Advocacy is serious work. But it can also be fun! Unleash the creative power of your group. It’s great for getting attention for your cause and for keeping the motivation strong.

Creative Starting Points

  • Tap into the artistic talents of your group — whether it’s music, painting, sculpture, knitting, whatever, and come up with creative ways to put them to good work!
  • Go for attention — what can you do that is highly visible, that creates a news worthy photo or video clip. What would make others stop and say, ‘Did you see that…?”
  • Use your physical space — hang a banner in a public spot, host a meeting or mount creative lawn art with a message.
  • Use public spaces — use town squares, malls, landmarks. Be sure to get permission first where appropriate.
  • Use your connections — someone in your group may know a high-profile person: an athlete, artist, politician, etc. These people are generally looking for opportunities for more exposure and items to engage their followers with — invite them in!
  • Include children — this is more than being creative, it’s a must. Children and youth are natural advocates, instinctively knowing what is fair and what isn’t. Include them respectfully in your advocacy and be prepared to be amazed.

Get Attention

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St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church Ottawa, showed their support for Make Poverty History in 2005 with a 20-foot white banner in the heart of downtown Ottawa. Note the piper at the end!

Beyond what is good and pleasing in God’s sight, there are very few limits on what a creative church can do. Be inspired by these examples of creative advocacy.

Jesus advocated for the children by placing them in the midst of the group and challenging the grown-ups around to become like children.

“Churches Doing Good Stuff” is the creative name of an annual ecumenical forum led by KAIROS Calgary, with speakers and action on issues such as homelessness and corporate social responsibility.

King’s University College and the Micah Centre in Edmonton hosted the “JUST Worship” conference, asking: “What does worship become when there is no justice? Is justice sustainable without worship? Can doing justice be a form of worship?”

 

Winnipeg Youth

Winnipeg youth participating in a World Vision leadership event sent a child health message to parliamentarians before the 2010 G8 summit.

ACT:S is a campus-based advocacy group in the U.S. that uses high-visibility stunts to get attention. “Do You See Orange?” has students wearing bright orange t-shirts on campus for the day. Shirts have “orphan” on the front and a Web address on the back. The idea is to visually represent on campus that one in twenty sub-Saharan African children is orphaned as a result of AIDS.

ADVOCACY TIP: Social media is a great place to engage others and generate creative ideas. Companies are constantly using Facebook and Twitter to tap into the creativity of their customers and audiences.