Thursday, March 31, 2011

ENERGY killers

Last week my brother's 20 year old heating and air conditioning unit died. Yep he had to pay a ton of money to replace it but what he found out was that his old unit had been costing him twice as much each month to operate than his new unit would cost. The new unit was costly to install but in the long run will save him money. His old unit was an ENERGY KILLER...sure it worked but it was very very costly. I wonder what things in our organizations are energy killers? I am talking about things that may or may not work for some people or ministries but continue to drain our teams of needed energy. If you work with kids your list is probably going to be different but here are a few ENERGY KILLERS I think youth ministries face in many churches...
  • Sunday School >> this many be working for you but for most student pastors Sunday School just kills energy and drives them crazy. Hey kids, come sit in a circle and for the most part here adults talk. Sunday School drains energy because it makes us create an environment for teens in a time slot that is just not optimal for serving teens and it keeps teenagers from serving in the church. If Sunday School has any chance of not being a energy killer you better reformat it!
  • Poor environment space >> many times the ministry spaces we use for reaching teens just kill energy. Most of the time it is not the room, it is the lack of tools and freedom to transform the space into an area a teen would want to be. Florescent lights, white walls, and pink chairs are not going to get it. A sound system that cracks in and out when the band plays is not going to get it. A bad room can be an energy killer!
  • Poor worship leading and planning >> worship leading and planning is an energy killer when you have the wrong people leaders and when the planning is aimed at adults not teens. Most student services I check out are planned by adults and you can tell when we the whole service is packed with things that appeal to adults. As for worship leaders...put a leader up who can't lead or sing and get ready to kill some energy!
  • Too many events >> busy does not equal significant. There is a balance your team needs when it comes to events. Too many and you will KILL ENERGY because your events will be half baked and not that good.
  • Tunnel vision speakers >> so many times youth pastors have no plan when they communicate and base their teaching schedule around their own desires. When the speaker says the same thing every week get ready for some energy to be killed. Youth ministries need a communication plan that empowers creativity and brings different voices and perspectives. God has too much to say to teens to allow a speaker to keep talking about the same thing. That will kill energy!
Those are a few energy killers I thought about in youth ministry today. I would love to hear from you! What are some energy killers that you see?

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

a great conference for MIDDLE SCHOOL LEADERS...

Once a middle school leader always a middle school leader at heart.  Mark Oestreicher (aka MARKO) has been an influence in my life for the past 13 years as I have served teens. Mark is also at heart a middle school leader who has created an event for middle school leaders called the Middle School Ministry CAMPFERENCE. This is one conference that will allow middle school leaders (paid staff and volunteer staff) to unite behind the common cause of investing in middle school students. I have felt for years that there needs to be a conference that focuses on middle school it is. If you have a passion for middle school ministry then this is the experience for you. Check out the list of speakers, and partners already connected to this conference. This might be for you! And for all of you investing in the lives of middle school students...thanks for shaping the lives of the leaders of tomorrow.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Finding the right leaders for your team

One of the greatest challenges for any organization is finding the right leaders to join the team. It makes no difference if you are filling a volunteer role or a paid staff position, building a team that is effective is hard work. This week the University of Tennessee hired a new head basketball coach. If you are a sports fan you know Tennessee has had a difficult few years with coaches. UT choose to hire a man who was qualified but had no national recognition. He was not the "BIG NAME." Sometimes I think we spend too much time trying to staff our teams with BIG NAMES both in paid staff and volunteers. Sure, there are times we get to hire / add proven leaders to our team but most of the time we simply need to look for the right leader and not the big name. I am glad several churches gave me a chance to lead when I had done nothing noteworthy up to that point. Those churches saw potential and gave me the chance to lead. With our family ministry team we are constantly looking for leaders who have potential to make a difference. Leaders never emerge if they are never given the chance to lead. Empowering people to lead means we take a risk on them...we give them a shot...we strive to be leadership developers. Here are some principles we look for when we are adding people to our family ministry team. These are principles that helps us empower the right leaders...

  • We look for passion and competence >> We want leaders who are passionate about their craft and do a good job at what we ask them to do. Make no mistake, we empower leaders who are good at what they do. Competence is so needed if others are going to follow. Passion is that combining ingredient because leaders have to inspire. Inspiration needs passion!
  • We look for character >> We want people of high character on our team. We are not looking for moral perfection but we are looking for people who can build healthy relationships and make wise choices. True character is found in the middle of relationships (at home, with friends, and at work) and we want that kind of character to matter the most.
  • We look at their past responsibilities >> How people handle smaller responsibilities has a direct correlation to how they will deal with more demanding situations. We love to see a history of progress before we add a person to our leadership team. Trust me...everything I know about ministry I learned from some amazing people in a small town named Bloomfield where 1,200 people live. Those people allowed me to lead them and I learned so much there. That role and time has had a direct impact on how I lead today.
  • We look for a team connection >> It matters that the staff and volunteers we empower connect with the rest of the team. I never hire a person for our staff until they connect with other people on our team. I follow the same rule with our lead volunteers. We work best with people we enjoy being with. Healthy relationships being energy to ministry teams.
  • We look for learners >> We want people on our team who are striving to improve. We want life long learners. A heart that longs to learn leads to a humble heart that values others. Nothing kills forward progress on a team than people who will not learn, listen, and grow.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Parents...please partner with us!

This week at Grace Community we finished up our series called Modern Family as we looked at how parenting and marriage collide. You can check out that message on our website later this week if you missed it. We challenged families to fight for the heart of their children. Moms and Dads have to choose to fight for their relationship with their children and their child's relationship with God. I hope this week you will take a few steps as you process to fight for the heart of your kids. Check out these ideas...
  • Read Parenting Beyond Your Capacity >> we feel like this is a must read book for every parent. We all want to know how to be better parents! This book will help you figure out how to not fight this battle alone. Link arms with the church and fight for the heart of your child every day. Check out this book. We have around 20 copies left at the GCC office. Email us at if you want us to reserve you a copy.
  • Check out >> one of my favorite blogs for parents. Subscribe to the blog and they will send new posts directly to your email inbox for you to process. Great parenting is no accident. listen to some voices who will help you make forward progress.
  • Check out the resources we have for parents every week at Grace Community Church >>  every week we provide families resources to help you continue the discussion from Sunday at home. Check out and to see how we are trying to set you up to have intention converstions with your children.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

what/when do I UPGRADE?

What do I upgrade in my ministry setting? Here is another question...When do I implement upgrades? An upgrade is any adjustment (addition or subtraction) that will make your environment function better. The team at Apple is constantly adding things and taking things away from their products to help them function better. I am amazed by the effort they put into this process and honestly it is the reason more and more people are choosing to buy their products. Their team has done everything possible to maximize the performance of their products. We can do the same things with our ministry environments. Here are a few areas that can help us with the what and when questions of implementing upgrades...
  • What needs to be added? >> make a list and don't hold back...what needs to be added to help your ministry connect with more people. When I think about additions I break them down into a "right now" and a "down the road" list. When you make a list you can start prioritizing your additions and you can track your progress. You need to know every year what you upgraded and you should always know what is coming down the road.
  • What needs to be subtracted?>> there are always things that need to be killed. Every idea and strategy has a shelf life and when it gets old and stale some things have to go. If you create a culture of experimentation you really will have to kill things often. We try new things all the time here so we have to stop doing things often. Some of our greatest upgrades have come from subtraction.
  • What is the best timing? >> timing is everything when it comes to upgrades. Budgeting, planning, and implementation all guide in timing. Additions and subtractions have to be set in the proper timing sequence. We have things we want to add and stop right now but we are waiting till summer. Timing is critical.
  • Who do I need on the team to implement this upgrade? >> getting the right people involved in your ministry will help you make needed upgrades. Ministry is about people. Sometimes the best upgrades come through leaders who understand the mission and vision of your ministry. Who do you need on your team (or off your team) to make your next upgrade?

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Are you ready to UPGRADE?

I just upgraded to the iPhone 4 and I have to say, I am very impressed. Just 4 years ago I was the guy happy to have a Motorola Flip and just had started texting. Today I love having a small computer in my pocket as my phone. We now have the iPhone 4, the Motorola Droid, or whatever smart phone you have because companies choose to upgrade. They decided to not settle for what was but instead push to create what could be. When was the last time your chose to to that with the ministry you lead? How often are you making upgrades to your environment, your small group curriculum, your branding, your volunteer team, your staff, your planning schedule, or your strategy? Upgrades should be a regular part of any growing and healthy organization. Most of us don't make upgrades because we never slow down long enough to see what needs upgrading. I want to challenge you to put time in your schedule that allows you to step back, evaluate, and see what things need adjusting. After you see what needs to be improved adjust your focus and schedule to make the upgrade possible.

Stop settling...have the courage to step by step make the upgrades your ministry needs!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Parents...get this book!

I'm very excited about speaking this weekend at Grace Community Church as we finish up the Modern Family series. For the past three weeks we have been trying to help people process what a healthy marriage looks like. This week we shift directions and talk about parenting. I wish we had six weeks to talk about parenting but we don't. Sunday we want to promo the book Parenting Beyond Your Capacity. Our staff at GCC feels like this is a book every parent should read. Since we feel that strongly about the book we are giving away one in each service Sunday morning to one lucky mom or dad. We are also going to have some available for sale but if you want to go ahead and get a copy just click the picture above and order one from Amazon. Get this book, read it, live it out with your family.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Leadership lessons I learned from Coach Bruce Pearl

That was my view this time last year when I watched Tennessee beat Ohio State to advance to the great 8 in the 2010 NCAA tournament in St. Louis. I could have never believed that this time in 2011 I would watch the demise of Coach Bruce Pearl. In my 34 years of life I have never seen the Tennessee men's basketball team play at the level they have over the past six years. To prove it, this football addict traveled to St. Louis to watch a basketball game. I'm glad I did. I'm glad I have that memory. I am disappointed that the university has fired Coach Pearl but I also understand that this was just a result of some very poor choices. I know Coach Pearl will learn from this and continue on with his career and Tennessee basketball will move forward. Here are some lessons I learned from Coach Pearl during his time leading the Vols...
  • Honesty Matters >> We all have to remember to be truth tellers. Coach Pearl is getting fired because he lied. His offense is not the issue, the problem is he lied to the people he was accountable to. Always just tell the truth. Truth may hurt in the short term but it is always best.
  • Lead with passion >> Coach Pearl always led this team with passion and his passion was contagious. People follow leaders who are passionate and combine that energy with vision.
  • Maximize your team and resources >> Coach Pearl was at his best with teams that had less talent than the competition. Never make excuses and always maximize your resources.
  • Advance the organization >> Coach Pearl always helped advance the women's basketball team, football team, and academic structure of the university. Coach saw the big picture and supported more than just his team. We always have to remember that we are a part of something bigger.
  • Be available >> You never knew when Coach Pearl might show up on a local sports talk radio show or at a local restaurant in Knoxville. He was available. Never get to important for time with people. Being available matters.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

I'm new! Can i serve?

I'm new to the church and I want to plug in to your ___________ ministry. You fill in the blank. When you lead in a church setting you get asked this question often and it's a good question to be asked! We love new volunteers but we always want to make sure we help them find the right ministry setting. Ministry "fit" is so important if any volunteer is going to thrive and not just go through the motions of serving. Here is how we try to help volunteers make sure our ministry is the right area for them to connect with.
  • Test Drive // when we have new volunteers step up we ask them to come check out the environment first. We never give people a role until they see what we do and can decide if they want to partner with us. You can solve a ton of problems by simply asking people to take a test drive before they commit.
  • Background Checks // you just have to do this in any Family Ministry environment. Protect both the volunteer and the kids / teens from future problems.
  • Mentoring and Training // Before a volunteer flies solo we try to make sure they have seen it done by one of our key leaders. We are finding mentoring goes a long way to pass on ministry DNA and it helps new volunteers make friends in the ministry.
  • Follow up // new volunteers need to be checked on. A quick call, email or card goes a long way to encourage new volunteers and answer questions.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

start something...

Finished Seth Godin's new book, Poke the Box, last week and had to connect some student pastors and children's ministry leaders to these ideas. Many of us who work with teens, kids, and families are natural starters. We love innovation. We understand this generation. We love living in the present and pushing for a better future. This book is a call to start, experiment, and dream. Check out some of my favorite quotes from the book, go buy the book, and then go start something!
  • Human nature is to need a map. If you’re brave enough to draw one, people will follow.
  • Only by poking, testing, modifying, and understanding can we truly own anything, truly exert our influence.
  • The more you do, the more you fail.
  • For many of us, the resistance is always chattering away, frequently sabotaging our best opportunities and ruining our best chance to do great work. Naming it helps you befriend it, and befriending it helps you ignore it.
  • Art is hard. Selling is hard. Writing is hard. Making a difference is hard.
  • There’s never a problem getting a posse together to fix the broken. The upside for you (and the challenge) is to find the energy and the will to challenge the mediocre.
  • Change is powerful, but change always comes with failure as its partner. “This might not work” isn’t merely something to be tolerated; it’s something you should seek out.
  • To merely start without finishing is just boasting, or stalling, or a waste of time.
  • Shipping is an event. There’s life before you ship and then there’s the moment you ship. And then there’s life after you ship. Starting isn’t like that. Starting something is not an event; it’s a series of events.
  • Action is easy once you have a plan. Formulating a plan, however, is a rare and valuable skill.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

helping kids and teens embrace generosity...

Want to help make generosity, missions, giving, or sacrifice concrete for teens and kids? Show them what they accomplished quickly. This past month we challenged our childrens ministry to raise 1,500.00 so we could build a playground in Guatemala at an orphanage we sponsor. They raised the money and this past week we were able to show them the swing set they made a reality. The kids were stoked because they had the chance to see what they accomplished.

This generation is generous and that generosity goes to the next level when there is a way to connect and see the difference they are making. We live in a world that is connected by by the internet. I can communicate with church leaders in Africa any day of the week. I can call leaders in Guatemala by skype right now. With all of this connectivity make sure you are connecting the generosity and sacrifice of your teens and kids with the mission they are trying to accomplish. When that connection is made generosity explodes in the heart of this generation.

Monday, March 14, 2011

one relationship that matters...

I had the chance to spend last week with Ron Edmondson checking out the work of Compassion International in Ecuador. I was reminded over and over how blessed I am to serve with a guy who I call mentor and friend. My other co-pastor is Chad Rowland. Chad and I have been best friends since 2002 when we ended up on the same church staff. Ron and Chad are my bosses but God has allowed me to serve with 2 guys who help me be a better pastor, husband, and follower of Christ.

If you serve on a church staff and I cold give you one piece of advise I would tell you to fight for a healthy relationship with your senior pastor. Guard your relationship with your senior pastor. Work hard to pray for and support your senior pastor. If you can't do this then find a senior pastor that you can link arms with. When we serve on a church staff our role is to advance the mission of the church. Your senior pastor is leading that charge. Make sure you and your ministry is supporting that leader and the mission of your local church.

Thanks Ron and Chad for supporting our team here at Grace Community and allowing us to be on this journey with you.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

6 things I learned about COMPASSION...

You really never understand a ministry until you see how they function in their ministry setting. Looking from a distance will never give you the true picture of what is happening. This week I had the chance to see Compassion International in action in Ecuador and I saw first hand the difference they are making in lives around the globe. Here is what I learned while I was in Ecuador...

  • Letters matter // Compassion is built around connecting one sponsor with one child. Relationships found the basis of the compassion strategy. If you sponsor a child those letters you write really do get to your kid. I saw them myself. Every time we met a kid and asked about letters from sponsors their face lit up. We even saw that most kids keep and save every letter and picture they get!
  • Sponsors are changing the lives of kids // every kid I met in Ecuador was so thankful for their sponsor...they understood that someone cared for them. When you sponsor a child you give them education and a chance to hear about the love of Christ.
  • Compassion partners with the local church around the world // every project around the world is connected with the local church in that city. The local church is advancing because of Compassion.
  • Investing in one child can change an entire family // we saw entires families rescued from poverty because of Compassion. One kid with an education can change everything and break the cycle of poverty for a family.
  • Compassion fights poverty in Jesus name // compassion is not just interested in fighting poverty, they fight poverty in the name of Jesus. This is an organization passionate about seeing people become followers of Jesus.
  • Compassion wants to partner with the local church in the United States // Compassion is ready to link arms with the local church. They want to find ways to allow churches and compassion to work hand in hand on projects around the world. I hope you will pray about how your church or ministry can link arms with Compassion

Friday, March 11, 2011

Compassion...empowers the family

The boy in the blue shirt is named William. I had the chance to meet William in his home who lives with his grandmother. William lives with his grandmother because his mom abandoned him. When his grandmother told the story William began to cry. He told us that even though he missed his mom he knew he was important because we took time to visit him. William also told us he had a bed to sleep in because his sponsor gave a gift to the family on his birthday. They also had a table to eat on because of that same sponsor. That is just one story of how God is empowering families around the globe to provide their kids (or grand kids) education, health care, food, clean water, and hope. Over and over we saw that when a kid is sponsored their entire family is impacted. The entire family hears about Jesus Christ. The entire family has hope and knows that things could be different. When a child finds hope in Christ and is blessed with education they have a chance to break the cycle of poverty for an entire family. Compassion is not just about rescuing children from poverty they are rescuing families from poverty and all in the name of Christ. The lesson I was reminded here in Ecuador was that if you want to help a family invest in their children. It was amazing to see the love that parents had for their kids here in Ecuador and the hope Compassion gave them when their kids were sponsored. These families needed hope and Compassion brought hope! Pray about joining Compassion as they invest in families around the world.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Compassion...connects lives

These two pictures help reveal the connection that compassion helps to make around the world. Compassion Internatinal believes in one sponsor and that link creates a connection between lives as letters are shared. Today I had the chance to visit the Compassion Ecuador staff office and see how the operation works. I glanced over and saw the lady above getting real letters written from real sponsors prepped to be translated for kids in Ecuador! YES, when you write a letter to your compassion kid they get it, they love it, they treasure the relationship. I also had the chance to see a Child Sponsorship Program site and got to meet these amazing little girls. These are the kids that get your letters. The lives of these kids are different because of the gift and love of a sponsor. These kids are getting to hear about Jesus and experience the love of Christ through your gifts. Compassion helps lives connect.

I hope your family will consider sponsoring a child together. In our family we have sponsored Lilly who lives in Kenya for four years and our family loves her. She is like an extension of our family. Go check out Compassion and pray about allowing your live to connect with someone trapped in poverty.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Compassion...brings hope

This is Fannie, I met her and heard her story today. Yes Fannie has a funny name if you live in the United States but her story was inspiring. Fannie is 27 and mom to a healthy little boy. If it was not for the the Child Survival Program of Compassion International neither Fannie or her boy would be here today. Fannie was raped...she did not choose to have a child. On top of this tragedy no one would give Fannie a job because of her disability so she moved in with her grandmother to have her baby. Because of the rape and the pain of knowing she was about to have a child she could not care for, Fannie became suicidal and began to plan how to end her life and the life of her new baby. 9 months ago she was asked to enter the Child Survival Program so she could get the help she needed to raise her child. A caring worker from compassion began to meet with Fannie every week and simply help her learn how to deal with being a new mom. Fannie was able to connect with a local church and the pastors began to help Fannie walk through her depression and pain. The program helped provide her little boy health care and proper nutrition. Fannie found someone who actually cared for her and helped her meet Jesus Christ. Fannie found hope because churches and sponsors across the world gave money to fund this program. Fannie told us today that she now has hope, a plan for the future, and friends to walk through life with. Because of this program a local church in Ecuador was actually able to save a life!

If you are a Christian I hope this week you will take some time and process how you are helping free people from poverty? What if I told you could release people from poverty and share the hope of Christ with them at the same time? Take a few minutes and visit and process how you, your family, and your church can battle global poverty!

the day ahead...

Arrived late last night and woke up to this as my view. So excited to have the chance to meet the people of Quito, Ecuador. Today we are going to get to connect with some local pastors who sponsor Compassion Projects...every compassion project is connected to a local church! We are also going to visit a Child Survivor Project and have the chance to meet some kids Compassion is investing in. Excited about the day ahead. Please pray for safety as we travel in the city and for God to allow us to see all he is doing in this country through Compassion. Excited about day 1!

Sunday, March 6, 2011

heading to ECUADOR with Compassion...

Very excited about the week ahead. I am headed with Ron Edmondson and a team of 20 other leaders to Ecuador to see the work of Compassion International first hand. Chelsea and I have sponsored a child for the past four years (her name is Lilly and she lives in Kenya) and even though I will not be meeting my child it is going to be amazing to see how compassion is releasing families from poverty first hand. If you want to change the world start with changing a life. With compassion I know that we are making a difference in the life of a family. This week I will be blogging about how your family, your church, or the ministry you lead can partner with compassion to make a difference in the lives of kids. Praying our hotel internet is working well and you will see a post from Ecuador by Tuesday morning!

Friday, March 4, 2011

making change now...

Change. We all struggle with how to deal with it. We know our organizations need it but we struggle with making it happen. I have never read a book that has helped me understand how to move people through change like this book from Chip and Dan Heath called Switch. Change must be intentional. Change is a process. Change takes time and persistence. Your impact as a leader will be evident as you lead your team through change. Check out some of my favorite quotes from the book that I captured on my Kindle (I love my Kindle!)
  • For anything to change, someone has to start acting differently.
  • For individuals’ behavior to change, you’ve got to influence not only their environment but their hearts and minds.
  • Change is hard because people wear themselves out. And that’s the second surprise about change: What looks like laziness is often exhaustion.
  • If you want people to change, you must provide crystal-clear direction.
  • Big-picture, hands-off leadership isn’t likely to work in a change situation, because the hardest part of change—the paralyzing part—is precisely in the details.
  • When you want someone to behave in a new way, explain the “new way” clearly. Don’t assume the new moves are obvious.
  • Kotter and Cohen observed that, in almost all successful change efforts, the sequence of change is not ANALYZE-THINK-CHANGE, but rather SEE-FEEL-CHANGE.
  • Starting an unpleasant task is always worse than continuing it.
  • When you engineer early successes, what you’re really doing is engineering hope. Hope is precious to a change effort
  • But to create and sustain change, you’ve got to act more like a coach and less like a scorekeeper. You’ve got to embrace a growth mindset and instill it in your team.
  • Change isn’t an event; it’s a process.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

a few videos from MERGE 11

One thing is true at Relevant Student Ministry...we believe in having fun. With that said we wanted to put out these 2 videos we did to start our morning sessions at MERGE 11. Enjoy...I promise, they are dumb but that was the goal.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

don't make it difficult...

19 “It is my judgment, therefore, that we should not make it difficult for the Gentiles who are turning to God. Acts 15:19 NIV

What is amazing to me about ministry is how we make it so hard for normal people to come be a part of our ministries and churches. So many times when people walk into our environments (kids teens and adults) we make it difficult for them to connect with what we are doing. In scripture we get to see the conflict that comes when we strive to reach people outside our church culture. James, the brother of Jesus, made it clear to the early followers of Christ that they should not force people to conform to Jewish law in order to be a Christian. This translates to the ministry cultures we create today. Why would we force outsiders to conform to our "ministry/church rules" in order for them to come experience our environment? Have you taken time to evaluate how people are responding to your organization? Are outsiders checking out your ministry? Are you leaders making it easy for guests to connect? Here are some ways can make it difficult for outsiders to connect with our ministry...
  • poor communication: if you communicate poorly from stage, if your greeters communicate poorly, if your small group leaders communicate poorly you will immediately make it hard for outsiders to connect with your ministry.
  • lack of creativity: boring is not good. when kids, teens, or adults are bored and uninspired they will choose to go to a movie. I really don't blame them. There is no excuse for making the "good news" boring.
  • rules rules rules: guess what, people hate the IRS because of rules. If your ministry is all about rules then outsiders will find it hard to connect. You better focus on what matters most and I never saw Jesus focus on rules.
  • lack of excellence: when things are done poorly, people leave. When outsiders see a sloppy environment, sloppy service, or sloppy plan then will turn around and run the other way.
  • insider traditions: services that are 2 hours long and full of singing, holding hands for prayer time, videos that are only funny to people are insiders all make it hard for outsiders to connect.
  • poor environment planning: every room is a blank slate. take the space you have and maximize it to connect with anyone who walks through the door. Signage, lighting, sound, video all matter to outsiders and help them connect when done correctly.
Don't make it hard for outsiders to connect with your ministry or church. Whatever it takes, think first about those people that are not there yet. I am thankful Jesus did that for us!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

why you need a "ministry website"

When we first launched our student environments here at Grace Community we developed a website for the ministry. We wanted an online presence to be the face of Relevant Student Ministry. We just got done launching our site for Aqua College Ministry and we could not be more excited to take the step one more time. Why does your student ministry or college ministry need a website? Here are some of the things our website did for us...
  • Connect with outsiders / when people are looking at a church or a ministry they go online first. Our websites allow us to make a good first impression and provide a quick picture of who were are. We love our social media presence also but a well crafted website provides credibility that social media does not provide. Our simple goal is to help outsiders have a good first impression of our ministry if they are looking.
  • Event promotion / we have never done paper registration for any event at our student or college ministry. We direct people to our website for event promotion and registration all the time. It is one place where people can get all the info they need. We even have people pay for events online and it makes our life so much better!
  • Communicate with parents / we post an update each week for our parents of teens on our website so they can quickly go and know what we talked about in our environments. We we also know that many times it is the best way for parents to get an idea of what we are about in our student or college environment.
  • Branding / yep it is very our culture if you do not have an online presence you miss a huge opportunity to bran your ministry. Branding is just helping people understand who you are and what you are about. Use the web to your advantage.
Check out our sites for teens and college students. They are far from perfect but they have been great tools for our ministries here at GCC.