The most common constraint, in our minds, to implementing high quality tech solutions in ministry is the budget.
Of course we would like to have live streaming of services and a snazzy website, but there’s just no money.
It’s an understandable argument. But it’s simply not the case anymore. There are too many free resources available, especially for churches, to make that claim.
What do you mean?
I’ve been to countless church websites that are stuck in the 90’s web. Poor layouts, too much text, and not enough video. We say it’s because we don’t have the staff or the money.
But could it be we haven’t taken the time to explore all the free resources out there from churches and other organizations?
I think so.
But to be fair, we all deserve grace. The main reason churches don’t use free resources is many of them simply don’t know what’s out there.
Let’s put an end to that right now.
A list of online ministry freebies
- Online Messages: Fed up with not having your messages available online? LifeChurch has you covered with Church Online Platform. This amazing resource lets you embed music, videos, and images, connect social media, add sermon notes, and request prayers. Some of the churches using it are Elevation, Seacoast, and of course LifeChurch.
- Moodle for Online Learning: What’s Moodle, you say? It’s an open source Content Management System (CMS), or Learning Management System (LMS). Basically, it’s a tool for creating online classes. This hasn’t been adopted by too many churches that I’m aware of, but I recently helped launch a Moodle site at my church and it’s been fantastic. Now our membership class, mentor training, a financial freedom course, and spiritual gifts class are all online. It allows you to reach many more people per instructor, and serves as a one-stop hub for important information. It could even be used to house small group resources and videos. All you need is a URL and some server space (which you already have if your church has a website).
- Bible Studies and Classes: The Village Church has a great list of free studies and classes available on their website. For each one there’s a link to download or stream the audio and a PDF of the study script.
- Track Statistics: Another great LifeChurch ministry is ChurchMetrics. We like to say it’s not about the numbers, but regardless of how you feel about them, it’s still nice to track them. With ChurchMetrics you can track attendance, giving, baptisms, and see historical data in raw or graphical representations. One of the best parts is you can access it online, so you’re not responsible for updating software.
These are just a few of the wealth of free resources available out there for your ministry.
So before we say there’s no way we can have an online presence, let’s make sure we’ve investigated what’s available. Most of these things can be done by volunteers if you don’t have the staff. I’m a volunteer at my church, but I worked with the leader of our education ministry and helped create the online learning environment. Your church has people with similar interests. You just have to find them.
What online resources do you wish your church had? Have you looked into the free resources available?