Tuesday, October 04, 2011

Great Tech Tools For Church Planters & Pastors (Part 2)

Evernote allows you to keep docs, websites, files, notes, etc. all in sync with your mac, phone, iPad, or any other device you use.  No need to connect cables, it all syncs automatically.  It use it a lot for to-do lists, sermon prep, meeting notes, etc.  I start on my mac, continue it on my iPad, and maybe do edits on the go on my phone.  It's fantastic.

Crash Plan Pro
For those of you who don't have the patience to connect your computers or devices to external hard drives to back up, Crashplanpro is a great tool.  Just download it on all your devices and it automatically backs them up anytime you're online.   No worries no hassle.

Our entire staff is addicted to Mediafire.   Mediafire works great to share large and small files, pictures, docs, videos, etc.  It creates hyperlinks you can attach to emails, websites, or whatever else you use to share files.  We also use it to store and share all our church pictures, graphic design, videos, MP3s of messages, staff resources, etc. 

This is a text message service that allows you to send special SMS messages to groups of people.  We are testing it with our Leadership Team right now.  You can send them reminders of meetings, important updates and prayer requests, or links to a resource you want them to have.

YouVersion LIVE
We haven't started using this yet, but I've heard great things about the LIVE feature of YouVersion.  It allows people to easily interact with church services and any other live experiences in your church.  Many churches use it during their worship services, so that people can take notes on their phone, download resources, respond to polls, etc.

If you need to receive credit cards from people for any reason, Square is just about the best new invention out there.  The creator of Twitter created Square.  It allows you to receive donations and purchases without having a merchant account, which is awesome. You literally just download the Square app and they'll send you a Square "box" to plug into your iPhone or iPad and you can start receiving donations/money.  We use it at our Resource Center, to collect fees for seminars we host, and much more.

Eventbrite empowers you with simple but powerful tools to manage, promote, and sell out your event. It's free and easy to use.   You can use it to register people for conferences, retreats, events, etc. 

QR codes 
QR codes are a type of bar-code you can easily create that people can scan with their phones and it instantly directs them to a website.  We use it on our Tithe/Offering envelopes to take them straight to our giving webpage. We use it on our Sunday programs to take them straight to our webpage.  We also use them on mailers, doorhangers, and invite cards.  I recommend using http://qrcode.good-survey.com/ so that you can track the effectiveness of your links.
Google Adwords / Yelp ReviewsFacebook Ads
Church planters are constantly asking us what are the most effective ways to use social media and online marketing tools to spread the word about our church.  Obviously the #1 reason people visit our church (and yours) is through personal invitation, but in terms of web tools, here is how most people have found our church: (1) Google Adswords, (2) Yelp Reviews, (3) Facebook Ads.   If you don't have those set up for your church, you're missing a great opportunity.   In terms of Yelp and Google reviews, start by asking your core leadership team and volunteers to write 5 star reviews on your profile.

ElevationResources / LifeChurch.tv resources
In terms of free quality resources for churches, you can't beat Elevation Church and LifeChurch.tv's resources.  They have awesome graphic designs, videos, and many other great resources that can save you a lot of time and money. 

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