Creating Sustainable Digital Ownership

abandoned propertiesYou made your church a website, but nobody updates it. You created social media accounts, and they sit dormant. What can you do to get that lagging ministry invested in their digital properties? Build half the property yourself. Then work with ministry leaders to develop the other half. This strategy has many benefits. Help them create a digital property so there is a sense of ownership. Develop a schedule and ask your leadership to help keep everyone on track. Create a strong sense of digital ownership.

Investment

It is a simple concept. You care about what you earn, more than what you are just given. Your ministries will appreciate the properties they help create. Plus, it is a training opportunity. They will learn many new skills, such as:

  • Writing content for the web
  • Creating meaningful calls to action
  • Developing their brand on social media
  • Engaging audiences in digital ministry
  • Interpret basic analytics results

Time

It will take time to help ministry leaders learn. That of course is time you are not performing your usual duties. But once they are trained, you should be free to work in other areas. Be even more efficient to host a workshop for several leaders at once. The time you spend training will pay off with excited and empowered ministries.

Empathy

When you work together, you learn about each other. Digital ownership works both ways. Ministry leaders of course figure out how to create an effective online platform. In turn, you learn about their ministry and the challenges they face. Both sides will gain an appreciation for what the other does. The more understanding, the more effective a team your church will be.

Ideas

You most likely have been doing this whole church communications thing for a while. You might have taken programming classes, or attended technology conferences. But your ministry leaders are experts in their respective fields as well. They know what people ask about. Every day they see what members and visitors struggle with. That is valuable knowledge for creating better digital communities. Social media posts are far more effective when you know your audience’s problems.

Action Item

Start writing a course of action for your next website or social media overhaul. Bake the notion of digital ownership into it from the start. Determine what the communications team will build. Then see where your ministry leaders can pitch in to finish up. Work alongside each other to better understand each other’s obstacles. In the end you will have leaders interested in maintaining their digital ministries. Plus you will have more time to start those new projects. Get going and build half a digital ministry!

This article was inspired by the 99% Invisible podcast “Half a House

This photo courtesy of Meve TA

Taking Holiday Traditions from Analog to Digital

analog-to-digital-traditionsMany churches have traditions that have been passed down through the years. Some are a few years old, and others go back centuries. Yet most are still in our analog world. How can you move them to the digital space? This article is coming out the week after Easter. With this Holy Week fresh in our minds, we can prepare content for next year. I hope you see some great ideas here and take the coming year to put them in motion.
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How A Lighthouse can Help Your Ministries

lighthouseStarting a social media for your entire church may feel daunting. Even making a slight change to your current social media strategy feels overwhelming. Use the concept of a lighthouse to ease those fears. A lighthouse is a partner for developing or enhancing a product. The product we are discussing here are your digital ministries. This article will further define lighthouses, as well as how to prepare for one.
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Other Uses for Online Church Services

online-churchOne of the latest shiny new gadgets for church communicators is online church services. Some churches are holding back because they do not want to go in that direction. Online church is a fantastic outreach tool. Yet you may want to just focus on your local community. You want to leave digital ministry to the mega churches. The need to reach the entire world with the Gospel is there. Yet your local congregation can also benefit from online church. Here is how.
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Why We Are Slow to Digital Ministry

digital-ministry-adoptionMany technology enthusiasts in the church complain that it has taken us too long to get on the web. We are accused of being reluctant adopters. Digital ministries are often behind the curve and viewed as outdated. On the outside, our slow pace makes us appear averse to change. Yet the hesitation to move into the virtual world was not without merit. Here is my take on why we were slow, and how we can overcome them.
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Your Church and Giving Tuesday

giving-tuesdayMany Christians are dismayed with the marketing onslaught of Black Friday and Cyber Monday. The commercialism of the Christmas season weighs heavily on many. A breath of fresh air has entered the fray called Giving Tuesday. This idea is pretty simple. In place of giving someone a gift they probably do not want, make a donation in their name. This article talks about how your church can participate in this new themed shopping day.
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CWS Podcast – Ep 80: Taking the Sunday out of Sunday School

cws-podcast-logoHow does your church website engage the youngest members of your church? It does not. It engages the parents of those members. So how do you reach them? With regular contact and reminders about the lesson that was started during Sunday School and how it should continue the rest of the week. Below are a few ways your church can incorporate Sunday school into everyday life.
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CWS Podcast – Ep 79: Repurposing Your Content For Bigger Impacts

cws-podcast-logoOne problem most churches face is consistent content production. Regular updates tell users you are an active congregation, regardless of your size. It also gives search engines new pages to index. Plus, active pages rank higher in search results. But who has the time to create regular updates? You do. In this podcast I will tell you where you can easily repurpose content for multiple channels of communication.
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Using Digital Tools to Celebrate Anniversaries

anniversariesAnniversaries matter. They serve as a reminder of milestones in our lives. From birthdays to wedding anniversaries, we celebrate stages in our life. Your church needs to celebrate faith journey milestones with your members. This is easier than it sounds, especially with digital tools and social media.
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CWS Podcast – Ep 76: Donations on your Church Website: Tools and Services

cws-podcast-logoReady to add online donations to your website and social media campaigns? You may have wanted to start on this step of picking a credit card processor. Yet this article is to be more of a reminder that you need to do some work in parallel. While your technical and financial teams sort out what makes sense, your writers and communications team has some work. Dig into the first three episodes of the series. If you are a one person team? Well I have no consolation prize or special advice. Get listening and get to work!
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Make Technology Personal in your Church

personal-touchMany people dislike the introduction of technology into their church. They may feel that it removes that comfortable, personal touch. Yet I contest there are ways to make a process digital, but still personable. Show how using technology does not mean only working with a machine. By using trained church members, you can help digital interactions. Show how to extend the church experience throughout the week with social media.
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Breaking Down Silos: Analog Experiences

remove-silos-experiencesWhen you break down silos, information and ideas flow from one thing to the next. Experiences do not always start or end with your church website. Many of you have called for a product or service, only to get transferred from one person to another. Every time you needed to re-explain your situation. It is obvious that the company you are dealing with thought about seamless experiences. This article will provide tools and advice on how to avoid these situations at your church.
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