What do you do when the pastor comes to you and complains about the volume of the worship band? Mike O’Brien holds a B.A. in Music from Kennesaw State University and Master of Worship Studies from the Robert E. Webber Institute for Worship Studies. He has worked as a producer, engineer, and mixer at Lucko Sound Studio, and with a collective of 25+ musicians. Mike has survived the sound battles and shares his insights with you in this brief video. Watch and learn from his many years of experience just how to win the volume war.
Source: Ministry Tech
Shelby Systems has decades of experience helping churches in all aspects of ministry, for assistance contact one of our ShelbyMinistry Consultantstoday!
As your church partner, we wanted to connect with you to provide two valuable (and free) tools as you prepare for Hurricane Irma. No church can predict when a difficult situation will happen or how big the impact will be on the community. However, you can develop a crisis communication plan to assist in effectively ministering your church community’s greatest hours of need.
High Ground Solutions is also giving you full access toChurchCastat NO CHARGE through October 15th, 2017 so you can prepare immediately.
What is ChurchCast? With ChurchCast you can send voice calls, SMS/text messages, and emails. You can launch ChurchCast messages from a secure web-portal, through mobile app, or using any touch-tone phone via toll-free hotline.
Start using it today before the storm hits: To get started, simply click here and complete the activation form on the page. A team member of our partners at High Ground Solutions will be in touch with the simple instructions to get you started.
Your member contact information To make the startup as quick as possible, we have set up a simple “mobile opt-in” process that you can share with your church members and they can “sign up” themselves with their cell phones. This is simple, instantaneous, and requires no data entry from your church office to help expedite during this difficult time.
We have seen the immense impact these tools can make as you brace for an emergency event. During this crisis, it’s important to our mission that we provide our service today to serve you. There is no obligation to purchase anything beyond the free period. It is in full approach of service that we offer this to you today.
Most people who are searching for a church will do so online first. You can consistently connect with these people online and lead them to visit your local church by optimizing your website for search engines.
Here are seven keys to optimizing your church’s website:
Claim your local listings – The first thing you need to do is claim your church’s local listing. Here are the top three you want to start with:
This will provide your church website with two benefits.
First, claiming your listing will let these search engines know how to display your information in search results. This will help people searching for local churches in your area to know about your church, such as your address, hours, and contact information.
Second, these listings will provide your church with a local citation (information about your church), which is an important component to ranking in local church search results.
Claim your church on local directories – The next step you want to take is to claim your church on local directories. The two you want to primarily focus on are Yelp and Citysearch. As with your local listings, this will help you to share the most up to date information about your church, provide a local citation, and help boost your ranking in search engines.
Encourage reviews – Local reviews are key to increasing your ranking in local search results. This includes reviews on Google, Yelp, and elsewhere. But focus on getting reviews on Google at first. From asking people to leave a review, to placing a sign on your kiosk or window for people to see when leaving, there are several ways you can encourage your congregation and visitors to leave a review.
Know the keywords people are using – Place yourself in the shoes of someone searching for a church in your town. In a search engine, what words will they use? What questions will they ask? What phrases come to mind? This first step is important. Take 30–60 minutes to think through these answers. Poll several mmembers of your congregation to get their opinion. Ask people on social media for their thoughts.
Now, if you have analytics set up on your website, then look to see how people are getting to your website:
What keywords are organically leading people to your website?
Are other websites referring people to yours?
Are social media channels leading people to visit your website?
Next, to get additional ideas, you can use Google AdWords Keyword Planner to search for ideas. There are other tools you can use to conduct keyword research. But this free tool will help you to get started. With your list of keywords and keyword phrases in hand, identify the words and phrases you want to focus on. This will help you to direct your efforts and keep track of your progress. Let me emphasize this: Make sure you’re focusing on local searches to help boost your church’s website in local search rankings. A common keyword phrase many people use is “church + city/region” or “denomination + city/region.”
Optimize your website with your keywords – The next step you need to take is to optimize your website with the keywords you selected above. From your homepage to the individual pages of your website, it’s important to optimize every single page. Here are several important onsite search engine optimization (SEO) to update:
Alt-Text in Images
For the content on your individual pages, look for natural ways to use H1 tags. Again, for a point of emphasis, it will be important to include your city/region as often and naturally as possible. If you use WordPress for your church’s content management system (CMS), then consider using these two plugins to help you optimize your individual pages:
All in One SEO Pack
Embed a Google Map on your Contact Page – Embedding a Google Map with a marker of your local church is one among many helpful tactics. The best place to include this is on your Contact Page. To do this, all you need to do is search for your church in Google Maps, click SHARE, copy the code from Embed map, and paste it into your Contact Page.
Include your local church name, address, and phone number – Include your local church name, address, and phone number on every page of your website. For this tactic, it’s important to use the same information and format as you do on local listings and local directories. One of the best locations to include this information is in the footer of your church’s website. This way it will appear at the bottom of every page.
Your church’s website can be a great evangelistic tool. It’s a way you can digitally connect with people to lead them to meet you in person by visiting your worship service or to learn more about your church.
Source: Dean Sweetman
For more creative ways to reach people in your community, contact one of our Shelby Ministry Consultants today!
Cool graphics aren’t just for big churches. Dan Wunderlich walks us through two easy-to-use services that put professional graphics within reach of us all! Just click the image above to watch this helpful video.
For more ideas that can help your church grow, contact one of our Shelby Ministry Consultants today!
Here are a few examples of essential content every church website should provide. By doing so, you won’t miss the opportunity to attract individuals who may visit your church or inconvenience current members who may be looking for specific information.
What We Believe – Your faith statement is important to Christians new to your area. Before visiting a church for the first time, people often check to see if the church shares their beliefs. Write out your doctrinal beliefs in a way that is easy to understand and welcoming to non-members.
Location – Although people tend to look for a church close to their home, you don’t want to miss the opportunity to attract visitors from out of town. You should create a page that gives your address and directions with a map that links to Google Maps, Waze, or CoPilot, and you should include your address on your home page and on the footer of every page. Your address should also be included on your “Contact Us” page, and it is a good idea to link these pages to each other.
Service Times – In order to make visitors feel welcome, it is extremely important to provide the days and times of your weekly services. This information could be listed on your home page, or you may create a page specifically for providing your service times. It is a good idea to show your service times on your location page as well. Providing this information will ensure that you don’t miss an opportunity to appeal to new visitors.
What to Expect – Anyone who’s considering visiting your church would like to know what type of services you have and how long they last. You should describe the style of worship in your church and whether the attire is formal or “come as you are.” If you provide childcare, have signers who communicate with deaf parishioners, or are handicap-accessible, you should include this information on your “What to Expect” page. Adding videos of sermons is another great way to show visitors what to expect at your services, and this gives members who may have missed a service the opportunity to watch the sermon.
Events – You may use bulletins to announce your upcoming events. However, anyone who hasn’t attended your church would search your website for that information. If you have an event that takes place outside of your church, be sure to include the address, a link for directions, and the time of the event. Adding events to your website is helpful for visitors, and it benefits your current members who may have misplaced or not taken a bulletin home.
Tips for Adding Content:
Keep it simple – Don’t make your website look like an eBook on your Amazon Kindle. The fewer words each page has the better. The key is to inform people without overwhelming them.
Make sure your website is updated – Not updating your website not only misleads people by providing outdated information, but it also shows a lack of professionalism.
Create a user-friendly navigation menu – Make it easy to find information by placing relevant pages under your categories. If it’s too difficult to find information, your visitor will search for another church.
Today, Millennials are the demographic on the top of most organizations’ priority list. It’s no surprise that the church is trying to reach the fastest-growing generation in the workforce and marketplace, and officially, the nation’s largest living generation. The Millennial generation, which comprises those born between 1981 and 1997, grew up more digital, open-minded and information-hungry than any previous generation. They are more connected than ever before — except to faith.
These three principles will refocus and realign your efforts to engage the Millennial giver:
Cause – Millennials believe that the world needs changing and that they are the generation to make it happen. They passionately get behind causes the church supports — serving the homeless, feeding the hungry, ending sex trafficking and supporting under-served children around the world. Connect their generosity to the greatest cause of all, the spread of the gospel, and outline how the local church uses financial resources to make that happen.
Convenience – The digital lifestyle is increasingly normal for everyone, but it is ALL this generation has ever known. Apps, online giving portals and text-to-give options might seem radical to a traditional church. But when checks became the norm instead of cash, people were leery until they became status quo. Then, we began using little plastic cards to pay for items. Now, the center has shifted again; the majority is marching to a digital drummer.
Conviction – To develop a generous culture, churches must disciple young believers to know the generous ways and commands of Jesus. Do your messages communicate that giving is an act of worship, a way to be used by God in the lives of others and demonstration of a grateful heart?
The primary goal of developing a generous spirit among Millennials in your church is developing their spiritual maturity. The secondary goal is to financially resource your church mission. If we treat Millennial’s hearts like a caring shepherd (the first goal), engaging them in funding the mission actually comes more easily (the second goal).
To learn how Shelby Systems software can help you engage Millennials in your church, contact your Shelby Sales Consultant today!
“…From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked.” Luke 12:48, NIV Bible
Most churches and ministries, regardless of size, are faced with the same challenges – reaching out to visitors, energizing staff and membership, organizing and optimizing limited resources and spreading the word to the greatest number of people possible.
However, these problems are magnified when you are part of a church with a large congregation. Often blessed with many resources, churches at this size need to also be particularly good at optimizing those resources and organizing their people to get the most out of their ministry and serve their community.
It’s with churches like this in mind that Shelby Systems developed our Arena organizational management software. Arena takes the functionality of our ShelbyNext suite to a higher level allowing for the maximum amount of flexibility. For example, Arena can be cloud-hosted or self-hosted. Churches with dedicated IT personnel will get the most of out of the software as it will allow them to create custom reports for membership and financial data in whatever way works best for them. Once configured, Arena makes tracking large amounts of data on people across a large organization a snap.
So, if your ministry is blessed with many resources, let us help you make the most out of those resources. Your church and your community will reap the benefits.
There’s a reason that Christ called the disciples as a group. While each had his individual task, together they formed the core of the early church. They supported one another and helped to spread the word throughout the farthest regions of the known lands at the time.
In short — together they were stronger.
In this way, the modern church is no different. It takes more than one dedicated person to move a ministry forward. Depending upon the size of your church, it will often take several groups of people working in harmony to accomplish the everyday tasks of ministry.
How well do your groups work together? How do they communicate with each other and with other groups? Are they working as a team or simply as a collection of random individuals?
At Shelby Systems, we recognize the importance of having cohesive groups that talk to each other within a ministry. That’s why group organization is at the core of our church relationship management solution, ShelbyNext Membership.
Within ShelbyNext Membership, you can not only organize your people into groups, you can communicate with them through texts and e-mails, assign tasks to individuals in the group and those individuals can relay information about those interactions back to the designated group leader. You can add group events or meetings to the larger church calendar so other teams within your ministry know when things are happening. And thanks to the integration of your churches mobile app, group members can do all of this from their phones.
If your church’s software doesn’t help you and your groups work better together, then give us a call at 800.877.0222 and let us help.
One of the best overviews of current trends in social media was put out this year by WordStream. It was updated in May 2017. Among other fascinating tidbits, it shared that:
83 percent of female Internet users and 75 percent of male Internet users are on Facebook.
22 percent of the world’s total population uses Facebook.
32 percent of teenagers consider Instagram to be the most important social network.
Most Instagram users are between 18 to 29 years old, which is about 6 in 10 online adults.
81 percent of Millennials check Twitter at least once per day.
On any given day, Snapchat reaches 41 percent of 18- to 34-year-olds in the US.
YouTube (and even YouTube on mobile devices alone) reaches more 18- to 34- and 18- to 49-year-olds than any cable network in the U.S.
WordStream developed two major conclusions:
Facebook continues to be the most widely used social media platform, reaching 79 percent of American Internet users. Based on the total U.S. population—not just Internet users—that’s 68 percent of U.S. adults!
Every other platform trails behind: Instagram receives the silver medal with 32 percent of users; Pinterest comes in a close third with 31 percent, followed by LinkedIn and Twitter at 29 percent and 24 percent respectively.
Social media is both exciting (in that we have new ways to reach and disciple our world for Jesus) and at the same time overwhelming because of the challenges in the time and skills needed to make the most of these opportunities. Pray hard that God will give you a team of people who can share the ministry and who delight in using the new tools of social media to share the eternal story of God’s love for us, his desire for our salvation, and his goal to help us all grow to become like Jesus.