Author Archive for Allan Buckingham

Church And Technology.ca’s good reads, week 20 2014

Each week Church And Technology.ca shares some of the worthwhile reading we found on the web that you might be interested in.

Church And Technology.ca’s list of interesting articles from the last week:

Anybody Can Do Facebook, But Here are Five Tips You Need to Know – Christian Media Magazine
Even if we don’t use it, we’re all at least a bit familiar with Facebook and it’s ubiquity in the digital space. There have been lots of changes recently though and it’s important to keep at least somewhat abreast of what’s going on whether you use Facebook or not. One great way to keep up is to read current articles on Facebook best practices like this one. They usually take into account the current situation so you’re basing your decisions on what’s going on right now. As an example, there’s lots of discussion right now about how effective or not Facebook Pages are for ministry, especially if you don’t have a budget to pay to promote posts. This article is great as there’s a lot in here.

Just a website? Where’s the rest of your digital presence? – Dean Sprung, LinkedIn Influencer
A good overview of the different digital options your church or church organization can use. He calls them essentials, which is over kill, but they are good things to think about. Do you have to have more than just a website, no. But is it a good idea if you can manage it, for sure.

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Church And Technology.ca’s good reads, week 19 2014

Each week Church And Technology.ca shares some of the worthwhile reading we found on the web that you might be interested in.

Church And Technology.ca’s list of interesting articles from the last week:

Creating a Hashtag for Your Event – KristaNeher.com
A confession, I love live Tweeting from events. To me it’s one of the greatest things about social media; anyone can share what’s happening at any event with any/everyone. I also love to get the skinny on what’s happening at events I would love to attend, but can’t. The best way to follow an event is to follow the hashtag(s) that are being used for it. If there’s not an official hashtag this becomes a bit more difficult and I’m never sure I’m getting everything. If you want to help people at your event (and those that wish they could be there) connect, make sure you have an official hashtag. And don’t forget to promote it.

Connecting Your Church’s Digital Presence to Ministry Effectiveness – Church Tech Today
It’s common adage that you and your church “need to be online”. How do you know if it’s worth your effort however? This is where analytics comes in. Here’s a quick overview of some of the things you should be paying attention to to measure how it’s going in your online ministry.

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Church And Technology.ca’s good reads, week 16 2014

Each week Church And Technology.ca shares some of the worthwhile reading we found on the web that you might be interested in.

Church And Technology.ca’s list of interesting articles from the last week:

Four Things I Wish I’d Known About Managing Facebook Pages – Christian Media Magazine
If you manage a church Facebook Page, these are important things to know. You might be aware of them already, they’re pretty basic: pictures, all day long, importance of Facebook insights. It also includes my favourite, ‘Your Posts Might Not Be Seen’. The truth about Facebook today is that sometimes no one will see your post. It’s not your fault, that’s how Facebook does things now, but if you don’t know that, it can feel pretty disheartening.

Just a website? Where’s the rest of your digital presence? – LinkedIn
I know it can be overwhelming thinking of everything you “have to be” doing online. It’s important not to ignore posts like this though just because you don’t feel you have the time to do anything else. I find sometimes reading about what I “have to” do reminds me of the essentials and lets me stop doing something that’s not really necessary. On the other hand, it can also give me ideas of what else I could be doing that I might enjoy more. If there are two “have to do” things and I only have time for one, I might as well pick the one I enjoy.

Announcement:
If you’d like to learn more about Church Social Media use, join me and other church social media professionals at one of the upcoming Going Digital for His Kingdom conferences. You’ll get to learn from some of the best minds out there on how to improve your ministry using Social Media.Going Digital for God's Kingdom

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How To Get A Basic Church Sound System for $300

$300 Church Sound SystemDoing things on a budget is always about weighing needs versus wants. When it comes to a church sound system my want is always to get the best system I can. My need is to get something. Something is better then nothing, okay not always, but often. If all you’ve got is $300 than you need to find something in that price range, which you can. The Pyle-Pro Pwma1090ui 800-Watt Wireless Rechargeable Portable Pa Systemavailable from Amazon fits the bill. It also comes with a handheld and a lavalier microphone. I picked Amazon because they’ll ship anywhere ensuring you can get this, plus it’s an online shopping portal most people are familiar with. (Note: If you purchase using this link I will likely get a commission from Amazon, your price isn’t any higher though, don’t worry.)

Is this a great sound system? Not really. Is it totally acceptable for a church of around 50 people? Yep. You can even get a Speaker Standfor it for another $35 or so which will help the people at the back hear better, although it makes adjusting the sound a little trickier since it’s up high.

This is a simple to use All-In-One system with separate volume knobs for each input and no overall master volume. If you read the reviews on Amazon you’ll learn that the input for MP3 players or other devices with a $300 Church Sound System - Controles3.5mm (headphone size) jack is pretty quiet, but you can use other ones (audio or guitar) with a separate cable just fine. The wireless mics are nothing to write home about, but work. You need to hold the handheld one close to your mouth for it to pick up, but it does work.

You can also use this as an outdoor church sound system, or in a place without power as it has a build in battery. If you’re going to use it plugged in however, make sure it’s fully charged before your service starts as charging interferes with the sound quality.

Got More Than $300 for A Church Sound System?

By all means, if you have more to spend, and would like a better sounding church sound system feel free to do so. A quick Amazon Search finds lots of different basic options. I searched for powered speakers since that limits the search in a way that provides options with powered speakers which I would recommend for a basic system. It also includes lots of packages that are quite reasonably priced. Again, don’t expect to host the Rolling Stones with these setups, but for simple church audio use, they get the job done.

What are you looking for in a church sound system? Does an All-In-One speaker/mixer do the job?

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Church And Technology.ca’s good reads, week 14 2014

Each week Church And Technology.ca shares some of the worthwhile reading we found on the web that you might be interested in.

Church And Technology.ca’s list of interesting articles from the last week:

Mobalizing Social Media for Mission Trips – Church Executive Magazine
Travelling in the age of social media is different then it used to be. If the folks at home aren’t seeing a new picture or 20 from you every 3 days or so, they start wondering what’s happened. For folks on Mission/Exposure trips, this is no different. There’s an extra feature though and that’s that posting on social media is a great way to keep people back in the congregation involved in the work being done.

3 Signs of a Bad Church Website – Church Media Magazine
It’s the basics that are the most important. Can people find you when they search? Can they find the information they are looking for? Are they greeted by something warm, friendly and current when they arrive? I can’t push these points enough. Apparently neither can others.

Announcement:
If you’d like to learn more about Church Social Media use, join me and other church social media professionals at one of the upcoming Going Digital for His Kingdom conferences. You’ll get to learn from some of the best minds out there on how to improve your ministry using Social Media.Going Digital for God's Kingdom

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Facebook for Churches, A Rethink

This post has been in the back of my mind for a while now. I keep reading more and more about how Facebook is reducing the number of people that see your page posts, unless your paying of course. If you’re paying, your church Facebook Page posts can reach all kinds of people, and you can even specify the demographics of the people you’d like to reach. This can be really cool, and in the grand scheme of things it’s not a lot of money we’re talking about. The principal however is isn’t something I like. And I’m not the only one. I was reading a post on Christian Media Magazine about The Problem With Facebook, that really hit on a lot of my points, but also included this great video that goes more in depth about what’s going on and some of the problems with Facebook for Churches.

The Problem with Facebook for Churches

Many churches have started using Facebook as a main communications vehicle for reaching people in the congregation. This makes sense, with over 14 million Canadians checking into Facebook every day, that’s like half the population. Facebook is where people are. The problem is that you’re lucky if you reach 5% of them. Facebook wants to make money, which I understand, and they want to reward good content, which I also understand, but for churches, especially small ones, there’s no money to give and it’s hard to make the kind of quality content Facebook requires these days. Plus, unlike when people like a brand, they’re generally liking a church Facebook page because they want to stay up to date with what’s going on. The question then becomes, how to do we fix this?

Should Churches Stop Using Facebook?

Part of my feels that Facebook isn’t worth the effort for churches any more, especially smaller ones, but it’s still where you’re going to find half of Canadians.

 Daily Facebook usage in Canada is higher than both the global and U.S. averages
                                                                                                            – The Financial Post

This to me says churches need to continue to be on Facebook. It’s also important to have a presence there so that people looking for you find you there and know you’re working in this century. I would say though, it might not be worth putting lots of effort into it. For sure you shouldn’t COUNT on people getting the message if you post it to your church Facebook Page.

Now, I don’t know that this is the best answer. Part of me feels that this isn’t the right answer, but I also know that spending lots of time, effort, and money trying to get your Facebook reach up may not be the best option for churches either.

So what do we do? Twitter, Pinterest, Google+, some other social network I haven’t heard of yet?

Oddly perhaps, if your main goal is to reach current people involved in your ministry the best way to reach people is still good old fashioned email. I know, some of you are thinking “email, really, that’s so not cool”. Cool or not, it’s effective. If it wasn’t, why would Twitter, Facebook, and the other social networks send you emails when there are new posts you might be interested in?

If however you’re looking to get the word out to your local community. Take a look at where the people you’re trying to reach spend their time online. Maybe it’s Facebook, in which case it’s time to put together a good strategy, and start thinking about paying. If it’s somewhere else though, put your focus there and spend less time on Facebook.

Don’t Give Up

I know more complication is not what you’re after, but there’s no point wasting time on things that aren’t going to work as well as you hope either. And don’t give up hope for Facebook. The world of social media is changing all the time, maybe Facebook will realize the damage they are doing churches and non-profits and treat them differently then companies. I’m not expecting it, but we can always hope.

What do you think, should churches stop focusing on Facebook?

Learning Opportunity:
If you’d like to learn more about Church Social Media use, join me and other church social media professionals at one of the upcoming Going Digital for His Kingdom conferences. You’ll get to learn from some of the best minds out there on how to improve your ministry using Social Media.Going Digital for God's Kingdom

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