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Website redesigns should be carried out strategically and to meet a need. So if your church has one of these needs, then it may be time to refresh your site:

  1. Your site is not mobile-friendly – This is a top priority right now. If you don’t have a mobile-friendly, responsive website, you need to fix that right now.
  2. Your logo or branding changes – This may seem obvious, but if you’re going to invest in a new logo or graphic branding package, then make sure your website is redesigned to reflect the change.
  3. Your site is not guest-friendly – Consider the content and layout of your site. Is it mainly for guests or members? If everything is geared to members, it might be time to fix some things.
  4. You need to change website platforms – This redesign is typically forced. If you’re moving to a new web platform, then you will likely have to make design changes to the site. It’s rare that you can move across platforms and keep a consistent look and feel.
  5. Your site is dated – This is more of a design aesthetic than the other items in this list. But if your site looks old and feels old based on the graphics and content, move forward on a redesign.

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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Money can be a touchy subject, especially when we start talking about how churches can increase donations. People often fear the stereotype of the church that “always” is begging for money. However, the reality is that people want to give to your church and God calls them to do so. This means that any reasonable effort to help them give is the role of a faithful congregation.

As we continue our series on generosity in the church, here are five ways to increase giving without feeling like a pitch-person:

  1. Add an Electronic Payment Option to your Church Service  – with the advent of smart phones, texting payments and other solutions, people only need a cellphone in order to give electronically. ShelbyNext Giving offers services to help your church walk down this new road. Studies show that electronic giving can increase donations by up to 32%.
  2. Make Recurring Contributions Easy – Many people prefer to automate the important things in their life. They use different systems to make sure their mortgage payment is sent automatically and their water bill is deducted on the due date. Many people even use their bank’s system to make these payments.  At the very least, you should have an “automated contributions” page on your website with instructions on how people should designate their contributions using their bank’s automated-payment settings. If you want to take it to the next level, allow members to schedule those contributions using their debit card without ever having to leave your website.
  3. Retailers Referral – This online tool allows your church members to make money for your church while they do their normal shopping online. You may not know it, but most online retailers (like Amazon) have a 2-5% associates’ fee they will pay to people who refer customers to their site. It is not added to the purchase, but taken out of the company’s profit. 
  4. Start a Christian Financial Counseling Ministry – Many people’s finances are so tight that they cannot see a way to give to the church. Though the goal of ministries like these is not to increase giving, they do help people find financial stability and freedom so that they are able to discover the joy of giving to the cause of Christ. You might start by researching other churches that offer this type of ministry. Call them and ask for advice.
  5. Help Businesses Give – Many churches look only to their members and attendees as those who are interested in supporting the mission and ministry of their congregation and miss a whole category of contributions.  Often times, local businesses are more than willing to partner financially in what the church is doing. Here are a couple ideas to get your brainstorming started:
  • Sunday Lunch — Many restaurants will share a portion of customer’s bills as a fundraiser for an organization. Consider having a first Sunday lunch location where members can give back by going to lunch after church.
  • Event Sponsors — Many local businesses love to partner on events like fall festivals and Easter family events. Next time, ask local businesses to sponsor a specific game or area. 
  • Business Directory — Your members would love to support businesses who support your church. Create a sponsored business directory that fills that desire and helps your local businesses partner with your ministry.
You don’t have to turn your church service into some sort of Christian infomercial. With a few simple updates, you can help enable your church members to do what they already want to do: give generously to the work of God.

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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Usually the phrase “texting in church” brings up bad connotations.

You picture disinterested teens, sitting in the back of the congregation, rapidly messaging back and forth on a mobile device. Although this scenario may be all too real, there’s something about it that we, as church leaders, can’t ignore. Over 99% of all text messages are opened and read within five minutes or less. That factor alone makes text communication for churches a no brainer.

 

Text Message Campaigns for Churches

  1. Inspiring Devotionals – All individuals are created in the image of God. Be kind to one another, because each has a little of Him in us.
  2. Service Cancellations – Due to the severe weather alert, all services will be cancelled today. All activities for the coming week will resume as scheduled.
  3. Small Group Reminders – Don’t forget! The women’s small group is meeting tonight at 7:30 p.m. in the East Tower.
  4. Event Announcements – Our annual block party is this Saturday, from 3-7 p.m.! Bring your favorite dish, and come join us for fellowship.

 

How Do You Promote Your Church Texting List?

Don’t ask attendees to opt in just for fun. Make sure there is purpose behind your request.

 

Ask the Pastor to Make an Announcement

Let’s face it. Your pastor is the focal point of attention. Why not have him encourage congregation members to join your texting list? Before the sermon starts, your pastor can ask attendees to take out their phone, and opt in. Don’t forget to tell them why this communication tactic is important, and how it will benefit them.

 

Print Opt-in Details in Your Bulletin

If people are still flipping through your Sunday bulletin, type out opt-in details on the inside page. Remember, if you push texting as a communication method, and a way to keep members in the loop, you’ll experience much more success.

 

Share More Info on Social Media

If you have social media pages for your church, make an announcement about your new text communication option. If congregation members are the first to hear about important events, they’re more likely to stay involved.

 

Respect Time of Day

Avoid sending messages before 9 a.m. or after 9 p.m. This may be considered disruptive, which could negatively affect participation.

 

When Applicable, Segment Your List

Don’t send out women’s small group reminders to your entire list. Sort out applicable subscribers, and message accordingly.

 

Don’t Break Your Initial Frequency Promise

Let’s say from day one, you vowed to only send six messages per month. Don’t ignore that guideline. Breaking this promise will only result in an unhappy and annoyed congregation.

 

3 Pillars of Church Text Messaging

Your text messages should provide a high level of value for your audience. Sure, the open rate is fantastic. That doesn’t mean you should text your congregation “just because.” Make sure your messages fall under one of these three pillars. Although you’re not selling anything, your text messages should provide a high level of value. They should make people want to attend, serve and grow in your church.

  1. Educate – As a congregation leader, you want to encourage individual growth on all levels. Send out daily devotions, or at the very least, weekly scripture reminders. If you’re focusing on a certain chapter, send out messages that reference these verses, and even assign short passages of reading.
  2. Inspire – Fire out words of encouragement. Inspire congregation members with weekly motivational messages, Bible verses, or positive affirmations.
  3. Inform – Keep congregation members in the loop with text messages that relay important information. Keep everyone safe and in the know with one simple blast.

 

 

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

 

 


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HQ 2017 was a big success! Thanks to everyone who attended. There were new friendships established and hugs and handshakes as attendees returned home to all corners of the United States. We appreciate all of the great ideas that our customers recommended during the conference, and we hope that everyone learned something that they can take home and use to make their ministry more effective. May God continue to bless you and your service to the kingdom.

Shelby’s next major event is ISC 2018 / June 6 – 8. Please click the image above to see some of the exciting sights and sounds of Memphis, TN.


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No time is wasted at the HQ 2017 Conference. During lunch we interviewed several attendees and talked with them about their interactions this week. Comments ranged from the friendliness of staff and customers to the intimate setting to helpful tips and tricks. One attendee told an amazing story and explained why his respect for Shelby software has grown due to a recent experience. 

We are busy compiling video footage and photos and we will have a conference highlights podcast for your viewing pleasure very soon.


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Day Two of HQ 2017 is well under way. Alfred Johnson is leading a break-out session titled: ShelbyNext Financials – What’s New and What’s Coming (pictured above).



Attendees are listening as Alfred gives a brief history of his time as product owner and then launches into the upcoming features of the ShelbyNext Financials product. Be watching for more details coming later today.


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Day One of HQ 2017 is complete! It was a day filled with learning, networking and new friendships being established. After an inspirational morning session, attendees took advantage of dozens of diverse break-out sessions. A warm and filling lunch was also time for laughter and shared ministry experiences. Following the dinner break, the evening session included a lively Q&A between attendees and a panel of Shelby experts (pictured above). Most of the HQ group is heading to bed early tonight so that they can finish strong tomorrow with the final day of the conference. We’ll have more reports as HQ 2017 continues.