4 Tips for Making Youth Group an Inviting Space for New Students

When you’re a teenager (and heck, even an adult!), putting yourself out there and stepping into a new environment full of people you don’t know is a pretty big deal. A little bit of preparation goes a long way to create a space that is welcoming to newcomers from the moment they enter the door. Let Students Lead the Way Let’s be honest, no matter how awesome your adult volunteers, having students be the first to greet new students will make the biggest impact. Identify student leade...

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Buying Church Media Assets: How to Convince “The Boss”

Aside from a few larger churches where everyone has a departmental budget, most church media teams need to convince their pastor to purchase any piece of gear or new media assets. If you’ve been left with that role, you know the anxiety that comes before “the pitch.” He’s going to ask why you need it, how much it costs, probably stall for a second, and then ask you why you don’t consider a cheaper alternative (even though we both know you did extensive research and landed on this op...

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Building a Leadership Team in your Church Plant

When you’re planting a church, it’s important to equip capable, trustworthy leaders to help bring the vision to life. Finding these leaders, however, can feel overwhelming, especially when you’re juggling everything else that comes with planting. Here’s a four-part roadmap for finding, recruiting, and nurturing a successful team for your new church: Pray with people you trust Just like with everything else, when you’re looking for the leaders to work alongside you, you start ...

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5 Tips for Making the Most of Your Church Tech Budget

I’m convinced that nobody - absolutely nobody - would be capable of spending a six or seven-figure budget as fast as a church tech director. While I joke, the truth is that everything in that world is expensive, and there is always a better version of whatever it is you’re buying. Cameras, computers, light boards, lights, sound boards, stage designs, audio systems, music gear, software… Unfortunately, I don’t think most church tech directors have the luxury of working with a seven-fig...

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Church Musicians: Should You Pay Them?

As a freelance drummer in Minneapolis, MN, I’ve had the opportunity to play at several churches in the area. I have gotten the privilege to share the stage with volunteer musicians at new church plants meeting in high schools and theaters, as well as at megachurches. Playing at several churches has given me the chance to see how different worship pastors approach building worship teams, scheduling, and compensating musicians, and I thought I would at least share my perspective on the topic ...

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Creating an Engaging Christmas Worship Setlist

It’s that time of year again, where we all run around panicking about Christmas services and that our ideas won’t be executed properly. We’re kidding... kind of. Hopefully you’re more organized this year than ever before, and we’re sure that no matter what you choose to do, everything will work out fine. However, for worship pastors, there’s always a lot of stress around building an engaging Christmas service setlist. Building a Christmas worship set isn’t the same as just...

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How to Lead Efficient Worship Team Auditions

Developing a tight audition process can save you headache and awkward conversations down the road. Setting clear expectations and hosting intentional auditions sets new musicians up for success and makes it easier for you to find good fits for your team. Here are some suggestions for running efficient, heartfelt auditions from the first introduction to the inevitable follow-up. Pre Screening Process Questionnaire Save yourself time and energy down the road with a pre-screening pro...

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5 Reasons Your Church May Not Be Growing

Paying attention to your church attendance is important for many reasons, but obviously it can be incredibly frustrating at times. Unless your church just happens to be exploding in attendance right now, the majority of churches struggle to grow their attendance – especially as church plants. Growing a church is a slow process, and while the chances are high that your ministry will expand just fine in the future, almost every pastor can attest to going through “valley seasons” where church...

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4 Indisputable Qualities of Church Tech Directors

Being a church tech director is not an easy job, and everyone knows it. While they may never be in the spotlight like the pastor, worship leader, or musicians, they are always arriving earlier and leaving later than anyone else. They’re setting everything up, organizing, running the slides, planning lights, and doing everything else related to Sunday morning production. And just like the band, they are there for both the rehearsal and Sunday morning. As you might guess, a difficult job requ...

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Best Places to Find Youth Ministry Countdown Videos

Finding church media can be really difficult – especially when you’re looking for quality stuff on a low budget. It seems like there’s a million different companies offering countdowns, motion backgrounds, and mini-movies, and it’s hard to know which one is right to go with. Some services are hundreds of dollars per year, while you can find free media in other places – but it all varies in quality and usability, and you need something reliable, affordable, and worth your money. All ...

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Effective Feedback Management as a Service Producer

Working as a service producer at a church is tough work. You’re always right in the middle of everything. You’re responsible for everything going as planned, but the actual execution of everything is often in the hands of others - the worship pastor, the sound engineer, lighting people, other volunteers, etc. Naturally, you’re put in a predominantly managerial role. You get to decide on several aspects of a service and oversee everything unfolding on a Sunday morning. Unfortunately, tha...

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Worship Tracks: 5 Most Common Ableton Pitfalls

Ableton is an incredibly powerful tool, especially in worship music. Churches of all sizes around the world are using it during live services for a variety of purposes. It enables keyboardists to run synth patches, pianos, and other instruments. It can be used for complex automation of keys patches, tracks, and other instrumentation during a worship service. And of course, it can be used as a simple click track and guide. The capabilities of the program are pretty much limitless. However, giv...

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Worship Pastors: How to Talk to Your Drummers

Worship pastor to drummer communication has got to be one of the most stressful things to be a part of within a worship team, but I think there’s a reason it’s so common. The drum set is such an oddball instrument, and also the only one who’s role is entirely different than most contemporary worship instruments. Unfortunately, it also happens to be the loudest and one of the most important and impactful instruments on the stage (don’t agree with me? Compare playing a single wrong chord w...

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3 Tips to Improve Your Church Screen Media in Youth Group

It seems that the youth room is often the most neglected when it comes to quality gear, sound systems, and stage setup. Obviously, most churches don’t have an infinite budget to spend on every single room in the building, so most attention is put towards enhancing the main worship center. However, improving the atmosphere, appearance, and experience in a room doesn’t need to cost a ton of money - simply using the appropriate graphics and visual screen media can greatly enhance the experience...

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4 Best Practices: Motivating Your Volunteer Worship Team

Many volunteers live for worship team rehearsals and playing on Sunday mornings. It’s where they get their energy and they’re absolutely ecstatic to be a part of the team. But unfortunately, it’s not that way for everyone. When worship team volunteers are excited and motivated to be a part of the worship band, your team thrives. But when it feels like a weekly “to-do” item, they’re not putting their best foot forward. If that’s the boat you feel like you’re in, you are not alo...

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5 Tips for Being Efficient at Church Media Production

There are so many moving parts in church media production. As a media director, you’re constantly doing things on the fly – changing song setlists, replacing lyrics, reordering songs, switching backgrounds out, importing and adjusting sermon notes, etc. You know the story. That’s why it’s so incredibly important to have a good grasp on ways you can make your work more efficient. The quicker and more efficient you work, the smoother rehearsal and service flows. Church Media Directors: ...

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3 Strategies: Get Youth Ministry Students to Bring Friends

Youth pastors want for nothing more than to have students develop community which each other, build genuine loving relationships with God, and grow in their faith with one another. And I’d argue that you would be hard pressed to find any youth pastor where “growing the youth ministry” isn’t one of their top 5 priorities. But growing a youth ministry is tough. Usually, a youth ministry is the size it is because the students’ parents attend the church. Every youth pastor understands t...

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Hiring Church Staff: Tried and True Practices

Hiring the right church staff is incredibly important if you are actively working in ministry. It’s especially important in churches smaller than 500, as all staff are working closely with each other every day and weekend. Hiring a bad candidate doesn’t mean one department of the church suffers - it can drag down the efficiency, morale, and culture of all church staff. Unfortunately, many churches depend on “the luck of the draw” to find a good candidate. Regardless of the location, s...

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3 Ways to Make Sermon Slides Look Better

Accompanying a sermon with visuals helps to clarify and drive home the message exponentially. That’s what sermon slides are for. It’s meant to reinforce the message and give an easy-to-digest summary of the main points of the sermon. But sermon slides aren’t always helpful. In fact, in many instances they can detract from the message. Bad design, poor font choice, improperly sized text, too much/too little text, lack of flow, poor color contrast… I can keep going, but I’ll stop ther...

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Healthy Church Tech Director to Worship Pastor Communication Tips

Communication is everything in ministry. Good communication practices can help a ministry to operate ats fullest potential, while poor communication (or a complete lack of communication altogether) can cause a ministry to crumble. The same is absolutely true for worship ministries. More specifically, the communication practices between a tech director/media director and the worship pastor are super important. A worship leader can’t take care of all the details related to lyrics, church vide...

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