Four Great Web Solutions for Your Church

Basics - Website

Every Monday I post one of The Basics. The Basics are simple steps every church can take to grow. They are the same steps that led my church from 87 people in attendance to over 700. These steps have helped my church see hundreds of people saved and baptized in just a few short years. Most of these steps you can take this week without even having a board meeting. These are The Basics.

The year is 2015. I point that out because many churches are still operating like its 1985, and they’ve yet to receive their AOL disk in the mail.

That’s right, many churches in America don’t have a website. As many as 45% according to a 2012 study conducted by Duke University.

Now, I’m sure that number has decreased some over the last three years, but I believe we can safely assume that 30-35% of churches don’t have a website.

That absolutely baffles me. Here’s why. Roughly 280 million Americans are Internet users. That’s 87% of the United States population.

If your church doesn’t have a website by now you either;

  1. Think Technology is the Devil
  2. Don’t Know Where To Start
  3. Think it’s Too Expensive

If you think technology is the devil, there’s not much I can do help you. However, if you think its too expensive or don’t know where to start, let me offer you some suggestions.

Clover – Clover is the company we’ve used for the past several years. They may be a bit expensive on the front end, but the ease of use and support you get with them is unparalleled.

Cost – Initial $1000, Monthly $20

Faith Highway – Faith Highway builds you a site using the WordPress platform which makes your site easy to use and update.

Cost – Based on your needs and church size

Bridge Element – Bridge Element is similar to Clover in that it has its own custom church management system. This makes it easy to edit the website from the backend.

Cost – Initial $0, Monthly $29

SquareSpace – SquareSpace is for the church that’s looking to be a little more creative with their website. They make incredible looking sites at very affordable prices.

Cost – Initial $0, Monthly $18

These are just a few options out of hundreds. Once you do some researching you’ll be surprised to find how easy getting and maintaining a website is these days.

You don’t even have to break the bank to do it. So, what are you waiting for? Pop in that AOL disk and get started. You’ve got mail!

Does your church have a website? What company do you use?

Your Favorite Judge

Who’s your favorite judge? I know most of you are probably partial to Judge Judy. Personally, I like Judge Joe Brown better myself.

Judge-Gavel

But, if we’re honest with ourselves, we realize that more often than we’d like to admit, we’re our own favorite judge. In fact, we have no problem picking out who does and does not deserve God’s love. If you look a certain way, act a certain way, and your beliefs line up with my beliefs, God loves you. If you don’t, then prepare to be judged.

Don’t believe me? Just take a look at the posts on your Facebook feed. Somewhere along the way people within the church forgot their true identity and started becoming the morality police. For many in the church, they choose to judge people, rather than love people.

A girl shared in my small group this week that in the church she previously attended, if you had tattoos you’d be asked to cover them up. If you were a woman and you wore jeans, you’d be asked to wear a dress the next time you came to church. Maybe the reason your church is in decline is because no one lines up to be judged. We were never meant to be the morality police.

The Apostle John said “God sent his Son into the world not to judge the world, but to save the world through him.” John 3:17

So, if Jesus didn’t come to judge the world, why should we feel like it’s our job to judge? Jesus already told us what our job is. We’re to love God with all of our heart, soul, and mind. And we’re to love our neighbor as ourselves. If we forget about everything else, and just do these two things, we’ll see our churches grow.

Why are we so quick to judge? Have you ever been guilty of judging someone else?

The #1 Reason You’re Not Producing Leaders

Leadership Takes Time

Unless you’ve had your head in the sand for the past ten years, you’ve heard how important leadership is to the church. As John Maxwell says, “Everything rises and falls on leadership.”

clocks

Maybe it’s just me, but it seems like there are far more people talking about leadership and far fewer people actually producing leaders. Yet, if you’re on Twitter or you hang out in certain circles, it can seem like everyone has this leadership thing figured out.

Perhaps they do, but that’s not been the case for me. In the church I serve, we have struggled year after year in figuring out the formula that produces leaders.

At times it seems like what works for one person doesn’t work for another. So we would switch things up, and we’d satisfy one group but lose another group.

Over time what I’ve begun to discover is there’s not really a formula that works for everyone, but every formula that works has one key component.

Time.

The one thing we can never have enough of is the one thing it takes to produce leaders. This is what makes leadership development so difficult. In order to see people grow into leaders, we have to be intentional about spending time with them.

Here’s how I would suggest you spend your T.I.M.E.

  • Teaching – People don’t know what you know. They don’t think like you do. If you just wait around for them to figure it out, you’re going to end up very frustrated. You have to teach them. Here’s why we do this, here’s why we don’t do that. Here’s why I think that’s a good idea, here’s why I think that’s a bad idea.
  • Inspiring – If you don’t remind them, over time people will forget why we do church. Our natural inclination is to focus on self, so we constantly need to be sharing the vision to reach those far from God. You can’t do this enough. Remind your volunteers that they’re not just filling a role, but they’re setting the stage for someone to meet Jesus each and every week.
  • Motivating – The best motivation for your congregation are stories of people whose lives have been changed because of your church. Find a way to tell these stories. Use Facebook, your church website, a bulletin, whatever it takes to get these stories in front of your people. In addition to that, make sure your volunteers are well trained. There’s nothing that kills motivation faster than someone who feels like they’ve been thrown into a role and forgotten about.
  • Encouraging – Encouragement begins by building a relationship. Your encouragement will be meaningless if you haven’t taken the time to build a relationship with the person. Get to know them. Find out about their family, how they came to your church, what they do for a living, etc. Encouragement begins by listening, and listening takes time.

I know this isn’t a perfect formula for building leaders because I don’t think a perfect formula exists. If it does, I haven’t found it yet.

This is a good place to start, and over time, you’ll find what works best for you.

How are you producing leaders? How much time do you think it takes?