I get to talk with church leaders a bunch about how North Side does ministry. I would love to hire a ton of people on our staff to do all the ideas we have, but that’s just not feasible. So we cheat a lot. What I mean is we find good resources that make what we do better. Sometimes we pull things off that looks like we have double the staff size that we do, but we have just learned to be clever with our resources.
If you don’t know about these 5 websites that help us cheat, let me acquaint you with the ones that we are loving these days!
- Planning Center Online – Planning Center Online will supply one central place to organize all aspects of your ministry service and keep your staff and volunteers connected. Creating service plans, scheduling volunteers through simple e-mails, chord chart and mp3 transposing, ccli reporting are just a few of the program’s features. Volunteers receive scheduling e-mails and they have the ability to “accept”, “decline”, or “view the service” all with the click of their mouse. Volunteers will now be able to view all pdf’s and other various attachments associated with your plan in one central place. This has CHANGED the way we do worship planning. Simple. Effective. Organized. Would have to hire a few people to do what this program does. Well worth the money monthly fee.
- Worship House Media – As many churches have video positions, most churches do not have the finances or the video demand needed to hire someone to do this job. That is why I love Worship House Media (they also have a kids’ version now). This site lets you preview through videos, loops, countdowns, etc. and purchase them individually for download. Back in the day, you would have to buy a volume of videos from an individual producer and normally 20% of them were usable. Now you can choose what you get. While some videos are $10-$20, imagine how much it costs a church to pay for a full-time staff person to create a 2-minute thought-provoking video each week?
- Power Point Sermons – Used some of their stuff in the past, now just jumped in with both feet. This is the Worship House Media for graphics and some video. They let you get a subscription for unlimited downloads of graphics and videos. We do have a full-time graphic designer on staff due to our Compass magazine and other publications, but still our demand for good quality ads is so high, we can come close to suffocating Cory. What this site allows for is for you to have great looking ads that you can purchase as jpegs or open as Power Point files. So if a pastor in a small church wanted to start a series but only has Microsoft Paint experience, he can download a great template on Genesis and open it in Power Point and put his own text in there. So much more you can do with this site. Great stuff!
- Clover Sites – I have been tracking these guys for a long time. Their goal was to make simple, beautiful websites for ministry-based budgets. We had a company design ours from the ground up and it looks great, but Clover sites are template sites that look and navigate amazingly! You pick a template, purchase it for a great price, and then anyone (and yes, I mean ANYONE) can edit it. You can edit it so much that it looks different from other users, but the framework is the same for a fraction of the cost to get someone to design your sites. It is so simple to use and it looks great. If you are a small, medium, or large church, I would highly recommend you looking into Clover for your site or site redesign. And fact, we have.
- Life Church Resources – I love Life Church, and I love Craig Groeschel the pastor. They are the most creative church in the world, and they are the most giving church in the world. If you follow this link, you will see that they offer churches free sermon series’ packages full of graphics, videos, and outlines. They also created an online Bible study tool, church metrics, and so much more. And to make matters even sweeter, they do it all for free!
If you haven’t checked out these resources yet, get acquainted with them today and see how they can help your church!