5 FREE Church Graphic Resources

7 Nov

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Living in a digital age can be daunting when you don’t know where to start. To help we have compiled a list of five free resources that will enable you to effortlessly boost your Facebook page, event flyers, or church slides.

1. Canva

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Canva is a free do-it-yourself graphic design website. Using an accessible interface, you can make posters, flyers, presentations, announcements, social media posts and much more. Canva was created to make design simple and with pre-designed templates you can alter, no design looks bad.

 

2. Church Motion Graphics

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Church Motion Graphics (CMG) offers an array of colorful slides and pictures. The content is perfect for making eye popping presentations or using the backgrounds for worship slides. With hundreds of free slides CMG is a fantastic resource.

 

3. Freely Photos

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Freely Photos is a stock photo database that focuses on resourcing churches. Split up into categories such as Bible, Prayer, Worship, Kids & Youth, and more, you can always find a picture for the right occasion. Each category is licensed under Creative Commons which means you are free to use the pictures in your own personal marketing or however you see fit.

 

4. PixaBay

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Another free stock photo database, PixaBay boasts more than a million photographs and illustrations. The website includes a keyword search that allows you to quickly find any type of picture you may need. As with Freely Photos, PixaBay allows you to use any and all pictures free of copyright.

 

5. Danstevers

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While the majority of content on Danstevers is actually not free, the website does include a handful of useful freebies. This list of nine different packages includes countdowns, videos, graphics, and loops. Seasonal packages are also included such as a winter themed pack and a Good Friday Collection.

 

We hope this list can help springboard your creativity and make the world of graphics a little easier. Have a favorite free graphics resources that didn’t make our list? Let us know what it is in the comments below!

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5 Ways To Teach Kids Thankfulness

24 Oct

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Thank you

A simple phrase that we love to teach our kids or students. It is a respectful response that should be used often.

However, thankfulness goes beyond the words and phrases we use. Instead, a thankful posture grows out of a heart of gratitude. Below are 5 ways to help your students or children mature in gratitude and move beyond a simple phrase into a constant state of thankfulness.

A Prayer of Thanksgiving

Prayer is a simple yet powerful way to teach thankfulness. The next time you pray with children, lead them in a prayer of thanksgiving. The format for this style of prayer is to have the child list something or someone they are thankful for and say, “God, thank you for ______”. You continue the prayer until the child has run out of people or items for prayer. For concrete thinkers (elementary age) give them a goal to reach, such as to thank God for ten people or things in their life.

I will give thanks to you, Lord, with all my heart; I will tell of all your wonderful deeds.” – Psalm 9:1

Thankfulness Board

Grab a whiteboard or large sheet of paper and set it around your home, classroom, or church. Allow kids to write and draw pictures of what they are thankful for on this board. Incorporate the board in a weekly routine so that children are constantly engaging with their creative side while striving to grow in thankfulness.

Thank You Cards

Anytime your child receives presents for Christmas or their birthday, sit down with them and help them write thank you cards. As a Sunday school or classroom project, set aside some time to write thank you cards for police officers, fire fighters, soldiers, government officials and local businesses. Don’t have the budget to buy cards? You can print some for free on Greetings Island Thank You Cards

Gratitude Walk

The next time you take kids on a walk, go for a gratitude walk. As you stroll to your destination, have kids point toward objects around them and say “I am thankful for _____”. For kids that may have a harder time staying focused on this activity, make it into a Gratitude I Spy Game by stating, “I am thankful for something that is the color _____”. After a kid guesses the correct object, have everyone proclaim together “We are thankful for ______” (the object just guessed).

Local Thankfulness

Bake a tray of cookies and buy a simple box or bag from the dollar store that can be decorated by kids. Package up the cookies and take kids on a trip to a local business or government building. Go inside and have the children offer the gift of cookies to an employee by sharing how they are thankful for that person or business. It is a truly sweet moment when you can see the shock on an employee’s face at the practice of gratitude by a child. Several stores that have worked well for me in the past include: City Hall, YMCA, Recreation Centers, and Small Retail locations.

By putting some of the above activities into practice, you can teach children that thankfulness goes beyond a simple phrase and is a lifestyle that comes from a heart of gratitude.

Looking for another “No Mess” way to teach children about Gratitude? Check out our Gratitude Object Lesson Blog Post.

Volunteer Engagement: How To Keep Volunteers Involved In Your Ministry

17 Sep

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This just isn’t for me
I would continue but life is getting busy
Thanks for all you did this past year but I want to try something new

We have all heard the reasons that volunteers stop serving. While it can be easy to brush off the decision others make, we must ask ourselves the question, “Am I playing a role in why volunteers are becoming disengaged with my ministry?”

Patrick Lencioni’s book, The Truth About Employee Engagement, is one of the effective books I have read that examines volunteer engagement. While the book is targeting employers, its three main points are easily translatable into a ministry setting.

Lencioni explains what makes an employee want to disengage (think volunteers not showing up anymore, stepping away from your ministry, etc.) can be tied to three principles: Immeasurement, Irrelevance, and Anonymity.

Immeasurement – Measurement can inherently feel wrong when discussing ministry. On one hand, we need to count the number of people in the pews, on the other, it does not feel spiritual. However, measurement is a reality that can help our ministries grow. “How many new time guests did we meet?” or “How many new disciples am I trying to make this year?” are both measurement questions that help guide our ministry.

If volunteers are not part of this measurement, they can lose sight of the overall picture and become disenfranchised with serving. A great way to counter immeasurement is with measurement. Let your volunteers know how many children accepted Christ this past year or how many first time guests you have a month. Go beyond big numbers and tell them how they changed a family’s perception of church or encourage them to try make a personal connection with a few children. A measurable objective gives your volunteers a goal to strive toward which helps keep your volunteers engaged.

Irrelevance – This is closely tied to the point above. Every human needs to know that the work they do matters and volunteers are no exception. Oftentimes in the church we assume that this is a given, volunteers should know they are serving God and influencing kids. The truth of the matter is that most of your volunteers will either not make this connection or simply not keep it at the forefront of their minds. This is why vision casting is key. Tell them how God is moving in your ministry and why it is so important to impart the hope of the Gospel to these little ones. Do not assume your volunteers know how they are relevant, tell them!

Anonymity –In ministry we should excel in making everyone feel welcome. While success in this endeavor is focused on first time guests, we can sometimes forget about our own volunteers. A simple fix is to take time to connect with each volunteer. Go beyond an email and call them, send a text, or meet with them outside a Sunday morning. One of the most impactful things you can do is reach out and ask how you can pray for that volunteer. Afterwards, instead of telling them “I’ll be in prayer for you”, pray for them on the spot! Volunteers need to know that you recognize who they are and care about them.

Lencioni’s three principles of Immeasurement, Irrelevance, and Anonymity give us a great filter to evaluate our own ministry. Pick one of the three mentioned above and make it your priority to take a step forward in that area this week. You never know what you may discover about your volunteer engagement.

How do you keep your volunteers engaged year after year? Comment below and share with us your stories of success. If you need more suggestions, check out our other blog post on ways to say Thank You! to your volunteers.