As the pastor of a small church, there are probably many responsibilities you’re doing, not because you want to, but because you have to.
Your church is still small. You don’t have a large budget or a large staff, so you end up doing a lot of the work yourself. Yet, you only have so many hours in a day to get everything done.
That’s why, on this episode of the Hello Church! podcast, we’re sharing several of our favorite low-cost resources to help you do ministry more effectively and efficiently.
These tools will not only save you a great deal of time and money, but they’ll also help you grow and serve your church more effectively.
Be sure to check out the ones that look most helpful to you!
Ministry Pass: Sermon Resources
Ministry Pass provides sermon resources to help busy pastors plan, prepare, and preach effective sermons. They offer pre-written sermon calendars, sermon notes, headlines, illustrations, graphics, videos, small group discussion questions, and more.
You can use the resources as is or simply use them as a jumping-off point when planning your own sermon, so you aren’t stuck staring at a blinking cursor on a blank screen.
Sermonary: Sermon Writing App
Sermonary is a blocks-based sermon writing software that helps busy pastors organize their notes into an organized sermon. You can type your introduction, illustrations, and more into various blocks, and then simply drag and drop the blocks as you go.
You can easily export slides and sermon notes or simply use Sermonary’s Podium Mode to preach right from your device with a built-in timer.
You can learn more about Sermonary here.
RightNow Media: Online Video Bible Studies
RightNow Media is a video streaming platform designed to offer churches instant access to thousands of online video Bible studies at the click of a button. You likely don’t have the bandwidth or staff to create unique Bible studies and small group resources every week. With RightNow Media, your small group leaders can share pre-written studies you’ve vetted without having to constantly come up with new content.
Plus, you can give your congregation login access so they can watch the videos on their own at any time.
You can learn more about RightNow Media here.
ProPresenter: Worship Software
ProPresenter is a worship software designed to help churches livestream their services as well as share lyrics, Scriptures, and more on their in-house screens. It even includes a confidence monitor so those on stage can see the upcoming slides.
ProPresenter is an investment, but you will need a robust screen software if you want to attract visual learners or younger churchgoers who often expect screens during worship.
You can learn more about ProPresenter here.
B2Sign: Signs, Banners, and Posters
If you need indoor or outdoor signs, banners, or posters to announce upcoming events, you can get affordable, professional-looking signs from B2Sign.com.
The truth is: Looks matter. You don’t want your church to come across as cheesy, hokey, or cheap. Instead, you want to make a great first impression while keeping your costs low.
Signs are a great way to announce new events, both to passers-by and within your church lobby. Plus, B2Sign offers double-sided printing, so you can get additional bang for your buck.
You can learn more about B2Sign here.
UPrinting: Business Cards and Postcards
For smaller printing needs, such as business cards and postcards, UPrinting.com is a great option. Sites such as NextDayFlyers.com and GotPrint.com may be more affordable for small budgets, but UPrinting offers high quality with guaranteed delivery dates.
You can learn more about UPrinting here.
Canva Pro: Free Design Software
While some print shops may offer custom design services, it’s often cheaper and faster to create your own designs using Canva Pro.
Even if you aren’t a designer, Canva Pro offers countless highly-customizable templates, stock photos, and more, making creating your own designs incredibly easy and efficient.
Simply choose a design (or create your own), then drag and drop unlimited elements, swap out any text or colors, and resize as needed before easily exporting your design.
Plus, Canva Pro is free for churches and other non-profits.
You can learn more about Canva Pro here.
Social Media Platforms
Facebook, Instagram, and Youtube are all free platforms that allow you to get your message and your content out in front of a larger audience.
Don’t wait for people to visit you. Take your message to the world. Social media allows you to easily reuse and repurpose your sermon content as well as share updates on all your latest church events. Plus, you can share the same content across multiple platforms to save time.
Google Place Listing
If you haven’t claimed your free Google Place listing (also known as a Google Business listing), you want to get that set up as soon as possible. This will allow your church to show up in the search results when people search for local churches in their area.
It’s free to sign up. Simply fill out the form with information about your church, including your phone number, address, website, hours, contact information, and more.
Does your church have a website? If not, you need one. The majority of your new visitors are going to visit your website to learn more about your church, what you believe, your hours, the programs you offer, and more before they ever set foot in your door.
While you can create your own website very inexpensively by purchasing a domain name and signing up with a hosting company such as GoDaddy, this process can be far more complicated and time-consuming than you might think (especially if you aren’t techy or you want all the bells and whistles).
Instead, you may want to work with a company like The Church Co to purchase a built-for-you church website. They provide the skeleton; you simply fill in the details.
You can learn more about The Church Co here.
Text In Church: Text Messaging for Churches
In addition to your church website and social media channels, you’ll also want an effective way to get news and announcements out to your congregation–without relying on them to take the initiative to search for you.
Text In Church is an easy-to-use communication platform that allows you to communicate with your church members via text message.
You can learn more about Text In Church here.
Of course, not everyone in your church will want to sign up via text message or follow you on social media, so you want to have options. Email is typically the most effective way to communicate with your church members and guests.
Unlike social media, you own your email list. This is important because Facebook can (and does) shut pages down for no reason and with no warning. With email, however, you are able to communicate directly with those who want to stay up-to-date on your latest church news and announcements.
It’s important to note: You do not want to simply email your church using a free Gmail account. You need to sign up with an email service provider such as MailChimp or Constant Contact to ensure that you are following laws regarding mass emails and data privacy.
You can sign up for a MailChimp account here.
FrontDoor.Church: Email Opt-Ins and Auto-Responders
How do you get people onto your email list? While some of your church members will sign up just to stay up-to-date, one of the best ways to grow your email list is to offer a freebie (such as a PDF) in exchange for someone’s email address. Thankfully, you don’t have to create these resources on your own.
FrontDoor.Church offers a large library of done-for-you PDF resources on a wide variety of topics. Simply choose your opt-in, create a landing page using a customizable template, and choose from a variety of ready-made confirmation emails.
With just a little customization, you can easily set up an email sequence that automatically emails your new subscribers on auto-pilot while you do the 100 other things you need to get done each day.
Planning Center: Church Organizational Software
Planning Center is a popular church software that allows you to easily manage your church events, volunteer schedules, event registrations, childcare check-ins, and more–all in one place.
This robust software will help you stay organized and professional even as your church grows. It’s easy to use, and the pricing is adjustable, so you only pay for what you need.
Church Metrics: Data Tracking Software
Do you already know you need to track your church metrics, but the idea feels overwhelming, and you aren’t sure where to start? Church Metrics is a free church data tracking software that allows you to easily track your data, create reports, and see the bigger picture.
You can easily track your church attendance, giving, salvations, baptisms, volunteer data and more–all in one easy-to-use dashboard.
Tithe.ly: Online Giving Software
If you don’t already offer an easy-to-use online giving option, you need one. People don’t always carry cash or checks, and by not offering an automatic online option, you could be missing out on a sizable amount of tithes and offerings.
Tithe.ly is a popular online giving option that makes online donations easy, and it helps you easily track your church members’ giving so you can steward and report your income with integrity.
You can learn more about Tithe.ly here.
The Pastor’s Circle Facebook Group
While these are some of the resources we’ve found the most helpful, this is far from an exhaustive list. If you’d love additional personalized recommendations and advice from other pastors just like you, be sure to check out our Pastor’s Circle Facebook group.
Do you need to rush out and buy everything on this list? Not at all! However, it is worth considering if there are resources that would help you plan your sermons, steward your resources, or lead your church more efficiently. These tools will help you do just that.