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Free ebook on WorshipHouse Media

On top of their monthly free download, our friends at WorshipHouse Media are offering a new, special freebie: an ebook! Titled “7 Things you Must do to Make Your Service Meaningful,” this quick guide gives tips on how to pack your services full of all the things that will broaden the worship experience. Drawing on their background working with thousands of pastors and church leaders, WorshipHouse Media has experience with all types of churches, and they’ve kindly compiled several tips they’ve observed.

My personal favorite is number 5, which discusses the importance of visuals in a service. Since I’ve always been involved with my church media team, visuals can really help or distract me during a service. The guide offers any an easy, inexpensive way to improve your church’s visuals to help your members have a meaningful experience with God.

Decide your favorite tip and make your next service more meaningful by downloading the guide today!

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Are You Ready for Mobileggedon?

phone

Google has been making big news recently in the web and digital marketing world due to its recent announcement about an update to its search engine set for April 21st. The search engine giant’s announcement indicates that mobile friendliness will become a new ranking signal in its search algorithm. In layman’s terms, following this update, websites that are mobile-friendly will have better rankings in search results than those that are not so friendly.

In your day-to-day work in ministry, this may not seem like a significant piece of news. But, it is important to your church for one reason:

Your church website is an essential outreach tool!

So many people are searching online for all kinds of needs, including searching for a church. If your website isn’t mobile friendly, it will be harder for potential churchgoers to find your site on Google, and this outreach tool loses its effectiveness.

You may be asking a few questions about what this update is and what you should do as Mobileggedon approaches, so here are some details and ideas for you.

What does “Mobile-Friendly” mean?

Google identifies a mobile-friendly site as one that displays well on phones and tablets. Specifically, they are looking for sites that have text large enough to read on a mobile phone’s screen and links that are large and far enough apart to click with a thumb.

How do I know if my site is Mobile-Friendly?

The best way to start researching your site’s mobile-friendliness is to browse it on your own phone. Do you have to zoom in on any pages to make the text readable? Do you have trouble clicking links? If so, consider making some adjustments to create larger elements.

Another resource is Google’s Mobile-Friendly test. Submit your site’s url at this page and Google will tell you if you’re all set or give you suggestions to improve your site for mobile users.

What do I need to do to make my site Mobile-Friendly?

The good news is many church website providers, like Clover or SiteOrganic, as well as many WordPress themes, currently offer mobile site designs, so you may be ready for Google’s update now.

If you’re on a platform that doesn’t offer a mobile option, or if you have a custom built site, start making a plan today to update your site to be mobile friendly. Or consider changing to one of the previously mentioned mobile site options. This may include creating a separate mobile site (i.e. m.yourchurchname.org) or even a responsive design site (find more details about the options in this great article). But either way, get a plan now so you can rebound in search results quickly.

My church has a mobile app, so do I really need to care about Mobileggedon?

Yes! You may have an amazing app, and I recommend apps as a great tool for your existing churchgoers. But, you want to assure that your website can be found by future churchgoers, and a great way to do that is to be found in Google search results.

So, are you ready for the upcoming Google update?

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The Playlist: 5 Worship Songs For Your April Playlist

Celebrate God in your next worship service with our April edition of “The Playlist.”

In this month’s edition check out Touch the Sky by Hillsong United. This song will rock your world by calling for a response that seems opposite of what you would expect: connect with the Heavens by kneeling to the Savior. We Will Not Be Shaken by Bethel Music is not so much a battle anthem as a song of soft, sweet assurance. The victory has  been won and the enemy is already done for.

If you want a song that begins with that old school Christian Rock sound and then morphs into a modern, upbeat praise song about freedom and strength in Christ, worship to PlanetShakers’ We Are Free. Followed by WorshipMob’s We Are Yours: excellent at defining who we are and what we should do in our relationship with God. The lyrics call for more of Jesus, His presence, and bringing more people to Christ.

Finally, Shout Hosanna by Passion shouts that God is our king, our savior, our redeemer, our friend, and our refuge.

 

hillsong-unitedTouch the Sky
Hillsong United

coverWe Will Not Be Shaken
Bethel Music

1399284580717We Are Free
PlanetShakers

worship-mobWe Are Yours
WorshipMob

passion-even-so-comeShout Hosanna
Passion

 

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3 Next Kidmin Steps For After Easter

Each year we take so much time planning our Easter services to make sure we are sharing the right message, singing the right songs, and watching the right videos. We see kids making commitments to Jesus for the very first time and know that every minute of our Easter planning was worth it! But what now? What are your next steps? What do the next weeks and months entail in how you handle new believers that have made the biggest step of their lives?

Here are three things that you should be doing in your kids ministry to make sure your kids build a solid foundation from the start.

Teach them about their New Life

From the very start they need to know that they are a child of Christ and belong to God. The old ways of living are now in the past because they have been made new in Christ and their identity is no longer in the world, but in Him. Teach them how this practically plays out in every day life, in their home, in their school, and even in Church.

This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun! – 2 Corinthians 5:17

Equip The Child

Give them the tools they need to have a solid foundation in Christ. That is simply teaching them how to pray, how to worship, and how to read their Bible. Oh wait! They may not have a Bible! If their parents can’t afford a Bible, it will be the best investment your kids ministry can make in one child’s life. Giving your kids simple reading plan like a Proverb a day or a weekly memory verse are great ways to get your kids engaged every day in reading the word.

Equip The Parent

One of my favorite parts as a Kids Pastor is to tell parents that their son or daughter made a HUGE commitment to Jesus that day. This allows the parent to ask questions and discuss their child’s decision together as a family and help open up the door for the parent to have a big win in spiritual leadership! In fact, this not only gives the parent a chance to start something new with their child, encouraging them in God, helping them read their Bible and praying, but can even rekindle the parent’s fire for God as well.

As leaders in Kids Ministry, we have an opportunity to shape and mold kids lives once a week and create something that impacts them for 6 more days until you see them again. Give the kids and the parents ways to engage during the week, even if it’s something simple like one memory verse. You’ll see growth, not only out of your kids, but also from their parents as well!

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THREE APPS EVERY CHURCH SHOULD USE!

 

3 apps

Here are three apps, which every church should be using, to harness social media and hip graphics.

WordSwag

I’m kind of showing my cards here, but most of the images in my previous blog posts are created using WordSwag. Don’t get me wrong, we have an amazing Graphic Designer here in the office, but he’s often bombarded with work. So, I use WordSwag and use stock photography to create hip looking graphics. It’s a great app for laying premade typography over images. I’ve added two images that I took for you to look at at the end of this blog post. I recommend using this app on social media platforms for announcements.

WordSwag

App Store

(Sorry Android friends, no WordSwag for you—yet. Check this app though)

Afterlight

Afterlight is a photo-editing app that you can apply filters to photography. I will first edit an image by cropping it, applying a few tweaks, and then adding a filter. The filter selection is classy and minimal. My biggest complaint about most apps that use filters is that they create too much warmth in an image. Afterlight’s premade filters rule, trust me.

Note:  I used Afterlight before running the images below through WordSwag.

Afterlight

App Store

Play Store

Periscope

Okay, this is a brand-spanking-new platform created by Twitter to allow users to live stream video to an audience. When I heard about this app, light bulbs starting going off in my brain. You’ve probably heard of churches uploading their sermons or gatherings to sites like Vimeo and Ustream. These are both great for storing past sermons. However, if your church is attempting to harness more social media platforms like Twitter, I highly recommend downloading this app and live streaming to your Twitter followers. Imagine the ability to have those followers that are out-of-state or those that are unable to attend service that day having the ability to join in via social media. They can watch the gathering and live tweet along with the service. Two great things happen: One, they stay connected and two, they are able to share about the impact your church has had on their life via social media. HUGE OPPORTUNITIES! Someone do it and tell me how it goes!

Periscope

App Store

(Sorry Android friends, no Periscope yet, but it’s coming soon!)

 

PICTURES I CREATED USING AFTERLIGHT AND WORDSWAG. 

IMG_0528 IMG_0570

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