Copywriting Lessons from the Church

Copywriting Lessons from the Church


Or, how not to write.

I’m always on a self-improvement kick. New “high tech” gift plans? Tips on relationships? Planned giving marketing tools? How to write a how to write book? How to be sexy? I want to learn it all.

As many of you are aware, I read and write a lot. Yesterday I did some research on infusing my articles with more humor. (I hope you read A Letter to a Vendor. The vendor actually forwarded the email to everyone in the company!) While I was poking around the Internet, I came across a hilarious page: Church Ladies With Typewriters, from the website Faith in Marketing.

It’s a collection of actual church bulletin headlines and announcements that … well, read on and see for yourself. I collected some of my favorites from that page (and a few gems from elsewhere on the ‘Net) and listed them below, followed by my comments. Consider this a collection of tips on how not to write. (Which reminds me — have you seen Karen Martin’s punctuation article?)The Fasting & Prayer Conference includes meals.

Light meals, I’m sure …


Scouts are saving aluminum cans, bottles and other items to be recycled. Proceeds will be used to cripple children.

What did those poor kids do to make the Scouts so angry?


The sermon this morning: ‘Jesus Walks on the Water’

The sermon tonight: ‘Searching for Jesus.’

Bring your own personal flotation device?


Ladies, don’t forget the rummage sale. It’s a chance to get rid of those things not worth keeping around the house. Bring your husbands.

I presume all sales are final?


Don’t let worry kill you off — let the Church help.

I’ve heard of Catholic guilt, but this seems a little extreme.


For those of you who have children and don’t know it, we have a nursery downstairs.

Seems like something you’d notice, but who am I to judge? 


Irving Benson and Jessie Carter were married on October 24 in the church. So ends a friendship that began in their school days.

Well, this is awkward. Is it too late to return their wedding gift?


A bean supper will be held on Tuesday evening in the church hall. Music will follow.

Beans, beans, the musical fruit ….


At the evening service tonight, the sermon topic will be ‘What Is Hell?’ Come early and listen to our choir practice.

Do they sound like a choir of fallen angels?


Eight new choir robes are currently needed due to the addition of several new members and to the deterioration of some older ones.

So much for aging gracefully. 


Please place your donation in the envelope along with the deceased person you want remembered.

You’re gonna need a bigger boat envelope.


The church will host an evening of fine dining, super entertainment and gracious hostility.

Always use your manners.


Pot-luck supper Sunday at 5:00 PM — prayer and medication to follow.

I thought that potato salad did taste a little dicey.


The ladies of the Church have cast off clothing of every kind. They may be seen in the basement on Friday afternoon.

I hope they’re charging admission.


This evening at 7 PM there will be a hymn singing in the park across from the Church. Bring a blanket and come prepared to sin.

To borrow a phrase from George Takei, “Oh, my!”


The pastor would appreciate it if the ladies of the Congregation would lend him their electric girdles for the pancake breakfast next Sunday.

I guess diet and exercise aren’t working out? 


Low Self Esteem Support Group will meet Thursday at 7 PM. Please use the back door.

We don’t want anyone to think you losers are associated with our church … 


The eighth-graders will be presenting Shakespeare’s Hamlet in the Church basement Friday at 7 PM. The congregation is invited to attend this tragedy.

The acting is so bad, you’ll really wish this performance was “not to be.” 


Weight Watchers will meet at 7 PM at the First Presbyterian Church. Please use large double door at the side entrance.

Talk about being blunt …


The Associate Minister unveiled the church’s new campaign slogan last Sunday: ‘I Upped My Pledge – Up Yours.’

I wonder, would this work on a planned giving postcard for Princeton University?

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