4 Steps to Success: Ministering to First-Time Visitors

Mar 11, 2016 by


Photo cred: QualityChurch Media @ CreationSwap

In just a few weeks, you’ll be holding one of the biggest church services of the year to celebrate Christ’s resurrection! A great blessing of Easter is that the holiday draws a host of visitors. As you prepare to welcome all who come on Easter morning, this influx of guests is a reminder that it’s important to have a system in place for reaching out to first-time visitors. Since these weeks leading up to Easter are a great time to assess whether your church is doing everything possible to connect with newcomers, here are a few key strategies for successful outreach:

1. Make a great first impression.

The first step toward connecting with visitors is to make them feel welcome as soon as they enter your church. (For tips on how to do this on Easter Sunday, see our recent blog post.) Every week, there should be greeters at the doors who not only offer a warm welcome, but also can answer any questions a guest may have. Train greeters to keep an eye out for unfamiliar faces so that they can offer their assistance even if visitors are too shy to ask for directions.

It’s especially important that greeters know the details of the childcare and nursery system. Families need to know that their children are safe and well cared for, so they’ll want to learn the ins and outs of the nursery and kids’ program. Having a great check-in / check-out system and other safety protocols for childcare in place will help instill confidence in your church. Because many parents make decisions on where they’ll attend church based on the childcare situation, it’s important to make a great first impression.

2. Capture visitor information.

You’ll want to be able to follow up with guests after their initial visit, so try to collect contact information before they leave. A popular way to do this is through a visitor information card. (While it would be ideal to capture this information electronically, churches may find that guests are more apt to fill something out on paper. But if you do have a kiosk or tablet already in use, don’t be afraid to try them out, just have some paper cards on hand as back up.)

Use this checklist to make sure that your visitor information cards are on the right track:

  • Make it easy to find and turn in a card. Tuck cards in the pew backs or attendance books. Also, have stashes at the front/welcome desk and other literature tables. Greeters and staff should be ready to collect any cards that have been filled out, and there should be clearly marked receptacles to collect cards.
  • Explain how the information will be used. On the card itself (and when guests are asked to fill them out), explain why you want their information and how it will be used. If you plan on following up with a phone call or email, let them know. Make sure that they know that you won’t be pestering them or adding them to an email list with out consent.
  • Collect as little information as possible. Don’t ask for more information than you really need. People are more likely to jot down their name, hometown, and email address, but may be less comfortable providing a phone number and mailing address. Just ask for what you need for an initial follow up, and trust that if they’re interested in coming back, you can get more information later.
  • Offer an incentive/gift (optional). Maybe you want to send first-time visitors a small thank-you gift—like a nice mug or $5 coffee shop gift card. You could give the gift when they turn in their visitor card or promise to send it to them using the collected contact information. (Many gift cards can be emailed, which would save postage costs.) Whatever your incentive, make sure it’s something they’ll like, not junk or church swag. If you choose to send it to them, send it out promptly the next workday.

3. Track visitors in your database.

To make sure that visitors don’t slip through the cracks, set up a system for recording visitor information in your database and tagging them for follow-up. Each Monday, it should be a designated staff member’s job to check for submitted visitor cards and enter the information into the church database. Follow these steps to make sure the process is complete:

  • Collect all visitor information cards. If there are multiple places that these may be turned in, check all locations every week.
  • Search for duplicates. Before each entry, the staff member should do a quick search and make sure that there isn’t already a record of the visitor. It may be that they filled out the card on a prior visit and there’s already information on them in the system.
  • Enter the information and include pertinent notes. Enter all the information collected on the card. Utilize the notes section of your software and include any helpful comments or observation. For example, if John had an in-depth conversation with a pastor or greeter, expressed an interest in membership, or carefully scrutinized the child check-in system, the notes section should reflect this.
  • Tag the visitor record for immediate follow up. Someone on staff should follow up with the visitor within the week. The staff member responsible for entering visitor records should make sure that each record is assigned to someone for follow-up.
  • Update the notes section. When a staff member follows up with a visitor, this should be recorded in the notes section for future reference.

4. Follow up with visitors.

It’s always important to follow up with new visitors, but if they’ve filled out an information card, it’s especially crucial that you keep up your end of the agreement and send them whatever gift you promised or contact them as they requested. Here are a few tips for great follow-up:

  • Be timely. Make contact within a week of the visit.
  • Be personal. If the visitor made a personal connection with someone on staff or on the welcome team, try to have that person reach out. If that person isn’t able to make the phone call or send the email, but can furnish some notes about the visitor to whoever does, the touch can still be fairly personal.
  • Be sensitive. Now isn’t the time to be overbearing or ask for a commitment to come back. Just let them know that you’re glad that they visited and would love to see them again soon or whenever they can make it!
  • Be listening. Ask for feedback on their experience. A first-time visitor can have valuable insights, and everyone appreciates having their thoughts listened to. Being an attentive listener is a great way to build trust and demonstrate sincerity.
  • Be excited. Most of all, having a new visitor is a great win for your church, so be excited! Hopefully, the visitor will come again and give your congregation another opportunity to welcome him/her into your church family.

We hope that these tips will help you successfully minister to all who enter your church, especially on this upcoming Resurrection Sunday. May His victory and grace bless you and all who enter your church doors—from every-week worshippers to first-time guests!

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4 Ways to Welcome Easter Church Goers

Feb 16, 2016 by


On Easter, you can count on seeing unfamiliar faces along with your weekly regulars. Folks will bring family members who are in town for the holiday, Easter/Christmas attendees will make their semi-annual appearance, and others may come, well, just because. Whatever a newcomer’s reason for sitting in an unknown pew surrounded by unfamiliar faces, it’s your mission to offer them a warm, genuine welcome.

But we all know that Easter is a busy time, and it’s all too easy for staff and members to focus on their families and plans for the day instead of on the opportunity for outreach. With this in mind, it’s a good idea to plan your welcome strategy in advance so that those unfamiliar faces don’t remain strangers for long. Here are 4 tips for making sure that guests are warmly welcomed by your congregation on Easter Sunday:

1. Coach Your Members

In the weeks before Easter, start coaching your members on how to welcome seasonal guests. If your church doesn’t see many new faces, remind members that swarming “new blood” and making guest feel like they’re a novelty at your church is not the object. Too much attention will make most guests feel uncomfortable. Of course, the other extreme—treating guests as if they have the plague—isn’t recommended either. Stealing glances at newcomers while staying at a distance and never actually greeting those brave souls probably won’t result in returning visitors.

In order to avoid these pitfalls, it’s ok to address them specifically with members. Hopefully, even congregants who have been guilty of these mistakes will do better this Easter.

How should members interact with newcomers? A friendly welcome from a few regular attendees is nice. Encourage members not to make assumptions. Just because someone is unfamiliar to you doesn’t mean they’ve never set foot in a church or that they’re at a moment of spiritual crisis. Members should be friendly, but not assuming. Encourage them to introduce themselves and ask a newcomer’s name (repeating the name out loud can help with remembering it) and what brings him/her to your church. If answers don’t satisfy curiosity, that’s ok. Just make sure that they know you’re glad they’re here.

2. Explain Liturgy and Jargon

On Easter Sunday, pastors and worship leaders should carefully comb through their scripted service with a newcomer’s eye. Look for rituals and terms that are unique to your church or even the church in general and think about what might confuse the un-(or less-)churched.

Note places in the service where the leader can pause and explain why you do what you do. For instance, if your church celebrates communion, explain what it is, what your church believes, and what role a visiter may take in the celebration. If you have responsive readings, pause to explain what you’re doing and make sure response are written out for people to follow along. If there are times in the service when congregants rise or sit, clearly indicate these so that newcomers aren’t confused or a half beat behind.

In general, simplify churchy language and don’t build too much on scriptures or traditions that haven’t been mentioned in the service. This will help you not lose people who are not versed in scripture or who are a little rusty.

3. Bring out Brunch

If you’d like your Easter morning guests to mingle before or after the church service, consider having a special brunch. There’s nothing like a cup of coffee and some comfort food to warm up conversations. Here are a few guidelines for an especially welcoming brunch:

  • Make it free. Even suggesting freewill donations can set the wrong tone here, as people may feel that there’s an expectation to contribute. On Easter morning, tuck your donation baskets away so there’s no pressure on guests or excuses to skip brunch.
  • Engage guests. The food won’t completely speak for itself. Coach your regular attendees (or designate a few welcomers before hand) on engaging with newcomers. Guests should have an opportunity for one-on-one conversations with a few members.
  • Keep it cozy. You want your brunch room to feel full. Don’t set up too many seats. If the area you use for brunch is too large for your expected group, think of a different room to meet in or put up partitions to make the room feel smaller. It’s better to have to bring out extra chairs than to have everyone scattered around and people sitting by themselves.

4. Invite Them Back

Be sure to let guests know that they’re welcome back! Include regular service times as part of your announcements and have a guest-friendly event planned for a near date. A specific invitation will give those who are interested in coming back again an event that they can put in their calendar.

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Time Well Spent: 5 Productivity Strategies for 2016

Jan 12, 2016 by

Productivity in 2016

If I had just another hour or two in my day, how would I spend the time? A little extra sleep? A few more items checked off an ever-growing to-do list? An hour of quiet with a hot beverage and a good book? A workout? Before I know it I’ve “spent” that extra time four or five times.

It’s a new year: Many have made new resolutions of how they’ll spend their time, and some are just hoping to find the energy to keep up on current goals. Finding the time to accomplish what’s required of us in the narrow 24 hour span of each day, let alone completing work requirements in the allotted hours of a work day, is a challenge. As we take on 2016, here are a few productivity strategies. I can’t promise you an extra hour a day to spend, but perhaps we can make the hours we do have go a bit further.

1. Prioritize Difficult Tasks during Your Best Time

What time of the day are you most energized and focused? Do you come to work alert and ready to tackle your biggest task? Or do you need to nurse that cup of coffee for twenty minutes while churning through emails or crafting a to-do list before you’re ready to take on a challenge? Do you drag in the afternoon or find yourself with an extra burst of energy? Analyze the ebb and flow of your typical work day, and plan to take on your hardest tasks during your best times. Those challenging to-dos will take less time and come out better if you can use your best quality time to work on them.

2. Resist the Urge to Multitask

Yep, that’s right. Multitasking isn’t all is made out to be. While it’s possible to do one simple and one complex task simultaneously—like fixing a sandwich and having a conversation—attempting two complex activities either at the same time or switching rapidly from one task to another and back again causes you to lose time in transition. Research shows that the brain takes time to adjust between tasks. Trying to knock out two things at once will actually take more time than finishing one task and then turning your full attention to the other.

Instead of multitasking, set specific goals for yourself that will help you focus on one task at a time. For instance, you might work on a single project for 30 minutes without interruption, and then go to your scheduled meeting. Or get steps A through C done on a task and then take a quick coffee break.

3. Minimize Distractions

Learning to focus on a single task instead of multitasking means minimizing distractions. Turn your cell phone to silent. (You can adjust your setting to allow calls from certain numbers to come through so you can be available in case of a family emergency.) Turn off email notifications. (Consider scheduling a few times during the day to check and respond to emails.) If listening to music, choose music without lyrics while doing complex, language related tasks, like writing. Avoid interruptions by telling co-workers that you need a few minutes to wrap up what you’re doing before answering questions or joining in a conversation.

4. Evaluate and Delegate as a Team

Just because you can do something, doesn’t mean you should. Before taking on a new task, evaluate whether or not you’re the team member best suited to do the job. Work in your areas of strength, and ask for help when a task comes up that isn’t your forte.

For instance, if you’re a wiz at data entry, but find writing and proofreading laborious, when tasked with crafting written material, ask for help. In turn, offer your services when extra data entry comes up. While you probably could write up a short piece for the church bulletin or website and someone else could do that extra data entry, your team will be more efficient if each person does what he/she is best at doing.

5. Track Time for Longterm Success

If you’re worried that certain tasks consume more of your time than they should, start collecting data with a time tracking application. Our team uses Toggl (the free version may be all you need) to keep track of time spent on specific tasks. A time tracking app will give you a stop/start timer, a way to record what you’re working on, and generate reports that show how your recorded time was spent.

The act of having to account for how you spend your time may help you make better choices—losing less time to the email hole or office distractions. Also, looking reports will give you a clearer picture of how you spend your day and which tasks take up too much time and could be delegated elsewhere.

While there’s no trick to creating more time, hopefully, with a little extra cognizance and a few productivity strategies, you’ll feel like you’ve got a little time to spare to enjoy the new year!

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Bridging the Gap Between Mission-Heart and Know-How

Dec 8, 2015 by

Bridging the Evangelism Gap

Source: Stephen Ramkissoon @ CreationSwap

Sitting across the table from me on a warm Friday morning was Dr. Gary Comer, the author of Soul Whisperer and a man passionate about missional impact.

In a candid interview with Dr. Comer, we learned about his research and zeal for equipping disciples with a deeper perspective on how to speak into people’s lives like Christ did.

“Churches have a big heart and the potential to touch the community in impactful ways.” Comer shared. He went on to discuss how many churches have plans to get new people in the doors—perhaps through events, small groups, or engaging, vibrant services intended to speak to the heart. But what about the evangelistic skill set of the church attendee sitting in the pew on Sunday mornings? Do they know how to create safe conversations? Do they know how to meet people where they are? The lost, who are unlikely to ever attend a church event or service, need regular people to meet them where they are…and churches may not have an opportunity to accomplish this behind a pulpit or even within the physical church doors.

What if you could speak to the insecurities deep in the hearts of your members, giving them the courage to discuss spiritual matters with their coworkers, family, and friends? Imagine how your church and the community would change if your members had the communication tools and confidence to go forth into their neighborhoods, social circles, and families and purposefully share their faith in Christ.

Now, hold onto that vision while we dive into some practical ways to equip your people with the tools they’ll need.

1. Missional Point Person

Who in your congregation shows a passion for reaching the lost? A leader for missional ministry, whether paid or volunteer, will help the church significantly in its goal to equip the people. “You need someone with the passion and heart to run forward with this,” Dr. Comer said.

If you’re struggling here, you may want to start noting the skills or interests you observe among your members. Record and track this in your church management database. As you consider possible leaders, pray over those names and do some mulling. Insight may unfold.

When looking for leaders, look for humility. In fact, look for humility over natural ability. Robert Morrison of China is quoted in J. Oswald Sanders’ book Spiritual Leadership saying, “The great fault in our missions is that no one likes to be second.” (2007, p. 63) Who is willing to happily do the assistant job? The jobs that no one else wants to do? He or she could be your point person that God has been raising up.

2. Equip to Equip

You may need to equip your point person before he or she is ready to begin equipping others. Start a pilot group with your leader and others whom you feel would be a good fit. Get the group together and implement solid teaching content alongside group practice.

As for the content, get resources! For instance, Soul Whisperer could be used as a field manual to guide your new mission team into an adventure. Soul Whisperer does a great job of delivering ideas to cultivate conversation — then provides tools to develop the necessary skill set for navigating those spiritual discussions.

One particular skill that engaged me from Soul Whisperer is the “gospel key.” Through listening and asking probing questions, the deep unmet need of the unbeliever begins to be discovered. Connecting this need to Christ’s promises (that is, the gospel key) when the non-believer is ready to hear it is one way to enter into a spiritual conversation.

3. Capture the Stories

Using the technology and tools available to you, capture and share the missional stories of the church with your people. “Capturing the stories of our people doing the work, what happened in those journeys, the breakthroughs, the tensions, and the answered prayers—that becomes a whole other side of training and equipping,” Comer shared. The stories give new perspective, additional ideas, support, and encouragement. Plus, people need to see that God can use anybody for this important, eternal commission.

If you have a team that is not naturally in regular communication with each other, establish a regular schedule to communicate stories within the group. These stories can help build a sense of connectedness around your common goal and energize your team — and an energized team is going to have a greater impact on those around them. Sharing stories via a monthly email or through your website or social media channels are effective methods to get the word out. Be sure as you use social media that you are focusing on what God is doing through your people without causing a non-believer to feel they are on display or have been made your ministry.

4. Start Small, But Start

Perhaps you start with just two people. Jesus sent his disciples out in twos, right? (Mark 6) If you wanted a dozen people, but find yourself with two, have faith and start anyway. Take what resources you have, in this case the laborers, and do what you can. Acknowledge and rejoice in the impact you make. Changing lives is hard work. It’s holy work. And it’s worth every ounce of effort you could invest.

Closing the Gap

There is a process to learning how to speak into people’s lives. In our fast-paced world, a learning curve is not exciting. However, a boost of Christ-sharing confidence will be imbued upon your people as you pray for them and resource them to communicate like Christ. So, start small, identify a leader and team members, equip your people with resources, and capture the stories.

“Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.” Matthew 28:19

Dr. Gary Comer

Gary Comer describes his own journey by the three “S”s: secular, skeptic, and sinner. Growing up outside the church, his passion is helping churches bridge the gap between mission-heart and know-how. The author of Soul Whisperer and the Missional Engagement Series, Gary speaks, writes and trains as the founder of Soul Whisperer Ministries.

Connect further with Gary at soulwhispererministry.com.

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Strengthen Your Safety Net: Church Policies and Practices to Keep Children Safe

Nov 10, 2015 by

9 ways child safety

Photo: Filip Ologeanu @ CreationSwap

In churches—close-knit communities of families and friends—it’s natural to assume that children participating in church programs on church premises are safe. But, unfortunately, like any other organization with open doors, churches are vulnerable to people and circumstances that pose safety risks to children. So, what can your church do to better ensure that the children in your keeping are safe and sound? Here are a few recommended policies and practices that should be part of the safety net of child protection protocols at your church:

1. Background Checks – All staff members and volunteers—especially those working directly with children and youth—should undergo mandatory, periodic background checks. Making background checks routine for everyone means that if people you’re uncertain of do come around, you won’t have to offend them by asking them to submit to special screening. This practice also safeguards against those who appear to have good intentions, but have ugly pasts. (Learn more about PeopleFlow, which includes a background screening service.)

2. Three-Month Rule – Another simple policy to weed out volunteers with bad motives is requiring that those who wish to volunteer be regular attendees for at least three months before taking on a volunteer role with children. Fortunately, most folks aren’t ready to make a volunteer commitment before then anyway, unless, of course they have malicious intentions and are looking for easy access to children.

3. Two-Adult Requirement – No adult should ever be alone with a child or group of children. No matter who the adult is or how much you trust them, it’s just not a smart idea. Requiring at least two adults present at all times greatly reduces the opportunity for abuse and means that in an emergency you have adult backup.

4. Appropriate Adult to Child Ratio – It’s important to have ratio requirements for adult supervision. If you have two adults to thirty toddlers, the adults won’t adequately be able to supervise what’s going on or keep track of everyone. The appropriate ratio varies depending on the age of the children being cared for.

5. Open Doors – Whenever possible, doors should have unobscured windows and any doors without windows should be left open. Visibility creates accountability and is another easy way to reduce the risk of abuse or misconduct.

6. Check-in / Check-out System – Especially for churches that have a lot of traffic flow through nurseries and classrooms, setting up a check-in / check-out system can help keep everyone safe and accounted for. Having a system in place prevents children from being released to the wrong person and helps church workers track who is in their care at all times.

Most systems, like Logos II Child Check-In, print 2 labels at the point of check in. Then, the correct adult just has to present the label to be matched with the child at pickup time. Labels that also have pertinent information—like food allergies and age or grade level—add another layer of protection for children and take the pressure of remembering certain details off of volunteers.

7. Secured Entrances – In order to make sure that your check-in / check-out system offers the desired level of security, you’ll need to make sure that the entrances to childcare areas are secured. There should be a desk and gate barring the entrance and a “gate keeper” to make sure that only adults with tags matching their children enter. Depending on the busyness or traffic flow, it may be better to ask parents to wait on the outside of the entrance and have one of your volunteers fetch children.

8. Emergency Plans – Make sure that you document and review emergency plans incase of fires, power outages, or other dangers. Staff and volunteers should review the plans periodically and any helpful documentation—like copies of emergency plans, maps to the nearest exit, and emergency contact numbers—should be readily available in each nursery or classroom.

9. First Aid and CPR Training – If possible, offer first aid and CPR training to your volunteers and staff. You never know when that knowledge will come in handy, and it will boost their confidence as well as that of parents. If you offer training sessions at your church, you can also welcome church and community members who would like to receive training, and, voila, you’ve just created an outreach opportunity!

Welcoming the Lost and Dealing with Past Offenders

In order to live out Christ’s mission, churches must have a heart for the lost. When people—perhaps registered sex offenders or former convicts—come through church doors carrying baggage, you’ll want to welcome them as Christ would, and you should! But understand that as you welcome them, you’ll need to heighten security. Don’t let those with a past volunteer with children. Make sure that staff and volunteers know who past offenders are so that they can watch for trouble.

A Strong Safety Net Is Worth the Work

Some of these policies and practices may seem like a lot of work to implement and keep going, but ultimately, these safeguards are worth the work. Not only do they protect against danger, but having a visible safety net of policies and practices deters those who would try to harm your little ones and helps parents feel confident that their church is a safe place for them and their young ones.

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Technology Tools: Easy. Cheap. Awesome!

Oct 19, 2015 by

technology tools for the church

Here at Logos, we’re all about helping you find the tools you need to run your church. And we know that what we provide—church management and accounting software—is just a piece of the technology puzzle used to keep operations afloat. So, we’ve taken a look at some of our favorites, done a little research, and worked up a quick list of inexpensive (sometimes FREE!) technology tools that can help you with workflows around the office and in your ministries. Take a look at these tools for productivity, file storage, design, and engagement.


Sometimes it’s the little things that make all the difference. If you’re looking for a better way to keep yourself or your team on track and manage tasks, take a look at these productivity-boosting tools.


When it comes to managing tasks, we’re big fans of Flow. Flow is a web app that allows your team to organize, assign, and communicate on tasks. You can create workspaces, group tasks in projects, and automate recurring tasks. Flow also allows team members to re-assign, reschedule, comment on, and attach documents to tasks to allow for new developments or changes in workflows. Flow also has a chat system for quick conversations with team members. You can try Flow for free, and if you love it, subscriptions are based on team size and billed monthly or annually.


Do you ever wonder how much time a particular task consumes? Toggl is a web app that provides a start and stop timer and tracks the time you and your team spend on specific projects. Once time has been logged, you can view reports in order to make productivity-boosting decisions! A basic Toggl account with up to 5 team members is free, and you can upgrade for addition team members and features for a monthly or yearly rate.

File Storage

The days of saving files locally on your computer are long gone. Keeping data in the cloud where you can access it from any of your devices and quickly share it with team members is crucial to efficient workflows.


Our team loves using Dropbox for quick and easy file sharing. Dropbox Pro or Dropbox for Business costs a modest subscription fee and has the tools and space you need for using Dropbox with a team. But Dropbox Basic is free and gives you 2 GB of space. You can always start out using free accounts and upgrade as needed.

Google Drive

Another option for file storage is Google Drive. The work module of Google Drive is available for a monthly cost per user, and the advantage is that it integrates with other Google applications.


Whether you have an experienced designer working for your church, a few simple tools and resources can go a long way in beautifying web and print communication materials.


Having a hard time creating quality flyers or designing a new banner for your website or Facebook page? Canva is a web-based software that allows you to easily create designs for print or the web. Many fonts, photos, and graphics are free, and premium assets can be purchased for $1.


If you’re looking for a repository of photos, graphics, videos, and audio to use at your church, take a look at CreationSwap. CreationSwap has resources specifically for churches to use. Some are free and some available for purchase. We think that CreationSwap can be a great resource for you, especially if you’re a smaller church on a tight budget or if you’ve got projects that need to get out the door quickly.


Our team’s favorite email marketing software is MailChimp. If you need a platform to create beautiful email communications, get reports and statistics over time, and keep track of subscribers and contacts, check them out. You can get started with a free account—good for up to 2,000 subscribers and 12,000 emails per month—and upgrade to a paid account when you’ve grown your list or want access to some of their fancier features.


Whether you’re trying to wrangle multiple social media profiles, build a credible contact list, collect information from members, or connect with a live audience, finding the right engagement tools can make your job easier and help your church achieve its goals.


If your church is dabbling in multiple social media platforms, but you find that maintaining all your accounts and strategies is a bit daunting, consider a social media manager like Hootsuite. Hootsuite lets you manage multiple social media profiles from one dashboard, making it easier to engage multiple audiences. You can also view reports and analytics to see how well your social media efforts are performing. Hootsuite offers a free 30-day trial, and after that, subscriptions are charged at a monthly or yearly rate.

Poll Everywhere

We’ve gotten great feedback using Poll Everywhere to engage our company during large staff meetings, and we think there are a lot of ways churches could use this simple polling system. Poll Everywhere allows you to pose a question and collect instant feedback from participants through text messages or through the web application (whichever each audience member prefers). Polls can be multiple choice or open ended, and you can easily display responses on a screen for participants to see in real-time. Pricing is based on usage and can be paid in a monthly or yearly subscription.

The Table

The Table is a mobile app that allows you to communicate with and engage members. Members can engage with each other and the church through sending out and responding to prayer requests, soliciting volunteers, live streaming sermons, interacting on discussion boards, and privately communicating with small groups. The Table is free, but you have to sign up to get on a waiting list for the next group release.


Wufoo is our favorite online form builder! (In fact, we like it so much we’ve created an integration to work with LOGOS’ Ministry Connection—learn more about that here.) The Wufoo form builder is easy to use and a great tool for creating event registrations, surveys, and even processing payments. You can get started with a limited free account, and then upgrade to a monthly or yearly plan that fits your church’s needs.

What Tools Do You Love?

Let us know what tools you’re using to engage members or run your church office. We’d love to hear from you and share your top tools and tips with others!

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Delving Deeper with Content Marketing—How to Strategize and Get Organized

Sep 15, 2015 by

church outreach and content marketing - part 2

Creating and sharing valuable content is a great way to spread the word about your church, but content is only as good as its positioning. If you’re not directing your content to a specific audience at an opportune time in a visible and sharable way, your message does little good. So before you dive into the brave new world of content marketing for your church, let’s take a moment to talk strategy.

Define Goals

It’s ok to have more than one goal for content creation. Different pieces shared through different medias will meet a variety of goals. Even so, it’s a good idea make a list of goals so that each piece of content can be matched with a goal. Here are a few examples of what these goals might look like:

  • Build trust/rapport with current church goers.
  • Pique the interest of a new audience not yet connected with your church.
  • Start a conversation to engage your audience with a topic that’s important to you.
  • Tell a story to help people get to know your church.
  • Drive traffic to your website by improving SEO (search engine optimization): the higher the better.
  • Inform people about events and what’s happening at your church.
  • Address current events.

A piece of content can meet more than one goal. For example, any piece shared on your website is going to help SEO, but that shouldn’t be the only reason for posting it. The piece should fulfill one of the other goals as well.

Once you’ve defined the goals for a piece of content, determine where that content should be positioned to best meet that goal. For instance, an article written by one of your youth about a local mission project he recently participated in through your church may meet several goals. It tells a story that will interest church members and community members who are not connected with your church. Publish it on the general church blog, where members can easily find it, and make sure to share it in places like Facebook (where individuals can share it to be seen by friends who aren’t yet connected with your church).

Now, let’s say you take a video of your pastor’s sermon every week and post it to YouTube. The goal of the sermon is to build trust/rapport with current church goers. Just publishing the video on your YouTube channel is fine—those who are looking for it will easily find it when it’s available. There’s no need to clutter up other, more outreach focused channels (like Facebook) by also posting the video there every week. Of course, if you do have a particular sermon that is outreach focused and engages the greater community or addresses a current event, it’s definitely appropriate to share that sermon through your outreach channels.

Strategize as a Team

Succeeding with content marketing requires teamwork and coordination. In order to make the most of the content you’re creating and minimize duplicate efforts, you’ll need to regularly gather as a team to discuss your content plan and strategy. Weekly meetings with everyone involved in creating or publishing content are needed.

At weekly meetings, share ideas for new content, discuss how already created content can be repurposed and redistributed. Consider what content already in your library is relevant to current events and social issues. Assign content creation and content repurposing to those who are best suited to do the job. For example, just because the pastor preached the sermon does not mean that he’s the best one to either create a “highlights” video or write an article using the same content. Let your video guy handle video and your writer write—the pastor can give his feedback and approval once these pieces are created. You’ll also want to lay out a plan and timeline for how, when, and where each piece of content will be published and shared.

Use an Editorial Calendar

Those who take content marketing seriously use an Editorial Calendar to keep content creation on track. You’ll find this tool very useful during weekly content meetings. The editorial calendar can be as simple or detailed as you like, but here’s some information it should include:

  • Schedule – Outline a timeline of when content should be created and when it should be published.
  • Medias – Specify which media(s) (blog, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, print, etc.) will be used to share each item.
  • Team members – Assign each piece of content to the team member who will be working on it.
  • Goals – Match each piece of content with the goal(s) it fulfills. (If it doesn’t fulfill any of your goals, scrap it.)
  • Priority – Define how important and/or time sensitive each piece is. Can it be pushed to a later day/week/month if need be?

Fill out pieces of your editorial calendar as far ahead as you can, making sure that you’re planning for relevant content around the calendar year covering topics like back to school, Christmas, New Years, Easter, and summer break as they come up. The editorial calendar should help your team get a long term picture of what you’re planning throughout the year and see short term specifics for what needs to get done this week.

The editorial calendar is a working document, meaning that as things come up it can be added to and changed. It should help your team stay focused, prioritize, and delegate tasks to accomplish what needs to be done in a given week to stay on track for a great year of content marketing.

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