6 Tips to Help Create a Compelling Sermon Series

6 Tips to Help Create a Compelling Sermon Series

June 15, 2015 by

I don’t know about you, but sometimes I look at a sermon series and say, “That is brilliant. How did they ever do that?” Like, this one. At a recent #cmschat, we we talked about how our communications team can help our preaching teams visually communicate their message. Here are a few of the great insights the community shared:

If you don’t present your ideas well, even the best ideas can be rejected.

1. Plan Ahead

Before you start anything, try to get some scheduled time with your preaching team to hear their big idea for the series. It’s best to formalize this so you can make it a regular part of your pastor’s work rhythm.

Here is what your process timeline could look like:

  • 6 weeks out – Agree on the big idea and series title. Put together a creative brief.
  • 4 weeks out – Present concepts.
  • 3 weeks out – Receive final approval.
  • 2 weeks out – Promote the series across communication channels and provide series artwork to those who need it.
  • 1 week out  – Continue to publicize series across communication channels.

2. Develop a Clear Big Idea

In that meeting, you should be able to come out with not only a name for the series, but also a big idea for your creative direction. For example, we are developing a series called “Up-Close.” The big idea’s teaser is “For the people who came up-close with Jesus, everything changed.”

3. Write Out Your Creative Brief

Depending on the size of the church, you may need to write out a creative brief for your design and video team. (For some of you, the design and video team also happens to be you. Detailing a creative brief can still be helpful.) The brief should include:

  • Series Title: The title and subtitle you want the designer to use.
  • Series Big Idea Summary
  • Deadline: Everyone needs to work to an agreed delivery date.
  • Tone of Voice: How you want it to feel (e.g., modern, scientific, traditional).
  • Deliverables: Graphics in various sizes and formats. Include a pre-agreed place to deliver the graphics (e.g., cloud files or server).
  • Budget: What time or dollars should be spent on the project?
  • Mood Board: Examples of the tone and feel you want the design to communicate. Explain why it helps support the big idea.
  • Project Contact: Everyone needs to know how to contact you.

4. Develop Your Elevator Pitch

Design school taught me this: You can have the best creative concepts, but if you don’t present your ideas well, even the best ideas can be rejected. Explain the thought process behind each concept, the ‘why’ behind the idea and tie it back to the original big idea you had with your pastor.

5. Leave Your Creative Ego at the Door

If you meet with your pastor to present the final concepts, leave your ego at the door. That means don’t be defensive or precious about your concepts if your pastor has constructive feedback. Your pastor is your client.

6. Only Present Concepts That Deserve Approval

You never know what will catch your pastor’s eye. Don’t just present three concepts because that is what you always do. Present concepts you like and effectively answer the brief.

These are just a few gems I took away from our #cmschat last week. You can look at the full transcript for more.

Do you have any queries or questions? Leave a comment below. I’d love to help you!


Photo courtesy of The River.
Post By:

Steve Fogg

Steve serves as the big cheese of communications at his church in Melbourne, Australia; he married way above his pay grade and has three children. Connect with him on his blog or on other social networks.
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2 Responses to “6 Tips to Help Create a Compelling Sermon Series”

  • Eric Dye
    July 23, 2015

    Oh, snap. If only more followed this approach. #nailedit

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  • Patrick Fore
    July 23, 2015

    Great stuff – One reason why art falls short so much of the time is because of the process. Expectations weren’t communicated, goals/problems weren’t identified and the overall goal is to “make something cool”.

    This is a good process that many churches where a designer and a pastor work together.

    Thanks for this.

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