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A good church website answers questions for guests and members alike. While not every question and appropriate answer can be foreseen, a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) page on your church’s website can be immensely helpful.

However, churches often don’t think through what answers or questions they place on the FAQ page—if they even have one. I would encourage your church to have a FAQ page on your site and to include the answers to these eight questions:

  1. Where is guest parking? A map of specific directions are appropriate here. Make it as simple as possible for guests to understand where they should park. If you have a designated parking area for parents of small children, mention that. If you have special areas for senior adults or expectant mothers, mention those as well.
  2. What is there for my kids? Parents want to know their kids will be safe and taught well. Share the type of curriculum you use as well as the format or structure of the classes. For preschoolers, let them know what the typical childcare setup is like and what snacks are likely to be served in case there is an allergy. Highlight your child check-in system. If your church integrates the family into worship, mention that. Remember to use terminology that is not insider language. Your kids’ worship service could be called KidzPraise or FirstKids. New parents won’t understand what those names mean unless you explain them.
  3. How do I join the church? This should be a simple answer. Simply lay out your membership requirements. You’d be surprised at how many churches fail to mention their membership process on their websites. If you have regular membership classes, provide a link to the schedule or to a specific page that goes deeper into membership details.
  4. How do I join a group? This is a great opportunity to explain what you call your groups (Bible study, Sunday school, life groups, home groups, etc.) as well as where people can find information about existing groups or new groups being started. You may even suggest those who are interested contact your discipleship pastor or leader to find out more information about specific groups.
  5. Why do you ______? It’s likely that your church has an idiosyncrasy or two. You might partake in communion weekly or in a certain way. You may have special, quarterly baptism services. You may have a special time of prayer each week in the service. If your church has something that’s unique to it, explain it on your website.
  6. How do I get involved in the ______ ministry? Churches need on-ramps for ministry to draw in volunteers. Make it easy for someone to understand the process of going from spectating to participating. Outline the process or requirements needed to serve in your church.
  7. What denomination is ______ church affiliated with? If your church is affiliated with a certain group or denomination, it’s best to let people know. I know some pastors may think it will hurt the church, but honesty and integrity should always win the day. Churches should be clear about their beliefs and their doctrinal affiliations.
  8. How do I contact the church for _______? This may be for weddings, benevolence, facility usage, or something else. If you get routine questions at the church about a specific item, include it in your FAQ. In fact, if you’re putting together a FAQ or revising your current one, talk to whomever answers the phone at your church. Your receptionist or administrative assistants will likely know what questions are most often asked because they are the ones who answer them most often.

Source: Lifeway Christian Resources


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Jennifer Fulwiler was a life-long atheist. Her dad would read Carl Sagan’s “Cosmos” to her as a bedtime story. She was raised on science and reason and evidence-based rational thought. So, what caused Jennifer Fulwiler to question her world-view and begin a journey to find the truth? And once that journey began, why was Christianity the least likely option for her to consider? And after she finally did receive Christ as her savior, what were the results? You can find the answers to all of these questions and more in about 5 minutes by clicking the image above.

Jennifer Fulwiler is now a writer (with 6 kids) and has a radio show on SiriusXM Channel 129.


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As we continue to prepare for an amazing International Shelby Conference next month, we would like to encourage you to become more familiar with the music and ministry of our Praise and Worship leaders: Love & The Outcome. Here are 3 songs that you may not be familiar with, but we believe they will be a blessing to you and prepare your heart for ISC 2017. Enjoy the music, and feel free to share these videos with your family and friends.


GATES (featuring Francesca Battestelli):
When you strip down the instrumentation to just the very basics, the talent always surfaces. Watch this live acoustic performance featuring the co-writer of the song, Francesca Battistelli!


City of God:
We are the city
The city of God
And we can’t keep it secret
Your love is the light
We will shine
We will shine!


These Are The Days:
Psalm 90:12 reminds us “Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.”


Don’t miss the powerful music ministry of Love & The Outcome (on June 15) at ISC 2017 in Dallas, TX.
You can learn more by visiting our ISC 2017 web page today!


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Have you ever done a Google search and NOT found what you were looking for? Probably not. It may take a couple tries to find exactly what you need, but thanks to the power of a search engine it doesn’t take long to find pertinent information.


Here’s how it works:
Google, Bing, Yahoo, and others, search the internet “reading” website content. They review the content, give it a quality rank, and tag it for future use. When someone does a pertinent search they then display the information based on the rank they have assigned to it. The higher the rank, the closer you are to the top of the list.

 

Why does this matter to your church?

Because the majority of search engine users never look beyond page one of the results. This makes it important to get your church as close to the top of the list as possible.

This is best approached with a plan for Search Engine Optimization (SEO).

At its core, SEO is the process of “optimizing” your website content to increase your rank so you appear higher in search results. A higher ranking equates to more unpaid “organic” traffic to your website.

 

Here is a list of 5 tips to improve your church’s searching engine ranking:

 

1) Make Sure Your Website Is Searchable by Google

Before you do anything else, you first want to determine that Google knows your website exists and is indexing it. Just because you have a web address, it doesn’t mean search engines are including you in their searches. The easiest way to accomplish this is to do a quick search for your site.

Example:

  • Visit Google.com
  • Type “site:[domain.com]”
  • don’t include any extra spaces, the http:// or www. just type it directly a search of this type for FirstChurch would look like site:firstchurch.com
  • Press ENTER
  • Make sure that your website displays properly

2) Write website content with a visitor (and Google) in mind

Think about how you search for things in Google. When you want to find a restaurant, you search by food type or location. When you want to find an extra-curricular activity for your child you search terms connected to the activity. People looking for churches do the same thing. They don’t know the name of your youth group, children’s ministry or adult Bible study. They search based on phrases familiar to them – youth group, kids church, bible study, parish meeting, etc. Explaining the ministry using these familiar “keywords” will help search engines know exactly what you offer. Any additional information you can include about what the ministry is, will help also.

Example:
[Ministry Name] is our [Age Group] ministry. [Group modifier] gather each [Date, Time] for [Event Description].
[The Oasis] is our [Jr. High and High School] ministry. [Students] gather [Tuesday at 6:45 pm] for [fun, games, worship and Bible study.]

 

3) Claim Your Local Listings

Let online sources know you are authorized to maintain and manage your online presence by claiming ownership. Should you need to update information or make changes to your listing, this will speed up the process going forward. Each source has its own process that may involve: a phone call, postcard with validation PIN, or an email with verification.

Resources:
Google
Bing

 

4) Submit Your Website and SiteMap to Search Engines

Help search engines better index your website by verifying ownership directly with them. They offer the ability to submit a Sitemap along with this service. It is a digital listing of the pages you see as most important and worthy of search review.

Resources:
Google Search Console
Bing Webmaster Tools

 

5) Use SEO Plugin to Improve Tagging

If you are using WordPress for your website there are several tools available to help you manage your SEO. These provide places to assign a “keyword” or topic for each page, and to write a short description of the content included. Search engines use this info to better sort and rank your content.

Resources:
Yoast
All In One SEO

 


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Did you know that Jesus appears in every book of The Bible? Watch and be amazed as this young boy (who has a bright future as a Pastor) shares a powerful message showing Jesus in every book of the Bible. Feel free to forward this inspirational video to family and friends to remind them that Jesus is the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End, from Genesis to Revelation.


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God is Love / We Are The Outcome. The husband and wife team of Chris Rademaker and Jodi King form the Christian praise band: Love & The Outcome. You are invited to join us on the back porch of their Nashville home as we discuss their lives and their music. During this open and honest conversation, Chris and Jodi explain: what life was like growing up in Canada, how they met and what qualities they saw in each other that caused them to want to get married, why they literally sold everything and went out on the road, what they learned during their many tough times and what you can do to prepare your heart for Praise and Worship time at ISC 2017 in Dallas TX. In addition you will also enjoy several of their popular Christian songs during the interview. Don’t miss Love & The Outcome on Thursday, June 15 at ISC 2017 in Dallas, TX!

Chris and Jodi invite you to join them at ISC 2017 during this 30 Second Video promo.
Register Now for International Shelby Conference 2017!


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Chris Rademaker and Jodi King, the husband and wife team that form the Christian praise band: Love & The Outcome, will be leading us in praise and worship at this year’s International Shelby Conference in Dallas, TX. Chris and Jodi literally “sold out.” They sold their home and everything they own in Winnipeg, Canada and started a music ministry. There were tough times ahead. They lived in their Jetta for 2 years and sometimes barely made it from paycheck to paycheck. They were forced to stop when Chris’ mom was diagnosed with stomach cancer. But still they felt the call to go on. After years of touring, they moved to Nashville and now write and perform songs that change people’s lives.

Please take a moment to watch three of Love & The Outcome’s most popular songs (He is with Us, King of My Heart, The God I Know) by clicking the images (above).
Don’t miss the powerful music ministry of Love & The Outcome (on June 15) at ISC 2017 in Dallas, TX.

You can learn more by visiting our ISC 2017 web page today!


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International Shelby Conference 2017 in Dallas, TX is coming soon, but there is still time for you to join us. Learn, Network and Worship with hundreds of ministry workers from across the world.
Click the images above to watch three brief testimonials (less than 65 seconds) recorded at last year’s ISC event. Discover how networking is one of the major benefits of attending our annual conference.

Alyssa Hillman / Grace Sincock benefited from the lively discussions before and after class
Sandra Hall / Tina Whitman met for the first time at ISC even though they live in the same town
Cheri Hart / Annette Strange are new friends who love how Arena has cut their work load in half

You can learn more by visiting our ISC 2017 web page today!


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A good friend recently shared this video with me, and I would like to share it with you. It is as beautiful as it is profound. It is well-worth your time to watch it. I particularly loved this quote from Brother David Steindl-Rast, a benedictine monk, and the one speaking in the video:

“You think this is just another day in your life. It’s not just another day. It’s the one day that is given to you today…. It’s the only gift that you have right now. And the only appropriate response is gratefulness.”

Here are four ways you can transform today, taking it from ordinary to extraordinary:

1. Notice the gifts around you.
2. Open your heart to receive them.
3. Express your gratitude for them.
4. Bless someone else.

Today will never be repeated. It is unique among all the days of your life. Gratitude can transform it into something to be remembered.


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Take just a moment to discover what Arena features our Shelby customers love most.
Click the images above to watch three brief testimonials (less than 60 seconds) recorded at a recent event.

Revoydia Richardson loves Arena’s Event module because it has made the scheduling process seamless
Erik Peteron gets excited about the Arena Grade field
Martha Tauzin explains why the Arena Note Taking feature is her favorite

You can learn more by contacting your Shelby Sales Representative today!