Categories
Tools

10 Best Church Facility Management Software To Optimize Your Spaces

Church properties often have a variety of facilities to manage, from public meeting spaces, to libraries, community resource hubs, washrooms, and A/C or heating systems. The more people use these assets, the more value they provide to your congregation and community. Managing these resources isn’t easy, but the church facility management software can help.  

This article will look at some great platforms churches can use to accomplish basic facility management. Our list contains two types of tools. The first is software designed specifically for church management. These tend to have features built with places of worship in mind. Then there are tools designed for business or NGO properties in general. These often have similar features and can be just as good as church-specific software.

Both types of software have their pros and cons. I’ve done my best to outline how every item on this list can help with church facility management. 

The Best Church Facility Management Software List

Here’s a shortlist of the best facility management software for churches:

  1. One Church
  2. Church Social
  3. Church MemberLink 
  4. Church Office Online 
  5. Blackbaud Church Management
  6. eFacility
  7. Perfect Mind 
  8. Hello Club
  9. Mazévo
  10. ChurchStaq by Pushpay 

Facility Management Software Comparison Criteria

The best church computerized maintenance management systems (CMMS) excel at streamlining facilities management. Here’s a summary of the evaluation criteria I used when choosing what to put on this list: 

  1. User Interface (UI): Is it clean and attractive? Church leaders have a ton of duties on their plate and may not have much free time to spend struggling with a complex user interface or cluttered menus.
  2. Usability: Is it easy to learn and master? Does the company offer good tech support, user support, tutorials, and training? Remember your congregation may use the software. It should be usable for even non-tech-savvy members.
  3. Integrations: Is it easy to connect with other tools? Are there any pre-built integrations? Website, calendar, communication, and payment software integrations are vital for many churches. 
  4. Value for $: How appropriate is the price for the features, capabilities, and use case? I also look for free trials so you can test the tool before buying. 

Church Facility Management Software Key Features

The church management software tools on our list cover a wide range of use cases. Some have simple features suitable for small churches. Others have complex functionality designed for large organizations. 

Whichever kind of church facility software you choose, look out for the following features:

  1. Booking: If you open your facilities to people in your congregation, choose a tool that enables people to book rooms, space, or equipment.
  2. Calendars: Tools with calendars automatically reflect all bookings made via the software, so everyone can see what is happening and when.
  3. Payments: You may need to accept, send, or record payment for facility use, facility upgrade, or facility repair. A digital payments system can help keep track of this.  
  4. Maintenance: Some of the tools on this list let you schedule maintenance for facilities. 
  5. Lights and doors: If you manage multiple spaces, consider a tool that lets you manage access to your building and lighting remotely. 

The Lead Pastor is reader-supported. We may earn a commission when you click through links on our site — learn more about how we aim to stay transparent.

Overviews Of The 10 Best Church Facility Management Software

Here’s a brief description of each church facility maintenance management solution. We’ve included best use cases, feature highlights, and screenshots to showcase the look and feel of each tool. 

I have included both tools designed for churches and all-purpose (and usually more complex and feature-rich) facility management software.

1. One Church – Best for booking rooms

One Church Screenshot
One Church uses forms to collect event signups and registrations.

One Church is an all-inclusive church platform with powerful facilities management features that make organizing your church’s space easy.

Central to this is the powerful booking platform. Use the tool to schedule your rooms and resources. Those in charge can quickly see if the facilities they need are available and then make a request. Simplify the booking process by adding facility managers to each listing who can approve bookings.

One Church is a cloud-based app and is available on all your devices. You can manage your church’s facilities at home, while at your place of worship, or on the go via your smartphone. It also has a user-friendly interface you’ll have no problem getting to grips with.

Pricing depends on the number of profiles you expect to track. The lowest-cost plan is $24/month for 250 profiles. You can grab a 14-day free trial to test the software before committing. 

2. Church Social – Best for calendar management

Church Social Screenshot
Church Social’s calendar overview provides everyone with easy access to upcoming events.

Church Social is management software designed to help your congregation stay connected. It can help schedule regular facility maintenance, book spaces for events, and provide bulletins about the goings-on around the building. Members can contribute to the calendar to ensure community events are visible. 

A cool feature is the ability to set up recurring events. This ensures that groups that meet regularly don’t have to reserve their space before every meeting. You can view the calendar within the app, and it’s also easy to display it on your church website using the Church Social WordPress plugin or by connecting to the tool’s API.

Pricing starts at $50/month for up to 200 members. You can get a free 30-day trial to test out the software. 

3. Church Member Link – Best church bulletin board

Church Member Link Screenshot
You can access Church Member Link via desktop or smartphone app.

Church Member Link is a web-based church bulletin board with features such as attendance, calendars, and outreach tracking. It also has a facilities management tool. This allows you to set up profiles for each of your facilities and other resources and then schedule each one. The tool summarizes who is scheduled to use assets at different times. 

A feature I like is that you can set up conditions that must be met for each resource. This means people know exactly what is expected of them when they rent spaces or equipment. 

Church Member Link has a simple pricing plan that costs $50/month or $500/year when bought annually. There are no add ons or extra costs. You can sign up for a 14-day free trial to test the software. 

4. Church Office Online – Best for custom form building

Church Office Online Screenshot
Easily add rooms and equipment to Church Office Online.

Church Office Online is a complete church management solution with custom registration form building for event management, equipment rentals, or facility maintenance. The calendar is where you manage your church’s rooms and equipment. Just create an entry for each facility and provide essential information so people know how to use the asset correctly. 

All bookings show up on the calendar for a complete overview of who is using what and when. The calendar also integrates with your website, so events and reservations made on your website are automatically added to your calendar. This saves you from having to enter details manually. You can access all these features via desktop or on the go via the mobile app. 

Church Office Online pricing depends on the number of people at your church and starts at $35.13/month for 1 person and goes up incrementally by $0.12+ per additional person. The software offers a generous 2-month free trial. 

5. Blackbaud Church Management – Best for engaging your congregation

Blackbaud Church Management Screenshot
Blackbaud Church Management helps you manage facility events with in-app SMS and email support for alerts.

Blackbaud Church Management is the church solution from team management software Blackbaud, which specializes in fundraising and grant management tools for social causes. You get all the company’s software and team management expertise, plus features built explicitly for churches like fundraising and congregation communication. 

It’s easy to add all your spaces to the software. You can add further information to each listing and then price them effectively. All bookings and events are synced with your church’s calendar, so you get a quick overview of when your church’s facilities are being used. 

Blackbaud doesn’t publicize pricing, but you can request more information on the website. 

6. eFacility – Best for large churches

eFacility Screenshot
eFacility floor plans let you manage the booking of individual seats within a room.

eFacility is enterprise CMMS software. It has powerful features that go well beyond those offered by church-specific solutions. These give you granular control over all your facilities.  

The asset and inventory management toolkit tracks asset usage, helping you avoid unexpected and costly breakdowns. Use the tool to set preventive maintenance schedules, create templates for everyday maintenance tasks, and schedule inspections for each of your church’s assets. When the time comes for repairs, the software has robust work order management features to help. 

You also get powerful space management features. This lets you track, manage, and book space in your church. You can see a real-time overview, so you always know what is going on in your buildings. The floorplan feature even lets you rent specific seats within a room.

eFacility pricing depends on the specific software modules you want access to. The company doesn’t publicize its pricing, but you can contact the team via the website for a quote.

7. PerfectMind – Best interactive facility map

PerfectMind Screenshot
The PerfectMind has interactive maps with clickable pins and color-coded availability indicators.

PerfectMind is membership management for community-based businesses. It’s not explicitly designed for churches, but many of its features are great for this use case. 

The software’s facility management software can handle multiple types of booking, including recurring contracts. You can sell add-ons within the booking process, which is a good way to generate extra revenue while providing the people who book your room with more flexibility. 

Another feature I like is the automated lighting software. This lets you set which times you’d like to turn lights on and adjust your prices accordingly. Other features include maintenance management, waivers, contracts, and plenty of automation to simplify your workflow and save time. 

PerfectMind doesn’t publicize pricing for its community tool. You can contact the team for a quote and a product demo. All plans come with unlimited users. 

8. Hello Club – Best for integrations

Hello Club Screenshot
Hello Club provides a detailed overview of facility usage so that you can estimate where maintenance and upgrades are needed most.

Hello Club is a tool built for managing clubs. It has many features that help pastors with facility stewardship. Like the other tools on this list, it helps you manage bookings and events. It’s easy for your congregation to rent facilities when they need them. All the bookings sync to your calendar, which gives you an in-depth overview of facilities usage. 

A feature that caught my eye is the lights and doors management tool. This lets you set up automated lights and door rules for different facilities and bookings. The tool also has plenty of integrations. For example, you can use Stripe to collect payments via credit card and manage your church bookkeeping with Xerox. 

Pricing depends on the number of members in your congregation. The most popular plan costs $50/month for up to 300 users. You can sign up for a free trial on the website.

9. Mazevo – Best for church event management

Mazevo Screenshot
Mazevo’s calendar view provides an overview of all your church’s bookings.

Mazevo is software designed specifically for churches that want an event management system to help with facility resource allocation. The software has powerful booking features. It automatically avoids schedule conflicts by only showing rooms available for dates the scheduler has chosen. 

When listing space you can add detailed information about each room, including its type and how many people it is suitable for. All events are synced to the tool’s calendar. You can view this in multiple ways to get an overview of events on both a daily and monthly level. The tool has an app for easy phone access, and the UI on both mobile and desktop is easy to use. 

The company doesn’t publicize pricing, but you can request a demo on the website. 

10. ChurchStaq by Pushpay – Best for engagement metrics

ChurchStaq by Pushpay Screenshot
ChurchStaq lets you set up profiles for all members of your congregation so they can check-in as an audience member or volunteer.

ChurchStaq by Pushpay is a tool that lets you create optimized journey’s for your congregation designed to boost engagement. Each member of your church creates a profile that includes crucial contact information, event details, and contributions. Part of the engagement strategy is encouraging your congregation to join events. 

The software makes it easy for group leaders to rent space to hold meetings. They can then add members and communicate with other people in the group. The tool has an easy-to-use app that all congregation members can download to stay connected. It’s an easy way to connect with individuals and ensure that everyone stays engaged. 

ChurchStaq has three plans that provide access to different features. The company doesn’t promote pricing but you can contact the team via the website. 

Other Facility Management Software Options

Here’s a few more that didn’t make the top list. Some are church-specific tools that understand the niche; others are more general facility management solutions for all building maintenance and upkeep needs. 

  1. Imagine Mobile Church – Best for church administration 
  2. UpKeep – Best for managing church maintenance 
  3. Grplife Church Edition – Best for included church social network
  4. Hippo CMMS – Best equipment maintenance
  5. iOFFICE – Best for optimizing space use
  6. AkitaBox – Best for asset mapping 
  7. BlueFolder – Best for tracking assets

What is church facility management?

Church facility management is all the activities you do to organize your buildings, assets, spaces, and rooms. Tasks typically include managing facilities usage and keeping all your assets well-maintained. You can use facility management software to streamline this work. 

Is there any free church facility management software?

Many of the tools on our list have free paid trials you can use to test out the software before committing. There are no free church-specific facility management software options. But free general facility management tools are available:

What Do You Think About These Facility Maintenance Software Solutions for Churches?

The best facility maintenance software for your church will depend on what you want from the tool. 

A simple calendar that shows when people are scheduled to use your rooms and spaces will suffice for many smaller churches. But the larger your church, the more you’ll benefit from advanced features like granular asset management tools, maintenance functionality, and work order software to manage work requests.

Keep everyone in the loop and on the same page as you manage your church facilities with a software. Here’s our guide to the 10 Best Church Communication Software & How They Help Lead.

If you want to find out more about how software can help you manage your church, then check out some of our other church management software reviews.

Categories
Article

Faith-Based Leadership Writer

We’re looking to build a long-term relationship with a writer experienced in faith-based leadership. Someone with a love of writing and storytelling who is also passionate about, and experienced in, leading faith-based organizations or church communities.

You’ll be pitching, researching, and writing articles on The Lead Pastor, a forward-thinking publication and community for pastors and church leaders who are driving the discussion about church communities and shaping the future of church leadership.

We’re interested in working on a per-piece contract basis (not full-time salaried position). We’re flexible to accommodate thought leaders’ busy schedules. You could write one article per month, or one every other month, for example.

Topics we cover are:

  • Church leadership: tactical advice as well as theoretical and philosophical approaches to leadership training, community building, and leadership styles
  • Church communications: how to create church communication plans and strategies, how to use and implement communication technology in churches
  • Church management: how to facilitate financial or donor management, church growth management, church administration, and more
  • Church technology: how and why to use technology in church, what presentation technology is and why to use it, the best church technologies to use 

You’re A Great Fit If You…

  • Love writing about church leadership, ranging from the philosophical to the practical side of the profession. You love sharing knowledge and want to make a name for yourself as an expert in this niche. Church leadership is actually your thing. We’re looking for thought leaders (or thought leaders “to-be”) with experience in the field.
  • Own your work—and want a platform to build an authentic relationship with a wide audience. We care deeply about our rapidly-growing audience and want to publish best-in-class content that they will absolutely love.

Must-Haves

  • Professional experience in church leadership: you’re a pastor, church leader, preacher, or similar role (3+years)
  • English writing skills and a willingness to improve
  • Adaptable voice and tone (we have a style guide to help)
  • The ability to breathe life into traditionally dry topics.

Nice-To-Haves

  • Previous writing experience, either on a personal or company blog
  • Experience writing SEO-friendly, long-form blog articles.

Contract Details

  • This is not a typical “content marketing” copywriting job. Instead, we want you to become a strategic contributor to the publication, share your articles on social media, and contribute to the voice of the brand
  • Article length: from 800 to 2,000+ words
  • Compensation: $200 USD per article (with opportunities for more qualified writers to earn more).

Benefits

  • You’ll be working in tandem with a friendly, multi-disciplinary team experienced in content production, digital marketing, community building, and SEO
  • You have the chance to work on interesting projects and have a byline on a trustworthy, reputable blog
  • Flexible workload
  • Flexible schedule
  • No weekends
  • Ongoing & long term work.

How To Apply

Sounds like your cup of tea? Excited to get writing, share your knowledge and build your brand?

Please use this form to apply

Thanks in advance for your interest!

Categories
Article

The Best Church Technology Conferences 2021

If you want to know the best church technology conferences to attend in 2021, you’ve come to the right place. Our specially curated list includes both in-person and virtual events that feature renowned Christian thought leaders and practitioners from across the globe. 

Church technology can help you stay connected and relate with your church members and the world more effectively. While some church leaders shun technology, these conferences will help demonstrate to you why it’s worth embracing.  

Best Church Technology Conferences List

These conferences are great for teaching you how to leverage the latest church tech trends to spread the gospel of Jesus Christ wider and farther than ever. 

1. Church Facilities Conference & Expo (CFX) 2021

Dates: September 21-22, 2021

Price: Free for the virtual events

Location: Texas

Church Facilities Conference & Expo (CFX) 2021 Screenshot
CFX is aimed at helped churches up their technology game.

The CFX event is focused on equipping churches for a changing ministry landscape by becoming more technology savvy. It cuts across the board from leadership, management and communication to event production and facilities management. It is aimed at all church leaders from pastors, executive pastors and church staff, to technical artists and operations managers.

You can also access the events through live streaming on platforms like Facebook and video calls with the exhibitors. 

2. Live Design International (LDI) Conference

Dates: November 15-21, 2021

Price: $425-$705 onsite depending on preferred sessions

Location: Las Vegas Convention Center (LVCC)

Live Design International (LDI) Conference Screenshot
LDI is great for a variety of professionals, including church leaders and pastors.

LDI is a conference and trade exhibition for various live design professionals across the world. It has over 16,000 members drawn from sectors like corporate events, houses of worship, concerts, and theme parks. 

Attendees will learn about the latest technologies, interact with industry experts, and nourish their creativity. The conference is a great fit for filmmakers and innovators interested in how church tech systems work for effective and productive church communication.

3. First In Last Out (FILO) Conference

Dates: May 11-12, 2021

Price: Available upon request

Location: Willow Creek Community Church, South Barrington, Illinois

First In Last Out (FILO) Conference Screenshot
Anyone on your church stuff can benefit from the FILO conference.

The FILO Conference is for anyone involved in technology at their local church. It’s great for church staff working in audio or lighting, technical artists, music directors, creative directors, and worship pastors to anyone else who works with technical artists. 

The event encompasses the FILO Conference, FILO podcast, FILO Coaching, and the FILO Blog. The event will live streamed this year to accommodate those who are unable to attend due to COVID-19 restrictions.

4. SALT Conference

Dates: TBC

Price: To be communicated soon

Location: Nashville, Tennessee

SALT Conference Screenshot
SALT is a well known church conference focused on technology.

SALT is all about using technology creatively as a vehicle for God to communicate powerfully and intimately to His people. The conference is aimed at nurturing a technical and creative arts community and combines workshops on creativity with powerful talks and inspiring moments of worship. The 2020 edition of the SALT Conference was a virtual three-day event. Since plans for the 2021 edition are still underway, interested attendees can register for email updates on their sign-up page.

5. That Church Conference

Dates: 4th – 5th May, 2021

Price: Free online streaming, $97 for replay access

Location: Virtual

That Church Conference Screenshot
That Church Conference is an online conference for digital communicators within the church.

That Church Conference focuses on enabling Christian digital communicators to tell stories. Attendees will learn about church communication and practical marketing strategies, covering topics such as communications, technology, social media, marketing, and design. 

Top-notch speakers and Christian practitioners including leadership coaches, media producers, creative strategists, ministry consultants, communicators, pastors, and directors of communications will grace the event. 

Interested attendees will have the opportunity to stream the two-day virtual event for free or access a paid replay.

You can buy a Replay Pass at only $97 per year to view all the 5+ years of conference sessions.

6. Christian Leadership Alliance Outcomes Conference

Dates: June 15-17, 2021

Price: $899 for members, $1099 for non-members, $2,996 for a group of five

Location: Orlando, Florida

Christian Leadership Alliance Outcomes Conference Screenshot
Outcomes focuses on technology, people management, leadership, and more.

The Outcomes Conference has been a mainstay in the Cristian conference calendar for over 40 years. It aims to strengthen Christian leadership and impact, with a focus on:

  • Internet and Technology
  • People Management and Care
  • Financial Management
  • Executive Leadership
  • Marketing and Communications
  • Resource Development

It is a popular choice for church tech teams, church leaders, and Christian thought leaders. 

7. Thrive NorCal Conference

Dates: To be communicated soon

Price: From $199 for individuals

Location: Bayside Church, Granite Bay, California

Thrive NorCal Conference Screenshot
Thrive includes breakout sessions for churchgoers and pastors.

Thrive exists to create experiences and resources that encourage and inspire people everyone from church pastors to school students. 

The Thrive Conference features four mid and pre-conference breakouts through which attending churchgoers will gain inspiration on topics such as creative communications, preaching and speaking, worship and production, among others. Oh, they’re seriously fun too.

8. Christian Musician Summit

Dates: November 4-6, 2021

Price: $159

Location: Our Savior Lutheran Church, Tacoma, Washington

Christian Musician Summit Screenshot
The Christian Musician Summit is intended for worship leaders, teams, and other Christian musicians.

The Christian Musician Summit is for you if you are a Christian songwriter, worship leader, indie artist, church leader, gospel musician, or church technician. The summit has been running since 2003 and seeks to improve the skills and talents of musical individuals for the glory of God. 

Attendees are provided with practical sessions and resources to improve their skills and inspire talent for God’s glory. Workshops and performances are held by top industry musicians and there’s a real festival atmosphere.

Let Us Know How You Get On

Attending one or more of these conferences will provide you with plenty of knowledge and opportunities to network with other leaders in the Christian community.

Let us know how you get on and if there are any we missed off the list that you think are worthwhile to attend. 

While waiting for the conferences, here’s an article that will surely help you improve: 10 Top Church Technology Resources For Leaders in 2021.

If you’re an experienced church leader, consider joining our exclusive community to share fresh ideas and develop best practice in the local church.

Categories
Article

10 Top Church Technology Resources For Leaders [2021]

We live in an era where church technology resources are an essential part of any successful ministry. Statistics show that these resources can help churches and their staff members in many ways. These include enhancing worship, improving church communication, and automating administrative tasks.

Many people tend to associate technology with entertainment. Pope Francis once noted this among his congregants when they were using their phones to take photographs instead of concentrating on his sermon. Church leaders should set an example on proper usage of these resources in educating and strengthening congregations. 

In this article, I’m going to share ten church technology resources you can use to guide your adoption of church technology.

Church Technology Resources

1. Ministry Tech’s Magazine

Ministry Tech’s Magazine Screenshot
Ministry Tech Magazine has monthly publications.

Ministry Tech Magazine helps church leaders and administrative pastors solve technological challenges. 

This magazine also covers:

Ministry Tech Magazine is a free publication. Church leaders can subscribe to have monthly releases delivered in their email inboxes.

2. Resource UMC’s Communications & Marketing Blog

Resource UMC’s Communications Marketing Blog Screenshot
Get help with email communication and marketing.

Resource UMC is the ultimate church leader’s guide for all forms of communication, modern marketing, and church messaging. 

Other than being a great outreach and communication resource, Resource UMC also offers:

  • Tips on growing email audience and getting people to open your emails 
  • Church logo branding services
  • Digital ministry ideas
  • Outreach and marketing tools
  • Basics for sending urgent ministry updates via email

3. Technologies For Worship Magazine

Technologies For Worship Magazine Screenshot
Technologies for Worship homepage.

Technologies for Worship Magazine is a practical publication offering training on how worship leaders can make the best use of technology in churches.

Other benefits include:

  • Ministry Tech lessons.
  • Monthly magazines on developing technological trends.
  • Access to the best church audio App in the world-Turn It Up.

4. ChurchTechToday

Church Tech Today Screenshot
ChurchTechToday offers content on chuch management software.

ChurchTechToday is a website dedicated to helping church leaders, pastors, and church communicators gain insight into topics like:

  • Social media and worship
  • Websites
  • Software usage
  • Mobile phones

ChurchTechToday’s main aim is to shed light on empowering and positioning churches for growth through church technology. 

5. The Church Juice Blog eBook

The Church Juice Blog eBook Screenshot
ChurchJuice Technology Guide Resources for the Church.

ChurchJuice knows the importance of social media in how congregations, churches, and communities interact. 

It offers:

  • Tips and strategies on how your church can benefit from Facebook 
  • 5 things to include in your church website
  • A list of 25 best church websites and their values.

This eBook is free and church leaders can get it delivered to their email inbox once they subscribe. The resource is also downloadable from the ChurchJuice website.

6. Behind the Mixer Church Audio Artistry

Behind the Mixer Church Audio Artistry Screenshot
Church audio equipment.

Behind the Mixer is a church technology resource dedicated to teaching churches about enhancing their sound systems. 

The team of engineers will:

  • Guide you on buying the best equipment 
  • Teach you the basics of audio productions
  • Offer free question and answer sessions on church tech

Behind the Mixer has a lot of useful, free resources and church podcasts on their website.

7. Church Magazine

Church Magazine Screenshot
An example Churchmag post from 2020.

Church magazine documents all the occurrences in the church. For example, 2020 being a year of COVID-19 pandemic, reflections posts include:

  • Church life through pandemic
  • Tools used during the pandemic by leaders to take their church online
  • Church response to COVID-19 pandemic
  • Effects of the pandemic on Christian faith

This non-profit magazine may cover many topics on church activities that church leaders can use to take the ministry to the next level.

8. Discplr Children Ministry Magazine

Discplr Children Ministry Magazine Screenshot
Children Bible Story Books.

Discplr magazine contains beneficial lessons church leaders can use to train and prepare kids for ministry from a young age.

Key teachings included are:

  • Free Sunday school lessons
  • How to organize kids ministry
  • Ministry empowerment tools for parents and teachers
  • Children’s’ Bible stories and lessons 

The Discplr magazine also includes adult teachings discussing methods to stick to the mission of the church and maximize your potential in the ministry lessons are discussed.

9. Church Motion Graphics

Church Motion Graphics Screenshot
How church leaders can use CMG.

Church Motion Graphics is a technology resource meant to help church leaders:

  • Learn how to improve live streaming
  • Set up video calls
  • Virtually engage their audiences
  • Organize church media

10. Pushpay and Church Management

Pushpay and Church Management Screenshot
Church leader using a church software.

Pushpay is a template that offers various important church technology resources for church leaders including:

  • On-demand Pushpay University lessons for church leaders
  • Tips on planning and managing church budget
  • Church management software
  • Custom-branded church Apps.

Final Thoughts

It is the 21st century and Church leaders should take full advantage of church technology resources to enhance their worship services. Here’s our list of The Best Church Technology Conferences In 2021 you should take a good look at.

Are you looking to set your church up with a website but don’t know where to start? Find some inspiration here: 20 Best Church Website Designs In 2021

Check out The Lead Pastor community for more resources and content for church leaders.

Categories
Article

10 Best Church Leadership Books

While a leader’s primary source of wisdom will always be the Bible, those who embrace other sources of knowledge have more tools and context for its interpretation, and case studies for how best to apply biblical teaching in a modern church leadership role. 

When searching for church leadership books there are a lot to choose from, but not all authors have the strong theological education and discipleship experience to provide instruction on church leadership.

So how do you find the best books for you and your leadership team without reading through the entire bookstore? The humble book review is here to help. In this list, we bring you some of the most iconic Christian leadership books that teach different approaches to the unique challenges of pastoral ministry. 

Best Church Leadership Books

1. Spiritual Leadership: Principles of Excellence For Every Believer by J. Oswald Sanders

Part of the Sanders Spiritual Growth series, this book is best read by church leaders looking to enhance their leadership in the spiritual and physical realms to lead their congregation or church community better under the strong guidance of the teachings of Jesus Christ. 

The book draws from the Scripture and has elaborate examples of charismatic servants of God like Nehemiah, Moses, Paul the apostle, and Charles Spurgeon. While Sanders recognizes that natural leadership attributes are a gift from God, they are only truly effective when used to bring glory to God. As such, church leaders keen on enhancing their leadership abilities should check out this book and draw from its teachings on topics such as:

  • The one major requirement of true leadership
  • The cost of true leadership
  • Leadership responsibility
  • Tests of leadership
  • How to reproduce good leaders
  • The attributes of quality leadership
  • The criteria of quality leadership.
  • The key principles of true leadership

2. The Emotionally Healthy Leader: How Transforming Your Inner Life Will Deeply Transform Your Church, Team, and the World by Peter Scazzero

This is part of the eight books in Scazzero’s Emotionally Healthy Spirituality series and is best for church leaders looking to enhance their inner life to make more impact in their leadership in the church and the world at large. 

The book shows church leaders how they can build a satisfying Christ-led inner life and focuses on key areas such as overcoming stress, planning, decision-making, team building, influencing other people and nurturing a healthy culture. It is geared toward helping you become a holistic individual with the proper emotional health required to lead as a Christian. 

The book focuses on some key areas such as:

  • Helpful tips on facing your shadow, leading others whether you are married or single, slowing down, and embracing new beginnings out of different endings
  • Elaborate assessments meant for leaders to gauge their leadership health
  • Practical, tried, and tested ways for equipping leaders both at local churches and internationally all over the world
  • Core issues of unique Christian leadership.

3. Who Moved My Pulpit?: Leading Change in the Church by Thom S. Rainer

This 160-page church leadership book is a good choice for ministers, pastors, lay leaders, and other key leaders in the church who are struggling with understanding and managing change in a fast-changing world. As much as change is inevitable and is beneficial for the development of a church, Christian leaders need to know how to embrace such change to ensure both they, and the entire church, remain spiritually healthy. 

This short book will cost you a few hours of your time to read or listen to but it will be a gem in your journey with church leadership, especially where changes are frequent and intensive. It will equip you with some of the following key points:

  • Knowing where change is coming from
  • Knowing why changes are happening
  • Finding out how you should deal with the changes while still following God all along
  • Being ahead of change to ensure your church remains true to its timeless calling while still serving opportunities in the new era
  • How to change approaches to reach a fast-changing culture.

You can also check out Rainer’s other bestseller, Autopsy of a Deceased Church: 12 Ways to Keep Yours Alive. 

4. Canoeing the Mountains: Christian Leadership in Uncharted Territory by Tod Bolsinger

Sometimes as a church leader, minister, or pastor you may find that the tables have turned and you are leading in a cultural context that is way different than your expectations. 

You may realize that, at such times, your training holds you back rather than carrying you along. This celebrated book by Tod Bolsinger changes such scenarios for you and illuminates your leadership path with practical insights for reimagining effective leadership.

In a fast-changing world, you will need more than just canoes to conquer the mountains of modern-day Christian ministry. I like Bolsinger’s book as it leads the reader into finding new navigational tools to be able to conquer the hardships of ministry. 

The book now has a study guide that helps you formulate ways to lead in Christianity with courage and confidence. The most important thing to do when you find yourself in a different cultural context is to adapt to new ways of leadership, and this book will help you do so drawing from Bolsinger’s extensive pastoral experience.

5. Courageous Leadership: Field-Tested Strategy for the 360° Leader by Bill Hybels

If your zeal is to do your best to effectively lead your church in spreading God’s message of hope to bring change in the world, then this is the right book for you. As a leader, you have the potential to positively change the world by bringing believers together and nurturing their spiritual gifts to help non-believers become devout followers of Jesus Christ. This book will show you the right tools to use to achieve this noble responsibility.

The one major aspect I like about the book is that it draws heavily from Hybels’ personal life experiences, through which he brings out important life principles with compelling first-hand stories. Hybels explores the challenges, tasks, and tools of your true calling. Among other things, he helps you to:

  • Discover the power of a vision and turn it into constructive action
  • Embrace change
  • Discover your leadership style
  • Walk with God and stay put in your God-given course
  • Develop other leaders; and 
  • Make the best of the spiritual gift of leadership in you.

6. Leading Change Without Losing It: Five Strategies That Can Revolutionize How You Lead Change When Facing Opposition by Carey Nieuwhof

Leading Change Without Losing It is part of Nieuwhof’s The Change Trilogy and is a good fit for the church leader who has encountered opposition while trying to bring about change. 

As a leader you try your best to bring change into an otherwise disoriented world, but this is often met by opposition and you have to equip yourself with means of navigating the change itself as well as the opposition.

Nieuwhof’s book helps you bring about change without losing it through the following five strategies:

  • Determining the people who support or are opposed to the change and why
  • Deciding where to put your undivided attention
  • Developing the questions that will inform your course of action
  • Learning to attack problems rather than the people fronting them
  • Persevering right up to the crucial breakthrough.

Other church leaders will find this book a gem as they try to navigate the uncertain waters of bringing change in the ministry and leaving a positive lasting legacy in their churches and beyond. 

7. In the Name of Jesus: Reflections on Christian Leadership by Henri Nouwen

At only 107 pages, Henri Nouwen’s In the Name of Jesus is a short read. It’s aimed at church leaders curious about discovering Nouwen’s unique approach to Christian leadership as not just the effort of church leaders but also that of the entire church community. 

Nouwen believes that the best way to determine the success of leadership is to consider the “communal and mutual experience” rather than the ordinary consideration of the effectiveness of the leader only. This unique approach posits that leadership without the community is impossible since, as Christians, we are all collectively called by God into enjoying a common experience. 

Church leaders, pastors, and ministers will find this book a game-changer amongst the broad outlook on matters of church leadership as they now have to factor in the contribution of the congregation in shaping leadership. 

It is not enough to recognize that, as a leader, you have the responsibility to lead. It is important to know and understand the role your community plays in how effective or ineffective your leadership turns out. 

8. The Motive: Why So Many Leaders Abdicate Their Most Important Responsibilities by Patrick Lencioni

Patrick Lencioni’s approach to major leadership lessons using simple fables endears him to scores of readers across the world. The Motive is one such fable that Christian and business leaders can look to for tips on examining their true motivation for taking up leadership. 

While it calls for utmost honesty to oneself, not many leaders would be able to fully discover the true motivation behind their zeal to lead. Lencioni presents us with practical ways of examining ourselves to see what spurs us into leadership.

By following his actionable tips, as leaders we are able to avoid the loopholes that kill our church communities and eliminate the pitfalls that cause hurt to the very followers we are serving. 

Lencioni uses plot twists and dialogues to bring us to an unexpected and equally enlightening resolution, coupled with simple life lessons from the fable and practical advice drawn from his theory on leadership and life in general. 

9. Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action by Simon Sinek

This bestseller is part of Sinek’s Start with Why series. It explores, in depth, the idea that leaders need to determine the reasons or motives that drive people into joining a movement or service. For the leader, the Why part would include assessing oneself to determine the reason you are involved in leadership.

This is a must-read leadership book for examining the real-life motivations that guide people into different lines of action. He also draws comparisons between major world leaders who, although from different backgrounds, exhibit similarities in their manner of thinking, acting, and communicating. Sinek names this aspect The Golden Circle. 

The Golden Circle offers a system through which movements are led, organizations built, and people inspired. Sinek provokes us with several questions, such as why some people command greater loyalty from both employees and customers. The same methods can be replicated in church situations. 

10. Next Generation Leader: 5 Essentials for Those Who Will Shape the Future by Andy Stanley

Church leadership will soon become obsolete if churches fail to invest in leadership development to bring up a future disciple team from the youth ranks. In this book, Andy Stanley notes that missional mandates can be instilled in the youth to prepare them for leadership roles in the future through equipping them with the five basic characteristics: 

  • Clarity
  • Courage
  • Coachability
  • Competence; and
  • Character.

Andy Stanley shows us how the future crop of leaders can be mentored through practical advice and approaches to:

  • Leverage uncertainty
  • Maintain stable moral authority
  • Discover and tap into one’s strengths
  • Enlist the help of leadership coaches
  • Harness one’s fears.

At only 176 pages long, this is a must-read for all church leaders who realize the importance of nurturing the next generation. Just like a robust country thrives on how best the youths are trained, a healthy church calls for an equipped young generation.


Other ways to improve your ability to lead churches and congregations include church leadership training programs and attending church leadership conferences. And as we all know, leaders are always learning new things. Why not take a look at this article: 10 Top Church Technology Resources For Leaders in 2021.

Make sure to check out our membership program as well, where we connect church leaders and pastors and help each other grow.

Categories
Article

10 Best Church Leadership Training Programs In 2021

Looking for the best church leadership training in 2021? Join us to explore and rate leadership training programs that will to help you and your teams build stronger church leadership strategies for your congregation. 

10 Best Church Leadership Training Programs

1. Arrow LeadershipFind clarity for an uncertain future

Arrow Leadership screenshot for Church Leadership Training Programs Screenshot
Learn to become a Jesus-centered leader with the Arrow Leadership Program.

The Arrow Leadership Program for church leaders is divided into Team Development, One-on-one Coaching, an Executive Leaders Stream, and an Emerging Leaders Stream. All these modules are structured differently to serve the unique needs of different levels of church leadership. The program offers various resources including small groups, the monthly Sharpening Leaders blog, leadership tune-ups, and free downloadable tools.

The Emerging Leaders Stream launches virtually on March 19, 2021 and runs through June 18, 2022 at $5,500, with a partner pricing option available.

The Virtual Executive Stream for senior church leaders launches on June 25, 2021, and runs through August 26, 2022 at $9,250, also with the partner pricing option available.

2. Foundations in Missional Ministry and Church Leadership CurriculumCertificate and diploma courses in church leadership

Foundations in Missional Ministry and Church Leadership Curriculum Screenshot
Certificate and diploma Christian courses courtesy of Tyndale University.

The Tyndale University church leadership program features a certificate and diploma course. Christian leaders are expected to complete four units for the certificate, and eight units for the diploma course. Students who have completed the certificate can obtain a diploma by studying four more units at the diploma level.

Some of the topics include Bible Interpretation and Survey of the Old and the New Testament.

3. Pastoral Care and Leadership – Short course for advanced pastors

Pastoral Care and Leadership Screenshot for Church Leadership Training Programs
Free online course on pastoral care and leadership.

Dr. John Johson of Western Seminary offers a free online course for advanced pastors on pastoral care and leadership focusing on preaching, leadership, and Biblical theology. A succinct 17 hours, this audio and video course equips you with the skills and knowledge required to be a good leader, nurture good leaders in the local church, grow from conflict, and relate well with the members and church staff. 

4. Mindful Leadership Training – Best customized training for an all-round, healthy church

Mindful Leadership Training for Church Leadership Training Programs Screenshot
Organization-specific training and public eLearning from the Institute for Mindful Leadership.

The Institute for Mindful Leadership has been running this training program for over 15 years with custom offerings to organizations, in-person workshops, and retreats. The program is aimed at equipping leaders with greater resiliency and more capacity for excellence.

The program currently has an online course for February, a workshop for March, and an upcoming retreat whose dates will be released soon.

5. Certificate of Biblical Leadership Course – Learn and grow in leadership for spiritual influence

Certificate of Biblical Leadership Course Screenshot
Three-part, 78-lesson Christian leadership training from Axx.

This course is best for beginner leaders starting their biblical leadership journey and looking to benefit from excellent ministry training for spiritual influence in the church and beyond. Leaders on the program have full lifetime access to the course materials and get a personalized certificate upon completion.

We love the low cost of the program as it is affordable for most leaders at only AUD 30 per month.

6. Administration and Leadership Webinars and Online Classes – Best courses for church administration

Administration and Leadership Webinars and Online Classes for Church Leadership Training Programs Screenshot
Webinars and Online Classes about Administration from Sacred Space Online Learning.

This leadership training focuses on ensuring people in the church leadership pipeline are fully equipped for church administration and religious leadership, with topics such as Nonprofit management, developing leadership styles, church fair trade stores, church websites, running small groups, and volunteer management.

The courses are offered on an on-demand basis across Canada and the U.S.

7. Emotionally Healthy Discipleship – Becoming the emotionally healthy leader your church needs

Emotionally Healthy Discipleship for Church Leadership Training Programs Screenshot
Transform into an emotionally healthy church leader for your church and the world.

Peter Scazzero shows you how to transform from an ordinary to the executive pastor your church needs by improving your emotional intelligence and well-being. You’ll be able to develop a new vision for healthy church leadership, integrate your personality with your calling, and lead the transformation of your church staff.

You’ll also draw inspiration from one of Scazzero’s bestseller leadership books – The Emotionally Healthy Leader.

8. Equipping Leaders International Leadership training – Courses for equipping leaders to transform their world

Equipping Leaders International Leadership Training Screenshot
Training on church leadership development from Equipping Leaders Inc.

Equipping Leaders International focuses on training that covers local church leadership, church rejuvenation, church planting, and administration of Christian schools. It seeks to equip pastors with formal training required for the effective running and management of the rapidly expanding churches.

The course covers the effects of hindrances such as corrupt governments, Western dependence, limited opportunities for ongoing education, and economic poverty to ensure that leaders can still bring glory to God through their service.

9. Building Church Leaders – Practical training tools for team members

Building Church Leaders Screenshot for Church Leadership Training Programs Screenshot
Best leadership training for a holistic church.

This program aims at producing a holistic church with high capacity ministry leadership across the board from pastors to lay leaders and other general church staff. The training focuses on mentoring church teams to enhance their competencies, gifting, and discipleship with a renewed passion for outreach to bring more people to God.

The training is best for leaders looking to enhance both themselves and their entire church by developing a united church as per the teachings of Ephesians 4.

10. Dallas Theological Seminary courses – Free Christian courses for podcast lovers

Dallas Theological Seminary Courses for Church Leadership Training Program Screenshot
Free podcast and email-based courses from the Dallas Theological Seminary.

The Dallas Theological Seminary offers free Christian courses on church leadership skills and other aspects through their podcast and weekly emails. Key topics include suffering, racial reconciliation, repentance, and walking with God through church leadership.

Next Steps

Finding the best church leadership training for yourself or church staff doesn’t have to be an uphill task if you consider insights from our list. There’s at least one training suitable for your every Christian leadership need! 

In fact, we’ve also compiled a list of the 10 Best Church Leadership Conferences In 2021 to make it easier for you!

If you’re simply looking for more resources to add to your library, here’s our list of the 10 Best Church Leadership Books.

Are you a church leader who wants to connect with others to share knowledge and best practices? Apply to join our exclusive community of church leaders and access to a private, moderated forum with other lead pastors.

Categories
Insights

19 Best Church Website Designs In 2021 [With Stats + Analysis]

Planning to upgrade your church website in 2021, and looking for inspiration? Look no further than our list of the top 21 church websites.

We compiled this list based on how engaging and intuitive the website design is for site visitors.

Our Comparison Criteria For The Best Church Websites:

So how did we compare and compile this list of the best church websites? These rankings are based on a snap judgment test. The average web user forms an opinion in about 50 milliseconds based on many factors: structure, colors, spacing, symmetry, amount of text, fonts, and more.

So this is the test we’ve used – we tested each of these websites as if I were a new visitor in the area looking for a church. Ultimately though, we’re evaluating the church website design and user experience. We estimate how easy the website makes it to:

  • Find service information
  • Get in touch with someone
  • Catch up on the latest sermon or podcast
  • Get involved

20 Best Church Website Designs

1. Elevation Church – Best church website for newcomers

Elevation Church Best Church Website Designs Screenshot
Elevation Church’s website homepage: probably the best church website in 2021!

What we like:

The Elevation Church website is clean and simple. They’ve got stacks of content, but they draw you in with the primary call to action to watch their latest sermon and service. We love how easy they’ve made it to get involved with quick links to Giving, Groups, Volunteering, Outreach, and their e-Fam. They make it really easy for newcomers with their ‘New here?’ call to action which takes you through to easily digestible content for newcomers, and a way to engage their VIP program – which is really just a form, but it feels good!

2. Passion City Church – Best church website for everyday sharefaith resources

Passion City Best Church Website Designs Screenshot
Passion City Church website: your go-to site for daily Christian resources.

What we like:

The website is simple and appealing to the eye with attractive videos playing in the background. The site has several resources in the form of tutorials, and it is even easy to watch the last Sunday’s sermon right from the homepage. 

The site invites you to their next online session with an option to mark it on your calendar for ease of remembrance! From their homepage, there’s a link for giving with several options like online giving, mobile phone giving, cash and checks, and Amazon Smile.

3. Glow Church – Best church website for Christian podcasts

Glow Church Best Church Website Designs Screenshot
Glow Church website: enjoy the site’s laser glow color scheme.

What we like:

The homepage enlists some basic links to podcasts, giving, prayer requests, and connection options. The podcasts are available on iTunes, SoundCloud, and Spotify to offer new visitors a variety of ways to access them. Giving is easy based on your location in Australia or through their online giving platform. You can also use cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, Litecoin, and Ethereum for giving!

It’s easy to connect with the leadership when you fill in the prayer and request form, join connect groups, or visit their online campus, which is the major item with a call to action on the site. 

4. All Souls – Best church website for downloadable sermons

All Souls Best Church Website Design Screenshot
All Souls Church website: easy does it!

What we like:

The website is simply designed with easily accessible site controls for every church service, involvement in the church community, giving, upcoming events, and past sermons. 

The site welcomes users to the sermon library where they can download MP3 versions of past sermons for free. There are different ways to give, and the site has downloadable copies of financial accounts for the past years!

5. Christ Church London – Best church website for online church services

Christ Church London Best Church Website Designs Screenshot
Christ Church London website: one of the most vibrant church sites.

What we like:

The website has a lot of links to different functions, but the most eye-catching is the primary call to action for visitors to watch the services online through their Church at Home feature. We also love the straightforward links to options like pastoral support, online courses, connect groups, giving, and the latest podcasts that are accessible right from the homepage! 

6. Holy Trinity Brompton Church – Best church website for free Christian courses

Holy Trinity Brompton Church Best Church Website Designs Screenshot
HTB Church website: best church website coupled with a strong online presence.

What we like:

The website has a very simple design with a minimalist approach. New visitors are invited to access the free online courses on theology, marriage, and bereavement. You can also stay fully connected through their social media platforms and monthly email newsletter, HTB Snapshot. The giving platform offers you over seven ways to give depending on your preference. You’ll find a detailed navigation menu at the bottom of the homepage. 

7. Church of the City New York – Best church site with clear service times

Church Of The City New York Best Church Website Designs Screenshot
Church of the City New York website: conquering the city spiritually.

What we like:

This is a New York church community that currently hosts online services each Sunday under four unique service times, two in the morning and two in the afternoon. The main call to action for new visitors is to join the community Morning Prayer sessions each weekday to pray together through the previous Sunday’s sermon. You’ll find the links to giving, church calendar, podcast, and social media in the navigation menu at the bottom. 

8. C3 Toronto – Best church site for sermon playbacks

C3 Toronto Best Church Website Designs Screenshot
C3 Toronto church website: best site with large icons and diverse color scheme.

What we like:

What meets your eye on the site are large blocks with various links to access playbacks for the previous Sunday’s sermon, connection options for newcomers, online giving, and podcasts. You can further connect with the church by filling out their Online Connect Card and following them on social media. 

9. Bethel Church – Best church website for ongoing followers

Bethel Church Best Church Website Designs Screenshot
Bethel Church website: the best website with sliding tabs.

What we like:

The website has a detailed navigation menu with controls best suited for the existing church members. The UX makes it easy for you to access upcoming events, Bethel Store, downloadable podcasts, and Christian music. You can also stream some of the online church services via Bethel.TV for free.

10. Westminster Chapel – Most welcoming church site

Westminster Chapel Best Church Website Designs Screenshot
Westminster Chapel website: simple, compact, easy to navigate.

What we like:

The most outstanding feature that draws the eyes of new visitors to the site is the ‘Come As You Are’ clarion call inviting people from all walks of life to join the church community, which they describe as a ‘Family of all sorts’. New visitors can join the online church Sunday services as well as weekly life groups. There’s a link for giving options and downloading free MP3 versions of the latest sermons. 

11. Reality Church London – Best site for Bible study sessions

Reality Church London Best Church Website Designs Screenshot
Reality Church London website: simplicity and high-quality combined.

What we like:

The Reality Church London has a simple but high-quality website design with basic action links to connect groups, giving, and resources like the latest sermons. New visitors can easily join the men’s or women’s Bible study sessions that take place online. 

12. Summit Park Church – Best church website for life group access

Summit Park Church Best Church Website Designs Screenshot
Summit Park Church website: One of the most easy-to-navigate websites.

What we like:

The website strikes a lasting first impression as it opens to a homepage with a lively video background with high-quality Christian videography. The weekday and Sunday service times for their two locations are listed. New visitors can choose between joining the online or in-person sessions. The Life Groups are in nine categories and users can request advice on the best ones to join as a newcomer. 

13. Isla Vista Church – Most basic church website with a minimalist approach to text

Isla Vista Best Church Website Designs Screenshot
Isla Vista church website: best site with the most basic web design.

What we like:

Perhaps the most basic church website design, the Isla Vista Church website has a simple layout with direct access buttons to giving, latest sermons, church podcast, and weekly calendar. New visitors can receive regular church updates via text once they register for the same through the SMS number provided on the site. 

14. Citipointe Church – Best church website for pre-attendance reservations

Citipointe Church Best Church Website Designs Screenshot
Citipointe Church website: perhaps the best website with colorful video backgrounds.

What we like:

The website opens to a full-screen video background on the homepage and has large blocks with links to life groups, world events and updates, different church locations, and giving options. New visitors can join the online services or opt to either join in-person sessions with or without prior reservations. 

15. Embrace Church – Best church website with chatbot support

Embrace Church Best Church Website Designs Screenshot
Embrace Church website: white space meets large access icons.

What we like:

The website is simply designed with very little text and plenty of open white space. The header menu displays basic links to giving options, the latest sermons, and church contacts. Potential visitors can use the ‘New Here?’ call button to access groups, a connection card, and even contact the church through the chatbot. 

16. Flatirons Community Church – Best church website for transparency on giving dynamics

Flatirons Community Church Best Church Website Designs Screenshot
Flatirons Community Church website: color and functionality blended into one.

What we like:

The website opens to a video background with a call to watch the latest sermon. From the large blocks, new visitors can link to groups and giving statements for the previous year. The giving and Flatirons Academy links are accessible at the bottom. 

17. World Changers International Church – Best church website for streaming services

World Changers International Church Best Church Website Designs Screenshot
World Changers Church website: one of the best sites with colorful video backgrounds.

What we like:

The website combines the latest design trends like video background with colorful static images and large blocks inviting visitors to access various options like streaming church services, registering for upcoming events and blood donation drives, and giving. First-time visitors can watch a series of past sermons and podcasts via the resource center once they click on the ‘Watch’ call to action button under the First Time Visitor banner. 

18. Second Baptist Church – Best church website with the most attractive color scheme

Second Baptist Church Best Church Website Designs Screenshot
Second Baptist Church website: for the simplest domain name.

What we like:

The website has a simple design with a pleasant color scheme and high-quality photography. I love the colorful interplay when scrolling through the large banners with links to giving, past sermons, prayer requests, upcoming events, locations, and the next steps to take as a newcomer to nurture your faith with the church. 

19. Gateway Church – Best church website for dual language users

Gateway Church Best Church Website Designs Screenshot
Gateway Church website: keeping it simple and easy to navigate.

What we like:

The website opens to a video of the latest service playable right on the website. I love the eye-catching large banners with links and action buttons to different options like planning a first-time, in-person or online visit, registering your child for the Children’s Ministry, connecting with Gateway groups, Gateway Essentials store, and the online Equip Library. The site offers text in both English and Espanol.

Other Great Church Websites For 2021

These didn’t quite make the cut for the best church website, but if you’re looking for more inspiration, check these out:

  1. Fellowship Church
  2. Life Church
  3. Lakewood Church
  4. Saddleback Church
  5. Christ’s Church Of The Valley
  6. Willow Creek Community Church
  7. Newspring Church
  8. Southeast Christian Church
  9. Central Church
  10. North Point Community Church
  11. Calvary Church
  12. Eagle Brook Church
  13. Woodlands Church
  14. Calvary Chapel Fort Lauderdale
  15. Christ Fellowship Church
  16. Dream City Church
  17. Church Of The Highlands
  18. Crossroads Church

How Can I Have My Church’s Website Considered For The List?

Add a comment at the end of the post and include your church website’s URL. That’s it! You’ll be considered for the list when we compile it again for 2022.

Get started building your own church website with church website builder software!

Have you ever considered setting a YouTube channel up for your church? Here’s our guide on how to get started.

Categories
Insights

10 Best Church Leadership Conferences In 2021

Church leadership conferences are a great way for leaders to unwind from daily church life tasks. They are an opportunity to recharge, refresh, learn, collect resources and connect with other like-minded leaders. 

These conferences have many benefits, and that is why church leaders set aside time every year to attend them. Some leaders choose to bring along other church staff so that they can learn and grow together. 

In this article, we will share the ten best in-person and online church leadership conferences of 2021.

Best Church Leadership Conferences List

This a selection of the best church leadership conferences you can attend in 2021.

1. LeaderCast Live

Dates: May 5, 2021
Price: $79
Location: Cincinnati, OH 45221, United States

Leadercast Live Church Leadership Conferences Image
Previous LeaderCast Live Conference.

This is a one-day annual leadership event targeting leaders attending individually or in small groups. The event is meant to inspire and help pastors better their leadership roles and attracts over 100,000 visionaries every year.

LeaderCast’s mission is to create confident and infectiously inspired leaders who spread their impact on others. They cover every aspect of what it is to be an effective leader.

The conference can be attended virtually, but you can still connect with other leaders in your area to enjoy the classes by leadership experts.

2. Church Leaders Conference

Dates: April 27-29, 2021
Price: $180 (individual), $120-$150 (groups)
Location: Dallas, TX

Church Leaders Conferences Church Leadership Conferences Image
Jubilation at a past Church Leaders Conference.

Thousands of church leaders from different places meet in Dallas, TX to be encouraged by God’s vision, refreshed among other servant-leaders, and get equipped with leadership roles to advance God’s ministry.

It is a three-day conference with a pre-conference workshop to give you personal training and an opportunity to learn from other ministry leaders.

Breakout sessions will equip and resource you in many areas. Ministry overviews, leadership developments, and culture-relevant topics are just a few areas that will be featured in the talks.

All attendees receive all breakout session audios, podcasts, and resources at no additional fee.  

3. Christian Leadership Alliance Outcomes Conference

Dates: June 15-17, 2021
Price: $899 (members), $1,099 (non-members)
Location: Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress Hotel, Orlando, Florida

Christian Leadership Alliance Outcomes Conference Church Leadership Conferences Screenshot
Outcomes Conference dates for 2021.

The Christian leadership alliance has been hosting Outcomes Conferences for more than 40 years.

Other than executive leadership offered at this conference, the Outcomes Conference professional development also focuses on:

  • People Management and Care
  • Financial Management
  • Tax and Legal Studies
  • Board Governance
  • Communications and Marketing
  • Internet and Technology
  • Resource Development

This annual conference offers leaders the opportunity to build intentional relationships at both spiritual and professional levels.

You can check discounted prices for the conference for those attending in small groups on their website.

4. Catalyst

Dates: Available on request
Price: Free
Location: Online

Catalyst Church Leadership Conferences Image
Speakers at Catalyst come from diverse backgrounds.

Catalyst aims at empowering upcoming and existing leaders who love the gospel and want to be great revolutionaries in their churches. The Catalyst was purposely founded to strengthen and empower new crops of leaders across the globe. 

It aims at unifying, challenging, and equipping these leaders with various traditions and church originations. Leaders who attend benefit from world-class mentorship from business leaders and celebrated biblical teachers coming from diverse backgrounds.

Catalyst is an online program available on-demand for leaders who want to benefit from both business and church leadership mentoring. 

5. Arc Conference

Dates:  Available on-demand
Price: Free
Location: Online

Arc Conferences Church Leadership Conferences Screenshot
ARC Conference’s focus theme.

The Association of Related Churches (ARC) Conference’s main aim is to help leaders, pastors, and future church planters build a relationship that can help local churches to prosper. 

The ARC strongly believes in equipping leaders with proper leadership skills through sharing life experience stories. The conference focuses on sharing each others’ stories of love, perseverance, trials, and adventures that have shaped them into who they are.

This conference is available on demand. Christian leaders seeking to benefit can get more information from the ARC website about their conferences.

6. Creative Church Culture (C3) Conference

Dates: February 18, 2021
Price: $49
Location: Dallas, TX

Creative Church Culture Church Leadership Conferences Image
The 2021 C3 Conference theme.

The C3 conference is a one-day event of intensive coaching, teaching, and learning on ways to advance the church. At the C3 conference, experienced leaders answer tough questions on how they have maneuvered the challenging leadership journey.

This is an online conference and leaders can host other church staff for a watch party. 

7. North Coast Training

Dates: October 19-20, 2021
Price: $49
Location: Vista, CA

North Coast Training Church Leadership Conferences Image
Church leaders interact at a previous North Coast Training Conference.

North Coast Training is a two-day practical tool for pastors and other church communicators. With break-out sessions and keynote speeches, your team will acquire knowledge and inspiration for foundational leadership and team building.

There will be both pre-conference and break-out sessions. Tickets are affordable at only $49 with lunch included. Church leaders are encouraged to bring along their teams to benefit.

8. Exponential Conference

Dates: October 18-21, 2021
Price: $39 (individual), $24-$29 (groups)
Location: Orlando, Florida

Exponential Conferences Church Leadership Conferences Screenshot
Exponential includes roundtable discussions.

The Exponential Conference is among the largest church-planting annual gatherings for church leaders. It offers church leaders an opportunity to meet with other God’s people and connect with other planters.

Attendees can choose from over 200 workshops aimed at specific planters’ needs. This conference will be a 3-day event aimed at educating and inspiring planters on their leadership roles.

Exponential Conference also has a provision for those who can’t afford both time and money to attend. Regional conferences are offered close to your homes. This is a great opportunity for those who would wish to bring along their teams.

9. That Church Conference

Dates: May 4 & 5, 2021
Price: Free
Location: Aired online from Atlanta, Georgia

That Church Conferences Church Leadership Conferences Screenshot
That Church Conference offers free tickets.

That Church Conference is a two-day nonprofit online event for pastors and church leaders aimed at helping digital communicators enhance their communication and reach a wider audience through the gospel. 

Attendees benefit from lessons by real practitioners. Topics covered include marketing, social media, technology, and communications.

Those who wish to benefit can either choose to sign up and watch live for free or buy a Replay Pass to watch later.

10. The Global Leadership Summit

Dates: August 5 & 6, 2021
Price: $169 (individual), $149 (2+ attendees)
Location: Great Hill Baptist Church, Austin, Texas, US

The Global Leadership Channel Church Leadership Conferences Screenshot
The guest speakers at The Global Leadership Summit 2021.

The Global Leadership Summit brings together thousands of growth-minded leaders from around the world.

You’ll experience highly interactive sessions that will leave you re-energized and with a clear vision. Business experts and church leaders will give talks on various faculties including:

  • Maximizing profitability
  • Building trust
  • Overcoming fear
  • Improving workplace civility
  • Managing conflict
  • Influencing change

You can choose to attend either in-person or online.

Let Us Know Your Favorite

Church leadership conferences offer leaders an opportunity to learn and benefit those they lead. Congregations are encouraged to support their leaders and other church staff to attend these annual gatherings.
Let us know if you have a favorite from the list above or if there are any you’d like to recommend.

Looking for even more conferences? Here’s our list of the Best Church Technology Conferences 2021 you might want to show your technical team.

Make sure to read our articles on the 10 Best Church Leadership Books and the 10 Top Church Technology Resources For Leaders In 2021 so you can train more people to take on leadership roles long before sending them off to conferences!

Experienced running a church? Interested in sharing knowledge and collaborating with other leaders? You can apply to join our community of experienced Lead Pastors here.

Categories
Insights

Recognizing Problems That Arise In Church Planting

I am writing about church planting…still. It is one of my favorite subjects. But I need to tell you something: though there is great pleasure and satisfaction in starting something new, it does not happen without sacrifices and challenges.

Even the most enthusiastic and optimistic church planter will have to, at some point, recognize and deal with the problems that arise in church planting.

So what would some of those problems be? Well, let’s start by looking back at the early church—the church plant of all church plants! With both physical growth and increasing diversity, the first apostles certainly experienced some start-up-like growth issues. For example:

  • Tensions between Jews and Gentiles (Acts 6:1-7)
  • Disagreement about circumcision (Acts 15:1-2)
  • Disputes about responding to political leaders (Romans 13:1-7)
  • Controversy about dietary choices (Romans 14:1-4)
  • Lawsuits between believers (1 Corinthians 6:1-7)
  • Twisting the Gospel (Galatians 1:6-10) 
  • Disunity between believers (Philippians 2:1-4)

These alone don’t paint the full picture of what a church planter might have to face, but the personal experience of the apostles as the original church planters (see 1 Corinthians 4:9-13; 2 Corinthians 6:3-10), might cause some to rethink before agreeing to the job and embracing the call! 

Putting aside the topic of modern-day apostleship for now, what we can say is this: the nature of church planting is apostolic. Without a clear sense of calling, both the sacrifices and challenges required of the task might end up overwhelming any would-be church planter. 

Church planting is very exciting, but it has to be more than a good idea. It has to be a God-idea that speaks of His destiny and purpose for your life as well as for others.

Growing Problems

And so, we can see from the early church planter’s experiences there are inevitable problems and challenges in church planting. Some will be the same as those others faced, some will be unique to your particular situation and circumstances.

However, here’s what you need to remember: there are going to be good problems and there are going to be bad problems. Good problems are about growing. Bad problems are about growing, too. Often, the only difference is how you see them, and ultimately how you handle them.

Inspiring an Army of Volunteers

Thankfulness

There is one challenge in particular that I want to focus on: building a church planting team with volunteers. Unlike the world of business, where making money is the goal (therefore people can be hired as well as fired), the majority of the church is made up of volunteers. 

In business, employees are paid for their work, enticed with benefits packages and often rewarded for exceptional performance. Of course, there are rewards in the church—usually through opportunities to serve and lead. But, generally, church workers are expected to serve faithfully regardless of rewards. 

This notion comes out of a shared understanding and expectation that each volunteer is ultimately serving Christ, not man or mammon, because of their deep sense of thankfulness for God’s forgiveness through Jesus’ atoning sacrifice on the cross. 

A Noble Cause

A volunteer workforce that continues to offer itself willingly needs to believe that they are giving themselves to a noble cause—that is, something that is greater than themselves, expressing both moral and spiritual excellence.

I might put it this way: a noble cause is a stirring call to do something selfless with your life, resulting in something good for others. Without this belief—without this conviction—then sustained work from a bunch of volunteers is unlikely. 

While they might remain as members in “the club”, they may pull back from their commitment and willingness to serve. Remember, disengagement happens long before people leave altogether. Some people stay for years while disengaged. Other motivators keep them showing up: fellowship with their friends, loyalty to the brand, or perhaps having nowhere else to go.

When a noble cause seems no longer attainable, or is something they cannot be part of, then uncertainty undermines the conviction that once motivated the giver to give, the server to serve, and the worker to do the work that is so badly needed.

The Vision

Proverbs 29:18 (KJV) says, “Where there is no vision, the people perish.” This idea is a simple one: people must be inspired. Vision inspires, both motivating the heart and stimulating the mind. Without it, people literally lose heart and begin to look for other things to give their lives for. 

To be able to see—and to see clearly—is a gift. Combine that with another gift—leadership—and people will be ready to be led. When the vision is well articulated and participation is invited (not just needed nor demanded), the volunteer army engages willingly in the mission. Not just a noble cause to give one’s life for, but believing that the sacrifice will make a difference. 

Powerful vision and strong leadership give reason and purpose to those who want to serve.

Fear, Guilt, and Shame

There are, however, other motivators—powerful forces—that cause people to serve: fear, guilt, and shame. Tragically, these are the very things that we, in the Church, should be free from. 

Unfortunately, because these three—fear, guilt, and shame—evoke such powerful feelings, they can be used to try to motivate people. The Bible teaches that fear, ultimately, has to do with death and damnation. In Hebrews 2:14-15, however, it says of Jesus, 

“Since the children have flesh and blood, he too shared in their humanity so that by his death he might break the power of him who holds the power of death—that is, the devil—and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death.” 

With regard to guilt, the Bible teaches that this is the feeling we experience when convicted of sin, that is, separated from God because of our fallen state. This speaks not only of our actions but of the state of our hearts and minds, too.  

Oddly, although feeling guilty is not pleasant, when the feeling is absent it can lead us to believe that everything is OK when perhaps it is not. The condition of leprosy is an illustration of what happens when we have no sense of guilt. The ghoulish loss of limbs characteristic of a leper results because they have lost the feeling in their extremities and can no longer detect or heed the pain warnings.

Guilt is a strong feeling and, although it can be both true and false, true guilt functions as a warning to tell us that something is wrong that God wants to make right! This is what the scriptures say about this:

“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” – 1 John 1:9

“Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” – Romans 8:1

Simply said, guilt is about sin. When it leads us to repentance, then God not only forgives us but also cleanses us, that is, makes us holy again. Condemnation is no longer ours to bear. Not because it was unfounded or unfair, but because God’s son, Jesus, died for our sin, thereby fulfilling God’s demand for a perfect sacrifice for the sins of the world.

And, finally, there is shame. Shame is a painful feeling of humiliation and embarrassment. It comes from knowing that you have done something wrong or foolish. 

Adam and Eve were perfect in all ways while they were in the garden in relationship with God. When they did the one thing that God warned them not to do, their sin caused them immediately to feel shame, and so they went away and hid themselves from God (Genesis 3:8-10). 

Biblical shame is a consequence of sin; but as with guilt, God promises to remove our shame when we turn to Him in repentance and faith. 

“As Scripture says, ‘Anyone who believes in him will never be put to shame.’”  -Romans 10:11

Godly Motivators

If intrinsic motivators are not powerful enough, then volunteers will cease to work. And if the things that motivate are not found within individuals, then they must come from without. 

It is a fact of life that leaders lead and those who don’t lead tend to follow. It is also true that there are more followers than there are leaders. Therefore, great things can and will be accomplished when leaders continue to motivate those who follow, as well as when those who freely choose to follow have the conviction and determination to do so. 

So what does this all have to do with church planting? Well, a church plant is not unlike a start-up in business really. In the beginning, there must be someone, usually entrepreneurial in profile, who has both vision (an idea) and conviction (determination) to make something happen. 

This person not only believes that it can be done but, more importantly, they believe in themselves to do it. Mix in a good dose of ambition and what you have is a highly motivated individual who is likely to need others (employees) to see his or her dreams come true! 

This is not much different from the church planter/pastor who has a vision from God to plant a church and believes they have been chosen by God to do it. They are usually highly motivated, enthusiastic, ambitious individuals who want to inspire others to join them in the new church they are starting. 

Some do it through selling a fresh exciting vision, while others are able to recruit volunteers just through having a charismatic personality. When the two come together—that is, an exciting vision communicated by a capable, convincing, magnetic leader—it results in people wanting to be part of it. 

That’s a good start, but usually the real test of a volunteer’s commitment comes after the works begin…when days turn into weeks, and weeks turn into months, and months turn into years, and things may not be going as planned. 

More is required from the same people who have been doing all the work, as well as faithfully giving, with the promise that when the work grows a little bit more then there will be others to share the work. (Just an aside: having a larger team does not change the 80/20 principle, that is, most of the time 80% of the work is done by 20% of the people, no matter how many people you have!) 

This brings us back to motivation. When volunteers are tired and perhaps feeling a little disillusioned, they tend to need a little more motivation from the leader they have been following. In the business world, the promise of added reward for extra effort is not as common as you might think. 

More often than not, it is the “performance evaluation” that subtly intimidates employees by highlighting “areas of needed improvement”. The ultimate fear is failure to perform resulting in dismissal, that is, “You’re fired!” This doesn’t happen in the Church, not with volunteers anyway. 

Oh, yes, there are times when people are asked to leave and, in extreme cases, excommunicated; but rarely is there a performance evaluation, let alone the setting of clearly articulated measurable goals. 

Servanthood

The temptation, at this point, is for church planters/leaders to play the “servant card”. The argument goes like this: “If we don’t hire people to work, then we can’t fire them if they don’t. And so, we have to find some other way—some compelling way—to motivate the volunteer staff.” 

So, they play the servant card! What’s the servant card? Simply, they tell people that God has called us to serve (which He has). But this reminder is not usually used to inspire, but to make individuals feel obligated. It plays on fear, guilt, and shame rather than God’s love, mercy, and grace. 

Again, the idea is that because of what God has done for you, you must now serve him. Rarely articulated but clearly understood: it is payback time! The motivation to serve, which must be understood in leading a volunteer army, should come from a heart that’s so overwhelmed by gratitude that serving is a delight and a joy.

For any thank-offering to God to be holy, it must be freely given. When we are made to feel obligated to serve then our offering is payment. We remain as servants rather than become the children of God. We find that God’s “unconditional love” has conditions. We haven’t received a free gift from God, after all, but one with strings attached. 

This is a real problem in the church. There wouldn’t be as many books written on the subject of planting and growing healthy churches if it wasn’t. But this is what I want to leave you to think about, especially if you are about to plant a church: 

Leaders—blinded by their own ambition—are often tempted to recruit people (converts and believers) in order to fulfill their own vision and ministry aspirations. The emphasis turns from building up the Body to do the work of the ministry to raising up workers to serve the Pastor to fulfill his or her own vision and ministry. 

When it comes to motivating God’s people to serve, the focus must always be that we’ve received a gift that none of us deserved: God’s love, mercy, and grace. The key is thankfulness, not a sense of obligation.

The Privilege of Leadership

But when it comes to leadership, we must always understand it as a privilege. The privilege? To lead God’s people into their destiny and purpose as the Body of Christ, believing that God, as He has promised, will build His church as you serve in rest and faith.

Believers must never be seen as a resource to get the job done, but as sheep that have been entrusted into your care to shepherd. After all, together with them, you are the Church, the Children of God, the Body of Christ, a Kingdom and Priests of the Most High God!

For more on the process of church planting, check out my introductory article “Planting a New Church”.

And for help bringing your church and God’s message to even more people, learn how you can use YouTube to do that, in this article.

Categories
Insights Tools

9 Biggest Streaming Churches And The Software They Use

Technology is rapidly changing the way churches are welcoming people to worship services and sermons. 

“Whether you are joining us in person or online, we invite you to experience our services and be a part of the Lakewood family.” This is how the nondenominational Lakewood Church in Houston, Texas, welcomes those who visit the church’s website. On March 15, 2020, 4.6 million worshippers accepted this invitation and followed the church’s live streaming service. 

When the Covid-19 pandemic started wreaking havoc across the world at the beginning of 2020, church services had to be suspended in many parts of the world in compliance with government regulations. If this was a time to panic for many other businesses, the story was different for streaming platforms, businesses offering streaming software, and social media companies.

In this article, I focus on the 10 biggest live streaming churches. I will also look at the reasons the number of live streaming churches is growing. The article also identifies the software these churches use for video streaming of their Sunday service or any other services for that matter. 

Related Read: Getting Your Ministry Online Fast!

Churches Have Always Embraced Technology 

Even though sermons on platforms like YouTube, Facebook Live, and Zoom may be gaining traction because of Covid-19, churches have been embracing technology for some time now. Before churches could live stream, many recorded their sermons and distributed them either for free or for a fee. Others had their Sunday services aired by major broadcasters. 

An article published by TheGuardian.com tells the story of Prestonwood Baptist Church in Plano, Texas, and how it was already embracing basic software by 2008.

The Guardian reports that, as far back as 2008, the church was already using software to track children in church and register them for Bible studies. Congregants could also “go online to request counseling on a variety of spiritual and personal matters.”  

In 2009, Daniel Terdiman wrote an article for the technology website Cnet.com entitled “Technology and the megachurch.” He starts his article with a question: “If you’re in charge of what is thought to be one of the most powerful, influential and important megachurches in the United States, if not the world, how do you make sure that your message is reaching the largest possible audience?” 

The answer to Terdiman’s question comes easily for Brady Boyd, the lead pastor at the New Life Church: “technology.” 

In case a one-word answer was not sufficient for Terdiman, Boyd extends his answer: “Churches have to stay current. We’re in the communications business.” Adding, “The whole purpose of a church is to communicate a message of truth … We have to stay informed, and we have to realize that most of the world is rapidly advancing in their ability to communicate.” 

Photo of Prestonwood Baptist Church, Texas for Church Streaming Software
Prestonwood Baptist Church, Texas is an early adopter of streaming technologies.

Why Churches Are Resorting To Live Streaming  

Churches have always been conscious that technologies like video streaming could assist them in reaching bigger audiences. This is a view also acknowledged by the Japanese electronics manufacturer Panasonic. According to Panasonic, “Producing an immersive, remote worship experience can also extend the reach of your church beyond the local community and give congregants the opportunity to view missed services through on-demand video.”

Like all other sectors of society, churches realize that the consumption of messages is mostly happening online. This is a reality noted by commentators like Matt Binder, who writes for the digital media platform Mashable.com. The headline of his article tells the whole story: “The live streaming boom isn’t slowing down anytime soon.”    

Referring to the future of worship services after the pandemic, Binder quotes Eli Noam, a Columbia Business School professor. Noam asks some pertinent questions: “If a church, for example, continues to Livestream services after the pandemic, will the elderly, sick, and people with children just find it easier to attend virtually? Will people participate in more services because it’s easier to attend from the comfort of home?

Binder quotes Noam saying, “Maybe the churches will be emptier but people’s religious lives will actually be enriched.” Adding,  “This [live video] is not temporary; the temporary situation [pandemic] is the accelerant .” 

The Lead Pastor is reader-supported. We may earn a commission when you click through links on our site — learn more about how we aim to stay transparent.

Live Streaming Software For Churches

If the need for real-time church service broadcasting is growing, providers of church streaming software, streaming solutions, and technical support have not been left behind. Here are some of the live streaming service providers that make it possible for both large and small churches to live broadcast their sermons and services. 

Boxcast: Live Streaming Software For All Worship House Sizes

Boxcast Streaming for Church Streaming Software Screenshot
Boxcast is suitable for first-time and seasoned streamers.

If there is one video streaming service I see in every list of the best church streaming software, it’s Boxcast. Boxcast’s promise: “Whether your congregation has 1,000 members or 100, our features and plans have been crafted to meet the needs of both first-time broadcasters and seasoned streamers.”

You can live stream on the Boxcast free trial for 14 days before deciding whether the live streaming software is for you. If you decide that it is, pricing plans start at $99/month and go all the way to $999/month.  

Wirecast:  Best Church Streaming Software For Beginners

Wirecast Website for Church Streaming Software Screenshot
If you’re just starting out with church streaming then Wirecast is a great choice.

Describing the Wirecast video streaming service, the Director of Music Ministries at Fredericksburg United Methodist Church, Don Doss, says, “Yes, it’s true that the ‘BIG’ churches have all the cool equipment, but it’s also true that some smaller churches with smaller budgets can now produce quality video with the help of Telestream’s Wirecast software.” 

Wirecast comes with a free 30-day trial limited to two Rendezvous guests and does not permit ISO recording (an isolated recording of one camera in a multi-camera production). The service has two paid plans for both Mac and Windows: Wirecast Studio ($599) and Wirecast Pro ($799).  

Propresenter: Best For Both Pros And Beginners   

Propresenter App for Church Streaming Software Screenshot
Propresenter has some powerful editing features.

“Whether you’re a Photoshop expert or technology isn’t your friend, we’ve got you covered. Create beautiful graphics with our built-in editor.” This is how the developers of Propresenter market their software. 

Among the several features, you’ll find on Propresenter is the ability to record your screen for further editing, switch video outputs, and capture and output audio. The service also presents live streaming tutorials on its website. 

Propresenter has a free version, which is not designed to be used in front of an audience. The HoW (House of Worship) plan starts at $399 per year for a new account or $275 per year when renewing.   

Dacast: Best Live Streaming Solution For Churches On A Budget

Dacast's Website for Church Streaming Software Screenshot
Dacast’s multiple bitrate streams optimizes broadcast across devices.

Visit Dacast.com, and you will realize that this live stream software promises every feature and functionality a live streaming church service needs. The service has 24/7 support, high-quality live streaming with top-tier CDNs, an all-device HTML5 player, VODs and live video integration, and customization that allows users to monetize their videos. 

Another valuable Dacast feature is that it allows you to set up multiple bitrate streams using Wirecast video or vMix broadcasting software. These multiple bitrate streams ensure that your live streams can be watched on different devices and internet connections with varying bandwidths.    

Dacast has a free 30-day trial. Paid plans start at $39 a month.  

vMix: Best For Building A Custom Live Production System

VMix Software Video App for Church Streaming Software Screenshot
vMix captures the power of expensive hardware as software.

vMix is a software video switcher and mixer that also functions as a live streaming software that works on Windows. Some of the software’s features include “LIVE mixing, switching, recording and LIVE streaming of SD, full HD and 4K video sources including cameras, video files, DVDs, images, [and] Powerpoint.”  

The vMix software is customizable, based on the user’s production needs. All these features can be enjoyed on a free 60-day trial. Paid plans start with the Basic HD, which costs $60, and go all the way to the Pro plan that costs $1200. The software’s developers say that “Each purchase does not expire and includes Free Version Updates for one year from the date of purchase.”

Churchstreaming.tv: Best For Broadcasting A Church Service To Various Sources 

Churchstreaming.tv Website for Church Streaming Software Screenshot
Churchstreaming.tv makes it easy to broadcast across various sources.

“Video streaming simple enough for a church plant, powerful enough for worldwide ministry.” This is how Churchstreaming.tv advertises its service. The software makes it possible for a church service to be broadcast to various sources like YouTube, Facebook, or Apple TV. 

Churchstreaming.tv also frees bandwidth with real-time transcoding. The streaming solution allows for plugins that make it possible to customize viewer layout by embedding navigation links.  

Churchstreaming.tv has a free 30-day trial. Paid plans are based on the number of hours you need per month, the resolution, and video storage capacity. The plans start with the basic plan at $79/month. The Advanced Plan is the most expensive at $139 a month. 

Open Broadcaster Software (OBS): Best Free Live Stream Software 

Open Broadcast Software App for Church Streaming Software Screenshot
Open Broadcast Software is a free option great for newly planted churches.

If your church is still new and wants to use free live stream software, the best place to find this is at Open Broadcast Software (OBS). Even though OBS is free, it compares well to other church streaming software out there. For example, it doesn’t restrict the number of scenes you can seamlessly switch between using custom transitions. 

The OBS project is sponsored by several tech giants, including Facebook and YouTube. 

mimoLive: Best Live Streaming Software For Mac 

MimoLive Website for Church Streaming Software Screenshot
mimoLive is professional-grade event recording software for Macs.

mimoLive provides professional live streaming tools for live streaming to Apple products, including Mac, iPad, and iPhone. The software promises “an all-in-one live switcher, video encoder, editor, and streaming software for Mac. It enables you to switch multiple cameras, insert presentations, add graphics, overlay lower-thirds, social media comments, transparency with green screens.” 

mimoLive’s 14-day free trial allows you to test drive the product. If you like it at the end of 14 days, you can get the Studio License at the cost of $699 per year or $69.99 per month. 

StreamShark: Best For Churches That Want A Month-To-Month Solution  

StreamShark Website for Church Streaming Software Screenshot
StreamShark focused on developing a simple, intuitive interface for beginners.

The developers of StreamShark say that they “understand the pressures involved when live streaming.” Consequently, they have designed a workflow that aims to “ease the burden on the stream operator.” 

StreamShark’s leading features include instant stream archiving, real-time statistics showing viewer engagement, and live DVR rewind that allows viewers who join late to rewind and see areas they have missed.  

StreamShark’s pricing starts at $199 per month, and the most expensive plan is $999 per month. The advantage of using this software is that you can cancel your plan anytime. 

TruthCasting: Best For Ad-Free Streaming 

TruthCasting Website for Church Streaming Software Screenshot
Thruthcasting makes it easy to Livestream from any device.

To show how easy the developers of TruthCasting believe their software is, they say, “If you can count to three, then you can live stream.” The software can be used whether you’re streaming from a webcam or a professional video camera. 

You can also use any encoder to send your video to the streaming platform. As long as audiences have an internet connection, they can view videos broadcast through TruthCasting on any device, wherever they are. 

TruthCasting offers a 15-day free trial. Churches with less than 2,000 members pay $39.95 a month to broadcast. YouTube and Facebook Live add-ons are available at $10 per month.

10 Biggest Streaming Churches 

Here are some of the biggest streaming churches I found on YouTube. To determine how big a church is, I looked at the number of subscribers it has on YouTube. 

Lakewood Church & Joel Osteen

Lakewood Church & Joel Osteen YouTube Channel  Screenshot
Lakewood Church and Joel Osteen tops the list with 2million+  YouTube subscribers.

Together, Lakewood Church and Joel Osteen (its pastor) have 2,202,000 subscribers on YouTube. According to Osteen’s YouTube channel, “More than 10 million viewers watch his weekly inspirational messages through television, and over 60 million people connect with Joel through his digital platforms worldwide.” 

Lakewood Church’s live stream goes out every Saturday at 7 pm and Sundays at 8:30 am and 11:00 am CST. Apart from delivering the message to its 304,000-audience on YouTube, Lakewood Church also uses Facebook Live.    

Elevation Church

Elevation Church App Screenshot
Elevation Church even have their own app.

The work of Elevation Church is evident in its mission statement: “Elevation Church exists so that people far from God will be raised to life in Christ.” This Church does not seem to only target those far from God with its live streams; it’s also connecting those far from the church or each other.

The Elevation Church’s YouTube channel has around 1.99 million subscribers. The church’s YouTube worship channel has 2.85 million subscribers. It uses Vimeo and Comcast Technology Solutions as its video hosting solutions. 

Saddleback Church

Saddle Church Youtube Channel Screenshot
Saddleback makes effective use of Youtube with 389,00 subscribers.

Saddleback Church’s motto is “one family, many locations.” With 389,000 subscribers on YouTube, this is a motto that the church seems to be living by. Its YouTube channel has more than 53,930,000 views.

Saddleback Church uses YouTube and JW Player as its hosting services. 

Life.Church

Pastor Ryan Sharp from Life.church  Screensshot
Life.Church hosts 90 services a week on five platforms.

Life.Church has a dedicated online service. The church has a message for those searching for meaning, connection, community, truth, and answers: “This is where you’ll find it.” Through its streaming service, Life. Church invites everyone to “come to join a community of people from around the world who are discovering answers, truth, and what it means to belong.”

According to Life. Church, has more than 90 online services every week on five platforms, accessible on any device. Its video hosting service is YouTube and Wistia. 

Bethel TV

Bethel TV website  Screenshot
Bethel TV’s streaming service is super-slick.

With its live streams, Bethel TV calls itself “your front-row seat to all that God is doing at Bethel.” The church invites all to “Watch anytime, anywhere.” This is an invitation that 296,000 people have already responded to on YouTube, where it has more than 33,500,000 views. 

Bethel TV’s hosting platform is JW Player. 

International House of Prayer

International House of Prayer's Livestream Screenshot
IHOPKC hold themselves to a 24/7 service.

The International House of Prayer‘s (IHOPKC) mission statement reads, “The IHOPKC community exists to partner in the Great Commission by advancing 24/7 prayer with worship and proclaiming the beauty of Jesus and His glorious return.” 

A church that uses 24/7 to describe anything certainly needs some streaming service. This is what IHOPKC is doing using its YouTube channel that has over 296,000 subscribers. 

VOUS Church

VOUS' Channel Screenshot
Vous has multiple channels to cater for different audiences.

The VOUS Church says that it has a simple mission: “to bring those who are far from God close to him.” The church has a dedicated team called the Crew Live that live streams to the church’s 194,000 YouTube subscribers.   

REVERE

REVERE's Youtube Channel Screenshot
Revere’s make good use of multiple digital channels as well as streaming.

REVERE is a community of worshippers with 181,000 subscribers on YouTube. The church says that Christianity experienced a massive shift a generation ago when “The formality of corporate worship gave way to ‘intimacy,’ and we were forever changed.”

The shift wasn’t just in the area of Christianity; it was also in the way people worship. Today, REVERE members have several options to listen to sermons and worship songs: Spotify, Apple Music, Facebook, the Church’s website, and Instagram.

John Gray Ministries

Pastor John Gray of The Relentless Church Screenshot
Pastor John Gray of The Relentless Church.

John Gray Ministries is led by a man who lives by the mantra, “We have a limited number of days on this planet, so give as much as you can, serve as best as you can, and love as hard as you can.”

Gray emphasizes the message above to the 114,000 YouTube subscribers on his ministry’s channel. The channel has a total of 3,461,300 views and counting.  

With numbers fluctuating, the world constantly changing, how can you measure success? Here’s an article that will help you make sense of the numbers: What Every Lead Pastor Needs To Know About Church Metrics.

If you’re looking for conferences to attend this year, check these out:

10 Best Church Leadership Conferences In 2021

The Best Church Technology Conferences 2021

And if you’re looking to stay connected with the members of your church, here’s our guide to the 1o Best Church Communication Software & How They Help Lead.