie Recipe These resources and many more free templates and tips for Effective Church Communications are at http://www.effectivechurchcom.com.
March 24, 2019
#10 Why just "Come to Easter at Our Church" isn't enough in your Easter Outreach materials
What do you think it is in your Easter Outreach materials that will draw people outside the church to your Easter Services? We know many people will visit our churches for Easter events—how can we connect them not only with the church, but with a relationship with Jesus? Why just "Come to Easter at Our Church" isn't enough in your Easter Outreach materials I'm part of several church communication discussion groups and recently people have been sharing their outreach ideas for Easter. They all look great, but I am concerned that many of them simply say something like "Easter at whatever the church is." Now there is nothing wrong with that if you go to the church and want your people to know what time your services are being held. But there is a challenge with an invitation like that if you want to use Easter as a time to reach out to your community. This podcast will remind you that many unchurched people have no idea why Churches celebrate Easter. They think it's all about bunnies and brunch; chocolate and Spring. We have a great opportunity from the time we send out our first invitational materials to remind them that Easter is about so much more. I'll share ideas on how to do that and on the website http://www.effectivechurchcom.com are free templates and text messages you can use to help people understand that Jesus is the reason for the Easter Season!
March 20, 2019
#9 What if your church did NO advertising for Easter? Or other seasonal outreach times? Try this Biblical alternative!
What if your church did NO advertising for Easter? No sending out of postcards purchased from some national company that end up looking like the several other churches produce. Hi I'm Yvon Prehn and welcome to the Effective Church Communications Podcast! Today we'll talk about alternatives that you can do in-house--by your people that can accomplish much more. As I mentioned in the intro--Far too often, when a church is planning a major holiday outreach, a catalog of professionally produced postcards are selected, purchased and mailed out by the church. This can cost a lot of money, but sometimes a smaller church desperately wants to try something that might result in growth, so they spend money, that perhaps could have been used for other things and try it. Statistically, as the companies will tell you a certain number ought to respond and though we rejoice if even one new person comes and ultimately comes to know Jesus as Savior because of that process, let me suggest another strategy that is more biblical, more successful, and that will probably save your church some money also. CLICK HERE to check out a blog post on this, plus links to FREE TEMPLATES that will enable you to create your own outreach materials.
March 11, 2019
#8 What Tesla can teach us about successful church marketing
Did you know that Tesla sells more luxury cars than any other company? I was surprised when I read that statistic, but even more interested when I read how they did it. Let me share the terlerati.com comment on it and then I'll talk about how this inspired me about discipleship and church marketing. Quickly, name one advertisement you’ve seen recently from Tesla Motors themselves? OK, name any advertisement you’ve seen from the company, ever? Tesla’s marketing strategy is as disruptive as its business model. It lets you and I advertise for them, for free. . . . . Tesla does not spend millions of dollars in a traditional ad campaign. They let you and I discuss it, rave about it, hate on it, or rejoice in the spirit of going electric in a Tesla, be the catalyst to a viral and brilliant marketing campaign. At the end of the day, Tesla advertising is free. Wouldn't that be great to have the same kind of success in marketing the events at our churches? Some ideas on how we can motivate our people to do that are what the rest of the podcast is about. To download the FREE Templates that go with the podcast, go to: https://wp.me/pDky9-8p3
March 05, 2019
#7 Don't default to Magical Thinking when planning your seasonal outreach
Easter is fast approaching and as we look at all the work ahead, don't you wish that people would magically appear at your events after one announcement from the pulpit or one notice in the bulletin and in social media? Not only that, wouldn't it be wonderful if they'd magically come back and start attending the church regularly after one visit? But we know it probably won't work out like this will it? Today our topic is: Don't default to Magical Thinking when planning your seasonal outreach You might protest that you would NEVER count on magic to do anything in the church and mean it. But unfortunately, the communication actions in many churches tell a different story because. . . . . Magical thinking takes place when you assume that simply by doing certain things, you will get the results you want without actually doing the hard work you need to do to get them And sadly, churches do this all the time and wonder why they don’t get the results they want from their outreach. In today’s Podcast we’ll go over FIVE examples of Magical Thinking in church seasonal communications, why they don’t work and what you need to do instead of Magical Thinking to assure the response you want at your church for your seasonal celebrations. For the FREE TEMPLATES mentioned in the Podcast and many other resources and articles related to this topic, go to http://www.effectivechurchcom.com.
February 22, 2019
#6 Hark the Herald Angels Sing--But WHY?
This is an audio file of our very popular Christmas letter that shares the gospel message of Christmas in the format of a popular Christmas carol. Please listen and be encouraged and download and share with others. Free printable copies of the message can be downloaded at p.me/pDky9-8kH.
December 10, 2018
#5 More than a Pretty Face--Free Templates with a Ministry Strategy
There are lots of church communication templates out there, so why should you use our? First of all they are FREE, but more than that there are 4 reasons why our templates are unique. Next, they are in PDF and MS Publisher format so they can either be printed immediately or easily modified. Most important is that our templates are more than a pretty face, but actually visual representations of ministry strategy to help people come to know Jesus as Savior and grow to Christian maturity. To go to the Templates, go to: https://www.effectivechurchcom.com/templates/
November 26, 2018
#4 Don't be a Secret Saint, a better way to do outreach!
Have you ever been in a situation where you do outreach activities or acts of kindness as part of your church, but you never see anybody come to church because of it? Well, I've got some ideas for you that can change that. In today's episode, we'll talk about how if you don't actively interact with the people you are doing outreach to or create communications for them, they don't have the opportunity to come to your church or explore the Christian faith more fully. Take a few minutes to listen and don't be a Secret Saint--get your message out there!
November 14, 2018
#3 Recognize & win in the biggest challenge in church communications—spiritual warfare
What would make your work go better as a church communicator? Is it if you had better tools? A bigger budget? More time? Though all those issues are important, we are going to talk about how the work you are doing is more than what it seems--it is spiritual warfare for the souls of people. In our podcast today I’ll give you 5 Suggestions for ways to increase your spiritual resources and strength for your work.
October 12, 2018
#2 A Better Way to Use Halloween for Outreach, plus Was Jesus A Zombie?
Many churches are concerned about the evils of Halloween and that's understandable, but it can be a fantastic time to energize your people for outreach and challenge people with spiritual realities. The question, Was Jesus a Zombie? isn't being irreverent, it's a honest question from a totally unchurched person and completely understandable as Zombies are the primary picture popular media has of those who return from the dead. The answer of course is a resounding "no." In addition to a thoughtful answer we've got resources you can use to in answering this question and many other Halloween outreach free templates and tools on the www.effectivechurchcom.com website.
October 11, 2018
#1 How to not be overwhelmed with technology changes & challenges
How should you respond when you read something online that by the power of the stories or statistics shared, makes you feel that if you don’t immediately respond to the technology advertised your church will be left behind ….in reaching your world, being up-to-date, or in some other implied way that has you hit the button for a “FREE TRIAL?” We’ll answer that question in today’s Podcast as part of what I’m calling: A BETTER WAY This series of podcasts was born out of my frustration with things happening in church communications and instead of simply being snarky and ranting about these issues, I felt it would be much more honoring to the Lord to reframe them and suggest A BETTER WAY to deal with these things. In this podcast, I’ll cover two areas: 1. The source of technology fears & how to inoculate yourself against them 2. How to response to true technology changes that impact your ministry Please go to http://www.effectivechurchcom.com for show notes on this episode and other tips, training, and free templates to help you be a more effective church communicator.
October 07, 2018