Christmas is approaching and by the first week of Advent you will have spent precious hours preparing to make the most of each Christmas service. For the first time since Easter, your teaching calendar will be in sync with popular culture – you don’t want to let the moment pass you by. So, let’s talk about how to promote your church Advent sermon series to your community.

Getting started early and promoting your Advent sermon series ahead of time is very important. Many who are not open to the Gospel message January through November are willing to attend church during the Christmas season and are more receptive to the story of Jesus.

When you combine the heightened spiritual awareness during December with an invitation to non-believers, a unique opportunity for life change is birthed. In order to draw the attention of potential visitors, you will need to be strategic in how you promote your Advent sermon series; that’s exactly what we’re going to help you with in this article.

Creating A Dynamic Advent Sermon Series

In the sections below we will look at how you can promote your Advent sermon series through:

  • Creating dynamic Advent sermon series graphics
  • Using video elements in your weekly services
  • Utilizing paid advertisement services
  • Using social media to your advantage

Successfully promoting Advent at your church doesn’t mean you have to do everything we will discuss. These are simply ideas and starting points to help communicate to those outside the walls of your church what will be happening inside the walls of your church in the weeks leading up to Christmas. Pick and choose the promotion tools that are right for you!

The first place to start with promoting your Advent sermon series (after you’ve planned your sermon series big idea) is choosing a dynamic series graphic to visually communicate the theme or angle of your series.

101 Christmas Series Ideas

A free ebook with ideas for Evangelistic, Expository, Traditional, and Topical Sermon Series Ideas for this Christmas Season.

Advent Sermon Series Graphics

Man creating graphics - Advent Sermon Series Dynamic Graphics
Creating dynamic graphics, for your Advent Sermon series, is one way to capture your congregations attention. It will also create a lasting impression of the message.

Sermon series graphics do much more than look pretty on your projector screens. They provide a visual identity for your sermons. They give visual learners a visual representation to connect to your big idea – and ultimately your call to respond. Sermon series graphics also provide your congregation with a consistent expectation for each week’s message.

As you begin to promote your upcoming Advent sermon series, a beautiful and well designed sermon series graphic is a compelling tease and powerful invitation to an upcoming Sunday. You can foreshadow the upcoming series across your campus and communication channels. A few ideas for where it might appear:

  • Preservice slideshow
  • Announcement during service
  • Weekly emails with start date
  • Bathroom stalls
  • Road banners with start date
  • Scripture graphics or quotes shared on social media
  • Monthly or seasonal printed calendar
  • In the sidebar of your website
  • Printed on your service handout

When you show excitement for any upcoming sermon series at your church, your congregation will become excited. First time or second time visitors will begin to sense that, “This Advent series is kind of a big deal for them,” and will be intrigued about what you have planned.

Services like Ministry Pass provide a strong head start for members by providing compelling sermon series graphics along with additional elements. The moment you commit to your sermon series title you can immediately download graphics that are ready to be used in your promotion.

In a world of competing messages, compelling artwork will help your message get noticed when it otherwise would have been passed over.

If your church has a full-time graphic designer or a member who is a professional graphic artist, you can also enlist their services. It’s important that your artwork be well designed because in a world of competing messages, compelling artwork will help your message get noticed when it otherwise would have been passed over. Artwork that feels like it’s been thrown together using free tools on the internet will communicate something about your series. In the same way, well designed art work stands out and shows you care about your message series.

The message communicated through your artwork will carry over into expectations for your message.

Advent Sermon Series Videos

Another great way to promote your upcoming Advent sermon series is with video. Video is a bit of a double edged sword for churches. On one hand, quality video requires time and money. There are plenty of examples of churches who mean well with videos but wind up alienating outsiders with ‘you had to be there’ sketches and language.

On the flip side, a well done sermon series video can bring your series artwork to life and communicate expectations beyond a two dimensional image. With video, you can communicate larger truths in 15-30 second clips and construct an identity for your series before you preach your first message.

Ministry Pass members have access to sermon series intro videos as well as countdown videos that match the series artwork, giving pastors immediate access to something professional. If you don’t have someone on your creative team who has skills in video production or editing, we recommend finding a person or a couple people who are willing to learn.

Video is something that is here to stay so investing in this method of communication is a good bet.

Promoting Your Advent Sermon Series with Facebook Ads

Once you have your hands on your series graphics, you can begin promoting to your congregation and to the surrounding community. The idea of spending money to promote your series might be something that you haven’t considered in the past or have made the conscience decision not to do.

It is incredibly important to be responsible with finances and before spending money on promotion, you want to make sure it is a wise investment. When you consider the amount of time and energy you will put into preparing and preaching your Advent sermon series, it makes sense to fill as many seats in your church as possible for each sermon. Just like there is a cost to promote your series, there is a cost to writing each sermon. If you are investing quality time in study and prep work for your message, you can justify spending funds to expand the reach of the message God has prepared.

Millennials on their phones - Advent Sermon Series Facebook Ads Graphic
Facebook has over 2 billions users; chances are your congregation is there too. Plan out ads to help promote your Advent sermon series that target those who like your Facebook along with the community you serve in.

While there are many avenues of promotion you can invest in, there are few avenues that will give you more return for a minimal financial investment than Facebook Ads.

Facebook is the place most people congregate online. Because of this, it’s the perfect place to spend some advertising dollars. And the great thing is, the cost-benefit ratio is phenomenal.

A single post can reach as many as 1,000 people with $5 in ad spend. The more you spend, the more people you will reach. You could reach as many as 5,000 people by spending $40-$50 on a single post.

What You Should Include In Your Facebook Post

As we mentioned above, your sermon series graphic will look awesome on your projectors. On Facebook, it won’t come across with the same level of energy or excitement. In fact, in most cases your sermon series graphic will be ‘insider material’ to an outsider, requiring some sort of greater context for it to add value.

Use visual imagery that tells the story of your church and visually represents the makeup of your church.

Instead of sharing your sermon series image, you want to share an image that projects what it will be like to attend your church. Visitors ultimately want to know, “Is this church for people like me?” Most pastors will immediately say, “Absolutely, we are for everyone!” but if you look around at the people who make up the personality of your church, certain traits and personality types will stand out over others.

The images and photos you use in social media and for your Facebook ads need to answer questions like:

  • What are the people like at this church?
  • What type of clothes do they wear?
  • What are the typical ages of attendees?
  • Does it feel like a safe environment?
  • (Parents will want to know) Is it a safe place where their kids will feel comfortable?

There may be a time or place to use your sermon series graphic, but the best rule of thumb is to use visual imagery that tells the story of your church and visually represents the makeup of your church.

There may be a time or place to use your sermon series graphic, but the best rule of thumb is to use visual imagery that tells the story of your church and visually represents the makeup of your church.

Taking Great Photos for Promotion on Facebook

Taking Great Photos for Promotion on Facebook
Capturing photos is a great way to share what is taking place at your church.

The best place to take photos that communicate the personality of your church is before, during, and after a weekend service. Recruit a volunteer who is a skilled photographer (or hire a professional) and ask them to take 300-400 photos during weekend services. Using their photos, you can start to build a library of real people that help visitors decide if your church is a church for them.

Take photos of a family walking up to the front doors of the church. Take pictures of people talking to one another. Take pictures of the volunteers in the parking lot directing traffic. Take pictures of the youth hanging out after service. Capture real people doing real things.

Creating A Great Video for Facebook Promotion

In addition to using photos that capture your church’s demographic, you could record a short video of various 2-3 second clips from around your campus over the weekend. Keep the overall video short and replace the video audio with music similar to the style of your church’s worship service.

 

Clips fir iOS from Apple - Creating an Advent promotional video
Apple’s Clips app is a great, free app to download to your iOS device and combine clips from several different videos shot on your iPhone.

If you have access to an iPhone or iPad, Apple has a fantastic app called Clips which will help you take your short clips, put them together in a video, add some music and maybe some opening or closing text.

As great as tools like Clips can be, you should still try to recruit someone who is familiar with taking video, understands basic composition and framing, and can tell a very simple story.

Writing A Great Social Post for Promoting on Facebook

Once you have a great photo or video, the next step is to craft a great message to go along with it. It might be tempting to say something like, “We’d love to see you on Sunday,” or, “We’re starting our Advent series this week,” but neither of those things really appeal to the reader who has no idea who you are – or even what Advent is.

Since you’re promoting an Advent sermon series, a great post message could look something like, “Looking for a new, more meaningful way to celebrate Christmas with your family this year? Celebrate Advent with us, starting Sunday, December 2 at Faith Community Church.”

That’s just one example of appealing to the need of the reader who is ready to darken the doorway of a church. By casting a vision for a brighter Christmas you will capture their attention and compel them to take the next step of visiting your church during weekend services.

Ideas for Using Instagram to Promote Your Advent Sermon Series

If you move forward with recruiting a volunteer to take photos during your weekend services, you should consider using Instagram to help promote your upcoming Advent series. You can create a mixture of posts that are staged or caught in real time. You can also incorporate images that depict quotes or elements of your series graphics.

Here are a few types of photos you could take to promote an Advent sermon series on Instagram:

  • People outside your church walking toward the doors (if you’re in an area that is cold and snowy, this will be a specially cool shot)
  • People getting coffee or hot chocolate (this is especially good when you’re in an area that will be cold)
  • Someone holding out an invite card featuring the Advent series graphic
  • Someone sitting and reading a physical Bible (you could promote some daily readings with this one)
  • Kids laughing and smiling in Kids’ Ministry (be sure not to forget photo release forms)
  • Your pastor preaching (and caption it with a quote from one of the Advent sermons)
  • Greeters smiling and holding the door open for people (smile, smile, smile)

Tagging your location and adding hashtags to your post will help your content be found by those close to you, geographically speaking. If you have never posted on Instagram, create an account for your church, take a photo of your building and then post that as your first image. Be sure and add your location and a few hashtags, starting with your city.

Using Email to Rally Your Congregation and Promote Your Big Idea

Composing email - email marketing for Advent Sermon Series
Email is a great tool that connects you and your staff directly to your congregation outside of weekend services. Compose an email that sets the stage for how your church is going to be celebrating Advent and why you’re excited about the upcoming series.

Email is one of the most powerful promotion tools you have available to you. For many churches, it is also the most underutilized tool as well.

You can’t control who sees your posts on social media. You can’t control who shows up on a Sunday morning leading up to week one of your Advent sermon series.

If you have someone’s email address, you can control when you reach out to them and what they’ll see when your email arrives in their inbox.

Through email, you can create several lead-up messages to excite your congregation about your Advent series, and not only encourage them to attend, tell them to invite guests to attend with them!

If you want to pursue email (which you totally should), it is important that you have a plan for what you will say, over how many emails, and when those emails should go out. To help you gain a better picture of what being strategic through email could look like, here is a sample timeline you could follow to promote your upcoming Advent sermon series.

  • 1 Week Out – Tell your congregation about the series and encourage them to invite friends and family to join you for the start of the series.
  • 1 Week In – Highlight the main point from the first week’s sermon and encourage them to invite someone to join them for the upcoming service.
  • 1 Week Before Christmas – Remind your congregation that going to church around Christmas isn’t “weird” for most people and that they don’t need to feel awkward when inviting someone (co-worker, neighbor, stranger, etc.) to join them.

There are certainly other email strategies you can use to go along with Advent (like emailing a devotional or resources for Advent). But sending emails specifically to encourage your people to invite others can be very effective.

Just think about how many times you check your email in a day. A lot, right? Probably too many, but that’s for a different article.

Keep Your Emails Personal

Most email marketing services allow you to add personalization elements to your emails like inserting the recipient’s first name. Use these. The key is to send an email and make it feel like it is a one-on-one conversation, not a mass email.

Another thing you can do is make the From name and email address yours or another staff member’s. So instead of saying “From: Faith Community Church, info@faithcommunitychurch.com,” you could have it read “From: Pastor John Allan, john@faithcommunitychurch.com” or another person on staff. It’s more personal this way and puts others in touch with a real person, not a faceless organization.

Keep Your Emails Short and to the Point

The way we normally send emails is short and to the point. Keep your church-wide emails the same. Especially emails like the ones we’re talking about here.

Use Plain Text Emails – Especially If You’re Just Getting Started

There is always a temptation to want to ‘spice up’ emails we send to our entire congregation. Adding graphics, colors, various fonts, and other non-essential visual effects isn’t necessary.

There are three things that matter when you send your email.

  1. Knowing who you’re sending to
  2. 👆 Writing content that is interesting to those people
  3. Creating a subject line that compels them to open the message

Everything else is just icing on the cake. If you want to include a graphic, include your series graphic image. Don’t put pressure on yourself to create something visually stunning, after all the emails we send and receive to and from individuals are often just text. Sometimes ‘just text’ is the best way to keep it personal.

Advent Sermon Series Invite Cards: A Great Option, But Count the Cost

A staple for church events is the invite card. Whether it’s a business card sized invitation or postcard sized, it’s one of the easiest ways to get information into the hands of your congregation to then pass along to others.

Simple is typically better for these cards. A great approach for your Advent sermon series would be to have your artwork on the front of a card and on the back, share your service times, website, and physical address.

Once you have an invite card design you feel good about, you can find online services to print your cards, or, better yet, find a local business to establish a good relationship with. Local printers can be a bit more costly, but they can offer a lot more personalized care and faster turnaround times.

As you’re choosing the type of paper you want to use, think about how the paper and print will communicate. Think about letters or note cards you’ve received in the past that made you say, “Wow!” Likewise, think about those flyers you were handed coming out of a theater by the guy standing on the sidewalk, “Here, throw this away.”

You want your invite cards to be something people look at and hold, thinking, “This is nice.” Stay away from the flyer-under-the-wiper vibe.

Once printed, you can place invite cards on your chairs or pews in the sanctuary the week before the launch of your Advent sermon series. Repeat the same placement for the following two to three weeks, continuing to mention them from the stage and provide your congregation with reasons for why they should use them to invite others.

In addition to having these on the chairs or pews, keep a stash at your Welcome Desk or your equivalent. Some people will take a stack and hand them out. Some people won’t take any. Regardless, invite cards can be a great way to promote your Advent sermon series.

Stepping Out of Your Comfort Zone to Promote Your Series

Team planning and working on promoting your Advent sermon series project
You and your team have done a fantastic job preparing for this Advent series, now it’s time to put it all to practice.

If you’ve never promoted a series before or if you’ve never gone out of your way to market your church, it might feel a bit odd to start marketing for Christmas.

The truth is that people in your surrounding community need Jesus. They are also being bombarded with thousands of messages everyday, vying for their attention. The Holy Spirit is hard at work and will move the hearts of men and women as He wills. But, just as a sailor has the responsibility to raise the sails in order to be moved by the wind, so we have the responsibility to raise our sails through reaching out to the community, communicating the movement God is doing in our churches, and then trust the Spirit to bring the wind.

An Advent sermon series is a perfect opportunity to help bring a biblical perspective to Christmas for those who find themselves overwhelmed by consumerism. The origins of Advent were all about remembering the past and looking forward to the future, and your series, illustrations, individual messages, and Advent hymns could provide the experience needed for those people to finally see the significance and truth of the Christmas story.

Working hard to put your sermon series in front of as many people as possible is the responsibility we have as leaders. So let’s raise the sails and trust God to bring the wind this Christmas.

101 Christmas Series Ideas

A free ebook with ideas for Evangelistic, Expository, Traditional, and Topical Sermon Series Ideas for this Christmas Season.