Last weekend our elders had the opportunity to head into the city (Philadelphia) for the Frequency Conference held by the Thriving Network. Thriving exists to raise up churches in inner city/urban environments, and to have them thrive on the Gospel.
There were a ton of awe-inspiring things this weekend, and my elder team has a ton to digest, but I have 2 practical takeaways for you all as well. Let’s get started.
Churches, you already have a platform established within your church on Sundays and Wednesdays. Why not capitalize on this to increase your social media engagement, get people started thinking about your sermon, and increase awareness of the full board of digital platforms you have? It’s so easy, you could implement it as early as next week.
Honestly, the topic of Photoshop is something I have intentionally avoided for quite some time. Do I know how to use the software? I’ve been at it since the launch of Photoshop CS 2, so yes. But how do you have a conversation with church people on the topic of graphics that is not already covered elsewhere on the Internet?
At the same time, I have my own rules I follow, but have not worked with more than a hand full of churches to create style guides.
All of that is about to change and the best part is I didn’t have to write a single word.
Every person who has ever blogged, you have struggled with some part of the process. Maybe it is trying to identify what that next article is going to be about, maybe it is struggling with your traffic, or it could be due to designs for your featured photos and social media. For every blogger that has struggled, and to the contributors of this blog specifically, I have a word for you.
As church staff, you probably have this long list of spiritual things you want to do in your life. I’ve been there, I know what it means to get camp going, do Sunday sermons, make sure the fall harvest is a success, and meet with teenagers for discipleship or small group. But as any business, you are holding a lot of sensitive data and as soon as you go online with any of that data, your liability has skyrocketed. That means posting pictures of children without proper consent, banking information with insecure passwords, or email about times and locations of small groups. The question is, are you keeping everything safe?
Let’s say we have an amazing video that we want to share with our congregation. And let’s say we create our very own YouTube channel. We then upload said amazing video to YouTube so we can share it with the world. Using YouTube to host your videos on a WordPress website is what I always recommend. However, all of the sudden we notice that when the video ends, these related videos show up. But, these related videos have nothing to do with our content. There may even be some inappropriate content. So, what do we do?
Stage design is a tricky subject to tackle because each church is different in who they are trying to reach, how they are going about it, and what tenets are core to their belief structure. Believe it or not, stage design impacts all of these areas. Some denominational systems will frown on the idea of dressing up the “platform” with anything other than potted plants, while others pull out all the stops and have more of a rock concert than a traditional worship service (I’m not judging here).
Where do you start with church lighting? Do you find yourself in a situation where all you can afford is track lighting? Do you struggle with keeping your stage lighting off your projection screen(s)? Does your video suffer from not enough light or areas of your frame that are brighter than your pastor? These are all real-world issues that are tackled in this HOA. Learn the basics of good lighting design and what equipment makes up a lighting system. What are the basic principles involved in designing a system, like where to put lights for maximum benefit, and what kinds of fixtures provide specific kinds of light?
My fellow church techie Chip Dizard did a great write-up on church plants and video media. I read the article, watched the videos and gathered some thoughts. Below I’ll outline my perspective on video media and how it fits in my plant. I think we’ll learn a great deal and please, share this with your friends. Chip is very conversational, and my hope is that this post can be a bunch of techies helping each other out! Let’s get to it!
This weekend we will be changing the theme of our blog. It’s been over three years since we have actually changed the theme and over seven years since the change before that. In this transition, I have found that we are a blog that loves to not be restrained by the type of content we post: video, audio, photo, and simple blog articles.
Unless you have a crazy amount of free time or are independently wealthy, you likely don’t have much more free time than it takes to upload sermon videos/audio files to the church website, providing you remember how to do it. You might even have time to add in the right title, description and maybe do some quick SEO work to help people find the sermons online. Many CMS platforms (content management systems) are just not very video friendly and with more and more churches offering their services online, volunteers and tech staff need an easy to use, easy to understand system that takes the guesswork out of the process. Of course, file management and the curating of the online media library is another “to-do” item that continually gets put on the back burner until someone has enough free time to spend the tens of hours it takes to organize it and make sense of it all, if it ever happens at all. And it’s increasingly important to make your media easy to find and easy to navigate for your website visitors.
What started out as a couple of college students volunteering at youth group and wanting to help share the stories of the teenagers has evolved from a fun little hobby to a calling of helping other people and their ministries use technology better. Church technology is slowly being integrated into ministry but there are still significant discussions on how to effectively evangelism, disciple, worship, and lead in this digital age. We based our name on Psalm 78 and sharing the news of the Gospel to the youth of the world.
Our hope is that we help ministries better use church tech, whether that is hardware, software, blogging, social media, audio/visual equipment, mobile devices, or developing empowered teams and strategies. We want to encourage youth ministers, senior pastors, worships leaders, and any other leaders to take a fresh look at using church tech and use it to its fullest capacity.
We specialize in helping churches with technology develop visions, create powerful budgets, lead volunteers and staff well, engage more with their communities, and provide you with free resources. There are several ways you can interact with us that we would be happy to connect with you:
- Comment on our blog posts. We love to further the conversation with you and expand our ideas specifically to you.
- Network with us on social media, including Google+, Twitter, and YouTube. We respond within hours of your tweet or message.
- If you have something formal you would like to setup, take a look at our new consultation levels where we can help you guys out!