ouVersion keeps me in the Word with notes, tags, and ideas all updates across any device. The audio options are great for driving & listening to messages (I’ve got a bunch of guys in my small group who never read the Bible, who are now engaging the Bible this way. Very cool!)
potify has Free & Paid accounts. This music service is what we use for Sunday morning pre service music with our adults & youth. I also use it on the go for listening music & keeping on the latest worship music & popular artists people at our church recommend.
ordpress is what this blog is done through (also Forefront’s website
). They have a free hosted version here
. Or, you can go with a website host and many have a one click install available (I use Dreamhost). It’s an easy way to get a blog or website up and running. To find themes and designs, check out ThemeForest
ro Presenter has really changed the way we do Sunday presentations. On Sundays, you can find three different areas using this program to handle songs, videos, teaching slides, and more. This software is for Mac & Windows.
vernote has a paid accounts (which I recommend), but free accounts are available. On my phone, it’s where I house anything I find or read on the go. Every single sermon illustration, series idea, and ministry thought is stored here. I organize them via folders & easily searchable.
lanning Center is for planning services, volunteers, scheduling, etc. this is a great tool. Our Creative Arts Pastor got it for us and I’m so glad we have such a streamlined way to schedule people for Sundays and load practice content (mp3s & chord sheets)
eTransfer is a free easy way to send larger files to people that are too big for email. If you’re working on a large project and need to condense everything to send to someone, this is the way to go. It has a 2GB limit per transfer, but I’ve never exceeded it.
arent Cue is by the group at Orange
. At Forefront
we use the 252 Basic & XP3 curriculum, and this app compliments it. Get lessons, videos, questions for the kids, dinner talk, car convo ideas and more. We use this app to reinforce what our girls learn in church all week long. It’s GREAT! (also available for Android
oogle keeps me straight, from Gmail to
(now I use Feedly
and it’s great!), Calendar to Maps, these tools are used by our entire staff. We share calendars, collaborate on projects, do virtual meetings in Google+ Hangouts, it’s fantastic. My wife and I also use it to keep up to date on all things happening and not double booking over each other’s schedules (saved me a bit of heartache).
riteRoom is the place I go to focus my writing. It’s tagline of “distraction free writing” is spot on. It also syncs with Dropbox and has mobile apps for iOS and Mac.
inistryGive is a great online portal for doing donations for your church or ministry. It has a very nice mobile interface as well that they will customize to look like your website (included in cost of service). It’s been great to be able to work with them and we’ve never had an issue. Our church can set-up reoccurring payments, set any number of designations, etc.
yberduck is an FTP program to load content to a web domain. All of our website transfers on the backend are done with this program.
ropbox holds all my sermons, documents, images, etc. can be accessed on any device, anywhere. I’m never in a bind to get to and edit something. Also, we use a shared folder across the staff for resources and Sunday morning content.
ogos Bible Software has been a GREAT addition to my studying, research, and sermon preparation. It has thousands of books and commentaries at your fingertips. It can be easy to get sucked down a rabbit trail with all the resources, but if you stay focused, it’s amazing. They also have mobile apps to access your entire library. Various paid packages are available.
enius Scan is how I don’t forget any receipts on the go. Take a snap shot and email it to yourself or your book keeper, sync it to Dropbox or Evernote, or Google Drive. I cannot stress how great this is and not have to keep track of physical receipts. Love it.
eeder is an RSS creation tool (podcasting, blog feeds, etc). Our podcast is created using this app. It supports audio & video, and is extremely easy to use. Update your podcast in a flash with this streamlined tool.
pple is my gear of choice for most electronics. Currently running on Macbook Pro 13″, iPhone 6 Plus, & iPad Air. Android is great, but whatever ecosystem you adopt, make sure they all play nice together. Apple just works for me and I need it all to have as little of a learning curve as possible so I can do ministry, not tech support. Each serves a purpose to make work easier and faster, so I can be with people. Use what works for you. *Note:
There are a number of accessories I use with all of these, from cases to stylus, so if you’re looking for that kind of stuff, message me.
oleskine notebooks are a beautiful thing. In a world of fast paced touch screens and keyboards- it’s nice to go back to pen & paper. I prefer this in meetings, seminars, & conferences. The thing I love about this particular notebook from them is that when you use your Evernote app to snap a picture of the pages, it syncs to your Evernote account and you can search your handwritten notes. A bonus is you get three months of free premium service for Evernote with every notebook. Oh, I only use these pens to write in my notebooks
. I’ll search past hundreds of regular pens for these.
aCie makes hard drives that are virtually indestructible. They come in a variety of sizes & connections. I love having my documents on an external drive and in Dropbox, so either way if my computer dies, I won’t lose all of my work & files.
nd, while on the go, cords can be annoying and this PowerCurl by Quirky is just the thing. I ordered mine in Forefront green, ha.
Services, Resources & Blogs
Church Community Builder
Church Community Builder is a tool designed to manage people, volunteers, giving, classes, forms, and more. It’s robust in it’s options and is a paid service based on congregation size.
It’s online giving made easy. The interface is easy to use and our giving percentage went up as we began using this. 75%+ of our donations come through online giving.
Clover Sites are an afforable alternative for the church that doesn’t have the capability to create their own site. We used them for a few years before being in a position to create a site in house. They are easy to work with and have various tools built into their sites (including podcasting, calendars, video players, and online donations).
Quality signs at a decent price are hard to come by. Group Imaging has made every one of our classroom, lobby, and directional/road signs. They have been easy to work with and the few times things were not printed correctly, they made it right, free of charge. Great company.
Email out to your entire church, in most cases absolutely free. You can pay for more options, but the free version will work for the majority of congregations. Class up your communications with a nice layout & branding.
Livestream has helped us on the occasions we were caught in a bind as a postable church and didn’t have a place to meet. Instead, we used their free interface and transmitted our worship services online from our warehouse space (and when we were snowed in, form my house, ha). It’s not something you jump into the day of broadcast, but as a back up, it’s great. Also an alternative to remote training for leaders & volunteers.
LifeChurch.tv has been so very gracious to not only create a Bible App for free, but all of their series content they give away as well. Studies, outlines, DVD files of the teaching, and more.
One of the fastest growing churches in the country, and their team makes some great stuff. Series graphics, bumper videos, and layered graphic files for you to work with.
A young church with a growing population of people aimed at reaching people far from God. Their content is well done and they provide graphics & videos to download.
A few different churches put their content into this pool. And, it’s all there for you to work with. Videos, graphics, and series files to help with planning.
Where creatives & designers drop their best and greatest stuff. Most of the content is free, some is paid, all of it is solid. I like that it’s a community of people working together and collaborating. It’s got a nice feel.
Stuff I Can Use
Content created by the college team of Southeast Christian Church. All the series content you would need in a simple layout. Good stuff.
Church Media Design
I believe the creator now works with the Echo Conference, but he’s got some great freebies on his site. Check ’em out.
Inside North Point
If you were able to get an inside look into Andy Stanley’s mind and ministry, you would jus… oh wait, you can. This blog gives great leadership tips, how they do what they do, and things you can take home & adapt to fit your community.
Church On The Move
Video, drama, resources, graphics & more. Sign up for an account and get some amazing content for your next series, staff meeting, leadership training, etc.
Michael works with a few different para-church organizations, pastored for a number of years, and has great insight into reaching people far form God. He also has a truck load of resources available.
This is the place to get everything you need to know. Now, they update dozens of times a day, but most of it is good stuff. All ministry areas have different feed (i.e. children, youth, small groups, worship, etc) or you can get everything dumped into your RSS Reader and sort through it.
Orange Parents has daily articles about parenting your kids through the lens of God. Parenting isn’t easy. The encouragement you get from these posts are just the thing to get you through and challenge you to try new approaches to leading your family.
I don’t even know where to begin… Brian might be the smartest guy on the planet. And, about twice a week I read a post from him that makes me want to throw my laptop. Usually… it’s because he’s right and it just struck a chord in an area I need to grow in.
Michael Hyatt is like Brian Dodd, super smart and insightful. But, Michael has a warm approachable side to his posts that make me want to hang out with him and just soak it in. Everything he posts is practical and ready to apply in your context.
Bob’s posts are always challenging. He’s such a Godly man and with decades of experience in ministry, there is never a post I read that doesn’t make me either a better husband, father and/or pastor.
Church Stage Design
Coming up with stage designs isn’t an easy task. But, this blog takes ideas from churches all over the country and showcases not only what they did, but how they did it. If you’re lacking in the idea department, this is right up your alley.
In a similar vien as Echo Hub, this points more towards the Sunday planning, service content, creativity, and how to’s. If you are in charge of planning services & creative content, this blog is for you.
Blaine’s heart shines through in every post. He’s more concerned about leading church creatives and leaders to follow the heart of God and tell that story, than he is about having people follow him. And, he’s quirky sometimes and I like it!