All posts tagged creative

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!

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?

Five Creative Ministry Tips: 8/14/2014

5 Creative Ministry Tips - August 14th, 2014

#CrtvMinTip’s are back! 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 great way to create unity between your on-screen content and printed materials is to use the same font for your lyrics as your bulletin. Lead pastors, your personal social media accounts are just as important as your church's. They allow your influence to spread outside of Sunday.Avoid filling your entire screen with lyrics or scripture. Stick to 3-4 lines and leave breathing room for your text. Facebook is an incredible tool for reaching your community. But, just like any other outreach, it costs money. Don't be afraid to spend money to reach people. Be flexible on Sundays. Changes are going to happen in live production. Approach them with open-mindedness, calmness, and professionalism.

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

The Right Way To Handle Church Media Fumbles

The Right Way To Handle Church Media Fumbles

I’m one of those weird people who rarely dream at night. Seriously – we’re talking nearly once every six months here. I’ll often hear my friends telling funny stories of the silly circumstances that their subconscious cooked up in their dreams. Sometimes they’ll even share their eerie nightmares that followed a late dinner of Chinese takeout. But, that’s not me.

On the rare occasion that my subconscious constructs a story that plays out as I sleep, it’s usually about a church media fumble. That’s right. I have nightmares about things going wrong on Sunday morning with production.

It may be a video freezing in the middle of playback, a click track skipping, or accidentally pressing the Live Video button in ProPresenter (which then defaults to the webcam and shows my embarrassed face to the entire audience).

Chills…

As I examine these nightmares, one thing stands out to me about myself. I can get WAYYYY too focused on my media being flawless. Church media shouldn’t be about the pursuit of perfection, but about building a team that uses their talents to enhance Sunday services for others. Sure, it’s okay to strive for error-less services. But, when is the last time you kept your “scorecard” on your team’s wins, rather than how many mistakes you made in a service?

A few weeks ago, I got the opportunity to shadow the production team at the Auburn campus of Church of the Highlands. It was there that I first caught a glimpse of a healthy way to approach mistakes in live production. On this particular weekend, they were experiencing a lot of heavy rainfall and it was slowing down their internet connection quite a bit. A solid connection is vital to the flow of their services because they are an extension site that projects a live video feed from their main campus in Birmingham.

In the three services that I joined them for that Sunday, they experienced trouble with the live feed in each service. To make matters worse, the one safety net that they have established for this, a hard drive with a recording of the earlier service, was malfunctioning for the first time in campus history. Let me be clear here—I would have been freaking out.

In the midst of all of these chaotic circumstances, their team kept level heads. While they may not have been able to prevent some problems, they worked hard to make all of the areas that they could control right. In fact, to sit back and watch their team come together in those moments was really incredible. Rather than cussin’ and fussin’ as it’s easy to do in the heat of those moments, they communicated calmly and executed their tasks with precision. When mistakes were made, they quickly picked themselves up and encouraged each other to keep moving forward. In a day filled with stress, I even saw them highfiving each other when things would go right.

Have you ever celebrated what went right with your media on Sunday morning?

At the conclusion of my shadowing, I spent a few minutes with the team’s leader, Marc Johnson. He shared with me a very simple, but profound truth. Their production booth is located in a very visible area in the back of their auditorium. If their team was to outwardly express whenever things were going wrong, everyone in the room would take notice. Not only is the worship team and campus pastor looking directly to them, but the entire audience can see them. If they will keep a level head when things are going wrong, everyone else will, too.

He also shared with me a great silver lining of publicly making fumbles. When everything is going great with production, potential volunteers assume they aren’t needed. Sometimes the smallest mistakes on a Sunday morning will prompt newcomers that help is needed and they’ll make a move to start volunteering. While it’s never intentional that a mistake is made, this has inspired many people to get involved in his time there. (They have a current rotation of around 40 production volunteers.)

Overall, you must realize that perfection is impossible. What’s important is that you always work to nurture an atmosphere of excellence, while still providing the grace necessary to make fumbles and learn from them.

Learn from your mistakes. Be proud of your accomplishments. More than anything else, understand the importance of what you do for the Kingdom.