Archives For November 2009

One my favorite affordable webhosting companies to refer friends and business associates to is Dreamhost. (If you want a nice discount, use promo code “godvertiser” at http://www.dreamhost.com )

But if you are a 501c3 org or a church with the designation letter from the IRS, then this the tip of the year for you.

It seems that according to our friendly neighborhood church media super hero, DreamHost offers non-profits a fully free webhosting account [HT: Thanks John!]

jumping-for-joy-deal

While you’re jumping for joy, take a look at the deets from DH’s website in their own words:

DreamHost proudly offers free web hosting to non-profit, 501(c)(3) charitable organizations registered in the United States.

Non-profit organizations have dedicated themselves to making the world a better place – all without expecting anything (like a profit) in return! DreamHost recognizes their noble sacrifice and is happy to provide cost-free hosting to these groups which do so much with so little for so many!

This discount applies to a single hosting plan per non-profit, hosted within only one account, for US-based 501(c)(3) organizations. Domain registrations (other than any included with the plan) are not eligible for any discounts.

Now you really don’t have an excuse to get your organization on the web with a hip website.

If you’re a non-profit that going to try and take advantage of this offer, leave a comment below with the website URL you’ll use with the free non-profit hosting account at Dreamhost.

If you’re doing something right with your ministry, you are mobilizing volunteers to get involved in every way possible.

But there are two practical problems with leading volunteers across the different ministries of a church:

First, you need to hold many meetings so that everyone is on the same page (including you!), especially if there are many people involved. A coordinated effort requires a lot of dissemination of information, collaboration and a tons of basic communication.

Second, because you are working with volunteers, not staff, they aren’t always available physically to meet in the same place at the same time.


collaborate

In the business world, conference call and video conferences are the norm. But for some reason, suggest that people dial in for a ministry meeting via conference call, and people seem perplexed.

The truth is that conference call services used to be expensive, hence affordable only when the costs could be justified by business. While your team’s time and efforts are no less valuable, the cost of conference call services have plummeted. It’s time to embrace this tool in your daily work as a team leader.

Here’s one way to set-up a free conference call dial-in number you can use today:

One of my favorite collaboration tools online is Drop.IO. A neat feature they offer (free too!) is a personal conference call number with each and every free team page/account you set-up.

ministry-conference-call

Once you set-up a new custom collaboration page at www.drop.io, you’ll see a custom conference call dial-in number on the right column. (We’ll explore some of the other neat-o benefits in another future post)

This conference call number is all yours as long as the drop.io page is live (you can change how long the page exists in the settings to up to 1 year after the last visit). It is a reservation-less conference call dial-in number that you can pass out to use whenever you need.

If you want to set-up unique dial-in numbers for each of your ministry leaders for their own teams, just set-up additional drop.io pages for each group. Voila! Every team can collaborate as often as they wish on their own.

BONUS TIP: If you want to have certain calls recorded so that you can distribute them to other people that missed the meeting or would benefit from the contents of your meeting, you can 3-way conference in the “voicemail” number which is listed on the same page. Voicemails are saved and posted as mp3 files to the drop.io page within minutes. You can download them or even use the direct link to the file that’s made available with the recording.

It’s tuesday!

The Free Christian Twitter Background Series marches on with a new Christian Twtiter Theme this week.

It’s fun getting caught up in these designs each week. What are your thoughts about this week’s free Twitter download?

godvertiserdotcom-freetwitterbackground6-screenshot

FREE CHRISTIAN TWITTER BACKGROUND
DOWNLOAD LINK

How to upload a custom background to your Twitter account:

  1. Log in
  2. In top navigation bar, click Settings (or go to http://twitter.com/account/settings)
  3. Click the last settings tab, Design
    change-twitter-background
  4. Select a template, change your text and background colors, or upload your background image
  5. Save your changes

Penn (of Penn & Teller) speaks his mind about the responsibility Christians have for sharing the Good News. Proselytize!

No, don’t run out and get yourself a megaphone for the street corner. We don’t need Bible thumping maniacal representatives invading the public realm.

But take a good listen to how this Christian brother was received by Penn – the atheist, in this video clip:

Can you envision yourself making such a bold move,done in a way that keeps respect and integrity intact?

Now, would you push someone out of the way of an oncoming truck to save his life? Would you? Really?

Have you been doing the same thing over and over again? Planning the same ministry calendar year after year?

As we head into Advent season, most churches are just pulling out the good old playbook and setting the same things in motion. But is that really witnessing to God’s story in the most creative way that you can?

Sometimes if you take the most lack luster things (like plain old water in a plain old water fountain in the mall) and rethink the experience, you are able to find something that stops people in their tracks.

I bet you that people (and kids in particular) cannot help themselves to be captivated by this display in the video.

You can imagine the people walking along, turn the corner, and then literally stop walking or turn to watch. The conversations that start about how it is done, or how they’ve never seen this kind of thing before. The children that don’t want to go back to their original mission of getting those new shoes or shirt. Some that look back after they’ve passed it. The people who can’t do anything else but smile and have just a little lighter walk walking away.

In a way, isn’t this mall fountain a lesson in what we are supposed to be doing in our churhces — displaying God’s greatness in a way that just stops people in their tracks to take notice of what God is and has done for us?

This is a tip that can really pack the pews. . .But most churches never use it.

In fact, only 2% of church members actually follow-through with this secret weapon to grow a church.

Did you know that 73% of people who do not attend church have never been invited?
never-invited

And couple that with the fact that up to 82% of people say that go to church with a friend if they were invited, almost every church out has the potential to grow their attendance rosters within the next 4 weeks.

Why are only 2% of church goers inviting new friends and family to come to a church worship service, event, class, outing, picnic, retreat, bible study, or fellowship group meeting?

What excuses are you holding onto that prevent you from creating annual invite-a-friend weekends (other than Easter or Christmas!)? How can you change the culture of your church right now to be more INVITING — literally? Why haven’t you created pass-along conversation tools to hand out to EVERYONE in your church?

People connect visually before they consume the content they are presented.  If it is engaging even before they come into focus with the words on the page, you have a higher chance of gaining and keeping someone’s attention.

But an all-text flyer with 5 different fonts in 4 different font sizes doesn’t really count.

One of the easiest ways to raise the bar in your ministry’s communications is to use stock photography and other graphics that are of professional quality.  So illustrations, photography and other graphics is something I regularly try to use in all my communications.   What most people don’t know is that there are great resources on the web that are either free or reallllllly cheap (like $1!).

stand-out

I’m constantly in search of decent royalty-free stock photography / graphics sites.  Of course, some of the sites I use regularly aren’t explicitly Christian sites (like www.sxc.hu).

And now, there is a small crop of Christian stock graphics and image sites out there that are worth bookmarking and searching for the next public document you produce in your church or ministry. . . Continue Reading…

I just love this week’s free Twitter Christian Backdrop download graphic. Take it and post it now to share in the joy!

When the Free Christian Twitter Background Series started on Godvertiser (new free twitbacks available here on Tuesdays!), I didn’t think it would be this much fun!

I love J.C. And so should you!

godvertiserdotcom-freetwitterbackground5-screenshot

FREE CHRISTIAN TWITTER BACKGROUND
DOWNLOAD LINK

How to upload a custom background to your Twitter account:

  1. Log in
  2. In top navigation bar, click Settings (or go to http://twitter.com/account/settings)
  3. Click the last settings tab, Design
    change-twitter-background
  4. Select a template, change your text and background colors, or upload your background image
  5. Save your changes

In the Catholic faith, it is customary to enter the church and then dip your fingers in the Holy Water made available up front and then make the sign of the cross. It is a reminder of the baptism that one has made into the church body.

ODD-US-ITALY-FLU-HOLYWATER-ODDEven though the Holy Water is not meant to be injested, some churches are taking the fears of the times into consideration. Here, the pesky old H1N1 fears have taken hold today.

Check out this invention: sanitized Holy Water dispensers . . .

But can HOLY water be sanitized? Does sanitization change the nature of the Holy Water — as transubstantiation does in the Catholic tradition to the bread and wine of the Eucharist?

Necessary? Profound? Irrelevant? Just curious, what’s your reaction to this?

As in most other parts of life, Christians are embracing Twitter. There are thousands of notable Christians using Twitter to wield their influence in the digital environment.

Just as there are a plentitude of ways of expressing your faith in the offline world, Christian themed Twitter backgrounds is one of the ways some people are doing it online.

Here’s our weekly dose of a free Christian Twitter Background from our free download series. Remember every week, we’re giving away a free Xtian Twitback design till the end of the year (if not beyond).

Like this week’s Twitter graphic over the others we’ve released? Let us know in the comment section below. If you install this background, give us a link (use the http://www.twitter.com/kkcoolj full url so it will be a live link) to your Twitter profile so others can visit…and follow you.

godvertiserdotcom-freetwitterbackground4-screenshot

FREE CHRISTIAN TWITTER BACKGROUND
DOWNLOAD LINK

How to upload a custom background to your Twitter account:

1. Log in
2. In top navigation bar, click Settings (or go to http://twitter.com/account/settings)
3. Click the last settings tab, Design change-twitter-background
4. Select a template, change your text and background colors, or upload your background image
5. Save your changes

Help is “fill the Twitterverse with the Bible and teaching of Christ!”

If have the design bug and want to contribute a Christian-themed background for Twitter brothers and sisters to use, please use the contact form and we’ll arrange to display + share your work with our brothers and sisters on the digital highway!