a little collection of some Valentine s Day Goodies for Church Communicators from Yvon Prehn

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1 a little coll llec ecti tion n of f some Val alentin tine s Day Goodi oodies s for Chur urch h Comm mmuni unicat cators from Yvon n Prehn

2 A devotion for church communicators How to use this: you can either print off the PDF and give it out or mail it as a PDF to church communicators. It is a little reminder of how much loves you, no matter what your communication expertise. Don t forget to make a copy for yourself! ***SPECIAL SALE: I m making the full book this devotion was taken from available for 20% for a limited time at my new Downloads Storefront. It is only $4.00! If you don t have it (and I know many of you do), please get a copy, it will greatly encourage you. Valentines for church and ministry communication creators How to use this: it is perfectly acceptable in most gift-giving situations to let folks know what we d like as a gift and this is a little something I put together for church communicators to give to the church leaders they work with. In it I ask for you, for the things that make our jobs much better: training, authority, protection. For leaders, this is a gift to you to help you be the shepherd to your communicators that I know wants you to be. Valentine Postcards On the following page are six postcards that you can reproduce to give out to your people for Valentines Day. How to use them: The attached PDFs are all printed 4 to a page like this. You can print whatever personalization you d like from your church on the back. You can send them out as postcards, insert them into the bulletin with a message from the church staff on the back or insert them into a bag of candy to give out to a special group.

3 Two versions of the same card, one a special one for SINGLES. PLEASE do remember the Single folks at your church during Valentines Day. Being a Single Christian in our world today is challenging and often lonely. We ve used these cards and enclosed them in a goodie bag of Valentines chocolates to let Single folks know that not only loves them, but we love them also. Three versions of this card: one tiny change to the two on the left: at the bottom of one, a printed invitation to become part of the church. The one on the right just has the verse. On any of these, use the back to invite people to special events or ongoing ministries. A simple card to remind people that gave us the very best Valentine ever when He gave us Jesus.

4 that he gave that he gave that he gave that he gave

5 Join us this Sunday and let our church show you how s love can become real in your life. Join us this Sunday and let our church show you how s love can become real in your life. Join us this Sunday and let our church show you how s love can become real in your life. Join us this Sunday and let our church show you how s love can become real in your life.

6

7 How much Loves YOU! How much Loves YOU! How much Loves YOU! How much Loves YOU!

8 SINGLES, this Valentine s Day & always, remember How much Loves YOU!! SINGLES, this Valentine s Day & always, remember How much Loves YOU!! SINGLES, this Valentine s Day & always, remember How much Loves YOU!! SINGLES, this Valentine s Day & always, remember How much Loves YOU!!

9 The Very Best Valentine loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son, perish but have Jn. 3:16 The Very Best Valentine loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son, perish but have Jn. 3:16 The Very Best Valentine loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son, perish but have Jn. 3:16 The Very Best Valentine loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son, perish but have Jn. 3:16

10 You are accepted and loved before you create your communications As soon as Jesus was baptized, he went up out of the water. At that moment heaven was opened, and he saw the Spirit of descending like a dove and lighting on him. And a voice from heaven said, This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased. (Matt. 3:16) JESUS BEGAN HIS MINISTRY SECURE IN GOD S LOVE. Before he had performed a miracle or preached a sermon, long before he died on the cross, he was well-pleasing to. Remember that acceptance as you work. You are accepted, beloved, and eternally secure in your because you belong to Jesus. You were chosen for this work because of s sovereign choosing, no matter what earthly circumstances brought the job of church communications into your life. Remember that acceptance when discouragements come. Our value does not change depending upon the reactions of others to our work or to the seeming success or failure of our projects. It s part of good stewardship to measure tangible results: how many showed up after what kind of promotion you do for an event; cost of various print or online church marketing options, the difference it makes if you send out a reminder postcard or . While doing that important recording and evaluation, at the same time remember only in eternity will you have a true sense of how your work touched people. Until then, do your best in your work pray for wisdom in choice of words and format; pray for insight into the hearts of those who will receive your communications; pray for openness to your message; pray for protection from problems in production. Most of all, so fill your life with a knowledge of s Word that your words will be permeated with his love and truth. Having done all of that, trust his promise, So is my word that goes out forth from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it (Isaiah 55:11). Remember that acceptance when you feel you know so little about computers, publication design, website creation, and the multitude of new technologies you are required to master. Jesus had much ahead of him when he heard these words of assurance by his Father. He had no idea how he would feed 5,000, heal the multitudes that followed him, or have the strength to die on the cross. He simply trusted his Father. Rejoice that the same Father who foreknew every step of his Son knows what is ahead of you today and that you are well-pleasing and well-loved by him. from The Heart of Church Communications by Yvon Prehn

11 Valentines for Church Communication Creators By Yvon Prehn, Valentine s Day is a wonderfully Christian holiday in that it is all about love and loving is what Christians are to be about. We celebrate it by giving gifts, often flowers and candy, to those we care for but flowers fade and candy adds on pounds. For those you in a leadership position, who want to show caring to the people in your communications ministry, whether paid staff or volunteers, below are Five Valentines you can give that will have lasting, positive results. Gift #1 Give them authority In church communications, the church leadership should decide on basic themes and messages and perhaps even the overall look of publications, but seldom on layout, or the final editing of articles or announcements. The people actually doing the creative work need the final authority in these areas. Have a meeting to discuss and clarify these issues and then publicly announce and print your decision. You might say something like this. Jenny Smith, our communications coordinator has final editing authority on the layout, deadlines and content of materials that go into the bulletin and newsletter (and whatever else you want to list). She has posted her guidelines and submission deadlines on our website. Please support her decisions and deadlines. Your gift has no meaning unless you back up your decisions. Invariably people will test you on the rules. When you are instituting new guidelines various church members will come rushing in at the last minute with an article that just HAS to get into the newsletter. When your communications director tells them it is past the deadline you know what they will do. They will walk right around that person s desk and in to your office and say something like, She isn t being very Christian today she told me I missed her deadline and you need to tell her to get this article in the newsletter! Be sure you answer by saying, She is being very Christian. I have given her authority over that area and to do her job in a way that honors and the church. We will be happy to print up copies and put them in the church information center or post your information on the bulletin board, but we must respect the guidelines of our communications director. Any other answer, or taking back authority or vacillating on this point will not only make the publication creation process a mess, but it will greatly harm your relationship with your communications director. Giving authority and backing it up is a gift that will ultimately make both of your communication lives more pleasant and the church communication process more efficient and effective. Gift #2 Give them protection Being a good shepherd means more than simply having devotions with your staff. A good shepherd also cares for the physical needs of the sheep. A church secretary or communications person arm brace because of carpel tunnel is the sign of a pastor or church business administrator failing to properly shepherd his or her sheep in the fields of technology. Find out what is needed to make your church office ergonomically correct. Your communications people need proper chairs, wrist rests, the right kind of mouse or trackball the computer monitor at a proper height for their best efficiency and comfort, They need to be protected from doing repetitive data entry or any kind of computer work for hours without breaks. People are not machines and those of us in the church need to model care for those under our leadership by encouraging breaks and exercise (walking, stretching) during the day. Another area that needs to be looked at is the condition of their eyes. Because working with the computer requires the eyes to focus on a mid-range target instead of either distance or close reading, many people cannot adequately see both their screen and the text of a page they are typing from.

12 In practical terms this means they may need to get trifocals, bifocals, or glasses for computer work. Without proper eyeware, your people will get eyestrain, headaches, neck pain and have a host of problems in creating publications. You must be proactive in this area, because many people who work in the church office suffer in silence. In addition, the church should be financially responsible for the cost of good eyeware and the other tools that are needed to properly do good work. Gift #3 Give them training Training can take many forms. Perhaps a book such as Publisher for Dummies or a gift certificate to an online training course, such as training on the very reasonable Best of all, free up a few hours each week where they can practice or explore new skills without interruption. The ministry of Effective Church Communications ( has training materials, resources, templates, books and many other materials to equip and encourage your church communicators. Membership in the training portion of the site is very inexpensive and will be a continuing source of skill building. Gift #4 Give them adequate tools Be sure your people have up-to-date computers and software. Computer hardware today, e.g. printers and the computers themselves have come down incredibly in price and there is no excuse for your people not to have current equipment. In addition, a very important tool at present is to do everything you can to get broadband, high speed internet access for your communications people. There are incredible resources available on the web: training, free templates, clip art, articles, etc., but to access them adequately and without wasting work time, you need DSL, a cable modem or some other method for high speed internet access. Computer equipment has dropped tremendously in price and now might be a good time to replace older machines. For church communications work, be certain your computers have enough RAM to handle the graphics needs, especially if you are doing video or complex PowerPoint creations. A minimum of 3-4 GB of RAM is a start. Do some research, but be careful to properly equip your people. If you need to raise special funds to make these things possible, please do it. Communications is a vital ministry of your church and your people need proper tools to do their jobs well. Gift #5 Give them awards and encouragement It seems in most churches that the only time the person who does communications is publicly acknowledged is when they make a typo that makes someone really mad. They know their name then, they make everyone aware of it Don t let that happen in your church. Award your communications people and publicly acknowledge them. Honor and thank them in front of the church. Know them well enough to know what kind of a monetary reward would be appropriate for them. For some it might be a gift certificate to Starbucks, to someone else a Christian book store gift. Find out what the going rate is for graphic designers in your area. People know that working in the church they will probably make far less than in the secular world, but if your communications person has become highly skilled, don t wait until they leave you to realize how valuable they are. Remind them that what they are doing matters for eternity, but pay them decently while they are doing their job here on earth. If you do that and the other suggestions in this article, you will not only be giving appreciated Valentines to your communications people, but also you ll be giving your church the benefit of continuing, skilled communications ministry. For continuing resources for your communications ministry please go to:

13 About Effective Church Communications Effective Church Communications is a ministry that provides training, resources, and inspiration to help church communicators fully fulfill the Great Commission. The hub of our ministry is our website: Our approach to church communications includes more than design and communication construction how-tos, though we have lots of them. It includes foundational, biblical teaching related to communications, communication leadership, and church communciation teams. We constantly remind church communicators that we have been entrusted with the words of eternal life and the eternal destinies of people depend on how well we communicate the gospel of Jesus Christ. Though we work hard to stay current with technology (our training is web-based, we tweet, podcast, and are moderate tech junkies), we value and teach timeless communication skills and principles. The majority of our training has application in every communication channel from print to podcasts. We believe churches of every size, from tiny house churches to mega-churches benefit from clear, effective communication and we strongly emphasize that churches be who they are in their communications to their unique congregation and to the community they are called to reach. We strongly encourage churches to study their people, set goals, evaluate response to communication projects, consistently and clearly communicate, rather than copy the latest mega-church or marketing trend. We do not allow, encourage, link to, or promote, in any way, irreverent, profane language or snarky, cynical approaches to church communication or in the discussion of it. We serve a holy and we seek in all we do to walk worthy and communicate a worthy message. We strongly believe church communicators, from any size church, who use any software, y skill level, can help and encourage each other and we have a number of ways church communicators can share and interact through our website. Though we encourage church communicators to pour their hearts, minds and souls into the hard work of communicating the words of eternal life, we are constantly aware that our words will only accomplish eternal results because of the blessing of them, and His working through them, by our eternal. About Yvon Prehn Yvon Prehn is the founder and director of the training site for church communicators, Yvon has worked in communication ministry for over 25 years. She was a free-lance newspaper reporter and religion writer for the Colorado Springs SUN She was a top-rated, national trainer in desktop publishing for Padgett/Thompson, the nation s largest one-day seminar company when desktop publishing was first invented. She worked as a communications consultant and trainer for many of the ministries headquartered in Colorado Springs and was senior editor at both Compassion International and Young life International. For fourteen years she traveled full-time all over North America teaching seminars on church communications. Yvon has written for many of the major Christian magazines. Her most recent books include: Church Bulletins, how to create and use them to touch and change lives, Church Connection Cards, The Five Steps of Effective Church Communications & Marketing, available at Yvon has a master s degree in Church History and has done additional extensive graduate work in theology and communications. She has taught high school English and was an adjunct professor in church history at Regis University. In addition to her formal experience, Yvon gets the opportunity to practice church communications in very practical ways. She is the wife of a bi-vocational pastor and does the secretarial and church communications work for her husband Paul, in addition to co-teaching in a variety of ministry settings at the church they work with in Ventura, California.

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