5 Tools For Church Leaders You (Probably) Haven’t Heard Of
For over 200 episodes of the unSeminary Podcast, we have been asking what are the online tools or resources church leaders have been using to make their ministry easier. We have heard rave reviews about Evernote & Slack but I know there are other tools that might be helpful that you’ve probably never heard of.
- 15Five // 15Five provides a web-based team engagement and performance software which helps create high performing teams by combining Objectives and Key Results (OKRs), pulse surveys, peer recognition, and feedback in a simple weekly check-in. Over 1,100 organizations worldwide use 15Five to allow employees to share their triumphs and challenges, stay focused on key objectives, and get regular feedback from managers who support them in reaching their potential. Because of the nature of what we do in churches, our teams are often dispersed and this tool helps in keeping close tabs of what your connections are up to. I have found it worthwhile and kept my team focused on the results of our ministry. The tight integration between the web and mobile version means it’s easy to check my weekly reports on the go in any location. At the time of writing, 15Five is providing a discount for registered non-profits so just ask after signing up.
- Amazon Chime // Amazon Chime is a communications service that transforms online meetings with a secure, easy-to-use application that you can trust. Amazon Chime works seamlessly across your devices so you can stay connected. You can use Amazon Chime for online meetings, video conferencing, calls, chat, and to share content, both inside and outside your organization. Chime competes with Skype, Zoom and Google Hangouts. This solution was born in a “handheld first world” where we need to be on the go constantly so it’s apps integrate elegantly into the web experience. Although this is a pay-for-use service, the enterprise level solution is well-worth the nominal per user charge. Collaboration is important for our teams and having a rock solid solution like Amazon Chime at the core of how we interact can help make the church teams stay connected!
- UpWork // This isn’t a tool but a service. UpWork is a global platform for connecting with freelance workers in a wide variety of skill areas. Do you need some simple architectural drawings made up for a project? You can post what you’re looking for and designers from around the world will connect with proposals. I used a team from UpWork to help our church invite 2,005 people to our Easter Services a few years ago. (Read about the lessons I learned from this post.) UpWork has made the process for posting jobs easy with template projects to start with. Communicating with your team is straight forward through email or an UpWork Messaging App for your smartphone. William Vanderbloemen, a church staffing effort, recently commented how churches are increasing the amount of outsourcing they do. Services like UpWork are a great place to find external help to do non-personal work to help your team focus on the high-touch parts of ministry.
- Google Search Console // This tool is a no-charge web service by Google for webmasters. It allows people running websites to check indexing status and optimize visibility of their websites. Your website is the front door of your church. People are searching for what your church is doing right now in your town and chances are they are using Google to do that search. The Search Console is Google’s way of helping your church be more visible in your community. By mastering the information that is contained in this interface, you can get a better sense of how to improve your website and, ultimately, reach more people in your town. Google has a track record of being transparent with the public about how to improve your “search ranking” including such factors such as mobility and indexing. If your church isn’t worrying about search engine optimization (SEO) then you are limiting your community impact. Use this tool is the start of improving your SEO game!
- Toolkit for Facebook // This tool is an plugin to the Google Chrome browser … you’re using Google Chrome, right? Facebook Social Toolkit is a collection of Facebook automation tools that are created to save time while using Facebook. Broken into both a free and premium version this tool is a collection of actions to help you get more out of this critical social media platform. Here are just a few examples of pieces of the toolkit:
- Invite Your Friends To Like Your Page // This tool automates the process of inviting your friends to like your page and helps you to get more likes on your Facebook page. Helpful for when you’re starting a new event or ministry-specific page.
- Accept All Friend Requests At Once // Sometimes, too many friend requests are received and clicking on the confirm button can become a painful and mundane job. This tool automates the process of accepting all friend requests- in three simple clicks you can accept thousands of friend requests.
- Facebook Video Downloader // This tool generates a download link for public Facebook videos. All you need to do is enter the URL of the Facebook video and click on the generate download link button. Helpful when you see something you’d like to use in your ministry.
- Post On Multiple Groups At Once // This tool allows users to post on multiple Facebook groups at once. Helpful if your church has a collection of Facebook pages.
- Message All Friends At Once // This tool allows you to send messages and stickers to your Facebook friends. Powerful tool…but please don’t spam! 😉
- …and a bunch more!