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Ministry of the Month

Various ministries within the church are spotlighted, identifying solutions for growing and strengthening these specialized groups.

Why Is the Preschool Ministry Important?

  Preschool ministry is vital to the church because children are a vital part of the church. After picking up my five-year-old son from children’s church one Sunday, he took off running and cut off an older couple who were gingerly making their way to the car. Horrified, I apologized to the woman. The white-haired

Two Roads to Live Streaming Your Church Services

  To stream or not to stream? That is the question. The answer is quite simple…STREAM! In the current world in which we live, how can you not? For houses of worship, dipping your toes into the world of live streaming need be neither expensive, nor convoluted. Contrary to widely held belief, streaming your sermons

Divide and Conquer: Budgeting Your Event

  Everyone budgets. Consciously or subconsciously; intentionally or by default. Everyone has a limited amount of resources, and so everyone has to make decisions about how to spend their resources. Event planners are no different. There is a finite amount of money, and planners have to be intentional about where to allocate it. The question

How to Have a More Intentional Mission Trip

  By Doug Franklin Your mission trip has the potential to be a great and impactful experience for the community you’ll serve and for your students. But there may be a disconnect between your goals for your trip and your students’ expectations. While you (and your students’ parents) may be excited for students to learn

8 Ways Your Church Can Gain Momentum This Summer

  The school year is nearly over, and, for many families, it’s time to take a break, sleep in, and enjoy a slower pace of life. But for churches, summer is a busy time. Children and student camps are around the corner. Vacation Bible Schools (or other summer programs) are being planned. You have volunteers

Ready for Better Communication at Church?

  By Margaret Marcuson Historically, churches have always struggled with communication. Whether it’s trying to let people know about new programs, or recruiting coordinating volunteers, or communicating the vision—we face a long list of communication challenges. Pastors I coach say, “We need a communications committee that works,” or “We’ve got to get someone on staff

The Next Level in Church Engagement with Custom Apps

  Faith and technology may seem worlds apart, but in the rapidly evolving digital landscape, they’re coming together in powerful ways. The church, a timeless institution, is now leveraging modern technology to foster divine connections and strengthen its outreach. The tool leading this revolution? Custom mobile apps for churches. In this comprehensive exploration, we delve

Electrifying Church Transportation

  One such option of church transportation vehicles is electrifying. Electric vehicles (EV), or battery-electric vehicles (BEV), in the commercial bus and van industry are on the rise and the wave of the future. Battery-electric transit vehicles are moving toward widespread industry adoption, with major cities making commitments to zero-emission transportation. From tractor trailers to

Active vs. Passive Inclusive Play

  It is important to consider how children of all abilities can engage in truly meaningful and memorable play experiences in every aspect of the environment. These spaces should be crafted to encourage participation and socialization between children with and without disabilities by offering opportunities that address their physical, social-emotional, cognitive, sensory, or communication needs.

7 Benefits of a Child Check-In System

  What is a check-in system for a church? It’s a tool that simplifies, organizes, and secures children’s ministry operations. It enhances your ministry in several ways, from safety measures to attendance tracking to communication. No matter the size of your church, your children’s ministry needs a child check-in system. Here are the biggest benefits

Short-Term Bookings: How to Successfully Execute the Industry’s Latest Trend

  Historically, we have seen retreats and conferences booking anywhere from 12 to 18 months out. However, recently that trend has shifted, and many events are being booked much closer to date…as little as 3-5 months out for mid-size retreats! We believe this shift is likely due to the economic climate and a planner’s fear

When Are Short-Term Mission Trips Most Effective?

  By Gord Nickerson When it comes to joining God in His global mission of making disciples who make disciples, instead of promoting the idea of cancelling your short-term mission trips, we should encourage church leaders to prayerfully and carefully plan and engage in more short-term mission trips and experiences that benefit everyone involved. What

Measuring VBS Success

  By Amanda Lewis I love to hear stories of the wonderful things that happen during VBS. Unfortunately, there are also stories of things not so wonderful. After VBS, reviewing what worked, what did not, how God moved, where Satan was present, and much more is a key step to recognizing godly success. It is

A Better Approach to Your Church Promotions

  By Don Wambolt Life change happens through the many events, activities, and ministries your church generates. And in event promotion, they often take either a “decentralized” or “centralized” approach. Let’s look at each, and then I’ll share thoughts on which is better. Decentralized Approach The decentralized approach is typical. This is where each ministry

Tips for Building a Photo Directory for a Larger Church

  Need tips for building a photo directory for a larger church? Then you’ve come to the right place! A large church is an ideal candidate for a membership directory filled with photos of church members, their contact information, and other helpful details about the congregation and its day-to-day work. By creating an online directory

Acquiring the Right Vehicle for Your Church

  Looking to buy a church bus? The ongoing safety concern of 15-passenger vans is perhaps the most compelling reason why churches should choose a bus instead of a van for their transportation ministries. In 2005, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reissued a consumer advisory for users of 15-passenger vans. If your church continues

Why Add an Indoor Playground to Your Church?

  Indoor playground equipment might not seem like the obvious addition to your church, but there are several great reasons you might want to consider it. It Will Attract More Young Families Okay, we’re not going to say that indoor playscapes are the only reason young families will choose your church, but if they’re already

5 Unique Design Concepts for Your Church Playground

  By Michele Breakfield Church playgrounds bring families together in creative ways. They support a young congregation and help churches grow their communities. It’s important to thoughtfully plan your church playground, as it will be used by many different individuals and families. In fact, the right playground design might even be the reason why families

5 Reasons Preschool Programming Is Not Childcare

  By Brittany Compton Every now and then, you might hear someone in your church refer to your preschool programming as “childcare.” While, yes, leaders and volunteers do take care of children in preschool ministry, many of us know it’s truly so much more than that. Your church’s preschool ministry strives to influence far beyond

How to Upgrade Church Audiovisual Equipment

  Many churches rely on outdated audiovisual systems. While the church is about so much more than technology, updating your audiovisual system can help you reach more people and ensure they have the opportunity to hear your message. Whether you have a small or large church, audiovisual equipment is one of the most valuable church

The Best Way Is to Get Away

  There are certain laws of physics that only apply when you are in a canoe. How else can you explain being upright and dry and then moments later, with seemingly no explanation, be upside down in freezing cold water? I was introduced to canoe physics on the St. Francis River in southeast Missouri while

Rebooting Short-Term Mission Trips

  By Dan Bouchelle One of the side effects of the Coronavirus pandemic has been the quashing of short-term mission (STM) trips. In a flash, a $5 billion-dollar-a-year industry came to a screeching halt. This has been devastating to organizations focusing on STMs and has interrupted a lot of important work. That said, STMs were

7 Summer Outreach Ideas

  Summer is a time when things aren’t so chaotic, and people are a little less tense. They can relax a little. The squash is out of season, and the holiday festivities are out of sight. And, it is a great time as a church to make yourself known in your community. As you plan

Digital Discipleship

  By Shannon Greene The ultimate goal of the church is discipleship, to guide people into modeling their lives and behaviors after Christ. After all, Jesus commanded his followers to “go and make disciples of all nations” (Matthew 28:19), not to simply get people in the doors of a church building. Discipleship in the church

Creative Social Media Ideas and Tips for Churches

  It’s a challenge to create engaging church social media week after week. Many churches using social media worry how to keep their posts fresh and interesting. If this sounds like you, don’t worry—you’re not alone! For a little inspiration, check out these new ideas for engaging church posts. Adding just a few of these

Ways to Buy a Bus

  By Gerrit Gustafson The single biggest barrier for churches to buy a bus is financing. But with a little work and creative thinking, just about any barrier can be overcome. If your church can’t afford to buy a bus outright, here are four other ways to come up with the money to purchase a

Planning Indoor Church Children’s Spaces into Your Building Project

  Healthy relationships with Christ are formed at an early age. The more ways children enjoy their time at church, the more opportunity they have to learn about God and the stronger that relationship can be. This means special planning is in order to ensure that your church building or renovation project includes effective children’s

Playground Planning and Budgeting

  By Mark Lang You want to build a playground. Great! Now what? Let’s start from the very beginning and assess your needs and budget. The first step to a successful playground project is to assess your needs and budget.  The big question is: How much does a commercial playground cost? And, knowing that a

What Is Your Goal for Children’s Church?

  By Heidi Franz We were meeting because she wanted to know more about quality children’s church curriculum. She sat across from me, eating her toasted bagel, hoping that as a writer of both academic and Bible curriculum for preschool-aged children and as a leader of preschool worship at my church, I would be able

Audio as the Great Enabler to Flexible and Agile Worship Environments

  By Dudley McLaughlin The house of worship environment has long been a bastion of innovation in terms of AV capabilities. For example, while some would be quick to point out the many challenges of a worship environment for pro audio, others see these spaces as a proving ground for new technologies that mitigate challenging

Mail Ministry Builds Connections and Strengthens Relationships

  By Lisa Komp Opening the mailbox and discovering a surprise can make you feel as joyful as a kid on Christmas morning. Mail ministry embraces the emotional power of gifting by mail to help people feel valued, cared for and connected, and ultimately leads them closer to the Lord. An age-old practice, as valuable

Events Aren't Dead, Just Different

  Everyone in the event industry was holding their breath last year to see what else 2020 would unleash. Events got smaller and harder as gathering restrictions increased their grip. But in-person events aren’t a thing of the past…yet. While some people may believe that the transitions made in 2020 will be the undoing of how we

What Makes Youth Mission Trips Important Right Now

  By Mike Rhoades Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, it was estimated that upwards of 2.4 million people from the United States went on a short-term mission trip each year. Say what you will about short-term missions, that number represents a huge number of people who are actively sharing Christ’s love throughout the world and

5 Keys to Improving Your Church Communications

  By Don Wambolt In February 2020, none of us had a clear indication of what was about to happen. We heard grumblings of “coronavirus” and “pandemic.” Some would be wearing masks in a store, and we wondered whether they had the virus themselves or were trying to protect themselves from it. Within a couple

Using Groups in Your Church Directory

  By Donna Hammond A church body is more than just a single organization. The church body is often made up of smaller organizations that vary in their functions. They help the church meet its obligations not only to its members but also to the community. It takes more than just office staff to run

How Your Bus Can Benefit Homebound Church Members

  By Kayla Graham Social isolation and depression are just some of the feelings homebound or shut-in church members are experiencing due to the COVID-19 pandemic. With church services cancelled or moved to remote, it is easy for senior members to feel unstimulated or emotionally down. With proper CDC safety precautions and state guidelines followed,

Keeping Kids Safe on Indoor Playground Equipment

  By Chuck Wellenberger For months now, those of us that cherish the involvement and fellowship of our local bodies of believers have had to do so virtually or with forced, sparsely populated worship services.  For parents traditionally attending services with young children, it is important to know that while we hear God’s message, our

Defining the New Normal of Play

  As churches begin to open back up, we can help kids resume a healthier level of physical activity and enjoy playing in public facilities once again. With the right equipment and safety measures in place, you can create a play area that helps kids enjoy a sense of normalcy again, provides a place for

5 Ways to Make Your Church Daycare Center Safer

  With the number of working parents increasing, daycare is becoming more and more of a relied upon service for families. Many count on their place of worship to offer daycare services for small children, but just because a daycare operates at a faith-based location doesn’t mean parents should automatically trust that their child will

10 Tips for Telling a Bible Story in Preschool

  By Bethany Darwin After 15+ years of full-time children’s ministry, the highlight of my week is standing in front of a group of kids and proclaiming the truth of God’s Word. But, that hasn’t always been the case. I remember all too well feelings of fear and failure when I first started teaching, but

Video Walls: A Bold and Beautiful Upgrade

  By Chris Feldman There are three things to consider if you’re thinking about adding a video wall to your house of worship. We’ve all seen televangelists on Sunday mornings, their smiles gleaming not just from the pulpit but also repeated in a larger, magnified scale on a gigantic screen mounted behind or beside them.

Camper to Counselor Ratio

  Have you ever allowed your kids to have a big sleepover at your house? A bunch of kids eating junk food, staying up way too late, and staggering back out to mom’s minivan at 9 a.m. with pillow and sleeping bag in tow. Do you remember what your house looked like after the dust

Buying Insurance for a Mission Trip

  A cell phone network that works great at home may not offer the kind of coverage you’re used to when you travel. In the same way, insurance that meets your needs in your hometown may not fit the bill when you are on the road or across the ocean. For this reason, most mission

How to Develop an Effective Communication Policy for Important Updates

  By Kristen Eleveld No one likes to think about having to deal with a crisis in your church. But it’s critical to have a plan in place that will keep everyone in the loop and outline the steps you need to take for any unexpected situation. Figuring out how to get started may feel

4 Questions You Should Ask When Choosing New Gym Flooring

  By Hayden Delia Purchasing and installing new gym flooring in your facility is a huge investment. Not only do you want to make sure your floor lasts, but you want to love the way it looks and performs. These four suggestions will help you properly prepare to ask the right questions about your new

Build a Church Directory Team

  So, you’ve been handed the job title of “directory administrator.” The job at hand can feel daunting and overwhelming, especially if you feel all the responsibility lies on your shoulders. But this is a great opportunity to remind yourself that you don’t have to go this alone. You can take this project and organize

Why Buy a Used Bus?

  Let’s look at the top five benefits of buying a used bus! Cost Efficient Purchasing a new bus may be more exciting…after all, who doesn’t love that new car smell? However, excitement may not be what helps your bottom line the most. Cost A used bus could cost just one-third of what a new

Planning an Indoor Playground

  When you decide to create an indoor playground, you may be thrilled and ready to jump right into the process. It’s also perfectly normal to have a lot of questions. Questions are actually a great sign. They show you’re taking this investment seriously and planning ahead to create the best possible play space for

Growing Membership by Attracting Young Families

  By Eric Torrey Church attendance numbers in America are declining. According to Pew Research and Gallop Polls, it has been declining for several decades. This is particularly true for mid-size churches. A recent study noted that from the period 1994-2004, while the smallest churches (attendance 1-49) and the largest (2,000 plus attendees) experienced membership

The Secret to Hiring and Retaining a Great Daycare Staff

By Wendy Young One of the greatest attractions your church daycare has to offer is your teachers! So where can you dig up these hidden gems, and how can you hang onto your best childcare staff once you’ve brought them in and invested in their training? You spend time training new childcare staff – lots

9 Ways to Grow Your Preschool Ministry

By Jenny Funderburke Very few churches reach younger families without a strong preschool ministry. Here are nine practical ways to expand the number of preschool children coming to your church. 1. Do it well. It will be virtually impossible to grow your preschool ministry if you are doing it halfway. Evaluate, identify challenges, and then

Why Churches Should Start Seeing AVL as a Service

If you’re used to being the place your community comes for existential help, you might not always recognize it when you need it yourself. Point blank, help is the hardest thing to ask for when you’re “supposed” to have it all together. As a church production team, you’re juggling events throughout the week, services on

9 Questions to Ask Before Booking a Retreat Venue

By Kayla Crawford There are so many components that go into planning an event. One of the most important is where to host it. There are a multitude of venues all over the country that are perfect for overnight retreats. However, choosing one is not easy. Nothing sours an event quicker than hearing “I wanna

5 Ways a Youth Mission Trip Can Change Your Ministry

We love youth ministry…it’s why we lead mission trips for teens each summer.  We know youth workers face so many obstacles when it comes to discipling their students well, from budgets, to lack of volunteers, to the high expectations placed on students to perform. While we can’t solve all these problems, we know that spending

7 Simple Summer Ideas for Student Ministry

By Tim Price In many ways, summers can still be carefree for students. Of course, there is some travel and sports, but not every student is gone every day. Summer months provide a great opportunity to build relationships, form community, be out a bit later, enjoy some warmer weather activities and help keep students connected.

15 Ways Thriving Churches Communicate

We know that church communication can feel daunting at times. Helping to tackle that beast of a topic is what inspires us every day. Out of the hope to free up time and streamline processes for church leaders, we created the Top 15 Ways Thriving Churches Communicate with their people. You’ll find that these are

Creative Hardwood Flooring Considerations for Your Sports & Recreation Space

When a church invests in a new sports floor, two things are expected: the floor should offer quality improvements and enhance or complement the look and feel of the facility. The art of balancing an aesthetically pleasing facility while achieving maximum performance is easy when you specify a sports floor from a manufacturer that takes

6 Tips for Taking Professional Church Directory Photos

By Kristen Greene One downside of creating your own church directory or using a do-it-yourself church directory software program is having to take your own photos of church members. We don’t want to end up with a directory filled with “mug shots” that simply don’t paint your members in the best light. After all, who

What to Look for in a Bus Dealership

By Alison Wahl There are quite a few bus dealerships around the country, each seemingly with specific advantages. Unfortunately, most dealerships are several hundreds of miles apart and can be difficult to compare. How can you know which one is the best fit for your church? Exploring the following points can help you and your

Adding Indoor Recreation to Your Children's Ministry

By Grant Davies Increasingly, vibrant children’s ministries have shown to play a significant role in the maintenance and growth of worshipers within a church congregation. Both feedback and experience indicate the importance of creating a space within a church for children to learn, move and grow which in turn creates a sense of excitement and

The Ideal Choice for Recreational Flooring

Maple flooring has been the ideal choice for sports and athletic facilities for more than a century due to its strength, durability and beauty. It is also an excellent choice for multipurpose facilities that host more than sporting events. Maple’s versatility and aesthetic qualities make it a wise choice for elementary schools, middle and high

8 Tips to Secure Your Church Daycare

By Jason Maddox There are many cost-effective ways to secure your church daycare or preschool facility. In this article, we share eight best practices for church daycare security using a combination of policies, procedures and technology to protect the children and employees in your care. 1. Develop Policies & Procedures Manual If you don’t already

6 Tips to Get Your Church Bus Road-Trip Ready

Fluids, tires, A/C, oh my! When it comes to getting your church bus road-trip ready, these are just a few items among a large list of things you’ll want to make sure are in good working condition before you and your church family hit the road. Check out our six tips for getting your church

4 Simple Steps to Engage Children in Worship

By Kristen Greene “How do we engage children in church?” This age-old question remains at the forefront for almost every children’s ministry leader, parent and pastor. And if you’ve ever sat up late at night, cutting out the gazillionth piece for some Pinterest craft that seemed like the perfect idea for kids, you may have

Network Connections and Bandwidth Requirements

By Bill Buchanan Determining your bandwidth requirements or options can be a challenging task, especially for churches with limited or volunteer IT staff. As a senior or campus pastor of a church, remember that your IT staff is primarily dealing with items such as: the internal network (making all of your computers, printers, and other

Running an Annual Planning Retreat for Your Church

Most churches have meetings and retreats. And if the people attending those meetings and retreats were honest, they would say they were not as effective as they should be. In fact, you might even hear the phrase “waste of time” tossed around. No matter how well your church is organized, getting the right people together

More Than a Mission Trip

By Katie Jones A group of travelers, tan and tired, pile out of the church van. They had an amazing time. They never imagined that such poverty could exist. They have never felt so close to Jesus. Then, all too quickly, the feelings fade, old rhythms return, and life settles back to normal. It’s a

Church Summer Reading Programs for Children

By Kristin Charles Libraries all over the nation conduct summer reading programs, so why shouldn’t we? There is a plethora of quality literature out there and children looking for something to do. All they need is a little encouragement! Goals Summer reading allows children to maintain skills and develop a lifelong love for books. Reading

Church Phone Apps: Improving Your Ministry via Better Relationships

By Jason Alexis We just can’t say it enough…having a comprehensive, relationship-building, digital strategy hugely increases your ministry’s ability to effectively communicate Christ’s message. A large part of that strategy is smartphone apps. You may be wondering what all the fuss is about. You may point out that technology has long been a part of

Adult Recreation: Indoor Sports Flooring Options

There are numerous options for indoor sports flooring, with the most popular being modular athletic flooring, wood, and rolled sheet goods. While wood flooring is noted as top of the line, it does come with hefty installation, maintenance, and temperature controlled facilities, not to mention the need to strip and restore annually. Modular flooring is

Making a Church Directory

By Aaron Marsh Print, Digital, or Both? Online directories as well as printed directories are excellent options that help church members to connect. With either online or print directories, you can opt for photo directories (usually a massive effort of coordinating members’ schedules with the photographer). The advantage of a photo directory is that it

How to Effectively Include Children's Indoor Play Spaces in Your Church Design

The church building is designed to minister to people of all ages, and one of the most important age groups to consider while planning is the children. The Barna Group indicates that “nearly half of all Americans who accept Jesus Christ as their Savior do so before reaching the age of 13, and that two

Benefits of an Indoor Play Structure

By Grant Davies The addition of a soft, self-contained indoor play structure offers many benefits to a religious facility, such as increased membership, greater enjoyment of experience and improved play and activity value. In an increasingly competitive world where every organization is vying for an advantage, adding a play structure play structure to a church

Five Things Parents Look for in a Daycare

Parents realize the importance of selecting the right care facility for their children since their choice of childcare center will have a major impact on their children’s lives. They want a place where their children will be comfortable and have fun, but that will also benefit and assist with their child’s development. Here are five

10 Ways to Bond with Preschoolers in Your Ministry

By Wayne Stocks I love preschoolers. They’re just a whole lot of fun, and they provide a mostly blank canvas. I love their energy. I love their excitement. I love their thirst and hunger for knowledge. I love their innocent view of the world. Spend the morning with a room full of preschoolers, and you

When Audio Disasters Happen: Four Steps to Follow

By Chris Huff Disaster strikes and it’s usually during the service. In the early days, I panicked. Now, I use a four-step plan that serves me well. As a quick note, if you’ve never experienced a production problem, your time is coming! 1. Relax Mental clarity is the No. 1 weapon in problem-solving during tense

Picking a Theme for Your Church Retreat

Having a central, driving theme is essential for a successful large event. It ties all the pieces of the retreat together, creates atmosphere, and makes it memorable for guests. Whether you’ve planned one-hundred events, ten, or only two, it’s always beneficial to evaluate your planning process. As you assess your method for theme selection and

Be Purposeful in Your Youth Mission Trip

By Doug Franklin We dream of trips that are intentional and lead to lasting change in the lives of our students. However, to make a trip purposeful, we have to hammer out more than the logistics. We have to design a trip experience that will challenge and stretch our students to grow as both disciples

Serving Others: Summer Program Ideas for Kids

By Emily Mullens Planning a Serving Others Summer (SOS) can be a fun way to connect to the community, serve others, and bring the church family together. These are very simple ideas you can carry out quickly. Print water bottle labels with a Bible verse and your church information and pass out at a local

Maximize Your Communication Strategy in 2017

What were your New Year’s resolutions? Eat healthier? Work out more? Maybe you want to develop a rock-solid communication strategy for your church. If that is the case, we can help! When thinking through your communication strategy, it is important to identify the audience and purpose for each of your channels. Having too much overlap

How to Organize an Adult Sports League

By Brian Sigafoos Learn how organizing recreational sports can be done right. The good news is you don’t have to spend a fortune to start a sports league. The bad news is if it’s your first time organizing a league, there are costs you may overlook. Facility costs will likely make up about half of your

Protecting Your Bus Ministry

  This article originally appeared in the November 2008 issue. By Larry Hipps Larry Hipps heads the Bring Them In Ministries, He is the president of the International Bus Ministry Association and the author of several books. In my line of work, I am often asked about permission slips and medical release forms when
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