Easter is a joy-filled, hopeful time in churches all around the world. It’s a celebration of all we live for–Christ crucified and risen again.
But in the practical expression of this holiday, pastors and ministry leaders can often end up feeling overwhelmed and stressed with the details and magnitude of the work. At Church Base, we’ve come up with five tips to help our community of pastors and leaders encounter peace instead of stress.
We hope you find these tips helpful:
- Find a time to rest and reflect the day before your services.
A lot of pastors plan intentional time to rest after their Easter services, but do you plan a time of rest before the weekend?
Whether you hold your Easter services on Saturday or Sunday, it’s important to walk into your weekend rested and focused. It can be hard to carve out time with all the details and extra work of the special celebration, but even the smallest intentional choice can have a big impact on your peace.
Here are a few of our favorite suggestions from our community of pastors:
- Take a walk outside with a family member, friend, or pet.
- Eat a delicious meal with people you love.
- Listen to worship music. If you’re musical yourself, dust off that guitar and spend some dedicated time in worship.
- Read through an old prayer journal to reflect on God’s goodness and faithfulness.
We can obsess over stress, so break that mentality with rest and reflection before you go into your weekend services and holiday plans.
- Start your day off right.
Easter Sunday usually begins bright and early for ministry leaders. And, like the women who visited the tomb that first Easter morning, you can also begin the day by approaching Jesus.
Even if it means waking up just a little earlier (which might be challenging for pastors with Sunrise Services), it’s worth it to start the day in personal prayer and Bible reading. Lay your stress down at the foot of the cross and pick up the peace we find in Jesus.
Remember, Jesus wants to walk with you through the day. Open your heart and mind to His presence first thing in the morning.
- Ask for help.
Sometimes, we’re only as strong as the team surrounding us.
We all need people in our lives who help and support the vision. The challenge for some of us, however, is in asking for help. We may want the support and assistance…but hesitate to make the ask. And without the request for help, our team, however good intentioned, may miss the fact that we need extra support.
Here are some factors that keep pastors from asking for help:
- Not wanting to burden the people we’ve been called to serve.
- Not wanting to seem incapable or to fall short.
- Believing no one can accomplish a task as well as we can.
- Past disappointment or rejection that keeps us wary.
Each of these reasons presents a real stress-inducing challenge to consider. But we encourage you to open your heart to help this Easter. Find your support crew and ask for help so you can accomplish bigger things than you could ever do alone.
- Have a clear path for newcomers.
One of the biggest opportunities of Easter is the chance to meet new guests and visitors. This holiday weekend inspires many to attend a church service who normally wouldn’t. It’s an exciting way to make connections with people in your community and beyond.
If you’re feeling stressed about welcoming your newcomers, begin by considering what your big goals are when it comes to guests. Do you hope to gather contact information? Invite newcomers to a gathering? Encourage guests to sign up for a small group? Once you decide your big goal(s), you can communicate a clear path for newcomers.
One helpful tool on this path is a customized church app, which allows you to gather contact information in a simple, easy process. With your church app, you can continue to build a relationship with your guests through notifications, blog articles, event registrations, and more.
Want to build a church app for free? Start here!
- Wait to review.
Finally, decrease the stress you (and your staff) feel by waiting to do your post-service review. Likely, every person from the senior pastor to the children’s volunteer is exhilarated from the Easter service, but they might also need a break to recover from the effort.
No matter how much you want to dig into what went well…and what needs improvement…make sure everyone on your team is in a good place mentally, emotionally, and spiritually before diving into that process. You want the review process to be a productive and effective step for growth and reflection. Set it up to succeed by waiting for the right moment.
With these 5 Pastor Tips for a Stress-Less Easter, we hope and pray you can discover new depths of joy and peace this Easter weekend.
At Church Base, we’re rooting for the pastors, ministry leaders, and volunteers who make church a living reality. We’re here to support you as you do great work in your community. Read more about our mission today.
By the Church Base Team ┃Read time: 4 minutes
With all the communication tools available to ministries, it’s hard to know which to choose, when to use it, and how to maximize its effect. While we think every communication tool (website, app, email, push notifications, etc.) has a place in a church’s communication strategy, we want to focus this blog on why your church needs a text blast service.
An SMS service, or text blast, can be a helpful resource for building community in your church or ministry. Research shows that:
- 98% of people open text messages.
- 80% of people in North America use text messaging.
- Texting is the favorite method of communicating for teens, followed up by in-person, social media, and video chatting.
- Due to Covid, 61% of people say they’ve increased the amount of time they are texting.
In this blog, we’ll show you why you should have a text blast or SMS service, and how to use it for maximum effectiveness. With a text blast service, you can:
1. Greet newcomers
Visiting a new church can be a daunting process. The weekend service ends, and your newcomer files out into the foyer, wondering: “What’s next?” Should they sign up for a group, submit a prayer request, or attend an event?
With an automated text blast, you can help reduce first-time visitor nervousness. After a newcomer fills out their contact form (either a paper card or through your church website/app), you can offer a warm welcome and some suggested “Next Steps.”
While many churches host an in-person newcomer meet-and-greet (which is wonderful!), some visitors may choose to slip out at the end of service, missing the chance to connect. With a text blast service, you can ensure they don’t feel overlooked or forgotten.
2. Announce items and upcoming events
The weekend service is a lively hub of conversations, worship, connections, sermon, and more! So, it’s no surprise that some important announcements can be forgotten or overlooked.
With a text blast service, you can find a more opportune time in the week to send out an announcement. By texting a midweek announcement, you know that it won’t get lost in the weekend shuffle.
3. Send out encouragements
Churchgoers leave the weekend service filled with hope, peace, and love. But come midweek, a little encouragement may be just what they need. Whether it’s a prayer, a Bible verse, or a thought from your morning devotional, use a text blast to share an encouragement that will help strengthen and support your congregants. They will appreciate your continued care throughout the week.
4. Follow up the sermon
Did your weekend sermon have a final reflection point? Did you call people to a specific task or challenge? Whatever the final point of your sermon, the impact of your message doesn’t have to end there. A text blast during the week can remind congregants to apply the weekend message throughout their workweek. The Good News is something we live out every day, and a helpful text can keep that in the forefront of believers’ minds and hearts.
5. Offer volunteer opportunities
Churches thrive through the unique gifts and skills that volunteers bring to their church community. But connecting the right volunteers to the right opportunities can be a challenge for many pastors.
A text blast can alert church members to each volunteer opportunity, so they never miss the chance to find the perfect fit for their passions. You never know who has always wanted to be a weekend camera operator, build sets for VBS, or cook meals for the elderly. Sending out a text is a useful way to make sure everyone hears about every role and need.
6. Remind your online audience that service is beginning
With our changing times, more people have discovered church through online services. You can livestream now on your website, app, or on social media, opening up an entirely new audience.
But for many viewers, time can slip away unnoticed, especially on the weekends. A text blast fifteen minutes before the weekend service begins can gently remind your online audience to prepare for worship. They can wrap up whatever their doing and get online in time for the opening song.
Get a FREE text blast service
With all the great reasons to use a text blast service, the next question is: what’s the easiest/most affordable way to set up a text blast for our church or ministry?
Church Base offers a FREE one-year trial of our entire software platform…including an SMS/text blast service! You can start sending text blasts today for free (standard messaging rates apply).
Want to get started with your free text blast service?
By the Church Base Team ┃Read time: 5:30 minutes
Our weekend church gatherings are a place of peace, hope, and joy. But come Monday morning, we need to head back out into the world: our workplaces, neighborhoods, schools, and communities.
As you head into this week (or read this article at any point in the week), pick a few of these verses to hold onto. Consider memorizing one or two, or perhaps writing them somewhere you can see them frequently. Let these Bible verses about strength and reflections give you new life each day:
“Be strong and courageous; do not be frightened and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”
Joshua was called to a big destiny—to lead God’s people into the promised land. Talk about pressure! Yet, again and again, God encourages Joshua to be “strong and courageous.”
Are you feeling overwhelmed by a big calling or task? Has God put something on your heart that feels nearly impossible? Allow this Bible verse about strength to encourage you: be strong and courageous today! God is with you every step of the way.
And Joshua? God was indeed with Joshua, leading him to victory after victory.
“The Lord is my light and my salvation—whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life—of whom shall I be afraid?”
Do you ever feel anxious? Are there certain people who just set you on edge? Do you dread every time you have to see them?
In this Bible verse about strength, King David reminds us that we already have light and salvation in the Lord. Nothing anyone does can take that away from us. So, whenever you feel fear creeping in around certain people, just ask yourself, “Whom shall I fear? Of whom shall I be afraid?” Then, rest in the stronghold of God’s presence.
“He gives strength to the weary
and increases the power of the weak.
Even youths grow tired and weary,
and young men stumble and fall;
but those who hope in the Lord
will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
they will run and not grow weary,
they will walk and not be faint.”
Even the strongest among us have days when we feel weak. We grow tired, weary, and can even stumble and fall. But the good news is that our strength comes from our hope in the Lord, not just our muscles. Our bodily limitations mean nothing to the One who can eternally renew our strength. This Bible verse about strength reminds us to hope this week…and then soar!
“Surely God is my salvation; I will trust and not be afraid. The Lord, the Lord, is my strength and my song; he has become my salvation.”
Though this Bible verse about strength was written about 600-700 years before the birth of Jesus, it was a prophecy about the salvation Jesus would bring. After years of hardship, the people of God would declare that God was their salvation—their strength and song.
Have you felt like you’re in a season of hardship where it’s hard to trust? Salvation is available for you through Jesus.
“She is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come.”
When we put on the strength of God, we can face the future with confidence. Just as we pick our work clothes every morning, we need to purposefully choose to clothe ourselves in God’s strength and dignity. As you prepare for your next workday, give some thought to how you dress yourself in the strength of the Lord.
“Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.”
This Bible verse about strength came from a challenging time of transition and change. Moses was speaking to the people of God, knowing that his death was near. He wanted to encourage the Israelites with hope for the future, even though they would be losing him. He reminded them that though humans come and go, God would never leave nor forsake them.
Are you going through a hard time of transition? Maybe the ground beneath your feet feels shaky and uncertain, and you’re wondering who you can count on. We can be strong and courageous, even in the midst of change, because God never changes. We can trust the Lord to never leave us nor forsake us. Your foundation is steady today.
2 Corinthians 12:10
“That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”
How many of us can say that we “delight” in our weaknesses? I imagine, not many. Yet the Apostle Paul writes that he delights not just in weakness, but in all the bad things that can accompany perceived weakness: insults, hardships, persecutions, difficulties.
Many of us fear our weakness because we worry it makes us vulnerable—but it’s in our weakness that God can do a mighty work. As we read Bible verses about strength, let’s remember that our weaknesses are not vulnerabilities, but opportunities for God’s strength to shine through.
2 Timothy 1:7
“For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline.”
This Bible verse about strength comes from a letter written by the Apostle Paul to his pastoral protegee, Timothy. The early Church was suffering persecution throughout the entire region. Paul invited Timothy to share in the persecution of the Church, setting aside any fear. He reminds Timothy (and us) that the Spirit of God will be our true source of power, love, and self-discipline.
1 Corinthians 16:13
“Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be courageous; be strong.”
In this passage, the Apostle Paul gave some final advice to the Corinthian church at the end of his letter. As we go about our week, we must remember to “be on our guard,” being vigilant and aware of what’s going on around us. We must “stand firm in the faith,” being guided by Truth and God’s presence. We must “be courageous,” setting aside fear. And we must “be strong,” relying on God for enduring power and perseverance.
God is the source of all our strength, preparing us for the week to come. Rely on the Lord and see new power flow into your life!
For more ongoing encouragement, we invite you to subscribe to the Church Base blog.
By the Church Base Team ┃Read time: 3.5 minutes
Whether it’s a building project, a youth camp, or a mission trip—churches leaders and volunteers are always brainstorming for great fundraisers. The goal is to raise money, while also building community and teamwork.
We’ve created this ultimate list of fundraising ideas for your church to inspire you and give you plenty of ideas:
- Auction: You have a lot of options for an auction. You can offer a live auction, a silent auction, a cake auction, or an online auction (usually through a dedicated Facebook group). Partner with local businesses to gather goods to auction, or local artists for art to auction (tax-deductible for them!).
- Battle of the Bands/Benefit concert: Recruit and highlight local talent for a good cause.
- BINGO night: A little competition can put the “fun” in fundraiser.
- Birthday pledge: Set up a way for people to donate to your cause for their birthday (on Facebook, online, or in-person).
- Candy grams/singing grams: Spread the love around your community with a fundraiser that brings smiles to all.
- Car wash: No ultimate list of fundraising ideas for your church would be complete without a car wash. This is a great option to get the whole family to work together.
- Church cookbook: Gather your congregation’s best family recipes and compile them in a beautiful cookbook. You can sell these in your church foyer or online.
- Fill-it-up thermometer: Visuals are always helpful in fundraising.
- Food sale: This could be baked goods, tamales, hot dogs, nachos, etc. Get creative!
- Garage sale: Consider combining several families’ garage sales to host one large community sale.
- Informational lunch/dinner banquet: Never underestimate the power of a catered meal, an informative PowerPoint, and a motivational speaker.
- Lawn Gnomes and Pink Flamingos: If you’ve got a lot of mischievous youth in your congregation (not too mischievous, of course), this unique fundraising idea can be a great way to let them get creative and have some fun. The basic idea is that people pay to have the lawns of their friends and relatives outrageously decorated with gnomes, flamingos, and other gaudy lawn ornaments. Then, have the youth come by later to remove the ornaments for reuse.
- Movie night: Pick a family-friendly movie and advertise to the community. Set up a donation box for the viewing and charge for the concessions.
- Partner with local businesses: Write letters to local businesses to secure donations of supplies for a mission trip (medical supplies, children’s books, etc.), financial donations (tax-deductible), or donations of a certain percentage of profits to cause (e.g. 10% of sales at a local restaurant on a given evening).
- Service board: Set up a bulletin board (digital or at your church) where church members can post odd jobs and the price they would pay. Youth can select and sign up for the odd jobs they would like to do.
- Something-a-thon (walk, bowl, etc.): Make it as rigorous or as easy as you want—from the pro-athlete to the family with toddlers. You could even do a Grade-a-thon for youth, where they raise funds for their report card grades.
- Spa night: At your next Women’s Night Out or MOPS meet-up, have volunteers give manicures, pedicures, and five-minute massages for donations.
- Talent show: Encourage people to be creative while having a fun time!
- Whack-a-car: Get an old broken-down car and have students and adults pay to get a swing at the car with a sledgehammer or baseball bat. (Be sure to use protective gear.)
- Wrap crew: Offer gift wrapping services around the holidays.
- Youth auction for labor/babysitting: This is a great option for teens going to camp or mission trips (assuming the parents are on board).
We hope this ultimate list of fundraising ideas for your church inspires a fun and successful fundraiser. The next step: set up digital giving! Studies show that 49% of all church giving transactions are made with a card. Set up your fundraiser to succeed with a secure online option.
When it comes to collecting and organizing your fundraising dollars, make sure your system can handle the work. With Church Base, you can collect and designate funds through your website, church app, and giving kiosk. Just set up a Giving Campaign in the Contributions Module to organize your next fundraiser.
Right now, you can use the entire Church Base software suite for an entire year…for free. (This includes digital giving!) Get Started today by creating an account.
By the Church Base Team ┃Read time: 4.5 minutes
With a new year comes New Year’s resolutions. The people in our lives (perhaps even us) list goals and dreams we hope to accomplish in the coming 365 days.
For many people in a faith community, this often includes a recommitment to discipleship, prayer, and Bible reading. Whether it’s to read the Bible in a year, or read for 20 minutes a day, ministry leaders can make a significant difference in the success of their congregants’ Bible reading goals.
So how can you, as a ministry leader, encourage and support your congregants in these resolutions?
Here are just a few ways:
- Create a survey to get a feel for interest.
With your Church Base account, you can create a form through the Community Module to gauge interest. Set up surveys, polls, multiple-choice options, and more! Customize it to fit your congregation.
Here are some ideas for Bible reading plan options:
- Old/New Testament Bible Reading Plan
- Chronological Bible Reading Plan
- Historical Bible Reading Plan
- Read the Gospels in 40 Days Plan
- Book of Common Prayer
- Verse of the Day Bible Reading Plan
- J. Vernon McGee’s Bible Reading Plan
Once you’ve created your form, you can share it right to your website or app, or embed it somewhere else. You’ll be emailed directly when you get responses to your form. You can use this information for your next step.
Additionally, having your church members select a Bible reading plan will boost their chance of follow-through. Did you know that we’re 42% more likely to accomplish a goal if we write it down? Just the action of filling out the form could lead to more successful Bible reading plan participation.
- Post the reading plan on your app and website.
By this point, you should have a pretty good idea of what interests your congregants. You can select one option, a few options, or all the options to promote throughout the year.
The first step is posting the Bible reading plan somewhere accessible to your congregants in their daily lives. They live their life on-the-run, so it’s helpful to have their preferred reading plan where they can easily find it.
We recommend you post it on your website (free with Church Base) and your branded church app (also free with Church Base). The Content Module makes it quick and efficient to publish your Bible reading plans—just click one button and the content is everywhere at once.
- Send daily/weekly encouragement texts and notifications.
As we get distracted and busy, we often need reminders to continue on the path. That’s where you come in.
Thanks to Church Base’s SMS texting option, you can send out daily, weekly, or occasional reminders to your congregants—spurring them on in their discipleship. Whether it’s an encouragement or a snippet of the daily reading, you can send a heartfelt thought to your church members right where they’re at.
But more than that, Church Base also offers push notifications through the app. Once you’ve created your free church app, and encouraged church members to download it, you can send out reminders and encouragement through your app. This is a nice option if you hope to boost your app engagement.
Through SMS and push notifications, you can provide the structure and encouragement the people in your congregation most likely need in their Bible reading plan.
- Use group chats for small group participation.
Who says Bible reading needs to be a solo activity?
Through group chats (available through your church app), each small group leader can facilitate conversations within their group. People can send their favorite verse from the daily reading, organize a prayer or reflection on the Bible passage, or plan to meet up to read the Bible together.
Group participation also adds a level of accountability. Studies show that making a decision to pursue a goal will have a success rate of 10-25%. Making a plan increases that rate to 50%. But when we tell someone else about our goal, we have a 65% chance of meeting that goal.
Accountability is an invaluable part of a Bible reading plan, and with Church Base, you have the tools to provide it.
Begin your Bible reading plan campaign today!
Around 58% of Christians wish they read the Bible more. We encourage you to take advantage of this inspiring time to dig more deeply into discipleship. Your congregation will appreciate the effort you put into supporting and encouraging them in their Bible reading plan.
Get Started with Church Base to boost Bible reading plan success in your church.
By the Church Base Team ┃Read time: 4 minutes
Churches and ministries are often called to accomplish big things…all on a limited donation-based budget. As a ministry leader, you know the importance of budgeting and saving money so you can make the most of every opportunity.
Fortunately, there are small steps you can take to save your church money in 2022. We’ve compiled five ideas that you can implement today:
1. Show your volunteers appreciation
We couldn’t talk about ways to save your church money without mentioning volunteers. They are often the lifeforce of a ministry, dedicating skills, time, and energy for free. They do this out of their generosity of spirit and their call from God. One way to make sure they continue to offer these gifts is to go out of your way to show appreciation.
A $5 Starbucks gift card, a public acknowledgment, a home-cooked dinner–these efforts don’t have to cost much, but they are definitely an investment in the ongoing mission of your church. If you want to maintain, and build, your ongoing partnership with volunteers (saving your church money), look for small ways to show appreciation.
2. Take advantage of free curriculum
It’s always exciting to pick up the latest curriculum from your favorite Bible study author, pastor, or teacher. But before you hit that “buy” button, canvass your small group leaders to make sure it aligns with their groups’ trajectories for the new year. Only buy what’s necessary…which might mean leaving a few favorites unpurchased for now.
But just because you’re limiting your curriculum budget doesn’t mean you need to go without. There are countless free resources on the internet, from free videos to free small group guides. Church Base has compiled many of these for you already. Save your church money by making the most of free curriculum in 2022.
3. Cut down on electricity costs
It can take a lot of power to run a church building…which means a big monthly utility bill. Computers, TVs, soundboards, and lights–it can all add up quickly. But you can save your church money by creatively looking for ways to cut down on electrical costs.
Here are just a few ideas to reduce your electricity bill in 2022:
- Install motion sensor lights so only the rooms being used will draw power.
- Switch all lights to LED lights. This can be an investment up front but will save your church money down the road.
- Use automatic thermostats so your heating and cooling never run contrary to your budget.
- Unplug devices not being used during the week. Is the TV in the kid’s classroom staying plugged in all week? It could be drawing power even when it’s turned off. So, train your volunteers and staff to unplug any device that isn’t currently being used.
As you steward your resources and church building well, each little adjustment can make a big difference down the road. (Ready to go “green”? Read more from Lifeway.)
4. Utilize social media
We know that social media can be a powerful communication tool. But it can also save your church money as you get the Good News out there.
For example, do you send out postcards to remind volunteers or greet newcomers? Instead, send a direct message to cut down on postage. Likewise, sharing a digital flyer for an upcoming event can avoid expensive printing costs. And asking church members to post about a community opportunity can eliminate the cost of advertising in the local newspaper.
When it comes to the price of communication, always be asking: “Is there a way I can achieve this same effect for free on social media?” If so, start there to see if you can save your church money in the coming year.
5. Get a free one-year trial with Church Base.
Church software can quickly inflate a ministry’s budget. Once you add up your website, app, ChMS, digital giving software, and storage solutions, you could be looking at a big price tag.
At Church Base, we want to help save your church money. That’s why we’ve made our entire software suite FREE for an entire year.
As soon as you register for your free account, you get full access to:
- A free branded website and app builder so you can expand your reach in your community and connect with your church members anytime, anywhere.
- Free church management software (ChMS) so you can coordinate people and events for greater impact.
- A free digital giving suite so your church members can give when it’s convenient for them.
- Free Unlimited media storage so you can organize and publish your sermons, videos, podcasts, and more across a spectrum of platforms.