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Many churches in America have aging congregations and a constant prayer in all of them is that they attract young families to the church. A primary response to this need is for churches to upgrade their children’s programs and make certain their nurseries are spotless, attractive, and well-staffed. Though facilities responses are essential, communication responses are also important if your church wants to have a family come back more than once.

 

You’ve got to speak the same language as younger people

Imagine if you were invited to a party by a close friend. The friend tells you that the people are great and you’ll have a fantastic time. You approach the party with excitement—but when you open the door, you discover that the party guests are all speaking the language of their native country and English isn’t allowed. They are all English speakers, but they prefer to not speak it at their parties. They smile and are very nice. They offer you food; they have a game room for your kids; but when you try to talk to them, they shake their head and say your language isn’t allowed. You will probably leave as quickly as you can and decide you never want to associate with that group again.

 

The language of many young people today is technology and if you don’t speak that language, they will feel about as welcome as the guest in the story above.

 

Technology communication tips

Attitude is one of the most important things in learning to speak the language of technology.  You may not know how to do the things that are suggested below, but admitting that your church is working on these areas and perhaps even asking for help to implement them, will go a long way to making technology speakers feel at home.

 

None of the comments that follow should be taken as a recommendation that you do away with any of your current means of church communications. You still need printed Bibles, email, phone calls, postcards, and whatever else the people in your church use for communications. The challenge today is that we can’t do away with past means of communication, but we continuously need to add new ones and here are some to consider:

 

Allow the use of cell phones and tablets in church and adult education classes

This seems so basic, but some church bulletins that tell people not to use their phone even to read their Bibles in church. One church went so far as to give a mini-lecture in print on how irreverent it was to read the Bible on your phone and how distracting it was to those around you.

 

I don’t imagine many who were used to reading the Bible on their phones came back a second time to that church.

 

In contrast, at another church when it’s time to read the Scripture for the morning, the Pastor invites people to follow along, “either on the screen in front, your printed Bible, or whatever electronic device you enjoy using.”

 

It isn’t surprising that this church, with a large aging congregation, has recently been running announcements in the bulletin asking for volunteers in the ever-growing children’s programs.

 

Be sure your website is responsive and constantly updated

A responsive website is one that can be easily accessed on a smart phone.  A responsive website resizes so that text can easily be read on the smaller screen. A website that isn’t responsive can be accessed with a smart phone, but it’s hard to read and extremely difficult to find anything on it. For people who use their smart phones to look up every part of their lives, if your church makes that impossible, they won’t bother to go to a desktop computer or call the church office.

 

Making a church website responsive can be as simple as changing the underlying template for the site, if your site is built using WordPress.

 

Text important messages

Email is no longer the latest and most efficient way to contact people. Many people today don’t ever look at a desktop computer unless their job requires them to. They access all the media and information they need through their smart phone and seldom look at email. It can be depressing to realize after all the work you do on creating email newsletters that many people won’t look at them.

 

Shelby Systems can help your ministry send group texts to smart phones.

 

Have the option to give electronically

Many people pay all their bills electronically today and some have few or no paper checks. If you want them to give to your church, you need a system where they can do this. Not only will this make it easier for people who prefer to pay this way, but many churches have discovered that electronic giving makes contributions much more consistent.

 

Have your pastor’s sermons and those of other teachers available online, preferably on iTunes

Many people have changing work schedules. Because of that, they may not be able to attend church regularly. If people miss, they may want to hear the sermon and if the only way you have them available, if you do, is on CD or tapes, many younger people simply won’t bother. Many of the church website templates have automatic ways to put audio files on your site. Getting your material on iTunes is important to do if you want to make your message easily available.

 

Make social media more than a logo on your bulletin or a link on your website

If you or someone on staff isn’t regularly interacting with your Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or Google+ accounts, don’t just put these on your bulletin or as a link on your website because that’s the “in” thing to do. These tools are called “social media” for a reason. Find a volunteer who loves interacting on these sites and will do it for the church.

 

A final note—the technology advice above is for more than younger families

Everything listed above applies to attracting young families to your church, but the article could also have been labeled, “Some tech communication  lapses in many churches today.”

 

The goal here is to be all things to all people that we might win some, no matter what technology they use or what age they are.

 

Source: Ministry Tech

 

To learn how Shelby Systems software can help you engage Millennials in your church, contact your Shelby Sales Consultant today!


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A recent survey was taken of more than 8,000 churches regarding their current stewardship needs.  There was an overwhelming response that increasing the generosity of the individuals in their congregation was by far the most important.  You won’t believe how simple it can be to accomplish! Sometimes, we just need someone with a different perspective to remind us of valuable precepts.

 

Precept 1:  Simplicity

I have always been a huge fan of the KISS (Keep It Simple Stupid) principle.  Simplicity can never be overdone!  How do you keep giving simple, you ask?  First, make sure that your simplicity accommodates the needs of your entire congregation, not just a particular group.  And, yes, that means that you will have to define multiple avenues for receiving donations, at least enough to address your membership group; although, you may want to address simplicity for those outside your membership as well.  The giving process must be simple enough that when a person is ready to give, they have the vehicle to do so immediately and easily.  That simplicity could come in the form of pew envelopes while sitting in a worship service, text giving from a pew, kiosk giving in the vestibule, QR codes on pew envelopes or bulletins while at church, or online giving while at home on the computer,  etc.  By all means, do not rely on just one of these methods—remember, keep it simple for everyone.  One of the best ways to ensure people will do what you ask them to do is to make it easy enough to do.  It’s acceptable, even biblical, that church leaders ask members to provide funding for their various ministries and operations.  But, if you want to create the greatest likelihood that the request is converted into action, make it so simple that not only will they do it once, they will do it repeatedly.  Pretty simple, right?

 

Precept 2:  Promotion

Ask.  Request.  Petition.  Pray.  Church giving is, and may always be, a sensitive subject in most churches.  When you consider that churches rely entirely on donations to exist, it should absolutely be a sensitive subject.  Hopefully, members will already feel a sense of obligation to support their church.  For those that have not yet realized their obligation, the promotion of church giving is paramount to success.  Statistically, most people are followers.  By definition, they are following a leader of some organization.  Church members look to their leader, the pastor, and any other governing groups within the church.  With that information in hand, it only makes sense that the first promotion of church giving come from the pulpit.  According to marketing principles, we know that it takes multiple communications on one topic to successfully plant the seed.  And, because people respond better to different messaging formats, consider that one method is simply not enough.  A sample plan of this proposed communication process would be the following:

  •  Pastor speaks on gift giving at least four times annually.
  • Church leaders personally promote the value of the various donation methods.
  • Mention it in worship bulletins or include a QR code for enhanced pew giving.
  • Email blast to the membership with contribution choices included.
  • Text blast to the membership with text giving directions.
  • Place message boards throughout the church.
  • Use direct mailings such as monthly offering envelope packages with a letter from the pastor.

Keep in mind, that this is just a sample.  You should design a collection of communications and promotion efforts that will be most significant for your membership.  Regardless of which methods you use, your promotion plan should include multiple styles of communication to increase the effectiveness. Imagine how successful it could be if you utilized multiple communication venues and processes!

 

Precept 3:  Appreciation

Webster defines appreciation as “thankful recognition”.  Expressing appreciation is more difficult for some than others but historically has demonstrated the greatest return on investment of any other gesture.  And, who doesn’t love to be appreciated?  Contemplate the following perspective.  If you have two individuals in front of you making a request of your time, but only one of them ever expresses appreciation for the way you help them, which are you most likely to accommodate?  Church members are certainly no different.  In fact, that gift of appreciation typically “keeps on giving”, no pun intended.  When an organization relies entirely on donations to exist, no gift is too small; and no gift is too small for the church to demonstrate gratitude.  However, in order for it to be truly compelling, it can’t just be about thankfulness. Take the time to inform the contributor exactly how they helped the church with their gift.  Make them aware of other ministry efforts that could benefit from their generosity, while at the same time, providing the most effortless method to donate again—right at this moment they are feeling proud for helping.  Maybe even create a “good steward” award program in the church and once a month recognize the givers during a service.  It’s not important to announce the amount of the gift, just that those people met the “good steward” criteria you developed for the program.

 

You already knew all of these precepts, didn’t you?  But, how many of them are you actually utilizing in your church to increase generosity?  A new year will be here soon, so make a resolution to incorporate all of these precepts in your stewardship promotion efforts and start benefitting from increased generosity!

 

Source: Ministry Tech

 

Shelby Systems is committed to helping churches large and small streamline their giving process. We provide the software and the plan that can help your church make the leap to digital giving. To find out how, contact one of our Ministry Consultants today. And don’t forget to ask about our special Digital Giving Package!


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Every logo should convey a clear, concise, and memorable message. A good logo should strive for both simplicity and originality. Your logo should communicate one message, and communicate it well. Additionally, a church logo must inspire a spiritual connection with your audience.

Here are five steps to building a logo that embodies your message and begins a conversation with potential church visitors.

  1. TELL YOUR STORY

Take time to reflect on your message. You want to tell your church’s particular story, focusing on what makes your church unique. Your logo should be distinct. Ask yourself questions like, “What is the mission of our church? What values do we want to promote?” Don’t try to say everything with your logo. Remember, think of it as an introduction. Keep it simple and to the point. The Ark Church’s logo below (designed by Kyle Kutter)  is a good example of a logo that keeps a single focus and tells the unique story of the church it belongs to very well:



Remember to choose colors, fonts, and symbols that embody the uniqueness of your church!

  1. DECIDE ON STYLE

Who do you want to inspire to join your congregation? Does your church cater to a younger generation? Are your services more traditional? Does your church have a denominational focus that will appeal to some more than others? Your audience can determine the style of your church logo. If you want to appeal to younger people, use current design trends and popular colors in your logo. The logo below, belonging to Commission Church, is a good example of a logo that features modern design.



A traditional congregation will want to use classic symbols of faith and religion in familiar configurations, like the logo below, belonging to Grace Fellowship Church.



A modern church logo may be abstract. A traditional church logo is literal. It’s important to decide on the style you want to represent your church before you begin the logo design process. A modern, traditional or abstract style will help you determine the colors, graphics, and fonts. Whatever style you choose, make sure it matches the characteristics of your ministry so people know what to expect.

  1. USE MEANINGFUL SYMBOLS
    The beauty of symbols is that they are packed with meaning. Images of a church, steeple, or the cross have come to represent Christianity. Don’t be afraid to use traditional symbols in a new way. A classic image rendered in a fresh perspective can portray your one-of-a-kind church. For example, a modern congregation might use an abstract stained glass window in neon colors for their church logo. McCoy Memorial Baptist Church’s Logo, designed by Luke Anspach, makes good use of a stained glass window in its design.



  1. APPLY COLOR THEORY
    The colors you choose will add clarity to your message. Like a symbol, color can accentuate and clarify a message. Pay attention to the meaning of different colors. Every color evokes a different reaction. Do you want to convey energy or calm? Classic or modern thinking? Past traditions or future possibilities? The logo below, which belongs to Calvary Memorial Church, (and was designed by Belief Agency) makes good use of vibrant colors.



Color can tell people a lot about your church. Use it wisely, and have fun with it!

  1. VISUALIZE YOUR COMPLETED LOGO
    Once you consider all the elements, it’s time to visualize your completed logo. Try to think of all of the ways that you will use your logo. It should be appealing in every size from a business card to a billboard. Your logo should look good in color as well as black and white. Consider how it will look on your website and signage. Keep it clean and simple and it will display well on shirts, hats, bags, brochures, pens, and much more. To help you visualize your finished logo, you might consider using a logo mockup generator.

CONCLUSION
Ready to create your unique church logo? All that’s left to decide is whether or not you’ll design it yourself or hire your logo design job out to a professional designer.


Source: Church Tech Today


Shelby Systems has decades of experience working with ministries of all sizes, for more creative ideas and suggestions contact your Shelby Sales Consultant today!

 


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#GivingTuesday, created in 2012, was the brainchild of New York’s 92nd Street Y and the United Nations Foundation. This holiday serves to create a global movement of generosity and kindness by inspiring people to donate to nonprofit organizations around the world.

Similar to how Black Friday represents the beginning of the holiday shopping season, #GivingTuesday is the kick off to the charitable giving season – placing focus on the true meaning of the season.

This holiday is a true social media movement (hence the hashtag). Donors often share information about their favorite cause and organizations on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc. – encouraging their friends and family to contribute as well!

#GivingTuesday always falls on the Tuesday after Thanksgiving. This year, #GivingTuesday will be celebrated on November 28th.

Though #GivingTuesday was created for all types of nonprofits, it can be especially beneficial for faith-based organizations and churches. Historically, Religious organizations receive the largest share of charitable donations. In 2016, 32% of all charitable donations, or $122.94 billion, went to religious organizations. And most of these donations can be attributed to people giving to their local place of worship. This event unites people around the world in doing good which makes #GivingTuesday the perfect time to raise donations for a special fund or mission that your church is organizing.

From our community to yours, we invite you to take part and create your own #GivingTuesday tradition.


Churches are invited to attend a FREE webinar hosted by Shelby Systems at 10 a.m. CST on November 14, 2017 to help prepare to be a part of #GivingTuesday. Attendees will be given a link to a free booklet that can help plan for Giving Tuesday. To register for the webinar, go to this link: 

https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/5132695487365106435?source=GivingTuesday+2017


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Do your members give because it’s simply what is expected of them? Do they give out of guilt? Or do they give because they are truly generous and want to give whatever they can for the sake of the church? Those questions will get you started on the road to learning how to encourage your donors to give more.

  1. DO YOUR MEMBERS DONATE TO MINISTRIES AND MISSIONS?

Tracking and measuring this will give you an idea of how much money is donated and distributed to needs outside of the church.  If your members only donate to cover the bare necessities of the church and nothing more, you may have a problem.

  1. DO THE DONATIONS YOU GET MATCH UP WITH YOUR OVERALL ATTENDANCE?

Set out how much you expect per adult per week, and then calculate the total you should be getting each week based on your average weekly attendance. Based on a giving analysis, you could count on about $20 per head per week (this is a rough average, and is definitely dependent on zip code as well—certain areas will have lower or higher averages). If your attendance grows, yet your donations remain the same, that may mean that your new members don’t quite comprehend the importance of giving. A report by The Chronicle of Philanthropy actually revealed that middle-class Americans give a much larger portion of their income to churches/charities than the wealthy do.  It states that households earning $50,000-$75,000 give an average of 7.6%, compared with an average of 4.2% for people who make $100,000 or more.

  1. ARE YOU LISTENING TO AND MEETING THE NEEDS OF YOUR CONGREGATION?

Are your members conscientious about giving to the church? Do they have opinions on where the money is going and the way the church is managed? Make sure that you involve your members and listen to their input, ideas and feedback –the more that you take their thoughts and needs into consideration, the more generous your members will be.  Please reach out to Shelby Systems for more information about assessing the reasons behind your members’ donations.

 

Once you’ve asked yourself those questions, you should think about taking these next steps:

1) TEACH YOUR MEMBERS ABOUT GIVING.

Communicate with your members about donating and how the church operates, and how much it needs help.  Some ways to do that are by speaking to your members about how donating to your church can be a way to worship, by beginning stewardship campaigns, making more giving opportunities available to your members, speaking about giving in talks and sermons, and having meetings for your members where you can speak with them about the church and its finances.

 2) MAKE THE DONATION PROCESS EASY FOR YOUR MEMBERS.

When donating becomes a hassle, members are less likely to give, even if they are the most generous people in the world.  Having tools that enable your members to donate online, set up recurring donations, and give via mobile device are just a few good ways to make donating easy for your members.  Shelby offers several church management software tools to streamline the donation process.
3) ILLUSTRATE THE EFFECTS OF GIVING

Essentially, showing your members the true effects of being generous by having fundraisers, hosting events, and showing people what the church gives money to will encourage your members to donate more.  They’ll be willing to put more money towards something that they can witness firsthand is worthwhile.


Source: Church Tech Today

Shelby Systems is committed to helping churches large and small streamline their giving process. We provide the software and the plan that can help your church make the leap to digital giving. To find out how, contact one of our Ministry Consultants today. And don’t forget to ask about our special Digital Giving Package!


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As a church leader with limited time, you want eyes on your social media posts–and more importantly, you want to reach people. To stand out in the crowd, follow churches and/or brands that stand out for powerful reasons.

Here are five Instagram accounts to follow, what they get right, and the 15 things your church can learn from them.


Sanctuary Church in Providence, Rhode Island, just “gets it” on Instagram.

Their artsy posts appeal to young people (Millennials, Gen Xers, and Gen Z.) who are looking for something that “fits” them at church.

1. Authenticity

Create Instagram posts that show authenticity. It’s what people crave from the church today.



2. Beauty

Sanctuary Church shoots scenes in their church building from artistic angles that reveal beauty.



3. Social Impact

Share Instagram posts that reveal the social justice and ministry side of your church to appeal to younger generations.





Real Simple Magazine’s Instagram account does three things well that churches can learn from.

1. Consistent Branding

With your team, figure out what your brand is–colors, fonts, images. And post those things that are consistent with your brand.




2. Humor

Humor isn’t easy but it’s a powerful magnet for people’s attention. And it says something about your church when you have a sense of humor.



3. Appeal to Emotions

You may think animal posts or cute kids or amazing sunsets are cheesy, but look at how many likes this sweet dog got. Instagram is not about conveying information as much as it is about appealing to emotions.



Mike Foster is one of the most effective “public profiles” on Instagram.

1. Relationships Count

Mike does a great job of introducing his followers to his friends. Just think of all the great people in your church that you could introduce to the world.



2. Post Consistently.

Mike does a great job of posting consistently to keep his followers engaged. Once a month isn’t consistent! Go for several times a week to create an engaged audience.





3. Inspire Your Audience.

Mike is always posting creative sayings and inspirational quotes that his audience looks forward to. You can post Scriptures, quotes, memes, and more.





Freeskiermagazine has 287k followers. And they never disappoint their fans.

1. Post Aspirational Images.

What images could you post that would make people aspire to be in your environment? Friends having coffee, a child giving a hug, people laughing. Post images that make people want to be there!


2. Post Adventurous Images.

What’s exciting about being a part of your church? Think youth group images–and you’re there.




3. Get the Adrenaline Pumping.

Ok, so you’re not going to post images like this happening at your church, but what about your church calls out to people’s spirits? Powerful worship? Sunrise service? The point is to think about how people will react when they see your image. An ahh! An ooh! A wow!





Compassion International is an amazing example for Instagram posts for your children’s ministry.

1. Post close-ups of children for best photography.

Wide shots of groups of children on Instagram aren’t effective. Instead zoom in tight and let people see a child’s eyes–the window to their soul. You’ll get an ahhh!




2. Show the need.

If you’re trying to call people to ministry, help them see the difference that they’ll be making. Compassion is masterful at this!




3. Involve people.

This was a great Instagram campaign that Compassion did where they invited people to post selfies of themselves and their sponsored children. What could your church do during a campaign? For a “love your neighbor” campaign, invite people to post photos of themselves with neighbors. For a series on “overcoming obstacles,” have people post photos of themselves on a mountaintop or achieving a goal.





Source: Ministry Tech

For more great ideas on how to communicate effectively with your congregation, contact one of our Shelby Ministry Consultants today!


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There’s nothing more challenging than finding your way out of a financial problem in your church. But there is hope and there is way back to solvency and healthy finances if you follow a sound spiritual and fiscal plan to lead you there.

Prayer
An intentional prayer ministry will do more to increase your offerings than any other emphasis of the church.

Vision statement
According to a recent survey, churches that have a written vision statement are growing faster than churches without a vision statement. Church growth will impact offerings to your church. If members and guests believe your church will make a difference in your community and world, then they will give more to the ministry of your church.

Positive atmosphere
Eliminating negative promotions such as the weekly/monthly budget requirements in the church bulletin or newsletter. Even in the best giving churches, your weekly/monthly offering will not meet your weekly/monthly giving requirements at least two times a month/year. The impression is created that your church is not healthy because your church is behind on giving when, in fact, you may be ahead of yearly requirements. Your people give to make a difference rather than negative budget requirements.

Ministry action budget
Your church budget should be a road map to the ministry concerns of your church. Your budget should guide your church on how to spend the money God has entrusted to your church family. A church budget based on ministry, not numbers, will impact the budget positively and cause your members to be excited about what God is doing in their midst.

Offering envelopes
Believe it or not, the old system of a member receiving a box of offering envelopes does increase giving. The weekly provided offering envelopes remind your members to give to God’s work in your church.

Missions-focused
When your church is focused on missions they will have little time for in-fighting and disagreement. Your guests and members will give to your church when they see you focusing on others and making a difference in your world.

Move your offerings to the end of the worship service
Worship service giving normally will increase 10-20 percent if the offering is collected at the end of the worship service as opposed to the traditional collection time at the middle of the worship service. The offertory is a natural way for individuals to respond to God’s message.

Receiving offerings during Bible study
When individuals are accountable and loved by a small group ministry like Bible study, individuals will give more to the church. A Bible study growth campaign will increase giving in the church, too.

Conduct an ongoing stewardship emphasis
Biblical stewardship should be taught as part of regular ministry of your church. An annual stewardship emphasis will have insignificant lasting impact on your church members. You, as pastor or church leader, do not need to apologize for teaching the biblical perspective of Christian stewardship that God is the owner of everything. Teaching stewardship is equally important as any other teaching of the church.

Enlist stewardship testimonies
People can read about giving, but really not change their personal habit or practices. However, if someone they know and respect shares how God has worked in his life concerning biblical stewardship, then the hearers are more likely to practice Biblical stewardship in their lives. Testimonies during the worship services and Bible Study really do work!

Practice ’empowered spending’
Your ministry leaders and church staff should be empowered to be able to spend the allocated money within a budgeted line item without the finance committee or church treasurer approval. Your finance committee/treasurer should be aware of the spending through a possible purchase order system, but the committee/treasurer’s involvement should be only to carry out your church’s wishes. Empowered spending eliminates one or two people controlling the finances of your church. Individuals are more willing to give if the person thinks he has true influence on how the money will be spent.

Bless your staff financially
A church that blesses its staff financially will in turn be blessed. If your pastor does not have to worry about family financial concerns, then he will be able to focus more on ministry. In turn, the church and pastor will be blessed.

Model and teach an attempt to ‘out-give’ God
As a pastor or church leader, you should try to out give God. Of course, this is impossible, but it works! People want to be part of a church focused on God and His ways. (Randy Alcorn’s The Treasure Principle: Discovering the Secret of Joyful Giving has great teaching on this subject.)

Conduct revival services
A revival of God’s people should always lead to increased offering. As people move closer to God, they will give out of their abundant blessings to the Lord’s church.

Biblical financial principles taught
Biblical Christian stewardship concepts and principles should be taught as an ongoing ministry of the church. Believers constantly need this spiritual instruction. Do not apologize for it.

Source: Lifeway

Shelby Systems is committed to helping churches large and small streamline their giving process. We provide the software and the plan that can help your church make the leap to digital giving. To find out how, contact one of our Ministry Consultants today. And don’t forget to ask about our special Digital Giving Package!



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When disaster strikes your local community, your church is in a unique position to provide relief. You have a group of people who are willing to help; your building and resources can offer a lifeline to the people who need it most.

Depending on where you live, your community could be at risk for a wide range of crises. If you want your church to be a valuable resource and refuge in times of need, here are five things you can do to prepare for disaster response:

1. Contact Local Authorities Before Disaster Strikes

When it comes to disaster relief, the last thing you want to do is reinvent the wheel or develop your own response strategy in a bubble. You want to maximize the impact of your church, which means supporting the response systems that are already in place.
Police, fire departments, and other local organizations are already well aware of what disasters could befall your community and how to prepare for them. Your neighborhood may have well-known seasonal battles with wildfires or floods, but your geography could pose other not-so-obvious hazards. These departments can show your church what disaster response looks like in your area.

2. Learn Evacuation Routes In Your Community

During a crisis, lack of information (or misinformation) can increase the damage inflicted on your community. When you talk to your local authorities, find out what an ideal evacuation looks like. Where should people go? How should they get there? These routes will vary depending on the location of the disaster, but if your church staff knows the evacuation routes in advance, it can be one of the most helpful ways you can respond to disaster.

You don’t have to announce disaster evacuation routes from the pulpit each weekend, but in times of disaster, your church should be poised to spread the word.

3. Keep Necessary Supplies On Hand

Your church isn’t trying to replace the fire department. But once you know what disasters you’re at risk for, you can stock up on some basic supplies to help out. You should always have first aid equipment, but depending on your level of risk for natural disasters, you may want more.
Hurricanes and tornados knock down trees, block roadways, and can even trap people inside their homes. Chainsaws, axes, and other landscaping equipment give your church more ways to help clean up after a crisis.

4. Identify Places Where Your Congregation Can Find Shelter

Not everyone has time to evacuate before a natural disaster. Your congregation needs to know where they can go when their home isn’t safe. It might mean high ground if you’re at risk for flooding or far from trees if there’s a tendency for wildfires. Your church might have an architecturally sound sanctuary that would be a perfect shelter during a disaster, but it’s possible that a local gym or a library could be a more secure location. Whatever it is, the important thing is that your congregation knows where to go, and you share that information with them.

5. Host Training Seminars

There are probably people in your church who would like to know basic first-aid and CPR but just haven’t got around to getting trained. Find out how many people are interested and work with local organizations to host a training seminar. This could even be a great way to engage your community if you open the seminar to the public.

Be Prepared

Imagine the impact your church could have if you were prepared to serve the most vulnerable and hurting members of your community. What would it be like if people saw your church as a valuable resource—whether they’re believers or not?

If you’re prepared, God could use your church to minister to your neighbors in times of need.
Source: Ministry Tech


Allow Shelby Systems to assist you and your community during times of crisis with our award-winning software. Please contact one of our Shelby Ministry Consultants today!


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Without the right heart and motivation in place, what you’ll read below will come across as simple fundraising tactics. That, of course, is not the intent. Through your leadership the full resources of your congregation will be joyfully released to fuel evangelistic and benevolent outreach worldwide. With this proper perspective in mind, here are 10 things you can do right now that will help increase giving in your church.

  1. Change Your Perspective

Stop feeling awkward about leading your congregation to be generous. Helping people get out of debt, save for the future and giving generously toward compelling kingdom projects is one of the many awesome things you get to do as a pastor. You can enjoy talking about money because changing financial habits transforms people and families.

  1. Change Your Own Giving Habits

Start giving. Never lead people to do what you are not willing to do yourself. This way you will have plenty of personal stories to share when you preach about trusting God with your finances, and you will have passion to teach others about giving in the first place. Of course there will always be mistakes, tough patches, and the like, but make today a new day and recommit yourself to giving and watch what happens.

  1. Change The Ways People Can Give

Give people lots of giving options. Just under 50% of all gifts are given OUTSIDE of the offering basket in the worship service. It’s all about making giving as convenient as possible for people.

Here are five things you should put in place right now:

Offering Envelope: Self-addressed offering envelopes should be put inside every bulletin at church. On the inside flap people can indicate to which account they would like to give – to the General Fund or Capital Campaign.

Online Giving: When you start offering online giving, amounts will increase, and remained consistent. The giving button should be placed prominently on your website’s homepage. About three times a year, you should mention the benefits of giving online – setting up recurring gifts, printing giving statements, etc. Shelby offers easy-to-use online giving.

Payroll / Employer / Bank Drafts: A significant number of our people have their giving taken out of their paychecks, or have checks dispersed from their baking accounts. Both are then automatically mailed to the church office.

Phone App: You will see increased giving through your church’s phone app. Shelby can create a beautiful, custom app for your church.

Brokerage Account: By opening a brokerage account, and publicizing it, you can start receiving gifts of stock (mostly at the end of the year).

  1. Change Your Stage Communications And Offering Collection Process

Be deliberate about how you communicate and collect offerings in your services. Spend a few minutes teaching stewardship before receiving an offering. Talk about how giving is an act of worship. Tell people they can give online, through the app, or in the service. Give people forty-five seconds of undistracted time (by not immediately starting a song, video, etc.) before the ushers come down the aisles. People need time to fill out a check or fill out their credit card information on the inside flap of the giving envelope.

  1. Change Your Staff And/or Governing Board’s Commitment To Giving

Challenge everyone on your team to give and watch what happens. Generosity begins at the bottom and moves upwards through the congregation.

  1. Change Your Financial Management Process

Review everything you do through the lens of trustworthiness. If you raise the trust level people have in the way their money is handled, they will naturally give more. People will give sacrificially if you continually share how you handle the three core aspects of your financial management process:

Budgeting: Your Leadership Team should set the total budget amount for the following year. The staff creates the budget, not to exceed that total. Finalize the budget. The Finance Team and Leadership Team scrutinizes, then approves the budget. The total amount of what was given the previous year is what is used as the budgeted income figure for the following year. That means if $500,000 was given this year, then $500,000 will become the max spending limit for the following year’s budget.

Expenditures: Only authorize spending for things that are budgeted. Have a policy in place that lowers spending if giving decreases. A sheet of all expenses paid by your Finance Manager, led by the Executive Pastor, overseen by the Senior Pastor, is sent to your Finance Team who monitors your financial activity.

GAAP: Follow GAAP in everything – Generally Accepted Accounting Principles. Two people should be with the money collected in services at all times until it is deposited into the on-site safe. Two people remove the money. Two people count the money. The part-time Finance Manager, who oversees the day-to-day processing of bills and payment, should not have the authority to sign the checks he or she writes. Members are welcome to sit down with the Executive Pastor and review all aspects of the financial process at any time.

  1. Change Your Easter and Christmas Eve Special Offerings

If you don’t have (or massively promote) a church-wide Easter and Christmas special offering, you are robbing your people of some really special opportunities to do something life-changing with their money. Here’s what you should do:

Pick A Compelling Need: Find a need among the international missions you support that people can rally around. Pick projects that your own people can be a part of by actually going to the mission field and building the house, or helping start the church, etc.

Set The Goal: Make it realistic, but a stretch.

Set Up Your Online Giving Webpage: Six weeks before the offerings, set up the giving tab “Special Offering” in your online giving options.

Start Casting Vision Six Weeks In Advance: Progressively cast vision from the stage, in emails, and in a letter with a special envelope about why this special project is worthy of their support. Share the need and point people to the webpage where they can give.

Get Commitments From Your Staff Ahead Of Time: Have your staff make commitments two weeks before the Christmas offering. Announce it on Sunday morning.

Tell People They Can Give Anytime Leading Up To That Day: Don’t make people give on that day alone. Have them give immediately. Some people will give for 2-3 weeks afterwards as well, that’s how compelling these projects are.

Make A Special Video And/or Presentation To Show That Day: On Christmas Eve and Easter, show a specially prepared video about the need. Play that video, talk a bit about the need, then collect the offering.

Tell People Where Money Given In Excess Of The Goal Goes: If people know that money that is given beyond the offering’s goal goes straight into your Capital Campaign, they will feel good that it funds really meaningful projects as well.

Videotape And Celebrate Later In The Year: When your high-schoolers go down to Haiti (for example) and build the two homes funded by this past year’s Christmas Eve offering, you’ll show a video of what happened two weeks later. Your people will love seeing the fruit of their offerings first-hand.

  1. Change Your Stewardship Teaching

Change the way you preach and you’ll change the way people give. Teach on stewardship twice a year: once in November (three to four weeks) and once in June (two weeks max). Include everything that God teaches regarding financial freedom: debt, savings, as well as issues of the heart and worship.

  1. Change The Way You Connect Giving With Lifechange

Focus on connecting giving with changed lives and watch how that impacts your giving culture. Say things like, “I’d like to thank those of you who give on a regular basis. We had 700 middle schoolers here last night, and it was a life-changing time. You were a big part of making that happen. Thank you for your sacrifice.” Always look for ways to connect people’s giving with the fruit of their sacrifice.

  1. Change The Way You Talk To Leaders

When you meet with potential leaders, do you challenge them to give? Family, biblical knowledge, evangelism, relationships, sexuality, health, time, work, and money top the list. When appropriate, lovingly challenge people to get out of debt, give, and save for the future. This helps leaders move toward maturity in Christ.

Source: Senior Pastor Central

 

Shelby Systems is committed to helping churches large and small streamline their giving process. We provide the software and the plan that can help your church make the leap to digital giving. To find out how, contact one of our Ministry Consultants today. And don’t forget to ask about our special Digital Giving Package!

 


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Whether you’re an attendee or a staff member, it can be challenging to push for new ideas and initiatives at your church when time and resources are limited. And let’s face it, change is scary!

While churches are increasingly embracing technology and influential church leaders are inviting pastors to consider how they can utilize technology to reach their congregation, it can still take some convincing for church leaders to get on board with the switch from more traditional methods, to adopting newer ones.

To help you out, we’ve put together a list of a few tips on how to convince your pastor that it’s time to go mobile!

Show them the facts

With 2.2 billion mobile device users globally, developing a mobile app strategy is the most effective way to reach people with the good news of the Gospel. Not only that, but mobile users spend nearly 3 hours every day on their smartphones, and a staggering 89% of time spent by users on mobile is in an app.

These numbers speak loud and clear: if you want to reach people, the best way to do it is on their mobile devices. With all of the great content your church creates, developing a mobile strategy will get your sermons, music, and blog posts in the hands of more people.

Share the benefits

  • Deeper engagement from your community with content that is easy to add
  • Enhanced presence by having your app available in every app store, and on all devices
  • Saved time and resources by providing a quick, secure mobile giving solution
  • Simplify your process by housing all of your content and tracking your analytics in one place
  • Showcase your brand by presenting your media in a beautifully designed app and unparalleled mobile experience


To learn how Shelby Systems can assist your church transition to a mobile platform, contact one of our Shelby Ministry Consultants today!