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Archive for the ‘software’ Category

With modern technological advances, Microsoft PowerPoint presentations have become the norm of trainings and conferences.  It is almost a given that someone will pop in their flash drive and fire up a multi-slide presentation for the audience to sit through.  Some people even add the bells and whistles where the text scrolls up into view or fades in and out with music playing in the background or videos embedded here and there.


Power up your presentations with what really matters.  Offer some compelling and interesting content. 

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You are in ministry.  You might be the pastor or a ministry leader.  You are responsible for the ministry’s or the church’s success.  Well, we can say at least to some degree.  We all know that Lord is the head of the church.  You know what I mean.

I believe in utilizing a variety of sources to keep Life Path Ministries & Services afloat.  Surely, I do not shun donations from supporters and friends, but I cannot rely solely on such support when hard times hit people all around America.  I have to spread out and seek other forms of support, especially online.

Here’s a short list of what you can do to spread out online:

  • Sell, Sell, and Sell Some More: One of my earliest online ventures was to add a merchandising storefront on Zazzle.  I love it.  One of my most successful items has been the I Love My Neighbor t-shirt.  We used this for our Love Your Neighbor Campaign as part of Operation Reach Out.  It’ll be back again this year.  Maybe we’ll do tie dye.  You can sell all sorts of goods.  Got volunteers? Drive them (and direct them) to your storefront’s link via Facebook, Twitter and other online communities and communications, even your website.
  • Start Publishing: It’s a gem.  I love writing and I really love writing about ministry, especially writing about evangelism.  I write and publish books on ministry, offering them to audiences online and in print.  How? I use Lulu.  Yep.  I said: Lulu.  On Lulu, I have a storefront for e-Books and print-on-demand books.  Frustrated with some materials that only catered to churches that afford and only dream of affording various software and systems to manage everything from accounting to just plain membership, I wrote “When the Laborers are Few.” This free downloadable e-Book has been downloaded by people in all sorts of ministries.  Missionaries, evangelists and prayer warriors, even a new pastor, have downloaded this e-Book and commented on how it opened their eyes to new ways to operating their church or their ministry.  Start publishing and start sharing.
  • Look at Other Models: Anyone who knows me in ministry will eventually hear me mention Life Church.  I read about this church in Outreach Magazine a few years ago and got excited.  They do multi-site church like I don’t know what.  I love the whole concept.  Their tech guys are constantly whipping out something new.  You have to visit their site or YouVersion.  How often do bloggers- who scramble and scrounge everywhere for subscribers- compliment and tell readers to go to someone else’s blog? Well, I say check out Life Church’s Swerve blog.  You’ll get hooked and get hooked up, and I don’t get any glory for it.  I just think that it will help you in extending your ministry online.  It is worth a look.

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The Web Designer's Idea Book: The Ultimate Guide To Themes, Trends & Styles In Website Design (Web Designer's Idea Book: The Latest Themes, Trends & Styles in Website Design)

“Things should be made as simple as possible, but not any simpler.”
Einstein: His Life and Universe


Today’s technology has all sorts of possibilities.  Can I offer some simple possibilities that float around in my imagination? Here there are:

Imagine if you thought more about how to use the technology as a tool.  See how you could get the Word out over the Web (Wow! That was another good one.  Can you patent online content? Hmmm…).

Entrepreneur

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Multimedia: Making it Work, Seventh Edition
The new information technology—Internet and e-mail—have practically eliminated the physical costs of communications.- Peter Drucker
The Essential Drucker: The Best of Sixty Years of Peter Drucker's Essential Writings on Management (Collins Business Essentials)
In this technological age, you have to consider going into virtual venues.  You have to see how to maximize the current technology to your advantage.  See how to establish yourself within online communities that can expand your territory.  You set yourself apart from the crowd by what you put out there.
Here are some considerations for enhancing your multimedia capacity:
Whether you are are seeking new clients for your brick and mortar business or seeking to expand your ministry’s presence, you need to see how to use technology to your advantage.  it can streamline your current communications in new ways.

Starting an Online Business For Dummies (For Dummies (Computer/Tech))

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Relationships 101 (Maxwell, John C.)

“Just about everything you do, depends on teamwork.” – John C. Maxwell

You need to know your backyard businesses in order to expand your potential lists for sponsors and advertisers.  Have you ever walked into the cleaners around the corner? Have you ever introduced yourself to the store manager at the local grocery store? Do you know the manager at the local community bank by name? Better yet, do they know you? Or, do they even know that you exist? If not, you have a real problem.

Your problem is that you have not invested in “personal marketing.”  I am not talking about marketing yourself.  If you are the face of of your business, nonprofit or church, you need to create some personalized and face-to-face introductions.  You can do so with social networking likeFacebook, LinkedIn and Yelp along with other sites.  You may want to get in touch with people and check their Twitter page and start following them just to stay informed and keep interacting.

 For instance, a local pastor who writes books and Bible lessons needs to develop some kind of relationships with the local librarian and area bookstore owners and operators for carrying his books and hosting a reading and book-signing.  The Little League coach should at least see if the community’s pizzeria is will to offer a discount to the team’s families if they frequent the establishment every Saturday afternoon after their games.  The Christian businesswoman needs to know if there are other Christians in business in her area and how to connect with them.
Armed with newfound relationships, you need to maintain your relationships with potential business partners, vendors and others. Use email marketing such as Mail Chimp or Cosntant ContactStart posting in the blogosphere.  Set up a frequent gathering of those who work in your local area at your site or a community venue. You don’t have to host it by yourself.  Partner with your local Christian business network or chamber of commerce.  Get the word out to others with your tweets and status updates on social networks.

This is not a major “trade secret.” In fact, for many of us, it should be more obvious to us.  Let’s take advantage of what exists, even if we haven’t noticed it up until now.

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I am an avid “web-crawler.” I search the web for sites that can help me with my work and ministry. I have discovered some sites that truly can support you as you seek to enhance and expand your ministry for greater effectiveness in this day and age.

Here is a short list of sites for support:

  • http://www.outreach.com/ Great resources from banners to do-it-yourself templates; be sure to take a look at http://blog.outreach.com/ for tips and ideas on a wide range of outreach topics and http://www.outreachmagazine.com/ for articles and information on outreach. Look into their church-planting resources, too.
  • http://www.lifetreecafe.com/ If you are in ministry or seeking to get one started, here is a possible resource that will cause you to be “missional.” Check out what this conversational and casual gathering can do for your church and the un-churched. Read what it’s about. It will take some planning and strategies on your part.
  • http://www.lifechurch.tv/ This church is taking multi-site ministry into a whole new era. You have to check out their online worship experience as well as their resources and messages (even those that are not live.) Open is a great resource for downloads of templates and forms that will help administration and ministry leaders. YouVersion has to be one of my favorite sites on the web. With everything from “live” worship and the audio Bible to Bible reading plans and the means for sharing via Facebook and Twitter, this site will rock your world. Church Metrics is a cool free tool that allows you to track everything from attendance to commitments and baptisms. It’s web-based and even has a mobile application for on-the-go ministry and small group leaders.
  • http://www.urbanministry.org/ Tons and tons of information and resources for “street ministry” and beyond. I use the Word Press blog application for Saved2Serve, our network for ministries, faith-based organizations and parachurches. You have to check out their Church Grants and Volunteer sub-sites. This site is a real winner.
  • http://www.ebase.org/ I like E-Base for nonprofits and donor tracking because it does something different from Church Metrics. This download allows you to track donors, volunteers, and other things such as outreach campaigns. It allows you to see what works and what doesn’t in a data storage format almost like CRM software for business.

These sites are useful and worth exploring. I see them as mechanisms for strengthening and supporting your work in ministry. Be sure to visit our web database for the free download of “When the Laborers are Few.” This will help those who have few “workers” for the harvest that is before them in their part of the vineyard.

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