5 Social Media Mistakes That Are Hurting Your Church

Social media is one of the best ways to reach new members and engage current members, especially younger ones.

However, social media mistakes could turn this highly effective tool against your church. The last thing you want is to drive people away.

Luckily, these common mistakes are easy to avoid. With a little planning, Facebook, Twitter and all the others could become your church’s online community.

1. Posting And Forgetting

The top reason people use social media is to stay in contact with friends. When members and potential members find your church on social media, they expect to experience some type of engagement. One of the worst social media mistakes you can make is to just post something and forget it.

Encourage members to interact with your social media channels. Set aside specific times to respond to comments and questions. In fact, 24.7% of people unfollow brands on social media because no one responds to their comments or questions.

2. Talking About Volatile Topics

Volatile topics, such as politics and personal opinions, aren’t exactly the right type of content for a church’s social media account. Your church should feel like a welcoming presence in a chaotic world and this includes your online presence. When something’s going on in the world that you don’t like, post relevant scripture or an encouraging word.

Despite the temptation to be vocal about sensitive subjects, hold back. It’s also a good idea to ensure anyone who manages your social media channels know your church’s stance on what’s appropriate and what’s not.

3. Doing Nothing But Preaching

Simply preaching at social media followers is one of the worst social media mistakes your church can make. Think of the types of pages you follow on Facebook. They post engaging content that makes you think, laugh or feel better. Getting too preachy may actually turn people away.

People don’t want to interact with social media channels that only tell them what they’re doing wrong in life. With so much bullying and judgement going on, they need an uplifting place that helps guide them in their faith. It’s sometimes a hard line to walk, but it makes all the difference between an effective social media strategy and one that hurts your church.

4. Skipping Any Type Of Strategy

Not having a strategy is probably the most common of all social media mistakes. This doesn’t just apply to churches either. Smart Insights provides a list of reasons why you need a strategy and why it applies to businesses, the advice still holds true for churches. Without a clear strategy, it’s difficult to truly engage anyone on social media.

Just think if a church pastor didn’t prepare for Sunday services at all. They didn’t have a sermon or purpose for that week. It would difficult for the pastor to guide members and odds are, members would likely start leaving for another more organized church.

Your church’s social media strategy should include things, such as:

  • Goals – engaging current members, reaching out to the unchurched, etc.
  • How often you’ll post and on which networks
  • What type of posts are appropriate
  • How to deal with negative feedback
  • What social media management tools to use
  • Who’ll manage the accounts and who has access to post
  • Social media etiquette for your church

A comprehensive strategy is vital to making social media work for your church.

5. Being Everywhere Or Nowhere

While you might want to reach everyone possible, it’s just not realistic to try to be on every social media network at once. At the same time, picking just one or none at all isn’t going to help your church either. Large churches are likely on numerous social media networks, but remember, they have dedicated social media teams to handle posting and responding.

For smaller churches, limit how many social networks you’re on, but strive for at least two. Take a poll at your church to see which networks are the most popular. At the time of writing, Facebook and YouTube are the top two social networks, with Instagram and Twitter coming in third and fourth.

Pick a couple to start with and adjust your strategy to meet that network’s audience. For instance, you might post three or four times a day on Facebook, but if you choose to use YouTube, you might only post once a week.

Want to avoid even more social media mistakes? Make sure you’ve got a church website to complement your social media strategy.

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.

6 Ways You Can Grow Your Church This Year

Would you like to see more members in your church each week? Maybe you want to have a bigger variety of ages. If growth has plateaued or decreased, don’t give up hope. You can grow your church this year by employing a few simple strategies. Let your church family help you and together you’ll be able to increase growth and reach far more people in your community.

1. Focus On Your Website Content

First off, if you don’t have a website, you need one. Many people research churches online before ever walking through the doors. If you’re not online, your church might not even be an option for those looking for a new place to worship. Now that you have a site, focus on adding new content regularly. Creating and maintaining a church blog helps to boost your visibility online. Focus on things going on with the church, issues affecting people right now and inspiring stories. You’ll be amazed at how many more people you’ll reach this way.custom church website button

2. Boost Engagement Within The Church

Your members are the spokespeople for your church. If they’re not happy, they probably won’t recommend the church to others. Work on getting your members excited about attending. Talk with them to see if there are things you don’t like about current services or programs. Ask them about things they’d love to see the church involved with. The better your understand what your church family wants and needs, the easier it is to boost engagement and of course, recommendations.

3. Get More Social Online

Whether you love it or hate it, social media is a valuable tool to help you grow your church this year. Many of your members likely already have an account on Facebook or Twitter. By sharing blog posts (your own and others), interacting with members and non-members and sharing motivational scripture, you’re able to reach a wider audience than you could offline. Plus, people who like what you post can share it with all of their friends and family too. Even if your page only has 100 followers, that’s 100 people who could be sharing your posts with hundreds of more people.

4. Host Community Events

While over half of all American churches have less than 100 people in church each week, this doesn’t mean there’s a problem. It just means that it’s time to get more involved in the local community. A problem many churches face is a lack of any real presence outside the church itself. Host community dinners, have open house nights (less pressure for those looking for a new church) and volunteer at non-church events such as local fairs and festivals. The idea is to get non-members to start interacting with the church. Plus, this shows your community that your church does more than just preach the gospel, they also practice it.

grow your church button5. Offer Various Small Groups

Different groups, such as seniors and millennials, may prefer different types of worship experiences. For instance, seniors might like more traditional hymns while millennials might love modern Christian music. Offer smaller worship groups to make everyone feel more comfortable at church. This is also a great way to grow your church. During an open house night for the community, have the leaders from each group available to talk to potential members about what their groups do. This shows that it’s not a one way or the highway type of deal.

6. Use Motivation Instead Of Guilt

It’s a common myth that small churches either have to drastically increase their numbers or close their doors. If you want to grow your church, don’t use this gloom and doom approach. You don’t need a massive church to effectively reach your church family. Instead of trying to guilt members into attending regularly (which turns them off from church completely), try motivating them instead. Ask what church leaders could do to make church more interesting and engaging. Remember, the happier your church family is, the more they’ll talk about the church to friends and family. This helps to grow your church far better than guilt.

Looking for ways to grow your church this year? See how a church website will help boost your efforts in 2017.

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

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.

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.

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.