Free Church Media! You don’t have to steal anymore!

Free Church Media! You don’t have to steal anymore!

BREAK THROUGH BARRIERS. MAXIMIZE YOUR IMPACT. I'm Scott Ball, a strategy and leadership consultant for churches like yours.   I work with The Malphurs Group to help your church grow the right way.   Download my free guide and learn 10 Simple Secrets that keep guests from leaving through the back door (and attract more first-timers). Yes! Send It Now I’ve been in your shoes. I know it’s hard. I know that pulling off excellence in church every single week is difficult and expensive.  Churches, especially church plants and smaller churches, don’t have enough time, budget, staff, or expertise to produce high-end stuff in-house each week. So I get it, it’s easier to take a short-cut. But sometimes our attempts to save time or money inadvertently lead us to an ethically treacherous place.  Most often, this happens within the realm of intellectual property, and so we don’t think of it as stealing.  We think of it as sharing. I’ve been where you are, walked in your shoes, and rationalized the same way. Even in creating this website–a place designed to help church leaders train up, heal up, and pump up so they can have their maximum impact–there’s a temptation to want to use great stuff on the web. But just because it can be downloaded for free doesn’t mean it’s yours to use for free. Having walked this journey, too, I think that most of us in church want to do the right thing but get confused by what’s legal and figure since it’s “all for Jesus” it doesn’t really matter. Here’s why it matters: using intellectual property without permission is literally...
5 Steps to Great Church Guest Follow Up

5 Steps to Great Church Guest Follow Up

BREAK THROUGH BARRIERS. MAXIMIZE YOUR IMPACT. I'm Scott Ball, a strategy and leadership consultant for churches like yours.   I work with The Malphurs Group to help your church grow the right way.   Download my free guide and learn 10 Simple Secrets that keep guests from leaving through the back door (and attract more first-timers). Yes! Send It Now You are losing guests out the back door of your church every week. This is the unfortunate truth about every church. Even churches that are knocking it out of the park every week lose guests out the back door. Why? Because not every person is going to want to come back for a second time. But here’s an encouraging reality… The vast majority of your first-time guests are looking for a reason to come back. Let that sink in for just a minute. Think about everything that had to happen for a guest to visit your church for the very first time. They checked out your website, and liked it enough to come. They maybe downloaded or streamed a sermon, and liked it enough to come. They figured out if the location and service times worked for their family rhythm, and liked it enough to come. Their friend begged them for weeks to check it out, and liked them enough to come. Your church has already overcome the vast majority of barriers to getting a first-time guest in the door. Now they’re looking for a reason to come back. They liked you enough to come once, and now they’re searching for a reason to come a second time. Most people who visit a church aren’t...
How to Build a Launch Team

How to Build a Launch Team

Anticipation is a powerful tool in the church planter’s toolbox. Anticipation about what God is going to do. Anticipation about how the church is going to grow. Anticipation about what that first service will be like when the launch preparations finally come into fruition. Anticipation about the lives that will be impacted by the gospel and the love of the people in this new church. Anticipation is powerful. But churches that don’t build a proper launch team never get to experience the benefits of anticipation. Here are two common mistakes church planters make: Launch with a handful of people in a living room. If that worked for Bill Hybels and Rick Warren, it’ll work for me.Truth: Nope. It most likely won’t. Hybels and Warren are outliers from a past generation. Decades of evidence and research consistently shows that churches with a launch team of under fifty people will struggle to ever gain viability, sustainability, and momentum. Could your church be successful launching with a couple of families? Absolutely. But why risk it when the benefits of building a launch team extend beyond viability, sustainability, and momentum? Build a decent launch team but rely on advertising to bring in launch day guests.Truth: Far too many dollars have been wasted on direct mailers and billboards by new church plants. I won’t waste your time trying to discourage you from using these means. If you believe they work, I can’t stop you. What I can tell you is that they’re extremely expensive, and when it comes to church planting, every dollar counts. A person who visits based on a direct mailer is less likely...
Dear Church, Stop Stealing

Dear Church, Stop Stealing

Dear Church, Stop stealing. I know that pulling off excellence in church every single week is difficult and expensive.  Churches, especially church plants and smaller churches, don’t have enough time, budget, staff, or expertise to produce high-end stuff in-house each week. So I get it, it’s easier to take a short-cut. But sometimes our attempts to save time or money inadvertently lead us to an ethically treacherous place.  Most often, this happens within the realm of intellectual property, and so we don’t think of it as stealing.  We think of it as sharing. I’ve been where you are, walked in your shoes, and rationalized the same way. Even in creating this website–a place designed to help church leaders train up, heal up, and pump up so they can have their maximum impact–there’s a temptation to want to use great stuff on the web. But just because it can be downloaded for free doesn’t mean it’s yours to use for free. Having walked this journey, too, I think that most of us in church want to do the right thing but get confused by what’s legal and figure since it’s “all for Jesus” it doesn’t really matter. Here’s why it matters: using intellectual property without permission is literally picking the pocket of content creators. While major studios or production companies might not miss the small royalty, the photographer, videographer, musician, or artist who is hustling each week to make ends meet certainly does. If everyone in your church decided not to tithe simply because your sermons were offered for free, every church in this country would be in trouble. Likewise,...
The Church’s Guide to Facebook

The Church’s Guide to Facebook

I’ve met with lots of churches over the years to talk about expanding their digital platform. One of the biggest questions I get is: “How can we use Facebook to help our church?” Like any other communication tool a church uses, from a Sunday bulletin to mailer to a newsletter, a church has to answer one critical question before even getting started utilizing Facebook to help the church: What is your church’s reason for having a Facebook page? This seems like a simple enough question, but how leaders answer this question will impact the conscious and subconscious choices your church will make in how this social media platform will get used. Though answers may vary from church to church (and should), let me begin by making a suggested list of goals. Three valuable social media objectives: To communicate timely information to the congregation about events, services, and content. To provide a window into the personality of your church to newcomers and outsiders. To develop a sense of digital community through the sharing of encouragement, ideas, and content. If your church simply has the goal of having an active Facebook page “because we want to be relevant,” that page is doomed to be forgotten. Conversely, if your staff and leadership chooses to be intentional about your social media presence with clear goals, Facebook provides unparalleled visibility and instant connection with people inside and outside your church. In light of the goals stated above, here are the four types of updates your church should post: Reminders for events, sign-ups, time-changes, etc. This is the easiest and most obvious kind of post. Whenever...
Top Ten Church Website Features

Top Ten Church Website Features

A website is your church’s digital front door. Before someone ever makes a decision to walk through your actual front door, most people will check your church out online to determine if they want to visit. In fact, research indicates almost half of the people who visit a church website are going there to see when service times are, and nearly 30% are going there to find a map to your church. Sounds like new people, right? I’ve already written on how to know if you’ve taken the right approach to ensuring your website is effective, but today I wanted to offer ten website features your church needs to maximize your impact. Here are the top ten church website features: Easily accessible map. If it’s true that nearly a third of the people visiting your website are looking for a map, make the map really easy to find. Simply providing an address is not sufficient. Embed a map allowing people to get directions from their locations. It’s simple, but critical. Honest digital representation. Your church’s website should look like your church. It’s dishonest to have (stock, stolen) images of young people in jeans, and then have people show up and see that your church is filled with middle-aged people in suits. There’s nothing wrong with middle-aged people in suits–just don’t sell yourself online as a hipster church plan. It will not make a good impression; be honest. Helpful staff page. One of the most frequently visited pages on the church websites I have developed is the staff page. People want to see who is leading. People do judge a book by its...