Hello from New York! I’m here on business this week but have had a few days to explore the city and I’ve had a blast! Follow me on Instagram to see the adventure! Don’t forget to check out my stories too. By now they’re probably gone, but I tend to update those pretty regularly.
Since my last post on 15 Great Ministry Tools You Should Try, I’ve been networking with a lot of ministry professionals and have discovered a few new tools, apps and websites that can really help you take back control of your time!
Here are 5 more great ministry tools you should try in no particular order…
Asana is a task-scheduling tool that turns Apple reminders into an obsolete waste of valuable iPhone space. Much like Evernote, it can sync over all of your devices (both iOS and Android, Mac and PC) and allows you to keep all those flaming knives you’re juggling in once place.
Asana works with teams too and the free version is pretty stupid powerful. If your church staff needs a hub for assigning tasks, chatting about those tasks, and sharing files about those tasks within the actual task, this is the app for you. Or you could keep misplacing those post it note to do lists, whatever.
GroupMe or Remind Messaging App
These are on both iOS and Android and are free. There are a few difference between the two, but basically you install the app, get your group to install the app, set up your group, and you have a separate place for those annoying group messages!
Remind is actually an app used by many school teachers now to communicate with the parents of just their class. The major benefit of Remind is that it can send messages to email as well as SMS texts. GroupMe only does SMS texts. However, for ministry, mass communication with a segmented group of your church is valuable and is a WAY better way to do announcements than a mention from the pulpit.
Adobe Spark App
This app is on all devices but not desktop or laptop, as it is an app designed for creating social media posts. Think message quotes, old dead guy quotes, and Bible verses. Not grumpy cat memes though. It also doesn’t do baby kid with fist or smug Willy Wonka.
Spark has lots of great pre-made posts, motion transitions for text and graphics, and the ability to export in several formats. These posts look really great and can help your posts stand out in the crowd of noise on any given timeline. We all know your biggest engagement online is going to concern a video of a dog misunderstanding human behavior, but let’s give second place a run for it!
Instagram Stories App Enhancement
Ok, if you haven’t heard that Instagram straight up stole Snapchat’s best feature, where ya been?! Since they appear to be getting away with it, we stand to benefit. Your Insta feed still works like it always has (kinda), however the new feature, “stories,” allows you to post short :20 video clips or pictures that only stay up on your story for 24 hours.
Why the heck would I care about such a useless feature, you ask? Because it’s anything but useless! Content on your story feed is in the moment, raw, and exclusive. Last I checked, those were things that the cool kids were into. Your church could greatly benefit from Instagram stories by letting your people see the behind the scenes of your church, testimony videos and interviews, or letting your pastor share a mid-day Devotional thought. Check out Steve Fogg’s blog on how to use it in the church for a lot of great ideas.
I would go into the same stuff for Facebook Live and it’s potential along those same lines, but that’s a subject that deserves it’s own blog post.
Everyone has their favorite social media scheduling tool. These two are my favorites. I actually favor Buffer over Hootsuite, but that’s me and my bias is based on what I need the programs to do. Let me explain.
If you need a program that you can schedule lots of social media posts ahead of time over several different platforms, nothing beats Buffer. The free plan only allows for one social profile, but the next level up is only $10/month and while it isn’t unlimited, it sure feels like it! Buffer also won’t give you a lot of analytics, but it is definitely the easiest interface to work with the broadest range of platforms.
Hootsuite’s free plan, however, gives you 3 profiles/platforms. While you sacrifice a little bit on the interface, you gain quite a bit in the free analytics. You can search demographics for specific Twitter hashtags as well as your audience. It also allows you to see your social feeds in almost real time, so you can actually interact with your followers from Hootsuite. The $10 plan gives you more profiles and a few more analytics, but not much else.
If you need free, go with Hootsuite, but if you can pay $10, go with Buffer (or both, maybe your church is rich?). Again, it really depends on what you need most. Do you need analytics and the ability to interact from all your platforms in one place? Hootsuite may be your jam. But if you need to schedule a ton of stuff to post while you’re in yet another meeting, Buffer may be your theme song.
One last thing about tools:
Whatever tools you use, don’t forget that if you don’t have a strategy in place for how to use them, you’ll just be paying to be as equally confusing as you were before! Maybe I can help?
Use the contact page if you would like to talk about starting a coaching relationship with me. Let’s get on the phone and see if I can help you!