8 tools to be thankful for this year
Monday, November 25, 2019
This week, those of us in the United States will gather around the table for a Thanksgiving meal. As we prepare the turkeys, mashed potatoes, and way too many desserts, here are several resources I’m thankful for this year.
We can use these tools to share the Gospel, save time, and be more effective as we minister in our communities.
Tool No. 1: Online Bible Apps
Through apps such as YouVersion or via websites like BibleGateway, we have the most significant book ever written at our fingertips 24/7. We can quickly share verses, look up various translations, and find commentaries about a specific passage.
Tool No. 2: Online Communication
It doesn’t require much time or budget to send out mass emails, post a sermon video, receive prayer requests online, and more.
Tools such as MailChimp, ConvertKit, and Constant Contact are a few examples of systems for sending mass emails. Social media is a great place to post videos and share information about your church (especially upcoming Christmas services).
Tool No. 3: Blogs and Podcasts
No matter how long we’ve been doing a particular job, we all have more to learn. A quick online search can lead to blogs and podcasts from people who’ve “been there, done that.”
Tool No. 4: In-Person Networks
The Church Network is an excellent resource for those in church administration roles. That can be a lonely job and one that few receive much training in before diving into the role. Attending the annual conference and seeking out a local chapter can make serving in this behind-the-scenes role much easier.
Tool No. 5: Online Communities
If you have any responsibility for communications at your church, you should check out the Church Communications Facebook group.
For those who handle the administrative/operational side of things, consider joining the Church Executive Administration & Operations Facebook group. Full disclosure: The author of this post hosts the Church Executive Administration & Operations group.
These and many other online communities provide an easy way to ask questions, share ideas, and get help from church leaders who’ve dealt with similar situations.
Tool No. 6: Canva
Oftentimes working at a church involves “other duties as required.” That might include creating graphics for a Facebook post or event flyer. If graphic design isn’t a skill you’d list on a resume, Canva can still make it look like you know what you’re doing.
Tool No. 7: LightStock
LightStock is an excellent resource for stock photos, videos, and more. The variety of style, format, and subjects makes this a great tool.
Tool No. 8: Online Project Management Tools
From planning a Christmas outreach event to organizing a campus cleanup day, leading a church is full of projects. Keeping track of all the tasks, people involved, deadlines, and resources isn’t a simple effort.
Instead of dealing with huge pile of sticky notes on your desk or to-do lists you keep losing, try using an online project management system. Asana, Basecamp, Trello, Monday, and Teamwork are a handful of examples. Most have free trials or free versions you can use. These systems are great for helping you coordinate projects with the whole staff, assigning tasks to volunteers, and receiving timely updates.
I hope this list stirs up some ideas and introduces you to a few tools you haven’t had a chance to check out yet.
Have a wonderful Thanksgiving and enjoy time with your family. I’m grateful for the work you do and how you serve the local church.
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