Church Leadership Is A Tough Gig

One of the most difficult leadership roles is a church leader. In fact, church leadership ranks as number five out of nine on Forbes for toughest leadership positions.

Of course, this doesn’t mean church leaders don’t love their jobs. Whether they’re being paid or they’re volunteering, being a leader in a church is fulfilling.

From the outside, it might not seem quite so hard, but it’s important to think about all the responsibilities and how different church leaders are from other types of leaders.

Leaders Aren’t Perfect

Most people don’t expect leaders to be absolutely perfect, but when it comes to church leaders, every action is scrutinized. It’s important for church members to remember that church leaders aren’t perfect. They’re sinners just like everyone else. However, they face the pressure to be perfect all the time. The best way to prevent this is to go ahead and talk about your flaws and mistakes. It makes you easier to relate to and shows members that it’s okay to make mistakes in life.

Leading By Example Is Your Only Option

In most cases, church leaders are leading people who aren’t getting paid. You’re working with volunteers who have the option to just quit without consequence if they don’t want to do the job. It’s up to church leaders to motivate and encourage members to volunteer and give their all. The only way to do this is to lead by example. Even when you don’t feel motivated yourself, it’s up to you to still find ways to motivate your members and volunteers.

Finding Enough Time Is Difficult

As with any leadership role, finding enough time to devote to all your various responsibilities is hard. Church leaders don’t just work on Sundays. You have to attend meetings throughout the week, visit members at hospitals and their homes, coordinate with volunteers and do work in the community. This is why it’s so important for leaders to not micromanage. By leading and guiding volunteers, you’re able to let them take on much of the extra work and avoid burning out.

Every Member Wants Something Different

It’d be great if all your church members were on the same page, but most of the time everyone wants something different. Members might disagree on music choices, preaching styles, volunteer opportunities, community events and more. It’s up to church leaders to try to find the perfect compromises. That alone is a seemingly impossible task. However, finding ways to engage members helps make compromising much easier. Remember that you can’t please everyone and you shouldn’t feel bad if some members aren’t satisfied.

Sometimes It’s A Thankless Job

It’s not that your church family isn’t thankful for all that you do. However, they might not always say it. In a job that’s as hard as church leadership, you need words of thanks and encouragement. After all, church leaders need motivation too. One of the best ways to feel like you’re appreciated is to show appreciation to your members and volunteers. Of course, it’s also important to look at all the positive ways you’re helping to change your community and your members’ lives.

Adapting To Changes Isn’t Easy

Most people aren’t thrilled with change, but it’s crucial for keeping a church growing and thriving. Church leaders are the ones who have to make the final choice about changes, such as building a digital presence or adding more modern elements to services. Long before you present changes to members, you have to adapt to them. It’s not easy to change the way you’ve always done things.

Remember that change is a good thing. When leadership is positive about change and is able to embrace it, it’s much easier for members to embrace change too. The result is a church that continues to adapt and bring in new members. While change might be hard, the benefits make it worth it.

Church leadership is hard, but there are ways to make your job easier. Contact Reach Right Studios today to learn how an online presence helps you connect better with current and future members.

What Teen Ministry Attenders Wish Their Parents Knew

It’s not uncommon for parents to rely on teen ministry groups to take care of their teen’s spiritual needs.

What parents may not realize is that their teens need their parents more now than ever. In fact, most teens talk about issues that they wish their parents knew more about.

While teen ministry groups feel like a safe place, they’d love to share more with their parents. Most importantly, they want their parents to understand them.

It’s Okay To Be Involved

A common misunderstanding about teens is they don’t want their parents involved in their lives. Yes, teens tend to be more secretive, but it’s up to the parents to take interest in what their teen is doing. Believe it or not, teen ministry members wish their parents were more involved in their lives and interests. While you don’t need to hover, you should make a point of being involved, talking to them and learning about what they like and don’t like.

Understand How Things Are Different

Every new generation of teens experiences different issues than their parents. For instance, today’s teens deal with cyberbullying, whereas their parents never had to worry about that. Self-esteem issues and depression are common problems teen ministry members face. Teens want their parents to understand the struggles they face today, such as the pressure to be involved in school, church and even hold down a job while still being social with friends.

Even if parents can’t relate exactly, teens want their parents to listen without judgment. It’s one of the reasons teens open up more in ministry groups. They feel safer, but they still want their parents to better understand them.

Give Space, But Enforce Boundaries

Yes, teens do need space to explore their world, but what they wish their parents knew is that they still need boundaries. It’s not enough to just rely on teen ministry groups to teach teens right and wrong. Teens wish that parents would talk to them, ask questions and enforce boundaries. Having consequences helps teens stay on the right path.

All teens act out at some point, even those that seem 100% perfect. Teens just want their parents to give them space to make mistakes, but help them avoid making major mistakes. Instead of just getting angry, it’s important to talk things out, much like teen ministry leaders do.

Spiritual Guidance Goes Beyond Teen Ministry

Usually, teens attend a ministry group an hour or two a week. However, spiritual guidance doesn’t stop with church. Teens wish their parents knew how badly they need guidance throughout the week too. Whether it’s a question about their faith or how to best deal with someone who’s treating them badly, they need parents to guide them.

The old saying that it takes a village to raise a child is true. Spiritual development goes beyond church and teen ministry groups. Teens look to their parents for guidance and as influences. For instance, if you want your teens involved more in the church, get involved too.

They Interact At Church Differently But Still Believe

It’s easy for parents to just assume their teens don’t truly believe just because they interact differently. For instance, a busy teen might need Sunday to wind down after a particularly stressful week at school. Instead of going to church, they listen to a religious podcast online.

Teen ministry members wish their parents knew that their faith is strong, even if they worship differently. They’re more likely to interact online, such as reading church blog posts, listening to sermons online and even talking to their fellow ministry members in special forums or on social networks.

Today’s teens may not worship the same as their parents or grandparents, but they still believe. Their worship style does involve more technology and modern music because that’s what they relate to and they wish their parents understood that.

Want to make your church more teen friendly? Start with a church website to help teens, parents and other members connect in a digital era.

 

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.

How To Make Your Church’s Technology Engaging to Millennials

how to make your church's tech engaging to millennials

It’s a problem that churches face every day – millennials are leaving and not coming back.

This disturbing trend comes from millennials wanting something different from their church. Their lifestyles are different now and they want to be part of a community that reflects those differences.

While many churches try to appeal to millennials with fun technology, your church’s technology needs to be engaging to millennials. Luckily, that’s not nearly as difficult as you might think.

Keep Technology Relevantcustom church website button

Tech trends change rapidly and millennials pay close attention to trends. Why else would they stand outside in the pouring rain for hours for the latest smartphone or tablet? When millennials walk into your church, what do they see?

Is your church’s technology current or are you still using large desktop computers and bulky projectors? The same applies to a church website that looks like it was made in the 90s. Outdated tech makes millennials feel like the community won’t understand them. Make your tech more engaging by keeping up with the trends.

Go Where Millennials Are

Just because many millennials are leaving physical churches, it doesn’t mean they’re no longer interested. In fact, 80% of Christian millennials have posted scripture on various social networking sites and at least 65% prefer to read the Bible on a digital device.

Millennials are the digital generation. If you want to engage them, you have to go where they are. Send out tweets and Facebook posts with scripture and insights from your most recent sermon. Offer social share buttons on your website. You can even create your own app.

Ensure You’re Always Accessible

Millennials are known as the generation that doesn’t exactly have patience. They’re used to be connected 24/7. Texting, social networking and the Internet in general means they’re not used to waiting to get what they want or need. Your church’s technology needs to be just as accessible.

For instance, millennials may lose interest in a church if they only interaction they receive is on Sunday. Instead, have Q&A sessions on Facebook, Twitter or Reddit during the week. Create a community forum on your website for all members to interact during the week. Technology can bring everyone closer together and bring millennials closer to church.

Create A Social Atmosphere

More than anything, millennials crave a casual, community atmosphere in church. They’re not looking for flashy light shows, loud music or a speaker system that makes them feel like they’re being yelled at. Churches don’t have to go overboard on technology. Instead, use your church’s technology to create a more social atmosphere.

For instance, create an app with live surveys during the service. Ask a question and let members provide feedback in real time. Instead of feeling preached at, they feel like part of a community. Even if you’re in a simple building versus a massive cathedral, creating a social, community feeling through simple technology, such as integrating smartphone use into your service, works far better at engaging millennials.

grow your church buttonIntegrate Technology Naturally

It’s easy to get excited and want to fill your church with all the latest and greatest technology, but think about whether you really need it? Going overboard pushes millennials away. Since all millennials aren’t the same, there isn’t one exact plan for what you should and shouldn’t do when it comes to your church’s technology.

The one thing that is clear is technology needs to appear natural. For instance, your church’s website should reflect the tone and personality of the church itself. Start by updating or building an easy to use website, recommend different Bible apps (or create your own church specific app) and integrate smartphones and tablets into services.

The last thing millennials want is to go to church and feel like they’re with a group of people who are trying way too hard to please them. They want to fit in and integrating technology naturally makes them feel more comfortable.

Keep It Simple

Whatever technology you use, keep the focus on worship and not on the tech. After all, millennials want a place where they feel free to be themselves and be authentic. They want to explore their faith in their own way. Technology helps engage them, but they still need spiritual guidance. This is where church and tech come together to create the perfect solution for millennials.

Keep your church’s technology simple and you’ll engage far more millennials. Use tech to be more accessible and social. Even if millennials aren’t physically at church, they’ll still pay attention online and reaching them is what’s most important.

Looking for ways to make your church’s technology more engaging? Start with a custom website that speaks to and engages millennials.

7 Ways Your Church Website Can Better Connect You to Your Members

church website connect you to members

A church doesn’t have to limit how often it connects to its members, but it’s impossible for most churches to have someone available 24/7.

Connecting with members means being more available and we know that you want to be there for your church family. The solution to not only giving members more of what they need, but growing a church, is to have an active website.

Taking your church online might seem traditional, but the better you stay in contact with your members, even on days when there isn’t a service or event, the more your church will grow and thrive.

1. Provides Shareable Material For Memberscustom church website button

Your loyal members are always eager to spread the word, but invite cards cost money and you’re never sure how many people they actually reach. A church website gives you the opportunity to create shareable material, such as blog posts, sermons, event pages and more. Members simply have to visit the website and share anything they want to friends and family. This gives members the power to help boost church attendance and build a growing community.

2. Rely On More Than A Phone Chain For Updates

Phone chains are great, but they don’t work for everyone. Some people would much rather just visit a website to check times on an event or see if service is being delayed due to weather. Keep everyone in the loop by relying on a church website in addition to a phone chain.

3. Make It Easy To Ask Questions And Interact

What happens if a member has a question, but didn’t think of it until hours after the service? Odds are, they don’t want to feel like they’re bothering anyone by calling and asking. Your church website can offer an online community with a forum or a blog post for each service. Members then discuss questions together. Pastors are able to also further discuss questions and continue teaching and connecting with members via the website. You could even post questions in forums to spark discussion and further increase engagement.

4. Encourage Participation In Community Programs

Do you find that many members either forget about church events or just weren’t aware anything was happening? Members might have missed a service where a giving opportunity was discussed or about needing volunteers for an upcoming holiday play. Encourage a more active church family by posting about the event on your church website. Members can discuss events on the website and see how many members are already participating.

5. Meet Younger Members On Their Terms

If you want to connect with your church family, you need to meet them on their own terms – in this case, mobile devices. A shocking 93% of 18-34 year-olds use smartphones. Overall, 79% of people use smartphones. If you want to connect with your members, you need to be visible on the devices they use. Your church’s website ensures members are able to check-in no matter where they are.

6. Offer Previous Sermons For Missed Services

Hectic schedules keep many people from attending church regularly. Illnesses also keep members away. Stay in touch with members who aren’t able to attend church every Sunday by posting sermons on your website. Members will love that they can still worship, even if they’re not able to go to church directly. You could even include a digital tithe option for members to support the church, even when they’re not there.

grow your church button7. Provide Regular Devotionals During The Week

Sometimes members feel disconnected since church only happens a few times a week. What happens in the meantime? Help your church family hold strong to their faith and beliefs as they struggle through the week with daily devotionals. An email newsletter could be sent out directly to those who want it. You may even find that non-members subscribe or visit your site on a regular basis just for a daily dose of spiritual motivation.

Reach Church Members 24/7

The connection between a church and its members doesn’t end when a service ends. God is always with them. Make sure the church is too by providing a website that keeps you in contact with members and keeps members in contact with each other.

Ready to start better connecting with your members whenever and wherever they might be? See how our web design services are the perfect solution to your needs.