Technology is advancing at such a fast pace. It seems like once a tool is introduced to the market, it is out of date very quickly. With SaaS (Software as a service) models being so prevalent in today’s technology environment, updates are frequent. Competition breeds innovation and brings prices down. Software platforms and programs are more affordable than they’ve ever been. 

So how can churches use technology to develop leaders?  

  1. Implement a Learning Management System (LMS). Online learning has been around for almost two decades. During the dot com boom in the late nineties and early 2000’s, online learning companies sprouted up all over the country. I was part of one of those dot com’s. It was a fun ride while it lasted. Many of the smaller companies were acquired by larger companies for their customers. LMS’ in the church world were late to the game, but they’re here now, and there are some really good ones on the market. Online learning allows churches to develop leaders within Her members, equipping them with the right tools they need to become strong leaders and make disciples. 
  2. Make sure you focus on what matters to your church. Denominations are all different. Baptists have different doctrinal beliefs than Catholics do. When developing leaders within your church body, ensure you focus on what matters to you, your doctrine and your theology. Leaders need to know what you believe and why. Online resources in learning management systems allow you to deliver relevant content to your body of believers. In fact, any good LMS will allow you to upload your own content, allowing you to teach exactly what you want to the leaders you are developing.
  3. Developing leaders is a marathon, not a sprint. Some people are natural born leaders, but many are not. Even with natural born leaders, development and continual learning must be a priority. John Rooney said “the quickest way to become and old dog is to stop learning new tricks.” I’m a firm believer in continual education. It is unrealistic to expect leaders to continue to develop without further education. The best leaders I know are learners. They read all of the time. They learn from other leaders. They never cease to stop developing themselves. They have a firm understanding that learning is a process, not a one-time event that makes them a leader. 

How often do you send emails to your church members? Once a week? Once a month? Rarely ever? If you’re anything like the typical church across the United States, the answer is probably very seldom. But why? Email is another form of communication that should be used frequently in your ministry. It’s not difficult to send an email out on a regular basis. In fact, many churches still send out weekly or monthly newsletters via USPS to their members and recent visitors. There is a cost in that, and it’s always higher than sending emails. 

Here are four reasons why I love email for church communication:

  1. Open rates are high. Open rates for emails from religious institutions are the highest of any category that is tracked. According to Constant Contact, a company that serves many churches for email marketing, 40.24% of emails from churches are opened. Why? Your members trust the content that is coming from your church. They want to know more about what is happening, what is planned for future events, and how they can be involved. Furthermore, opt-out rates are very low—only 0.22%, the lowest of any category Constant Contact tracks.
  2. Email keeps people engaged and reminded. My wife and I get emails a few days prior to our scheduled time to serve in the children’s ministry each Sunday. It’s a good reminder for me and allows me the opportunity to put it on my calendar. My small-group leader sends out an email every week to everyone in our group. He includes prayer requests, notes, and takeaways from the pastor’s sermon, areas and opportunities to serve, and much more. You may be surprised at how engaging these emails are and how conversation carries itself through the week to the following Sunday. 
  3. There are a few companies that allow churches to use their email service for free. Constant Contact and MailChimp are a couple of companies that I know. For example, MailChimp offers churches and nonprofits the ability to send 15,000 emails per month at no charge. Think about that for a second. If you’re a church with an average attendance of 200 each Sunday, you could send 75 emails each month, or two a day! I’m not suggesting that, by any means, but you get a sense for the enormity of what 15,000 emails a month means. 
  4. It’s cost effective. How many times have I used the word “free” in this post? Several. The days of sending out paper newsletters to your members should be long gone. Some older folks in your church may still value this form of communication, and that’s okay. But many would prefer email. It’s quick for you and easy for them. Pew says 88% of people in the US access their email on their smart phone, and Venture Beat says 65% of all email gets opened first on a mobile device. Does that open your eyes a bit? It sure does for me. 

So if you’re not communicating with your church congregation via email or you are at a minimal level, allow me to challenge you to explore the possibility. I think you’ll like the results, and I’m pretty certain your members will as well. Check out some of the services I mentioned in this post and give me your feedback if you’re already using these services. Tell me your positive and negative experiences. I’d love to hear them. 

We developed One Church Software to allow for quick communication through email and text messaging. We even created an email builder and a way to schedule messages far in advance. However, we realize some churches prefer using third parties, so we have integration partners for email as well. 

Author: Matt Morris