Hello! This page is designed to equip you and your team with new technology tools / resources to help you build you church. These are tools that have used / tested and work for us- they are in no way the only resources out there but they are what seems to work for us. Technology can be incredibly helpful and at the same time an incredible hindrance, normally this is because it is not used properly or not implemented well. Hopefully this page will guide you in how to set up and use some of these tools to build your church.
website / admin tools / communication / email / design / print
Planning centre is a key part of how our church runs. There are many other apps similar to PCO (planning centre online) but over the years we have found it to be the most helpful and function seamlessly.
PCO is broken up into various modules - these are the current modules we are using.
we put every Sunday / team meeting / youth / welcome party's into services. They have an agenda, a plan and time allocated. We have our teams for that service. This function also includes rostering of teams / band song lists / export of run sheet information. It's important you set up your data model correctly so be sure to contact if you have any questions about how it works for C3NC.
Who is in your church? Who is their pastoral oversight? What team do they serve on? Has that person left the church?
We store all of this information in planning centre people. It is a wonderful way to assign members to connect groups or to pastoral care. No one gets missed!
Planning centre people is free so make sure you take advantage of it and do away with those out of date spreadsheets!
Every Sunday we will have 100s of children coming through our doors, leaving their children with our team and wanting them back at the end of the service! We use kids check in to handle all of our children programs.
We are also collecting family data on the spot every Sunday which then pipes into PCO people (described above). This has the advantage of using the same database and not ever duplicating data.
The set up on this one is a little more complicated but Im sure with a little bit of youtube and sum help from us if you need you can do it!
Your churches website is so important, Mark Kelsey (C3 Oxford Falls) refers to the website as the new front door of your church. People will be looking at your website, quietly judging, assessing, finding out information & getting a feel for your culture. It's important that your website feels refreshing, exciting & matches the culture of your church. Make sure the design matches the culture / feeling of your church. You will be communicating to people how you want them to react to your service through your website.
So how do I do that?
1. Write down what you want to see
Be specific about the kinds of information you want to communicate, use adjectives to represent your church. You are preaching culture - so preach! Figure out the kinds of imagery you want to use i.e beach images, black and white, vibrant, dry, wet etc. Then communicate that to your team who will be helping you build.
2. Get Squarespace / Wordpress
You need what's called a Content Management System (CMS). It will house all of your information, it will submit it to the internet and give you a place you can manage your site. For a long time I have used Wordpress and been relatively happy with it, but recently I moved to squarespace and I cannot speak more highly of the product.
They have great support, you can steal the C3NC template & copy as much as you want to get your website happening!
3. Test / Update
Once your website is live you must evaluate it's success and continually update it. Google will be looking for relevant updated data so making sure you or someone in your team is updating your site.
Our main pages
Events page - designed for our church to know what is coming up
Sundays - communicate Sunday culture / invite people to services
Welcome - for new people, up first we want to tell them who our senior pastors are, service times, videos & interactive content to make sure they are drawn in.
This may not be all you need but getting a strong, mobile friendly, brilliant website is a priority so if you can't do it contact us and we can get you in touch with someone who can!
Google apps. That's all I have to say. Get google apps!
You can do this through your squarespace website.
- Use a consistent email naming convention - eg firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.
- Create a stand email signature
- Don't have an insanely long signature!
There are many ways to get a podcast live onto iTunes or other platforms. We used to use Podbean and are now starting to use Soundcloud, both are great. Both will cost a minimal monthly fee. Here's how to set it up
- Record / edit audio (try get an intro and the file size down)
- Upload episode to Soundcloud or Podbean
- Try use a standard naming convention
- Try keep the episodes clean and consistent
- Submit RSS to iTunes
- Use specific website instructions to submit to iTunes
- Be consistent with upload times / names etc
- High quality audio is a must
- In messages address podcast audience as well as physical congregation
DESIGN / PRINT
Design is so important! Getting a good designer either contracted in or in your church is vital to good design. A designer will take your words and make them beautiful, design can communicate 1000 words in a second. So getting team resourced in how to make things clean should be a priority.
Print is also a huge part of your church, making sure that when someone arrives they have beautiful pieces of material put in their hands, pieces of art that will communicate the culture of your church in seconds!
Now this is easy - get in touch!
Print - get in touch with Honest Paper
They will print anything you need and get it to you, they believe in the church and love what the church is about. Please get great print! It's worth it!!
Time is short and most small churches will have team working remotely, from other offices etc. Team communication is a vital part of how things get done.
Let's be honest no one wants to read a 4 page long email or have email threads going back to the 1900s. There are new tools and ways to communicate that are more effective for you and your team.
A great tool that we use that is hugely effective is 'Slack'. It is an online or desktop app chat application that revolutionises the way you and your team communicate. Slack has communication forums and ideal that is naturally teaches you, it's important that your communication is clear, clean and people can understand exactly what you're trying to communicate.