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Staff bios help guests and church members relate better to those who are charged with the spiritual care of a congregation. While they don’t have to be exhaustive, there are a few items to consider including in each church staff member’s bio.

1. A current, professional photo of the staff member. The number of church staff pages that just list names and nothing else is puzzling. Photos help people identify with the church. Having a professional photo that is current for each staff member communicates that a church cares about details and is doing things well.
2. Information about what their job entails. With the growing number of unorthodox job titles in churches, there is often confusion over what area of ministry a staff member relates to. For example, a “creative arts director” could work with the worship ministry, the media ministry, the communications team, or all three. Provide clarity for each staff member so that someone can easily identify to whom they can direct questions or ideas.
3. How long they’ve been at the church. It’s not an essential item, but it is helpful. Knowing how long a staff person has been at a church provides context to visitors and members. There is a catch with this approach though. If you say “Joe has been on staff for 12 years,” then you have to update it every year. Try a format like “Joe joined the staff as student minister in 2005” instead.
4. Social media profiles. I understand that many people still do not have social media profiles or want them shared. But consider providing at least some social media connection if at all possible. Each staff member could pick the one social media platform they prefer and use it. Or you could list all available platforms. The specifics don’t matter as long as there’s at least some way to connect with the staff other than email.
5. An email address. Other than a picture, this might be the most important part of a staff bio. Contacting a church staff member should be as easy as possible. And email is the best way to allow for that contact to take place without providing too much personal information.
6. Personal information. If any of these could be considered optional, it would be this one. However, like a picture, personal information (likes, dislikes, alma maters, spouse and kids’ names) helps people better relate to the staff. So if it’s possible, then include it.

Source: Lifeway Christian Resources


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It may sound strange at first, but you are a pizza box. Watch as Pastor Jentezen Franklin (from Kingdom Connection) preaches an incredible sermon in only two minutes. It is one you will never forget. This brief video will forever change the way you think about pizza delivery. Enjoy this inspirational message and feel free to share it with your friends on social media.


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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.