The Internet's Best Practices for Ministry

Welcome to our site. Our mission and dedication is to equip leaders for innovative ministry. Explore. Read. Share.

Welcoming Guests and First Impressions

The sermon starts in the parking lot, and the impression you make for your guests on Sunday morning during the first 10 minutes will be indelible.

Technology and The Church

Leveraging technology for ministry can be an incredible blessing. But it can also be fraught with problems and pitfalls. Learn how to use technology well.

Vision and Leadership

Our God longs for leaders to request of Him to do that which they cannot. Faith filled vision, leadership and risk are key ingredients for ministry.

Preaching and Communication

You know and understand how challenging it is to communicate. It is hard to get and capture people's attention. Learn how to communicate effectively.

Creativity and Innovation

Being creative means asking the right questions and making new associations. Discover new and creative ideas for your ministry.

5 Objectives Of Using Social Media

You may be working or volunteering at a church thinking about finally taking the plunge into social media.  Now what?

The first thing you should do as you begin this new venture is to be very clear about your objectives, If you don't the "gee-whiz" factor will quickly wear off and your venture into social media will be short lived.

In my experience, I think that there are five general objectives that can be pursued in the use of any social media (Twitter, Facebook, etc...)

1. Listening.  Social Media is a conversation.  As people participate you will have the opportunity to learn and benefit from those takeaways. 

2. Talking. Use Social Media as an opportunity to double down on your communication regarding your church's vision or communicate opportunities to serve.  There is so much noise in our culture, so it doesn't hurt to have another conduit to communicate.

3. Energizing.  This is similar to talking, but the objective here is to mobilize and empower the champions and connectors in the church to be the fuel of the ministry. 

4. Supporting.  Through Social Media, your church can provide others the tools and  resources they need for spiritual growth.

5. Connecting.  The objective of Social Media is to connect people together, to have them talk to one another.  So your role is to act as a facilitator to help those in your church engage and come together toward a common mission and objectives.

How To Care For Those Who Do The Caring

We are at the end of the month of October which has been designated as Clergy Appreciation Month.  And although we set aside a month to focus on appreciating and caring for those called to shepherd the church, care for the pastor needs to go well beyond one month out of the year.

Pastors are at high risk - depression, addictions and divorce.

An estimated 18% to 25% of all ministers are depressed at any one time.

The pain and suffering that pastors silently suffer through can turn tragic.

From an article at USAToday,
What kind of personal pain would cause a 42-year-old pastor to abandon his family, his calling and even life itself? Members of a Baptist church here are asking that question after their pastor committed suicide in his parked car in September.
Those who counsel pastors say Christian culture, especially Southern evangelicalism, creates the perfect environment for depression. Pastors suffer in silence, unwilling or unable to seek help or even talk about it. Sometimes they leave the ministry. Occasionally the result is the unthinkable.

Experts say clergy suicide is a rare outcome to a common problem.

But Baptists in the Carolinas are soul searching after a spate of suicides and suicide attempts by pastors. In addition to the September suicide of David Treadway, two others in North Carolina attempted suicide, and three in South Carolina succeeded, all in the last four years.

Being a pastor — a high-profile, high-stress job with nearly impossible expectations for success — can send one down the road to depression, according to pastoral counselors.
Read the whole article HERE

If you are a pastor or a ministry leader, how do cope with the stresses, struggles and strains from ministry? 

5 Warning Signs That Your Church Is Sinking

Thom Rainer shares five warning signs that the health of your church may be deteriorating. Do any of the below signs apply to your church?

1. The church has few outwardly focused ministries. Most of the budget dollars in the church are spent on the desires and comforts of church members. The ministry staff spends most of its time taking care of members, with little time to reach out and minister to the community the church is supposed to serve.

2. The dropout rate is increasing. Members are leaving for other churches in the community, or they are leaving the local church completely. A common exit interview theme we heard was a lack of deep biblical teaching and preaching in the church.

3. The church is experiencing conflict over issues of budgets and building. When the focus of church members becomes how the facilities and money can meet their preferences, church health is clearly on the wane.

4. Corporate prayer is minimized. If the church makes prayer a low priority, it makes God a low priority.

5. The pastor has become a chaplain. The church members view the pastor as their personal chaplain, expecting him to be on call for their needs and preferences. When he doesn't make a visit at the expected time, or when he doesn't show up for the Bible class fellowship, he receives criticism. In not a few cases, the pastor has lost his job at that church because he was not omnipresent for the church members.

You can read the rest of Thom's thoughts HERE.

One of the best books that I've read that would serve as an antidote against a church "going under" is Jack Miller's book, "Outgrowing the Ingrown Church" - this book is a must read.

Ministry Metrics

My friend and ministry collegue, Tony Stiff has given me permission to repost a big portion of his incredible post on ministry metrics.

If you click here you can download a PDF entitled “Ministry Metrics” it will explain how to measure ministry flow in metric terms.

From Tony- "This PDF is the outcome of a conversation that begin with another pastor friend of mine regarding how we could become better stewards of our ministries. Ministry metrics are becoming more popular among larger churches that are budget and staff heavy and are trying to be good stewards of their resources.

Smaller churches aren’t as quick to get on board with metrics because the need to use metrics is not as pressing but nevertheless is important. As long as pastors chasten how they use metrics to measure ministry growth by having a philosophy of ministry that is Spirit-dependent and always mindful of the grace of God in the gospel; using metrics can be of great value.

You should notice trends in each area of metrics: they’re all aimed at small, large, and directional growth; they’re done in community with one another; and they’re inclusive to every leader in the body no matter how great or small their responsibility loads are"

Read the rest HERE on Tony's website.

Church Sign Fail

(ht: Failblog)

New Facebook Button

Take a look up above, there is a new button.  

Inspired by the popular Retweet buttons, this new sharing button for Facebook displays the number of times the current page has been shared on Facebook and allows you, visitors to Ministry Best Practices, to share it yourself.  It's features include:

  • Displays the number of shares and on hover the total number of clicks for those shares (displays Facebook logo when 0 shares)
  • A choice between a large or small button

To get yours for your blog or website go HERE

Twitter In The Funnies

Dilbert has just found out an ingenious way to use Twitter at work:

click to view a larger image

Even though Twitter can be misused and is often misunderstood, I believe that can hold value for ministries who understand how to leverage it properly.

I have said many times that Twitter can provide an excellent opportunity for pastors to connect with their congregation.  This is particularly true for large churches, where the congregants don't have easy access to their pastor.  A pastor can use twitter to share thoughts about a sermon, share details about ministry and highlight opportunities as well as be able to create conversations with people in the church.

If you are a pastor, do you use Twitter?  Why or why not?

Related Posts:
Twitter Tracker
How Twitter Hits the Sweet Spot
Should We Twitter in Church?

(ht: Mashable)

YouVersion Live Has Gone LIVE!

You can view this video to get a brief overview.

Introducing YouVersion Live from YouVersion on Vimeo.

There are creative ways in which your church, ministrty or organization might be able to use YouVersion Live to bring interactivity to weekend services, conferences, Bible studies, and more. Once a group is set up, a live event can take place any time.

Best of all, it's free and it’s easy to use.

Go to for more info.

Brevity Communicates Essence

It has been said that brevity is the soul of wit.  

Since 1996, the Webby Awards have been given by the International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences for achievement on the Internet. Winners are limited to five-word acceptance speeches.  That's right - JUST FIVE WORDS.

(The video below is a compilation of some of those concise and occasionally funny speeches.)

Often times good and effective communication is the result of saying what needs to be said in it's simplest form.  When you do so, not only will you have greater impact because your audience was able to remember what you've said, but it also guarantees you being the clearest you can be.

If you had only five words to say to the world, what would they be?