Check out this collection of 25 creative church websites compiled by Vandelay Design. Make notes about commonalities and features you see as important to the people who might find or use your website. Then go make good changes!Continue Reading
Archives For Communication
For many people in your community, Easter is the only day of the year they’ll show up at church. It’s a great opportunity to reach out to those who don’t think about church the other 364 days of the year.
You’ll want to reach out to your visitors and thank them for coming. Depending upon the size and culture of your church, you may make a personal visit, call them or write them a letter (whether through the mail or via e-mail) — or very possibly do all three.
In fact, if you visit them or call them, sending them a follow-up letter is an appropriate next step. It’ll allow you to give them some more details about your church and guard against the possibility that you’ll forget something important.
Here are few thoughts to remember when writing to church visitors — at Easter or any other time of the year.
Use a warm, personal style. That means write how you talk not how you wrote your seminary papers.
Communicate love and care. People don’t handle rejection well. They want to know that you want them to return to your church no matter…Continue Reading
By Mark Coppenger
It’s fun to study surnames, or last names, as distinguished from Christian names, or first names. Back in history, when things got crowded, they had to add second names to sort out all the people named “John” or “James” or “Mary” or “Ruth.” So they turned to four contextual features — location (as in Lois “Hill”); parentage (as in James “Williamson”); physical characteristic (as in John “Armstrong”); and occupation (as in Mary “Miller”).
The same names occur today in many languages in the West. For instance, “son (or ‘kin’) of John” turns up as Jansen and Jensen in Scandinavia, Johnson and Jenkins in England, Owens and Evans in Wales, Ionescu in Romania, and Ivanovich in Russia. And the occupation of metalworker shows up as Smith in England, Kowalski in Poland, and Ferrara in Italy. (And yes, it’s fortunate the Ferrari was made in Italy, for who wants to drive a car called a Smith?)
Furthermore, names often come in groups. In England, a “leigh” was a clearing or meadow, so when a person was associated with a stony meadow, he became Stoneleigh, which morphed into the more common…Continue Reading
Hear from players during Super Bowl 47 Media Day – how they use the Bible App and what connecting with God’s Word means to them.
Special thanks to 1615.tv.
YouVersion is a free Bible for your phone and computer. The Bible App has been installed on over 78 million mobile devices around the world.
When the Bible is always nearby, you can use any moment to read God’s Word.
*Use it on nearly every mobile device
*Enjoy over 400 Bible translations in more than 200 languages
*Listen to audio Bibles on the go
*Choose from hundreds of reading plans
*Share verses quickly on Twitter & Facebook
It’s free. It’s easy to use. It’s right where you are.
On your computer: http:/www.bible.com
Install it on your phone in seconds: http://www.bible.com/downloadContinue Reading
Let’s go back a few years to when you first started noticing the potential social media could have (circa 2006) . . . back to the days when the idea of creating a community of friends in a digital world excited you. Remember the days you actually had to ask if a person was on Facebook?
Social media not only connected us with old high school friends and new acquaintances, but also with people around the world who shared our same interests. Sites like Facebook Causes drew people together, enabling us to bond over something greater than ourselves. It was a new collaborative technology to help us impact the world. And it was awesome.
Since then, there’s been a shift in the fundamental thinking about social media. As more people join the movement, it becomes less about social interaction and more about persona building. If we’re honest, the chance to become a social media rock star has captivated our focus and intentions. It’s more about the “me” than about the “we.” Unfortunately, the Church community is not immune.
The problem is that we’ve created a whole new standard for social behavior that is…Continue Reading
Communication can make or break an organization. Effective communication can help organizations solve problems and accomplish their goals. Poor communication can cripple organizations, creating even more problems and preventing them from focusing on the goals they’ve set.
There are several factors that make communicating difficult. From my conversations with leaders both young and old, the primary reason communication seems to break down in organizations today is the generational divide. Young people and older people communicate in very different ways from very different perspectives.
A few days ago, I discovered this thought by Jessamyn West:
“There are two barriers that often prevent communication between the young and their elders. The first is middle-aged forgetfulness of the fact that they themselves are no longer young. The second is youthful ignorance of the fact that the middle aged are still alive.”
Thankfully, these difficulties aren’t insurmountable! I found two resources that can help.
A resource for younger leaders:
Whether you’re a Millennial struggling to connect with the Baby Boomers on your team or a leader from Generation Y struggling to communicate with your Gen X cohort, communication is key. This presentation outlines the communication preferences of the different generations and…Continue Reading
Beth Hayden and Rafal Tomal, with Copyblogger, have put together an insightful infographic detailing the history of social media. They rightly say that it goes all the way back to the first email (since email is social) and they also rightly conclude that “at some point very soon, we will all stop talking about ‘social media’ and put the focus where it belongs – the global media network that connects us all.”
Most of the world seems to be on Facebook. I’ll be somewhere really remote, drawing people following a church service, and as I hand the finished product to the (ahem) victim, will say, “Now, this is your new Facebook picture.”
No one has ever said, “I’m not on Facebook” or especially “What’s that?” Usually they say, “Good idea” or “You’ve got it!”
Now, I recognize that being a Southern Baptist preacher, most of my FB friends are like-minded with me about the Lord and church and the Bible–you know, spiritual things. It’s the nature of these things. So, on a Saturday night or Sunday morning, the “posts” from many of my buddies all seem to say similar things….
–”Join us for church at Shiloh this morning at 9:30 am. You’ll receive a blessing.”
–”Today I’m preaching on Hezekiah’s tunnel. We’ll see if we can find the light at the end of that thing.”
–”My little granddaughter is singing today at Cornerstone. You won’t get good stuff like this on American Idol.”
–”Have you ever wondered what happened to the Jebusites? Be at Riverside Church this morning and…Continue Reading
The most successful churches are the ones who build a ministry process for their people to follow. As they grow, community members easily transition from one stage of their faith to another.
Successful churches also understand the importance of their website to this ministry process. They see it as an asset helping to broaden their reach, deepen engagement in community members, and disciple their communities–all online.
That’s why we’re pleased to release our newest free resource, “The Ultimate Guide to Ministry Process Design“.
What You’ll Find Inside
In this free ebook, you’ll find:
2. How each church creates ministry movement on their website.
3. What missional purpose the top pages of each website accomplish.
4. An opportunity for a free consultation from our team here at MonkDev.
Each of these churches have learned how to create movement on their website. We’ve given you some of the best examples, all for free.Continue Reading
It’s Monday morning and you already have 75 unread emails in your inbox. It’s not the best way to start the week, but it’s pretty normal for many professionals. We’ve all been there, and we all know the overwhelming feeling that little red circle brings when it appears on our screen.
While I’m still trying to find the best system for handling my own email overflow, here are a few tips I’ve followed to avoid allowing email to take over my day:
Michael Hyatt has some great advice on organizing and prioritizing your email in this post. In reality, not all emails are created equal. Some need to be read and responded to right away. Others should be archived or deleted in bulk. Keep that in mind whenever you receive an email. If it needs to be addressed immediately, respond. If not, set it aside in a folder or use your best friend, the delete button.
2. Set a time limit
If you’re not careful, you can start answering emails at 8 a.m. and the…Continue Reading
There are certain elements that must be included in every single sermon that we ever preach. They are non-negotiable. To put it another way, every sermon you preach has three key components…
The God Component
The “God component” is what sets preaching apart from other kinds of public speaking. We are God’s spokespeople. We preach His word, not ours. And as we consider the role of God in the sermon, we have to ask some pretty pertinent questions:
- Have I recognized that God is the ultimate authority on the meaning of His word?
- Have I consulted with the Author of the word in prayer?
- Have I trusted the results of my preaching to the Spirit who moves among his people?
- Have I made Jesus the central character of the sermon?
The Communicator Component
The component has to do with me, the preacher. I need to ask certain important questions about my own role in the preaching experience:
- Have I live and embodied the word in my life? That is to say, have I been the incarnation of the message I hope to convey on Sunday morning?
- Can I honestly say I’ve spent adequate time in preparation, so that…
As the incoming pastor, I asked the church committee not to terminate Manley, a staff member whose chief failing was that he was ineffective. The committee was willing to cut him loose before I arrived to save me the trouble.
“Give me a chance to work with him,” I said quickly and perhaps a little naively.
A year later, after finding him lazy and incapable of doing the work his position required and with no other spot on the church staff suitable for him, I released him.
He was so angry at me.
That evening, I was complaining to my wife about the unfairness of his criticism. Hadn’t I saved his job for a full year? Hadn’t we given him ample warning and opportunities to improve? Weren’t we providing generous severance?
Margaret said, “Joe, be realistic. You want to fire a man and have him like it.”
I guess I did. (His anger made me feel that I had failed him in some way, even though the personnel committee met with Manley that very evening to assure him the decision was unanimous. That helped me a little, but not much. Manley moved…Continue Reading