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Daily Thought Leadership Outreach Visitors

What are you doing for your community?

I was reminded late last week about a major connection we have with those around us, our Community.

This connection takes on many forms and can simultaneously be a blessing and a curse.  Strong communities are the life-blood of social interactions and allow us to enjoy the social, political, and economic aspects of being bonded together.  Unfortunately, at times, there are disagreements, divisions, mis-understandings within this connection.  (Sound like your church?)  I had this happen to me this week with an individual.  His decision for community involvement is to write on the community online forum he created that amounts to nothing more than political propaganda.

This being said, I was able to spend the weekend deciding how I would respond.  My decision is to not respond at all.

However, I did start thinking about how these types of connections affect our churches.  Our churches are a group of people from the community bonded together for a common purpose.  We come together as a body of believers for worship and to exalt our Savior.  We enjoy the fellowship of like minded individuals and the camaraderie that comes from our interactions.  At times, we’ll even express our desire to have others join our group.  For some, this is a true, unrelenting passion; while for others it amounts to nothing more than lip service as a response to what we perceive is a requirement.

How can our churches get beyond our walls and reach our communities?

I have often asked the question of pastors when we are talking about community involvement as follows.  “If your church were forced to close it’s doors tomorrow, would the community know your were gone, and more importantly, would they feel an impact?”

It’s a tough question to ask and we’ll introduce some ideas to help.  I’ll give you a sneak peak though, they involve being a part of the community without your hand out.

In the next few days and weeks, I’ll detail some ideas on how to make your church a light in your community.

Categories
Church Management church technology Communication Time Management

Google Apps For Your Church

By: Josh Henry, Managing Partner

In my years of working with churches to help with their IT and communication needs, I have come across some great resources.  For many years, the options available to help churches from an IT standpoint where very costly.  Not only where they expensive to purchase and deploy, but they also had a huge administrative and maintenance cost as a person to manage the resource was necessary.

Now, with many changes in the industry, there are some great technological resources available for a fraction of the costs that was previously required.

Google Apps offers a great suite of tools that a church of any size can implement and utilize.  A FREE version is offered for up to 50 users which I have found to be just about everything you would need to operate your organization.

The main feature of Google Apps is the all inclusive package, all organized by your organizations domain.  All of the tools can be setup and accessed through your organizations unique URL.  For example, your domain is www.yourchurch.org.  This is now the address for each app.  Here is some detail:

email – mail.yourchurch.org
docs – docs.yourchurch.org
calendar – calendar.yourchurch.org
and so on …

Each app can be setup on a sub-domain to make it easy to find and access for those individuals you have setup.  Here is some more detail for each application and potential uses.

Categories
Communication Leadership

Effective Church Communications

I recently happened upon a blog post in Outreach Magazine entitled “The Next Thing in Church Conferences“.  After reading through the post, it was less about new church conferences and more about effective communication principles.  The article talks about how most conferences have a basic programmatic structure that doesn’t lend much room for interaction other than lunch or moving in between sessions.

The article did however mention some snippets of answers they received to a question they posted asking “What are some church communications best practices.”  Some that I found most relevant and useful were:

“Effective communications has less to do with sending the right message, and everything to do with releasing the right response. To release the right response with anyone, you’ve got to take time to figure out what makes your message worth their time; figure out how it relates to their world.” –Kem Meyer, Granger Community Church (@KemMeyer)

“For every piece of communication, before you do anything else, determine the goal. Do whatever you need to do to gain clarity about the desired outcome and keep it in front of you during the entire creation process” –Lori Bailey, LifeChurch.tv (@LoriBailey)

“If your goal in church communication –whether you’re designing a bulletin or launching a social media campaign–is something other than serving people, stop and start over.” –Scott McClellan, Echo Conference (@ScottMcClellan)

“Resist broadcast mode! Megaphoning (a.k.a. “sermonizing”) prevents listening. Ask as often as you answer.” –Cynthia Ware, Pepperdine University (@CynthiaWare)

Church communications is about the audience.  You can put out and preach anything you want, but if no on is there to listen, you are wasting your breath.  Take a few minutes to think about your audience.  How can you more effectively communicate your message to reach your audience?