7 Church Leadership Podcasts Pastors Need To Subscribe To Today

If you’re feeling lost or just want to become a better leader, church leadership podcasts help give you the inspiration and motivation you need.

Podcasts are easy to subscribe and listen to whenever you have a free minute. Learn about current issues facing your church family, creative ways to engage members and even the best ways to attract new members.

Make sure you subscribe to all five of these podcasts and be ready to take notes. You’ll be amazed at what you learn and how you can apply it immediately.

1. 5 Leadership Questions

custom church website buttonA podcast that makes you think is always a good thing. The 5 Leadership Questions podcast features Todd Adkins and Barnabas Piper and is presented by LifeWay Leadership. The purpose of this podcast is to help church leaders learn from other leaders. It’s a great way to see what’s working for other leaders and use their advice to help you and your church. Every guest is asked the same five questions.

2. Rainer On Leadership

The Rainer on Leadership podcast is hosted by Thom Rainer and Jonathan Howe. The twice-weekly podcast provides advice to church leaders on topics such as church building, volunteering, staffing and much more. This is one of the more popular church leadership podcasts that focuses on everyday challenges church leaders face.

3. Signposts

Russell Moore’s Signposts podcast discusses a wide range of topics, such as current events, cultural issues, leadership and more. His church leadership podcasts are a great way to learn how to better connect with your members and understand non-members too. Make sure you subscribe since the schedule is a little random and you won’t want to miss the latest episode.

4. Carey Nieuwhof Leadership Podcast

Want to learn from some of ministry’s top leaders? Carey Nieuwhof Leadership Podcast does just that. Listen in as Nieuwhof interviews some of the most well-known leaders in ministry today. He seeks to help church leaders become better leaders and improve their church at the same time. He even has conversations with leaders you may not know to provide a wide range of insight into church leadership.

5. Craig Groeschel Leadership Podcast

grow your church buttonThe Craig Groeschel Leadership Podcast focuses on helping you become the leader you want to be. Groeschel takes the approach that leadership is learned. Get insights into becoming a better leader and understanding your members. The idea is to help you learn how to solve problems in creative ways.

6. Andy Stanley Leadership Podcast

Learn directly from one of the top ministry leaders, Andy Stanley. The Andy Stanley Leadership Podcast features topics that help church leaders reach their potential faster. Discover how to build a better church culture, the most effective leadership strategies, how to build the best team and more. He even answers listener questions from time to time.

7. Social Media Church

Social Media Church is one of the best church leadership podcasts for learning how to embrace technology to build your ministry. It’s hosted by Nils Smith and Jay Kranda. They lead discussions that explore the best strategies for using social media and technology. The podcast features interviews about how specific churches are finding success at connecting with members and engaging non-members.

Subscribe To These Church Leadership Podcasts Now

The key to becoming a better church leader is just a podcast away. Subscribe to all of these, which vary from twice weekly to once every few months. You’ll never run out of inspiration and new strategies to continue building your church. The podcasts are also great ways to refresh your strategy to better reach the younger unchurched. If you want to grow as a leader, use the advice of expert leaders who are ready to guide you.

Inspired to become a more effective leader who engages members? After checking out the above podcasts, see how our web design services provide a wide-reaching engagement platform.

6 Small Thinking Church Myths That Can Harm Your Church

It’s easy to buy into myths. After all, you hear them all the time and they probably started with a grain of truth. However, when church myths start holding your church back, it’s time to separate fact from fiction.

Every myth you hear isn’t true and those lies can do lasting harm to your church if you’re not careful. Once you let go of the falsehoods, you might just discover your church is better than it ever was.

1. Big Churches Are A Bad Thing

custom church website buttonThere’s a myth floating around that big churches are automatically bad. In fact, these mega-churches come with a slew of myths all on their own. A common myth is that church means a small, tight community. However, large churches can still have a tight-knit community. While some big churches fit the myths, many don’t. If you have a big church, ignore the myths and work to show everyone that the common church myths are false.

2. Following Success Stories Won’t Work

Sadly, it’s common to think that what works in one church won’t work for you. If that myth applied to every aspect of life, it would be hard for any real advances to be made. For instance, look at the success of PDAs in the late 90s and early 2000s. If Apple hadn’t imitated and built upon that success, the iPhone would never have existed.

Don’t discount a successful church without looking into what they’ve done and how. What worked for them could very well be what helps your church to grow.

3. Technology Isn’t Effective For Church

This is one of the common church myths and one that often keeps churches from attracting younger members. Technology doesn’t hurt the church – it helps. When done right, it improves communication, attracts more members and even helps those who can’t attend further learn about their faith. Ignoring technology could cause members to move on to other churches.

4. Members Simply Don’t Give Anymore

grow your church buttonIt’s not that members don’t tithe anymore, but they don’t tithe as much or as often. Lack of regular attendance and tithing options are usually to blame for this church myth. With 49% of giving coming from credit cards or electronic means, it’s important to offer an alternate way for members to give outside of cash or check.

Another problem is members want to understand where their money goes. They want to know they’re helping the community. If you question your members, you might find that many donate to various charities versus tithing. The key is to talk to your members to find out their preferences and needs.

5. A Newer Church Building Makes All The Difference

There’s a reason there are so many churches with only a handful of members or just abandoned completely. This is one of the more harmful church myths – building a new church will make all the difference. It’s simply just not true. If your church is too small for your church family or needs extensive repairs, a new church is a great idea.

Building newer or bigger churches for the sake of attracting members isn’t going to work if you’re already struggling with attendance. Instead, focus on better marketing or look into ways to improve your existing church to attract new members.

6. Thinking Big Or Small

For some reason, there’s a battle between big churches and small churches. If a church is too big, they must not focus on God’s word. If a church is small, they must not know how to attract and keep members. Neither statement is true. Yet, small and big churches struggle because of these myths. Church isn’t about how big or small the building or number of members is.

It’s about effectively bringing together the community and working to help members understand their faith and inspiring them through their struggles. Size doesn’t matter – the love and community within the church is what truly matters.

Ready to step away from these church myths? Start by embracing technology. See how REACHRIGHT can help you reach more members with your own website today.

5 Foolproof Ways To Reach Unchurched Young Adults Online

If your church isn’t online, it might seem like it’s impossible to reach unchurched young adults. The truth is, churches need an online presence to better reach this demographic.

Even though they’re unchurched, many of these young adults aren’t opposed to church. They either aren’t interested in attending an actual location or already have other commitments. However, they still want spiritual guidance.

Thanks to the Internet, you now have foolproof ways to ensuring your message reaches today’s younger adults. It’s a powerful tool for reaching those that once seemed unreachable.

custom church website button1. Make Your Church Easily Accessible

This is the most important step – make your church accessible. If the only way you’re currently trying to reach unchurched young adults is by a sign outside the church or asking members to spread the word, you might not reach as many people as you might hope.

The younger generation lives online. It’s where they find information, research things to do (such as going to church) and socialize. Make your church accessible online to reach this demographic where they live. If you’re easy to find, you’ll reach the unchurched easier.

2. Go Social And Stay Social

When done right, social media is the perfect way to engage unchurched young adults. Millions of people use social media every day. However, it’s not enough to just post announcements sometimes. You have to be active. Respond to comments and questions. Encourage people to share your posts with their own friends and followers. Even if the younger unchurched don’t find your social media accounts, they might still see a post from one of their friends.

Facebook is one of the most popular networks, but it’s not the only one. Experiment with a few popular options to see where you get the best responses.

Not sure what to post or how to interact on social media as a church? Check out these great examples of churches who use social media right.

3. Showcase Engaging Services Online

Church and entertainment might not seem like they go hand in hand, but the young adults of today are also known as the entertainment culture. If you want to reach them, you have to offer high quality, engaging services. Post these services online and you’ll find it easier than ever to connect with the unchurched. Once they see that your church offers the kind of services that they want, they’ll be more likely to attend.

It’s important to remember that “entertaining” doesn’t have to mean flashy lights and music that’s so loud it makes your ear drums hurt. In this aspect, it means making services relevant to today’s issues, telling a few jokes, truly explaining the week’s message and playing off the church members. That’s all young adults really want – services that make them feel like part of the community instead of a bystander watching TV.

4. Get Smart And Go Mobile

A whopping 77% of adults own a smartphone and 92% of young adults between 18-29 own a smart phone. If you want to reach unchurched young adults, you need some form of mobile presence. A mobile app and/or a mobile-friendly website are crucial to reaching this demographic. Many young adults search for churches, read the Bible and engage with church websites on their phones. If your church isn’t available on mobile, it’s nearly impossible to reach them.grow your church button

5. Encourage Community Among Everyone

Did we mention that young adults love to socialize online? Use this to your advantage to reach them. Add a community section to your website where visitors can ask questions and talk to not just church leaders, but church members. Ask for volunteers to help monitor social media and respond to comments and share posts.

The idea is to create a true community that accepts everyone. Consider adding a forum, creating regular blog posts and asking interactive questions on social media. The more of community atmosphere you create online, the easier it is to reach unchurched young adults.

Reach Unchurched Young Adults Now

Young adults are eager to hear what you have to say. You just have to reach out to them online. Make it easier for them to connect with you online and you have a foolproof plan for reaching this unchurched demographic.

Need help getting your church online and in front of young adults? Contact us today to see how our web design services can help you.

7 Things You Will Never Hear Your Members Say About Your Church Website That You Should

Oh yeah, “about your church website Pastor!” We are all sweet and perfect Christians, right? We all know the answer to that.

None of us are perfect. Ministry and church life can often be very hard. It is a different kind of beast compared to anything else out there. Yet, we are all called to be Christlike even when things are tough, irritating, and not agreeable to us.

One of the things I have found being in ministry for years now is that we choose to error by faking nice, even when we do not want to be. We put on a smile and just say “amen pastor” even though we do not mean it.

As a matter of fact, we all need to work on being a little more candid, direct, and honest. Especially when we have a disagreement or issue with someone, something, poor decisions we see made, our pastor, a lay leader, and more…

Jesus, after all, was very direct. He was more direct with people than we want to acknowledge or give him credit for actually. Are we supposed to be more like Jesus? Yes.

When it comes to getting feedback about your church website, most of the time you will not receive direct, candid, and honest critique about it.

Why?

Mostly because of the above mentioned. Also because it is something that seems to be on the “outside” so to speak. It is not top of mind often in ministry.

We focus on service stuff, worship, and other ministries. We are dealing with people who are actually in front of our face daily.

You will often not get feedback about your church website due to fear that a member, lay leader, or someone on your church staff may have. A person does not wish to hurt your feelings or hurt the person’s feelings who actually designed the church website either.

custom church website buttonThis is big a problem! You need honest feedback about your church website. It is your virtual front door that most people will hit before they decide to visit your church for the first time.

Here are some things you will not hear your members or even your ministry team say about your church website that you should. How do I know these are specific things you will not hear about your church website?

I have consulted with thousands of pastors and ministry leaders over the years. I actually give this constructive feedback. A Pastor then takes it to his or her team only to finally hear that people felt the same way about the church’s website all along.

1. Our church website is out of date.

Ok, so this is a generic comment. But, people know when something is old. A sweater loses color, a car’s paint starts to chip, and your teeth start to fall out!

The same thing applies to your church website. The colors and branding get old. It has old staff photos of what you wished you still looked like as a pastor. It has ministry content that is no longer relevant.

2. Oh yeah, about your church website Pastor. It looks terrible from my phone!

Did you know that over 60% of all web browsing is happening from mobile devices now? Isn’t it crazy? It is a reality now.

I spoke to a pastor the other day who has an iPhone who has never taken the time to look at his church website! He didn’t know that it was not mobile-friendly at all.

A mobile friendly site might be the difference maker in a decision someone makes to not tithe through your website. They became too frustrated trying to make that happen from their phone.

What if a young millennial falling apart because of addiction tried to listen to a sermon you preached on the freedom Christ brings? Yet, he couldn’t get to it from his phone effectively.

What is one soul like this worth to God? I’m not trying to sound harsh but you may need to hear it.

3. I do not find our church website useful at all.

A church website should be an interactive tool still. It is not all about outreach. Yes, we have social media and apps now that can be very useful for church communication.

However, Your website is a hub for members.

Things members will rely on your church website for are: Online Giving, Sermons, Registration, and Events. Are these things up to date on your church website?

Do you want your members to get last week’s sermon they missed? How about that person who is not a member yet? They may want to hear a message from your church to help them decide if they want to come for the first time or not?

4. Our website is a poor reflection of our church.

Do you have quality services and ministry taking place at your church? I hope you are proud of your church and what God is doing there. I’m sure your members are. After all, they are staying for some reason.

Are they proud to give your website address to a friend or someone they meet to invite them? They may not be. Once again, they are afraid to tell you that your website isn’t a reflection of what they love about your church.

5. I don’t even know what our web address is!

I have pastors often tell me they do not even know what their website address is off the top of their head! This is sad. If you as a pastor do not know, do you expect your members to know it?

Do you have it on signage or other marketing material you use? You should be telling people what your website address is during announcements or when preaching a sermon about inviting.

6. I sent a friend to our website and they called me back to get directions and service times!grow your church button

Hard to believe? I still see so many church websites without service times and directions that are clearly visible. You would think this should be a no-brainer to have a front face now on a church website.

Some studies show this is the most sought after item on a church website. Don’t take my word for it but Thom Rainer’s too. I hope you never hear this about your church website actually.

7. Our church website sucks!

Last but not least. You should hear this if it is true. If all the above is lacking, your church website does suck.

Sometimes we need to hear the plain truth bluntly. Sometimes that is what it takes for us to actually do something about a problem.

You love your church, are proud of it, care for your members, and most importantly you care for the unchurched out there. It is time to do something about your church website. It is time to speak up about it.

Lives do actually depend on it.

Are you afraid some of these things listed are on the tip of your member’s tongues? Let’s do something about.

We offer a free website analysis. Just ask us for one!

How The Internet Has Revolutionized The Way Churches Communicate

It’s undeniable that the Internet has changed the way churches communicate. Gone are the days of a few conversations after church, only to see members again during service hours or special appointments.

Now, it’s easier than ever to send an inspirational message in a few clicks or ask for prayers from hundreds of miles away. The possibilities are seemingly endless. While it’s true that some believe the Internet has hurt churches, the digital world has actually opened up more lines of faith-based communication than ever before.

Reach Members Any Time

Your members come to church to worship together, but they encounter issues throughout the week that may test their faith. With social media, a blog or even an email, church leaders can reach out to provide scripture related to current events or remind a member that’s struggling with their own personal demons that you’re there for them.

Of course, it’s not just church leaders who connect. Thanks to social media or even forums on your church website, members can provide support and encouragement to each other. Instead of being too busy to get together, they can socialize online and keep that feel of community even when they’re not at church.

Engage With Non-Members Easilycustom church website button

Pope Francis is the perfect example of engaging with non-members thanks to the Internet. His Twitter account currently has 10.5 million followers at the time of writing. While many of those followers are likely members of a church, there are plenty that likely aren’t. They still find encouragement and motivation from his tweets, though.

In the past, it was difficult to engage with non-members or the unchurched. Thanks to the Internet, they can come to you in their own time. This makes them feel more comfortable and may even lead to them becoming members.

Communicate In Numerous Ways

According to this infographic from Nonprofit Marketing Guide, 80% of non-profits consider their website to be the most effective communication tool. Churches communicate in a variety of different ways now. Phone, physical mail, paper bulletins, and word-of-mouth used to be the only options. Now, you have a variety of social media channels, email, websites, texting and more.

It’s easy to find the new world of options overwhelming but listen to your members. They’ll be happy to let you know which channels they prefer. When it comes to social media, pick a few networks to be active on. The main thing is to keep communication going on a daily basis and not just one or two days a week.

Discuss Questions Throughout The Week

Before the Internet, it was difficult for members to talk to church leaders about any questions that might have regarding sermons or events. Potential members might have felt hesitant to come to church to ask questions before joining.

Now, with email, contact forms on websites and social networks, anyone can contact the church at any time to ask questions. Members can talk to each other easily to further discuss the messages in sermons. This keeps the conversations going long after church is over for the week.

grow your church buttonReach Those Who May Never Join

One of the most important ways that the Internet has revolutionized the way churches communicate is by helping churches reach those who many never officially join a physical church. Many people have odd schedules or can’t find the right church for them. Instead, they seek guidance online. They visit church websites, follow church leaders on social media and even watch sermons regularly online.

Some churches are even taking online communication a step further and creating digital churches. For instance, Higher Dimension has both a physical and digital church. People can attend live streaming services from anywhere. They can also playback services if they couldn’t stream live. This new option gives people a chance to worship on any schedule and from any place around the world.

The Internet is something to embrace. Use it as another way to better connect and engage your members and reach non-members. It’s a valuable tool for communication and church growth.

Ready to revolutionize how your church communicates? Start with a professionally designed website from people who understand church websites.

Infographic: 25 Stats You Need To Know About Instagram For Churches

instagram for churches header

Instagram is the fastest growing social media platform in the world. It is growing five times faster than any other social network. Is your church using it?

You should be.

By now you know that your church needs to be using social media. You have an hour with your church family on Sunday mornings. Social media gives you access to your church for the other 167 hours each week.

Most churches today are using Facebook, the world’s largest social network. Most of your church family is on there, and your church should be using it to grow. 

If I was only going to use one social network for my church, I would use Facebook. 

The second social network your church should be using is Instagram.custom church website button

3 Reasons You Need To Use Instagram For Churches

Instagram reaches a younger audience.

Instagram reaches a younger audience than Facebook.

With 55% of young adults using Instagram, this is the network we need to be on if we want to reach millennials.

Recently I had a conversation with a 19-year-old who explained to me that Facebook was something for older people. She and her friends rarely use anything but Instagram.

If we want to reach young people with the Gospel, we need to be where they are.

grow your church buttonInstagram reaches people visually.

When other large social networks were built, they primarily offered text updates. Instagram focuses on visual updates.

If you are like me, you have become tired of the constant political conversations on other social networks.

With Instagram, each post requires a photo or video. This has made the content much more personal and less political.

This keeps Instagram fun.  Your church needs to be where the fun is.

Instagram reaches the nations.

Instagram has an international user base.  As young people come to the United States, chances are they are on Instagram.

We aim to take the Gospel to the ends of the earth. Instagram is bringing the nations to us.

25 Stats You Need To Know About Instagram For Churches

instagram for churches

Why Leading The Unchurched Is Never Easy

Leading the unchurched may not always seem easy, simply because the benefits of your church might not be as obvious to them as it is to you.

Most unchurched people aren’t opposed to attending church, but they have to find the right fit for their needs. This means listening to those needs and finding ways your church can help meet their needs.

The most important thing to remember is to take the time to understand unchurched people. In many cases, they’re just looking for a church that is open to their questions about faith.

It’s Difficult To Build Trust

custom church website buttonWith 45% of Americans identifying as unchurched, it’s important to help them find their way to the right church for them. The problem is building trust. Many unchurched are actually de-churched, meaning they once regularly attended a church. These people are hesitant to return due to bad experiences in the past. Building trust again isn’t easy, but with patience and persistence, it’s possible.

Leading the unchurched effectively means talking to them regularly. Ask if they’ve attended before and what made them stop. Find out why they’re hesitant to be a member. Once you know why they’re holding back, you’re better able to address those issues.

It Feels Like Two Different Worlds

How much do your church members and leaders know about current culture? If it’s been a while since you’ve had new members, your church may seem like an outdated foreign concept to the younger unchurched. Think of it like an out of touch school teacher. You can force students to sit and listen, but how much they comprehend depends on the teaching style. If the style is more current, the students pay better attention.

The same goes with leading the unchurched. You have to find a way to blend your current church community and current culture, so it feels more comfortable for everyone. For instance, your current members might not see the use for a website or social media accounts, but this may be the preferred way for the unchurched to find and interact with your church.

Sometimes You’re Just Not Ready Yet

It might be difficult for any church to admit, but you may be failing at leading the unchurched simply because your church isn’t quite ready yet. The big question you might have right now is “how do I know if the church is ready?”. The easiest way to answer that is by taking a look at Carey Nieuwhof’s post 9 Signs Your Church Is Ready To Reach Unchurched People. If you’re struggling with any of these areas, focus on improving first and then you’ll be ready to lead unchurched people better.

Your Members Have To Be On Board

grow your church buttonIt doesn’t matter how effective your leadership is with the unchurched if your members aren’t being supportive. If unchurched people feel judged or shunned because they’re not members or regular attendees, they won’t be receptive to anything from the church. Make sure that your members are accepting and encouraging. This makes the unchurched attendees feel more comfortable and they’ll give the church a better chance.

The Unchurched Have Big Questions

The unchurched aren’t unreachable. It’s just that nearly two-thirds have never had anyone actually explain faith in a meaningful way. Leading the unchurched means you may have to start from scratch. For people who haven’t pursued their faith, they’ll have quite a few questions and it’s up to you and your members to answer them as completely as possible.

Seeming shocked or annoyed by their questions will just prove to them that you’re not the right church for them. While every question can’t be answered, the right leadership will help them understand why there isn’t an answer. As with any member, everyone has questions. Be prepared to answer unchurched individuals’ questions and they’ll be more likely to follow your leadership.

Leading The Unchurched On Their Terms

If you want to lead the unchurched better and turn more of them into members, you have to learn to reach them on their terms. It might mean taking a more modern approach, but isn’t that worth it to fill your church and reach more people?

Start your leadership off right by reaching the unchurched online. Contact us today to find out how our web design services can help your church.

5 Point Checklist To Get Results Online This Year

Get Results Online For Your Church

2017 is in full swing. Before we know it, 2018 will be upon us unless of course, the Lord comes back(smile). If you are already committed to utilizing the internet as a church, you no doubt want to get results online this year from your efforts. Are you are seeing good results online so far this year? Good for you and this post may help you continue to get results online!

We are now approaching the first quarter of the year. As a church, I am sure you hope that by now you have some good strategy, processes, and goals set in place.

It is easy to think of goals in a general sense at the beginning of each year, isn’t it? Committing to a specific strategy or process to actually carry your goals out, is a whole different story. If you are like me when you start to set goals, you first think of all the big picture and general stuff. Then, you start to bullet point specifics within each of those goals. I find, there is a lot that can get lost when doing it this way.

May I dare say as a believer, the devil is in the details?

Let’s spend some time recapping a lot of the “specific” things for your online strategy. We want to help you get results online the rest of this year as much as possible.

This five-point checklist below will assume you are already online to a certain degree with a church website and using social media also.

1. Start a Blog

We recently put out what we felt was a very helpful post on this very point. A blog will help you with growth and outreach probably more than you may think. A church blog increases your search engine visibility plus some.

custom church website buttonSearch Engines are looking for good, relevant, and current content online. If you blog consistently, people searching online will be directed back to your church website more and more.

First things first. Remember, you need to commit to blogging first. Find a team or a few folks in your church that will help. Who else likes to write at your church? Who is active in the ministry there? These people will be good candidates to recruit.

If you are a pastor, it will help if you blog too. A pastor is more than likely the person thinking more about, writing, and already producing church specific content.

A blog will also promote healthy church discussion and more church involvement throughout a given week. A blog can challenge your members to start thinking more about spiritual topics. You will generate discussion throughout a week when folks are not always engaged in church life.

It will help members to think more about reaching and inviting people throughout the week. If you are coming up with good content, people will want to share that content on social media with others.

People can comment and interact on blogs. Do you want people talking about your church throughout the week?

2. Get Results Online: Use Instagram

Almost every church uses facebook now. A lot of Pastors use twitter. Instagram is slowly but surely catching on now within the church as a whole. There are some good reasons for this.

A Recent study shows that many Millennials are fleeing Facebook to go over to Instagram. Why?

The main reason is because they are preferring visuals over text. Millennials also value authenticity compared to an ad based or stock approach.

Is your church authentic? I hope so. One of the best ways to show your authenticity to get results online is through the use of photography.

Church websites that get results online use real, candid, and compelling photos of people within their church.

Do you have a photographer in your church? Are you taking pictures of church activities? If not, can you find some people passionate within your church to do so? Consider hiring a photographer to take photos too if you really want to do it right.

Once you start doing this, add Instagram to your repertoire which is a picture-based social media platform. Millenials and others will appreciate this and your members that use Instagram already will too.

Members will start sharing more of your photography and imagery with their unchurched friends too.

If you need more tips on how to come up with compelling photography, check this past post of our’s out.

3. Get the Google Grant

A lot of churches are becoming more aware of this grant now, but many still are not aware of it. Google makes most of its money by selling advertising. The only way to ensure that you will come up on a google search is to pay for a spot at the top, bottom or right-hand column of a search. And these ads can be very expensive.

But for churches and all other non-profits, google offers a grant that gives $10,000 (not a typo) each month (also not a typo) to be spent on advertising on its search engines. There is an application process but almost every church qualifies if they go through it. You should be doing this if you want to better results online!

If you are looking for a way to reach people and not taking advantage of this program, you need to do so today to get results online.

The average church will pay just under $2 per click on a paid ad in a google search. That means over 5000 visitors to your church website each month. If you can convert just 1% of them into visitors to your church…. that would mean 50 visitors this month.

Would 600 new visitors to your church this year make an impact on your ministry? Let us know if you need some help getting going on this too! We have a service for this.

4. Make sure your church website is Mobile Responsive

Again, this is another area churches are catching onto, but slowly. Over half of all browsing is taking place now from mobile devices. This number is going to rise rapidly this year.

grow your church buttonYou need to have a mobile oriented approach to get results online this year for sure. Specifically, your website needs to be “mobile responsive” though. What does “mobile responsive” mean? It means not only should your website be able to be visible on a mobile device, but it should also “respond” to any device. Whether that is from an android phone, iPhone, or tablet.

Think of it this way, your church website should “transform” from a desktop version and resize itself on one of these devices. Don’t fall for some of the knock-off versions through cheaper templates out there. Some of these provide somewhat of a “mobile version” of a site, but not true responsive design.

Google is now giving precedence to mobile responsive websites. They are flagging unresponsive sites hence moving them lower in the searches. You want to do all you can to come up as one of the first churches when someone is doing a search for one.

If you want to dive into the need for this deeper and some more date, check out more here.

5. Use Online Giving

I almost felt like I should leave this point out. You would think it should be a given by now for churches to be using online giving to get results online.

Yet, we still see a lot of churches not taking advantage of this or serving their membership well with this tool. Why?

The two things I hear the most when consulting with churches are:

“Some people within the church or leadership feel online giving will take away from a member’s worship needs.” Our members need to give in person during a service.

Having pastored myself for several years and being a committed tither, I can appreciate this concern that many churches have. Tithing and giving are acts of worship and obedience for a believer indeed.

I give online and I will tell you that online giving is a part of my personal worship for sure.

It may sound funny, but I pray before I click the give button on my church’s website. I thank the Lord for His provision and have a time of worship when I do this each time.

I prefer to give online as a Gen-Exer who does their banking online also. Online giving allows me to give my first fruits right when I get paid before doing anything else. I bet you may have some people like me at your church or that may consider your church.

The second obstacle I hear is when a church is not wanting to pay the transaction fee of an online merchant. They lose that money as a church when someone gives online.

Yes, there are transaction fees with every online merchant out there ranging from 2-3% on average. We get that concern.

I would submit to you that there will be the people who still prefer to give at offering time with a personal check. You will have people who will continue to give that way. But then there will be people like me who prefer to give online and can stay more disciplined if they do it that way.

An active church serving their local community well with a pure vision may attract online donors that will not be there at a physical service.

With online giving, you are also opening a door for people to give on different days of the week and not just on Sunday. Someone may feel led or be better able to make the financial commitment on a different day other than Sunday.

In my opinion, these pros out weight the cons. Most churches see an increase in their annual giving revenue when they add online giving too.

If you need help finding a good online giving provider check out a resource we provided for that here.

These are practical things you can implement to start getting better results online this year. Do you still have some questions or concerns about any of these points I have made? Do you need help knowing where to start? Let us know and we will be sure and give you some good direction and help!

Leading Your Church As A Micromanager Isn’t Passion

Leading Your Church As A Micromanager Isn't Passion angry boss

Leading your church means you have to be passionate. After all, church staff and members are going to follow your lead and if your passion doesn’t shine through, they might not feel as motivated.

The problem comes when you start to micromanage. The more you make this mistake, the less passionate you seem. In fact, it comes off as controlling. It isn’t an effective way to lead a church and could have some negative results.

Passion Motivates

custom church website buttonYour passion is what helps motivate others to join with you. Whether it’s getting volunteers for an activity or making new members feel welcome, true passion reaches out and makes others feel like they’re welcome and wanted. When your passion turns into micromanaging, you might or disgruntled staff. This creates a trickle down effect and creates a negative atmosphere in the church.

Micromanaging Pushes People Away

Micromanagement is one of the worst leadership styles. There are plenty of reasons why church leaders might try to micromanage, such as the fear of something going wrong, but it doesn’t actually help at all. In fact, it hurts your staff’s morale. It could lead to church members leaving for another church. Despite your passion and best intentions, you’re making others feel like you don’t want or need them around.

Leaders Need To Empower And Trust

True leaders empower those around them. They also inspire trust. Leading your church with passion makes others feel empowered. They know you trust them and want to see them grow. When you micromanage, you demean instead of empower. Think of how you feel when someone stands over your shoulder and criticizes everything you do? It’s not a great feeling.

Leadership is often confused with micromanaging. After all, you are in charge and you have to tell others what to do. Just remember that once you’ve provided instructions, let your church staff and members follow through. You can supervise, but don’t smother them.

Embrace The Gifts Of Others

There is something about a passionate leader that sparks leadership and creativity in others. Maybe you’re having trouble coming up with new ways to reach the unchurched. By leading your church with passion, your church family is more likely to come to your aid with creative ideas. After all, everybody in the church has their own unique gifts and ideas.

When you micromanage them, you stifle their creativity and make them feel as if you’re not receptive to their ideas. For instance, if the church needed someone to help build a set for a play, a carpenter in your church might not volunteer for fear that you wouldn’t let them build things their way.

Passion Doesn’t Equal Full Control

grow your church buttonGod gave everyone free will. When leading your church, it’s important to remember that micromanaging is a way of trying to take full control of your staff and members. That’s not God’s way. Instead, lead with passion. The idea is to lead and not control the actions of others. Your passion is enough to motivate your church family. You don’t need to full control over everything. Each person has their own role to play and it’s up to you to guide them, but ultimately let them make their own choices.

Micromanaging Holds Your Church Back

Micromanaging usually has a way of preventing you from moving forward. You’re stuck with your own ideas and aren’t receptive to new ways of doing things. For instance, you might believe having a church website isn’t necessary. While it’s an effective way of reaching new members and engaging existing ones, you can’t see it because it’s not your idea or current way of leading your church.

By being a passionate leader, you’re happy to try new things, because your main objective is to help members grow in their faith and bring in new members. It’s not about having to be in control. It’s about doing what’s best for your church.

It’s okay to let go of the reigns and trust your staff and members. Be there to guide them, but still give them room to do their part in making the church a better place for them and everyone else.

Want to do more to help engage your members and share your passion? See how our church web design services help you reach more people every day.

4 Reasons Why You Absolutely Must Start a Church Blog

Start a church blog
 
Every pastor wants to do a better job reaching their community.  At least I know I do. 
Over the past few years, I have become convinced that one of the best ways to make an impact in my community is by running a church blog.
 
Early in 2015 the church I pastor started a church blog.  At first, it was an experiment to see if we could do it.  We weren’t sure it would have much of an impact, but we had a few team members who loved to write, so we figured we would give it a shot.
 
I recruited 4 people from our church to help me with this project. I knew I couldn’t keep up if I did it alone.
 
We committed to each writing one post per month.  That allowed us to put out a new post each week.
 
The results have been nothing less than shocking. Since we started we have seen thousands of unique visitors to our site.  Hundreds have come out to visit our church and dozens have become members.
 
Here are 4 reasons why you need to start a church blog today.

1. A Church Blog Will Raise Your Visibility

One of the biggest challenges churches face is increasing their visibility in the community.
 
As much as we like to think we are a big deal, no one thinks about our church as much as we do. We need to do everything we can to make people aware of our church if we have any hope to engage them.
 
custom church website buttonAt my church, we had almost no visibility.
 
Like many young churches, we do not have our own building. We are an urban church that meets in community centers.  There is no sign out front that people drive by on the way home from work every day.
 
No one knew about us, but blogging has changed that.
 
When we started blogging, we were quite proud of ourselves.  We found that our blogging team loved to share our own posts on social media. Our friends and church family read our posts, and that was about it.
 
As we became more consistent some of the people from within our church started to like what we were putting out, and they began to share the posts.
 
After blogging consistently for a few months we saw that each post would get a handful of shares on Facebook.   This is where the visibility comes from.
 
A Facebook share is the modern invitation to church. (No it doesn’t replace inviting people to church. Don’t stone me.)
 
Each time something from your church is shared, it is a personal voucher for your church.  The sharer is putting their approval on your ministry and saying they stand behind it.
 
Every person who sees the shared post sees your church name, your branding, and if they click on the link, they get a short encouragement.
 
They are engaging with your ministry. Sure, it’s a baby step, but it increases the odds that they will visit on a Sunday.
 

2. A Church Blog Will Increase Your Reach

 
I don’t pastor an enormous church.  Each week our sermons are only heard by several dozen people.
 
Our blog has allowed us to greatly increase the reach of our church.
 
Our average post reaches 237 people.  That is more than we reach on a typical Sunday morning.
 
I am not saying that reading a blog post has the same value as someone coming to a service.  Corporate worship remains an integral part of every church.
 
Best Church Blog Post We Did
This post gets more traction than any other we wrote.

But there is great value in reaching people with a blog post. It gives them a bite size sermon that they can take with them and apply to their life. It meets them on their terms.

 
This can have an enormous impact on your church.
One post that we wrote caught on and received dozens of shares online. Now it ranks highly in searches and generates about 7 new site visitors every day.
 
We have had several people come to our services and tell us that they had found that particular post. Our blog served as the first step in connecting them to our church.
 

3. A Church Blog Will Increase Your Ranking On Search Engines

 
The biggest benefit to our church since we started a blog has been the change in our search engine rankings.
 
Search engines are the primary way that people make most decisions in their life today.grow your church button
 
Want to see a movie – Search for it and check the review and show times. Need a new mouse for your computer – Ask google which one is best. New to the area and looking for a church – do a quick online search and see what comes up.
 
Search engines have become the most important tool for getting the word out there about your church.
 
Starting a church blog will help you get a higher ranking on search engines.
 
Here’s why: Search engines try to deliver the most relevant results to the searcher.  The content on your site is the primary way that google will judge you. The more good content you have the higher you will rank.
 
There are other factors tied to search engine algorithms, but nothing is better for your search engine rankings than good content.
 
Good blog posts get linked to by other blogs.  They receive lots of social shares.  Google sees all these things and starts to think your church must be very important and will start to send people to your site more and more often.
 
Our church wrote a blog post about porn, and we saw huge volumes of people searching for porn wind up on our site – some even engaging with our church.
 
Side note: It is disturbing how many people were searching for kids+porn, but it is the sick that need the doctor right?
 
Start blogging and I am confident that you will see results in search engines.  Not immediately, but do it regularly and you will reap the rewards in due time.
 

4. A Church Blog Will Challenge Your Congregation

 
Finally, we have seen that starting a church blog was a great engagement tool for our church family.
 
People are busier today than ever before.  Trying to get everyone to show up to mid-week services or small groups is always a challenge.
 
I am a pastor, and it is even hard for me to want to go to mid-week events at church.
 
Writing in a blog has been a great way to provide an extra touch each week.
 
Where many members won’t get out and make it to a church meeting during the week, they will go on Facebook daily.
 
We see members connecting and engaging with the content week in and week out. They read and some even leave comments.
 
We have seen small group style discussions break out online with people who have never been to a small group.  The church blog allows us to make that happen.
 
A word of caution: Comment sections can devolve into unhealthy debate quickly.  We recommend that your church keeps the comment approval system on at all times.  Don’t allow your church blog to become a place for discord.
 

How can you start a church blog?

 
Many church website providers include blogging functionality in their offerings.  We would say that is a must have.
 
WordPress is the best blogging system out there, hands down.  We build exclusively on WordPress and strongly recommend that you do the same. It is easy to use and will help you rank better in search engines because WordPress is focused on content first.
 

Want some help?

 
Do you want to reach more people?  Last year our church saw an increase of 367 visitors by making a few tweaks to how we were doing things online.  We would love to help you make some of those changes to increase your reach.