Archive for the Guest Posts Category

The Importance of Sharp Design for Church Ministry

Posted in Guest Posts on September 16, 2011 by Andrew Garcia

This is a guest post by graphic and web designer, Benjamin Smith . You can find his links and contact info at the end of this article.

Graphic design and other forms of media are becoming a large part of the modern church in both evangelical and conservative circles. It’s important to note that the message of the Gospel of Christ hasn’t changed, but people sure have. People today have shortened attention spans and are more media-driven than those in previous generations. I view graphic design and other forms of media as a tools for evangelizing. In a way, the graphic designer is an evangelist in that he is a specialist providing tools for the growth of the local New Testament Church.
I grew up with a very conservative Christian background. I remember that most materials in my church’s bookstore were not very well designed. The church tract rack had lots of tracts that were white with black and red text crammed onto the page with lots of clip art. Then there were the early church websites when the web first came out; usually a textured background, text of every color of the rainbow, fonts all over the board, animated gifs, and last but not least the annoying music file playing over and over in the background. What’s unfortunate is that many churches today continue to represent the gospel of Christ with outdated graphics and media. Many refuse to embrace new media such as social networking and other such forms of communicating the Gospel.

As for the churches that do, we have this massive gap between content creators and technologists. What will it take to jump this gap? How can we encourage pastors and content creators to jump in the game and start realizing what they can truly accomplish with these tools? How do we empower scores of people who are already skilled in using these tools to start sharing the Message?

The reason sharp design is so important is the relaying of God’s Word to a media-driven world. It’s all about the Great Commission. For example, if you don’t embrace social media, which is a key component to SEO (Search Engine Optimization), when people go to look on Google for a church in your area they are not going to find you. If the design of your tracts and brochures for your church don’t convey God’s message in a way that is relevant to the problems people face in life today you are going to lose their attention quickly. What we have to realize is that Jesus is the answer for the world’s problems. We just need to communicate that to people. This new media-driven world is an opportunity to spread the good news of the Gospel on a mass scale. Any church that embraces these tools can have a world impact for Christ no matter what their size or location.

I want to leave you with this : what we (designers) do is not just some business skill for the church. The work designers do is not mere work, it is a vital ministry of the church in seeking and saving the lost. We are the marketers and communicators, designers and editors, volunteers and assistants – and we are the evangelists.

Benjamin Smith