Five Creative Ministry Tips: 8/28/14

TCP-Five_Creative_Ministry_Tips-8_28_14

Every week, we’re excited to share a five-pack of useful tips for those serving in creative ministry! Each Thursday, we post practical advice on topics such as media, social networking, design, and marketing. While these tips may be simple, they have the potential to radically improve your church. These images are Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram ready, so help us spread the word by sharing them with your followers!

Sans-serif fonts work best with sleek, modern backgrounds. Serif fonts work best with organic, rustic backgrounds. Both are great looks for lyrics. One of the best ways to share with the world what God is doing in your church is by posting photos on social media.Every design doesn't have to take hours to complete. Sometimes a simple, quick design will look great and do the job well. The cheapest and most effective way to get the word out about your church is to get your congregation excited about what's coming up. One of the best ways to keep your volunteers committed is repeatedly sharing stories of how they're making a difference in peoples' lives.

Like these photos? Get them here: Photo 1Photo 2Photo 3Photo 4Photo 5

5 Apps I Recommend For Every Creative Ministry

Five Apps I'd Recommend For Every Creative Ministry

I don’t know what I would do without my iPhone.

I use it in every area of my life and Creative Ministry is no different. Having powerful tools readily available in my pocket makes all the difference in productivity.

Of course, I use the obvious apps that many of you do. I use Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for my social media. I listen to music with Spotify and Apple’s app for podcasts. I’ll even admit to being slightly addicted to the Roller Coaster Tycoon game.

Beyond the everyday downloads, there are few apps that are extremely helpful for Creative Ministry.

I use these tools both on Sunday mornings as I lead our Production Team and during the week for various creative tasks.

1. Planning Center Online

Planning Center OnlineLast week, I posted a tweet expressing my love for Planning Center along with the question “Do you use PCO?”

There was a massive response.

In fact, there was so much buzz happening on Twitter from my post that the PCO staff sent me a message thanking me for the publicity. A lot of churches use it.

While integrating this system into your church can be a little overwhelming, I don’t know where our church would be without it. I use the app throughout the week for planning our services and scheduling our volunteers. On Sunday mornings, I use it as a digital order of service to keep us on track.

With this app, you never have to go searching through emails to find who’s running ProPresenter this week or which songs your worship team singing. It’s all in one organized place.

2. GroupMe

GroupMeI was first introduced to this app when I trained with the production teams at Church of the Highlands and Elevation Church.

To be honest, I didn’t see the true value when they first recommended it to me. It took me using it at our church to fully understand.

Once I saw that I could keep all of our team’s communication in one place, I was hooked.

Our church’s staff uses a group message for all of our basic communications to each other, each ministry team (production, kids, connect) uses it to keep volunteers aware of what’s coming up on Sunday, and we’re able to communicate last-minute changes to each team during service.

This app has also been useful for our kid’s ministry to communicate nursery alerts to our ProPresenter operator.

3. Buffer

BufferMore than an app, Buffer is a total package for all things social media in our church. 

Rather than individually creating posts on all of our various social networks, we are able to use this one central app to get the word out.

Social media for your church doesn’t have to be difficult. This app gives professional results with ease.

I use Buffer to schedule all of our social posts for the month in advance, then simply maintain on the go with the app.

I made the switch from the similar app, HootSuite, a few months ago and haven’t looked back.

Plus, it also comes in handy that we’re able to post to networks like Google+ without actually having to have those apps on our devices. ;)

4. Latergramme

LatergrammeThe only downside to social media managers like Buffer is that they don’t include Instagram.

If I was granted three wishes from a magic genie, one of them would be for Instagram integration into Buffer.

Unfortunately, that’s just not the case.

The closest thing to scheduled Instagram posts is this awesome app, Latergramme. It allows you to pre-write your text and schedule your IG photos so that when it’s time to post, you’re notified on your phone. With just a few taps and mere seconds, you can move from this app into Instagram and post your image.

Would it be great if there was an easier way? Yes.

Is this the easiest thing currently available? Definitely.

5. Repost

RepostOne of the best ways to share with the world what God is doing in your church is by posting photos on social media. 

Unfortunately, not every church has professional photographers who are willing to volunteer on Sundays.

But, you do have a congregation full of people who have phones in their pockets with high-quality cameras.

Encourage your church family to take photos on Sunday mornings and share them on their social networks using your church’s hashtag.

Then, you can use the handy app, Repost, to share their photos on your church’s networks.

Not only does it allow your church to have great photos from your services, but it gets your congregation excited to share their Sunday experience with their friends.

What About You?

What are your favorite and most useful apps that you use in Creative Ministry?

Let us know in the comments below or on Twitter at @CreativePastor!

Five Creative Ministry Tips: 8/21/14

TCP-Five_Creative_Ministry_Tips-8_21_14

Every week, we’re excited to share a five-pack of useful tips for those serving in creative ministry! Each Thursday, we post practical advice on topics such as media, social networking, design, and marketing. While these tips may be simple, they have the potential to radically improve your church. These images are Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram ready, so help us spread the word by sharing them with your followers!

A skipping motion will distract your entire audience. It would be better to use a SD background that runs smoothly than a HD one that skips. Be careful that your church's social media posts aren't all about what's important to YOU. Include what is important to your audience.
Design is more than creating art. It's about function. Whether it's a sermon graphic, bulletin, or banner, it has to work for your audience. Don't be afraid to experiment with different ways of marketing. A one-man media team can only do so much. Take a chance on people and build your team.

Like these photos? Get them here: Photo 1Photo 2Photo 3Photo 4Photo 5

My Production Team Training Guide

My Production Team Training Guide

This season has been so exciting as we’re getting closer and closer to the launch of our new church. Very exciting…but also very BUSY as we’ve been preparing all of the little details that go into a new church plant. One of the areas where I have been focused most in these past few weeks has been assembling a group of volunteers for our Production Team. After a season of recruiting and technical training, I gathered all of them together this week for a time of discussing vision, guidelines, Sunday schedule, and communication paths for our team. Today, I thought I’d share with you document that we created for this training.

Some things to keep in mind:

•  Page 1-4 were used strictly for Production, but last two pages were used across all teams.
•  We have church in a movie theater, so our setup starts early.
•  “Team Chapel” serves as both an abridged dress rehearsal, as well as a place for volunteers who work in other areas (Kids, Parking) to enjoy a Sunday service.
•  “Team Cafe” is an area where volunteers are served breakfast each week and connect with others.
•  We use Planning Center Online for all of our team and service scheduling.
•  We use GroupMe for basic communication during the week and on Sunday mornings.

Feel free to use this document in your church. You can download a PDF of this training guide here.

Piedmont Chapel - Production Team Training Guide

Piedmont Chapel - Production Team Training Guide

Piedmont Chapel - Production Team Training Guide

Piedmont Chapel - Production Team Training Guide

Piedmont Chapel - Production Team Training Guide

Piedmont Chapel - Production Team Training Guide

Does your church have a document like this for your Production Team or just volunteers in general? Let us know in the comments below or on Twitter at @CreativePastor!

Inspiration: Elevation Worship on Leadership

Elevation Worship on Leadership from Elevation Church on Vimeo.

If there is one area where God is stretching me most right now, it’s in developing a healthy Production Team at our church. It’s not always easy to trust others with the areas that are important to you. However, the secret to organizational growth is to raise up other leaders. I loved hearing Wade’s heart for this tough task and will likely revisit this video often for encouragement. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

How would you rank your current ability to raise up leaders in your area of ministry?