It can be hard for modern churches to stay engaged in their communities, especially as the culture surrounding our society continues to change. Too often, churches retreat into their own bubble - interacting only with other churches and their own congregations, and leaving the communities in which they're located totally out in the cold.
Church leaders have a responsibility - a duty! - to share themselves and the word of God with those around them. And in this article, we'll take a look at 7 simple ways to do so.
1. Community Events
Lots of churches have events that are hosted on their grounds for their congregations - events such as 4th of July parties and other celebrations - but these events shouldn't just be for church members. Next time your church is having a celebration like a cookout or a party, consider opening it up to the rest of the community.
Post signs around the church neighborhood and tack up posters to telephone poles and shop windows. Post about the church event on Facebook and "share" it with friends - do whatever it takes to get the word out.
The church doesn't have to push an agenda at these events. You're not trying to convert community members - you're simply looking to show them how God acts through the church, and be an example of his grace.
You'll be surprised at the community reactions you'll see when you do so - being honest, open, and allowing all to come to your events can create quite a bit of good will, and spur some folks into learning more about your church, and your beliefs.[click to continue...]
If you attend church on a regular basis, then you’ve probably noticed that many churches are modernizing their approach to worship and congregational gatherings. While most churches still hold physical worship services, many are also dabbling in online media, podcasts, and live streaming services. But what does this mean for the future?
Top 5 Types of Church Technology
When you think about church, technology probably isn't the first thing that comes to mind. But take a look around and you’ll see that technology is making major moves in this industry. And despite some friction and pushback from certain individuals and groups, it appears that the technological disruption is largely positive. Here are a few current tech trends for churches:
1) Online Media
In an age where a lot of small and local businesses have yet to fully realize the potential of online media, churches – by and large – are strategically allocating resources to this important area of visibility. This includes website development, social media, and video production.[click to continue...]
Whether you're a pastor, an administrator, or a devoted volunteer at your church, meetings can feel like a serious drain on your energy and time. When not properly planned, meetings can meander off in a million different directions, making it impossible for your group to focus on important issues that need to be resolved. Poor organization, poorly defined meeting goals, and a lack of meeting structure can cripple an organization's meetings, and houses of worship are no exception.
If you feel like your church meetings aren't really accomplishing anything except wasting your staff and your volunteers' time, it might be time to reassess how you go about planning and executing your church meetings. Maybe you're having trouble contacting everyone effectively, leading to important people accidentally missing critical meetings. Maybe you're never quite sure what to talk about, leading to poor focus and meetings that spread your subject matter too thin. Maybe your meetings last far too long, but when they end, no one feels like anything actually got done.
These helpful tips can help you make your church meetings more productive than ever, turning them from a drain on people's time into a truly valuable opportunity to plan and grow together as a community.
1) Plan Your Religious Meetings on a Regular Schedule
Are your church meetings happening haphazardly, without any real schedule that determines when and where you meet? Having your meetings on a regular, predetermined schedule makes it easier for participants to keep up with them, as well as making it easier to measure progress toward your goals. Whether your meetings are once a week or once a month, planning for predetermined dates and times can help ensure that everyone who needs to be there is available.
2) Plan an Agenda for Each Church Meeting
For each church meeting, you should have already planned what you're going to talk about. Many church groups create handouts with key points, which can be distributed at the meeting. Without a clear agenda, meetings are likely to veer off-track or last longer than anyone wanted them to. A carefully designed meeting agenda ensures that anything truly important is brought up and talked about. If you're planning a meeting to discuss an upcoming bake sale to raise money, you don't want half the meeting to revolve around recent problems with the church choir. Structured meetings get a lot more accomplished than meetings where everyone is left to their own devices.[click to continue...]
In the summer, many church leaders and pastors find that attendance takes a quick dip in numbers as their congregates prefer to take a quick dip in the ocean. There is not much you can do to prevent families from wanting to take advantage of the summer heat, but as they say "if you can't beat them, join them". By getting out into the sun yourself, you have the chance to grow closer to your church members, continue spreading your message, and maybe even increase attendance in the future.
Give the Gift of Cool Refreshments
If you are lucky enough to have a body of water close to your community, like a river, lake or even the ocean, grab some sunblock and head there. One cool way to stand out and make your presence known is to hand out cold juice boxes and snacks to the kids and families. It's even okay to attach a small card that lets the parents know exactly who to thank for this kind gift. This not only gives you an opportunity to minister to your church members outside the church, you could also be passing out those snacks to families who have not yet found you.[click to continue...]
Churches are the center of the community, hosting numerous events throughout the year in order to bring people together. When you are called upon to host one of these events, you are given a lot of responsibility. Follow these tips to help make every event your church hosts a success.
1. Set Up a Monthly Calendar
A lot of time goes into planning events for your church, and the sooner you know what you have going on and when, the better. Use a large calendar and begin picking the dates for your various events so that you can begin to plan them as early as possible.[click to continue...]
Starting a new church is a complex undertaking, but also a rewarding one. There are legal steps that need to be taken, location scouting, the actual building and then the recruitment of a congregation. Yet at the end of it all, you will feel a deep sense of accomplishment right down to your soul.
Surprisingly, the first thing you need to accomplish before anything is to establish a church name. This will be necessary in order to start the process of becoming legally and tax compliant. This is a multi-step process involving paperwork and filing with the proper authorities to ensure that your church is recognized as a legal institution, with the correct tax filing status. Unless you have first-hand knowledge of this process, it is a good idea to have an attorney, ideally one from your congregation take care of this aspect for you.
Choosing a Location for Your New Church
When scouting for a site for a new church, the principle of real estate where location is everything holds true. You want to build your church in an area that has a need for one, and is easily accessible for everyone. If possible, form a committee from your existing congregates and take any input they have on location to heart. These are the people who will be attending your services, and it is they who have the insight into knowing what is an attractive location for a church.[click to continue...]
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