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3 Resolutions for your Church Ministry in 2019

18 Jan

 

River's Edge Curriculum.jpg

January is only halfway over and most New Year’s Resolutions have already failed.

According to Jon Acuff in his book Finish: Give Yourself The Gift of Done, 92 percent of all New Year’s resolutions fail. Not because people don’t try to accomplish them, but because perfectionism stagnates growth and the resolution sputters to a halt.

Below are three simple resolutions to implement in your church ministry that are both achievable and significant.

Resolution #1 – Learn Something New About One Attendee Every Week. 

In children’s ministry this can be both easy to accomplish and forget.  However, committing to learn one new thing about a child each week can make a major impact. What video game are they into this month? Who do they want to be like when they get older? Why are corndogs their favorite meal? Simple questions allow you to connect with the individuals who are attending your ministry on a personal level and send the message that you care about them.

Resolution #2 – Make One Big Ask A Month

Big asks can be terrifying. Asking that volunteer to take on leadership responsibilities, inquiring with a parent if they would prep all the material for your ministry, calling a business to check if they would allow you to use their space for free. Yet scripture is clear that Christ has empowered us with the Holy Spirit which, as it says in 2 Timothy 1:7:

“For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline.” – 2 Timothy 1:7

Each month in 2019 make a big ask. The worse thing that could happen is for that person to decline and the best is beyond imagination.

Resolution #3 – Try One New Thing

It feels good to have a ministry that is running effectively and efficiently. The dangers of this happening is that stagnation can set in. Simply doing the same thing you did this year as in 2018 can be an easy way out. Instead, plan to try one new thing this year in your ministry. I don’t mean a little thing like serving tea instead of coffee. I mean something major. Change how your small group operates, host one major church event, build an interactive experience for kids. Shake things up and try one new thing.

Small change can make a major impact. You can’t lose twenty pounds in one week, but in the course of a year you can adjust your diet and exercise to accomplish your goal. Pick one of the resolutions above and start making small changes. In one year you will see the fruit of the small but important changes.

Let us know which Resolution above you picked or if you have a different New Year’s Resolution that is still going strong! Want help on resolution #3? Check out our blog post form last year about Five Ways To Create a Fun Kidmin Environment.

 

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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!

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.