The Simple Way To EQ a Microphone or Instrument

The Simple Way To EQ a Microphone or Instrument

EQ may seem overwhelming, but it’s not as hard as you think once you understand a few basic concepts.

This video will walk through the simple way to EQ a mic or instrument on both a digital and analog console.

Transcript

Hey everybody. So this past week has been a pretty busy week and I didn’t have the time that I wanted to record a full video. So instead, I’m gonna show you a video that I recorded about six months ago for another organization that I’m a part of. And this video is all about EQ – how to EQ a microphone or an instrument.

EQ is really not that complicated when you understand a few basic things. And here’s the big take away for EQ: It’s called “sweep and destroy,” just watch this video and you’ll find out what I’m talking about.

But I hope you like this video, subscribe to this channel, and I’d love to connect with you over at WorshipResources.church, where we help you discover and learn how to use quality resources to make your church better. My name’s Joshua, and if I can serve you in any way, send me an email [email protected] Okay, here’s how to EQ, I hope you enjoy.

Yeah, so today we’re gonna talk about EQ. I’m gonna walk you through how you can EQ a microphone or an instrument, and it may seem overwhelming, it seems like there’s no way you can learn it, but it’s really not that complicated if you know just a few little tips.

So I’m here in front of a digital console, and most digital consoles have an option where you can control it with an iPad or a device, so that’s what I have here. And where this is helpful is, digital consoles will give you a Graphic EQ, which basically means you can see on the spectrum the range of notes and frequencies. So I’m just gonna make this EQ flat, first of all. And a flat EQ means that you’re not adjusting, taking out or adding any frequencies. It’s just whatever is coming through the microphone, that’s what is gonna be heard in the speakers.

In a graphic EQ like this, the right side are the high frequencies, and this one goes up to 20K, and the left side are the low frequencies, so this goes down to 20 hertz. And you can see I, actually I’m gonna take that off. So now I have a totally flat EQ right here.

Now, if you have a microphone, a vocalist, and often a lot of instrumentalist, one of the very first things you need to do is to add a High-Pass filter. And what a High Pass filter is, will cut out the lows from the channel. So it’s sometimes called a low cut, sometimes it’s called a high pass. So it’s allowing the highs to pass through, that’s why it’s called a high pass.

So I added… So you can see the green here is taking out this range, so I added the High-Pass filter and I’m taking out that from the sound.

This will help tremendously with vocal mics because most vocals do not go anywhere near the 200 hertz or 20 hertz level. You just can’t sing that low, and so there’s no reason for that to even pass through. What it does is cleans up the audio.

So the first thing is to add that high pass filter, and the second thing, and this is the tip that everybody needs to know, and it’s called… It’s an EQ technique called “sweep and destroy.”

Sweep and destroy.

So if you’re listening to someone singing or an instrument playing, you can take one of the bands of EQ, this one has four bands of EQ, and you can just raise it up, and then as they’re singing and playing, you can swipe through or sweep through the frequency spectrum.

And while they’re singing, you’re listening for what sounds bad, and when you hear something that’s annoying or it’s harsh or it hurts your ears, then take and just cut that portion out. And you can do that, this one has four bands, so I can do it multiple times.

So I found… So maybe it was 2K and I took that 2K out. Then you can do it again. You can sweep through the spectrum and find the sound that is bad, and then just cut it out until it sounds good.

That’s really all it takes. It’s really that simple. It sounds complicated. And you see all this – But it’s really that simple.

So again, I’m gonna start again flat, and again, this is on a digital console. I’m gonna show in a minute on the analog side how it works, so this fourth, the fourth band is designed for the high frequency. So if you’re hearing a high pitch or a high squeal and I’m talking really high piercing ear piercing. If you have feedback like that, oftentimes it’s gonna be in the 50 to 20 range, so you can boost it just temporarily while the instruments playing, a while the person singing, and then listen for it and then just cut it out at 1K to 5K range.

That’s where the clarity of your vocal is gonna come from, and so you have… If it’s muddy and it’s hard to understand, or it feels kind of boxy, that usually is in the 200 hertz to 500 hertz range. So you can, again, you can just boost it and sweep through until it sounds bad, and then just take it out of the frequency.

Now, with digital consoles, they have what’s called a cue, and a cue just allows you to open the cue or close the cue so that more surrounding frequencies will be affected. So if I open the cue, you can tell that more of the frequencies are being taken out. If I close the cue, then that zeros in on a very specific range of frequencies.

Okay, so you can do that, say two or three times and just do it till it sounds good. If it sounds good to you, then do it. And move on.

Now, a couple of things about EQ. Most of the time you’re gonna cut EQ, cut from the sound, you’re not gonna add to. So very rarely, in fact, never should you see an EQ like that, because what you’re doing is you’re adding to the frequency and it just gets really messy, and it can get really loud and a potential for feedback. Instead you wanna cut the sound out of the frequencies that are not sounding good to you.

Another tip is that every vocalist in every instrument will be a different EQ.

Now, you can get started with the same basic EQ, but everybody’s gonna sound differently depending on the timber of their voice, depending on if they’re male or female, depending on if they’re playing acoustic guitar, or bass guitar or piano. Everything is gonna sound differently and they need their own specific EQ. And so you should go through each channel separately, individually, one at a time, ask them to play or sing, and then just go through… Use the sweep and destroy method, and that will help you clean up your sound tremendously.

Okay, so I’m gonna show you the same process, but on an analog console. So this is an analog console, it’s not digital, analog consoles have EQ’s through these little knobs. And depending on your console, it might have three bands of EQ or it could have six. And it could also have what’s called a sweeper. So on this console, the blue are my EQ bands. So I have four EQ bands, and the top one is the highs – whereas on the graphic EQ, the right side is the highs. On this one, the top is the highs and the bottom one is the low, and then you have low-mid and high-mid. And the green on this one are the frequency sweepers. So basically I can choose which frequency within that range is added or taken away.

Okay, so what I recommend is start flat, like we did on the graphic EQ. Just start with them all straight up at 12 o’clock and that’s flat. And then have the person sing or the instrument play, and then you’re gonna listen for what sounds bad. You’re gonna listen, does it hurt your ears? Is it squealy or squechy, is it to boomy, or is it too low-end? And then you’re just gonna cut the portions that sound bad. So start with the highs, and you can boost the highs a little bit.

And on this one, the high is just by itself, so you can either turn it up or turn it down. You can’t select which frequency, and it will tell you the frequency range usually, so this one looks like the frequency range is at 3k, so if I’m turning it up, I’m turning up 3K or turning down 3K.

The second section of EQ, you can see, I hope you can see it, but they’re actually grouped together. So this green knob is grouped with the blue knob. So the green knob is the sweeper. So remember the sweep and destroy method? So what you can do is you can boost the gain on the EQ and then start with it on the far left, and you’re gonna sweep through the frequency spectrum. So right now I’m starting at 500 hertz and I’m gonna sweep through and I’m listening for when it sounds bad. I’m just listening while they’re singing, while they’re playing, and when I find the place that it sounds bad, then I’m just gonna turn that frequency down. I’ll do the same thing with the low-mid.

So the low mid-frequency is 35 hertz up to 1K, that’s what this frequency spectrum is going to adjust. So I’m gonna turn the gain up first on the frequency, I’m gonna start on the left and sweep through. I’m just gonna slowly sweep through and listen until it sounds bad. Listen, listen, and sometimes with an audio console, you have to pick and choose. Like you might find two places that sound bad, just choose the worst one. Find the worst one, and then turn it down. And then you can take your low if you need more low-end if you want it to be a little more boomy, you can boost the low or if you need to take the low end out, you can take the low end out.

So that’s how you do this – EQ on an analog consult.

Hey, thanks everybody for watching this video. I hope this was really helpful to you, and if you have any questions about EQ or sound, or lighting or video, anything production-related for worship ministry – let me know. You can put it in the comments or send me an email. Connect me on social media. I’d love to connect with you and answer any questions or help you in any way that I can. Thanks again for watching.

If you haven’t yet, go ahead and click that like button right before this video ends or subscribe to this channel, and we’ll see back here next week! 

Pictures You Should & Shouldn’t Use On Your Church Website

Pictures You Should & Shouldn’t Use On Your Church Website

The pictures on your church website tell a story. But are you telling the right story?

Here are three types of pictures you should and shouldn’t use to help accurately portray to guests what it’s like to be part of your church.

Transcript

Hey, what’s up, everybody? What kind of pictures should you use on your church website?

In this video, I’m gonna share with you three types of pictures you should use on your website and three types of pictures you should not use on your church website. Ready? Here we go.

Hey everybody, I’m Joshua, I’m the creator of WorshipResources.church. We help you discover and learn how to use quality resources to make your church better. I hope you’ll take a minute to like this video and subscribe, and I have a free download in the description below, it’s a list of all the pictures you need for your church website. I put together this list to help you, so grab it. It’s free, you can get it in the description right now.

Well, let’s look at the types of pictures you should use and the types of pictures you shouldn’t use on your church website. Let’s start with what you shouldn’t use… You shouldn’t use stock photography.

So I’m here on my website, WorshipResources.church, and if you go to explore resources and then free, you will see a list here under stock photos. You will see a list of all kinds of places for you to get free stock photography… But don’t use stock photography on your website!

The point of your website is to help your guests or visitors see what it’s like to be a part of your church. So instead of using stock photography, you need to use real pictures of real people all throughout your website.

You see, you want to accurately portray what it’s like to be a part of your church, and if you have a bunch of stock photography of people that you’ve never met, they don’t look like the people that are in your church, you are not accurately representing what it’s like to be a part of your church.

Let me show you a couple of examples. So this is a website that I recently finished, RejoiceChurch.com. This is a picture, you can see right now, they have video, and these are real pictures, real video of their church family. If I scroll down, I see some more pictures. These are pictures of their actual church family, here and more pictures.

So just on this home page, I can get a sense of what it’s like to be a part of this church.

And really the question that guests are asking when they visit your website is, Will I fit in there?

 Will I fit in at this church?

So if I go to their kid’s section, I can see here’s more real pictures of their kids, and what it would be like if I have kids. This is what my kids will experience at this church.

So don’t use stock photography, do use real pictures of real people in your church.

Now, the second type of pictures that you should not use on your church website or at least don’t use them very much, and this might surprise you, is your church building – especially the outside of your building.

Here’s the deal, nobody really cares what the outside of the building looks like, especially on the home page of your website.

You see your church is not really a building, that’s just where your church meets, your church is a body of believers, and you wanna show your actual church family, not your church building.

Now, if somebody wants to find what your church building looks like, they can look it up on Google Maps, or maybe you include it in your Contact Us page or your About Us page.

But please don’t put pictures of the outside of your building as the very first picture that I see. I wanna see pictures of smiling people, and that’s what you should use, pictures of smiling people enjoying the life of your church, pictures of kids and students and adults, and older adults, and babies and volunteers and worship…

All of the things that happen in your church – get pictures of those things and then post them on your website. So that as a guest, I can see what is going to be like to be a part of your church.

Okay, so pictures of real people and pictures of smiling people enjoying the life of your church.

The third type of picture that you should never use on your church website are outdated pictures or pictures that are poor quality.

You see, your website is a representation of who you are as a church. And you should put your best foot forward. Now, this is not fake, you’re not putting a fake representation of who you are, you’re putting a real representation of who you are. But that doesn’t mean you can’t put your best foot forward.

So take some really good pictures. Maybe you have to hire a photographer, that’s okay. Pay them a couple of hundred dollars to come in on a weekend and take a thousand pictures of the people in your church and take a few minutes to edit the pictures, crop them effectively, make them look as good as they can look and then put them on your website.

 So don’t use poor quality or pixelated or stretched images. Use quality photography of real people in your church smiling and enjoying the life of your church.

I’m gonna show you one more website, this is another website that I’ve recently finished, its CrossroadsChurccJenks.com. And if I scroll down, I can see this is a real picture of their people. It’s not fake, it’s not trying to be somebody they’re not… This is who they are as a church. And here’s some more pictures.

So as I’m scrolling through, I can see what it would be like to be a part of this church family. And that’s really what you want your pictures to do, is to accurately represent who you are as a church and to encourage someone – a guest – remember a guest is asking, when they visit your website, they’re asking, “Do I fit in there?” “Does my family fit in there?” “Will my kids like it there? “Will my students like it there?”

So accurately portray the life of your church, put your best foot forward, use pictures of real people, smiling people, good quality images on your church website to accurately portray who you are as a church.

Hey, I hope this video was helpful for you.

I want you to download that list of all the pictures you need to take on your church website. You can print it off and hand it to your photographer and say, “These are the pictures that I wanna get for our church website.” It’s free to you. Download it today in the description below.

And if I can serve you in any way, send me an email, [email protected]. And I hope you’ll take a minute to like this video, subscribe to this channel, so you don’t miss any of the new content we produce.

 Hey, I’ll see you next week!

Church Video Production Training, Tips and Terminology

Church Video Production Training, Tips and Terminology

Learn proper framing technique, how to get the best shot and the main purpose of a video director.

Also learn what HEADROOM is and why it’s crucial for you to get it right every time.

Transcript

Hey everybody. So in this video, I’m gonna show you a training that I recently did for a company that I work part-time for. In this video, we’ll walk through some production techniques, tips and tricks, framing, and also some vernacular or language that you can use when you’re communicating with your video director or camera ops.

So I hope this video is helpful for you. If it is, will you like this video and subscribe to this channel? That would be awesome. We’ve recently passed 100 subscribers, so now we’re on our way to a 1000. So help us get to a thousand subscribers by clicking that red button beneath me. Click subscribe. And if you have any questions about video production or technique or framing or anything like that, put it in the comments or send me an email, [email protected] Hey, thanks for watching. I hope you enjoy this video.

Hey everybody, my name is Joshua Riggs, I am on the tech services team with TEAMTRI, and I also help with production. And today we’re gonna walk through some video techniques, framing techniques, and also some vernacular, some language that you can use in your live production and in your recording.

So when you’re helping students record their candidate videos or when you’re helping sponsors record some sort of sponsorship video, these are some tips and techniques that you can use to make the video the best it can be.

This is Julia. Say Hi, Julia! She’s here to help me. And also, Tim is running the camera. Tim and Scott, thanks for your help today as well. So you can see that this shot is a pretty wide shot, and before we actually talk about framing, I wanna tell you about the rule of thirds.

So the Rule of Thirds is that you split the image into thirds. So pretend like there’s an imaginary line here, and an imaginary line here. It is fine to have the subject centered right in the middle of the frame. So Tim, if you will, center her as best you can. It’s fine to have him or her centered, but this is especially true if you’re recording a video.

Consider the Rule of thirds.

And that’s where you’re gonna place the subject down the line of either the left third or the right third. So let’s put her on the left third, Tim. Okay, and now let’s zoom in pretty tight for this shot. Keep going pretty tight. So let’s do a waist up, okay. So, this is the rule of thirds, and she’s on the third shot and he’s getting it to where this is a waste up shot. So this right here, of course, depending on the background, would be a good shot to record a, just a recording. It does work in live production some of the time, but this is especially true for recording. So it could be on the left third or the right third. So move her to the right third, so that’s centered and a little more to the right, and there’s the right third. Okay, so that’s the rule of thirds. And we’re gonna come back to that in a minute.

 The next thing that I wanna tell you about is some language. Okay, so push in and pull out are synonymous with zoom in or zoom out, you can use them interchangeably, I would say…

Just pick one and stick with it. Okay, I like push in and pull out. So pull out is to zoom out. So Tim, if you will, pull out on her, so you can see he’s pulling out. Tim, okay, push in. So he’s gonna push in to her. And you can also give how fast or slow you want that to happen – if you’re calling cues for your camera operator or for your director. So you can say, Pull out slowly. Right, so Tim’s gonna pull out slowly. There we go. So he’s gonna pull out slowly.

Another term that you can use is Pan, pan left or right. So that means to move the camera to the left. So pan left for me. He’s panning left. And pan right. He’s panning right.

Okay, so push in, pull out or zoom in, zoom out, you can use that, and then pan left and pan right.

Another thing that I wanna tell you about – and this is may be the most important tip that you’re gonna learn in this video, and that’s what’s called Headroom.

Headroom is the distance from the top of the person’s head to the top of the frame.

And most, maybe not most, but a lot of videos that I have seen have too much head room in the shot. So actually let’s put too much head room in the shot. Okay, so that’s good, right there. So Julia is… Her face is right in the middle. And I think that’s where the misconception happens, is we think the face is the focal point of what’s going on, so it should just be right in the middle of the frame. But in reality, everything from her head up is wasted space, ’cause we’re not even using that space, there’s nothing to look at.

So a good rule of thumb is for the headroom, if you picture… So Julia, if you will make a fist and put the fist on top of your head. So that fist on top of her head, that’s about where the top of the frame should be. Okay, so this is a pretty good headroom, you can put your fist down now, Julia. Thanks. Okay, so notice her eyes are towards the top of the frame and not in the center, and this helps, so we can see her hand gestures, especially. Okay, so headroom is important.

That’s the very first thing you need to get right when you’re framing your your subject, make sure the headroom… You don’t have too much headroom.

Okay, so let’s talk about some different framing options. Okay, so the first one is head-to-toe. So if you’re talking to your cam op and say, “Give me a head-to-toe shot,” that’s gonna be… Obviously, he’s gonna zoom all the way out until you can see the person’s head and their feet.

Now, notice as Tim was zooming out, he also adjusted for the headroom. He panned down so that… Or tilted down so that the headroom was not too much. Because if you just zoom out and you don’t also tilt down, then the headroom is gonna be too wide. So you want to keep that… Yes, like that. That’s way too much head room, so close that gap for the head-to-toe shot.

Now, the reason you would use this shot is if somebody is… Whoever is presenting… If they move around a lot. So Julia, if you will move around a little bit. So she’s presenting, she’s doing her thing, she’s talking or talk…

Notice we don’t really have to move the camera much because she’s staying in the frame. So this is true, especially if they move quickly. So they’re moving quickly, you know, side to side, they’re very animated. They’re moving within the frame, and you still wanna try to stay with them. But if it’s a tight shot and they’re moving quickly, it will be much more difficult for you to keep them in the frame. And what you don’t want is for them to walk out of the frame, so that there’s nothing on camera. So if they’re moving quickly, if they move a lot, zoom out a little bit and use that head-to-toe shock occasionally.

One of the things that you want to do as a camera operator or director, show director, is to portray what’s happening on the stage to accurately portray that. So if you have one shot and you’re always zoomed in and the presenter’s moving around, you’re not really accurately portraying what’s happening on the stage. So you want everybody that’s watching on video to feel like they’re in the room. So that’s why a shot like this, a head-to-toe shot, is a good shot to get, especially if the presenter is very animated and moving around.

Okay, the next one is called Knees Up. So this is where the bottom of the frame is on the knees, and notice he’s adjusting the head room. So this is a knees up shot. This is also helpful if they’re very animated with their hands, they make wide gestures and that sort of thing. Or if they’re moving around, you can use the knees up shot.

The next one is Waist Up, so this will be the waist up shot, and he’s gonna adjust the head room. This is kind of the standard go-to shot for your presenters. You can see their hands, but you can’t see anything below the waist. But you can… It also helps ’cause you’re zoomed in a little tighter on their face so you can see their facial expressions. This is probably, 70% of the time you’re gonna be on a shot like this, the waste up shot.

Okay, the next one is Elbows Up, which is a little tighter, so you can see the bottom of the elbows are at the bottom of the frame. And you would wanna use this, and I would adjust the headroom, shrink that head room just a little bit Tim.

You would use this to really portray the emotion that the speaker is presenting. So if they’re crying or laughing or very intense, if they’re like, they’re telling a story and you want to really portray what’s going on with their facial expressions, you would use this elbows-up shot to, again, to accurately portray what’s happening on the stage.

Okay, Tim, I wanna get you to zoom out and we’re gonna talk about what’s called looking room. So we talked about headroom as a general rule, headroom should always be less than it is more. Looking room is the distance between where the person is looking to the edge of the frame.

So Julia, if you will turn to your right, the other right. Turn ah… Actually face, face me. Yeah, there you go. Yep, just like that.

So this is… Looking room is used on a side angle shot. So if you have a camera that’s on the side, you can see that the looking room is the edge from where she is, from the edge of her face to the edge of the screen. This is where the Rule of Thirds comes into play. As a general rule, you want the looking room to be set…

Yes, exactly, Tim. So that she’s on the left. So she’s looking here. Otherwise… So put her actually on the right of the Rule of Thirds. So if she’s on the right, all of this space behind her is wasted, nothing’s happening here, and there’s no reason to show this to the audience. But put her on the left… Now, this shot is a good shot because oftentimes you can get the audience here and this… And so you can see on video that she’s communicating to the audience from the side.

So now do a 180, Julia. And turn all the way around. Yes. So now, if it’s on the left side, she’s gonna be in the third here and she’s… You’ve got the looking room, what she’s looking at. Okay! This, everything back here should be smaller, everything here should be a lot wider.

Okay, one other thing, so Julia face the front now, and you can zoom in a little tight – just do a head-to-toe shot for her. So one other thing about looking room is if the subject is moving a lot, you want to sort of anticipate the direction that they’re going and make sure that their looking room as they’re moving is a, is plenty.

So if she moves to the left, you’re gonna move the camera, but actually you’re gonna be ahead of her when you’re moving. So let’s actually do knees up shot for this time. So here’s knees up and adjust that head room. Okay, so now let’s say she moves to the right, when she moves to the right, you’re gonna move that camera with her, but you wanna try to keep her in the right third, because she’s looking this way… She’s moving this way, right!

And then if she decides to change direction, you’re gonna over-compensate and… Yes! And as she’s moving… So you anticipate the movements that she’s making. Again, you don’t want her to walk out of the frame. If she walks out of the frame, they can’t see what’s going on.

Okay, so let’s do a waste up shot with Julia now and just center her in the frame. Thanks again, Julia, for helping out today. And this is, again, this is the standard shot that you’re gonna use most of the time. The side angle shot is not a shot that you’re gonna stay on for a very long time. Again, it’s just to help the audience get perspective of what’s happening on the stage.

So I mentioned the rule of thirds and the headroom and the looking room – these are just general rules when it comes to video production. If you’re trying to be creative with a shot, by all means it’s okay to break the rules occasionally, you just shouldn’t break the rules like…for the whole show.

Okay, so let’s say for instance, your presenter is a painter and you’ve seen it – where he does these incredible drawings like with music as part of the presentation – so he’s just finished his drawing and you’ve got a kind of a side shot, but you know that the looking room, there needs to be most of the looking room, but he’s facing the audience and his drawing is behind him. By all means, get the drawing in the shot. Get creative with that shot so that again, you’re trying to accurately portray what’s happening on the stage. So you can show the drawing and the presenter, even though the looking room is not technically following the rules. I hope that makes sense.

So the big thing is just to be intentional with your framing, with your shots. So think through the production, think through the show, whatever it is you’re producing, the recording, to think through it and think what kind of angles do I need to get? What kind of framing do I need to get? And that will help you to set up the show in the best way possible so that you can accurately portray what’s happening on stage to those who are watching in the room.

Hey, if I can help you in any way, I’d love to connect with you. Just send me an email, [email protected]. I’d love to answer any questions you have about production or video framing or anything like that, I hope this video was helpful to you, be sure to subscribe to this channel and like this video, and I’ll see you next week for the next video.

3 Things You Can Do To Improve Your Church Website Navigation

3 Things You Can Do To Improve Your Church Website Navigation

Poor navigation on your website will cause your guests to leave quickly and not connect with your church.

Here are three things you can do right away to improve the navigation on your church website and keep guest from bouncing.

Transcript

Hey everybody, what’s up? So today, in today’s video, we’re going to talk about websites and specifically navigation for your website, how you can improve the navigation on your website.

One of the things that will cause your visitors to leave your website faster than anything is a poor navigation menu where they can’t find what they’re looking for. So in this video, I’m gonna show you three things you need to do to clarify the navigation, to clean up the navigation, to make it simple for your guests who are visiting your website. Ready? Here we go!

Hey everyone. I’m Joshua, I’m the creator of WorshipResources.church. We help you discover and learn how to use quality resources to make your church better. If you haven’t yet, I hope you’ll visit us at WorshipResources.church, and take a minute to like this video, go ahead and click that like button beneath me and subscribe to this channel. We’re almost to 100 subscribers, which is awesome! Subscribe to this channel, so you don’t miss any of the new content we produce.

So let’s look at navigation in websites. Okay, let’s look at three things you need to do to make your website easy to navigate for all of your visitors. Anyone who visits your website needs to be able to easily access the information they are looking for. So these three things will help you have a better website and better navigation inside your website, ready…

Number one, simplify the language, simplify the language.

Churches are notorious for using church-y words that we don’t use any other place. Words like, fellowship and blessing… I mean think of it, when is the last time you said the word “fellowship” outside of church? We never use those words in our everyday life, and we shouldn’t use those type of words on our website because they’re confusing, especially to guests.

Another thing we use that’s confusing to guest is acronyms. We use acronyms on our website and in communication, but acronyms confuse people and actually make them feel like outsiders. When you hear an acronym and you don’t know what that acronym means, that makes you feel like you don’t belong. So churches will say things like, join your ABF in the FLC. Okay, what is ABF in the FLC? Well, it’s your Adult Bible Fellowship, there’s fellowship…

Adult Bible Fellowship in the Family Life Center. Okay, so why not just say, join a group in the gym. It’s a gym, it’s not a Family Life Center. It’s the gym, go to the gym and join your group.

But we use acronyms which confuse people and cause people to feel like outsiders. So on your website and in your communication, don’t use acronyms and don’t use church-y language. Simplify the language.

And this is what you can do to make sure that you’re not using church-y language or language that’s hard to understand. Read your website through the lens of a first-time guest, a first-time guest. And not even somebody who’s never visited your church, somebody who’s never visited any church. Think about them.

Okay, give them a name. Let’s say his name is George. George has never visited any church. Can he go to your website and understand everything that you’re talking about? Can he go to your website and understand what he’s supposed to do? Using church-y language and using acronyms is causing people to be confused and not be able to take their next step, whatever it is, at your church. So the very first thing you’ve gotta do is simplify the language.

So I want you to look at your website, go to your website and look at it through the lens of a first time guest, and see if there’s anything on the site that doesn’t make sense.

In fact, here’s an idea, go to a coffee shop and offer to pay for someone’s coffee if they will give you five minutes to look at your website. Open up your computer, show them your website and ask them to explain what they’re seeing. Ask them to explain what are you supposed to do after looking at this site? And see what they say. After you talk to them, you will have some clarity about your site and what needs to change, what language needs to change.

So simplify the language. Simplify the language on your site to make it easily navigatable. Navigatable? Is that word? Easy to navigate.

Alright, the second thing you need to do to make your website easy to navigate, is to simplify the header. Simplify the header menu.

So that’s the menu at the very top of the site that has all the links that you can click on okay.

 A lot of this comes from Donald Miller and his Story Brand Framework, a really great resource. I would encourage you to check out his podcast and the book Building a Story Brand. But he says, and I agree, that your website header, the menu should be very clear, very simple, and have one call to action.

So I’m here on a site that are recently created for Crossroads Church, and you can see this is the header menu. And you can see there’s one main call to action, and it’s here twice – plan a visit is the main call to action.

It’s a different color button. It’s very noticeable and it makes people wanna click on it. Okay, and I have four other tabs; about, with a few drop-downs, get involved, with a few drop-downs, ministries, and messages. So your header menu needs to have a main call to action – one button that you want people to click, one next step that you want people to take.

For churches, I think it should be “Plan A Visit”, maybe “Watch A Service”, or maybe “Meet Our Pastor”. Okay, something like that. It’s a very active step that you want people to take. And it’s that main call to action. That’s what your header should have.

And then the rest of your header should be as simple as possible, four, five, maybe six other buttons that people can click. You don’t need every page on your website in your header. That just confuses everybody and makes your website cluttered. Remember when people visit your website, you want them to take one step, especially that first time guest. What is that first call to action? That first next step that you want them to take. That should be the main focus in your header. The other buttons are gonna be big blocks of things.

Okay, so you can see on this site we have about, get involved, ministries, messages, and of course, Plan A Vsit. For most churches, you don’t need anything additional in the header menu. Keep it as simple as possible.

So I want to encourage you to go to your church website and look at the menu, the header menu. If you have seven or eight or nine or 10 buttons, really ask yourself, “Are all of these absolutely necessary in the header?”

Can I simplify this in some way? In fact, it might be that you just need to simplify the entire structure of your website. Remember the goal of a website is to inform your first time guests and to help your members stay connected. It’s not to confuse. So simplify, simplify, simplify.

Okay, the third thing that you need to do – and I’m actually gonna pull a 180 on you – the first thing was to simplify the language, the second thing is to simplify the header.

The third thing that you need to do to make your website easy to navigate, put everything in the footer. Put everything in the footer.

I know this may seem crazy, but the footer is often called the “junk drawer” of a website. So you can put anything you want in the footer and it’s okay. It’s not gonna mess up your site. You need to have your address, your phone number, your email address, your service times, contact us, social media follows, all the pages on your website – put everything in the footer.

So I’m gonna show you a great example of this, and that’s Gateway Church GatewayPeople.com. Here’s their main site. And they have quite a few buttons at the top, but this is a really large church, a really large ministry. Okay, their main call to action is they want you to watch a service. That’s very clear because they have the service playing right there on the home page, above the fold. But if I scroll all the way down to the bottom and I look…

And this is their footer. Now, this is a beautiful footer. Notice there are six columns, notice it’s a clean background, with just text. There’s no images, there’s no fancy animation, nothing like that. This is everything that you need to be able to access.

So of course, they have their about information, there’s their contact information, watch, give, connect, all of their options for ministries. Here’s their locations, you can see they have 10, 11 locations. All their ministries are here, events, resources, here’s their social media links down here, link to their app.

This is a great footer. It includes everything that you need to quickly access. And again, you might say, “Why don’t you just put it in the header?” You’re not trying to confuse people. You want people, when they first visit your site, to take one step, one call to action, so make that clear.

But people who have already taken that step, let’s say they’re already a part of your church, and they’re looking for something specific, they should be able to just scroll down to the bottom, look in the footer and find exactly what they’re looking for within a few clicks.

So let’s review the three things you need to do to make your website easy to navigate, first of all, simplify the language, call it what it is, whatever the ministry is, just call it that.

 Don’t come up with fancy ministry names, don’t use acronyms. Just call it what it is.

Secondly simplify the header menu, you should have four, five, maybe six buttons at the top that you want people to click on, and one of those buttons in the top right corner, needs to be that one main call to action that you want people to take, and.

Then the third thing is put everything in the footer. Put it in the junk drawer. It’s fine. You can put it in the footer. Nobody’s gonna be mad about it. : -] Put it in the footer and make it easily accessible to everyone.

Hey, I hope this was helpful for you. I have a free download for you in the description below, if you’re building a new website and you wanna know what kind of pictures you need to take, I’ve created a list of all the pictures you need to take for your church website. It’s free for you, you can download it in the description below. And please like this video, subscribe to this channel and visit us at WorshipResources.church, where we help you discover and learn how to use quality resources to make your church better.

Hey, thanks everybody for watching. We’ll see you next week!

Questions Your Members Ask When Visiting Your Church Website

Questions Your Members Ask When Visiting Your Church Website

When members visit your church website they have questions and need answers.

Here are the questions your website should answer for members and how to help them take their next step.

Transcript

Hey everybody, this is part two of a two-part video. If you missed part one, where we look at questions that first time guests are asking and how you can answer them on your church website, go to the description and watch that video first. It’ll be helpful to watch that video.

In today’s video, we’re gonna look at some of the questions that your members are asking and how you can answer them on your church website. Are you ready? Are you ready? Here we go.

Hey everybody. I’m Joshua, the creator of WorshipResources.church. We help you discover and learn how to use quality resources to make your church better. Be sure to like this video and subscribe to this channel, if you haven’t yet. I’d love to connect with you also in the comments. In.

Part one, we talked about the unique challenge that churches have of serving two audiences with their church website. You have to serve your first time guest and your members. So we answered the questions that first time guests are asking. Now we’re gonna look at questions that your members are asking and how you can answer them on your church website.

So all of the questions that your first time guests are asking, your members probably already know most of that information; what time are your services, what you offer for my kids, what the service is gonna be like, etcetera. But your members are still going to have questions that you need to answer, and I believe you should use your church website to serve your members in that way.

Again, the priority for your church website should be first guest – that should be the priority. But you can also serve your members as well.

So the big picture for members and the questions that they are asking is really this, how do I take my next step? How do I take my next step? Those are the questions that you want to answer on your church website, so you should have a page on your website called “Next Steps,” or you can have one that’s called “Get Involved” – that is geared toward your members. It’s to help your members take the next step.

So here’s some of the questions that members are asking that you need to answer on your church website.

1. “How can I give online?”

Make that clear. Make it clear how people can give to your church. You want them to be able to give. And hopefully by now you have online giving set up. So make it clear how people can give online, but not only how they can give online, but also let them know how their money is being used. When they give online, what does that mean, how is their money being used to impact God’s kingdom? Answer those questions for them.

They also might have specific questions about giving online, things like, “Do I have to set up an account?” and “Can I give directly through my bank?”, or “Do you accept credit cards? What are the fees?” All of these questions, you should take time to answer on your website for your members – for your regular attenders.

Another question or another next step that members want to take is, “How do I join a group?” How can I get involved in a small group? So answer that question for them. Let them know what small groups you have available and how they can get involved in one of those groups, or maybe start a new group.

You probably know that those who are involved in groups are the most committed people in your church, so you want people to get involved in a group, so make it easy for them. Give them as much information as you can about your groups, and then help them get connected to a group.

Another question that members ask is things like,

2. “How can I go on the mission trip?” or “How can I sign up my student for summer camp?”

Events and activities that you offer – have a place where your members can go and sign up to be a part of those events. This means you need a good forms system. Planning Center People has a free one called Planning Center Forms. You can use that for free, and that’s a great way to collect sign-ups for events and activities.

Another question that members ask is,

3. “How can I volunteer to serve?”

So on your website, on the next steps page, let them know how they can volunteer, let them know all the areas that are available for volunteers; your parking lot, your greeters, ushers, hospitality, your worship team, nursery kids ministry, student ministry, whatever those opportunities are. List them on your website, and then let them know a brief description of what each responsibility requires. And then give them an opportunity to sign up for one of those volunteer positions.

As I said in part one, this list is just to get you started in thinking about how can I serve my members. I’m sure there are other questions that your members are asking that you need to answer on your church website. So I encourage you to sit down and write all those out and think through what questions do we need to answer. What questions do our members have about taking their next step at our church? And then find a way to clearly and succinctly communicate those next steps on your church website.

Your church website is an important tool, and I believe you can serve both audience as well – your guests and your members – if you are intentional about thinking through the questions that they have, and then do your best to succinctly and clearly answer those questions on your website.

Hey, I hope this video was helpful to you. If you will, like the video and maybe share it with a friend who might find this content helpful. And I hope you’ll go to WorshipResources.church today, where you can discover tons of free and inexpensive resources you can use to make your church better.

Hey, thanks for watching today, everybody. I hope you have a great week. We’ll see you back to your next time!

7 Questions You Should Answer For Guests On Your Church Website

7 Questions You Should Answer For Guests On Your Church Website

Guests are visiting your church website with questions they need answered.

Here are the questions your website should answer for guests and those considering your church. There may be a few more, but this list will help you get started.

The key is to look at your website through the lens of a first-time guest. What information do they need to know? Here are 7 things you should answer before they ask.

Transcript

Why do people visit your church website? Why do you visit any website? I don’t know you, but I can guess that in the last, let’s say, 24 hours, you probably have visited these three websites, Google, Amazon, and Facebook.

Why do I know that? Because a lot of people visit those sites. Why do we go to Google? We visit Google because we want to find out information that we don’t know. We visit Amazon because we want to purchase a product to solve a problem for us. We visit Facebook because… Who knows why we visit Facebook, but we do.

All three of those sites serve us in some way, they help to solve a need or solve a problem – and the same is true for your church website. When people visit your website, they’re doing so because they have a need or they have a question that they want answered.

But churches are unique because we really have to serve two audiences. You have your first time guests and you have your regular attenders. For this video, we’ll call them members. You have your members and your guests.

So which audience should you serve? I believe you should make it a priority to serve your first-time guests. That should be the priority of your church website because they are the ones who don’t know anything about your church. And they have a lot of questions that need answering. And so, as best you can, you want to answer the questions that a first-time guest has. But it is possible to serve both audiences – your first time guests and your members. In.

This video, part one, we’re going to look at the questions that first-time guests are asking and how you can best answer them on your church website.

The next video, part two, we’ll look at questions that your members are asking and how you can serve them. Okay, here we go. 

Hey everybody, I’m Joshua. I’m the creator of WorshipResources.church. We help you discover and learn how to use quality resources to make your church better. I hope you’ll take a minute to like this video and subscribe to this channel, Worship Resources for Churches. I’d love for you to subscribe – that helps to get the word out and help more churches find this content. And if you haven’t yet, I hope you’ll go to WorshipResources.church to take a look at all the resources that we direct you to.

I’m here to serve you, if I can serve you in any way, please let me know. Let’s connect in the comments and let me know what you think about this video.

So what are the questions that a first time guest is asking when somebody visits your website for the first time? They’re not a part of your church, they don’t know anything about your church… What questions do they have? So I made a list of a few questions I think most first time guests are asking.

First of all, “What time are your services?”

You need to answer that question clearly and succinctly on the homepage. What time are your services?

Make it clear, don’t make that information hard to find. They also want to know “Where are you located? What is your address?” Make that clear, and then take that address and link it to Google Maps so people can click with one button and get directions to your church. Your service times and your location, that’s important information that first time guests want to know.

Another question, first time guests are asking is, “What do you offer for my kids?”

Parents and grandparents want to know two things, are my kids gonna be safe and are they gonna have a good time? You need to answer that question on your website before they even ask.

So communicate, “Your kids are going to have an awesome time in our safe and clean environment!” And then list why that’s going to be true. Talk about how you have background checks for your volunteers, and talk about how you have training for your volunteers. And talk about how you’re gonna share a Bible story with their kids and what they’re going to learn. Parents and grandparents want to know this information, so tell the first time guests what you offer for their kids.

Another question that a first time guests ask is, “Who is the pastor? And who’s on staff?”

That’s why it’s important for you to have a great staff page. In fact, your staff page is one of the most visited pages on your website. People want to know who’s leading this church, who’s preaching, who’s leading worship. So have great pictures and great bios of everyone on staff, so they know exactly who’s going to be leading them, who’s preaching, who’s singing, who’s in charge. People want to know that information so make it clear on your church website.

Okay, another question, “What will the service be like?” Answer this question as clearly as you can, let them know what the music is like, what style of music you have at your church, what the preaching is like, how long the service is going to be.

 And The best way to do this is to use pictures and video to let them see what is going to be like if they attend one of your services. 

Another question they might ask is, “Where do I park?”

Some questions guests might ask might be specific to your location, your geographical location, or just your culture in general. So if you are an urban church or a large church, maybe you wanna answer the question about parking. Like where do you park? Let them know that you have guest parking up front, so they don’t have to park and then walk so far.

There might be other questions that you need to answer like, “What do I wear?”, or “What about weather? Or maybe you are in a building that’s not a traditional church building – you need to answer some questions so they know how to get to your building.

All of these types of questions might be specific to your church, but you should think through, what questions do we need to answer before they even ask and then answer them on the church website.

Here’s one more question I think, first time guests ask or want to know, and that is, “Will you ask me for money?”

They wanna know that. Unfortunately, some people think that that’s all the church is about, it’s just trying to get more money out of you.

So for us at Bethany, we try to answer that question by saying, “We don’t expect any first time guests to give… We do give our regular attenders and opportunity to give and support our mission, but if this is your first time, we don’t expect you to give in any way.

I’m sure there are other questions that you should think through that you need to answer for your first time guests, this list is just to help you get started. But as best you can, try to look at your church and your church website through the lens of a first time guest. And then ask the question, “What do I not know?” Or “What do I need to know?” And then do your best to answer those questions proactively.

The way to answer those questions is to use great photography that helps to answer some of those questions and use clear language. Don’t use insider language. Don’t use acronyms, use clear language that says exactly what you mean.

Okay, that’s part one of this two-part video. The next video, we’re going to look at questions that your members are asking and how you can help to answer those questions on your church website.

Hey, if this was helpful, I hope you’ll subscribe like this video, and again, I hope you’ll connect with me in the comments or shoot me an email, [email protected]. Thanks for tuning in everybody, we’ll see you next week!