Today's Churches Too Old Fashioned for 21st Century Audience, says Author

Churches are using the advertising methods of the 1950s to try to reach a 21st century audience, says a British author of a new book, How To Be Heard In A Noisy World: Church Publicity Made Easy.

Says author Phil Creighton: "With scruffy posters, meaningless or naff slogans, and dated information, many of our churches are promoting the church as boring, hopelessly irrelevant, out of date and amateur."

"I have seen posters advertising a May Fair - in February, some 10 months later. 'Detached youth work' - what does that mean to someone who doesn't go to church? Youth work for those from bigger houses? And a scruffy hand-drawn poster saying 'Jesus lives.'

"Our audience are used to 21st century advertising - slick, professional, competent. They will hardly even glance at much of what we are offering. We need to chuck out the day-glo posters, meaningless jargon, hand-drawn lettering and naff jokes, and bring in professionally produced posters and witty lines.

"With churches facing declining attendance and struggling to make their message heard in an increasingly noisy world, it beggars belief that so many have a mend and make-do attitude to publicity," says Creighton. "We have a life-changing message on offer, but we want to wrap it up in crass slogans."

Creighton gives 'cheesy' examples of church slogans such as 'Carpenter from Nazareth seeks joiners', 'Come-in for a faith lift', 'Seven days without prayer make one week', and 'Free Trip to Heaven. Details Inside!'.

In a recent interview with Christian Today, dynamic US preacher Tony Campolo also notes that the methods Christians use to make their voices heard is old-fashioned.

Campolo comments: "We're too oriented on what worked in the 60s. We're not in the 60s anymore. It's 40 years later. We've got to begin to ask about new ways of doing things."