Lexie was born into a family of pastors and other church leaders. She was trained to be a pastor by her grandfather, and spent a great deal of time in her youth learning everything he knew about the ministry. She played trumpet and guitar for worship, with her mom on piano, and was leading people to the Lord on a regular basis by the time she was a teenager. She has also held nearly every position in a church from custodian to sound tech to Assistant Youth Pastor. Although she became physically disabled for almost twenty years, medicine has advanced enough that by 2020 she was doing well again, and her fire for the ministry rekindled.
Looking for the best church leadership training in 2022? Join us to explore and rate leadership training programs that will to help you and your teams build stronger church leadership strategies for your congregation.
The Arrow Leadership Program for church leaders is divided into Team Development, One-on-one Coaching, an Executive Leaders Stream, and an Emerging Leaders Stream. All these modules are structured differently to serve the unique needs of different levels of church leadership. The program offers various resources including small groups, the monthly Sharpening Leaders blog, leadership tune-ups, and free downloadable tools.
The Emerging Leaders Stream launches virtually on March 19, 2021 and runs through June 18, 2022 at $5,500, with a partner pricing option available.
The Virtual Executive Stream for senior church leaders launches on June 25, 2021, and runs through August 26, 2022 at $9,250, also with the partner pricing option available.
The Tyndale University church leadership program features a certificate and diploma course. Christian leaders are expected to complete four units for the certificate, and eight units for the diploma course. Students who have completed the certificate can obtain a diploma by studying four more units at the diploma level.
Some of the topics include Bible Interpretation and Survey of the Old and the New Testament.
Dr. John Johson of Western Seminary offers a free online course for advanced pastors on pastoral care and leadership focusing on preaching, leadership, and Biblical theology. A succinct 17 hours, this audio and video course equips you with the skills and knowledge required to be a good leader, nurture good leaders in the local church, grow from conflict, and relate well with the members and church staff.
The Institute for Mindful Leadership has been running this training program for over 15 years with custom offerings to organizations, in-person workshops, and retreats. The program is aimed at equipping leaders with greater resiliency and more capacity for excellence.
The program currently has an online course for February, a workshop for March, and an upcoming retreat whose dates will be released soon.
This course is best for beginner leaders starting their biblical leadership journey and looking to benefit from excellent ministry training for spiritual influence in the church and beyond. Leaders on the program have full lifetime access to the course materials and get a personalized certificate upon completion.
We love the low cost of the program as it is affordable for most leaders at only AUD 30 per month.
This leadership training focuses on ensuring people in the church leadership pipeline are fully equipped for church administration and religious leadership, with topics such as Nonprofit management, developing leadership styles, church fair trade stores, church websites, running small groups, and volunteer management.
The courses are offered on an on-demand basis across Canada and the U.S.
Peter Scazzero shows you how to transform from an ordinary to the executive pastor your church needs by improving your emotional intelligence and well-being. You’ll be able to develop a new vision for healthy church leadership, integrate your personality with your calling, and lead the transformation of your church staff.
You’ll also draw inspiration from one of Scazzero’s bestseller leadership books – The Emotionally Healthy Leader.
Equipping Leaders International focuses on training that covers local church leadership, church rejuvenation, church planting, and administration of Christian schools. It seeks to equip pastors with formal training required for the effective running and management of the rapidly expanding churches.
The course covers the effects of hindrances such as corrupt governments, Western dependence, limited opportunities for ongoing education, and economic poverty to ensure that leaders can still bring glory to God through their service.
This program aims at producing a holistic church with high capacity ministry leadership across the board from pastors to lay leaders and other general church staff. The training focuses on mentoring church teams to enhance their competencies, gifting, and discipleship with a renewed passion for outreach to bring more people to God.
The training is best for leaders looking to enhance both themselves and their entire church by developing a united church as per the teachings of Ephesians 4.
The Dallas Theological Seminary offers free Christian courses on church leadership skills and other aspects through their podcast and weekly emails. Key topics include suffering, racial reconciliation, repentance, and walking with God through church leadership.
Finding the best church leadership training for yourself or church staff doesn’t have to be an uphill task if you consider insights from our list. There’s at least one training suitable for your every Christian leadership need!
Are you a church leader who wants to connect with others to share knowledge and best practices? Apply to join our exclusive community of church leaders and access to a private, moderated forum with other lead pastors.
Churches today are complex operations with lots of activity and deep roots in the community. Thanks to church communications software, it’s now easier than ever to communicate with congregations, keep people engaged, and maximize attendance.
The Best Church Communication Software
Here’s a shortlist of the best church communication solutions:
Church Communication Solutions: Comparison Criteria
What do I look for when I select the best church management system for communication? Here’s a summary of my evaluation criteria:
User Interface (UI): Is it clean, attractive, and appropriate for church use?
Usability: Is it easy for non-professionals (such as church members) to master? Does the company offer tech support, user support, tutorials, and training that works with church needs (like a contact center available on weekends)?
Integrations: Is it easy to connect with other church management tools? Are there any pre-built integrations? Does the tool connect with all popular communication solutions, like email, social media, SMS, website notices, and anything else you use daily?
Value for $: How appropriate is the price for nonprofit organizations? Is pricing clear, transparent and flexible?
Church Communication Tools: Key Features
Here are some key features to look for when selecting church communication software:
Supports your preferred messaging channels: offers a range of options to tailor your communications (from social media to text messages)
Database management: enables you to update your list of contacts easily
Engagement tools: offers features designed to increase engagement from members of the congregation
Integrates with popular church management software: works with church accounting, church management software, etc.
Simple to use: makes it easy for inexperienced team members to start using the software
Scalable: grows as your church and its requirements develop
Faith-based compliance: designed to be suitable for use by most faith-based or religious groups
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Overviews Of The 10 Best Church Communication Software
Here’s a brief description of each of the best church management software solutions with membership communication features. I’ll go over some best use cases, feature highlights, and provide screenshots to give you a glimpse of their inner workings.
This cloud-based church management system helps ministries reach out to local communities and streamline daily operations. Features include text messaging, workflow creation, and volunteer management.
One Church Software allows you to update contact preferences, send follow-up messages through the system, and inform members of upcoming church events. You can automate text in church messaging, emails, communications, and promotions.
One Church Software costs from $24/user/month and a free 14-day trial is available.
Planning Center is a suite of cloud-based applications designed to support church leaders in planning, scheduling, and managing church programs. The software is modular in design, so you only pay for the tools you need.
The publishing module allows you to create content and share it with your congregation. You can use customizable pages and the Android/iOS mobile app to distribute sermons and other messages.
Planning Center costs from $14/user/month and a 30-day free trial is available.
Elexio church administration software helps you to communicate with your members using text, mass emails, or voicemail. The system integrates church management software with church website design, check-in, giving kiosks, and a church mobile app.
Key features include attendance tracking, contribution management, and automated workflows. You can also coordinate worship services and schedule volunteers.
Elexio costs from $35.13/user/month and a 30-day free trial is available.
4. Aplos – Best communication software with cash balancing
This cloud-based solution offers a range of software tools to help large and small churches run more efficiently. Aplos offers custom communications, along with fund accounting software, church membership management, donation management, and reporting.
With Aplos, churches of all sizes can handle all their communications and group management needs in one place. This user-friendly software is well suited to small groups and medium-sized churches.
Aplos pricing starts from $29.50/user/month and a free trial is available.
This church management solution helps faith-based organizations organize operations more efficiently. It’s easy to communicate with members by email, track attendance and pinpoint volunteers with skills needed for specific events.
Visitors can be excluded from member-only communications. Other features include modules for child check-in, online scheduling, and accounting.
Servant Keeper is priced from $9.99/user/month and a free trial is available.
Breeze church management software is a cloud-based solution for small to medium-sized churches. The intuitive interface allows you to search and find contact information quickly, tag people as required, and customize accordingly.
Breeze also offers features to help with event registration, printing name tags, and tracking attendance. Alerts can be set to highlight individuals who have ceased attending for a given number of weeks.
This software suite costs from $50/month and a free demo is offered.
Church Windows helps religious organizations manage administrative tasks and day-to-day interactions with followers. The system can be deployed either in the cloud or on-premises. You can also build a unified church calendar to keep track of community happenings, track your budget, and pay church employees.
This software suite enables church administrators to view and track household and individual records, record interaction notes, perform accounting duties, and create visitation reports. Church Windows’ customer support is top-notch and they can help you make the most out of the tool according to your needs.
Pricing starts from $80/user/month. There is no free trial option.
8. Neon One – Best for communication & marketing solution
Neon One is a cloud-based contact management solution for nonprofit organizations of all sizes. The built-in fundraising tools include add-ons for email blasts, donor management, and automated membership renewals. They offer different modules for communication management, customer relationship management (CRM), fundraising, payroll, and website building.
The system can be customized to match the look and feel of an existing website, and event pages can be configured as required. Administrators can send automated event notifications to registered attendees. They integrate with apps like QuickBooks, Mailchimp, TrueGivers, Eventbrite, and Windfall.
Neon One pricing starts from $49/user/month. There is no free trial, but a demo can be arranged.
Trumpia helps churches communicate with members through an automated SMS platform. Administrators can easily send messages, collect contacts, conduct outreach, engage with visitors or new members, and improve attendance.
Features of the system include mobile keywords, mass texting, one-to-one texting, text giving, auto-response, and contact cleanup. Multiple campaigns can be run via SMS, email, or social media platforms.
Trumpia costs from $36/user/month. A free trial is available.
10. Pushpay – Best for building a church smartphone app
This cloud-based solution assists churches in managing a range of operations. Church admins can create a database of donor information, including contact details. PushPay offers a no-code solution to building a smartphone app for your church, including a dynamic home screen, visual customizations, interactive notifications, and a built-in audio player.
Data can be imported from third-party sources or uploaded through the PushPay portal. Customer support is available via an online knowledge base.
Pushpay pricing starts from $199 a month. There is no free trial.
Other Church Management Software Options
Here are a few more that didn’t make the top list.
Most churches today use specialized church management (ChMS) software to run their organizations efficiently. Many different software vendors develop applications specifically for this large, growing market. Pastors may require specialized functionality for venue upkeep, website & app building, real-time communication, discipleship tracking, fundraising & collections, event management, and even accounting & payroll.
What is ChMS software?
Church management software (also known as ChMS software) is the range of applications used by churches and related institutions to manage operations more effectively. ChMS software covers everything from attendance recording to people management and helps to simplify complex church procedures.
What Do You Think About These Church Management Systems and Communication Tools?
Do these systems help you communicate with your congregation, or are the old ways better? Let us know what you think in the comments below. While you’re here, be sure to check out this article on streaming software for churches, too.
For even more information, we’ve written this article for you:
Technology is rapidly changing the way churches are welcoming people to worship services and sermons.
“Whether you are joining us in person or online, we invite you to experience our services and be a part of the Lakewood family.” This is how the nondenominational Lakewood Church in Houston, Texas, welcomes those who visit the church’s website. On March 15, 2020, 4.6 million worshippers accepted this invitation and followed the church’s live streaming service.
When the Covid-19 pandemic started wreaking havoc across the world at the beginning of 2020, church services had to be suspended in many parts of the world in compliance with government regulations. If this was a time to panic for many other businesses, the story was different for streaming platforms, businesses offering streaming software, and social media companies.
In this article, I focus on the 10 biggest live streaming churches. I will also look at the reasons the number of live streaming churches is growing. The article also identifies the software these churches use for video streaming of their Sunday service or any other services for that matter.
Even though sermons on platforms like YouTube, Facebook Live, and Zoom may be gaining traction because of Covid-19, churches have been embracing technology for some time now. Before churches could live stream, many recorded their sermons and distributed them either for free or for a fee. Others had their Sunday services aired by major broadcasters.
An article published by TheGuardian.com tells the story of Prestonwood Baptist Church in Plano, Texas, and how it was already embracing basic software by 2008.
The Guardian reports that, as far back as 2008, the church was already using software to track children in church and register them for Bible studies. Congregants could also “go online to request counseling on a variety of spiritual and personal matters.”
In 2009, Daniel Terdiman wrote an article for the technology website Cnet.com entitled “Technology and the megachurch.” He starts his article with a question: “If you’re in charge of what is thought to be one of the most powerful, influential and important megachurches in the United States, if not the world, how do you make sure that your message is reaching the largest possible audience?”
The answer to Terdiman’s question comes easily for Brady Boyd, the lead pastor at the New Life Church: “technology.”
In case a one-word answer was not sufficient for Terdiman, Boyd extends his answer: “Churches have to stay current. We’re in the communications business.” Adding, “The whole purpose of a church is to communicate a message of truth … We have to stay informed, and we have to realize that most of the world is rapidly advancing in their ability to communicate.”
Why Churches Are Resorting To Live Streaming
Churches have always been conscious that technologies like video streaming could assist them in reaching bigger audiences. This is a view also acknowledged by the Japanese electronics manufacturer Panasonic. According to Panasonic, “Producing an immersive, remote worship experience can also extend the reach of your church beyond the local community and give congregants the opportunity to view missed services through on-demand video.”
Like all other sectors of society, churches realize that the consumption of messages is mostly happening online. This is a reality noted by commentators like Matt Binder, who writes for the digital media platform Mashable.com. The headline of his article tells the whole story: “The live streaming boom isn’t slowing down anytime soon.”
Referring to the future of worship services after the pandemic, Binder quotes Eli Noam, a Columbia Business School professor. Noam asks some pertinent questions: “If a church, for example, continues to Livestream services after the pandemic, will the elderly, sick, and people with children just find it easier to attend virtually? Will people participate in more services because it’s easier to attend from the comfort of home?
Binder quotes Noam saying, “Maybe the churches will be emptier but people’s religious lives will actually be enriched.” Adding, “This [live video] is not temporary; the temporary situation [pandemic] is the accelerant .”
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Live Streaming Software For Churches
If the need for real-time church service broadcasting is growing, providers of church streaming software, streaming solutions, and technical support have not been left behind. Here are some of the live streaming service providers that make it possible for both large and small churches to live broadcast their sermons and services.
Boxcast: Live Streaming Software For All Worship House Sizes
If there is one video streaming service I see in every list of the best church streaming software, it’s Boxcast. Boxcast’s promise: “Whether your congregation has 1,000 members or 100, our features and plans have been crafted to meet the needs of both first-time broadcasters and seasoned streamers.”
You can live stream on the Boxcast free trial for 14 days before deciding whether the live streaming software is for you. If you decide that it is, pricing plans start at $99/month and go all the way to $999/month.
Wirecast: Best Church Streaming Software For Beginners
Describing the Wirecast video streaming service, the Director of Music Ministries at Fredericksburg United Methodist Church, Don Doss, says, “Yes, it’s true that the ‘BIG’ churches have all the cool equipment, but it’s also true that some smaller churches with smaller budgets can now produce quality video with the help of Telestream’s Wirecast software.”
Wirecast comes with a free 30-day trial limited to two Rendezvous guests and does not permit ISO recording (an isolated recording of one camera in a multi-camera production). The service has two paid plans for both Mac and Windows: Wirecast Studio ($599) and Wirecast Pro ($799).
“Whether you’re a Photoshop expert or technology isn’t your friend, we’ve got you covered. Create beautiful graphics with our built-in editor.” This is how the developers of Propresenter market their software.
Among the several features, you’ll find on Propresenter is the ability to record your screen for further editing, switch video outputs, and capture and output audio. The service also presents live streaming tutorials on its website.
Propresenter has a free version, which is not designed to be used in front of an audience. The HoW (House of Worship) plan starts at $399 per year for a new account or $275 per year when renewing.
Dacast: Best Live Streaming Solution For Churches On A Budget
Visit Dacast.com, and you will realize that this live stream software promises every feature and functionality a live streaming church service needs. The service has 24/7 support, high-quality live streaming with top-tier CDNs, an all-device HTML5 player, VODs and live video integration, and customization that allows users to monetize their videos.
Another valuable Dacast feature is that it allows you to set up multiple bitrate streams using Wirecast video or vMix broadcasting software. These multiple bitrate streams ensure that your live streams can be watched on different devices and internet connections with varying bandwidths.
Dacast has a free 30-day trial. Paid plans start at $39 a month.
vMix: Best For Building A Custom Live Production System
vMix is a software video switcher and mixer that also functions as a live streaming software that works on Windows. Some of the software’s features include “LIVE mixing, switching, recording and LIVE streaming of SD, full HD and 4K video sources including cameras, video files, DVDs, images, [and] Powerpoint.”
The vMix software is customizable, based on the user’s production needs. All these features can be enjoyed on a free 60-day trial. Paid plans start with the Basic HD, which costs $60, and go all the way to the Pro plan that costs $1200. The software’s developers say that “Each purchase does not expire and includes Free Version Updates for one year from the date of purchase.”
“Video streaming simple enough for a church plant, powerful enough for worldwide ministry.” This is how Churchstreaming.tv advertises its service. The software makes it possible for a church service to be broadcast to various sources like YouTube, Facebook, or Apple TV.
Churchstreaming.tv also frees bandwidth with real-time transcoding. The streaming solution allows for plugins that make it possible to customize viewer layout by embedding navigation links.
Churchstreaming.tv has a free 30-day trial. Paid plans are based on the number of hours you need per month, the resolution, and video storage capacity. The plans start with the basic plan at $79/month. The Advanced Plan is the most expensive at $139 a month.
If your church is still new and wants to use free live stream software, the best place to find this is at Open Broadcast Software (OBS). Even though OBS is free, it compares well to other church streaming software out there. For example, it doesn’t restrict the number of scenes you can seamlessly switch between using custom transitions.
The OBS project is sponsored by several tech giants, including Facebook and YouTube.
mimoLive provides professional live streaming tools for live streaming to Apple products, including Mac, iPad, and iPhone. The software promises “an all-in-one live switcher, video encoder, editor, and streaming software for Mac. It enables you to switch multiple cameras, insert presentations, add graphics, overlay lower-thirds, social media comments, transparency with green screens.”
mimoLive’s 14-day free trial allows you to test drive the product. If you like it at the end of 14 days, you can get the Studio License at the cost of $699 per year or $69.99 per month.
StreamShark: Best For Churches That Want A Month-To-Month Solution
The developers of StreamShark say that they “understand the pressures involved when live streaming.” Consequently, they have designed a workflow that aims to “ease the burden on the stream operator.”
StreamShark’s leading features include instant stream archiving, real-time statistics showing viewer engagement, and live DVR rewind that allows viewers who join late to rewind and see areas they have missed.
StreamShark’s pricing starts at $199 per month, and the most expensive plan is $999 per month. The advantage of using this software is that you can cancel your plan anytime.
To show how easy the developers of TruthCasting believe their software is, they say, “If you can count to three, then you can live stream.” The software can be used whether you’re streaming from a webcam or a professional video camera.
You can also use any encoder to send your video to the streaming platform. As long as audiences have an internet connection, they can view videos broadcast through TruthCasting on any device, wherever they are.
TruthCasting offers a 15-day free trial. Churches with less than 2,000 members pay $39.95 a month to broadcast. YouTube and Facebook Live add-ons are available at $10 per month.
10 Biggest Streaming Churches
Here are some of the biggest streaming churches I found on YouTube. To determine how big a church is, I looked at the number of subscribers it has on YouTube.
Lakewood Church & Joel Osteen
Together, Lakewood Church and Joel Osteen (its pastor) have 2,202,000 subscribers on YouTube. According to Osteen’s YouTube channel, “More than 10 million viewers watch his weekly inspirational messages through television, and over 60 million people connect with Joel through his digital platforms worldwide.”
Lakewood Church’s live stream goes out every Saturday at 7 pm and Sundays at 8:30 am and 11:00 am CST. Apart from delivering the message to its 304,000-audience on YouTube, Lakewood Church also uses Facebook Live.
The work of Elevation Church is evident in its mission statement: “Elevation Church exists so that people far from God will be raised to life in Christ.” This Church does not seem to only target those far from God with its live streams; it’s also connecting those far from the church or each other.
The Elevation Church’s YouTube channel has around 1.99 million subscribers. The church’s YouTube worship channel has 2.85 million subscribers. It uses Vimeo and Comcast Technology Solutions as its video hosting solutions.
Saddleback Church’s motto is “one family, many locations.” With 389,000 subscribers on YouTube, this is a motto that the church seems to be living by. Its YouTube channel has more than 53,930,000 views.
Saddleback Church uses YouTube and JW Player as its hosting services.
Life.Church has a dedicated online service. The church has a message for those searching for meaning, connection, community, truth, and answers: “This is where you’ll find it.” Through its streaming service, Life. Church invites everyone to “come to join a community of people from around the world who are discovering answers, truth, and what it means to belong.”
According to Life. Church, has more than 90 online services every week on five platforms, accessible on any device. Its video hosting service is YouTube and Wistia.
With its live streams, Bethel TV calls itself “your front-row seat to all that God is doing at Bethel.” The church invites all to “Watch anytime, anywhere.” This is an invitation that 296,000 people have already responded to on YouTube, where it has more than 33,500,000 views.
Bethel TV’s hosting platform is JW Player.
International House of Prayer
The International House of Prayer‘s (IHOPKC) mission statement reads, “The IHOPKC community exists to partner in the Great Commission by advancing 24/7 prayer with worship and proclaiming the beauty of Jesus and His glorious return.”
A church that uses 24/7 to describe anything certainly needs some streaming service. This is what IHOPKC is doing using its YouTube channel that has over 296,000 subscribers.
The VOUS Church says that it has a simple mission: “to bring those who are far from God close to him.” The church has a dedicated team called the Crew Live that live streams to the church’s 194,000 YouTube subscribers.
REVERE is a community of worshippers with 181,000 subscribers on YouTube. The church says that Christianity experienced a massive shift a generation ago when “The formality of corporate worship gave way to ‘intimacy,’ and we were forever changed.”
Church presentation software helps churches engage with their congregation during services. The software solution enables congregation participation during a church service by making song lyrics, video, PowerPoint, Keynote, sermon notes, Bible scripture, and information visible on large screens.
It’s also known as church projection software or worship presentation software, it’s the best presentation solution for projecting song lyrics and/or Bible verses during a worship service. According to a Gallup Poll, only 42% of millennials are church members. Using modern technology to update worship services might be instrumental in getting more millennials to attend church services.
But what is the best church presentation software in 2022? Whether projecting video files, sermon notes, PowerPoint from a Windows PC, or Keynote from a Mac OS, check out our pick of the best cross-platform solutions allowing Linux or operating system agnostic support in our list below. We’ve included some free church presentation software along with open-source and Android remote app options and paid options with ease of use, top of mind in our selection.
Best Church Presentation Software
OpenSong – Best free, open-source church presentation software
OpenLP – Best free church presentation software for Linux and FreeBSD
Church presentation software could be the tool you need for creating presentations to display at church services and church events.
Why use church presentation software?
Church presentation software helps to make your church service accessible to the whole congregation. With a dynamic presentation displaying lyrics and scripture, the congregation can join in together.
Here’s why you should consider using the software for your church:
Enables congregation participationduring worship
In the past, song sheets or songbooks were the norms, but church presentation software makes them obsolete. When song lyrics get projected onto a big screen or screens, the whole congregation can easily read the song and sing along without getting lost. It makes the service accessible to everyone, to the same extent, without having prior knowledge of the song.
Provides the congregation with quick (and multilingual) access to scripture
Many people don’t want to carry a Bible with them, as they’ll use their phone instead. But using church presentation software for sharing scripture references means your congregation doesn’t get distracted while they start looking up Bible verses! What’s more, some solutions have multilingual functionality and can simultaneously display scripture in multiple languages, which can be great for multilingual congregations.
Provides easy access to important information
Church presentation software enables you to share your church notices and announcements either passively before and after the service or together with verbal announcements.
Church presentation software functionality
Many church presentation software packages include feature-rich functionality for the needs of churches to allow seamless church presentations:
Presentation streaming for worship services
Scripture database to display bible verses
Video file playing from worship software
Custom slides to allow a slideshow of notices or information
Slide integration from Windows or Mac PowerPoint, Mac Keynote, or Google Slides
Layout management and customizable slide layouts
Multi-Screen display support
Multilingual Bible and Bible translation support
Drag and drop presentation tools
Media library to allow playlist support including Spotify, YouTube or VLC
Remote control (often within a functionality for the preacher to
Countdown for the service to begin
Stage display or stage view preview
It’s also worth considering plugins for other church management software support, as many, like Planning Center, offer support and integrations.
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Overviews of the 10 Best Church Presentation Software
Here’s a brief description of each of the church presentation software on my list, showing what it does best, plus screenshots to showcase some of the features.
1. OpenSong – Best free, open-source church presentation software
OpenSong is an open-source presentation app focused on lyric management, chord sheets, and bible verses. It supports timed loops of slides and allows you to keep track of song metadata and CCLI information. It is cross-platform, available for Windows, macOS, and Linux operating systems, and supports multiple languages.
OpenSong is best for you if you want a church presentation software without spending a dime because this software is free. OpenSong is also open-source, allowing you to alter and improve the software to suit your church’s unique needs. It can also save your church money because, aside from being free, open-source software is less demanding when it comes to hardware requirements.
2. OpenLP – Best free church presentation software for Linux and FreeBSD
OpenLP is a church presentation software with various functionalities to make church services interactive and more interesting for church members. You can use it to create slides from templates or custom ones for church services or make announcements. OpenLP comes with a free Android remote control app allowing you to control your presentation using your Android device anywhere inside your church.
If you’re using Linux or FreeBSD as your church’s operating system, then OpenLP is the best church presentation software for you because OpenLP was made specifically for these operating systems. You can use it to search and download a few selected Bible verses from a Bible site for use during presentations. You can use OpenLP to set up custom liturgies and setlists to make church services personalized in response to your congregation’s needs.
Formatting multimedia files won’t be a problem for you because OpenLP integrates with VLC, allowing you to play audio and video formats in almost any format available. OpenLP also integrates with PowerPoint, PowerPoint Viewer, LibreOffice Impress on Windows, and Linux/FreeBSD.
3. Song of Songs – Best free church worship presentation software
Song of Songs is free church worship presentation software to create or import songs from CCLI, so you can use a song library during worship services. You can use it to create presentations manageable by operators or yourself via remote control during services. It also has a liturgy builder functionality to help you build and manage your liturgy in a centralized location for easy access during services.
Free software is always welcome and can help your church save money, so if you want free church worship presentation software, then Song of Songs is the best one for you. It has periodic free upgrades, so your software always has the latest features at no cost. Song of Songs is easy to use, making it ideal for users even if they are not tech-savvy.
Song of Songs integrates with VLC letting you play any video format.
FreeWorship allows the customization of presentations to help you prepare for worship services in advance.
FreeWorship is an easy-to-use software for creating and managing presentations for use during worship services and other church events. It has a video enhancer feature for adjusting brightness and contrast, ensuring optimal viewing of videos. FreeWorship also allows you to search for specific hashtags when searching for multimedia items.
FreeWorship is best for small churches because it has basic features and is uncomplicated to use. It has a drag and drop functionality, making adding files and images straight to your service list easier. FreeWorship has a Child Lock feature to keep your files and formats secure by limiting who can make changes on critical files and presentations.
It is a multimedia projection solution equipped with an independent media control and browser to access your favorite files. It has built-in CCLI support allowing you to display song lyrics. Presenter has picture-in-picture functionality, letting you play videos while navigating your presentation.
This software is best for large churches that need church presentation software with advanced features to meet their congregation’s unique demands. It supports up to six independent outputs to support your church’s multimedia system, no matter how demanding it is. You can use Presenter to overlay text on images and videos to customize your church presentations.
Presenter has a free forever version while Presenter Standard costs $12/license/month.
Slipity is an iOS app for projecting texts, song lyrics, media, and YouTube videos on an external display. It allows customization of slides letting you control the size, duration of transitions, and background elements, so your slides look precisely how you envision them. You can use Slipity’s time-based triggers, allowing you to schedule the launch of a specific presentation.
If your church uses Mac and iOS devices, Slipity is the best for your church because this software works best for the said operating systems. You can use AirPlay Mirroring to control presentations projected on a full screen. Its Stage Display feature lets you view current and succeeding slides on plain text on your control monitor while displaying full output on your projection screen.
Praisenter is a church presentation software for producing slides and presentations with song lyrics, Bible verses, images, and videos. You can use Praisenter to search for Bible verses and save them for later use. It also allows you to import translations from The Unbound Bible, letting you present two translations of scripture simultaneously, making it ideal if your church has multilingual members.
Praisenter is the best church presentation software for your church if you need to project lyrics for your congregation. You can use the software to search, edit, and create songs for worship services. It has a slide editor that allows you to customize different aspects of your slides or templates, including gradients, text outline, video looping, and others. Praisenter also lets you add images, pictures, audio, or video on your templates for full customization.
Quelea is a free and open-source church presentation software for creating amazing presentations you can use during worship services and other church events. It has a stage view feature enabling you to guide your music team with music chords without showing them to your congregation. Quelea supports multiple languages, including English, German, Spanish, Swedish, and Czech, making it ideal if your congregation has non- English speakers.
Quelea is the best church presentation software if you need one that allows you to integrate sermon notes into your presentations. Use the software to include guide notes helping you emphasize critical points in your sermons. Sermon notes are visible only to you and not to your congregation so that you can include private notes depending on your preference.
9. SlideDog – Best for simple stage display support
SlideDog is a multimedia presentation software you can use to combine PowerPoint presentations, PDF files, video clips, audio files, web pages, and others. Share your presentation in real-time so congregation members on their own devices. Another unique feature allows your audience to provide anonymous feedback to help you improve future presentations.
SildeDog is the best church presentation software if you want something to use in creating simple stage displays and presentations. It lets you switch back and forth between different slides if you need to go back to a previous point. You can use SlideDog to remote control your presentation using your PC, mobile device, or tablet.
10. Big Screen – Best for multilingual Bible verses
Big Screen is a church presentation web app to help you create and manage presentations for church services and social events. You can use it to create themes giving presentations a consistent look and feel on different platforms. It supports multiple outputs making it ideal no matter how many output devices you have.
Big Screen is best for your church if you need church presentation software to create presentations with multilingual Bible verses. It comes with scripture translations from the New American Standard Bible, New King James Version, La Biblia de las Américas, Japanese Contemporary Bible, etc. With Big Screen’s multilingual capability, you can promote inclusion and make non-English speakers feel more welcome in your congregation.
Big Screen pricing starts at $10.91/license/month.
Faithlife Proclaim – On-premise and cloud-based church presentation software for remote displays and presentations.
WorshipStorm – Church presentation app you can connect to Planning Center for displaying lyrics, videos, images, and slides.
Yodeck – Screen management platform for creating and managing digital displays and signages.
What Do You Think of These Church Presentation Solutions?
Church presentation software can help you organize and display multimedia aspects to your weekly sermons and special events. This helps you reach both visual and auditory learners with your message. Be sure to follow along with The Lead Pastor blog to keep up with more church software trends.
Have you tried any of these church presentation software solutions? Is there a church presentation platform you would add to this list? Let us know in the comments!
A church management software is a program that can help churches of all sizes centralize administrative tasks, communication, and facility needs. Although church management software is common for large churches, church leaders of small churches can also benefit from using church management software.
In this article, I will discuss some of the best church management solutions for small churches that you can use for basic communication and facility organization needs.
The Best Church Management Software for Small Churches
Here’s a shortlist of the best church management software for small churches:
What do I look for when I select the best church management software for small churches?
Here’s a summary of my evaluation criteria:
User Interface (UI): Small churches usually struggle with limited resources, meaning they can’t spend a lot of time or energy learning the ins-and-outs of a new tool. I’m looking for an intuitive, clean interface that does away with complex clutter.
Usability: Small churches often have young and old members. It’s important to find a software that is user-friendly, easy to learn, and easy to master for all age groups. I’m looking for a tool that offers good tech support, user support, tutorials, and training.
Value for $: Small churches will need a good balance of fair pricing (preferably a free or low cost plan) with must-have features, like communication tools and facility administration.
Church Management Software for Small Churches Key Features
Membership Management: A feature that allows a church administration to maintain a record of church membership, personal details, phone numbers, and other crucial information.
Volunteer Management: Volunteer management helps ensure that the volunteer schedule is updated, ensuring that all tasks and events have an adequate workforce.
Event Management: Churches can use this feature to plan events, outreach programs, print name tags, handle event registration, and attendance tracking during events.
Donation Management: allows users to track online giving, tithes, and payments from donors and stakeholders.
Communication Tools: Allows users to reach out to the church community through mass emails and SMS reminders, and follow-ups.
Church Accounting Software: Allows users to handle accounting-related church needs such as expense tracking, fund accounting, budgeting, and tax filing.
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Overviews Of The 10 Best Church Management Software for Small Churches
Here’s a brief description of each church management software for small churches to showcase each tool’s best use case, some noteworthy features, and screenshots to give a snapshot of the interface.
1. ChurchInfo – Best for organizing Sunday schools
ChurchInfo is a free software solution that you can use to record and maintain data about your members and groups. You can use ChurchInfo to manage pledges, launch text-giving initiatives, and even track donations. ChurchInfo can be ideal for you if you want to use a free management software to manage volunteer opportunities.
ChurchInfo is best for your church if you have a Sunday school class or program because you can use it to maintain a Sunday school database of participants, class schedules, and volunteers. You can assign roles to members such as servant keeper, student, liaison, or teacher. You can generate attendance sheets using ChurchInfo for easier record-keeping.
ChurchInfo is a free software created and supported by an open-source community.
ChurchCRM is a cloud-based CRM that your church can use to keep track of your members, contributions, and facility data. You can count on ChurchCRM when creating volunteer programs, fundraisers, and other church events. ChurchCRM allows you to input an unlimited number of people and families into the system, making it ideal for growing churches.
ChurchCRM is best for churches that organize outdoor activities such as bible camps, team building activities, and family days. Its mobile app version allows you to use the program while working remotely. ChurchCRM’s intuitive mobile app lets members check-in for events and organizes volunteers while on the field. The app lets you use your tablet or mobile phone to attend to your congregation’s needs even if you’re not in front of your workstation.
ChurchCRM is a free church management software. You can try ChurchCRM’s features through their demo version so you can decide if ChurchCRM will fit the needs of your church.
Churchtrac is a SaaS program you can use to manage the membership of your congregation. You can use the program to designate roles to members, donors, or prospects to know which members will be a fit for specific tasks. Churchtrac also allows you to organize worship services and schedule essential worship team members such as greeters or choir members. It also helps you organize your worship song library to pull up appropriate songs depending on the occasion.
Churchtrac is best for religious organizations that need a church management program with accounting capabilities. You can use Churchtrac to manage donors and their contributions. You can also use Churchtrac to monitor your funds and spending. Churchtrac also allows you to create budget plans to ensure that your funds can support the needs of your congregation.
Churchtrac is free to use. Paid plans with additional features start at $50/month.
4. Flocknote – Best for Text and Email Communications
Flocknotes is a user-friendly church management program that you can use to stay in touch with members of your congregation. You can use it to send newsletters to keep your congregation abreast of the latest news and articles about your church. You can also use Flocknotes to maintain a member database so you will have access to contact information, important documents, and attendance records.
Flocknote is the best church management software if you use text messages and emails to engage your congregation because it offers unlimited text messages and emails with its monthly plan. Flocknote also has an email composer that you can use to send emails with customizable colors, gifs, layouts, and fonts. The email composer allows you to take polls, send attachments, embed videos, and track RSVPs to special events.
Flocknote has a free plan for churches with under 40 members. Paid plans cost from $8/month. And up depending on the length of your contact list.
ChMeetings is a church management software that you can use to track and store your members’ data. It has a mobile app version that works on iOS and Android mobile devices and is accessible to both admins and members.
What I love about this tool is its customization features. You can get a custom-named app to reflect the name of your church. You can also get customized icons, store listing, and login screen for a small add-on fee. ChMeetings also empowers church members to access their profiles and update their information or customize their notification settings.
ChMeetings is the best church management software if you frequently organize events because you can use it to create events and send invites via text messaging, email, or push notifications. You can also use it as a planning hub to handle event registration and print QR codes or QR cards for easier management of attendees. You can use your ChMeetings generated QR codes to quickly check-in attendees and avoid long queues during registrations.
ChMeetings is free for up to 100 people. Paid plans cost from $10/month and go up depending on the size of your congregation.
DonorPerfect is a fundraising CRM that can help your church optimize your fundraising efforts. You can use DonorPerfect to create branded forms that include your church’s logo to encourage more donors to join your fundraising efforts. DonorPerfect’s forms are configurable and mobile-friendly; you can send them via email, your church website, or through social media accounts.
DonorPerfect is the best fundraising CRM to build a better relationship with your donors because it lets you sustain a constant email marketing campaign to keep your donors engaged. You can also use DonorPerfect to make donating easier through a simple click-and-pay method. You can also use DonorPerfect to send automated receipts with thank you messages to show gratitude to your supporters.
DonorPerfect costs from $99/month for up to 1,000 records.
Church Windows is a church management software that you can use to maintain individual and household records for your congregation. It also gives you a means of connecting with members through customized emails and by scheduling personal visitations. The software also has reporting capabilities so that you can generate visitation and attendance reports based on the criteria of your choice.
Church Windows is the best church management program for handling your church’s payroll because it can accommodate a wide range of compensation requirements. It has updated tax tables so that you won’t encounter any issues during tax season. You can use Church Windows to produce reports on salaries, allowances, taxes, donations, and deductions so you can avoid errors usually brought by manual computations.
You can integrate TaxBandits in Church Windows as an optional service so you can file your taxes electronically.
Church Windows costs from a one-time payment of $303 and up, depending on your needs.
8. Neon One – Best for customizations & integrations
Neon One is a management software that can provide non-profit organizations with a unified platform to manage their relationship with stakeholders. You can use Neon One to manage fundraisers, community-giving activities, and donor-centered events for your church. It also has built-in digital (video messages, social media posts) and conventional communications tools (text messaging, newsletters) that you can personalize to stay in touch with members of your congregation.
Neon One is the best management software to personalize your church management solution because you can develop tools and features through Neon One’s API. Integrations are also available so you can connect to preexisting software like GivBee, Salesforce, VolunteerLocal, and Fundraise Up.
Neon One integrates with Zapier so you can access additional communication, project management, marketing, and accounting software if you have a paid plan with them.
ChurchStaq is a community engagement solution that you can use to manage the profiles of the members of your congregation. It has a custom church app that you can use to access ChurchStaq data while working remotely. You can also use ChurchStaq to manage your calendar and schedule events.
ChurchStaq is best for those who want to improve community engagement because it can help you measure and understand the impact of your ministry to your community through easy-to-generate reports. It also provides you with a means of connecting to congregants both in-person and online.
ChurchStaq integrates with Intuit QuickBooks, Elvanto, and other CMS programs.
ChurchStaq offers customized pricing upon request.
Elexio is a church management system that you can use to manage groups, track attendance metrics, and maintain a database of your congregation. You can use it as a central communications portal to send text messages, emails, or newsletters with your members. You can also use Elexio to improve coordination within your ministry through a calendar management feature to schedule events, make church room reservations, and allocate church facilities and equipment.
Elexio is best for churches that want to streamline their workflow by automating repetitive and straightforward tasks. You can use workflow automation to send text reminders for events or welcome new members to your congregation. You can also use it to send an automated thank you note to donors for their contributions.
Elexio’s pricing plan starts at $35.13 per month and offers a 30-day free trial.
Simple Church CRM – ChMS with modules for communication, giving, training, and organization. Sliding scale monthly fee based on directory size.
Continue to Give – ChMS that enables users to send communications, organize events, print tickets, and audit funds.
Raklet – App that allows users to organize a contacts database, send communications, organize events and raise funds.
Cahaba Works – A church accounting software with features that allow users to manage contributions, payroll and balance accounts.
Are there any free church management software options?
Yes! In fact, many on our list are free to use or offer a free subscription tier for small churches. Try ChurchInfo, ChurchCRM, ChurchTrac, Flocknote, ChMeetings, Continue to Give, Raklet, and Cahaba Works.
What Do You Think About These Church Management Software?
Church Management Software can equip religious organizations with the proper tools to ensure that their members are well-taken care of. Make sure that you follow The Lead Pastor if you want to learn about the latest church management software and tools in the market.
Looking for more tools for your church? Check these lists out:
Donations and tithe collection are crucial for churches because they are the primary fund source that helps churches operate and serve their members. An excellent way to manage donations is through a church giving app that can make online donations, text giving, and credit card/debit card donations more straightforward and secure for your congregation.
Here are some of the most popular church giving tools available in the market and the features that make them ideal for your church.
The Best Church Giving App List
Here’s a shortlist of the best church giving apps:
What do I look for when I select the best church giving apps? Here’s a summary of my evaluation criteria:
User Interface (UI): Churches have old and young members. I’m looking for an easy-to-navigate tool that is user-friendly for both senior and young members.
Giving Options: Churches receive donations from different sources for convenience.Does the tool offer church members with a variety of giving options like text giving, checks, online donations, or credit and debit cards?
Security: Can the app protect the church member’s financial information?
Value for $: How appropriate is the price for the features, capabilities, and use case? Is pricing clear, transparent and flexible?
Church Giving Apps: Key Features
1. Giving forms: Forms that members can fill up to sign-up for donations
2. Collection Reports: This allows users to generate reports about donations, donors, and donation history.
3. Text giving: Allows church members to give donations using text messaging.
4. Fund Management: Allows church members to choose which fund they want to contribute to.
The Lead Pastor is reader-supported. We may earn a commission when you click through links on our site — learn more about how we aim to stay transparent.
Overviews Of The 10 Best Church Giving Apps
Here’s a brief description of each church giving apps to showcase each tool’s best use case, some noteworthy features, and screenshots to give a snapshot of the interface.
My Well Ministry is a church giving app that you can use to receive donations from church members safely and securely with the help of biometric security.
My Well Ministry is accessible via desktop browser or a smartphone app accessible on Android and iOS devices. You can use the app to generate receipts and yearly statements to promote transparency and inspire confidence among donors.
My Well Ministry is the best giving platform for handling multiple fund categories because it allows church members to indicate which pool they want to donate to. Donors can also indicate if their donation to a specific fund is just a one-time donation or a recurring one.
Church leaders can benefit from this feature because they can encourage congregants to donate to causes that matter most to them: the church facility maintenance, non-profit contributions, mission trips for youth, or annual events.
My Well Ministry starts at $49/month for up to 100 gifts.
Anedot is a mobile giving app that accepts donations using credit cards, debit cards, bank drafts, Apple Pay, and PayPal. Anedot has a reporting tool you can use to assess your fundraising capabilities and improve on fundraising efforts that are not yielding results.
Anedot is the best mobile giving app to partner with another local church or a group on a fundraising activity. As long as the other church or group has an Anedot account, you can raise funds together and increase the likelihood of hitting your goals. Partnering exposes your church to other church’s donors, increases name recall and might help you convert them to your donors too.
Anedot integrates with MailChimp, Google Analytics, Planning Center, and other similar apps.
Anedot doesn’t have a lump-sum monthly cost but uses a per-transaction fee system at 3.0% + 30¢ (Credit/debit cards, Apple Pay, PayPal) or 0.3% + 30¢ (ACH/bank draft).
DONATION is an online giving app that you can use to track donations to your church and manage your database of donors. This giving platform allows you to send mail correspondence to donors to thank them for their contributions.
DONATION is the best online giving platform for small churches because you can get the program for free for the initial year. The cost for managing less than 100,000 donations a year is just $100 per year, making it competitive in pricing.
DONATION also allows you to send charitable receipts that comply with US and Canadian standards.
DONATION Lite costs nothing during the initial year and $20/year for renewals, while DONATION Standard costs $100/year. DONATION offers a 60-day free evaluation period.
GYVE is a mobile giving app you can download from Google Play or Apple’s App Store, making it easy to use on any mobile device. It allows you to create personalized text messages, emails, and videos to ensure that you are connecting to your congregation.
You can use GYVE to schedule and automate your communications and create messages in advance, like fundraising campaigns, thank you notes, and donation receipts.
GYVE is a great giving app for donation tracking and analytics with an intuitive dashboard that takes the pain out of accounting. You can use GYVE to sort information by the location of the donors, type of giving, or gift category so you can understand your donors better.
GYVE also lets you generate reports that you can use in formulating action plans that can help improve your fundraisings, like reports on lapsed givers, decreased givers, and transaction detail reports.
GYVE doesn’t charge sign-up or monthly fees, just transaction fees at 2.5% + $0.30 or $1.30 depending on the feature.
5. FlockBase – Best for tracking individual giving records
FlockBase is an all-in-one church management app with an online giving feature to receive contributions via credit card, debit card, or eCheck. It allows your donors to schedule recurring donations or contribute as a one-time action.
FlockBase’s online giving feature also allows users to choose where they want to allocate their donations, making it ideal for donors who are passionate about a particular project in your church, like choir enthusiasts or Sunday school supporters.
FlockBase is best for maintaining the donation records of church members. You can use FlockBase to track which causes a church member supports and the amount they contribute so you can concentrate on improving fundraising efforts for areas that receive less support.
FlockBase online giving has a monthly fee of $15 per month. You can also get it as a free feature of the Cloud Plus and Cloud Pro versions of the FlockBase church management software.
Vanco is a church giving tool with additional features for seating capacity management, in-app communication, and directory administration. The app also acts as a centralized hub for online worship where members can access materials like online bulletins and Zoom links.
Vanco provides church members with a wide variety of options when it comes to modes of giving. Members can use a web-based portal, text-to-give, a Vanco kiosk device (provided by the company), or their mobile accessory for card payments on-the-go.
Vanco is one of the few church giving apps that offers physical solutions for in-person giving, like a kiosk (branded to your church specifications) and a card-reader called GivePlus Swipe that can plug into smart devices and accept ad hoc credit and debit payments. This ensures that your congregation has a variety of ways to donate based on what they find easiest.
Vanco’s pricing starts at $10/month for churches receiving less than $20,000 per month in donations.
easyTithe is an online giving app that makes donating, contributing, and tithing easier for church members because they can donate through text, using online forms, kiosks, or virtual terminals. It also has reporting functionality you can use to understand your donors and prevailing giving trends better.
easyTithe also provides your church members with the option to automate donations based on their preferred amounts and frequencies, so they don’t need to repeat the process each time.
easyTithe is best for church leaders who need a giving form for their website because it comes with customizable templates or a from-scratch drag-and-drop builder. Using forms can help you organize your fundraising efforts because you can create separate forms for different campaigns. You can also add images, texts, and colors in different forms to make them stand out.
easyTithe costs from 1.99% + 39¢ per debit/credit gift OR 0.75% + 39¢ per ACH gift.
Church Windows is a church giving app that has a donation module with electronic giving that integrates with a variety of online payment sources. You can record donations by individual or family unit, giver name or envelope number, and general fund or campaign-specific pool. It can also help you record pledges to actual received amounts for better future financial planning.
Church Windows’ online giving platform is an integrated feature to the church management software of the same name, making it ideal for those looking for an all-in-one software.
You can use Church Windows to manage your database of members and ensure that all information is up to date. You can also use Church Windows to manage church events and worship services through its calendar management feature.
Church Windows Donations starts at a one-time payment of $303.
Pushpay is part of the ChurchStaq family of products for church management, virtual giving, and even service streaming solutions. Pushpay lets members make donations either through mobile app, web browser, or text message, making it possible to give no matter what time of day. Pushpay is available in English and Spanish.
Pushpay is part of ChurchStaq, which means its virtual giving technology integrates with other software solutions for a holistic church management approach. For churches who host online services or events, ChurchStaq can accommodate streaming solutions alongside digital donation and tithe apps. You can manage your whole church community online.
Pushpay integrates with Intuit QuickBooks and a wide range of church management systems such as Elvanto, OneChurch, and Church Community Builder.
Tithe.ly is a giving platform with a mobile app available for iOS and Android users. You can use Tithe.ly to manage fundraising events and take care of event registration, ensuring that the number of attendees gets appropriately recorded. Tithe.ly also comes with QuickBooks and Planning Center integration making bookkeeping and accounting easier.
Tithe.ly is best for churches that receive a lot of check donations because of its check scanning capability. Tithe.ly’s can scan, reconcile, and remotely deposit checks using the app. Check scanning can also help you avoid document loss since you don’t need to keep a physical copy of the check donation.
Tithe.ly costs $0 per month, but there is a fee of 2.9% + C$0.30 per trx AMEX: 3.5% + C$0.30 on a per-transaction basis.
Churches use giving apps for online giving because these apps provide church members with a convenient and secure way of donating online. Giving apps are also convenient to use because church members can donate even if they are not present during worship services or fundraising events.
How can I donate to my church online?
You can use text giving to donate to your church. Giving apps also allow you to make donations within the app. Some giving apps also come with check readers so you can donate using your checking account.
What Do You Think About These Church Giving Apps?
Church giving apps can help make donations easy for church administrators and church members because it makes donating easy, convenient, and secure. If you don’t have a church giving app yet for your church, look at the features of the apps listed above so you can choose the app that will suit your church’s needs. If you want to learn more about other software and apps that can help your church grow, be sure to read more informative articles at The Lead Pastor.
While a leader’s primary source of wisdom will always be the Bible, those who embrace other sources of knowledge have more tools and context for its interpretation, and case studies for how best to apply biblical teaching in a modern church leadership role.
When searching for church leadership books there are a lot to choose from, but not all authors have the strong theological education and discipleship experience to provide instruction on church leadership.
So how do you find the best books for you and your leadership team without reading through the entire bookstore? The humble book review is here to help. In this list, we bring you some of the most iconic Christian leadership books that teach different approaches to the unique challenges of pastoral ministry.
Best Church Leadership Books
1. Spiritual Leadership: Principles of Excellence For Every Believer by J. Oswald Sanders
Part of the Sanders Spiritual Growth series, this book is best read by church leaders looking to enhance their leadership in the spiritual and physical realms to lead their congregation or church community better under the strong guidance of the teachings of Jesus Christ.
The book draws from the Scripture and has elaborate examples of charismatic servants of God like Nehemiah, Moses, Paul the apostle, and Charles Spurgeon. While Sanders recognizes that natural leadership attributes are a gift from God, they are only truly effective when used to bring glory to God. As such, church leaders keen on enhancing their leadership abilities should check out this book and draw from its teachings on topics such as:
The one major requirement of true leadership
The cost of true leadership
Tests of leadership
How to reproduce good leaders
The attributes of quality leadership
The criteria of quality leadership.
The key principles of true leadership
2. The Emotionally Healthy Leader: How Transforming Your Inner Life Will Deeply Transform Your Church, Team, and the World by Peter Scazzero
This is part of the eight books in Scazzero’s Emotionally Healthy Spirituality series and is best for church leaders looking to enhance their inner life to make more impact in their leadership in the church and the world at large.
The book shows church leaders how they can build a satisfying Christ-led inner life and focuses on key areas such as overcoming stress, planning, decision-making, team building, influencing other people and nurturing a healthy culture. It is geared toward helping you become a holistic individual with the proper emotional health required to lead as a Christian.
The book focuses on some key areas such as:
Helpful tips on facing your shadow, leading others whether you are married or single, slowing down, and embracing new beginnings out of different endings
Elaborate assessments meant for leaders to gauge their leadership health
Practical, tried, and tested ways for equipping leaders both at local churches and internationally all over the world
Core issues of unique Christian leadership.
3. Who Moved My Pulpit?: Leading Change in the Church by Thom S. Rainer
This 160-page church leadership book is a good choice for ministers, pastors, lay leaders, and other key leaders in the church who are struggling with understanding and managing change in a fast-changing world. As much as change is inevitable and is beneficial for the development of a church, Christian leaders need to know how to embrace such change to ensure both they, and the entire church, remain spiritually healthy.
This short book will cost you a few hours of your time to read or listen to but it will be a gem in your journey with church leadership, especially where changes are frequent and intensive. It will equip you with some of the following key points:
Knowing where change is coming from
Knowing why changes are happening
Finding out how you should deal with the changes while still following God all along
Being ahead of change to ensure your church remains true to its timeless calling while still serving opportunities in the new era
How to change approaches to reach a fast-changing culture.
You can also check out Rainer’s other bestseller, Autopsy of a Deceased Church: 12 Ways to Keep Yours Alive.
4. Canoeing the Mountains: Christian Leadership in Uncharted Territory by Tod Bolsinger
Sometimes as a church leader, minister, or pastor you may find that the tables have turned and you are leading in a cultural context that is way different than your expectations.
You may realize that, at such times, your training holds you back rather than carrying you along. This celebrated book by Tod Bolsinger changes such scenarios for you and illuminates your leadership path with practical insights for reimagining effective leadership.
In a fast-changing world, you will need more than just canoes to conquer the mountains of modern-day Christian ministry. I like Bolsinger’s book as it leads the reader into finding new navigational tools to be able to conquer the hardships of ministry.
The book now has a study guide that helps you formulate ways to lead in Christianity with courage and confidence. The most important thing to do when you find yourself in a different cultural context is to adapt to new ways of leadership, and this book will help you do so drawing from Bolsinger’s extensive pastoral experience.
5. Courageous Leadership: Field-Tested Strategy for the 360° Leader by Bill Hybels
If your zeal is to do your best to effectively lead your church in spreading God’s message of hope to bring change in the world, then this is the right book for you. As a leader, you have the potential to positively change the world by bringing believers together and nurturing their spiritual gifts to help non-believers become devout followers of Jesus Christ. This book will show you the right tools to use to achieve this noble responsibility.
The one major aspect I like about the book is that it draws heavily from Hybels’ personal life experiences, through which he brings out important life principles with compelling first-hand stories. Hybels explores the challenges, tasks, and tools of your true calling. Among other things, he helps you to:
Discover the power of a vision and turn it into constructive action
Discover your leadership style
Walk with God and stay put in your God-given course
Develop other leaders; and
Make the best of the spiritual gift of leadership in you.
6. Leading Change Without Losing It: Five Strategies That Can Revolutionize How You Lead Change When Facing Opposition by Carey Nieuwhof
Leading Change Without Losing It is part of Nieuwhof’s The Change Trilogy and is a good fit for the church leader who has encountered opposition while trying to bring about change.
As a leader you try your best to bring change into an otherwise disoriented world, but this is often met by opposition and you have to equip yourself with means of navigating the change itself as well as the opposition.
Nieuwhof’s book helps you bring about change without losing it through the following five strategies:
Determining the people who support or are opposed to the change and why
Deciding where to put your undivided attention
Developing the questions that will inform your course of action
Learning to attack problems rather than the people fronting them
Persevering right up to the crucial breakthrough.
Other church leaders will find this book a gem as they try to navigate the uncertain waters of bringing change in the ministry and leaving a positive lasting legacy in their churches and beyond.
7. In the Name of Jesus: Reflections on Christian Leadership by Henri Nouwen
At only 107 pages, Henri Nouwen’s In the Name of Jesus is a short read. It’s aimed at church leaders curious about discovering Nouwen’s unique approach to Christian leadership as not just the effort of church leaders but also that of the entire church community.
Nouwen believes that the best way to determine the success of leadership is to consider the “communal and mutual experience” rather than the ordinary consideration of the effectiveness of the leader only. This unique approach posits that leadership without the community is impossible since, as Christians, we are all collectively called by God into enjoying a common experience.
Church leaders, pastors, and ministers will find this book a game-changer amongst the broad outlook on matters of church leadership as they now have to factor in the contribution of the congregation in shaping leadership.
It is not enough to recognize that, as a leader, you have the responsibility to lead. It is important to know and understand the role your community plays in how effective or ineffective your leadership turns out.
8. The Motive: Why So Many Leaders Abdicate Their Most Important Responsibilities by Patrick Lencioni
Patrick Lencioni’s approach to major leadership lessons using simple fables endears him to scores of readers across the world. The Motive is one such fable that Christian and business leaders can look to for tips on examining their true motivation for taking up leadership.
While it calls for utmost honesty to oneself, not many leaders would be able to fully discover the true motivation behind their zeal to lead. Lencioni presents us with practical ways of examining ourselves to see what spurs us into leadership.
By following his actionable tips, as leaders we are able to avoid the loopholes that kill our church communities and eliminate the pitfalls that cause hurt to the very followers we are serving.
Lencioni uses plot twists and dialogues to bring us to an unexpected and equally enlightening resolution, coupled with simple life lessons from the fable and practical advice drawn from his theory on leadership and life in general.
9. Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action by Simon Sinek
This bestseller is part of Sinek’s Start with Why series. It explores, in depth, the idea that leaders need to determine the reasons or motives that drive people into joining a movement or service. For the leader, the Why part would include assessing oneself to determine the reason you are involved in leadership.
This is a must-read leadership book for examining the real-life motivations that guide people into different lines of action. He also draws comparisons between major world leaders who, although from different backgrounds, exhibit similarities in their manner of thinking, acting, and communicating. Sinek names this aspect The Golden Circle.
The Golden Circle offers a system through which movements are led, organizations built, and people inspired. Sinek provokes us with several questions, such as why some people command greater loyalty from both employees and customers. The same methods can be replicated in church situations.
10. Next Generation Leader: 5 Essentials for Those Who Will Shape the Future by Andy Stanley
Church leadership will soon become obsolete if churches fail to invest in leadership development to bring up a future disciple team from the youth ranks. In this book, Andy Stanley notes that missional mandates can be instilled in the youth to prepare them for leadership roles in the future through equipping them with the five basic characteristics:
Andy Stanley shows us how the future crop of leaders can be mentored through practical advice and approaches to:
Maintain stable moral authority
Discover and tap into one’s strengths
Enlist the help of leadership coaches
Harness one’s fears.
At only 176 pages long, this is a must-read for all church leaders who realize the importance of nurturing the next generation. Just like a robust country thrives on how best the youths are trained, a healthy church calls for an equipped young generation.
Day after day, the world moves further toward a full service economy where groceries, fast food, and even furniture are delivered to your door. People are living to older ages than ever before, and even people with disabilities are connecting in ways they never could before the age of the Internet.
According to a U.S. Census report released in April 2021, by 2018, 85% of U.S. households had a broadband internet subscription, and 84% of households used smartphones. Your church members use the internet to connect to the world around them. You can use the internet to connect to them as well.
I’m Lexie Schmidt, and, by the end of this article, I will teach you how to bring your church into the 21st century and start reaching some of our most underserved populations. I was trained to be a pastor by my grandfather, and spent a great deal of time in my youth learning everything he knew about the ministry. When my grandfather was between churches, my mom took my siblings and me to a megachurch where my mom founded the first IT department, which I helped her run.
That church put on plays, illustrated sermons, and other multimedia presentations. I worked my way up to Assistant Youth Pastor, taking nearly every job in between, where I was in charge of producing announcement videos, coordinating leadership teams, and running sound while playing lead guitar for worship, so multimedia leadership and ministry are my wheelhouse.
This article applies to every church no matter how big or small. Be sure to keep that in mind as you go forward. While this article will have you ready to go live, the actual content you provide depends on your congregation. No one knows your congregation and their specific needs better than you.
Before we get into the nuts-and-bolts of creating your church’s YouTube channel, let’s look at the benefits of having a channel and, at the end of the article, we’ll examine a few goals that your new channel can help you complete.
First, having a YouTube channel makes it easy for members of your congregation who have limited mobility to participate in services from home. This also applies to those who have to work during church hours to provide for their families.
Instead of missing church by two hours, the waitress working the breakfast shift at the local diner can praise the Lord and listen to the Word after her shift. The disabled man who can only come once a month when someone can give him a ride will now be able to attend every service.
Another benefit is that YouTube is free to the user and creator. The ability to reach into someone’s home and touch their hearts is not the realm of the rich anymore. Your church no longer needs expensive television time slots. Your viewers no longer need cable or satellite packages that specifically include Christian content.
How To Set Up Your YouTube Channel
1. Creating a Google Account and Getting to YouTube
Now, to the fun stuff! The first step to creating your channel is to create a Google account. If your church already has a Gmail account, you should use that one. If not, go to Gmail and click on “create account”. Follow the instructions. It should only take a minute or so before you come to a page that looks like this…
The circle on the top-right corner is where you can access all of your account information. The nine dots to the left are where you find all of Google’s apps, including YouTube. Click on the YouTube icon, and you will be sent to YouTube’s front page. Once there, click on the circle to get a list of options.
As you can see, I set my appearance to “Dark” which I recommend to anyone who uses a computer for long periods of time. Save yourself from eye strain!
2. Creating Your Channel
Next, click on “Create a channel”. Upload a picture that represents your church. The photo could be of the congregation, a cross, a Bible, or even your church building itself. As long as your photo is easy to identify for your members.
A name will be auto-filled based on the name of your Google account, but you can change it at this stage. Typically, you want your channel to have the same name as your church so that there is no confusion for search engines and people who are less tech-savvy than others.
If you are happy with the photo and name of your channel, click on “Create Channel” in the lower-right corner. Congratulations! Your ministry is now on YouTube. My work here is done. Wait…I promised to get you to your first uploaded video. It is very simple, but I’ll be thorough so that you understand the whole process.
3. Recording A Welcome Video
The next step is recording a welcome video. This video will display on your church’s YouTube page every time someone comes to see what’s new. This video should be around one minute long, and no longer than two minutes.
Say welcome, state your church’s purpose, and explain what newcomers to your channel can expect. Don’t worry if this first video feels weak. Working in front of a camera is much different than working in front of your congregation, and it can take time to get used to new media.
How To Record The Welcome Video
The easiest way to record is to use your smartphone. A laptop with a built-in camera works, too. As long as the visuals are sharp and the audio is clear, whichever method you choose is the right one. You can upload videos from any device that can access your YouTube account, so don’t be afraid to experiment with a few choices from what is available to you.
Current smartphone cameras are comparable to television cameras, and their quality is just a bit behind movie cameras since those switched to all-digital productions. If you decide to make more videos, investing in better equipment can help take you to the next level. Until then, stick with what you have at hand.
Camera work, especially for preachers, takes practice. When preaching, you ebb and flow. You’re quiet one moment, shouting the next. You walk from one side of the stage to the other. You hold up the Bible to emphasize a point. For something like a welcome message, you have to speak as though you are talking personally to the viewer. The softness of counseling someone should come through as you invite them to spend time with your ministry in worship and the message you have prepared.
Now, there are good videos and bad videos on YouTube. Your loyal members might be forgiving of a bad video, but newcomers are typically harsh, so before you start recording, keep these things in mind:
Lighting. Keep yourself in the light, and out of shadow. Sometimes, the best place for this is at your pulpit or in a chair on stage where lighting is already designed to be balanced. Bad lighting can make an otherwise good video unwatchable.
Presence. Presence is how you fill the screen and where you are on it. Is this a headshot? Are you sitting in a chair? Do you have a church symbol you want to display next to you? My advice is use a one-quarter shot, which includes your head and shoulders. Your viewers will be able to see you from the tiny box that the welcome video plays in on your channel’s page, while also not being too close for people who watch it in the larger video player. Remember, you’re not filling the entire stage like you are when you preach. Fill the screen.
Wardrobe. This should go without saying since pastors are usually expected to be presentable. First impressions are always the most important, so record this in your Sunday best.
Smile. Sometimes, it’s easy to forget to smile when you are recording a video. So many other things go through your head that you forget to be pleasant. You are inviting people into your church. Show them you’re happy that they have come.
4. Uploading Your Video
The next step is to go back to YouTube. Make sure you are signed in under the church’s account, not your own or someone else’s account. Click the circle, which should now be the photo you uploaded during channel creation, and click “YouTube Studio.” On the left, you will see this list. If all the options are not visible, the list should be scrollable.
You can play around in all the different areas later. First, click on “Content”. It will say “No content available” just above a button that reads “Upload Videos”. Click the button and select the video from wherever it is saved on your device. A new window will pop up asking for a title and description. More options are available under the description, like “Thumbnail” and “Playlist”. The one to take note of is the only required selection (other than the title), which is whether the video’s intended audience is kids.
Select “No, it’s not made for kids.” The way that YouTube indexes children’s content can hide it from some people due to how YouTube’s content algorithm works. It can also restrict certain options like comments. Click “Next”.
The “Video Elements” screen has three options.
If you are trying to reach people who are deaf and hard of hearing, you might be interested in subtitles. YouTube subtitles are not perfect, but they work. The language selection is on the “Details” screen. Scroll down and click on “Show more” and continue scrolling to the language section. Select your country’s language, and then select “This content has never aired on television in the US” for Caption Certification. Back on “Video Elements”, you can enable subtitles.
“End Screen” is something that will display at the end of your video for a few seconds. Later on, as YouTube becomes a bigger part of your ministry, you might want to consider adding one.
“Cards” display over your “End Screen”, if you have one. They are small previews of other videos on your channel that your viewers can click on to watch. If you are doing a multi-part Bible study, for example, you could add links to other videos in the series using the cards option.
On the next screen,” Checks”, YouTube checks for copyright violations, but you should be fine unless you were playing music in the background of your video. Finally, on “Visibility”, your welcome video should probably be published immediately. Later videos can be published at different times, based on the situation.
Hooray! Your upload is completed, and you have published a video that anyone can see! There is only one thing left to do: make it your channel trailer. Click “Customization” from the list on the left (shown in the third screenshot above), select your welcome video, and you’re done!
Now, when you want to livestream your Sunday service, click on “Create” next to the circle in the top-right, and click “Go live” from the menu. The method of recording is the same as your other videos, but make sure that the person who is recording has a full view of the stage so that you can preach to the congregation within the building as well. Your live videos of services will, most likely, not be made with the same personal nature that you recorded your welcome video with.
You may ask why you would want to stream your services live instead of putting up recordings later. The answer is two-fold. First, streamed videos stay on your channel and can be watched later by people as they would a recording. Second, your members who cannot join in person will experience your service at the same time as the members in the building, which increases the feeling of fellowship with their brothers and sisters in Christ.
Moving Forward Online
This is where your goals come in. A channel is useless without videos to put on it. Videos can come from many sources: your services, your Bible studies, or your prayer meetings. What parts of your ministry do you want to be available to everyone? When they search your church’s name, what do you want to pop up on Google and YouTube? Is there a group in your community that you are trying to make inroads with? The answers to these questions will inform the specific content you make from week to week.
Creating videos is as hard or as easy as you make it, and finding the right tech-wiz in your congregation can make a world of difference, but I hope I’ve shown that you can do this on your own without much trouble. If you have questions or comments about any part of this, comment below. If you would like to see more in-depth tutorials about different aspects of creating content for your YouTube channel, please comment also.
If you want to know the best church technology conferences to attend in 2021, you’ve come to the right place. Our specially curated list includes both in-person and virtual events that feature renowned Christian thought leaders and practitioners from across the globe.
Church technology can help you stay connected and relate with your church members and the world more effectively. While some church leaders shun technology, these conferences will help demonstrate to you why it’s worth embracing.
Best Church Technology Conferences List
These conferences are great for teaching you how to leverage the latest church tech trends to spread the gospel of Jesus Christ wider and farther than ever.
The CFX event is focused on equipping churches for a changing ministry landscape by becoming more technology savvy. It cuts across the board from leadership, management and communication to event production and facilities management. It is aimed at all church leaders from pastors, executive pastors and church staff, to technical artists and operations managers.
You can also access the events through live streaming on platforms like Facebook and video calls with the exhibitors.
Price: $425-$705 onsite depending on preferred sessions
Location: Las Vegas Convention Center (LVCC)
LDI is a conference and trade exhibition for various live design professionals across the world. It has over 16,000 members drawn from sectors like corporate events, houses of worship, concerts, and theme parks.
Attendees will learn about the latest technologies, interact with industry experts, and nourish their creativity. The conference is a great fit for filmmakers and innovators interested in how church tech systems work for effective and productive church communication.
Location: Willow Creek Community Church, South Barrington, Illinois
The FILO Conference is for anyone involved in technology at their local church. It’s great for church staff working in audio or lighting, technical artists, music directors, creative directors, and worship pastors to anyone else who works with technical artists.
The event encompasses the FILO Conference, FILO podcast, FILO Coaching, and the FILO Blog. The event will live streamed this year to accommodate those who are unable to attend due to COVID-19 restrictions.
SALT is all about using technology creatively as a vehicle for God to communicate powerfully and intimately to His people. The conference is aimed at nurturing a technical and creative arts community and combines workshops on creativity with powerful talks and inspiring moments of worship. The 2020 edition of the SALT Conference was a virtual three-day event. Since plans for the 2021 edition are still underway, interested attendees can register for email updates on their sign-up page.
Price: Free online streaming, $97 for replay access
That Church Conference focuses on enabling Christian digital communicators to tell stories. Attendees will learn about church communication and practical marketing strategies, covering topics such as communications, technology, social media, marketing, and design.
Top-notch speakers and Christian practitioners including leadership coaches, media producers, creative strategists, ministry consultants, communicators, pastors, and directors of communications will grace the event.
Interested attendees will have the opportunity to stream the two-day virtual event for free or access a paid replay.
You can buy a Replay Pass at only $97 per year to view all the 5+ years of conference sessions.
Thrive exists to create experiences and resources that encourage and inspire people everyone from church pastors to school students.
The Thrive Conference features four mid and pre-conference breakouts through which attending churchgoers will gain inspiration on topics such as creative communications, preaching and speaking, worship and production, among others. Oh, they’re seriously fun too.
Location: Our Savior Lutheran Church, Tacoma, Washington
The Christian Musician Summit is for you if you are a Christian songwriter, worship leader, indie artist, church leader, gospel musician, or church technician. The summit has been running since 2003 and seeks to improve the skills and talents of musical individuals for the glory of God.
Attendees are provided with practical sessions and resources to improve their skills and inspire talent for God’s glory. Workshops and performances are held by top industry musicians and there’s a real festival atmosphere.
Let Us Know How You Get On
Attending one or more of these conferences will provide you with plenty of knowledge and opportunities to network with other leaders in the Christian community.
Let us know how you get on and if there are any we missed off the list that you think are worthwhile to attend.
We live in an era where church technology resources are an essential part of any successful ministry. Statistics show that these resources can help churches and their staff members in many ways. These include enhancing worship, improving church communication, and automating administrative tasks.
Many people tend to associate technology with entertainment. Pope Francis once noted this among his congregants when they were using their phones to take photographs instead of concentrating on his sermon. Church leaders should set an example on proper usage of these resources in educating and strengthening congregations.
In this article, I’m going to share ten church technology resources you can use to guide your adoption of church technology.
Pushpay is a template that offers various important church technology resources for church leaders including:
On-demand Pushpay University lessons for church leaders
Tips on planning and managing church budget
Church management software
Custom-branded church Apps.
It is the 21st century and Church leaders should take full advantage of church technology resources to enhance their worship services. Here’s our list of The Best Church Technology Conferences In 2021 you should take a good look at.