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Posted on June 6, 2017 8:00 AM by Faith Sites
Categories: General
One of the biggest challenges church leaders face today is finding ways to engage their congregation at times when they have other priorities.  During weekdays, most congregants are preoccupied with work, school, and other activities so they tend to put religion at the back of their mind.  Fortunately, there are ways to overcome this and keep everyone engaged.  Church leaders can use the following strategies each week to help captivate their members before a service.
 
Digital Channels & Social Media

As a church leader, you should use all platforms such as websites, social media accounts, emails, and newsletters to engage members.  Each platform is an option for your church to prepare churchgoers for what they might expect.  Additionally, the church website design should be analyzed periodically to ensure congregants are staying up-to-date on upcoming events.

Facebook is a particularly effective tool as many people already use it so an account for your church allows them to know the latest.  Now, preachers have the option of utilizing Facebook Live to stream sermon previews throughout the week to gain the interest of church members.

Social media outlets are also a great place to have faith-based discussions as churchgoers receive notifications on their phone.  While deciding on a church website design, be sure to include pages for displaying lyrics to songs that will be used during upcoming services.  The impact could make a significant difference in the number of members that participate.
 
What Will Increase Participation?

Often, churchgoers are hesitant to join in the singing of worship songs since they might be unfamiliar with the words and rhythm.  Platforms like Spotify or Apple Music allow a playlist of worship songs to be created and shared with members.  As a result, members become familiar with the songs and actively participate.  These simple tactics go a long way towards engaging the congregation and making them more devout.
Posted on May 18, 2017 8:00 AM by Faith Sites
Categories: General
Graduating high school is a memorable moment for any teenager and also the start of a completely new chapter in their life.  The same is true for churchgoing children who have been brought up in the faith by a religious family.  This next chapter of their lives can bring about many trials and temptations which are known to pull some teens away from the church and faith.  Fortunately, there are ways for families and church websites to ensure teenagers retain their faith after graduation.
 
Support & Prayer

One of the biggest reasons why teenagers become tempted to leave their faith is due to the lack of understanding and support from loved ones.  Parents should try to be understanding and open to listening about the experiences of teens as that is a key element for ensuring they keep God first.  At the same time, constantly be there to remind them of the loving and supportive nature of their faith.
The transition from high school to the next chapter of life will not always be easy.  Parents should lead by example and pray together as a family so teens know situations are faced as a whole.  Teenagers who are part of a family that prays together know they always have a support system every step of the way.  Often, that is critical in determining the path a teen chooses after high school.
 
The Impact Of Community

The second reason why faith is lost involves the community back home and the alienation from other teens there.  Members of the church should stay in touch on a frequent basis to reduce the odds of this happening.  Church websites are an ideal option for this as all members have the opportunity to talk with the teen and reinforce their beliefs.  From there, any teen can find a great pillar of support for faith no matter what is going on in their life.
Posted on May 5, 2017 8:00 AM by Faith Sites
Categories: General
Today, communication is very important and email is an area often forgotten about as other forms of communication are faster.  Smart phones have opened up a new world of apps and social media, but email is still incredibly powerful.  Aside from ministry websites, email marketing is one strategy that ministries can use to communicate with others.  First, create an email list of church members and visitors to use for staying in contact.
 
Email Marketing Advantages

After creating an email list, you now have a way to notify everyone in the congregation individually with a sermon or newsletter.  Typically, pastors want to share insightful sermons with the congregation and their friends who may not follow social media.  An email list helps make that possible and it opens up communication for those to ask the pastor any questions regarding faith.  Additionally, this is a great way for sermons to be downloaded and listened to again in the future.

Ministry websites may also request members to sign up for the email list where they receive a free weekly sermon.  Other benefits include knowing the latest about upcoming sermons, events, and services.  People are more likely to become interested in your ministry as you deliver helpful content on a consistent basis that they can apply to their own life.  What should every email marketing campaign keep in mind?
 
Continuously Analyze

The opportunities that are generated from creating an email list can make a huge impact on nearly any ministry.  Various ministries are live streaming sermons now and automated emails may be sent out when the sermon is about to start.  This allows members who are on vacation or too ill to attend the service to still watch the sermon and feel connected to the church.  A key to a successful email marketing campaign is getting people to take action after opening the email and frequently analyzing ways to make improvements.
Posted on February 3, 2017 8:00 AM by Faith Sites
Categories: General
Many people in the church have a variety of factors that influence whether they give or not.  The decision on how much you give is usually contingent upon your beliefs, income, debt, and the various payment methods offered by your church.  Fortunately, church websites with custom designs make it possible for anyone to donate online.  According to a survey, one figure says 60% of churchgoers who tithe will give or have given online.  Does your church offer a mobile tithing solution for the congregation?
 
Statistics To Consider
 
The tendency among some Christians today is to attend church when it best suits their schedule.  According to one study in 2015, approximately 247 million Americans are Christians but only 98 million say they attend church.  Yet, no more than 15 million claim they tithe.  The word tithe, tithes, or tithing is used an estimated 36 times in the Bible; 30 times in the Old Testament and just 6 times in the New Testament.
 
For some members, tithing is practiced according to the Old Testament where the amount given to the church is 10 percent of your income.  However, other members believe tithing is an old practice and follow the New Testament where the amount they give is solely up to them.  Often, debt is the limiting factor to how much someone gives to the church as statistics indicate 8 out of 10 who tithe have no credit card debt.
 
Give Without Pressure
 
Church websites that offer churchgoers an option to donate online greatly increase their odds of receiving donations as web traffic increases each year.  The amount you give should always take into consideration your financial situation but to also give with your heart.  A verse in 2 Corinthians 9:7 reads, “Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.”
Posted on January 23, 2017 8:00 AM by Faith Sites
Categories: General
The trend among youth attending church today is heavily influenced by the attendance rate of their parents and if they attend regularly, irregularly, or not at all.  There are many ways to engage the congregation and youth but each year more people use a cell phone to connect with everyone.
 
Through text messaging, younger churchgoers stay connected as they communicate with the pastor or participate in a church survey.  What kind of effect would it have on attendance among youth if the pastor sent out a few questions each week about the upcoming service?
 
Enhanced Communication
 
In regard to youth, most of them may find ministry websites to be uneventful so they rarely visit to know the latest about the church.  When they receive a text message, it gives them an opportunity to express their opinion by responding to the pastor’s questions.  The pastor can then prepare a portion of the sermon to answer those questions so they feel part of the community.
 
Text messaging also helps build the congregation as it is a useful tool for keeping everyone informed about various functions.  Throughout the year, there are multiple events to remind the congregation about and text messaging does that instantly.  Plus, people can always go back through text messages to verify when the meeting or event is taking place so no reminders need to be sent out.  Will young churchgoers get more involved in the church due to text messaging?
 
A Lasting Impact
 
From time to time, youth may not be confident enough to ask a question after services or on ministry websites.  Some members of the congregation might feel the same way but never voice their thoughts.  The option for youth to text message allows them to learn more about the church since they feel comfortable to discuss topics with older members.  As a result, they become more involved in the church and regularly attend services.
Posted on January 6, 2017 8:00 AM by Faith Sites
Categories: General
One survey revealed that more than 88% of Americans used the Internet in 2016.  More people go online each year so it’s no longer good enough to create a church website without implementing a strategy.  A church website design should be tailored towards the needs of visitors and members for carelessness to be avoided.  What areas should be focused on to ensure mistakes with the church website never happen?
 
Focus On These Areas
 
With a church website, most visitors are looking to find out more details about the church such as the location, contact information, and time of services.  Relevant details should be easily viewable by all guests so they can learn more about your church if they want to attend.  Although this seems like a simple error, many church websites forget to include this key information where members and non-members can locate it.
 
A mistake that any church website design must avoid is not being mobile-friendly.  Over 30% of Americans use the internet exclusively from their smartphone.  Without a mobile-friendly design, those visitors who only use their phone to go online will see a different version of your church website.  That version is likely difficult to navigate which can lead to many potential visitors choosing another church.
 
Frequently, a church website is created to bring the congregation closer together but disregards non-members.  One of the best ways to attract more people to your church is through the church website.  Integrate design features that make non-members feel like they belong to the church.  What other area should be a focus on church websites?
 
Update Content Periodically
 
A church website requires more than a great website design.  Some people visit the website for the latest news or events to stay connected to the church.  If none of the content has changed, visitors may think the church has little activity and lose interest.  Ensure the church is active by posting an event calendar every month and include weekly sermon updates!
Posted on December 27, 2016 8:00 AM by Faith Sites
Categories: General
Christmas is a special time of the year where many people attend church that may not normally attend.  With higher attendance numbers, this is the perfect opportunity to plan a unique service that encompasses the true meaning of Christmas.  During this time, the congregation and new visitors are more receptive to take to heart what the service is about.  What ideas will help your church provide a memorable service on Christmas this year?
 
Christmas Music & Holiday Treats
 
An effortless way to set the tone before or after a service is to play Christmas music in the background.  A few weeks prior, conduct a survey using church websites to see which songs people prefer to hear.  Create a playlist using songs that have been chosen from the survey and play them in the background.
 
Aside from music, most people connect the holidays with scents and fresh baked goods.  Whether it’s the taste of Christmas cookies or the scent of cinnamon and pine, people will enjoy both as they add to the holiday atmosphere.  Ensure the scent is noticed by spraying the air freshener 20 minutes before everyone is set to arrive.  What other ideas will engage the congregation to create long lasting memories?
 
Connect On Social Media
 
Many guests that attend during the holidays might be unaware the church has a social media account.  Bridge that gap by offering a photo session to everyone so the moment is captured and they can connect with the church after the service.  Pictures are also a great way for guests and members to always recall a memorable service. 
 
Often, people follow social media and church websites from their smart phones to stay up-to-date.  Encourage involvement on social media throughout the service by asking the congregation what are some of their favorite interests on Christmas.
Posted on December 5, 2016 8:00 AM by Faith Sites
Categories: General
A church website is a great way to reach more potential members or expand the bond between current members.  Nearly 80% of churches have a website but only 42% of them reportedly keep it up-to-date.  When content is outdated, visitors might associate the quality of your website with the quality of your services and find another church.  Many features engage visitors and members but what should a church web design include to see the best results?
 
Engage Your Audience
 
Most people who visit the church website for the first time want to know what to expect when they attend services.  Besides pictures of the church, include pictures of the congregation so visitors are able to see who attend.  A key benefit to members and visitors is to post an online sermon.  Visitors get an idea of what to expect in a sermon and current members are able to stay informed if they can’t attend church.
 
Throughout the year, members may go out of town on vacation or be sick so an online sermon offers them an alternative way to stay connected to the church.  An online sermon may be shared with many other people too which significantly increases online traffic.
 
Without a church website, members are restricted to Sunday when they can request prayers for their family.  During the week, most people are hesitant to reach out to members of the church and request prayers.  Implement prayer requests in your church web design so members may offer immediate support instead of waiting until Sunday.
 
Set Up Online Donations
 
An important part to any church website is to allow online donations as fewer people carry less cash today.  This is a great option for members that may have missed the service or when someone in the congregation needs help.  Integrate features such as this into your church web design and update frequently so visitors and members always utilize the church website.
Posted on November 17, 2016 8:00 AM by Faith Sites
Categories: General
The time between Sunday services is often a time where most people get busy with their day to day lives and forget about church and the congregation.  That isn’t always the case though as some congregations are closer than others.  Generally, church website templates make the church website more appealing for everyone in the congregation which improves connectivity.  Does the church you belong to offer ways for members to stay connected between services?
 
Events & Social Media
 
A variety of churches have developed a congregation over time where members share a unique and special bond with one another.  Typically, those bonds start inside the church but grow outside the church during social events or through the church website.  Occasionally, members may be absent on Sunday so encourage them to follow the church website to stay up-to-date.
 
During the summer, invite members to dress casually once a month and provide activities or an event after service that encourages everyone to participate.  Ideally, it would be best to post a survey on the church website to ask members what activities they enjoy and what food they prefer.
 
Aside from that, utilize social media by creating a page on Facebook or Twitter where members can post comments and share ideas.  The key towards keeping members connected is to have multiple outlets for them to network through.  Has your church tried a variety of church website templates to see if it had any effect on how members stay connected?
 
Contact Members Each Week
 
Members stop attending church for many reasons but each church should always send a weekly email about the latest church news.  For members that have missed consecutive services, send an email or call them to express your concern and that their presence is missed.  A simple gesture such as a phone call often reassures a member to keep their faith and stay connected to the church.
Posted on November 7, 2016 8:00 AM by Faith Sites
Categories: General
Weekly interaction outside the ministry may be the most important way to build a sense of fellowship in the ministry.  Ministry websites make it possible for all members to connect with one another between services.  Also, members are more likely to contact the pastor and develop a closer connection when they can communicate through a message board or a private message.
 
Ministry Websites Improve Communication
 
Without ministry websites, how can members communicate with one another outside the church?  Each year, more people use devices such as smartphones and tablets to stay connected while on the go.  After a service, there may be times where members want to ask advice from the pastor, but the pastor is busy.
 
A ministry website allows any member to interact with the pastor as they can send a message and the pastor will reply without waiting until the next service.  Not only does this improve interaction but it makes each member feel as though they are part of the church.  When members feel this way, they are more likely to get involved in the church on a consistent basis and attend services every week.
 
Members may also get involved on the message board of the ministry website by offering advice to others or asking questions.  Both are great ways to improve interaction among members as they engage others to share their opinion.  Do ministry websites offer ways for you to interact?
 
Always Keep The Congregation Informed
 
Additionally, the pastor could use the ministry website to post updates to the congregation or to post a re-cap of the sermon.  Aside from that, there are times when volunteers may be needed for a special event.  Often, members see announcements posted to the website and volunteer their time.  Time spent volunteering supports member interaction and gives members an opportunity to form bonds outside the ministry!
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