Twelve Awesome Easter Freebies

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Easter Sunday is almost here and it’s likely that your church will experience your highest attendance numbers for the year. Making a good impression on visitors is crucial and communicating the Resurrection message in a fresh way to your regulars makes a huge difference. To keep you lookin’ good for your big service, we searched all over the web for the latest and greatest free resources for the holiday. Check them out below and spread the word!

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Have you found any other cool Easter freebies? Share them with us in the comments below!

Five Media Tweaks To Make Immediately

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There are many aspects of Worship Media and a million ways to improve your presentation, but sometimes it’s the smallest steps that make the biggest difference. Here are five practical tweaks that you can make for Sunday that will make a noticeable impact in your projection.

1. Create A Template For All of Your Lyric Slides

Screen Shot 2014-03-25 at 12.21.02 AMConsistency is key for excellent presentation on Sunday mornings. Templates make it super easy to coordinate and keep all of your songs looking their best. Choose a dependable font and text size that are easily visible to everyone in your congregation.  (Here are my font recommendations.)

2. Retire Outdated Content

framed-hands copyIf your church has been using media for a while, you’ve probably accumulated quite a bit of content. Styles come and go, so it’s healthy to regularly comb through your library to remove some of the older stuff. It may be time to retire that one background you’ve used a million times or just delete the ones that don’t really work in your space. Keeping your media library tidy goes a long way.

3. Split Larger Lyric Slides

Screen Shot 2014-03-25 at 12.20.12 AMThis is a rookie mistake that can really throw everything off. I’ve seen slides so jam-packed with lyrics that it made my head ache. Keeping with the flow of the song, split larger chunks of lyrics into multiple slides. I recommend displaying 2-4 lines of text per slide. Use pauses and transitions (verse to chorus, etc.) as natural splits.

4. Coordinate Media Throughout Your Service

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It’s a must that your lyric backgrounds match in both color and style. But to add an additional level of intentionality to your presentation, coordinate the rest of your media elements. Start with your sermon slides and match your motions, countdown, and announcement slides from there. (Service Packs make this really easy and are available from all major media producers.)

5. Display All Scripture That’s Spoken From The Stage

Sermon_Slide_Template-Images.002It’s become pretty standard for churches to display their pastor’s sermon Scripture, but I recommend going a step further. It’s common for Bible passages to be read at other parts of your service such as openings, worship, and offering, too. Touch base with all of your on-stage leaders before service so that you’ll be prepared to project their Scripture. This little bit extra of planning will go a long way for your audience.

 
Do you have any other tweaks that you’d recommend?

Getting Started In Church Communication Ebook

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Congratulations to @locklear_jay, @cralex3, and @anthonymcmurtry! You’ve won a free copy of the “Getting Started In Church Communication” ebook!

The year of the Church Media ebook continues! The Center for Church Communication has just released a new 3-in-1 ebook that covers the basics of getting started in Church Media by focusing on three topics—copy, web, and jobs. Since these are three subjects that often get neglected, I was really happy to see this release.  I checked out this ebook over the weekend and it seems to be really practical. I like that it has real insights from church communication pros that deal with this stuff every week. The way it’s laid out definitely makes it easy to read and apply a little at a time. Each topic is available as an individual volume for $2.99 each, but I’d recommend picking up the complete set for $6.99.

Find more info on this 3-in-1 ebook here.

Purchase here: Kindle, iBooks, PDF

We’ve also partnered with the CFCC to provide copies for three lucky TCP readers! We’ll announce the winners next week, so be sure to go ahead and enter so that you don’t miss out!

OFFICIAL RULES & SUBMISSION INFO:

1. To enter, tweet I just entered to win the new “Getting Started In Church Communication” ebook at @creativepastor! Check it out here – http://ow.ly/uKxdx to your followers.
2. Entries will be accepted through Friday, March 21st, 2014 at 11:59pm (Eastern).
3. Three winners will be selected at random by our staff.
4. The selected winners will receive a free copy of the “Getting Started In Church Communication” ebook (3-in-1 edition).
5. We will announce the winners on our site on Monday, March 24th, 2014.

Spread the word about this contest to your friends and followers!

7 Innovative Ideas For The 21st Century Church

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The continual danger confronting the church is irrelevancy. We live in a world filled with innovation and ever-changing technology. In the midst of this fast-paced modernization, the local church is often left behind as it’s seen as stuck in the past and irrelevant to 21st century life. I believe many of the unchurched don’t necessarily have a problem with Christianity. Rather, they simply cannot fathom how the church could possibly fit into their modern day life.

It’s with this idea that a passion began to grow inside me for meeting 21st century people on their digital turf. Asking people to be a part of your church shouldn’t mean that they have to step back in time on Sundays. Technology is available for us to step up our game in every department of our ministries and it’s more affordable than ever.

Here are seven forward-thinking ideas that create an atmosphere of progress and communicate that your ministry is willing to meet people where they’re at in 2014:

1. E-Bulletins

Screen Shot 2014-03-18 at 12.09.42 AMThe bulletin is no stranger to today’s church. While ministries have been using them for decades, I still see pretty much the same format in churches big and small. It’s time for an upgrade. While most paper bulletins never make it out of your building, you can deliver digital bulletins with all of your church’s announcements straight to your attendees’ inboxes. I’ve seen this done really well through services like Bulletin Plus and Mail Chimp.

2. Text To Give

Giving is a integral part of every church, but passing the plate isn’t always the best method anymore. Only a small percentage of your congregation still carries cash and checks, because they’ve shifted to a digital lifestyle. Many ministries have added online giving to their website and some have added giving kiosks in their lobby. But my favorite new method for digital giving is with services like Kindrid where donors can give right from their cell phones.

3. Mobile Connection Cards

This is another area where paper may not be the most effective route. I’ve recently started to see churches add their connection card to their mobile website. This allows attendees to quickly submit their data right from their cell phone. I love this idea because data is automatically emailed to ministry leaders and it saves money on printing/pens. Here’s a sample from a church I recently visited.

4. Retweetable Sermon Points

retweet-buttonThe retweet is the digital “amen” of this day and age. When a point in a pastor’s sermon really resonates with someone, their instinct is to share it with their social networks. I like to make this really easy by having a social media coordinator live-tweet the pastor’s big sermon points to the church’s Twitter and Facebook accounts. This allows for attendees to simply tap one button to share rather than having to type the entire quote.

5. Walk-Through Videos

It’s very nerve-racking to visit a church for the first time. One of the best ways to take the edge off for your guests is to provide a walk-through video on your website. This gives visitors an inside look on what your Sunday morning experience is like. Here is one of my favorites from a church that I often visit.

6. Sharing Worship Set-lists Through Spotify

Screen Shot 2014-03-18 at 12.24.30 AMA great way to encourage continual worship outside of services is to provide Spotify playlists of your worship songs from Sunday morning. This is really easy and free for both your church and congregation. Simply create a Spotify account for your church, make a playlist that includes your songs from service, and share the playlist url to your social media sites. Your congregation will be able to sing along to the Tomlin, Israel, and Hillsong versions of your worship anthems in their car, at the gym, and at home.

7. Instagram Announcement Videos

Instagram is one of the most popular social networks for photos and videos, but did you know you can use it to share announcements? Instagram allows for videos up to 15 seconds, so with a little creativity, you can easily promote your church’s events right on your congregation’s newsfeed. Check out how Radiant Church in Surprise, Arizona is using Instagram to promote their activities.

Do you have any other ideas for reaching people on their digital turf? Let us know in the comments below!

 

Six Solid Freebies You Need To Download Today

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Below are six freebies that we found around the web this week and thought they could be really useful in your church. Keep in mind that we regularly share freebies like these as we find them on both our Facebook and Twitter, so be sure to follow us! Enjoy!

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Construction Project  //  Stock Video Clip from Lightstock
A Prayer For The Church  //  Mini-Movie from Worship House Media
Be Blessed  //  Mini-Movie from Sermon Spice
Missing The Boat  //  Mini-Movie from Videos For Youth
Retrometric Bright  //  Motion Background from Church Motion Graphics
Volunteer Sign Up  //  Stock Photo from Lightstock

Have you found any other cool freebies recently? Share them with us in the comments below!