July 25, 2013

New Tools For Summer

Now that we're in the middle of summer, many congregations are enjoying a more relaxed atmosphere with combined services and programs on break until Labor Day.

This month, we're sharing tools and resources to try out this summer, with an eye on how these might be used when the program year starts. Try using Doodle to schedule your next meeting. Take a look at Google Places, Faith Street, and other free websites that offer a way to get information about your congregation in places where new people can find you. Get out your smart phone this Sunday and use the camera feature to post a photo or video to Instagram.

In the following articles and resources, people throughout the Church share their experiences, best practices, and help point the way to using these tools and technology within your own congregation. Often you’ll find these tech tools are much easier to use than you might think.

And, let us know about your experience! Connect with us on Facebook and on Twitter, share your resources on Your Turn, and find others in our Tools. Get others connected by sharing these posts and inviting others to subscribe to ECF Vital Practices.

The Email Creation Story

For many congregations, email newsletters are a communications staple. How can you take it to the next level? In “The Email Creation Story,” Amy Simons offers tips on how to navigate and organize content as well as list creation and management to improve email communications. “Knowing the specifics about how people use your email means you can adapt over time and make each mailing more effective than the one before.”

Find a Church
During the summer, many people move to a new home. How are your new neighbors going to find out about your church? Is your congregation taking full advantage o the free website listings available to it? Nancy Davidge's “Find a Church” shares how congregations can research, plan, and keep these free online directories updated and fresh.

Blog Posts

Tech Tools We Use Everyday: A collection of practical tools for organizing meetings, managing project deadlines, and keeping track of our calendars that we use at ECF Vital Practices.

Tips for Instagram Photos and Videos for Churches: Great ideas and how-tos for using this fun tool to share photos and video clips from your congregation.

Using Doodle for Liturgical Scheduling: Use this tool to simply creating your Sunday morning volunteer schedule.

Tools and Resources

Join the Church Social Media Conversation: Connect with others in the Church who are sharing their ideas, answering questions, and using the latest tools in social media.

15-Minute Marketing: From Picture to Postcard: Add some fun to your photos. BeFunky is a free tool that easily changes a photo into a cartoon or other 'artsy' image.

  10 Icebreaker Questions to Ask on Your FB Page: Stuck about how to get people engaged on your congregation's Facebook Page? Try asking these questions...

Lights. Camera. Action.

Does video make sense for you? Terri Mathes shares examples from across the church and offers tips for making video clips at no cost in “Lights. Camera. Action.” Video can enhance a campaign, offer a lively glimpse into the life or your congregation, and engage members of your congregation.