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Author Archive | Angela Bainter

Our 7 Best Church Communications & Media Blog Posts of 2016

cmbAre you planning on giving your church’s media and communications ministries a new start in 2017? Kickstart the year with some of 2016’s best tips and ideas on church social media, communications, media, and software with the top posts from our blog. We are always looking for the latest and greatest ideas to help churches communicate better, but some ideas work no matter when you try them. We covered topics from picking and learning to set up worship presentation software to ideas for worship & youth ministry to marketing events and using social media. Get inspired to communicate better with your community in the coming year with these ideas! 

How to Pick the Right Worship Presentation Software – An Infographic

There are tons of options for worship presentation software, but what is the best one for your media team? We can all agree that PowerPoint, while the pioneer in presentation software, is now a cumbersome tool when displaying worship graphics. There are many other options that now exist that give you more flexibility when the worship team starts singing a different verse than originally planned and allows you to do some pretty amazing things with graphics and video. This infographic gives you all the details you need to choose the right option for your team. 

ProPresenter 6 Features And Awesomeness

ProPresenter 6 has been out for awhile but it’s still has tons of features that will make your media look amazing every Sunday. Check out this article for a review of features you may need a refresher on and features that you may have missed. 

9 Facts You Probably Didn’t Know about EasyWorship

Do you use EasyWorship at your church? Here are some hacks to help you get the most out of the software or help you decide if EasyWorship is right for your team. 

Top 7 Worship Tracks of All Time

Here is a list of the classics – the original songs that took worship music to where it is today. Chances are it’s been years since you’ve heard these worship songs or sang them in your church. But take a few minutes to listen to them again in a new way. Their lyrics are no less powerful today than when they were released. 

Keeping Youth Engaged In Worship

Teenagers love to have fun with their friends. They’ll get excited about sharing the best selfie on Snapchat. But do you have a hard time getting them to rise to that same level of excitement about worship? Here are some tips to get the youth in your church engaged and excited to worship. 

Top Mistakes You’re Making in Marketing Your Church Events

Getting your church to attend events outside of Sunday morning services can be challenging. Here are some mistakes you may be making that’s keeping them away. Read this post to learn how to overcome these mistakes and have record attendance at your special events. 

Instagram and Uber: Lessons on Changes from the Giants

No one likes change. And as a church leader, you probably know that making changes in a church is often met with resistance. But sometimes change is good and challenges us. Learn how to overcome these challenges with lessons from giants like Instagram and Uber. 

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How to Grow Your Church’s Email List

emailEmail has been around for awhile. As a form of communication these days, it’s almost like a dinosaur. It seems that every few month there is a new social network that is advertised as the one that will take over email. While there are a few social networks that are trying to take over the world (I’m looking at you Facebook), email is still holding strong as a primary source of communication. Think about how many emails you receive in your inbox any given day and tell me you don’t agree!

What does this mean for your church? If you’re not already, it’s an essential way to keep your church attendees informed about upcoming events and happenings to keep them engaged. If you’re reading this post, though, chances are you are already communicating with your church via email. But sending email doesn’t mean much if you don’t have a good list to send them to. Here are some tips to help your get more of your church on your email list:

1) Ask for email addresses on your website: Visitors and your current church attenders will visit your website from time to time, so it’s a great place to ask them for their email address. Place a widget on your homepage letting them know you’d like to send them emails about upcoming church events and sermon series if they’s provide their email address.

This is super easy with WordPress or other common CMS-based sites with plugins that will allow you to place an email collection form on your website. If you use MailChimp to send email, they even have their own plugin for WordPress. Awesome!

2) Ask for email addresses in your program or bulletin: Do you request an information form from visitors to your church? Then you have a prime way to get their email address. Simply note on the form that you’ll be adding their email address to your email list so they aren’t surprised when the start seeing your church’s name in their inbox.

3) Ask for email addresses from the stage: If your email list is small but you have a large church, you have lots of work to do. But, there is one place where you can ask for email addresses from almost your whole church at once – from the stage on Sunday morning. Make an announcement that you’re stepping up your email game and you’d love to get their email addresses. Either provide a paper form for them or they can visit your website from a phone right in their seats at church.

These ideas are just a start. You know your congregation well, and you can come up with tons of other creative ways to collect more email addresses. Now go forth and email!

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Instagram and Uber: Lessons on Changes from the Giants

instagramlogoIt’s been just over two months since Uber announced its conspiracy to anger and confuse us every time we need a ride by changing its logo. Yes, you detected some sarcasm there, but it’s not too far from the real response to the logo on Uber’s app.

Headlines read:
Uber Logo Change: Are They Kidding? (Huffington Post)
Uber, Your New Logo Is a Mistake and Looks Like JPMorgan’s (Fortune)
Uber Just Changed Its Logo – And People Are Already Calling It Ugly (Business Insider)

Too bad for Uber! Apparently, Instagram didn’t notice the fallout from Uber’s logo announcement because today they released a new logo of their own, from which they are catching a bit of criticism.

Within hours these were the headlines:
Instagram’s New Logo Is a Travesty. Can We Change It Back? Please? (Adweek)
Instagram Unveils New Logo, But It’s Not Quite Picture Perfect (The Guardian)
Instagram Changes Iconic Logo, Internet Trashes New Design (NY Daily News)

Again, an app giant is changing the appearance of the home screens on our phones and we can’t handle it! Or can we?

If I’m being honest, I have to think really hard about what the previous Uber logo looked like. This was an icon that was on the home screen of my phone for a couple of years. I saw it every day, but within two months the exact rendering of the old logo escapes my memory. So, apparently I can handle change. And so can everyone else!

As a leader in your church, I’m sure you’ve experienced negative response when you’ve made a change, whether it be music style, media design, lighting, sound levels, communication methods, kids check-in procedures, parking locations, paint colors, a new haircut. You name it – if you make a change at your church, chances are you’ll get at least one complaint.

Don’t let that threat of criticism hold you back from making the right decisions and leading your church toward a goal. God has given you gifts, knowledge, and talents in a specific area to lead your church in making the right choices. You’ll never please everyone, so make the choice to do what you know to be right. And once the dust settles, just like it will soon for Instagram, most people won’t remember the way things used to be and they will move forward with you.

Be brave and take a step toward change.

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#fbf – How to Prepare Your Site for the Easter Rush

Easter is Almost HereFridays are great! A solid weeks worth of work has been accomplished, and a well deserved weekend of rest is just about here. That also means it’s time for flashback Friday (#fbf)! Today I was thinking about Easter and how it is going to be here before we know it. No no. It really will! Just you watch. So are we prepared? Is our church ready? Well I found a great article focusing us in on the importance of our website as it relates to encouraging people to attend your service. Check it out. It’s a good one!

How to Prepare Your Site for the Easter Rush

 

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The Grace of Adele’s Grammy Performance

If you’ve served in any technical ministry at a church very long at all, you’ve experienced it. A projector bulb goes out in the middle of service. A wireless mic or headset that worked perfectly before service begins emitting static that overwhelms the pastor’s voice. You accidentally display the words to the second verse rather than repeating the chorus. And with each misstep, heads turn around to face you in the sound booth, making you want to crawl under the table and hide. 

With volunteers operating the audio visual component of worship services at the average church, things are bound to bumpy from time to time. In these moments, it’s easy to judge those running A/V, wondering why they weren’t better prepared (trust me, I’ve done it many times). It’s also easy if you’re the one running A/V to be uber-critical of yourself and/or your team when things go awry (trust me, I’ve done that many times too).

But as we saw at the Grammys on Sunday evening, technical problems happen to even the most experienced professionals. Adele’s much anticipated performance at the awards show was filled with sound issues including a microphone that cut out and and an off-tune strumming sound in the background. Afterward, Adele tweeted that the source of the sound issues were  piano mics that fell on the piano strings, creating a less than desirable performance. 

The lesson here isn’t that things can go wrong with you’re working with sound and visuals. The lesson is in the reaction of those involved. First, Adele’s pianist continued to play through the song, even though the music he was producing wasn’t what he had practiced. Second, the sound engineers worked to resolve the sound issue throughout the performance. And lastly, Adele powered through the vocals doing her best to salvage the performance. At the end of the night, she made the best of the situation, tweeting “I’m treating myself to an in n out. So maybe it was worth it.” What a positive response to a situation that was, of course, embarrassing! The missteps of the performance wasn’t the end of the world for Adele. She maintained a positive outlook and had the grace to admit that it was just one performance that was less than perfect. But Adele also knows that she has many more perfect performances to look forward to, so why focus on the one that went wrong? 

The next time you have a Sunday service when everything seems to go wrong, be encouraged and give yourself grace. Remember, first and foremost, you are there to worship God. Also remember there are always more Sundays for things to go right. In fact, they probably outnumber the Sundays where something goes wrong. Enjoy what you do and move forward, no matter the results. 

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