God wants to communicate with us – this is the simple message of religion. If this is so then we should want to communicate this message with the world around us. Where is the Church in an age when we are bombarded by advertising on television, radio, billboards, newspapers, emails and supermarket bags? Often conspicuously absent, with the exception of the Salvation Army.
Scroll down to watch two videos about the book and it’s impact
If this bothers you, especially at the local level, then this book can help you get your church noticed. Neil Pugmire offers 100 suggestions of a great variety.
He covers the obvious church noticeboards (outside and inside the building), and our weekly sheets, parish magazines and websites. But he also looks at modern social media such as Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. There are also useful ideas about connecting with the community around your church, as well as liaising with the media.
Some of the ideas may not be suitable for many churches especially in NZ with our paucity of medieval/touristy church buildings but most can be used or adapted to the local scene with a bit of imagination and effort. A lot hinges on the two broad suggestions Neil outlines at the beginning of the book.
These are, firstly, gather a team of folk who are interested in communication to co-ordinate publicity. Then, secondly, create a parish ‘logo’.
Start with a Good Logo
Neil has ideas about how to do this, and is keen that this is done properly, even to the extent of hiring a graphics designer. This logo is to be attached to everything connected to the church – website, newsletters, flyers, welcome packs, and external noticeboards – so it should be flexible and of the best quality.
Many of his ideas would work better with a good logo so it is worth not skimping on this section. After each idea we are given a list of actions under ‘How to do it’. This step-by step-approach is very helpful. Many ideas do require a financial budget that might seem beyond many parishes’ ability but not all of them.
]There will always be something that a concerned group can do. And it might be possible to encourage external help. For instance, good quality videos and photographs might be beyond many members but there might be those in the community who are good at such things and could be encouraged to offer their services free, or at cost.
I suggest that a group from each parish wade through the book picking out a few good ideas that might just work. These might not be the grandest ideas in the book, nor the ones that might bring the most impact but they could be the ones which are achievable and would stimulate further efforts.
If you want your parish to be known for more than money raising and esoteric activities, then buy the book, check out their website and let the community know who you really are. Even if only one idea works for you it will be worth the modest investment.