How Well Are You Leading Your Church?

It’s a common misconception that as long as you’re in charge, you’re an effective leader. Leading your church means more than just having a leadership title.

If you’re having more and more trouble engaging members, members are leaving and/or you’re having trouble inspiring others to be leaders, there could be a problem.

Don’t worry, though. Once you know more about what’s going wrong, it’s easier to become the type of leader your church needs to continue to grow.

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Signs You’re Not An Effective Leader

No one wants to hear they’re not a good leader, yet to grow, you have to recognize when something’s not right. Think about your current leadership style. If you notice any of the following, you may not be leading your church as well as you want to:

  • You’re quick to anger or take everything personally
  • You never give credit to your team or church members
  • You’re focused too much on you versus the church
  • Your standards are ridiculously high
  • You refuse to make any changes, such as getting your church online
  • You consider yourself a boss versus part of a team

Don’t feel bad if this sounds like you. Trying to lead your church isn’t easy, but by making changes now, you can become an incredible leader that inspires others.

Ask For Honest Feedback

The first step is seeing how well you’re leading your church is to ask for honest feedback. If you have a website, put a form or survey on the site for members to fill out anonymously. You might not get the same kind of feedback face-to-face because your church members don’t want to hurt your feelings. You could also pass out index cards and let members put them in a box on the way out after a service.

The only way to truly lead your church effectively is to always work alongside your church family. Let them help you become the best possible leader for the church.

Always Surround Yourself With Support

Sadly, church leaders sometimes isolate themselves. They take on too much and feel like leadership is their task to handle on their own. This is why teams matter. You lead, but you have others to offer their advice and take on their share of the work. If you feel alone, you can’t be an effective leader. Instead, avoid burnout and surround yourself with support.

When you’re doubting yourself, talk to those you love and trust. They’ll help you find your way and your team members will happily help out more.

Leading Your Church The Right Waygrow your church button

While leadership styles vary based on your church family and their needs, there are some things you can do right now to start leading your church more effectively. When you lead your church well, members are far more engaged, they’re more likely to volunteer and step to be leaders themselves and it’s easier to grow your church.

For an in-depth look at leadership in the church, Joe McKeever has a large list of articles with detailed advice on handling common leadership challenges. If you don’t want to go through more than 50 articles, some simple, yet highly effective church leadership tips are:

  • Be patient and talk things out versus getting angry
  • Give up control, at least full control – no one likes to be micromanaged
  • Take some time for yourself – you need to step away from being a leader sometimes to recharge your own spirit
  • Delegate tasks – make sure to pay attention to members’ strengths for best results
  • Be open-minded and know when change is necessary
  • Get to know all your church members – this makes everyone feel more like a family
  • Give credit where credit is due
  • Focus on building up your members and leaders using things such as inspirational posts on your website/social media, team building exercises, community events and sermons relevant to issues your church family is facing
  • Make friends with other church leaders – their guidance and expertise is invaluable as you grow as a leader yourself

If you want your church to grow, you have to make certain you’re leading your church in a way that inspires growth. The happier and more engaged your members are, the more likely they are to invite friends, share online posts and bring along others to special events.

Looking for even more ways to lead your church? See how a church website helps you connect with members even when they’re not at church.

Why Churches Fail At Creating Leaders

Creating leaders is important to keep a church running smoothly. Churches need leaders for various programs and groups.

The problem is churches sometimes fail at creating great leaders. The good news is there are leaders within your church family. You just have to find the right way to appeal to them.

Tackling some common obstacles to your leadership problem will help you uncover the hidden talent within your church.

No Available Opportunitiescustom church website button

How often does your church broadcast leadership opportunities? Perhaps it’s an issue of a few people trying to do everything on their own. Or, you’re just waiting for people to volunteer. The problem is no one knows the church needs help.

Talk about leadership opportunities at the end of services, post it on social media and add details to your website. This not only makes the opportunity known, but it also helps you get more volunteers.

Too Much Micromanaging

When you want it done right, you micromanage it to death, right? While it sounds good in theory, micromanaging isn’t an effective way of creating leaders. In fact, it just drives them away. Provide guidance, but give leaders room to make mistakes and learn on their own. It’ll make them stronger and more passionate about their position.

It may be hard to let go, but your church will be the better for it. You’ll also discover more members wanting to be leaders.

Looking For The Same Mindset

It’s okay to look for leaders who share the same mindset as you, at least to a point. However, if no one ever has unique ideas, it’s difficult for the church to grow. It’s important to look for qualities such as a positive attitude, confidence and great people skills. It’s also good to look for someone who wants to make changes. Leaders can’t be followers and if they always follow the ideas of everyone else, they’re not going to be a great leader.

Difficulty Reaching Members

How easy is it for your church members to come and talk to you about leadership roles? How easy is it for you to reach members for meetings or schedule changes? Creating leaders means having open communication channels. This goes beyond a few services each week. Instead, make it easy to connect on your website with a special forum or social media. The more ways you have of reaching members, the easier it is to create and maintain excellent leadership.

grow your church buttonTrying To Make The Wrong People Fit

Every one of your church members has a different skillset. For instance, asking a carpenter to head the bake sale and a seamstress to manage the set for an upcoming play isn’t going to work well. Instead, ask members about their skills and hobbies. Then you’ll know who might be best for potential leadership roles. Another thing to keep in mind is to separate relatives to avoid arguments.

When the wrong people are in the wrong leadership roles, no one is happy. Creating leaders means noticing strengths and letting people lead in the areas they’re strongest in.

Throwing People Into Leadership

You’re busy and need leaders to help out with a wide variety of tasks, but it’s important to remember that the people you choose or that volunteer may not have a clue about what being a leader entails. It’s vital to create a leadership culture that includes regular training, meetings and special information to help them succeed in their new positions.

Something as simple as sharing leadership advice, videos and blog posts on social media is a great way to reach new leaders and help them learn the ropes quickly. Remember, they’re busy with other aspects of their lives, so keep training and meetings as short as possible to avoid making anyone feel overwhelmed with being a leader.

Leaders are already in your church. All you have to do is know how to reach them and train them.

Looking for better ways to connect with leaders in your church? Start with a highly effective church website.

The Ultimate Online Technology Strategy For Smaller Churches

Smaller churches are sometimes reluctant to embrace technology and take their churches online. However, having an online technology strategy helps boost member engagement and new church visitors.

Odds are, at least part of your church family uses social media and mobile devices often. This means that part of your potential visitors are online too.

Connect on a wider scale by getting your church online. It’s easier than you might think and the rewards are well worth the effort.

Keep Consistent Branding

One thing to always remember throughout your online technology strategy is to keep consistent branding. From having the same logo to maintaining the same personality, a church’s brand is what people connect with. If you’re always serious on Facebook but humorous on Twitter, people might not be able to get a good sense about your church.

Start With A Websitecustom church website button

Your church’s online strategy has to begin with one key ingredient – a website. Think of it as your virtual home online that happens to have its doors open 24/7. A few elements to include on your site are:

  • Images/videos of your church
  • Short description and mission statement
  • Service hours
  • Contact information
  • Blog
  • Calendar of events
  • Forum for members to interact
  • Social media channels

Obviously, your site can as big or small as you want. Some churches upload their services online, while others only upload a video now and then. The key is to have a place for visitors to learn more about your church.

Plan A Website Content Strategy

With a website comes the need for a content strategy. A church website helps people find your church through search engines, but to rank higher online, you need to keep your site current. This is where a blog comes in handy. To keep visitors coming back, create a content schedule to ensure you’re posting regularly. Even if it’s only one blog per week, it’s enough to stay current in search engines.

Also, plan what types of content you’ll upload. Will you use text, video, images or a mix (which works best)? Will you talk more about church activities, tackle current issues or answer questions from members and site visitors? Having a content strategy in place will make maintaining your blog much easier.

Choose At Least Two Social Networks

It might seem like there is a new social network every week, but your church doesn’t have to maintain a presence on every network. However, your online technology strategy should include at least two social networks. Facebook and Twitter are often the most popular choices because of their large user bases, but you could also choose from sites like Instagram, Pinterest and YouTube. You could even get creative and use Medium since it’s part blogging platform and part social network. No matter which two you use, stay active to help build your church.

Get Members Involved Online

grow your church buttonIf you want your online technology strategy to actually be successful, you’re going to need some help. Get your members as involved as possible. For instance, ask them to connect with the church on social media and share their favorite posts. At one small church, the pastor encourages members to use tag the church on Twitter when mentioning events to drive more people to the church’s social media profile. This same church even encourages members to use Bible apps on their phones if they want.

The lesson is to embrace technology, even in a small church. It’s an easy way to better engage members and bring in new members.

Offer E-Giving On Your Site

If tithing is down at your church, make e-giving a part of your online strategy. Online giving providers serve as a modern way for members and even non-members to tithe. Incorporate a giving form on your site or as a mobile app. In an age where many people only have credit cards on them, it’s easier to set up payments online versus remembering to get cash before church.

Utilize Volunteers

While getting a professional service to design your website is a good idea, you’re still left with maintaining it, uploading content and managing social media. Ask for volunteers to help manage it all. Meet with them weekly to discuss strategy and review what they’ve been doing. After all, it’s overwhelming for just one person to do everything.

Follow The Lead Of Other Churches

Not sure where to start? Search for other churches online and see what they’re currently doing. You can even learn from large churches. Don’t be afraid to send a message to any church you admire to ask questions or see how well their strategy is working for them.

Are you ready to get started on your own online technology strategy? See how our church web design services get you off to the right start.

Church Leadership – Working With Millennials

Working with millennials might sometimes seem like trying to suddenly speak a foreign language, but it’s not nearly as difficult as it might seem.

Actually, as church leaders, it’s a great opportunity to better understand millennials and become the type of leader they need. It’s a learning experience on both sides, but well worth the effort.

You’ll be surprised at how easy it is to work and worship alongside this generation once you figure out what they’re looking for in a church.

custom church website buttonMake Them Feel Involved

You might see millennials on their phones all the time and think they aren’t really interested in being involved, but the opposite is true. When working with millennials, make them feel involved. Most of the time spent on their phones socializing. In fact, 81% of millennials check Twitter daily and Snapchat reaches 41% of 18 to 34 year-olds daily. They use their phones to stay involved with friends and family. Give them something to do and make them feel like part of the church community and they’ll be much happier.

Ask For Ideas

A common stereotype about millennials is they don’t exactly respect authority, but that’s not true. They just want to feel like equals. As church leaders, do more than just talk at them. Instead, ask for their opinions and ideas. This goes back to helping them feel involved versus feeling like a nameless face in a crowd.

Work To Make A Difference

There are plenty of misconceptions when it comes to working with millennials and one of the worst is that millennials are too self-absorbed to care about anyone but themselves. Most actually actively seek ways to make a positive difference in the world. They look for churches that are involved in the community and that work to help areas in need, such as coming to the aid of neighboring communities during a natural disaster.

Having a place to explore their faith, while making a positive impact is exactly what millennials are looking for. Give them that and they’re easy to work with.

Mix With Their Culture

One noticeable difference between millennials and older generations is the digital culture. While many older adults have embraced technology, they’re still not quite as immersed as millennials. This is the generation of social media, selfies and sharing every detail online. In fact, they tend to live a large portion of their lives online.

Working with millennials means mixing cultures. You don’t have to compromise everything, but adding a website and social media communication are two great ways to show millennials that they’re welcome and that you want to work with them.

Encourage Questionsgrow your church button

Millennials aren’t nearly as confident as they may appear. Just like everyone else, they have questions. They’re not always certain about what path to take in life or even something as simple as what role they might play in your church. Encourage them to ask questions. Make it easy for them to talk to church leaders privately so they don’t feel embarrassed asking about a personal issue in their lives. Having a open door policy makes millennials feel more comfortable engaging with leadership and helps them to feel more confident themselves.

Talk To Millennials

Want to know one of the easiest ways to making working with millennials a smoother process? Talk to millennials. It might not seem helpful, but the best way to understand their needs and concerns is to just ask. Small Groups spoke with millennial church leaders to shed some light on common misconceptions and what millennials wish other generations knew about them.

The interviews even explain the TMI (too much information) issue with millennials. It’s their way of relating to others by sharing their own stories. One important piece of advice is to show millennials what to do by letting them into your life and sharing your own experiences with them. It’s how they relate and how they build both personal and professional relationships in life and within the church.

Want to start working with millennials in your own church? Start by embracing their culture with your own church website

8 Tips To Using Social Media To Build Your Church Online

A website isn’t the only way to build your church online. There’s also the ever important social media.

Whether you love it or hate, you can’t deny how popular it is, especially with millennials. If you want to reach existing church members and gain new members, social media is a powerful tool.

To make the most of it, you have to be active. Think of social media as a way to have conversations with anyone and everyone all at one time.

custom church website button1. Interact During Peak Times

One of the benefits of using social media to build your church online is you can often interact in real-time. For best results, try posting during peak times to get the best interaction. Hubspot breaks down some optimal times, but includes an important remind – there isn’t always one set time, so see what times work best for your church. Posting during these times means you’ll also get more people sharing your content, which helps build followers.

2. Have A Solid Strategy

This is probably the most important tips of all. You need a strategy and you have to stick to it. Even if you just post once a day to Facebook, at least stick to that schedule and post around the same time each day. A few things to include in your strategy are:

  • Have at least two people working together
  • Create a posting schedule
  • Determine which networks to use
  • Include rules for things not to post

3. Use More Than One Channel

Using one social network might seem overwhelming, but even though 68% of adults use Facebook and 21% use Twitter, you widen your reach by using at least two different social channels. Plus, different content performs better on different networks, such as short verses on Twitter and community photos on Facebook. Talk to members of your church and community to see what their favorite networks are.

4. Use Social Media Management Tools

The biggest reason you might not want to build your church online using social media is because it is time-consuming. You’re not always going to be around during optimal posting times or thank someone for following you. The solution is to use social media management tools that allow you to schedule posts in advance, see all activity from multiple networks at a glance and interact on multiple networks from a single dashboard. Some are free, but others do have premium plans for additional features.

5. Implement Photos

Want to have more engagement on social media? Increase share rates and make sure your posts get noticed by adding in photos. Every post doesn’t need one but think about the type of content you notice first on social media – the content with images. Not only does it look more appealing to potential members, but it’s easier to remember. In fact, most people only remember 10% of what they hear after three days but remember 65% of what they see in an image.

grow your church button6. Lighten Up

It’s tempting to only post serious things, but that gets old and it doesn’t show any personality. After all, the idea is to build your church online, not drive everyone away by showing that your church is stuffy and boring. It’s okay to mix in some lighter content, such as jokes, something funny that happened to church leaders or just a light-hearted inspiring message. Just check out Ken Davis does it to get inspired yourself.

7. Learn From “The Competition”

While you should never just copy “the competition”, look at what other churches are doing on social media. This is a great way to see what does and doesn’t work. You can also get ideas on what type of content works best on different networks just by seeing other churches’ posts.

8. Mix In Video

Video content is expected to make up 74% of Internet traffic in 2017. If your want to build your church online, add some video to your social media strategy. Short videos showing community events or excerpts from a recent sermon all work well. You can also mix in some family friendly funny videos just to give everyone a reason to laugh for the day.

Social media can be a highly effective way to build your church online and interact with your current members. While there is a time investment, it’s well worth the results.

Adding social media to your church marketing strategy? Contact us today to see how we can incorporate social media on your website.

Why Leadership In Churches Matters

One of the most important things that church members and visitors are looking for is effective and engaging leadership in a church.

Leadership in churches is about far more than just a title. It’s about how leaders engage with the church community.

It’s the leaders that inspire members to keep coming back and help grow the church. Without the right leaders, it’s difficult for a church to continue to thrive for generations.

custom church website buttonGuide The Community Through Changes

Church isn’t the same as it was 100 years ago. As times change, so do churches. However, there is always some hesitance from long-term members. For instance, taking your church online isn’t always going to be well-received by older members of your church family that may not even have a computer or smartphone.

Leadership in churches is crucial for effectively guiding the community through changes. Leaders help explain the what, why and how in a way that eases the transition and involves everyone in the process.

Provide Encouragement And Motivation

One of the most important jobs of church leaders is to encourage and motivate members, staff and visitors. Leaders keep everyone focused, encourage conversation, explain why things happen and build excitement. When a member is feeling lost, leaders are able to understand their concerns and inspire them. It’s not always an easy task, but it’s one of the traits of a highly effective church leader.

Work To Understand What The Community Needs

Some people are leaving the church because they don’t feel it meets their spiritual needs. Leadership in churches means paying close attention to church members and noticing when they don’t seem engaged. It’s up to leaders to question what’s wrong and talk to members, other leaders, and first-time visitors to see where they can improve. Without the right leadership, the community doesn’t get what it truly needs and that’s key to keeping members and increasing membership.

Create Meaningful Ministry All Week

Church isn’t just a weekend activity. It’s the job of church leaders to continue with ministry throughout the week. This keeps the church family focused and engaged. From visiting the sick to posting messages on social media, it’s important for leaders to show their members that church doesn’t have to be just something that happens on Sundays.

Effective leadership also inspires volunteers to help out. From writing blog posts and responding to questions on the church’s website to being a shoulder to cry on during difficult times, these motivated volunteers continue the work of church leaders, allowing for a wider reach all week long.

Engage And Bring In New Membersgrow your church button

Bringing in and engaging new visitors isn’t always easy. Leadership in churches means bringing current members together to be a welcoming presence while making an effort to speak with new visitors about their needs. The right leadership works with existing members to create a more effective strategy for encouraging new visitors. Leaders also have to understand emerging and current trends, such as marketing the church online, in order to stay in contact with potential members.

Bring Everyone Together As One

By far, the most important reason for leadership in churches is to bring the entire church family together as one. When members, staff, and random visitors aren’t all on the same page, it’s nearly impossible to keep everyone engaged and active. Instead, you notice membership becoming more random, members unable to get along and more members questioning their own faith. It takes strong leadership to bring so many different people together.

Even with a small ministry, you have dozens of people from varying backgrounds. Getting them all to come together under one roof to explore their faith isn’t easy. Effective leadership is what keeps a church together and working as a single community.

Want to lead your members all week and grow your community at the same time? Find out how a church website can help.

6 Tools To Ensure The Safety Of Your Church Website

The safety of your church website is paramount to building a good reputation with visitors and search engines. Safety and security are often overlooked parts of website maintenance, especially for smaller sites.

The problem is, hackers don’t care about the size of your site. They love stealing resources, lifting user data and using sites to pass on malware to unsuspecting visitors.

All it takes is a little regular maintenance to protect your church community and potential new members. Besides, no one wants to deal with the cleanup after a site’s been hacked.

1. Use Backup Softwarecustom church website button

No matter what else you do for your church website, always have recent backups. Should the worst happen or a site upgrade go wrong, a backup can save you hours and even days. With a current backup, it only takes a few hours to ensure the backup doesn’t have any of the security flaws of the original (if it was a hack) and get your site back online. Worst case scenario, you may lose a few recent blog post comments or your latest blog post.

2. Install SSL Certificates

SSL certificates are an often overlooked safety measure, but they encrypt the data being transferred on your site. For instance, if you require anyone to log in, without an SSL certificate, that data could be intercepted by hackers and used to easily get into your website. Even if you don’t have any logins, SSL certificates are still helpful. Having that HTTPS in your URL not only makes your site safer, but it can also give you a small search engine rank boost.

One study has found sites with HTTPS ranking higher, while Search Engine Journal warns that Google will start marking sites as not secure if they don’t use HTTPS.

3. Keep Your Site Updated

Many church websites run on WordPress, which is a great CMS. The platform even has security features built-in to help ensure the safety of your church website. However, WordPress releases security and core updates regularly. If you don’t install them, your site could be at risk. While you may face some compatibility issues with themes and plugins, it’s still worth updating for optimal safety.

4. Require Strong Passwords

Are you still using the default username and password for your administrator login? Hackers rely on users to have simple or default passwords. This makes it easy for them to get in without even having to hack anything. A shocking 17% of users still use 123456 as their password. To improve the safety of your church website, require stronger passwords. For best results, use a random password generator, but to create one yourself, do the following:

  • Create passwords from a sentence, using the first letter of each word, along with a symbol and a number
  • Use at least one number and one symbol
  • Use eight characters or more (more characters is harder to crack)
  • Never use any personal information, such as birthdays
  • Use a different password, or at least a variant, on every site

grow your church button5. Use Security Software

You probably have anti-virus installed on your church’s computers to give them safer. Websites need the same type of protection. Your web host may already have security software, such as anti-virus and a firewall. If you’re using WordPress, you can also use security plugins that constantly scan for threats and further secure your site from hackers.

6. Always Update Plugins & Themes

According to Sucuri’s Website Hacked Trend 2016 Report, the main cause of WordPress hacks is outdated and insecure plugins. Just like WordPress itself, you should always keep any plugins and themes you’re using updated. If you notice that they haven’t been updated in a while or they’re not compatible with the newest version of WordPress, it may be time to consider changing to a new theme and plugins. Also, uninstall any plugins and themes you don’t need. As long as they’re installed, they still represent potential vulnerabilities in your site.

Place Safety First

The safety of your church website shouldn’t be taken lightly. All it takes is a single hack to ruin all your hard work. Remember, you’re not just keeping the website safe – you’re keeping all your church website visitors safe as well.

Have questions about creating a more secure website for your church? Contact us today to see how we can help.

Why People Blame The Church

It’s far too common for people to blame the church for any and everything. Most of the time, the church isn’t to blame at all.

However, there are some issues that church leaders may be able to learn from. You can take the complaints and use them to improve the church.

While you’ll never make everyone that comes through your doors happy, it does help to understand why they’re blaming the church in the first place.

They Can’t Find The Right Community

custom church website buttonCommunity is one of the top reasons people attend church, outside of worship, of course. In fact, 78% of millennials stated that community was the top quality of their ideal church. If the atmosphere isn’t as welcoming and friendly as visitors would like, they blame the church.

It could easily be that they didn’t stay long enough for anyone to get to know them or to get involved in anything. It could also be a chance to create a welcome plan for new visitors and work with members to get everyone more involved.

They Feel Like Leaders Are Disconnected

Church visitors want to feel like church leaders are connecting with them. If there’s a disconnect, they blame the church. This can actually go both ways and you shouldn’t feel as if you have to take the blame.

Think of it as an opportunity to look for ways to better connect. For instance, does your church have a website or social presence for members to engage with the church outside of worship hours? Simply being more modern can bridge the disconnect gap and reduce blame.

They Dislike The High School Mentality

Drama is never fun, but it’s a common thing that people blame the church for. A simple disagreement between two members can easily spiral out of control and make your church community seem more like a drama filled high school. While you can’t be responsible for monitoring your members’ behavior, try to take notice of any issues and offer private messaging online during certain hours to make it easy for members to come to you when something’s going wrong.

They Don’t Want To Be Like Everyone Else

Individuality is important, especially to younger members. The moment they feel like they have to be like every other member, they blame the church for trying to take away that all important individuality. Visitors and members want a church community that is filled with individuals.

Take a look at your community. Does everyone seem to always have the same opinions, dress similar and even do all the same hobbies? While it’s not the church’s fault, some people place blame instead of just continuing to be themselves.

They Aren’t Interested In Politics

grow your church buttonPolitics are one thing that should always exist outside the church. It should be a safe sanctuary from the chaos that is politics and government. Yet, some churches do get involved and even go so far as to try to sway their members to vote one way or the other. This means it’s not uncommon for people to blame the church for a political candidate winning or losing.

Discussing politics just alienates part of your church community and may push out potential new members.

They Aren’t Growing Spiritually

Spiritual growth is part of attending church, but some people blame the church if they don’t grow as much as they want. The only problem is each individual is also responsible for that growth. The only thing church leaders can do is make sure they’re connecting with members and discussing issues that may be relevant. Making time to talk to members outside of church or online is a way to guide members towards the growth they want, but ultimately it’s up to each person to grow when they’re ready.

People will always blame the church, but you shouldn’t take the blame personally. Learn and grow from complaints when possible. Otherwise, just try to connect with and reach as many people as possible.

Start engaging your church community more by contacting ReachRight today to see how to create a virtual foyer for members and visitors.

How To Get Church Visitors To Return After Easter

Easter is one of the busiest times for churches. It seems like a promising start to a boost in church attendance, but once Easter is over, all those extra visitors seem to disappear.

Sadly, many of your new visitors during Easter services and community events are only there temporarily. They may have attended for a special Easter program or they limit church attendance to special holidays.

Whatever their reason, church leaders don’t have to accept that these visitors won’t return after Easter. In fact, there are several things you can do to help bring some of those visitors back.

Let Them Know About Your Online Presence

custom church website buttonFor new visitors, they may still be on the fence about attending again. After all, most churches tend to go all out for Easter. Visitors aren’t sure what to expect during a normal Sunday. This is where quickly mentioning your church’s online presence can help.

Your website and/or social media profiles are great ways for new visitors to get to know more about your church on their terms. They can ask questions, check out past sermons (if available), read blog posts and see how church leaders engage members throughout the week. All of this helps encourage visitors to come return after Easter.

Offer Details About Church Programs

A not so surprising 93% of Protestant pastors said Easter was their church’s busiest time, in one survey. Part of the reason is because churches often host Easter egg hunts, have community dinners, invite special musical guests and more. But this doesn’t let new visitors know anything else about your church.

Provide flyers or a link to your website that provides details on other church programs. Talk about community service events, how your church uses donations, what programs are available (such as childcare or youth ministry) and anything else special about your church. The more that visitors know about your church, the more likely they are to return.

Ask Members To Talk With Visitors

If you took a poll of all those extra visitors, you’d probably find that the majority have one thing in common – they were invited by a member of your church family. It’s easier for members to get others to visit during special holidays. Encourage your members to follow-up with anyone they invited.

Sometimes all it takes is that extra invitation to show a visitor that they are truly welcome. While you might not get everyone to return after Easter, you will get some to come back.

Promote Mother’s Day

grow your church buttonThe big holiday after Easter is Mother’s Day. In fact, Mother’s Day is #3 on the list of busiest times for churches. Give new visitors a reason to give your church a second try. The more you can get them to come back, the easier it is for you to show them the benefits of attending your church.

Do the same thing during your Mother’s Day service. Promote the next big service. You could even just talk about the topic of your next sermon. Tie it to something relevant to pique visitors’ interest.

Provide Connection Cards To All Visitors

A grand Easter service is wonderful, but visitors want to know there’s more behind your church than big and bold. A popular way to connect with new visitors is to provide connection cards. Even now that Easter is over, there’s no reason you can’t give connection cards to your members to give out to those they invited.

Connection cards provide a warm welcome to anyone who may want to return after Easter. Provide all the church’s contact details. Include upcoming events and even sermon topics. Include the most recent prayer requests as well. Not only does this help make visitors feel more like members, it also shows that your church isn’t just out to market itself, but spread God’s love too.

Want to bring more visitors back after Easter? Start by contacting us today to see how an engaging website can help your church attendance.

7 Top Online Giving Companies For Churches

If church donations are down, the problem might be with your giving options. Take a moment to consider how many of your church members actually carry cash with them anymore.

Odds are, many members, especially those under 50, are more used to carrying debit and credit cards. This means when the offering plate comes around, they don’t have anything to put in it. This doesn’t mean they don’t want to give, though.

Online giving options give these members a chance to give on their terms. They can make occasional donations or set up a schedule, so they never forget. It’s a great way to boost tithing and take advantage of technology for your church.

1. EasyTithe

EasyTithe is a popular online giving tool. It’s easy to customize it to match your church’s branding, so it looks familiar to users. The platform offers mobile, online, recurring, text and kiosk giving. There are no startup fees for any plans and the highest transaction fees are 3% plus $0.39 per transaction. Free and monthly fee plans are available.custom church website button

2. PayPal / Stripe

PayPal and Stripe are similar online giving options. While they’re mostly used for ecommerce, both tools allow you to incorporate a payment area on your church’s website to accept donations. PayPal can’t be customized and the only fees are 2.2% plus $0.30 per transaction. Stripe can be customized, but it’s more difficult than EasyTithe. Fees are 2.9% plus $0.30 per transaction.

3. Continue to Give

Continue to Give is a slightly more expensive option, starting at $15 per month. The platform offers mobile, online and kiosk giving. It can integrate with your existing church website, so members never leave your site to tithe. Pricing varies, but transaction fees are usually 2.9% plus $0.30 per transaction.

4. SecureGive

SecureGive was actually created by pastor who wanted to offer members an easier way to tithe. The platform is well-known for putting security first, which may help put members’ minds at ease who are hesitant to donate online. The online, mobile and kiosk plan starts at $69 per month, while the plan that includes texting starts at $109 per month. Transaction fees vary based on the payment method.

5. Paperless Transactions

Paperless Transactions offers a wide range of online giving services. The service can accept both cards and checks. It can integrate with your website or create a mobile app just for your church. Text giving is also an option. You can also set up specific donor pages for fundraising or upcoming events. It’s one of the more expensive options, starting at $25 per month plus a $500 setup fee.

6. Mogiv

Mogiv makes online giving easy for both members and churches. There are no fees except for transaction fees. It’s free to try and supports online, mobile and text-based giving. It’s one of the best options if you’re new to online giving and want to try it out before committing to a service with monthly or setup fees.

7. Tithe.ly

grow your church button Tithe.ly is designed to boost online giving through mobile, online and text giving. There are no setup or subscription fees to deal with, making it a more affordable giving solution for churches. You’ll only pay 2.9% plus $0.30 per transaction for accepting cards. The platform also accepts funds directly from bank accounts at a fee of 1% plus $0.30 per transaction. There is even an option to show fees to users and allow them to add the fee amount to their donation, making it free for churches.

Add Online Giving Today

If your church hasn’t tried online giving yet, now is the time to try. The majority of your members probably have a smartphone with them at all times. It’s easier for them to donate with a few taps than try to remember to carry cash around with them. Choosing the right provider is important. While you should consider cost, look at additional features, such as custom branding. The right solution can and will boost tithing.

Need help integrating online giving on your website? Contact our friendly team today to see how we can help.