Small churches are often strapped for resources. With that, it can feel like they can’t do some of the things they see bigger churches doing, produce what bigger churches are producing and utilize the same quality of tools that the bigger churches are using. This series is designed to equip the small church ministry to do all of these things, especially in the area of Graphic Design, a Website, Stage Design and Video Work. Each week we will be adding a post about one of these areas, so check back often!
Graphic design is an integral part of marketing in today’s world, and in ministry that couldn’t be more important. Having a sleek design aesthetic, a cool logo and really cool social media graphics can work wonders for your outreach. Graphic design has never been more important, but it’s also never been easier to do than now. It’s easy to shrug it off, thinking that it takes a professional design team and big church budgets to have a clean, fresh looking ministry. That’s just not true, and today’s post is here to help show you how to look as awesome as you want to and give you a little taste of how to use the tools that will get you there.
Branding, whether it’s a hip, trendy name or just “MY CHURCH STUDENT MINISTRY,” it’s what gives your group an outward identity. For more thoughts on if/why you should brand, check out our post here. Designers are expensive, as they should be because they have a skill, but there are places in the interwebs you can find quality logo work. Our first design pro-tip is Fiverr.com. This site is all about professionals sharing their work in $5 increments. This is also a great place for animations, voice-overs, SEO work for websites and a myriad of other weird, fun stuff! The below logo is from a designer on Fiverr that only cost $5 from start to finish. No hidden costs, no bate and switches.
There are other places to do your own graphic work to build a cool logo, but if you think this is out of your depths, let someone else do it and take all the credit. It’s win/win.
Whether it’s on your website, fliers, presentation slides or online posts, if you aren’t using pictures of your youth doing something cool, you should be using royalty-free stock stock photos. They are great quality, free, professional looking, free, easy to search for the perfect image, and oh yeah- FREE. Without a single exception, every photo on this website is a royalty-free stock photo from a database online that we can use for free. Using pictures from your church and your group is awesome but if you don’t have the right picture, check out spots like Pexels.com or Unsplashed.com.
If you use Powerpoint and build presentations, and there is writing in those presentations, go download some better fonts. Comic Sans isn’t cutting it anymore. There are some great fonts out there that are sleek and give your slides the kind of vibe that youth will respond to. I know that we’re getting close to sounding like we are nitpicking, but aesthetics are important, especially to your visual learners. There are a number of great sites just a Google away, and some of my favorite fonts are BEBAS, ADAM.CG PRO, LEMON/MILK and Langdon. Find some that work for you!
Whether it’s for a sermon slide in a Powerpoint or to advertise an upcoming event on Instagram, having a sharp-looking image is both useful and easy. There are several easy ways of achieving it, but the easiest and probably widest used is Canva.com. It’s a free sign-up and easy to use, and you can create anything there is a template for within seconds. The below example was made in 25 seconds to use as an example for this post. It takes more time to toast an Eggo waffle. You can also use the app Wordswag on your phone for a few dollars, but when it’s this easy to do it for free, why wouldn’t you? Plus, it gives you something to do while you wait for your Eggo to pop up.
None of this stuff will make a ministry, and none of it is necessary to engage in discipleship with your students. These are simply tools to do so with graphic design that is engaging and fun. How you use these tools can communicate the spirit and feel of your group, and using them online through social media will reach students that might not otherwise hear about your ministry. Have fun with it. Use it to get teens there, then teach them about Jesus. Repeat as necessary.