On Thursday, March 19, I was a part of Auxano's Better Future webinar, where I started walking through the central tool that's at the heart of the Innovating Discipleship book. (You can get the FREE[...]
Now more than ever, church leaders need practical tools to make them more effective in doing ministry. Especially in a time where we are being forced to abandon previous assumptions and develop new strategies, done-for-you tools can save countless hours for church staff.
One quick warning: I am not recommending that you throw a menu of resources at your congregation. Give them a map, not a menu. Each of the links here can either help you deliver a resource in a new way or is a resource you can immediately curate into your weekly—or now daily—resource offering.
Here are some of the best free tools I’ve found. Start using them today!
One of my client churches that masters the art of vision is led by senior pastor Ryan Rush. Years ago they articulated a beyond-the-horizon vision of “Transforming 10,000 Homes” which focused on providing tools for parents to disciple their children around the table. The team immediately pivoted to provide these tools for other churches during the COVID-19 crisis. It has articles, videos, downloads, and more … all designed to give families the tools they need to make their marriages and homes stronger. You can see a daily rhythm they've mapped out here. There are family devotionals that include videos, marriage enrichment exercises with accompanying downloads, and other stuff I haven’t even found yet.
Jay Kranda is friend and overall stellar dude. He happens to be the Online Pastor for Saddleback Church in California where Rick Warren is the pastor. On his personal website, he has built an archive of tools for church leaders who want to do online ministry well. He’s got a course if you’re just starting with online church as well as a video course about online small groups (along with great downloadable resources and links).
If you’ll allow me to brag on our team for a moment, we’re offering a phenomenal free bundle of online courses through Friday, March 27. These are the best courses I know of for equipping people to know and name their special calling from God. This is the perfect time to move from crisis communication to calling investment. Empower people to use this season of uncertainty to find personal clarity for what God has for them in the future.
Life Church has been giving away free resources to churches for YEARS. Lead Pastor Craig Groeschel has led the way in serving the church by offering practical tools that churches can put into practice every week in every ministry area. They’ve pulled together a list of their top resources for churches facing the uncertainty of the coronavirus. These include resources for connecting with kids and students online, doing worship online, and a whole lot more.
This is another resource that Rick Warren and Saddleback Church have been a huge part of. Partnering with Ed Stetzer of the Billy Graham Center at Wheaton College, they have created a website with articles and downloads that will challenge you and equip you to do ministry differently.
The importance of online giving has never been greater. Generosity by LifeWay, led by friend and former colleague, Todd McMichen, offers a great online giving platform as well as resources to strengthen the generosity culture in your church. What if your church could actually GROW in generosity during this season? Keep in mind that most giving platforms are run by for-profit, non-Christian companies. This one happens designed by church leaders for the church and is based in a non-profit structure.
Ministry Grid is a powerful training tool for churches to use to invest in leaders and volunteers. Because of the COVID-19 crisis, they are offering 5 free training modules for pastors specifically, with practical insights for how to do church during this unique time.
My friend Mike Sharrow, who leads the C12 group, is one of the most intelligent and connected business leaders I know. He and his team have put together a list of resources for business leaders trying to navigate the current disruption in our society. This is an opportunity for you as a pastor to connect with the business leaders in your church, providing some game-changing resources. I recommend you signing up for weekly updates (at the bottom of the page linked above) for your own growth as a pastor and then pushing out these links to your business leaders.
This isn’t a done-for-you resource, but I’ve found it to be one of the most helpful perspectives I’ve seen. It will challenge you to view our current and future reality through 3 lenses and develop practical strategies for each. This article articulates the unsettledness we all are feeling while offering a perspective that can guide you as you lead your church toward a better future in uncertain times.