Social Media Brings Old Topic to Life

April 20, 2017 | Carrie White

Two days before the event, more than 600 people were preregistered for the Voice of Prophecy’s “In Search of Meaning: Archaeology and the Bible” March 3 opening night event in Puyallup, Wash. The only problem? The venue had just 300 seats.

In an effort to accommodate the hundreds interested in attending, Voice of Prophecy contacted each registrant and asked if they would be willing to switch to an added time slot. Most were happy to help make room for more visitors.

During the five-night lecture series, more than 800 people came (at least once) through the doors of a local community college to hear archaeologist Tony Moore share his fascinating stories about how archaeological history relates to the Bible today. His presentation piqued interest and kept people coming back for more night after night.

“The interest didn’t peter out. All the remaining nights, there were still new people arriving,” says Tyler Long, Washington Conference evangelism coordinator. “One couple had just received the prophecy series brochure, and that jogged their memory that they wanted to attend the archaeology lecture.”

The high level of interest and response was overwhelming. Both time slots for all five nights held steady with attendance and fascination.

“It was exciting to walk in early the second night and see the continued excitement of a full atrium of guests,” says Heidi Baumgartner, Washington Conference communication director. “People showed up early, chatted with new friends while they waited and had a general excitement about the ancient world lessons they were learning.”

Voice of Prophecy worked with SermonView evangelism marketing to promote the archaeology lecture series, which was a pre-event for Shawn Boonstra’s Revelation Speaks Peace evangelistic meetings that started one week later. For the archaeology event, the promotion plan included a viral quiz for social media paired with direct mail, road signs and handouts for local church members to share.

Multiple efforts added up to big results. A Facebook ad campaign for the archaeology seminar reached 74,168 people within the Puyallup area. The social media audience loved the archaeology quiz and shared their results on Facebook with their friends.

At the event before each lecture presentation, Moore allowed guests to come on stage to view and take pictures of a table of artifacts. He also held a nightly drawing, facilitated by Shawn Boonstra and Kurt Johnson, to give away a collection of ancient lamps. The simple program paired with personal interaction helped engage the audience and encouraged them to continue learning at Revelation Speaks Peace.

“Whether guests attended one night or all five nights, they learned something new to add to their understanding of the Bible,” says Long. “Our team was pleased with the overall community response. We may offer this lecture series or a similar one again in the near future.”