Preparing a sermon takes weeks (even months) of preparation and intense effort, crafting a message that must communicate to a wide-ranging audience.
At the end of all that planning you want strong sermon series graphics to illustrate your teaching and help your sermon stick, but you don’t necessarily want or have the time to think through what the right series graphic is or how to support your messages visually.
Finding or creating a visual that supports your message is a big job – and one that needs to be done right, otherwise you’re just creating unnecessary noise that distracts from your message.
As a pastor, you obviously have your heart centered on teaching and developing your congregation to learn and grow in their spiritual walks with God; it is your calling.
You care about those who are on the receiving end of the message God has given you and, at the very least, want to be used as an inspiring voice that God speaks through.
It can be easy, however, to lose sight of your overall mission when you are bogged down with the details and logistics of sermon series planning. You invest the time crafting your message and power through the details because in the end, it is that effort that can have a tremendous and lasting impact on listeners.
Now more than ever it is vital that your end-product, the series vision, be properly supported through high impact sermon series graphics. By high-impact, we meant highly illustrative visuals that exist to further your message, help key points stick and eliminate noise distracting from the message.
Sermon series graphics provide another layer to your teaching that will communicate the message you are trying to get across – the message God has given you.
Sermon graphics will also add a creative layer to your content that will undoubtedly speak to people in a variety of ways.
People need something to respond to – something tangible that they can relate to – and sermon series graphics add another element to your content that will help express the message you’re trying to convey.
Sermon series graphics not only support your message content, but – if they are done well – can help get people excited about attending your next series. This excitement can also turn into motivation for your congregation to invite others.
You didn’t go to seminary to become a graphic designer. Maybe you enjoy putting together sermon graphics, maybe you dread it. Regardless, your job is to prepare and preach compelling sermons and that’s where your time should be focused.
You are a pastor and God has called you to teach and shepherd His people and your time is better spent in prayer, research, and sermon development rather than trying to create a series graphic. Our desire is to help you stay where you belong rather than getting caught up in the weeds of creating graphics.
The good news is that there are done-for-you resources available to you, such as Ministry Pass along with dozens of others, that have already done the hard work of designing excellent sermon series graphics, which replace limited time and design skills with enjoyable, high-impact graphics.
In this article, we will show you exactly how to find, choose, and implement sermon series graphics in a way that will set your teaching up to win! We want to equip you with tools, tips and inspiration to get you and your team’s creative juices flowing and help get you excited about how sermon graphics can support your weekend messages.
So whether you are a staff of one or many, we’ve got the resources to support you along the way and keep you doing what you do best.
Why Sermon Series Graphics Matter
We will touch on this more, but the bottom line is this: a graphic isn’t just a graphic. It’s another element or layer to your story. It’s an aid to helping you achieve the impact you are wanting to have on your guests as well as regular attendees and members.
Sermon series graphics are a tool that can be leveraged to motivate guests to attend, inspire your church community to live more like Jesus, encourage your attendees and members to promote the big idea, and ultimately, inspire Christians to share the Gospel from the unique angle or perspective of the series.
You’ve spent weeks – maybe months – preparing your message. This is Kingdom work and you pour all of your energy into crafting sermons that are inspiring, motivational, and will move people closer to Jesus. You want those who know God to know him more intimately than ever and those who are far from him to take the crucial step of moving towards him—receiving him into their lives.
With all that has been invested into your sermon series message, and with all that you believe can happen through the content, it is vital that you approach your packaging and imagery with the same intentionality and discernment with the same level of investment as the message itself.
Can a sermon series graphic move people towards the Kingdom? Can a sermon series graphic propel your message further than it would have moved otherwise? Can a sermon series graphic really reach more people with the message of God’s love?
Yes, because God is a visual artist and he works through visual artistry.
So, here is a little secret — what you are really doing with a sermon series graphic is branding your content. Branded content helps people identify an entire host of messaging through a single visual aid. Ever wonder how it is that kids who can’t read can spot a Target or Walmart? Branding. They know when they see a particular logo that there are toys inside.
Your sermon series graphic can create that same connection.
People who are already part of your church recognize your church logo. They are consciously and subconsciously connected to your logo, its fonts, and colors. Attending regularly connects them to your logo and by association, connects that visual to the mission and vision of your church.
Sermon series graphics are meant to do the same thing.
A sermon series provides new opportunity to create fresh branding – separate from your church logo – that is still connected to your churches look, but unique to the theme and content you are preaching on.
A new sermon series is an opportunity to create fresh designs that will provide variety and engagement within your congregation as well as strong, unique marketing pieces you can leverage for your community and for those who do not yet attend your church.
Three Reasons Why Sermon Series Graphics Matter
Sermon series graphics really matter, for all the reasons shared above. Visuals have power and carry with them a lasting impact. Using strong imagery, the unique angles you include in your teaching will move the message beyond four walls and into the daily lives of your listener. The application doesn’t die the moment hearers step out of the building, but lives on, having real impact during real moments.
If this isn’t enough, here are three additional reasons why graphics matter.
1. Sermon Graphics Provide an Impactful Visual that Compliments 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 allows what someone may have missed through verbal communication to make the connection visually. For those who are more visual learners, this is huge!
A strong and thoughtful sermon series graphic isn’t only about making your content more appealing and attractive—although that’s a nice bonus. This imagery is actually being received by sectors of the brain that are incapable or less capable of actually receiving text or audible communication.
Did you know that 90% of the information that is transferred to the human brain is visual? Additionally, our brain processes visuals 60,000 times faster than written content.
Just think, if a powerful image or brand could actually evoke feelings and emotions within the listener, you now have the ability to further influence a person’s decision to attend the series, a particular weekend, or church for the very first time.
You can leverage this power when you have determined your overall main-point and what it is you are trying to drive home with your congregation. What’s your end goal and 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 and implementation of a sermon series graphic can take your sermon from verbal content and transform it into a vivid image that leaves an imprint upon their hearts and minds. This allows your message to have deeper impact along with a more prolonged influence 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 additional senses bringing greater life to your message and allowing it to be more attractive and unforgettable.
2. Sermon Graphics Add An Important Layer to Your Sermon
Another reason why sermon graphics are so important to your overall message is that they provide another layer of connecting for the one who is receiving the information. Human beings are full of variety and it takes some creativity to help us connect to things on a more personal level.
Think of the different layers of worship that you engage in as a follower of Jesus. You spend a great deal of time reading the Word of God and reflecting on Him on a regular basis. This can be done in a small group or in your own personal quiet time, and you probably do both.
Additionally, you spend time in prayer, both privately and collectively with others as you worship Him and seek His guidance. We worship through singing, teaching (giving or receiving of a message), fasting, and the list goes on an on.
We worship a relational God who desires to connect with us on so many different levels. When crafting your sermon content and developing a sermon series, remember that people need to connect with you, your church, and your content and many different levels.
You are already doing this by creating a space for others that is unique to your church and reflective of you as the pastor. You have a culture you are instilling to your staff and volunteers that you want lived out to help people connect with your church on a deeper level.
You offer programs, groups, classes, and events for people to grow in their faith and connect on a variety of platforms, all because we desire human connection, relationship growth, community, and a deeper understanding of the love God has for us.
And that’s what the church exists to do and we do it through many layers.
A sermon series graphic alone doesn’t tell the whole story or hold very much weight by itself, but when paired with your overall message, the mission of your church, and the good news you are ultimately trying to reach people with, it adds another powerful layer to the story making it that much more impactful.
And we know that, scientifically speaking, people respond to visuals. A well thought-out graphic can accompany your series content in a way that evokes feelings of trust and a desire to know and hear more about what you have to say.
3. Sermon Series Graphics Have Marketing Benefits
Talking about marketing in the church will make some uncomfortable—however, good marketing is putting the right thing in front of the right person at the right time for the right reasons.
Our job 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!
In our day-to-day lives we will typically gravitate towards products and services we trust and there is no better way of building trust in a company than when receiving word-of-mouth recommendations from someone close to us. People crave connection and just as they will form connections with business, they will also form a connection with a church.
Believers and non-believers alike are looking for a place to belong. They want to find a community where they can feel safe, where they are welcomed with open-arms and can trust those around them.
People will find the relational aspect as soon as they enter your facilities, and quite honestly, that’s what’s going to bring them back. But even down to the branding you can apply these principles.
If you blend these two ideas of marketing together, you get a simple point: The goal with marketing in the church should be to promote Jesus in a way that others feel they can relate.
Do that when creating your sermon series design and then ask yourself the following questions:
- What type of person 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.
- What problem are we trying to solve? There is always a conflict and your sermon series is going to solve it. Name the problem and sell the solution.
- Would 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.
- Does my target audience connect with it? How? This is another reason why asking others their feedback is helpful. Identify your target audience and find a couple of individuals who meet that criteria. What is their initial response and why?
- How does someone outside of 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 this is speaking to others.
Keep in mind that you may not represent your target demographic – and that’s okay. But, when answering these questions, keep in mind that the way you respond might be very different than how they would respond.
Because of that, you may even consider testing your designs and sermon series graphics by sharing your some samples with individuals who represent the audience you are trying to reach.
Perhaps take it a step further and gather different individuals with unique demographics and compare their responses. It can be as simple as an email with the image asking them a few questions. What you’re trying to determine is whether or not your samples are effective and having the impact you want them to have.
Also, did you learn anything you maybe weren’t expecting? Were there emotions people felt you hadn’t considered? This is a great practice because everyone’s perspective is different and we each look at things from a unique angle with lots of different filters.
Maybe have your test group take a vote and choose their top 3 – don’t let the group see each others’ responses to eliminate any bias. Ask them similar question as above, but keep them more direct with their response. Which one do they connect with the most and why would they invite their friends, etc.
It’s also a good idea to bring in a non-believer to the group or maybe someone who has never gone to church. Do you have a neighbor, friend, or acquaintance you may confide in? Share your ideas with them and let them know you are looking for their true and honest feedback – no strings attached.
There’s nothing quite like getting an outsider’s perspective when trying to actually think like an outsider.
In addition to looking for insight and feedback from people outside of the church, consider this same approach as you navigate your overall marketing of your sermon series and how you utilize your sermon series graphics.
As we strive to grow our church with the vision to spread the message of Chris as far and wide as we possibly can, it can actually be helpful to look to thriving businesses to see how they operate in the way of marketing.
Ask yourself these questions:
- What company, product, or brand do I utilize 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? Again – relationship play a big role here.
- What about this company or product makes me feel connected to them?
- What about their branding do I like and why?
- Are there companies whose branding I dislike? If so, why?
This could be as simple as where you get your coffee each morning, what restaurants you frequent, salon or barber you get your haircut at, or even the grocery store you choose to shop at.
Understanding why you respond they way you do to certain companies and products will help you to understand how others think and respond as well and how your church may or may not be telling the right story.
A Sermon Series Graphic Isn’t Just For Sunday Morning
When you finally land a design for your sermon series, keep in mind that this graphic is so much more than an image for the screens on Sunday morning. Sermon graphics can go so far beyond the weekend and help support your series on a variety of platforms.
As more and more churches are embracing the variety of digital platforms, there are likely many places your sermon series graphic can live.
To state the obvious, 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 a company or organization’s website before they make their first appearance.
Your website is a perspective new guest’s way of scoping you out without being noticed, getting a feel for what they should expect, and answering any questions they have without actually having to ask.
Your website should be new-guest friendly and always strive to answer common questions and helpful feedback that someone who hasn’t ever been to your church may consider.
Because of that, your home page is a perfect spot to display an upcoming series and current series you are teaching on. This will not only help to promote your series, but also gives those who don’t know anything about your church some context into your teaching and help them know what to expect.
If your church uses an app, this is also an important platform where you’ll potentially display and 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 for what’s coming up.
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 out your page covers to reflect the series you are about to launch and run it through the duration. You can also create shareable content through promotional posts and events and 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 so many more. It’s not necessary that you’re on every platform, but take advantage of the space you are set up on and share your sermon series graphics as much as you can in as many places you have a presence.
If your church does any video work, bringing in the branding and sermon series graphic into any video that supports the sermon series itself is helpful to tie it all 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 in the sermon series graphic into this space. It will help you 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 inviting tool and 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 taking the sermon series graphic and plugging it 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 where you see a lot of new guests, creating additional collateral is sometimes helpful. Branded invitations, postcards, business card handouts, etc. can all be printed tools that your sermon series graphic can be displayed in print.
Other print resources you may take advantage of could be an advertising spot within a community newsletter, local paper, or flyer you create.
Consider the Different Variations of Sermon Graphics Based on the Platform
No matter which platforms you pull in your series graphics, you’ll want to make a few different versions for the different spaces in which you’re using them. For example, one series graphic is going to translate differently on the screens in an auditorium versus on a landing page of your website.
You’ll also want to think through the specific messaging you’re trying to convey based on the platform. Using a series graphic to communicate to your guests in the auditorium will look different from using the graphic as a promotional piece on social media to someone who maybe hasn’t attended your church.
Let’s break this down even further. The graphic doesn’t and shouldn’t stand alone. When you’ve landed a series graphic design, you’ll want to consider these three questions in order to use it to its fullest potential:
- What platform am I using this on?
- What am I wanting to communicate?
- What result am I hoping to achieve?
When thinking through the platform, consider these questions: Is the graphic going in service on the screens to bring the branding into the room? Is it going into a digital space to promote the series or share details about the message content? Perhaps you’re creating a printed piece and want to make promotional collateral.
If this is going on a digital platform, will there be content that will accompany it? Social media is one space where you can provide more descriptions, but have to be mindful of the word count.
Is it just a still image on a web page that will direct somewhere else? If so, you’ll want to think through what needs to be communicated in order to get the desired outcome, which brings us to our next point.
Don’t forget to consider your messaging. Depending on the platform, the messaging will be different. If it’s in the auditorium, your communicating to your guests, but if it’s being used as a promotion piece or an invitation tool, your messaging with that supporting graphic will need to look different.
Perhaps it’s a slide on the weekend and serving as a reminder to those in the room that they don’t want to miss this upcoming series. You won’t have a lot of content to support this or a place for them to click, so identify the message and keep it clean and clear on the graphic.
If you’re using the series graphic to advertise in any way, there’s an obvious response you’ll want to gain and it’s important to have a clear call to action either on the graphic itself or in the supporting content.
So consider how you are wanting people to respond when they see this graphic on the platform it’s designed for. Are you asking them to click somewhere? Are you wanting to inspire your guests to invite others?
Promotional Images Could Include:
- Landing page url (when used on a screen in service)
- Series Start Date
- Promotional tagline, such as “Coming Soon,” “Next Weekend,” etc.
- CTA such as: “Join Us,” “You’re Invited,” “Don’t Miss Our Upcoming Series,” etc.
- Service Times and Location(s)
For promotion uses, it’s always helpful to ask yourself, “what problem is this solving?”
We are a people facing everyday conflict in our lives. If a product or service can help us eliminate conflict, we are drawn to what’s being offered.
What conflict is your sermon series helping to solve? What tools is this teaching series going offer that will help people lead better, fuller lives?
As you think through these conflicts and problems as it relates to your sermon series, consider how you can tie in key phrases or questions that directly offer a solution for those struggling with that very thing.
For example, if you’re doing a series on Forgiveness, support your sermon series graphic with questions or phrases that have the potential to directly solve someone’s issues related to forgiveness.
Some examples could include:
- Who Needs Your Forgiveness Today?
- Join us Next Weekend and Discover Why Forgiveness Matters
- Looking for a life of freedom? Make sure to join us for our newest series where you’ll learn how to GIVE and RECEIVE forgiveness and embrace God’s plan for your life
- Forgive and Be Set Free
- Don’t forget to forgive yourself
Obviously your teaching content will play a big part into what types of questions and phrases you incorporate into your sermon series graphics and promotions. These are just a few examples to show the many directions you could go with this and provide a starting point for asking helpful, specific questions.
Just remember, identifying the problem that your sermon series is going to solve is a key step in landing the language surrounding your sermon series brand.
Sermon series graphics certainly go a long way in your marketing efforts, but they aren’t just for the promotional aspect of your teaching series. Don’t forget that through the duration of your series, there will continue to be new guests, those who haven’t attended every week, and others who need to be reminded to come back.
You’ll want to keep the buzz going and help your congregation continue the conversation from week to week.
There are lots of ways to take the existing branding of the sermon series and bring it into your regular content even beyond the weekend.
Here are some ideas to take your existing sermon series branding and use it as a tool to keep the teaching relevant beyond your Sunday morning service:
- Create some social media templates using the background of your series branding and post content throughout the week using those templates
- Share scripture verses on branded templates through social media, devotionals, weekly emails / newsletters, etc.
- Incorporate your sermon series branding into your weekly program or bulletin.
- Create shareable content that will point back to the sermon. Some examples include graphics that recap the weekend message using quotes from the teaching, scriptures, or specific points made in the message.
Basic Practices of Sermon Series Planning and Why You Should Include Supporting Graphics
Let’s start by looking at the general breakdown of planning your sermon series. We’ll take a look and some general practices you may already be following and dive into how sermon series graphics play a crucial role in supporting your message content.
Develop and Solidify An Overall Main Point for the Sermon Series
Long before you get into the weeds with your weekly content for the sermon series, you’ve likely landed on the sermon series big idea. This is the main point you want your people to remember after they attend one of your services or the one takeaway they will have after hearing you preach during this sermon series.
It could look as broad as topics such as, Forgiveness, Hope, Rest, Trust, or Peace. Let’s say you’re doing a series on Rest and the main point you want to get across – to drive home week after week – is that people need margin in their lives.
In addition to your main point, you will have secondary points that you’ll make throughout the series. Sticking with rest, a secondary point might be that Christians need to prioritize making space for their schedule as well as their souls. This secondary point would then be supported by a call to invest and pursue a relationship with Jesus day by day, moment by moment.
To support your big idea and series main point, you will have different passages of scripture, unique stories, fill-in-the-blank notes, and other illustrations to point back to the big idea. All of these sermon elements drive home the idea of rest starting with Jesus.
Thinking Creatively and Artistically Around Your Main Point
Having decided upon a main point, now is when the creative process begins.
As a preacher, you may have landed on an overall vision for your sermon series to guide the weekly sermon content. It’s important to take your vision and big idea one step deeper into development before you move to creating your sermon series graphics.
Just as it is with planning your Easter sermon or an Advent sermon series, collaboration is ultra important to ensuring you have a sermon series graphic that plays a role in communicating your big idea.
Gather a team of staff, colleagues, volunteers, or friends in or out of ministry that you can brainstorm with. The purpose of this group is to allow you to share your main point and where you’re wanting to go with this sermon series and to hear the responses from those in the room.
When you gather a group of diverse thinkers in a room to bounce ideas around, creativity will flourish.
Gathering a group of diverse thinkers to talk about your series big idea will produce a flurry of creative ideas, illustrations, supporting visuals, and ultimately, a direction for your sermon series graphics.
Write down any key phrases or words, thoughts and ideas that come are shared, and anything else you can think of collectively that seems interesting. No idea or thought is too small when you’re trying to breed creativity.
Meetings like this will often produce:
- Sermon titles
- Message tone
- Sermon series themes
- Ideas for supporting visuals.
Once you have a long list of ideas jotted down, as a group, narrow your list down further by pulling the strongest words, phrases, and ideas that will support your overall vision for this sermon series.
These lists and disjointed notes will not only produce more creativity on your end, but will give you a framework of where you are headed both visually and in the development of your teaching content.
You may not land on an idea for your final graphic during a collaborative creative session, but early conversations and collaborative brainstorming are essential building blocks for developing strong visuals and great sermon series graphics to support your teaching content.
Outline Your Sermon Series with Weekly Topics and Supporting Scripture
You have selected your main point, you’ve completed a creative brainstorming session, and now it’s time for you to develop your weekly series topics and supporting content. This may or may not be where you develop your weekly outlines, depending on your personal rhythm and workflow, and it’s a good time to consider your weekly topics and any supporting scripture that will support those topics.
If you’re doing a 6 week series, consider how you can take the main point you want to leave with people throughout this series and break it down into six supporting topics – one for each week. Think of these topics as individual categories, all of which point back to your overall main message.
Within those categories or topics you cover each week, you will have sub points to break that down even further and this is where you’re weekly content gets broken down into lots of detail.
Your sermon series is all about your big idea. Your secondary points represent the topic of each weekly sermon. The sub points for each sermon support the overall big idea by supporting the individual secondary points.
When developing your series content, apply the above mapping to focus the direction of your content development and teaching strategy. For example, if your message is about Rest you might approach it like this:
Big Idea: Rest is a gift and part of God’s design for your life.
Secondary Point: Rest is both physical and spiritual
Sub Point: We often believe that rest robs us from getting stuff done, when in reality, the proper balance of work and rest refuels us both physically and spiritually.
Notice how the secondary point falls under the big idea message and as you break it down further you can get more and more detailed with topics and content.
Obviously you could go many different directions with a topic as broad as rest. The above is an example to show how you can take one direction that supports your big idea and break it down even further for helpful and impactful teaching.
Bottom line: the weekly sermons should ALWAYS point back to the overall big idea – the main takeaway you want people to have. This is perfect groundwork for creating and developing a “look” for your sermon series, which brings us to our next step.
Choose A Main Theme to Support Your Sermon Series
Anyone can just choose a graphic to support their sermon series. However, when a decision on sermon artwork is based upon, “we just need to pick something,” there really is no point to having series artwork.
Your sermon series graphics are meant to support and reinforce your big idea. Without that connection, any artwork you select is no better than putting black text on a white background.
After going through the steps above, you are ready to work towards choosing a sermon series theme. Whether or not you have a creative team made up of staff or volunteers, or it’s just you and a couple of trusted colleagues, doing all the above work is essential for being able to create a solid theme that will not only compliment your content, but it will support it.
Let’s break down what that means.
- You’ve landed your overall main point and takeaway.
- You’ve broken that down into supporting categories.
- You’ve provided a solid week-to-week framework.
- Your framework allows you to break down each topic into an individual sermon elements.
- Your sermon elements support the central message of the sermon.
- The central message of the sermon supports the series big idea!
With this information you are in a good position to choose how you want to package your sermon series, and this starts by choosing a theme.
When choosing your sermon series theme, ask yourself the following questions:
- What type of mood do I want to set in the packaging of this series?
- What feelings do I want to evoke when talking about this upcoming series?
- If I had to describe my personal teaching “style” what would that look like?
- What was the tone of the series just before this one? How about the one immediately following?
- What do I want the general attitude or character of this sermon series to be?
Answering these questions will help define a clear direction for developing your sermon series theme. The theme will then inform your sermon series graphics and the overall ‘look’ of the series.
Create a Look and Choose a Sermon Series Graphic With Supporting Images
The more time you take thinking through mood, feeling, teaching style, and collaborate with others, the stronger your position will be for creating high-impact sermon series graphics.
In keeping with our example above about rest, you’ve decided to theme your sermon series on Rest. You could take a humorous approach to this series—or you could take a serious tone. Your answers to the questions just above will inform the design.
Here are a few examples of the same theme with varying tones:
This series from High Street Church in Springfield, MO is all about the importance of finding rest as we live day-to-day in a fast-paced and chaotic world.
The artwork does a good job of communicating the busyness of life and the title is clear. It’s very relatable to any audience because most of us can relate to a full schedule and the reality of having to navigate through a variety of decisions and circumstances.
This graphic is a great example of one that provides clear messaging and allows for the overall message content to be very flexible.
Stronger: Real Strength Starts with Humility
In this sermon series from NorthRidge Church in Plymouth, MI, the pastor is covering the topic of strength and how the idea of real strength is different than what the world teaches. We find strength through humility.
You can see the overall theme here is raising up strong believers who are humble and that you can’t have one without the other.
This graphic is an example of one that is both inspirational and powerful. It is clear and to the point, but still leaves the viewer wanting more. The title is right to the point, which can sometimes be a powerful approach when trying to leverage outreach.
Often times, in an effort to be creative, we overcomplicate our message which is counter-productive and actually becomes a detriment. Sometimes it’s best to be clear and just let people know what they can expect.
Wilderness: Finding Your Way Out of Your Own Personal Wilderness
From Chapel Roswell in Roswell, GA, here’s an example of a sermon series graphic that is a little more vague, but takes a more fun, heart-felt approach with the visual. In this series, the pastor is teaching on how people can find themselves in their own type of wilderness and he’ll use a parallel in scripture of Jesus actually being lead through the wilderness by the Holy Spirit.
This type of graphic may need a strong supporting description on certain platforms, such as social media, but the use of colors and texture adds a lot of layers and diversity to the overall packaging of this sermon series.
Off the Grid: Growth Found on the Road Less Traveled
This one comes from Cross Point Church in Nashville, TN, and is a good example of more abstract artwork that is alternately supported with a strong, clear title. The image itself is thought-provoking, artistic, and leaves the individual wondering. It’s also vague enough that it’s meaning could be left up to interpretation depending on the individual.
When you add the title, however, 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 here displays a clear title with a supporting headline.
A pastor who is not as artistic or concerned with visual creativity may naturally de-prioritize a sermon series graphic that communicates the series big idea. Focusing on teaching is rightfully what receives the lion’s share of attention—which is why you must see the sermon series graphic as A PART of your teaching, not an afterthought.
You must see your sermon series graphic as a key part of your teaching, not a separate afterthought to the core message.
So now that we’ve shared some samples, let’s take a look at gathering inspiration for the right sermon series graphics.
Where to Find Inspiration for Sermon Series Graphics
As you think through inspiration, think about what and who inspires you specifically? Are there situations in your life, circumstances you’ve walked through, articles or books you’ve read, other preachers and teachers you follow?
Who or what in your life inspires you over and over again? What continues to draw you to these individuals or influences?
As you think through the answers to these questions, you’ll start to identify some identifiable commonalities between the people and experiences that inspire you and what it is about those things that are shaping your voice.
Knowing and understanding your voice and what you respond to and how is really important as you work to create and land visuals supporting your teaching content.
Knowing your voice will also help you be able to communicate what you want as you develop volunteers and staff around you to help support your mission, which is crucial for sustaining growth in any organization.
Inspiration can come from so many different places and knowing and understanding your own unique voice is important before you adapt to outside inspiration to support your sermon series.
What Story Do You Want Your Sermon Series Graphics to Tell?
As you went through the preliminary motions of creating the content and crafting your messages for your upcoming sermon series, you’ve most definitely landed the story you’re trying to tell and an overall direction you’re wanting to take your congregation.
From there, you or a team may have thought creatively about how you want to package this series. This is an important conversation to have and question to reflect on so that you can land the answer in your own voice.
How do you as the lead pastor want to communicate the overall message and point of the sermon series? In what ways has God put it on your heart to develop your teaching and lean into your individual gifting to get the message across?
Finding your personal voice is important to land before you start pulling from inspiration, because you’ll undoubtedly find that there are lots of different ways to tell the same story.
In order for it to come from you in a natural and authentic way, you’ll want to make sure you’re inspiration matches your voice.
If you feel like you’ve landed your voice, great – and that should be evident throughout your teaching content. Now consider your personal bent on graphics and branding through the filter of your voice.
It’s not that thinking outside the box isn’t a good idea – quite the opposite, actually; that’s why outside inspiration is so powerful. It allows you to take an idea and see it through a variety of lenses and perspectives, answering questions you may have never thought of.
Just be sure that what you land on compliments your own unique voice.
Once you’ve landed your voice, think through content and where you’re trying to take your congregation. Your visuals should support your teaching content in tone, theme, etc., so begin to look for ideas that fall in line with your teaching.
Consider the Audience and Who You’re Trying to Reach With Your Teaching Series
We touched on this some in our marketing section, but as you seek to gather inspiration for your sermon series graphics, make sure you have a clear idea of the target audience you are wanting to reach with this sermon series.
This will help to narrow down how you approach your branding from design to even language. Is this a seeker-friendly series you are hoping to attract people outside the church? If so, you may consider not using any sort of verbiage that is “churchy” or unclear to someone who doesn’t frequent church.
Is this a series targeted to young adults or even youth? Perhaps you’re tackling an issue that is prevalent among young families with children. As you start digging into some of these questions, you’ll see that knowing the answers to these will help narrow your focus and determine the look.
Keep in mind that this is not about eliminating everyone else who falls outside of your target audience. Identifying your target audience allows you to be much more effective in your approach to the ones you are trying to reach.
Of course your church and your teaching series is open for all who find themselves attending on any given weekend, but having a clear target allows your communication to be much more impactful, which will – in turn – positively impact the growth of your church.
Conclusion: A Supporting Sermon Series Graphic Will Give Your Teaching Series an Even Greater and Lasting Impact.
We get it. The idea of creating or even choosing a creative design or sermon series graphic that will support your message may feel a little daunting or outside the scope of your gifting. Or maybe it’s less about your gifting and more about where you want to spend your time and focus your energy, which is likely primarily on writing and developing your teaching content.
But hopefully by now you see the impact a sermon series graphic can have and maybe you’ve even experienced firsthand the benefits of a series graphic and how it can support your teaching series – both internally and externally.
Finding and choosing sermon series graphics doesn’t have to be a chore, either!
When it comes to your sermon series, there are a slew of resources available to you and your team as you start to plan out and determine your teaching content.
Whether you are a small operation and a staff of a few or a larger organization trying to gain some fresh ideas on your creative approach, check out these sermon series ideas which cover a variety of topics with unique supporting series graphics.
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 your voice. Using graphics and series branded visual elements to support your content is a powerful tool that will give your teaching a lasting impact and carry it further than words alone.