We All Make Mistakes: More Church Mistakes

We All Make Mistakes: More Church Mistakes

May 14, 2018 by

In celebration of our newest book, You’ve Got This: A Pep Talk for Church Communicators by Kelley Hartnett, we’ve been embracing mistakes. Kelley shares one of her mistakes in the book, and rather than being ashamed, our failures are an opportunity to improve.

We had a mistake contest and some brave souls shared their embarrassing stories. We’ve shared the winners, and now we want to look at some of the rest of the stories—because they’re still worth celebrating.

Church Mistakes

Here’s a list of some of the mistakes shared in our contest:

  • One church includes names in the bulletins for individuals who provide altar flowers. One Sunday the flowers were “in the loving memory of” someone who was very much alive. Oops, wrong name.
  • While filling in for the regular assistant, one person botched the sermon title in the bulletin, listing it as “Stop, Look, and Listen” instead of “Stop, Look and Live.” That minor mistake made it into 600 copies that had to be tossed and reprinted.
  • One church partnered with some businesses in the community, creating an invite card that included a coupon for a free sandwich. Coordinating with the businesses to get the wording, logos, and colors correct was a big job, but it looked pretty great by the time it was ready to present to the executive team. At that point seven people had already proofed it, yet one of the executives pointed out that “sandwhich” was spelled wrong.
  • A courtyard display poster announcing the upcoming sermon series had a typo: “Semon on the Mount.”
  • Another communicator shared their story of discovering a typo in the bulletin: “Opportuny to Serve”—and then realizing they’d made the same mistake three weeks in a row. They ran with it, posting the mistake to social media along with a goofy mascot (Tuny, the Opportunity Tuna—because, of course).

Thanks to Naomi Anderson, Teressa Cope, Becky Powers, Kris Richard, and Jim Sedgwick for sharing their stories. They didn’t win our contest, but we think they’re still winners. Anyone willing to own up to their mistakes is pretty good in our book.

Why Oh Why With the Typos

As you might expect, typos feature prominently in the stories of church mistakes. So how do you overcome typos?

  • Make sure you have a specific process to proof all communication.
  • Recruit volunteers to help with proofing.
  • Create a proofing checklist so everyone knows what to look for.

In the end, you have to be vigilant.

Our Courageous Storytellers membership site has several resources to help combat typos, including a proofreading checklist and tips for vetting volunteer proofreaders. Join now to get access.

Overcoming Mistakes

We also keep coming back to the reminder that we all make mistakes. Do not allow your mistakes to define you or hold you back.

Everybody makes mistakes. It’s how we learn.

The important thing is to dust yourself off, have a good laugh (or a stiff drink, if your denomination allows), and move forward.


If you want more help overcoming, check out our latest book You’ve Got This: A Pep Talk for Church Communicators.

Need a pep talk?

Post By:

Kevin D. Hendricks

When Kevin isn't busy as the editor of Church Marketing Sucks, he runs his own writing and editing company, Monkey Outta Nowhere. Kevin has been blogging since 1998, runs the hyperlocal site West St. Paul Reader, and has published several books, including 137 Books in One Year: How to Fall in Love With Reading, The Stephanies and all of our church communication books.
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One Response to “We All Make Mistakes: More Church Mistakes”

  • Religious Info
    May 30, 2018

    Like you stated we all make mistakes. If there is a typo on the church bulletins, you can explain it to the members and not reprint the bulletins. Better yet use Microsoft word to create the text for the bulletins and use the spell checker.

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