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Church Property Management: How To & 12 Simple Maintenance Tips

One of the most time-consuming but important aspects of running a church is church property management. Everything from running routine church maintenance around the premises to various facility management procedures, it is all so crucial to keeping your church in tip-top shape to continue being the spiritual home for your congregation. 

I’ll be the first to admit that church property management is the least exciting part of a job in ministry, but someone has to be the one to clean the bathrooms, restock supplies, and ensure the floral decorations are fresh. 

It’s a mostly thankless job but one that I did for many years as part of my responsibilities. Here are some of the tips and tricks I learned during my time maintaining a church. 

I’ll cover:

What Is Church Property Management?

For starters, let’s talk about what exactly your church property management even is. The property of your church is anything and everything that you own. It’s the land your church building is built on, the other facilities that are connected to it, the parking lot, any signs you have, and everything else that falls within this zone. 

Facility management has to do with maintaining all of the premises, both outdoors and indoors. Every single room, bathroom, office, chair, computer, equipment, and everything else should be properly repaired and checked to ensure that they are up to date and ready for each service and event you do. 

Church property management includes a variety of different roles and hats you have to wear, from plumber to electrician to even IT. There is a lot involved in this process, which is why it is so overwhelming for many churches. This is especially the case the larger your church is and the more church plants you have. 

Who Is Responsible For Property Management In The Church?

At the end of the day, not everyone wants to deal with the facility management at a church and I have seen firsthand some church leaders pass on their responsibilities to someone else (usually me, in my case) to deal with. That said, it is my belief that everyone should contribute to church property management in some way. 

Every one of the full-time staff members should do their part in maintaining the church and its facilities one way or another. It is up to the church management to decide how these responsibilities are divided up, but it should be a team process. 

The best churches I ever served at had pastors and leaders who were not against unclogging a toilet when necessary. We had a motto at one of the churches I worked at where “if you see a problem, fix it.” Don’t wait for someone else to do it or else it likely won’t get done. 

That said, there should also be dedicated janitorial, construction, and repair teams that you have set up at your church. There should be staff who clean the facilities every day and week, and keep plumbers, electricians, painters, security, and the like on call so you can contact them at a moment’s notice for emergencies.

Volunteers can help with church property management, but be sure to have your church staff members ready to tackle mopping, sweeping, and restocking anytime it’s necessary. 

How To Do Church Facility Management: 6 Considerations

There is so much to consider when it comes to church property management that it can be quite overwhelming to tackle. 

Instead of stumbling around, fixing stuff whenever you see an issue, here are the six main areas of your church you need to keep an eye on at all times if you wish to maintain a gorgeous church, inside and out. This applies to both leasing and land ownership situations.

Church Grounds

Firstly, there are your church grounds. These are the outside areas of your church which are, arguably, one of the most important but neglected parts of a church when it comes to upkeep. How your facilities look from the outside will give the first impression for any visitors who show up. Your building maintenance can affect what they think of the rest of your church. 

Make sure to maintain the exterior of buildings, walkways, sidewalks, the parking lot, any parking structures you have, signs, gardens, playgrounds, and anything else that is on-site. If it is within your church’s lands, it is your church grounds, so keep it looking as vibrant and welcoming as you possibly can. 

Security

Security is a particular area where many churches mistakenly trip up, but that shouldn’t be the case in today’s age. There are clear dangers and issues in this fallen world, so ignoring that isn’t taking proper care of the Christians you’ve been given the responsibility of guiding. 

To this point, security encompasses much more than just some cameras here and there. You should have a team of security guards equipped to protect and guard the premises at all hours, and you should absolutely have active eyes on every entrance to your facilities. This goes doubly so for any children or youth ministries you have. 

Maintenance

General maintenance of your facilities is one of the broader considerations you need to have. This includes maintaining the bathrooms, lighting, internet, chairs, tables, HVAC system, and anything else you have in your church. Routine checks of these elements of your buildings is imperative to avoid major problems like flooding and unnecessary blackouts. 

Cleaning

There is also regular cleaning you need for your church. Every week, if not every day, there should be cleaning happening everywhere in your church. Every room and office should be cleaned from top to bottom every week with no concessions. If this means getting a full-on janitorial team to tackle it all, do it. 

You should also do occasional deep cleaning, too. This is one area that some churches skip out on and it eventually shows over time. While it may not be fun, make time to clean those hard-to-reach areas every couple months or so. 

Equipment

Equipment in your church includes computers, printers, cleaning equipment, microphones, sound systems, speakers, stage lights, and so on. There is a lot of equipment you need to run a modern church these days, and they should be maintained just like everything else. 

Unfortunately, equipment like computers and the like should require dedicated maintenance from a professional who is involved in IT. This is why I always recommend hiring an IT person and building a relationship with a nice audio and tech store to have any issues fixed before services and events. 

Supplies

Your cleaning supplies and the like are also what you should consider. As part of your church property management, there are the various items you need to keep cleaning every week before and after services. These supplies allow you to keep your facility maintenance strong so never skimp on them. 

Supplies also include things like light bulbs, toilet paper, and other items that ensure the comfort of your church members.

Have backup plans in the event you run out of stuff, but, of course, plan to avoid that with frequent shipments of supplies or by picking them up from a wholesale supplier. 

12 Tips For Church Property Management & Maintenance

I spent most of my teenage and young adult years maintaining a somewhat large church so here are some of the quick tips that I learned during that time: 

  • Get everyone in your church involved. It builds unity between the team and doesn’t allow anyone, including the lead pastor, to feel above the rest of the congregation. 
  • Make use of volunteers and church members who come to help out at your church. They’re usually eager and waiting to help out in any way possible! Sometimes we left our biggest projects, such as remodeling or painting, for when they came to help. 
  • Church property management is perfect for recovery programs. We had a drug addiction recovery program which involved members helping out with maintenance to build strength and stay busy. 
  • Take full advantage of Costco, supplies companies, and the like. Make good use of your tax exemptions, too. 
  • Connect with local law enforcement as it is possible for them to assist with security at large events sometimes or even block off roads when necessary.
  • Have cameras everywhere on your premises (inside and out) to catch anyone who might do graffiti or break in. 
  • Have overnight security guards, if possible, to roam the church grounds. 
  • Keep a detailed maintenance schedule of who cleans what and when. 
  • Also have a routine schedule of when you check out various equipment, such as lighting and computers, so they are always up to date. 
  • Remain compliant with local laws in regards to fire code and practice regular drills. 
  • If you have children’s ministries, connect with legal and licensing authorities, and ensure that you are up to code in all safety and sanitary measures. 
  • Don’t spare expenses when it comes to your cleaning equipment. Get the most powerful industrial vacuums, carpet cleaners, and so on. You’ll need them.

Organizing Your Church Is Next

Maintaining church property management is a valuable part of your church. The look of your church may not make God shine brighter on your congregation, but it will attract more people interested in finding out what you’re all about. However, it isn’t just how your church cosmetically looks but how organized it is that keeps people involved.

As such, I recommend next taking a look at what church administration is all about. Like facility management, your church admin responsibilities aren’t the most glamorous aspect of your church. That said, the effects of neglecting it are clearly felt. Find out more about what the church administration job description entails and why you need it here

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Article How To

How To Set Up Church Administration: 7 Key Steps For Lead Pastors

The peaks of serving in ministry and setting up a church are seeing the fruits of your labor in new church members, salvation, baptism, and more. But the reality is, there is so much that goes into building a church that leads to those moments, such as finding out how to set up church administration. 

Church administration is one of the least exciting parts of creating a church body but it is no less integral to our mission than anything else. In fact, without the organization, structure, and guidance of proper administrators, a church can struggle in every other avenue. 

While it is challenging and sometimes frustrating learning how to set up effective church administration, I hope to simplify that for you. I know from my own experience that budgets, paperwork, software, documents, and all of that can be boring and tedious, but it is worth it. Here’s how to set up and implement church admin in a proper way. 

I’ll cover:

What Is Church Administration?

Before we go any further, it is necessary for you to understand what church administration is. All at once, church admin responsibilities include anything and everything. It is the firm backbone of your ministries from a financial and organizational standpoint. 

All of the structure for your church and your general physical and metaphorical foundation comes from your administration and God. I love how Dylan Miller put it in this breakdown of what you need to know about church administration: basically, the intentional, God-centered method by which you organize all of your resources and church members to love God and love people as the Bible calls us to. 

The stewardship of your financial budget, the structure of your church body, managing church leaders, scheduling, church event details, contact information, and countless other areas are part of your church admin. 

Why Is Church Administration Important?

The importance of properly set up church administration comes from the fact that it sets the foundation for everything else in your ministry. Without it, you have an unorganized mess with no real structure that will struggle much more than it needs to or should.

Church administration brings necessary and oft-ignored order to what is otherwise a wild and surprising journey in which we follow Jesus. Spontaneity and flexibility are absolutely crucial to bringing in new members to the church, but we often forget about the thoughtful organization that can retain and empower those members. 

Church administration provides the basis from which everything occurs within the local church. It connects the dots between ministries and is the gateway for everything to happen in a peaceful manner. 

Your church admin leaders bridge together your food bank, your homeless ministry, buses, youth group, children’s center, and anything else that makes your church one complete package. This unity is essential for successful churches who wish to continue the mission of spreading the Good News for many generations to come, especially as church growth occurs. 

How To Set Up Church Administration?

The nitty gritty of setting up church administration is not nearly as fun as other parts of your church building. That said, these steps will, hopefully, simplify the process in a slightly less frustrating way. I took these steps from my own time serving as part of a church admin team. 

1. Step Back and Take a Look

Before you can ever have a fully set up church administration, you need to take a moment to assess your unique situation. Every church is different and should be handled in its own dedicated manner. Some of the sections you should look at include: your current structure, various ministries, day-to-day schedule, and staff members. 

The key here is to see an overview of your current situation so you have an idea of where to go from here. This is also where you take a look at the savings your church has, your estimated income each year, and so on. The point here is to look at everything you currently have and write it all down in a clear manner. 

2. Hire the Right People

Once you know and fully understand your situation, it is time to move forward with building out your church admin. It is at this point that I recommend starting to hire the right people for the job with detailed job descriptions. Creating your dedicated administration will cost a fair bit of money but it’s ultimately worth it.

You don’t need to hire your full administrative staff right now, but it is at least worth hiring an administrative assistant and chief financial officer, as well as designating someone in charge of corporate structuring who knows about managing a non-profit. With these fundamental positions filled, you can truly start to create something viable. 

3. Plan Your Infrastructure

With a few members on your staff to be your administrators, you can start to plan out your infrastructure. This includes your general organization for the church as well as financial details like fundraising. It is here that you build out a map of your entire church and its ministries. 

Which ministries are your focal points? Which ones fall under other ones, such as the bus team answering to the youth ministry? How many staff members does each department have or need? What is the budget that you’ll dedicate to each ministry and why? 

This is also where your church staff organization comes into play. Who is in charge of which ministry? Who is the contact point for information regarding your women’s groups, for example? Who leads your various ministries and keeps everyone in check? Where do the church board members and the senior pastor come into play? 

Your infrastructure is a vital part of your church administration, so take your time with this part and truly consider every single section equally. I recommend waiting a few weeks and then reevaluating what you came up with for your infrastructure once finished. This way, you can make changes with a clear mind, if necessary. 

4. Create a Modern IT Department

In the 21st century, the internet dominates the entire world and our culture. It needs to be an active part of your infrastructure, and should be set up early on. I recommend that every church have a full-on IT department or at least an IT technician in charge of everything. 

Your IT person should take care of your computers, software, church website, and other equipment to ensure that it is up to date and capable of everything you need it to be capable of. Each ministry should be equipped with the most recent hardware and software to be able to budget, plan, and execute actions accordingly. 

This is not a place where you cut costs and compromise as you will need the best that you can possibly afford, in terms of both equipment and people, to properly livestream, take photos, share on the internet, and connect your departments together. Your IT department is one of the binding forces between everything that happens in your local church. 

5. Define Your Procedures

Part of the job of your church administrators will be to come up with detailed documentation and procedures for everything that happens in your church. This is where you create your business proposals, mission statements, risk management sequences, and much more. 

The responsibility of the church admin is to provide information about every single aspect of your church. Define all of your ministries, the roles of each church staff member, the steps for every possible scenario from good to bad, and leave no room for surprises. This is how you organize your church in the best manner possible. 

6. Dedicate Your Resources

Part of the administration’s responsibilities are to figure out the best way to allot the resources, both financially and otherwise, for church operations. This is where your accountant and other staff members come into play, as they can focus on the church budget for each ministry, and ensure that you aren’t overreaching. 

In addition, there is the matter of manpower at the same time. The members of your church, including church leadership and volunteers alike, are also resources to allocate in the various outreach ministries and, like money, some departments need them more than others. 

You only have so much available in terms of people and funds so it’s your administration’s job to distribute them adequately. 

7. Set Up Leadership and Goals for Future Success

Once you finally have your church finances signed off on, everyone is comfortable in their positions, and the church needs are met for each of your ministries, it is time to look to the future. The church administration isn’t just there to evaluate and execute on the current situation in your local church, but the future, too. 

Administrators should help plan for the future, and should be a part of creating the various goals that you have planned. The admin team is your source of planning for how you’ll go about funding various projects and how they’ll get done. 

In addition, they can assist when it comes to expansion and knowing how many new staff members you’ll need down the road and how to go about making that happen. This will all help you set up for future success. 

Church Administration Software for Proper Church Management

A large part of the way that a church administration handles its business is through using dedicated church management software designed to assist with various features and needs. Sure, you’ll need the standard software like Google Workspace, Microsoft Excel, Word, and so on, but there are special programs, too. 

Alexandria Schmidt previously broke down the 10 best church administration software you should consider for your congregation. These go far beyond the traditional spreadsheets and slideshows you might be used to, and help to elevate your administrative capabilities. 

With church management software like GoDoChurch and others, you’ll be able to keep track of employee info, volunteers, church members, events, financial resources, tithing, and more. Administration software is necessary for organizing church communications between departments more easily.

Through the use of this software and with the help of a dedicated IT person, you’ll be able to more easily do the above steps of allocating your resources, planning ahead for the future, creating documentation for all situations, and more. 

How Social Media Fits Into Church Administration?

Church administration encompasses so much throughout your ministry, from the financial side to the organization aspects and beyond. Without a doubt, this is why you need to have a dedicated team of administrators to sift and make sense of every element of your church body. Learn where you can get dedicated church administration training here.

This includes social media, which is a cornerstone of church admin and church marketing, which I didn’t even touch on in this guide. 

Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, TikTok, and other apps are all invaluable components of the internet today for every church out there. Navigating those sites can be overwhelming, but I hope that my previous breakdown of everything you need to know about church social media marketing can help. 

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Article How To

Ultimate Guide To Church Business Plans: How To & A Free Template

When you hear someone refer to a church as a business, I don’t blame you if you shudder a little bit. The idea of any church running itself as a traditional business is alarming and, rightfully so. That said, the church is technically a business/organization under the government and we can learn from companies through features like a church business plan. 

A church business plan takes the idea of laying out a document with everything someone needs to know at a glance about an organization. Instead of making it about maximizing profits and return on investments, though, it is about building the Kingdom of God. 

In my time serving in a large church, I find the most successful and growing churches nail down an efficient church business plan. 

I’ll cover:

What Is A Church Business Plan?

At its core, a strategic plan isn’t too much different from one you might find in a standard brick-and-mortar store. The idea is to lay out who your business (religious organization, in this case) is, what its purpose is, and how you will go about accomplishing your goals. 

A church business plan doesn’t have to be as detailed or extensive in its raw data, specifics, and legal jargon like you might find in a regular business. It is possible to shrink it down to a single page where you succinctly and adequately describe the top level details of your church. 

A church business plan is a straightforward, technical document. It can include some of your more passionate ideas but this page should essentially be as dry as can be.

Why Do You Need A Church Business Plan?

There are a few reasons why you need a strategic plan, starting with the fact that you should take your church’s plans seriously. If you want to be taken seriously by others and experience church growth, building out a clear plan can help with that. 

The point of the church business plan is to show yourself and your staff members the steps moving forward for your church. Laying this out for your church staff will ensure that everyone is on the same page with a clear focus in front of them. 

This is especially crucial for any new church staff members you add to your team down the road. They weren’t with an original church leader when you first formed your vision and goals, so a business plan can be part of orienting them to your team. 

It goes beyond your church’s four walls, though. A church strategic plan is also essential for partnering with third-parties, be it investors, businesses, charity organizations, donors, and even other churches in your community. 

A business plan that you bring to the table immediately informs and shows the potential partner how serious you are about your business. Since few churches do this from my experience, I find that organizations are more willing to work with a church plant with an actual plan. 

What Should Be Included In Your Business Plan?

The strategic planning process can be daunting, especially if you don’t have a professional on your team with experience with these. I find that a business plan for a church doesn’t need to be as lengthy or specific as one with an actual for-profit company or startup.

That said, there are some bare minimum sections and features you should absolutely include in your church business plan. Here’s what you need:

  • Executive summary (can go by a different name as you will see in our template)
  • Values and vision for your church
  • Mission statement
  • Current goals (both short-term and long-term)
  • Plan of action for how to strategically execute those goals
  • List of ministries and current staff members
  • Financial (can be included in the prior section)

How To Create A Business Plan For Your Church?

When it comes to creating a church business plan, it can be a group effort between a few core staff members. I find this helps alleviate some of the stress and ensures that everyone’s ideas shine through. As mentioned, you can absolutely cover a business plan on a single page or even two without sacrificing the importance of it. 

1. Values and Vision (Executive Summary)

A business plan should begin with the overview of your church and what will be addressed below. Businesses call this the executive summary, but I like to call this area your values and vision. This is where you break down what your church stands for, what it believes in, and what it wants to do. 

This is a brief section, only meant to be a couple of paragraphs at best. I like to divide it between the now (what you believe in and currently do) with the future (what you are praying to see happen). Keep this section as brief and engaging as possible to hook in the reader who might just help you make this all happen. 

2. Mission Statement

Your mission statement should be its own section when it comes to a church business plan, not included in the previous area. This is because your mission is why you are doing what you’re doing. It is the central mantra of your church and should be given the spotlight it deserves. 

The mission is your ultimate goal for your church, which you can word however you like. Any variation of building out the Kingdom of God or seeing everyone become believers works in this case. A couple of sentences or a short paragraph will do here. 

3. Current Goals

This third section is where we get into the nitty gritty of the church business plans. In this area, you lay out your current goals. While your mission statement is to see the whole world believe, your goals are smaller, more focused ideas that you can actually tackle with your church alone. 

These should include both short-term and long-term goals that your church has. A short-term goal might be something like completing the renovations of your sanctuary and buying a new piece of land. A long-term goal, though, could be to take that new land and build a homeless shelter or food bank for the nearby community. 

4. Plan of Action

Your goals and ideas need action to make them happen. This is the section where you detail the strategies you have for tackling your various goals. This could be noting that you need X amount of budget for Y purpose and go over the exact steps needed to happen. 

Your Plan of Action section can take up several pages on its own, so I prefer bullet points here that you can elaborate on in separate documents or meetings. Other Plan of Action could include smaller steps that build up to the greater goals. 

For instance, if you want a new piece of land for creating a new children’s center for the congregation, this is where you note steps for that. It could include meeting with nearby landowners, garnering interest from investors, doing fundraisers to gather funds for it, and finding the right construction company. 

5. Ministries and Staff Members

This final section is a bit of a catch-all area. You want the people you’re possibly partnering with or hiring onto your staff to know more about your church. Here, I like to list out all of the core ministries that you have at your church, a very brief description of them, and your staff members. 

That is rather straightforward enough, but it gives someone who might not regularly attend your weekly church service a better idea of it. In addition, I also like to include any financial areas in this section. 

If you want the person to know how much your church brought in last year, your current capital, and monthly costs, this is the place to do it, or create a separate section for it entirely, if you feel it is necessary. 

Church Business Plan Template & Sample

You can find my church business plan template here (simply click the link and make a copy of the document to edit). This blank template offers you the sections that I believe are crucial to any church serious about organizing its ideas for possible partners.

In addition, I included a sample of a filled-out business plan that offers a look at what you should include in each section. This sample isn’t directly taken from any one church—I used a made-up church in this case—but it is taken from some of the elements of past churches I worked with. 

Plan For The Good And The Bad

The church business plan is a document used for information, growth, and investment in your church. For the most part, everything surrounding this plan is dealing with the hopefuls and positives. But you also need to plan ahead when it comes to the negatives, too. 

There are struggles, disagreements, and issues that will inevitably happen when we come together to make a real change in the world. For those situations, a business plan won’t help in the slightest. I recommend creating a church risk management plan, which is there to mitigate and solve issues that can and will pop up. 

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Church Social Media Marketing: Ultimate How To Guide For Pastors

Gone are the days of simply leaving a flyer on someone’s door or putting up a poster around town to spread word about your church. While those elements may still have their place in present-day church marketing, it shouldn’t be your main avenue. Instead, church social media marketing should be the focus of every church today. 

Social media, for better or worse, dominates every aspect of modern life. And every business, company, and person wishing to make an impact today is using it to maximize their spread. So, why shouldn’t churches be doing the same? 

I previously worked in a leadership role for a church in Los Angeles, California, and know firsthand the importance of social media. It was one of the most important reasons for our growth during my time there and it can be for your church, too. 

Social media is daunting and even concerning to some church leaders. But it doesn’t have to be. Here’s what I have learned about church social media marketing and how you can use this knowledge to enhance your church’s presence online. 

I’ll cover:

What Is Social Media Marketing For Churches?

Before we go any further, you should first understand what church social media marketing is. It’s not the same as social media marketing for businesses or celebrities since your goals, mission, and even methods are different. 

When it comes to social media for churches, this form of marketing is all about utilizing different social media sites to grow and inform your church members. It is the primary way of integrating new members into your congregation through sharing your church’s purpose and information about who you are. 

Social media marketing for churches is the gateway from which you share the Gospel and, hopefully, draw people to your various events and church services. It is the first tool that you have at your disposal for promoting your church and interacting with your community. 

Church social media marketing is crucial for newcomers to your church and your most dedicated members alike. When face-to-face interaction isn’t available, social media creates opportunities to build up our community with love, joy, unity, and encouragement. It is part of the church identity and branding that you create. 

Why Should Churches Care About Social Media Marketing?

There are plenty of churches that sit around and do nothing when it comes to marketing and social media. Or, they focus solely on the traditional methods of spreading news. I have seen far too many churches that simply don’t care about social media. 

Ignoring social media marketing is one of the gravest mistakes that I’ve seen in modern churches and it can be easily avoided. You should care about church social media marketing because it is the most successful way of influencing your community and the people around you. 

Before someone can ever join your church, they need to know about you. Without social media, you are essentially up creek without a paddle, so to speak, when it comes to informing potential members. They won’t know about your church at all, let alone have a desire to attend there. 

If you have aspirations or goals for growing your church, you need social media marketing. If you want to have a church identity that is known in your community, you need to be on social media. And if you want to appeal to the current generation of young adults and the ones to come, you absolutely have to use social media marketing. 

What Is A Church Social Media Strategy?

Social media can be a land mine for some churches to navigate. Figuring out which sites to be on, how to interact with the younger generations, and even what can and can’t be said can be challenging. 

You need a church social media strategy where you put together a physical plan and some guidelines for how to handle your social media content. This strategy will determine what your church chooses to do or not do when it comes to various social media platforms. 

A church social media strategy is where you decide the boundaries for how you will handle marketing on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and so on. What will you post on those platforms? How will you engage with your church members? And how will you grow your brand through active engagement? 

These are the parameters that this type of strategy determines.

How To Create A Church Social Media Strategy?

Creating a social media strategy for your church can be daunting, especially if you aren’t an active user yourself. To help with this, I have come up with some basic steps that I believe are easy enough to follow that can help you come up with a church social media strategy of your own. 

1. Selecting the Right Social Channels

Above all else, social media can be daunting because there are so many channels. Before you can hone in on specializing in certain goals and missions, you need to figure out where you’ll do it. 

You don’t have to be on every social media platform out there, but I generally find that the more, the better. Here are the social media channels that you absolutely should be considering:

  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • Instagram
  • TikTok

Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram are the more obvious choices that everyone is likely aware of. I think that most churches on social media have a mix of those three and a clear understanding of each of them. TikTok, on the other hand, is the one that puts off a lot of churches. 

I understand that since it has a very specific style and requires short-form video content that not all churches can adhere to. However, I think that TikTok is far more important than the other three combined. Few churches use it to the fullest and they are missing out on an entire generation of possible church members. 

TikTok is all about those bite-sized videos and it can be great for sharing news, making religious memes, or providing a short inspirational message for anyone coming across it. There are so few churches out there doing this and there is such untapped potential because of that. 

Beyond those four required channels, it is up to you where you go from there. If your church is prepared and ready for longer video content, then YouTube or even Twitch might be worth checking out. Discord is another underrated one that I could see churches with lots of small groups handling quite well. 

Not every church is the same so I recommend starting small with the standard sites and then seeing what works best for you after that. 

2. Crafting Manageable Goals

Once you have your channels in mind, it is time to figure out what your goals are when it comes to your presence on the internet. First and foremost, don’t go too crazy and immediately plan to reach a million followers. Instead, start smaller with more manageable and realistic goals. 

For instance, I think starting out with a goal of reaching 100 or 500 followers is a modest and smart start. This can happen quite easily, depending on the size and demographics of your church members. 

From there, you can always adjust your goals or have a short-term and long-term mission at the same time. Perhaps in the short-term, you wish to reach 1000 followers but the long-term goal is to have an average of 1000 retweets or shares on every post you make. 

It isn’t just about your follower size, either. Other goals with social media should include ones that foster your community and can grow it more, like garnering a certain number of likes, shares, and boosting general engagement. 

3. Boosting Engagement With Current Members

Speaking of engagement, this is a part of social media that I think churches miss out on. Many are already on platforms but they just share bible verses and announcements without doing much else. They are speaking into a vacuum that is not helping anyone beyond the same handful of people. 

Engagement and interaction is equally important. When it comes to Twitter, for example, reply to people’s tweets and make them feel welcomed and loved. Take time each day or week to make a post asking for prayer requests. Respond and ensure that the commenters know you are praying for them. 

Be active on Instagram, liking and commenting on your church member’s pictures, making sure that they know that their home church cares about their lives and what they’re doing. 

This is where TikTok can come into play, too, with its live videos. Perhaps go live once a week with your worship team and do a short set of songs or perhaps even take requests from the viewers. Maybe share a daily five minute devotional with a rotation of your pastoral staff. 

These are just a few of the ideas that you can use to boost engagement with your current and potential members. This is using social media to the fullest. For reference, I love what Maverick City Music did here by sharing one of their follower’s awesome dance videos. 

@maverickcitymusic YASSSS!! 🙌🏾🙌🏾 love this!! 🎶🎶🎶 CRED: @isa #dance #party #youthcamp #trend #trendy #dance #praise #praisebreak #fyp #fypシ ♬ original sound – Maverick City Music

4. Carefully Expanding to Potential Members and Beyond

Lastly, it isn’t just about the current churchgoers you have but the potential members that you could reach. Once you have a basis for your social media strategy and you’re reaching the goals you care about, it is time to look forward. 

I’m not going to say that you need to bank on every trend out there but it is nice to weigh in on trending topics when they come about. For instance, maybe there is some confusion regarding the state of the world or what is happening in certain countries or situations. 

I think it is amazing to carefully give your church or pastor’s thoughts on the matter. This not only can reassure believers but expand to others who are searching for opinions on that particular situation. If you already have an established community, this is one way to grow it further. 

I will say that you have to tread lightly here as you don’t want to get too controversial. There is a way to speak the truth without causing harm. Above all else, we should be sharing love, and our intention in everything should be to do just that as Jesus would. 

But that is the algorithm of social media; to take advantage of trending topics around the world and be in the midst of the most popular conversations. This can even be lighthearted, too, like using a funny dance, song, or TikTok sound to engage with users like what Elevation Church does these days. 

Finding the Right Social Media Staff Is Key 

Much of church social media marketing can be overwhelming, and that is understandable. The reality is, not every person in the body of Christ is meant to do all things. The Bible makes it clear that we each have a purpose and talent that we are meant to use for the greater good (see Romans 12:4-5).

That is why you’ll see me diving into outreach, tech equipment, and church marketing because I have passion and experience for those aspects. But you won’t probably find me driving a church bus or leading a young adult’s ministry because those aren’t my forte.

It’s totally fine if you are a pastor and church social media marketing isn’t your thing. That is when you know it is time to find church staff members who do have a passion and talent for that. 

If you put the wrong person in charge of social media who doesn’t care about it, it will show in the results. Growth will be minimal, if at all, and the potential of your church’s brand will be wasted. If necessary, look outside of your church’s four walls for a social media or marketing manager and take a risk.

I recommend setting aside a decent budget for social media and church marketing in general. It is a risky venture, for sure, but if done right and with the proper resources, social media marketing can mean the difference between a successful church and an unsuccessful one. 

So, don’t throw just anyone into the role of running your social media platforms. Find the right person to put in charge and once you see some success, expand. Promote that person and start to hire fellow passionate social media users to assist them in growing your church’s branding. 

Social Media Is Just a Slice of Church Marketing

Without a doubt, social media marketing is essential for churches wishing to be successful and relevant in today’s online age. It may be among the most important slices of the church marketing pie, but it is far from the only one that you need to know about. 

Your church environment, church website, the branding that you create, are also key parts of digital marketing. These elements deserve just as much attention as social media does. In fact, pouring resources into these will supplement and even enhance the online presence that you have on social media. 

For your next steps, I recommend learning more about these other aspects of church marketing. I’ve previously covered the eight main strategies that you should know about in order to create and foster the best possible marketing for your church. 

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How To Create A Church Risk Management Plan To Avoid Disaster (+ Template)

I remember some of the hardest days that I have ever had working in ministry were ones that could have been avoided with proper church risk management. And even some of the days where we avoided disaster from happening still haunt me to this day, as the classic “what if” scenarios play out in my mind. 

Before I go any further, I would like to warn readers that some of the scenarios that I talk about could be triggering for some, due to the very heavy subject matter. 

For instance, I think of times in which a child in our care had to be rushed to the hospital due to an injury that shouldn’t have happened. Other times, I think of the parent not currently in custody of their child who tried to take them (thankfully, unsuccessfully). 

We need to be prepared for these moments in the best way possible. This is where a church risk management plan comes into play. There are so many risks that are involved in running churches and other religious organizations, but with a well-written plan in mind, you can at least avoid the worst possible outcome in most scenarios. 

I’ll cover:

What Is A Church Risk Management Plan?

A church risk management plan is your guide and help when it comes to unfortunate circumstances. It is the process you have in place when you are dealing with the possibility of something terrible happening. It is there for two main reasons: to help you avoid and reduce the risk of certain events occurring in the first place. 

But we are only human, so the likelihood of something happening eventually is, unfortunately, inevitable. So, the church risk management plan’s second purpose is to help you navigate the solution when bad things do happen. It keeps everyone in your ministry on the same page and is there to prevent a bad situation from worsening. 

Risk management is essential to every single church and ministry out there. A church risk management plan is not fun to make nor think about, but you will be glad you did in the end. 

How To Create A Church Risk Management Plan?

Before you can start implementing your system for noticing and avoiding bad situations, you must first create a physical church risk management plan. This will be your go-to document in emergencies, and you must share it with every staff member, volunteer, pastor, leader, and anyone else who might assist in your organization. 

In order to make one of these plans, there are four main steps that I would like for you to consider. These are crucial parts of mitigating risks. I will break down each one of the steps fully, and provide some insights and lessons learned from my time in ministry. 

1. Identify Risks in Your Church Environment

Before we can go any further, we need to know the risks that exist in our environment. There are a lot of risks and issues that can pop up in every church out there. But there are some that are unique to certain types of ministries and locations. In order to avoid unfortunate situations, you need to know what you are looking for. 

Here is a list of the main risks that I have seen in my time in dealing with church safety. This is not an exhaustive list and there may be situations that were not relevant to me that are to you. Also, I would like to reiterate that this list and this article in general may be triggering for some people, so please remember that before continuing. 

  • Accidents
  • Accusations
  • Assault
  • Drugs
  • Fights
  • Fires
  • Flooding
  • Harassment
  • Inebriated Attendees
  • Injuries
  • Kidnapping
  • Lawsuits
  • Medical Emergencies
  • Natural Disasters
  • Power Outages
  • Self-Harm
  • Shooting
  • Stealing Church Funds
  • Theft
  • Vandalism

This is absolutely not a full list of everything that you might deal with when it comes to church safety. These are just some of the main problems that I have seen and even dealt with. Identifying risks is all about knowing what could possibly happen, and then planning ahead with that in mind. 

For example: I was the assistant director in the children’s ministry at a medium-sized church. Drugs and fights were particularly problematic (yes, even for children). We had a bus system that brought in thousands of children from across Los Angeles County to our church every Thursday night and Sunday morning. 

Some of these children did not know anything beyond fighting to get their point across or messing around with drugs. As such, these were prominent issues that we had to deal with in our congregation, both with kids and adults alike. Since this was an obvious risk that we constantly had to consider, there were many plans and scenarios that we put in place. 

Because of this, we had systems in place so that when someone was doing heroin in the bathroom, we knew what to do next. Or when two kids started punching the living lights out of one another, we had the solution for how to deal with both of them and notify their parents. 

Once you know the main risks that are highly possible within your church (and ones that are not as common), you can prepare for that. 

2. Assess Risks and Their Impacts

It isn’t enough to just identify a risk, though, as we need to assess the level of risk as well. Some potential risks are more likely than others and some issues are going to have a more negative impact than others. In general, these are the four categories that you should divide your previously identified risks into: 

  • Low likelihood and low impact: These situations will rarely happen and when they do, it is easily taken care of. 
  • Low likelihood and high impact: These risks rarely happen, but will devastate your congregation and your leadership if they do occur. 
  • High likelihood and low impact: These are common scenarios that can regularly happen but are easily handled when they do. 
  • High likelihood and high impact: The worst of the four categories. These are high risk scenarios that can often happen and will affect everyone around when they do. 

What this means is that some risks are very unlikely, while others are extremely likely. For instance, (and this is generalizing), the chances of a child being injured in your children’s ministry is pretty much guaranteed. Kids are going to play, run around, and have fun, and someone will eventually get hurt.

They will run into each other, punch each other, and so on. That is a very high likelihood scenario in just about every church out there. On the other hand, a low likelihood situation might be flooding, depending on your location, and which you can prepare for ahead of time.

However, there is a second part to this, which is the impact that a situation can have. Low impact situations are ones that have minimal consequences after the scenario and, therefore, can be dealt with swiftly and securely. Thinking back to kids, minor injuries like bruises and bumps are low impact. 

They also have a high chance of happening, but they are minor enough that you should be able to handle them with ease. On the other hand, high impact scenarios are the worst of the worst. These are the dire situations that you wish to avoid at all costs. This is something like a fire or kidnapping, which can devastate the entire church, community, and everyone in it. 

To know the difference between low and high likelihood level of risk, you simply need to look at your church environment. If your community doesn’t have a high drug rate, then perhaps drug dealing at your church may not be too much of a concern. 

On the other hand, if your area has a lot of rain and storms, things like tornadoes, power outages, and flooding might be seriously high likelihood issues that require insurance and other assurances.

3. Mitigate Risks to Avoid Disaster

You have your risks figured out and you’ve categorized them, now it is time to take action. With the four categories of risks in mind, the next step is to take those risks and do whatever you possibly can to prevent them. Each situation will require different processes for the mitigation of risk, but there are some general rules of thumb. 

Let’s break down each of the four categories. I think that the low likelihood, low impact scenario is the least concerning of the bunch. This is one of the areas of risk where you can come up with some solutions to these problems, put them in place, or create a document for when they happen. 

For example, let’s say that a low risk, low impact scenario is vandalism of your church property. Graffiti and the like might not be too common and it wouldn’t be too serious if someone did it. In this case, all you might do is put some cameras in the alleys and outside parts of your church property to catch anyone who does it. You could also have a cleaning crew in place in case it did happen. 

On the other hand, a low risk and high impact scenario involves a lot more. These need highly detailed back-up plans and systems in place to keep them at a low risk. For example, fire is, hopefully, not too common, but what are you doing to keep it that way? 

You need to ensure that the proper fire safety codes are followed, as well as go above and beyond. You might make it a rule that only properly trained staff members can cook. Strictly enforce no smoking on the premises. And create exit plans that everyone knows about and practice them every so often. 

High likelihood and low impact scenarios may not sound that bad, but don’t take them lightly. Due to the high risk of these situations happening, they need proper attention and prevention to ensure that their impacts remain low. I recommend constant reminders, training, and detailed plans to mitigate the consequences of these scenarios.

For instance, as before, I would consider a high likelihood, low impact scenario to be a minor injury resulting from a kid hitting another child. Just because it might be a little bruise that doesn’t require medical attention doesn’t mean you don’t take it seriously. If a child is known to be violent, take proper measures to avoid them hurting someone. 

For example, I have had to ban or suspend (usually temporarily) kids 12 and younger from riding the bus before and it was one of the hardest decisions of my life, but it was necessary to protect the others. Sometimes these high risk, low impact situations have simple enough solutions, but don’t let them go ignored because they don’t seemingly matter that much.

If you ignore them too much, they can and will turn into high impact scenarios. 

Speaking of high impact, there are the high risk and high result situations that are the most devastating and alarming. These require the utmost care, attention, and planning possible. Pour all of your safety resources and risk management resources into preventing these situations from happening, but know that they can and possibly will happen. 

As such, you need an equal balance of prevention and solution. There is a strong chance that it will happen at some point. You need equally solid back-up plans for how to deal with these situations when they happen. These are not easy or fun to deal with and are absolutely the most challenging parts of risk management. 

An example of this was an inebriated churchgoer, in my experience. As mentioned, we brought in adults to the church, and many times they would be drunk or high. This was high impact since they could possibly attack someone, disrupt the entire service, or even try to run onto the stage. 

These are the hardest scenarios but there are possible prevention methods if you have the proper action plans in place. In our case, we had guards around the facility, watching everyone, and guarding the stage at all times.

It was not fun and it didn’t look good for a church, but it was necessary. And we had great connections with the local authorities for effectively and immediately dealing with someone as soon as they showed signs of disruption. On a related note, I always suggest background checks for all volunteers and employees.

4. Document And Monitor Risks

You’ve conducted a risk assessment, categorized potential risks, and are putting risk control measures in place for each of them. Now it is time for the nitty-gritty of the church risk management plan. This isn’t a fun step, either, but is equally as necessary. It is time to start documenting and keeping track of the risks that are in your church. 

This means creating documents and formal risk management policies to note the issues in your church and what you have done recently to prevent them. This is where you check off the last time you did a fire drill or checked the locks on all of your windows and doors. This step is also where you create your plans for how to prevent situations and what to do when they happen. 

It is also here that you begin to monitor the risks in your local church. Keep track of the likelihood and impact of the risk and what you are doing to help with that. And if a situation has already happened, keep track of how it happened, why it happened, and what you will do to learn from that. 

For example, monitoring risks might include keeping track of everyone who knows the password to your computers to prevent theft. You might also be changing the password every couple of months as part of your prevention strategy. This way, you’re reducing the likelihood of theft, and you’ll have a list of everyone who knows the password so you’ll be in the know in the event of a possible theft.

Church Risk Management Plan Template

With all of this in mind, it can be overwhelming coming up with a church risk management plan or checklists for your church. But it is absolutely, 100% necessary. All of the volunteers, church leaders, and so on that are involved in working in your ministry should be aware of risks and mitigation plans in the form of checklists, documents, etc. 

To help with this, here is a very basic and simple church risk management template that you can use as a foundation for your church.

Risk Management Starts With Our Leaders

Running a church or ministry is not easy, and dealing with church risk management is never fun. However, it is one of the most foundational and necessary components of running an effective, safe, and Godly ministry. 

We cannot share the love of God without first caring for all our fellow humans and ensuring that they are safe and protected in all possible ways. Sure, mistakes are going to happen but that is why we have to adequately plan above and beyond for those unfortunate scenarios. 

That is why church risk management is not fun, but making a plan is absolutely required. With that said, I get that this was not the most exciting topic to talk about. 

That is why I recommend checking out our article on how to mentor and build devoted youth leaders next. This is far more fun and lighthearted compared to the heaviness here. Plus, training our church staff in a sufficient way will set them up for assisting in risk management procedures and dealing with any potential church crises that may arise.

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8 Church Marketing Strategies: Attract & Retain New Members

In the time of Paul and Peter, you wouldn’t have seen a dedicated marketing expert, social media strategist, or brand manager in the newly founded church. Marketing was something that naturally happened through word-of-mouth and Spirit-led growth (see Acts 9:31). But times inevitably change and so do the church marketing strategies by which we grow the local church, even if the overall Spirit-led purpose remains the same. 

Even though marketing was not originally a part of the local church—at least in the form that we know it today—this does not diminish the importance of it, especially digital marketing. Without a modern marketing plan that matches the necessities of the present day, there is little hope for expansion in your church. 

To this point, I am aiming to offer you some insight into what types of strategies you should use to expand your congregation and retain it. Some of these are simple enough methods that you likely already use, while others are more intangible ideas that are harder to grasp. 

I hope that the hard lessons I learned in my time as a leader in a church in Los Angeles will help you to avoid similar mistakes when it comes to keeping your church population steadfast. 

I’ll cover:

8 Church Marketing Strategies To Grow And Sustain Your Church

Before I dive into the eight church marketing strategies, I should note that numbers are not everything. Growth comes in many different forms and there is need for a small congregation with a couple hundred members in its church attendance just as much as there is need for a church with 10,000 members. 

The important part about growth is that it comes in several forms, including both new members but also in the hearts of your existing members. It is just as important to bring in new members as it is to assist the ones you already have in growing their walk with Christ. Here are eight digital marketing strategies that can help with both of those. 

1. Create A Modern Website For Your Church

Who are you? What is your church? If you cannot answer these questions yet, then you will have a very difficult time successfully completing the next seven steps in marketing your church. First and foremost, it is necessary to create an identity for your church.

I hesitate to use that word since we know our identity is in Christ, but what I mean by that is creating the image that you want your church to portray to everyone. This is done in several different ways, but the first is establishing your beliefs and viewpoints. 

Once this is done, you are ready to create a modern profile for your church. There are several steps involved in this, not least of which is publishing a well-thought out and fun church website. Do not cut back on costs here, but be sure to hire a professional with experience creating websites you think look great. 

Here are two examples I like: I’m biased, but the simplistic and sharp design of Angelus Temple where I used to work is a great example. Another great option is something more flashy but not too overwhelming, such as this brilliant, boxy design that Elevation Church has right now. 

The key goals for your church website should be to clearly present your church’s information in an easy-to-grasp way. Avoid any clutter that can deter interested parties and make sure it is mobile-friendly, too, as that is likely where most of your visitors will be coming from. 

2. Social Media Focus

Social media is a massive part of the external image that you create. If you’re not on all of the various social media platforms online, you are missing out on the future of your church. I get that some churches have existed for well over a century now and didn’t need the internet to do so. 

I also understand that some pastors do not like social media or even use it themselves. At the end of the day, though, this is not a question of your personal preferences or not. If you’re content with sticking to the church growth and size that you currently have, that’s fine. 

But if you are truly intent on growing your congregation, you need social media. Personally, I think you can do without Google ads or email marketing. On the other hand, social media is the very cornerstone of the church’s marketing. However, I think there is more to it than just setting up a Facebook and Twitter page. I always recommend to every church that is serious about expanding that they hire at least one person in charge solely of social media posts.

This person (or, better yet, team) should manage all of the accounts that you have. Here are some of the platforms that you should be on:

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Instagram
  • Twitch
  • YouTube
  • TikTok

For Facebook and Twitter, these are great for sharing announcements, events, and images. A dedicated photographer on your staff can turn your Instagram into a lovely collage of your church’s journey. 

Twitch and YouTube are necessary for anyone who wishes to livestream their services or upload sermons. Those two places are especially great for welcoming new members who might want to watch online first before attending in person. 

Lastly, there is TikTok. I have said it before on our site and I will say it again: TikTok is the next big social media platform for thriving churches due its video marketing capabilities. If you’re not there making cute motivational videos or hilarious moments from your latest event using a trending (but appropriate) sound, I think you are literally missing out on the entire next generation of Christians. 

3. Cohesive Branding 

It is an old marketing practice to have a cohesive brand that you are promoting to someone unfamiliar with it. Though the church is not a business, branding can still apply here. In fact, the most successful and well-known churches around the world are in that position due to having their own unique church brand image. 

This is established first by choosing key components that make up your church’s “brand.” 

  • What sort of church logo do you want to use? 
  • Is there a special tagline or verse that you want to promote on everything? 
  • What are the colors that you like to associate with your church?

Once you decide these basic brand factors, put them everywhere. Have it on your website, social media page, church sign, shirts, vans, buses, and every thing that you do or touch. If you are hosting a special event or booth in the community, anyone who passes by should know the moment that they look over that it is your church that is holding it. 

This cohesive branding will ensure that your church spreads in the community, and possibly the world, as a recognizable organization. This will not only make you more appealing to newcomers wanting to check out your church but it will create a unified church body. This can help with retaining existing members, too, since they feel part of the same unit. 

4. Define Your Environment

With the more boring, administrative parts of marketing out of the way, we can get to the exciting stuff. The point of marketing your church is to get out there and do something to bring in your target audience. To be able to do this, you need to first define the environment that is surrounding the four walls of your place of worship. 

Every church has a different community and needs to be handled in its own unique way, too. Are you in a small town? Or maybe you are in the suburbs next to a highly populated city. For some churches, the location can affect the concerns in your area as well. For instance, one town might deal with a lot of violent crime while another struggles with an overwhelming number of people with substance use disorders. 

Some of them will, of course, crossover with one another. Tackling these situations and communities will take different approaches. You live in the community where your church is, so you know best the types of people that are there. This means that you know their needs, too. You can cater, specifically, to those needs in your church’s marketing. 

5. Community Outreach

As for how you take the environment around you and market to it, this is where community outreach comes into play. I’ve been approached by several church leaders in the past asking how to create a successful church with plenty of new members. The very first question I ask them always is: do you do outreaches and events in your community?

Nearly all of them replied “no.” My first recommendation to any church looking to expand is to do outreach events. Not only does Jesus call us to go out and tend to the needs around us, but it is one of the best ways to grow your congregation. 

This goes hand-in-hand with the previous church marketing strategy. Take, for instance, the community around the church I previously worked at in Los Angeles. One thing that we noticed about the kids that I worked with was that very few of them had food to eat after school. 

Their only meal a day was lunch at school and nothing else. As such, we began promoting our daily food giveaways to everyone who attended our kids outreach programs. The after-school program grew and, eventually, it led to more kids riding our buses to church and, later, many of their family members, too. 

Word spread quickly that we were the church that was taking care of the kids and it meant something to the community, resulting in further support and new members. If you have community outreaches that fit the environment around you, people will take notice and recognize your image. 

6. Do Not Overextend

There is a warning I must give, too, though. I have also seen far too many churches get too overzealous and overextend their reach. They will be gung-ho about reaching out to everyone in need and do too much far too soon. This is a problem as it can lead to burnout, problems, and even missing the entire point of it all. 

It is crucial that you know your earthly limits and start out with a focused plan, while continuously asking God for his limitless divine help. It is absolutely recommended to have a bigger goal of reaching, let’s say, every kid in your county or state. But let’s start smaller first with the neighborhood around us, then the town, maybe the greater metropolitan city, and then go from there. 

Since you are marketing your church, you want to do it in a controlled manner. Otherwise, you will either fail or people will start to recognize your church for all the wrong reasons, neither of which is productive. 

7. Never Lose Sight Of Existing Members

I will try to tread lightly here but there are some churches in the past that I was involved in (not the one in Los Angeles) that made a huge mistake. They were fantastic about outreach and bringing in tons of new church members but completely failed the existing members of the congregation.

It was a tragic and devastating cycle of bringing in literally hundreds of new people and seeing them on fire only for it to burn out rather quickly. But, instead of helping them in their ongoing walks, they were forgotten and set aside in favor of continuing to bring in new people. So, it was an endless cycle of new people joining, old people leaving, and so on. 

It is crucial in everything that you do that you market your church as not only a home for everyone to come to, but a place where current members will continue to feel welcome. You should always focus on both gaining new members and tending to the older ones, which is much easier said than done. 

8. Dedicated Congregation Development Team

To help with existing churchgoers, I recommend establishing a dedicated congregation development team or system. Promote a path that is all about a person’s journey at the church. It should not start and end with them coming to your services for the first time. What I recommend is to first have a loving and open welcome to the church for everyone who enters. 

From there, offer program(s) that teach the newcomers everything about your church and being a new believer, if applicable. Many churches do these first two steps but nothing else afterward. Small groups are a decent and common option after this, plugging someone into a group of like-minded people who perhaps have similar interests and hobbies. 

But that is not the only option and I will be honest that I am not the only one who is not interested in small groups. In that case, promote incorporating church members into various ministries to help out. A children’s church, youth group, outreach, tech team, women’s or men’s ministry, and countless options are great ideas for this. 

Have a clear path that is rewarding to your church members. Announce exciting trips and enjoyable outings with one another so that there is lots for people to get involved in besides just the church services. 

A team that carefully plans out these events and how and when to promote them to the church with a dedicated budget can ensure that not just the new members feel loved and cared for. This is how you gain and sustain growth in your church community. 

Do Churches Need Marketing?

Many churches, especially those that were established long before the advent of the internet, do not see the importance of marketing. But I will stand by that every single church leader in the present day needs a digital marketing strategy of some kind. Not every church needs an entire team dedicated to it, but at least something or someone. 

You certainly need more than just a social media account, but that is at least the bare minimum that every church should be doing. Even if you have a small church in a town of 1,000 people, you need to market yourself. The kids and young adults these days need guidance and inspiration in their lives, and they will go where they feel most drawn to.

A church that is stuck in the past, ignoring the marketing needs of the present, will absolutely miss out on the next generation. I know this because I am in my 20s myself and I have seen countless churches with so much potential squander it and end up closing their doors or being on the precipice of doing so. 

There are so many people who need Jesus Christ today and a church needs some form of marketing to reach them using adequate church communication. The most successful churches nail this point, no matter their location or size. 

Church Member Retainment Recommendations 

There is a lot of information that I provided in this guide and I get that it can be a tad overwhelming at first. This is doubly the case if someone is newer to dealing with marketing tools like live-streaming and building out a website. Fortunately, we have some other guides to help with those next steps in expanding and retaining your church members. 

For more on streaming, check out the nine best streaming software that you can use to ensure that you can bring in new members who might not be ready to attend your services in-person just yet. And Ashley Vaughan even has a guide for the best ways to build out your website, in particular, if you have not done so already. 

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5 Church Staff Communication Tips & Tools For A Unified Team

Church staff communication may not be the most glamorous or interesting facet of building your congregation, but without it, you are already setting off in the wrong direction. It is one of the most essential pieces of building a thriving community of believers. 

I spent several years of my young adult life building a foundation for church staff communication within the kids department I worked in at Angelus Temple in Los Angeles, California. Without much to go on, our team stumbled our way through much of this area and made a lot of mistakes along the way. 

I hope to give you some tips that I learned the hard way over the years, so that you do not have to. After all, church staff communication is at the very heart of creating a cohesive and unified team. If you can guide your staff members on the same path with the exact same goals, it will make it all the more easier to bring in new believers and integrate them into your congregation. 

I’ll cover:

How To Improve Communication Between Church Staff Members

I don’t mind being transparent about my previous experiences. I’ve seen people, including several major leaders in past churches I worked with, walk away from a team and, depressingly in some cases, Christianity as a whole due to the lack of proper communication. And they were some of the guiding voices in their churches, too. 

For several of these situations, it was, sadly, very avoidable and due to the lack of proper communication between staff members. We are only human, so conflict is bound to arise, beliefs are going to, unfortunately, differ at times, and feelings are going to get hurt on all sides.

Like you, I wish that this wasn’t the case but it happens nonetheless and we need to create procedures to improve communication and prevent these situations from destroying relationships permanently. The first part of this involves transparency of the highest level. 

This is the one key element that I suggest in all facets of communication and it is always essential. If you have a group of staff members, even if they number in the hundreds, transparency is key. For example, if one group is chosen to lead an outreach program and giveaway in the city, make that clear to everyone and why those selected people were chosen. 

Try to prevent jealousy and other resentful feelings from springing up among staff members. Actively try to keep everyone involved, even if, as in my outreach program example above, it may not be their preferable position in the activity. Having a communications director can help with this, too.

In the same example as above: if someone complains about not being involved in an activity they would like to, carefully explain why you made your decision and perhaps offer the person a chance to help in a different way or with a separate program uniquely made for them to lead. 

How Does Staff Communication Factor Into Your Communication Strategy?

A complete and dedicated plan for your church’s communication can prevent key leaders and Christians from walking away from your congregation. We have talked in the past about communication in general and how crucial it is to sharing the Gospel. 

After all, if we can’t share the Good News using today’s communication methods, it will never be shared with the world who desperately needs it. When determining your overall communication strategy, though, your staff and departments also need to be part of the initiatives. 

It is imperative that you do not forget your co-leaders, co-pastors, and staff members in the process of making a communications plan. It all starts at the top with the leaders in your ministry. If you do not make sure that they are on the right page with one another, it will be near impossible to implement and keep a successful communication strategy. 

That is why I recommend diving a little deeper into what Ben Sampson has to say about creating a church communications plan. There are five main steps to the communication process that involve figuring out your target audience, what to communicate, when to do so, and more. This also involves differentiating between external and internal communications, and integrating them with one another seamlessly. 

5 Church Staff Communication Tips & Best Practices

Here are five of the best church staff communication practices I’ve learned in my time as part of a ministry leadership team. 

1. Create Boundaries And Communication Rules

Knowing when and how to say something to your staff is a delicate balancing act. I recommend establishing some rules regarding how communication works in your church. It is okay and beneficial, in my opinion, to have boundaries. 

Without them, anything and everything can and will happen. You may need an entire communications team dedicated to setting boundaries and rules for communication.

In practice, this means setting staff meeting times and days for communication about what’s happening in the church. If your church is off on Mondays after a long weekend of church services and events, take that day off. Don’t send out work emails and text messages on that day, and don’t allow your staff members to do the same. 

If you’re on vacation, unless it is an absolute emergency, use that time to relax and refresh. It goes beyond just emails and events, though. Create clear cut boundaries between members of the staff team as well. 

I was a young church staff member at one point and I saw firsthand the romance that commonly blooms among workers of a similar mindset, even if I, thankfully, refrained from participating myself. Do not be afraid to wholly discourage dating and the like among staff, or, at the very least, create some guidelines for those situations. 

If these rules are broken, unfortunately, punishments need to be involved. I encourage you to ensure that those consequences accurately reflect the deed done. If a couple of staff members date when they are not allowed to, this does not mean someone needs to be fired, for example. 

Placement in different departments or a temporary suspension may be enough on its own. Ultimately, though, you will need to discuss together with your staff what works best for your church members.

What worked for my church, which was the church leadership having no restrictions whatsoever on dating or communicating even on days off, may not work for your staff. This is especially true if you do not discuss the best path forward with everyone in your staff. 

For me, our church already established its style before I ever arrived. Having little to no boundaries meant that I could be contacted or asked to do something even on vacation. 

I know that being contacted on my day off to open up the church didn’t work for me, and I had no say-so in establishing the communication boundaries.

Funnily enough, even after I left that particular church for another opportunity, I was still contacted regularly for help on how to do certain things. I highly recommend avoiding the same mistakes by allowing everyone to give their input and ideas. 

2. Foster Godly Bonds Evenly

Of course, all work and no play is a problem as well. Rules and guidelines are necessary, but so is having fun. Avoid making church and working in ministry entirely a chore or job, since it is meant to be fun too. Fellowship and bonding with one another is something that dates all the way back to the days of Jesus and his followers (see Mark 2:15). 

There are many ways that you can build bonds between the staff at your church. A few of the ones that I like are outings, game nights, parties, and the like. The Christmas and summer parties at our pastor’s house were always two of the biggest highlights of the year for me when I worked at Angelus Temple. 

Do goofy things like playing charades, sharing favorite foods and desserts, or even giving out awards for hilarious things. I suggest not keeping these events to once or twice a year, either, as it is effective to have monthly staff outings to foster those relationships. 

Having fun and enjoying the victories and defeats together will build your group of staff into the one mind and body that Jesus calls us to be as a church. It will also help with conflicts and problems later down the road, since having close relationships with other staff members can help resolve issues. 

3. Be An Open Book

A major issue that I see often is churches acting as closed books. Don’t keep secrets and allow for rumors to run rampant among your staff. I get it, sometimes there may be something that happened that is embarrassing and you don’t want it spreading around. But, I promise you, it will get out someday and the results will be tremendously worse that way. 

When there are issues, mistakes, or events going on behind the scenes, share it with your staff members as a whole. Make it clear what happened, why it happened, and what the church is doing with the people involved moving forward. Make sure that everyone is on the same page and in agreement with the consequences. 

If you make secrets a tendency in your church, it will lead to distrust, division, and the ultimate failure of your mission as a church. I have seen this first hand. One example that I feel willing to share has to do with a certain minister leaving a church that I attended and served at. 

The circumstances behind their departure were a mystery and their leaving was not even announced. They were just there at church one week, leading the youth group I was once part of, and gone the next. Even as a staff member myself at that church at the time, I had to ask around to get answers. 

Others had to do the same, and they began to distrust the church leaders that would keep information from them. It led to dozens of people, including students in the ministry and other youth group leaders, leaving the church. It took about five years for the youth group to recover to its previous numbers after this one incident. 

People move on and things happen, but it certainly did not have to go down that way. Being open about a situation with your staff can ensure that, while the situation may be rough, you can get through it in the end. 

4. Be Ready For Conflict

It’s worth noting that part of effective communication practice is knowing that conflict is inevitable. We are not perfect people; we’re only humans. People will disagree with one another, someone will make a mistake, and troublesome situations will happen. 

I even find that these issues are more common in church, as the enemy, specifically, goes after thriving congregations who are centered on Jesus (see 1 Peter 5:8). 

The key is not standing around with surprise when something happens, but to always have a plan for conflict. But on the subject of communication problems, specifically, people will often fight and argue, even in ministry. 

Plan ahead for these moments and know what you will do when it happens. If there is a disagreement between two staff members, immediately address it and find the root cause of the problem. If it is a lack of communication on your or another staff member’s part, tackle that and ensure that it does not happen again. 

5. Always Aim For Peace

Always aim for peace in your ministry. Peace should be the goal, with love and unity guiding every action that your team makes. When conflict happens, the utmost goal should be to regain peace in the best way possible. 

To do this, the first step should be to inquire and find out all sides of the matter. Many times, it will be a matter of “he said, she said” with multiple takes on a situation. Understand as much as you can about the miscommunication or dispute and seek Godly counsel before making a decision. 

A lot of times people take sides and are biased, so I recommend reaching out to outside leaders from other churches or to mentors that you might have. They can give you unbiased advice about what to do. When you are ready to make peace, bring the parties together and attempt to resolve it as a group with a transparent and loving conversation. 

An example to give you an idea is of two young staff members who were dating one another (hence my previous point about having boundaries). The relationship ended in a fight and it affected everyone in our ministry. Each of them was taken aside separately and spoken with. 

Both sides were listened to by the other staff members about how and why the relationship ended. They each had a chance to reconcile and decide the next course of action. Since they both had input in the matter, a peaceful agreement was made and one moved into a different department. 

Neither person left the church and they were still able to serve in a field they enjoyed without having resentment or being held back. If you establish that peace is at the core of your staff, then it will be easier to resolve these conflicts in an amicable manner. 

Church Staff Communication Tools

Today, there are so many tools that are at our disposal for communicating with church staff besides just social media and your church website. With the above practices and goals in mind, there are software and programs that can help them happen. 

We have a dedicated guide to the 10 best communication software tools for churches. These include software like Elexio for mass email communications, which is great for connecting with large groups of team members at once, and Breeze that is fantastic for planning outreach events or with nonprofits. 

There are a few more that I would throw out there, such as a dedicated messaging app for your team members. Slack is the go-to chat app that I use in most of my work, as it is far more flexible and fast than an email or even text message in some cases. 

Slack includes instant chat and the ability to create specific channels within a single Slack group for different departments, such as one for the youth ministry, a food bank department, young adults, and more.

I also recommend software like Zoom, which is great when chat messages simply do not cut it, but you’re not all together and need to video call. Lastly, having a shared folder and calendar is a must. Google and its suite of Docs, Sheets, and Calendar is a one-stop shop for planning out events, contributing to project sheets, and being on the same page. 

You can find more church communication apps here.

Your Next Steps

With these tools and practices, I hope that you are able to nail down positive and impactful church staff communication. This is one of the first steps towards a unified church body that is ready to go out there and spread the Gospel of Jesus. 

At the same time, though, knowing what to do and implementing it is easier said than done. I suggest checking out my thoughts on church communication as a whole. Communicating with your staff is one piece of the very large and sometimes intimidating puzzle. Navigating other areas like reaching out to prospective members and the community can be tough, but we are here to help. 

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The Ultimate Church Communication Strategy In 5 Easy Steps

I would not be serving my local community today if it weren’t for a dedicated church communication strategy, and more than likely, neither would you. Communication is the very lifeblood of society and humanity as a whole. Without it, meaning and the sharing of information is impossible. 

As such, communication is a major key to sharing the gospel of Jesus. If we do not and cannot actively communicate, there is no way to share the Good News like Jesus did (Luke 8:1). Unfortunately, building a comprehensive and efficient church communication strategy is easier said than done. 

Here are the topics that we are tackling to help you with this:

What Is A Church Communication Strategy?

A church communication strategy is the means by which you express the gospel to those around you. There are many forms and steps that it takes, and these can differ for each church. This strategy requires careful planning and mindfulness for those who a church is trying to reach. 

At its core, church communication strategy is the method of growing and building your community of believers. Communication is the foundational way that we as humans connect, and strategically picking how we do so can spiritually expand the four walls of the church. 

It does not happen by accident but necessitates the heartfelt, prayerful intention of the church’s leaders and congregation. In my time in full-time ministry, I see church communication strategy as one of the most crucial parts of sharing God’s message to the world.

Church Communication Plans

Developing a physical, tangible plan for how you communicate is highly recommended. Though some churches are able to grow without the need for schedules, spreadsheets, or dozens of pages of documents, others will benefit from the structure that it provides. 

Having a clear picture and idea of what you are trying to communicate, and how you will do it, can prepare your leadership in a great way. This gives a common goal that is easy to grasp and you will more clearly understand the results, too. That is why we previously created a dedicated guide just for making church communication plans

If you want in-depth insight into how to form a plan of action across multiple forms of communication, including helpful templates, that guide is for you. 

How To Develop A Church Communications Strategy?

illustration of the 5 steps to developing a church communications strategy
The 5 steps to developing a solid church communications strategy.

When it comes to your overall church communication strategy, there are several steps that you should follow. These steps will guide you along the way to finding out what works best for your church. Every community is different, but these steps are a guideline by which you can successfully build your church. 

1. Define Your Environment

To start out on the right foot, you need to first look around at your environment. This includes not just the church and its building(s), but the area around it as well. The ultimate goal for us as Christians is to spread the gospel to the entire world, but we cannot just jump straight to that step. 

We, first, need to build up to that and it begins with the immediate area around us. The city, county, region, state, and province that we are in is our environment. Start small and clearly define what is happening in your area. Why this is important is because your church’s environment on one side of the world will be completely different than someone else’s on the other side of the world.

There can even be dramatically different situations between churches in the same state, let alone country. It is crucial that you understand the types of people that you are trying to communicate the message of salvation to. 

For instance, one church might find that they need to help the large number of single parents and broken homes in their area, while another in a different area notices the significant population of starving children. And yet, still, there might be another church that needs to tackle both groups. 

In my experience, our organization initially saw the immediate needs of those in a small neighborhood known as Echo Park, then gradually expanded to involve places like Skid Row, the entirety of LA County, and eventually other nearby places like Long Beach. 

Once you define the environment and the needs around you, you can then start to meet those needs and communicate properly. It is imperative that you know the people that live around you every day.

2. Focus On Your Values

Once you know who you are communicating with, it is then important to decide what you will be saying to them. This is where your values come into play. The Bible is universal and necessary for every church, but there are some parts that will be helpful with the situations in your community. 

You need to determine the values that your church has, so that you can be transparent in your messages to the community around you. This means creating the fundamentals by which your church stands. What do you believe in? What sort of events do you have each week? What are the goals you have in mind?

These answers may be obvious to you, but it is not necessarily the case for someone unfamiliar with your church. You should be ready to communicate these values clearly so that even the newest believer has an idea of what they are getting involved with. 

3. Craft A Flexible Message

With your audience and values in mind, it is time to create your means of communication and messaging. This can be the make it or break it point for some churches in forming their church communication strategy. Above all else, it is imperative that you craft flexible messaging for use everywhere.

The Bible is the versatile form of God’s Word that was created for all people of all ages of all generations. Just as it remains a flexible communication from God, so should the church’s strategy. The values that you have are not meant for a single form of media or one person; it should be malleable to the point of including anyone and everyone at any time. 

What this means in practice is that you should be communicating across multiple fields and forms. With these same values in mind, you should execute them in a way that will make sense for the traditional face-to-face meetings with people in your community as well as online in the modern digital age. 

Though the words and method may change considerably, the meaning should never. This way, no matter how someone finds out about your church, they will have the same knowledge of it as everyone else. 

4. Distribution Is Key

With the modern style of communication, it is vastly different from even at the time of Jesus. This is where your distribution must be flexible as well. Churches should communicate with prospective and current members through a variety of ways. This ensures that everyone gets the message and in the right way for them.

Social media, for instance, is a huge part of modern church communication strategy. If your church does not already have a Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, get on that. These are the bare minimum and I think that is even putting it too lightly. 

These days, churches should also have a digital service available. Stream your services online on YouTube and elsewhere, or, at the very least, record it for later uploading as a video or podcast. Whether or not you personally agree with church members attending online from their home, this is a must these days for integrating new members and keeping old ones.

Finally on the topic of communication channels, there is TikTok. This is a rising social media app that I highly recommend to any church looking to grow. This is where the younger possible churchgoers will be and the church needs to be there, too, to meet their needs. Communicating your announcements, services, and events online in goofy short social media posts using trending sounds can set your church apart from everyone else.

Of course, you should not forget about the old-fashioned methods of communication as well. Going door-to-door for follow ups, passing out flyers, setting up posters, and all that can still be effective. I know this from personal experience. We dedicated entire days of the week at the LA Dream Center just to pass out flyers in our community. 

5. Remember The Goal

Lastly, the final key to excellent church communication strategy is always remembering why you are running this race (Acts 20:24). In every little step that you take, always seek God and His assistance in the matter. Make sure that every part of your strategy aligns with him and that nothing is taken for granted. 

With such busy lives and so many avenues for communication, it can be tough to keep up with everything. People can be lost in the process, due to neglect of the church and forgetting about what really matters. This is a common mistake that I’ve found these days. 

If necessary, take steps back sometimes and look at the bigger picture. If it is too much for your team to handle, that means it is time to get more help or refocus. Never let the strategy, plans, and methods of saving souls cause you to lose sight of those people. 

No matter how big or small your church is, always remember why we are doing this. In my department, we ran programs dealing with over 2000 kids a week in the Los Angeles area. It is a lot to manage and it took a lot of people to make it happen. Sometimes it was a struggle and we made mistakes but we always tried to do the small things.

These include visiting someone’s home to see how they’re doing, bringing cookies or treats just to let someone know you’re thinking of them, sending out personal text messages to first-time guests, and so on. Try not to focus so much on the strategy that you forget the goal. 

Internal Church Communication Strategy

A key part about church communication strategy is knowing the differences and similarities between internal and external. Ultimately, they should be one and the same, but there are parts that are unique to each. The internal strategy constitutes your plan when it comes to communicating with the already present congregation.

In this, I think that transparency is absolutely crucial. If we cannot be clear with our church staff and members as communicators, this can lead to distrust. That, in turn, can lead to discourse and the divorce of a church with itself. Even with the difficult topics and scenarios, it is imperative that the church leaders come together and decide a way to communicate what happened with the body. 

It is also important for us as church communicators to recognize that some members are at various parts of their walk with Christ. Some are new to this, others have been here for decades, and still others are returning after being away. Each of these scenarios, and the countless individual ones within each category, needs to be handled slightly differently. Adjust your communication plans to welcome and further each group equally. 

External Church Communication Strategy

External communication is just as important as internal communication. One cannot succeed without the other. Outside of your church are the possible new members that we would want to add to the community in Christ. This is where outreach, evangelism, community events, and more can be impactful.

Observe and understand the world outside of the four walls of the church building. Use that knowledge to plan events and outreaches that make sense. Pour into non-profits and connect with other churches and organizations that are like-minded. 

Figure out a way to seamlessly integrate new members from outside the church into the church community without stopping there. You should always have a strategy for how you will keep someone connected into the church and knowing what’s going on, such as a next steps program and small groups. Make sure that your church website, social media, and everything else is accessible and understandable to anyone that sees it. 

Church Communication Style Guide

When it comes to external communication specifically, the style or brand of your church is powerful. You are essentially advertising yourself, so you want to make sure that everything you do is cohesive. This is why, as cheesy as it is, you should market your church’s brand wherever possible. 

Every website and social media page you are on, all of the church newsletters you hand out, every Easter event that you hold, and so on should have the same logos, color scheme, and brand. Creating this unified front will ensure that everyone immediately knows who you are and what you do. Your team members should be on the same page as well.

This is especially important if you have more than one church plant or campus. For example, it is possible you’ve heard of a ministry called the Dream Center. The LA Dream Center is the original but there are hundreds around the world that are connected to the source. If you know what the first center does, chances are you already know some of what the partnered centers do, like the one in Australia

This same idea should apply to your church’s communication, online presence, branding, and marketing. Choose a fun logo, name, and style that is consistent across everything you do. Make t-shirts with it, ensure your church’s website showcases your style, make signs for the church that are instantly recognizable, and use it anywhere else where members of your church, as well as people outside the church, might see it. 

Create Your Church Communication Strategy Today

Church communication strategy can be one of the most daunting tasks, and one that many ignore because of it. It takes effort, budgets, people, and spiritual guidance to make it happen. However, if you are able to effectively communicate your church and beliefs to everyone inside and outside of your congregation, you will be in the best position to expand the Kingdom. 

I implore you to create a cohesive brand for your church, and start sharing your values to your community in a way that makes sense for your area. And never forget the reason why we are doing this, no matter how large you get, so that your God-driven communication goal is not lost in the process. 

Related Read: Church Communication Best Practices To Know & What To Avoid