A year ago at this time (May of 2010), Good Shepherd was knee deep into the hoopla of a series called The Office. Taking a cue from the hit television show, we explored office morality and ethics from a biblical perspective.
Because of the strong cultural connections and the heavy dose of life application, we went all out in advertising the series. We built a special web site, bought space on area billboards, and advertised in local newspapers.
I insisted on the media blitz because I was convinced that the combination of culture, subject, and promotion would bring in the crowds.
The response? Crickets chirping. Attendance in May 2010 was only marginally higher than May of 2009.
This year, we went a different direction. While the series title — JesusTweets — still has a connection with the larger culture, the vibe of the series is much different.
There are no billboards. No special website. No newspaper ads. And the messages are more straightforward — dealing with the not-so-glamorous collection of “follow me” sayings from Jesus.
The response? So far, so good. Attendance in May 2011 is about 200 higher per Sunday than May 2010.
Less push, more response.
It’s part of an overall move to be more in line with our Wesleyan, evangelical, and even Pentecostal connections.
This doesn’t mean we’ll never advertise again. But it does suggest that we’re at our best when we’re at our most blunt.
Food for thought. Or material for Twitter.