Jumping In

Posted on January 28, 2018 by Servant | Reflections| Tags: ,

Churches get first time visitors. Some of those go on to join. What keeps them from just jumping in and getting involved? Seems like there are a few walls that should come down if you want new member involvement:

  • Signage in the Church
  • Openness of classes to add new members
  • Opportunities for participating in regular events
  • Welcome

A lot of Churches have managed the last item on this list – i.e. to be a welcoming congregation. They take time during worship to “turn to your neighbor and welcome them.” They act friendly to visitors. They provide great information in the bulletin and brochures on various ministries. They have a great web site with pages dedicated to new comers. It is the other items that prove to be impediments.

Newcomers don’t know their way around the Church building, so signage is important. Can you walk in without any prior knowledge of the building’s layout and find the sanctuary? What about the worship space for early services? What about the bathrooms? Are they hidden down a hall and out of sight? Are people inviting visitors to their small groups? Or do the small groups just meet off by themselves? The web site should list regular events on a calendar, with times and places. Or do they just appear as names (since everyone who goes already knows where and when they meet)?

I have been a new Church member many times, and I have seen good and bad examples of these items. I’m well motivated to join and jump in quickly, but I wonder about those who aren’t so well motivated. They need encouragement, plenty of information, and patient followup as they come on board. The result will be active members of the Church who worship and serve on a weekly basis.

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Church Shopping

Posted on December 16, 2017 by Servant | Reflections| Tags:

How do people find a new Church? People move when they get a new job or they have family needs that come up. If they have been going to Church, then they naturally start shopping for a new Church home. Your Church should make that an easy process, not an impossible one! But how do you advertise in the Church Market?

One approach is to make sure you have a dynamic, inviting web site. Another is to be sure you have easy to find social media sites. You should integrate the two together, so people can find your social media sites from your primary web site. Be sure it is easy to find the primary Church site from the social media sites as well! That is usually the first place people will look, but it is not the last.

Another approach is through the mail. Send out a flyer when you are advertising a special event like the Christmas Cantata. You can also add newspaper and radio spots. Or how about door to door canvassing to invite people to come. You never know when you are going to find someone that is Church Shopping.

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Giving Thanks

Posted on November 26, 2017 by Servant | Reflections| Tags:

Thanksgiving is a time to give thanks. The technical ministry of the Church can help us identify all of the ways that we are thankful to God. I have seen preachers run through their ABC list of thankful things. Here is a list of my own:

  • For being with us times of Catastrophe
  • For helping us through economic crisis
  • For healing our children when seriously ill
  • For reminding us that God reigns when we forget
  • For blessing us with life itself

What if your Church had a web poll where people could identify one way that they were thankful this year? You could then publish the resulting list on Thanksgiving Sunday. People would probably marvel at the results. It would be one way to collectively give thanks for God’s blessings this year.

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Outreach to the Homeless

Posted on November 19, 2017 by Servant | Reflections| Tags:

Most Churches reach out to the homeless during November. This might take the form of feeding the homeless during Thanksgiving week. In the news is one Church that got into trouble for the homeless ministry. The Church provided a weekly meal to the homeless in their area, but the neighbors objected to the homeless being attracted to their neighborhood. The neighborhood got the Church’s permit from the city revoked. An argument ensued between the neighborhood and the Church. How do you balance the Ministry of the Church to the homeless with the need for security in the surrounding neighborhood?

Jesus said that the “poor you will always have with you” (MAT 26:11MAT 26:11
English: Good News Bible (1992) - GNB

11 : . You will always have poor people with you, but you will not always have me.

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NIV). There will always be some who are rich and some who are poor. The Church needs to reach out to the poor. Most Churches have some sort of security system – even a close by member that gets a call when some alarm fires off. You can always tighten up the security with web cameras and sensors. But how does that enhance your ministry to the homeless. How about taking off one Sunday from worship to reach out into the community. You can take hot coffee and donuts to the homeless on the streets at the city park. Or you can go door to door to invite people to Church during the 11:00he 11:00
English: Good News Bible (1992) - GNB

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AM hour. (The people who are at home then are obviously not regular Church attenders.) Or you can pray along the streets and byways for the city. All of these remind us that the Church gathers on Sundays, but reaches out to the community during the week.

What are some innovative ways that your Church can go beyond the 4 walls and reach out to the Homeless this Thanksgiving?

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Reasons For Giving

Posted on October 1, 2017 by Servant | Reflections| Tags: , ,

Most Churches have an offering during the worship service. It is another way we glorify God, by giving to support the ministry of the Church. However, what do you put on the screen during the offering? In many Churches, the choir sings an offertory; other Churches have he musicians play an inspirational song. I have put up a slid with an offering plate that included checks and cash – a subtle suggestion to give. But that seems a little like strong-arming people into only giving money.

Recently in worship I saw a slideshow during the offering time. In it, there was a slide for every ministry of the Church. The idea was to celebrate all of the ways that God is putting your offering to work in the ministry of the Church. Why not let those slides also show ways people can give of their time as well as treasure? It should be inviting and winsome, not desperate calls to help some ministry before it collapses. But the slides can also show the joy of giving – in the faces of children who are having fun learning about Christ in VBS. Or how about the smiling faces of people that have been touched by the short term mission team. Or how about the joy of neighbors being helped in time of crisis.

The idea is to make the offering time more than just money to support the budget of the Church. It should present opportunities to the congregation to volunteer. It should present opportunities to serve in the various ministries of the Church. And I would suggest that the slide show should have a timeliness to it. So you would put up the slides about the Church Bazaar first in the weeks leading up to the Bazaar. That way, it becomes a way to enlist more participation by volunteers.

I have seen Churches where the offering was a time of celebration. And I have seen Churches where it was a distraction to worship – a necessary collection from the rich to keep the doors open. At it’s best, the offering should be a time to worship, to celebrate all of the good that God is doing through us, to praise God for life itself!

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Inspirational Images

Posted on September 11, 2017 by Servant | Resources| Tags: , ,

Cades Cove in the Smoky Mountain National Park by the authorWe live in a time of amazing access to great images. Who isn’t inspired by a mountain vista? Or how about a scene from a sandy beach? Or how about smiling children at play? Or pictures of the stars? Worship should take advantage of these inspiring images to bring God’s creation to mind. And careful selection can add to the power of the Word.

One approach to using Inspirational Images is as backgrounds for lyrics. Most presentation programs make this easy to do. You just drop a background image on the first slide and it will be there for the whole song. You can even have different backgrounds for verses and choruses. Or you can even use video loops to provide a moving background. Some tips to follow:

  • Read through the lyrics of the song, to get the gist of the ideas included. Then, you’ll be picking images that match.
  • Search in your own library, then online for images that match those ideas. You may already have an image that fits!
  • If you can’t find an image, make one. It can be as simple as a large heading, or as complex as your own artwork.
  • Be mindful that some images are copyrighted. If so, then be sure to get the copyright holder’s permission before publicly displaying it.

Adding Inspiration Images to the sermon can enhance the spoken Word in new ways. Why not show the congregation the Bible place you are talking about? Or use a still frame from a movie that most people have seen to make a point about Christ. These images can make a point with greater clarity – remember the old adage about a picture being worth a 1,000 words! I used to have a book entitled “1,000 Bible Illustrations.” It consisted of short paragraphs of text making various points, with an index in the back. The idea was to add the illustration to your sermon or teaching to clarify it. A carefully chosen image can do the same thing. And people will remember the image long after the sermon was preached. Or better yet, include it in the bulletin or sermon notes AND use it in the sermon. That way, you drive your points home!

The above image was taken by the author in Cades Cove on September 9, 2017, and is hereby released to the public domain. Feel free to use it any way you like.

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Staff Care of the Technical Ministry Team

Posted on August 11, 2017 by Servant | Reflections| Tags: ,

Thank You Technical TeamThe Church Staff needs pastoral care just like any Church member. But how do you take care of the needs of the Technical Team? It can be difficult for a pastor, trained in spiritual matters, to understand and empathize with technicians, trained in technology. However, the needs of people are universal. They need to know that they are appreciated. They need support when they are emotionally challenged by life events. And they need understanding when they struggle with the challenges they face. A great pastor will be able to help people in all walks of life.

So after the next awesome Sunday Service, be sure to thank the technical volunteers who helped make it happen. They typically don’t like attention, because that usually comes when something goes wrong. And it can be negative at times. People will criticize anything that goes awry during the service. However, those volunteers need to know that they are appreciated. And without them, worship would be a far different experience. So appreciate them.

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Mobile Devices During Service

Posted on July 2, 2017 by Servant | Reflections| Tags: , ,

Mobile Device or Cell PhoneWhat should we do about everyone having cell phones in Church? Have you heard anyone saying that? It’s a modern day invention, and some people are very attached to their mobile device. They depend upon it every day. They use it at work, school. Well, why not use it at Church?

Some might complain that the mobile device is a distraction during worship. It certainly would be annoying if someone let their cell phone ring during the sermon – or worse yet, took a phone call! However, most people know better than that. (You might add a slide to your pre-service roll to remind them if this becomes a problem.) But sometimes people will look at their cell phones, rather than the preacher. Maybe that’s not such a bad thing.

You should consider ways to encourage people to use their mobile device to engage more with the sermon. Let people look up the Bible verse that you just referenced. “If you’ve got your Bible or your cell phone, look up ….” And be sure to encourage them to check out the context later. All too often, there is only time to read a few verses. However, every verse has a context that adds a great deal to its meaning. With modern day Bible apps, people can easily mark a verse for further reading, and that only encourages more Bible study – a great thing. Or ask people to get on social media and let their friends know about the message, as in the movie “God Is Not Dead.”

Being distracted in worship is nothing new. It goes back to Eutychus in Acts 20. However, instead of fighting the mobile devices that people depend upon, we should leverage them to get people more engaged.

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Avoiding Security Headaches

Posted on June 11, 2017 by Servant | Resources| Tags: , , , ,

There are a number of security headaches out there waiting to strike your Church. Malware, Viruses, Trojans, Worms, Ransomware, etc. How can you possibly keep on top of all of the threats? Obviously, you need to get good Anti-Virus software and let it run automatically. It will update it’s database of known viruses periodically and scan your computer automatically, looking for threats. You also need to establish good internet habits. If something looks phishy – it probably is, so avoid it! Here are some additional security tips for your staff:

  • Check those links in the email message to be sure they are legitimate before you click or download anything from them. Typically, you can hover over them to see the actual address in your status bar at the bottom. If the domain doesn’t match the exact domain that you were expecting, then you know it is bogus!
    1. For example, the email might purport to be from FedEx.com with an urgent message about your order.
    2. However, when you hover over the link, you notice that it will really take you to fedex_com1234.com.
    3. The destination for the link is bogus, and probably contains malware which will automatically download to your computer.
  • If you get an email asking you to do something immediately like transferring money, verify it with the person that supposedly sent it. All it takes is a quick phone call to avoid making a costly mistake!
  • If you get an email from someone asking for a password, don’t reply with it. Rather, pick another communication channel to tell it them. You can call them and spell it over the phone, or text it to their cell phone with no references. You can be sure that anyone hacking your email server will take note of an email requesting a password and read the following response. And that just gave away the keys to the account!

Finally, be sure you make regular backups. If your system is compromised, they give you a way to recover. And be sure the backups are valid. You should be able to load a specific file back in from the backup and get the exact file contents.

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Donated Technical Equipment

Posted on May 21, 2017 by Servant | Resources| Tags: ,

Churches survive on donations. And sometimes, people will be moved to donate technical equipment. I’ve seen cases where people wanted to donate a big screen TV, or an old cell phone, or an old computer. What do you do in a situation like this?

First, always respect the giver. You may have a use for the equipment right now, or in the future. Don’t let a knee-jerk reaction result in you disrespecting the giver. God moved on their heart, getting them to give the gift. Accept it graciously. Then tomorrow you can look it over, try it out, and see how much use it will be. If it turns out to be something you can use, then make use of it immediately. If it needs some work, maybe even repair, then consider fixing it yourself. (Lots of times, someone on the Technical Ministry team will know how to repair it – they just need the parts.) If it doesn’t work and would be too expensive to repair, then quietly junk it. (Sometimes the cost of the parts will exceed the price of a new one, so it is too expensive.)

Second, followup on the gift by informing the Church Treasurer. They’ll want to make a note of the gift, and send a thank you to the person who donated it to the Church. They may ask you for a valuation, so they can give the donor a tax deduction. If so, then estimate the value based on the current market. (There are plenty of online selling sites that will give you an idea.) It may have been really expensive when it was first new.

Finally, unless the giver specified that it was to be kept discrete, let others know about the gift. You could put a thank you in the quarterly newsletter for all the technical equipment donations. And you could add to that any other needs, like a new audio cable for the band. There are lots of items like this that wear out over time. While they don’t cost much, they do have to be replaced. Why not enlist the Church members to donate? All too often, the Technical Team just buys what’s needed out of their own pocket. This way, you can share the cost with others willing to give.

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Cloud Computing

Posted on April 8, 2017 by Servant | Resources| Tags: ,

Many software providers are moving to the Cloud Computing model – i.e. the Internet. By providing SAAS (Software As A Service), these providers are solving problems for their customers that previously were expensive and resource intensive. For example, what happens when traffic on your website grows exponentially during your revival? The budget priced web hosting service you signed up for gets overloaded – maybe even crashes. That is the worst possible time for a crash, and the Church is left with a black eye when it comes to pulling off the revival. However, it doesn’t have to be that way.

With the cloud computing model, the web site can automatically expand in capacity to handle the increased demand. At the data center, they will simple spin up another server, or as many as required, to handle the demand. This all happens transparently to the Church staff. The Cloud just gets a little bigger. And after the Revival is over, the cloud can shrink back to normal size. You may notice the bump in web traffic demand, but it isn’t a crisis. Perhaps more Churches need to take advantage of the flexibility and performance available in the cloud.


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Keeping Track Of Tech Gear

Posted on April 5, 2017 by Servant | Reflections| Tags: , ,

How do you keep track of all of the technical gear that the Church uses? There is a tendency for technology to “sprout wings and walk away.” By that, I don’t mean outright theft. More likely, Fred borrowed it and just forgot to bring it back to the Church 6 months ago. All Fred really needs is a gentle reminder. But therein lies the problem. How do you ensure that the reminder gets made?

Technical gear that gets used every Sunday should always remain in place in the Church. If it is borrowed, say, for an outside event, it should be returned at the end of that event. You’ll want to be sure everyone on the Technical Ministry team understands that policy. And it should not just be dropped off at the door. It should be reinstalled in the Technical room and verified to be ready to work on Sunday morning. I can not emphasize that point enough. All technical gear should be returned in working order and reinstalled in the technical rack and verified to work. Otherwise, you are just setting a land mine for the Technical Ministry team on Sunday. No one likes to come in and find things in disarray or not working – least of all volunteers. They may be glad to fix it, but the problem is time. Right before the service is not the time to reinstall that video gear. (It should be reinstalled when it is returned to the Church.) By making sure the people who borrowed it know that they are responsible for reinstalling and verifying it when they bring it back, you can avoid headaches on Sunday morning. If you have a concern about whether someone will do this, arrange to meet them at the Church when they bring the gear back and work together to get it back in working order. It may mean a late night on Saturday, but it will pay off with less hassle and embarassment on Sunday morning.

The Church doesn’t need a formal inventory control system. It does need an informal list of technical gear for insurance purposes. And the accountant should know about every purchase or gift of technology, in case it has to be replaced. Usually, the Technical Team knows the gear that they use. (I have given more than one item to my Church to enable some new technical capability.) And the Technical Team or IT Support should take care of maintenance of computers and the like. That way, all of the technical gear stays up to date and gets used effectively in the ministry of the Church.

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Supporting Non-Technical Users

Posted on March 4, 2017 by Servant | Reflections

A lot of Church staff struggle with technology. They are working in the Church because they are “people” oriented, not “information” oriented. That is what makes them personable, and helps them be effective with the people who are hurting. So how do you support these non-technical users?

The goal of any technology is to enable people to use it. The best technology in the world will sit idle if the users don’t know how to use it. So first of all, you want to provide hands on training, preferable one on one, to new users. It doesn’t have to be very formal. I’ve done one-on-one training with senior pastors. It just takes a little patience and understanding. Don’t try to do too much in one sitting. Focus on useful technical skills that they can make use of immediately. Teach them how to do it, then let them step through it themselves. There is no substitute for hands on learning when it comes to technology. And do it several times, at their pace. If they make a mistake – which is likely – gently correct the mistake and go on. Then go back through the process to ensure that they get it right at least once. By being gracious and patient, you can help them master a little skill that will enable them to be more effective.

Way back when, senior pastors had secretaries who did all of the typing. (I once had an executive secretary who was excellent, and knew everyone, and where to find everything. It made starting out a whole lot easier in that Church.) But those days are long gone. Everyone on the staff should do their own keyboarding. They should be trained on using the web site to update their area of ministry pages. And they should contribute ideas, pictures, logos, videos, sound tracks to the process of planning worship. That way, the Church is able to communicate more effectively. The technology really does make all of this easy, so take advantage of it!

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Long Walk To The Door

Posted on February 21, 2017 by Servant | Reflections

How long is the walk from the parking lot to your main entrance? Most Churches have an impressive front, to honor God and identify them as a Church. But that can mean that there is a long walk from the parking slot to that impressive entrance. For most people, this is a minor incovenience; but for those who are sick or frail, this can mean that they stop going to Church.

Of course, we have handicapped parking for these people, you say. But not everyone has a handicapped parking tag. Be sure to put your Visitor Parking area up close to the Church, so people that are elderly can take advantage of this to come as visitors. You might also ensure that people can find out about this on your website. There is a whole list of things that you can do to make your website fully accessible and easy to navigate.

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Eyes on the Finish Line

Posted on January 4, 2017 by Servant | Reflections| Tags: ,

The Apostle Paul described the Christian life as a race (2 Tim 4:72 Tim 4:7
English: Good News Bible (1992) - GNB

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). He reminds us to keep our eyes on the finish line, so that we might win the race. It is easy to get distracted by the world, things in it, and the agendas of others. However, when we remember the finish line, it brings our attention back to what really matters.

Hang in there

Finish line road sign

How can we use the technology involved in ministry to keep our eyes on the finish line? Perhaps using a banner for that sermon series. The banner would then be displayed before each sermon, on the Church website, and even in printed format. This keeps the focus of everyone on the ultimate prize, and reinforces the theme for the sermons. They aren’t just disjointed messages about current events, but rather follow a theme. It’s like a road sign reminding us of where we’re going.

What sorts of graphics do you use to keep your congregation’s eyes on the finish line?

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Theme of Hope

Posted on December 21, 2016 by Servant | News

As Christians, we find hope in Christ. There is no time like Christmas when we need to realize that hope came into this world with Him. Before He came, there was only a distant hope – a glimmer like a star. Now, we experience the presence of hope every day. The world may remind us of hopelessness; it is certainly all around us. Yet, the baby in the manger a long time ago in a far away place is something that resonates within us. It bursts forth within our hearts – the hope of a new child. So we have reason to be hope-filled, even in the cold month of December. Advent brings with it a renewal of all our hopes.

May this Advent season bring you a new sense of hope for the coming year!

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Managing Digital Signs

Posted on December 3, 2016 by Servant | Reflections, Resources| Tags: , ,

What’s the first impression that people in the community have of your Church? Perhaps you have a Digital Sign out front that identifies the building and provides some basic information about the Church. No doubt it lists the service times, so people will know when to come for worship.

During Advent, we announce the coming of the Babe in the Manger in new ways each year. That message appears in the Advent sermons. It shows up in the bulletins and newsletters. And it should show up on your web site. It should also be prominent for your Digital Sign out front. But how do you write that message in a format that fits the signage? Here are some examples that might work:

  • Happy Birthday, Jesus!
  • Celebrate Christmas Here
  • Joy To The World
  • Put Christ back in Christmas
  • Santa never died for anyone
  • Jesus came to die for you

What if we could connect a Social Media account up to the Digital Sign and let the congregation post messages. Of course, they would have to be vetted by someone, so you couldn’t do this real time. But it would be a cool way for members of the congregation to express what Christmas means to them in the community.

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New Member Assimilation

Posted on November 29, 2016 by Servant | Reflections| Tags: , ,

How much time and effort do you spend assimilating new members? Some people need a lot of help getting involved with the Church, for they have little history. Others are ready on day 1 to teach a Church School class. How do you tell the difference?

First, you need staff that are committed to helping new members find their place to worship and serve. This can be a part time responsibility for a staff person. In lots of Churches, one of the pastors serves this role – because they have direct contact through the membership process. If you are blessed with a full time staff person, then they are probably overwhelmed. People join the Church at various times throughout the year. There probably isn’t a pattern (though it never hurts to search for one.) The point is that your full time staff person will need resources and possibly others to help this process go smoothly.

Second, you need to identify what new members need. Do they just need information about areas to serve? Everyone finds out about worship through regular channels (e.g. your website.) But most Churches don’t have a ready list for areas to serve. Someone just knows about it and needs the help. The staff person needs to be a broker to help connect the new member who wants to serve with the lay volunteer looking for help. And some new members need encouragement to take the first step in this process.

Third, you need to find a way to identify new members that didn’t get involved – i.e. grew stale. From them, you want to at least identify why they didn’t get more involved; but don’t call them up and challenge them! Perhaps they never found the right opportunity. Or perhaps they are just shy. Or perhaps they got turned off from their first attempt at service. If you can gather some information in this area, then it will help you do a better job with the next new member that comes along.

Assimilation is vital to growing congregations. When everyone has found their place to worship and serve, then they feel more satisfied with their Church. They may not volunteer for everything, but they can be involved somewhere. Stick with it, and offer them the resources that they need.

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Customer Service in the Church

Posted on October 17, 2016 by Servant | Reflections

In every retail store, you’ll find people eager to help you. They are usually available to answer questions, demonstrate how to use items, and help you make a purchase. More upscale stores will have people who work on salary, rather than commission, so you know that they truly just want to help you. But do we need that kind of customer service in the Church?

Some would argue “Yes” we should be setting the example! Others would say the Church is too Spiritual for such worldly matters. The Scripture advises us to be “as shrewd as snakes and as innocent as doves” (MAT 10:16MAT 10:16
English: Good News Bible (1992) - GNB

Coming Persecutions 16 : . “Listen! I am sending you out just like sheep to a pack of wolves. You must be as cautious as snakes and as gentle as doves.

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NIV). So perhaps we should have an interest in how well people are treated when they walk through the doors. We all want to be a welcoming congregation, where visitors feel welcome and want to come back. And we need new members so that we can grow. Churches that aren’t growing, some have said, are Churches that are dying off slowly.

So consider how you greet visitors. Who is available to answer their questions every Sunday morning? And how do they sign up for information, be it email or paper newsletters. How hard is it for new comers (i.e. new customers) to get assimilated into your Church?

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Keep For Eternity?

Posted on September 18, 2016 by Servant | Reflections

Many of the records we keep in the Church have significance in the future. Baptisms are proof of citizenship in some places. Weddings are typically recorded at a court house, but that record may be corroborated by the Church wedding service. And of course we keep copies of bulletins that have been published.

The question soon comes up, “how long should we keep these old records around?” You could conclude that we should keep them until Jesus returns. That makes sense, but God is omniscient, so He doesn’t really need our records in the future. Or you could determine that you need to keep them for as long as they are our “legal” responsibility. I have been in court houses that had records dating back over a century. But most courts today require records going back to cover the statute of limitations. So perhaps a wise answer would be to keep records for 7 seven years, and then archive and destroy them.

Fortunately, we have the means to keep archival copies of records around in electronic form. Whether we have a 100 records, or a 1,000,000, they don’t occupy any more space. We just have to organize them, so they can be retrieved easily in the future. So perhaps a better question is, how can we organize our records and make them more accessible to the congregation?

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Future Developments In Ministry Technology

Posted on August 6, 2016 by Servant | Reflections

Where is technology going? And how can our Church keep up? Those are relevant questions when it comes to ministry technology. It is not enough to just add the technology to the Church. You have to plan for it to grow and develop. Many small businesses have learned the painful lesson of getting a web site, only to watch it go stale and uninviting. The Church web site can end of the same, unless you have a team involved in both the creation and the maintenance. Think of the Church web site as another communication channel for delivering information to the congregation. What’s the news this week? What is coming up soon? These are the sorts of questions that should be answered on a weekly basis, as you plan ministry in the congregation, community and around the world.

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Posted on July 9, 2016 by Servant | News, Resources

Stewardship involves more than just giving money. It really involes the whole person. But sometimes this is hard to see. The following link is for a spreadsheet that I came up with that looks at three aspects of stewardship – Time, Talent and Treasure. Take a look and see how you balance these three in your life.

Excel Format:
Time Talent Treasure Worksheet

PDF Format:
Time Talent Treasure Worksheet

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New Member Easter Egg

Posted on June 18, 2016 by Servant | Reflections| Tags: ,

Lots of Churches take “Welcome Packets” to new members after they join. Some will event take pictures and put them up on the Church bulletin board. What about having an “easter egg” for new members on the Church web site. This would be a special one time link that you would email to the new member. They could execute the link and get a brief page of links that matched their interest and talents, as documented on their new member card. If they had an interest in children, then you could include the link to the Children’s Ministry page and the email address of the Children’s minister. If they had an interest in the Church Library, then you could include a link to the Online Catalog and the email address of the head of the Library committee. All of this would be information that they could find online – if they knew where to look on the web site. The Easter Egg just puts in in one place so they can find it quicker. The special link could then expire in 2 weeks after they had gotten used to things and made contacts in their phone. It is a way to help assimilate them faster into the life of the Church.

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Handling Medical Emergencies

Posted on May 15, 2016 by Servant | News, Reflections

Last Sunday, there was a medical emergency in the balcony. It happened right during the praise time, interrupting the service. Fortunately, the man turned out to be alright. And it was amazing that there were doctors and nurses in the congregation at the time, who promptly rendered assistance. I rejoice that after the paramedics arrived, the man was able to walk to the ambulance – a good sign that he was going to be alright.

On reflection, I wonder what the best way to handle a medical emergency is. Certainly, you want to ask for medical professionals to render first aid. CPR might well save a life. Or if you have an Automatic Emergency Defibrillator (AED) handy, then get it promptly. But what should you do then? Ask everyone to be in prayer? Lead a prayer for the sick person? Play quiet music while the EMTs stabilize the patient for transport to the ER? Or just go on with the service? Seems like Churches need a response to these types of situations. What does your Church do?

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Children On Sunday Morning

Posted on April 15, 2016 by Servant | Reflections| Tags: , ,

What does your Church offer for children on Sunday mornings? Children’s Church? A children’s sermon or message during adult worship? A separate Children’s center with lots of hands on activities? Or just nursery and/or children’s sunday school classes? Any of these is appropriate, since they free up the parents to participate in worship. The goal of the Church is for everyone to worship and praise God. And there are many ways to do that. The Church should offer as many different ways to grow and worship as there are groups in the membership.

How does technology enter into the picture where children are concerned? If the families separate when they come in the door, then they need to be reunited when they leave. Many Churches use a checkin/checkout system to reconnect parents and children after worship. A small Church can do this on sight, since everyone knows everyone. But what about visitors? Perhaps you could provide a visitor with a brochure on Children’s Ministry and just write the child’s name on it. That way, you know that they “belong” to the parent and you get an opportunity to tell them about other activities and events.

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