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!

There are some people that are just gifted as prayer warriors.

Don’t underestimate the power of prayer.

It works — even in situations where you don’t usually associate prayer with. This video showcases just how powerful prayer can be. The gift this woman had was to have a faith life which allowed her to default to prayer.

How many of us can say the same thing about our confidence in the same situation?

Her faith and dependence on prayer assumedly reflects the strength of her spiritual faith. But that doesn’t get the rest of us off the hook!

Just imagine what else prayer can do if you believe and approach it with the holiness it deserves. Are you replying enough on prayer within your own ministry? With which parts of your ministry can you start to involve prayer which you normally don’t associate it?

Please encourage others by leaving a comment below with your thoughts.

Critics of church online all point to the sterility and breakdown of human connections across the digital highway.

Stefana Broadbent, an anthropologist who has studied human relationships across technology (cell phones, IM, Skype / video chatting, Facebook, etc) for over 20 years, has come to a different conclusion.

While you watch this video of her presentation on how the Internet and technology actually increases intimacy in human relationships, you’ll find the eerie Dunbar number coming up (120-150!). Technology hasn’t drastically increased the number of real connections we manage online – humans are in the end humans.

But of course there’s a little twist. . .

Did you notice the typical number of people each person connects with in close relationship (80%…___ intense relationships) when using technology mediums? Surprising? No?

Broadbent’s findings can have real implications for how church online approach and use technology to communicate and connect its people.

But this learning isn’t just applicable to digital worship communities trying to build out complete online church experiences. Technology won’t just by default destroy or degrade intimacy in relationships — it can actually leap across distance and social/cultural structures (like workplace rules) to enhance and build relationships where offline just can’t compete.

The presentation in this video is an interesting data point when thinking about how to approach the use of social media by pastors and churches.

What do you think?

Is it Tuesday again already?

Looks like it is time to offer another free Twitteratti Tuesady download in our Christian Twitter Backdrop Design Series.

I’m aiming to release a brand new Christian themed background to use on your own Twitter profile each week till the end of the year.

And if you are a designer (or even a wannabe!), I invite your participation in helping to “fill the Twitterverse with the Bible and teaching of Christ!” Why not contribute a Christian-themed background for other Twitter users? Just use the contact form and we’ll arrange to display + share your work with our brothers and sisters of the Twitterverse!

Here is this week’s free Twitter customized design for download:

Free Christian Twitter Background

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

A new nationwide study shows that there’s a shift happening with how people view and engage with the Bible.

Young adults have an overarching skepticism regarding the Bible not present in older audiences surveyed.

So what does this mean for your church and ministry?

One way to look at it is that what you’re doing right now isn’t working.

It’s time to not just try different things. It’s time to BE different.

godvertiser-be-different

Are the sermons being crafted for the pulpit taking into consideration some of the issues important to the younger generation? Is your church’s discipleship curriculum trying to engage the younger Mosaics or are you just trying to force it upon them? Is your entire ministry embracing some the easiest ways to gain and keep the attention of our church’s future?

If you pay attention, you’ll see some of the things this report has found to be useful in evolving your ministry work:

  • Young people want to participate in the process of learning
  • They are turned off by too much formality in sermons and lectures on the Bible
  • Instead of classrooms, they are craving experiences that appear unscripted and interactive
  • One way dialogue is the old way. This group want a medium that allows open and honest questioning
  • They want technologically stimulating, creative and visual content
  • They want to grow in communion with their peers through authentic relationships

Does anything strike you as completely opposite of what you’re seeing now in the church?

Today’s guest post is from Kathy Leonard of Church Initiative. The ministry’s original purpose was to equip churches with resources to help people recover from the pain of separation and divorce, also to help couples remain together or reconcile whenever possible. Kathy shares a unique tactic one church has used to help get people in the door to its ministry programs.


A blip in the church bulletin. . .
An abbreviated pulpit announcement. . .
A spot on the church calendar. . .

How well is your church getting the word out about its programs?

And are people in your community even aware of the help available for them?

Lazybrook Baptist Church in Houston has gotten the attention of nearly every person driving by their church: “Do you relate to Jon and Kate?” reads their marquee. I can imagine the drivers doing a double take, then thinking “Yeah, I can relate to that.”


Although reality TV isn’t reality, it deals with real issues that people are facing. It’s one reason people tune in. That’s why it can be a great starting point for promotional efforts.

For example, Jon and Kate’s reality TV breakup hits close to home for people facing their own broken marriages. And Lazybrook’s new DivorceCare support group program aims to reach the separated and divorced in their community.

Using hot topics from reality TV as a church promo tool can relay a variety of messages:

  • “God has something to say about the things you’re thinking about.”
  • “What you hear on TV isn’t the final word about [relationships, parenting, sex, etc.].”
  • “Church is a place where people can find answers to their questions and solutions to their problems.”
  • Pop culture is a vehicle your church can use to go straight to the heart of people’s problems. And you can be creative in expanding your ideas beyond marquees and reality shows!

    Let’s draw people into our churches by:

    * Connecting the spiritual with what they are already thinking about
    * Making them aware that God has a something to say about “Hot Topics”
    * Using messages that grab the attention of large numbers of people

    What do you think about hooking into reality TV and other tabloid headlines in order to get people’s attention for the church?