7 Church Technology Tips

7 Church Technology Tips

Let’s rip off the bandaid. Churches that do technology well get called McChurches. Churches that don’t do technology well get called Old-Fashioned. Both insults are unfair, and are often rooted in pride or jealousy. So, whether you’re a church with a lot of gadgets or a church that’s way more analog than digital, let’s aim for the same goal: be tasteful. I’ve been to churches with some really neat toys that abuse them. It feels like a concert, the tech is distracting, and the production feels like an offense to the concept of stewardship. It isn’t tasteful. I’ve also been to churches that have an old projector poorly aimed at a tragically-placed screen. In its own way, it’s distracting. It isn’t tasteful. The amount of technology used in a church is almost completely irrelevant. What matters is how you use it. Be tasteful. But practically speaking, what does that look like? Here are seven church technology tips: 1) It’s all about the screens. Whether you’re a tech-driven church with lots of projectors or a church with a minimalistic approach, where you place your screens makes a huge difference. Don’t hang them in odd places or places that frequently cause you to look away from where the worship leader or pastor are standing. Get the resolution right. If you are projecting at a 4:3 (full screen) aspect ratio, use a screen with that same ratio. If you’re projecting a 16:9 (wide screen) aspect ratio, use a 16:9 screen. Be strategic, not ultilitarian, about the placement of screens and the projection onto them. Do the work to get them right or don’t do...
Church Leadership Matters Podcast- Episode 1

Church Leadership Matters Podcast- Episode 1

It’s here, friends. The Church Leadership Matters Podcast has officially launched! The Church Leadership Matters Podcast is a show were we discuss the things that matter to leaders because your leadership matters. This interview-style show focuses on topics that matter to leaders because their leadership matters. In each episode, I interview an expert in a particular area–sometimes well-known guests and other times “in the trenches”-type guests. The podcast is designed to help ALL leaders from volunteers to senior pastors maximize their leadership potential. Each episode concludes with a “Leadership Lifeline” which is a free digital resource (made available to email subscribers only) that will help podcast listeners put into action principles gleaned from the interview. Each episode is approximately 30 minutes. You can subscribe to the podcast on iTunes here. — From the Church Leadership Matters site today: Today’s show was all about cultivating a love for the Word in our churches, and that process begins with us. We interviewed LeAnne Blackmore (Obscure No More), an incredible speaker and Bible teacher who is also author of the upcoming book Rooted. LeAnne not only has a deep love for the Bible herself, but has spent the last several years teaching others and instilling passion in them. In our interview with LeAnne, we tackled three main topics: 1) Why it’s so important for churches to develop a culture where a love for Scripture and Biblical literacy are self evident. -Studying the Word is a priority to God, so it needs to be a priority to us. -Psalm 138:2 says “You have exalted above all things your name and your word.” -True disciples abide in the Word. -Studying...
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 One Web Resource Every Leader Needs

The One Web Resource Every Leader Needs

This week it’s all about the church and technology. How can the church best leverage Facebook to live out her mission? How can we use the web in unconventional ways? This week, we’ll also tackle a subject most leaders in the church never talk about. But today, I wanted to give a review of the one web resource every leader needs. A few weeks ago, a great pastor, leader, and entrepreneur named Brian Beauford approached me about kicking the tires on his start-up called Ministry Library. I had heard of the site previously, and even had encountered a handful of the resources, but was excited to learn more about it and give it an honest assessment. After all, my website is dedicated to helping leaders maximize their ministry impact, and if Ministry Library is doing a great job at working towards this mission, too, I was eager to partner with Brian and the team. After gaining access to the wide collection of content available from Ministry Library, I can confidently claim this is one web resource every leader needs. What it is Ministry Library is a subscription-based website that trains and equips leaders by connecting them with impactful content from ministry-related books. Ministry Library utilizes video summaries, printable guides, and team workshops centered around the books. These tools distill a book’s worth of content into a smaller package so that leaders can gain insight from a new book every week. One of the benefits of Ministry Library is that leaders can go as deep or shallow with a particular book as they want. For example, leaders can start by clicking on...
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...
Big Announcement!

Big Announcement!

This, people. In case you can’t tell from the picture, my set up just came in the mail last Tuesday. Speaking of Tuesday’s… On Tuesday, November 3, I will be launching the Church Leadership Matters Podcast! This is a show where we discuss the things that matter to you because your leadership matters. Each episode of this church leadership podcast will be between 20-25 minutes and feature an interview with leaders from varying ministry backgrounds and experiences. The show will always conclude with a Leadership Lifelinewhich is a practical take away relevant to the topic that can help you and your ministry right away. The podcast will air every Tuesday at 9am and be available via iTunes (iTunes link to be posted at launch), Buzzsprout, and on the web home of the show: churchleadershipmatters.com. Best of all, you’ll never have to pull over or quit working to write down what you’re hearing in the show. Show notes will be available online, and the notes with the Leadership Lifeline can be delivered directly to your inbox so you can just enjoy listening. Finally, it’s important to me that you know who this podcast is for. It’s for you. Whether you’re the girl checking in kids on a Sunday morning or a mega church pastor, this podcast is designed to help you maximize your impact in whatever leadership capacity you serve. Don’t think that just because you aren’t on a staff that you aren’t a leader. Churches would be dead in the water without the brilliant leadership found on their volunteer teams. You can make an impact, and this podcast will help to maximize it. I hope you’re as excited as I am to learn from other great servants in the...