The Top Three Things Every Church Website Must Include

The Top Three Things Every Church Website Must Include

Church Websites are important, but what content should you include?

Here are three (actually 4!) things every church website must have in 2021.

Transcript

You probably know you need a church website, but what should your website include, what information should you include on your church website?

In this video, we’re gonna talk about the top three things that every church website must have in 2021. Three things your church website needs. Okay, here we go.

Hey everybody, thanks for tuning in, 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 or actually just a second and click that subscribe button if you haven’t yet. And I hope you’ll go to WorshipResources.church to take a look at all the resources that we direct you to. Many of them are free, some of them are paid, but all of these resources are meant to help you get better as a church.

Okay, websites are important. If you didn’t watch that last video about, Do You Need A Church Website If You Have A Facebook Account, I would encourage you to go back and watch that video.

Today we’re gonna talk about the three things that every church website must include.

The first thing you need on your church website is your service times and location.

Service times and location – above the fold. What does that mean? Above the fold, it means when somebody first opens up the website, they should be able to find that information without having to scroll.

If you have multiple service times, put that on there, 9:00am and 10:30am, or 9:00am, 10:30am and 12:00pm. Whatever your service times are, you need to put them on the website above the fold.

And also your location. Where are you located? You don’t wanna make this information hard for people to find. In fact, a lot of people are visiting your website to find out your service times and location.

That’s the thing about websites, you want it to be easy for people to find the information they’re looking for. So your service times and your location. And when you have your location – you have your address, make that clickable. What I mean by that is, go find your Google Maps URL, go to your address and link that, hyperlink that address so that when somebody clicks on the address, it sends them directly to Google Maps where they can get directions to your church.

Do not make them copy and paste the address into Google Maps themselves. Make it as easy as possible. If you don’t know how to link your address to Google Maps, ask your web admin, and if they don’t know how to do it, then have them Google it. : -]

Find a way to make your address clickable so people can get directions to your church without any hassle.

Before we leave this first thing I want to mention, if somebody searches for your church, most likely, hopefully your church is gonna show up in Google first, especially if they search for your specific church name. For us, it’s Bethany Church.

So if someone searches Bethany Church, Broken Arrow, we’re gonna be the first church that shows up. But the way Google works now is instead of re-directing people to the site, they are actually providing a lot of information right within Google. So you never even have to leave Google. Some of that information is your church’s address and service times.

So if you haven’t yet, you need to go to Google, claim your church as a business, and then set up your opening times, because you don’t want somebody to search for your church, and it says “Sunday closed.” You’re not closed on Sunday, you’re open on Sunday! So make sure Google has the right information.

So when somebody searches your church, they can see the address and the service times right inside of Google, and you also need that information on your website.

Okay, the second thing every church website must include is your online service information.

It’s 2021, I’m sure if you’re watching this, you have some sort of online service. You need to tell your guests who are visiting your website how they can watch – how they can participate in your online service. It’s the same as finding your service times and location. Don’t make this information hard to find. Join us online at 9:00am or 11:00am every Sunday on Facebook or YouTube Live, and.

Then take the word “Facebook” and the word “YouTube” and link those words to your Facebook and YouTube page accordingly.

Make it easy for people to find the information they’re looking for, and some of the most important information they’re looking for is your service times and location. And how can I watch this church – How can I participate in this church online?

If possible, I would encourage you to put this information as a banner at the very top of the website so that it’s very clear, especially on Sunday, join us online – you can watch right now online. And then give them a button where they can click and watch the service. It’s fine if it redirects them to Facebook or redirects to YouTube, but make sure you have a clear button where they can join your online service.

Very closely related to having your online service information easily accessible, you also need to have a link of your past services easily acceptable. Okay, we’ll call this 2 B.

2[b] is to have your online services easily acceptable throughout the week.

So if you post the service to your website, that’s great! Or maybe you just want to link to your Facebook Live page or to your YouTube page so people can watch a past service. Make that easy for them to find.

Okay, the third thing every church website must include, and this one might be the most important of all three, and that is real pictures of your people experiencing the life of your church.

Real pictures of your church family experiencing the life of your church.

You need these pictures all throughout your website. So let’s talk about photography for a minute. First of all, don’t use stock photography. Stock photography is pictures of random people that you don’t know, that don’t go to your church. That is not an accurate depiction of who you are as a church.

Okay, think of it like this.

¬†Let’s say you have a local burger shop, let’s call it Joe’s Burger Shop in your local town, and they have a website. And so you go to visit JoesBurgerShop.com, and you see pictures of their hamburgers – and these hamburgers look awesome to you. You’re like, “I wanna try one of these hamburgers.”

So the next time you can, you go to Joe’s Burger Shop – you order one of their burgers – you get it on the plate and you look at it and it looks absolutely nothing like the picture you saw on the website.

So you go back to the website and you look and you realize, “Wait a minute, that’s a Wendy’s hamburger on this photo.” Needless to say, you’re gonna be disappointed because what you were expecting by the photo is not what you received. Joe’s Burger Shop was being disingenuous. They were being fake. They were presenting a fake product.

When you have pictures of stock photography on your website, you are presenting a fake product. That’s not who your church is, and one of the questions… In fact, I think THE question that every guest who visits your church website – the question they are asking, whether they know it or not, in their minds… They’re asking this question,

Do I fit in there?

Do I fit in there? That’s what they’re asking. And so you wanna use real pictures of real people experiencing the life of your church, so they can decide for themselves, yes or no, I will fit in there. I can be a part of this church. I can see myself going to this church.

So using real pictures of real people is vital all throughout your church website.

Now, you’ll notice I did not say you need a picture of your church building. It’s okay to have that maybe on your about page or your locations page, but not on the home page. They don’t really care what the outside of the building looks like. They wanna know what is it like to be a part of this church?

So pictures of smiling, happy people in your church, that’s what you want to portray.

Okay, let’s talk practically about how you can get these pictures of real people in your church experiencing the life of your church. Here’s how you do it. Get a photographer to take pictures. ūüôā

You might have to hire a photographer and that’s okay. Pay them a couple of hundred dollars and say, “I want you to take a thousand pictures during this weekend of everything that’s happening in the life of our church.” Or you might have to do it over several weeks. But here’s the thing, you probably have somebody in your church who has a decent camera and they have a hobby of taking photos. Get connected with them, tell them what you’re looking for, and ask them to take a thousand pictures for you.

Now to help you out, I’ve created a list, a photo list of all the pictures that you need. You can get that list for free in the description below. Download that list of all the pictures you need for your church website, you can print this document out, give it to your church photographer and say, “These are the pictures that we want to capture.”

So once you get those pictures, then you’re going to start using those – integrating those pictures into your website.

I recommend for you to refresh the pictures on your church website twice a year, or maybe three times a year, if you can. Once every six months, hire a photographer or work out a deal with somebody in your church to take pictures and then use those pictures on your church website – to depict what it’s like to be a part of your church.

Remember, when a guest visits your website, the main thing they’re asking is, “Do I fit in there?” And you wanna be able to help them answer that question.

Now, I can hear what you’re saying, “What if our church is just not that glamorous? What if you don’t have a lot of people in your church and you feel like having pictures of your church people is going to be a deterrent for somebody to visit your church?

Let me say this, God is bigger than that.

God is bigger than that.

We’re not trying to impress people right? We’re not trying to impress people when they come to church. We’re trying to share the Gospel with them. And so do your best – what you can do with the tools and the resources God has given you – and then trust God to work out the rest.

 So whoever visits your website, trust that the Lord is gonna work on their heart, and maybe they visit you online or maybe they visit you in person. And then let the Holy Spirit do his work. He is God, we are not.

¬†So if your church is not that glamorous or doesn’t have a lot of people, or you don’t have cool lighting, it’s okay. Just take pictures of who you are as a church and let people see what it’s like to be a part of your church. And then trust God for the rest. Trust God for the rest.

If you don’t hear anything else in this video, hear this: God will build His church. You can rest on that.

Okay, so the three things that every church website must include: First of all, your service times and your location. Make sure you have that above the fold. Make it easy for people to find and link your address to Google Maps. Secondly, your online service information. What time are your online services and how can I watch? Answer that question, make it very easy for them to find and make a big button where they can click and join your online service. And the third thing every church website must include – real pictures of real people experiencing the life of your church.

¬†Hey, I hope you’ll download that free resource in the description below. And if I can serve you in any way, send me an email, [email protected]. I’d love to connect with you and help answer any tech or media or communications questions that you might have.

And if you haven’t yet, subscribe to this channel. We’re almost to 100! Subscribe and help us get to 100 really soon.

¬†Okay, everybody have a great week. We’ll see you next time.

 

Do I Need A Church Website If I Have Facebook?

Do I Need A Church Website If I Have Facebook?

Are church websites even important any more since we have Facebook?

In this video I share three reason why you need a great church website. It is important especially if you want to reach more people in your community.

Transcript

Hey everybody. In this video, we’re going to talk about church websites, and specifically, I’m going to answer the question, Do I still need a church website if I have the Facebook page? Okay, let’s get into it.¬†

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. Hey, if you haven’t yet, I hope you’ll like this video and subscribe to this channel. Click that little bell below so you don’t miss any of the new content we produce. We’re trying to get to a 100 subscribers, so if you wanna be one of the first hundred subscribers of this channel, go ahead and click that subscribe button right now.

So today we’re gonna talk about church websites and specifically answer the question, Do I need a church website, or is my church website that important since we’re on Facebook? I’ve actually had this question asked to me a few different times from churches, and it’s interesting that people ask that – because they assume that everybody is on Facebook.

Now, let’s be honest, the majority of people are on Facebook, something like 89% of Americans are on Facebook, but.

What people wrongly assume is that because their congregation is on Facebook, that they are seeing the content that they are producing.

Unfortunately, the way Facebook’s algorithm works is that the majority of your congregation on a Facebook page is not seeing what you publish.

Okay, let’s say you have a 1000 people who have liked your Facebook page. The way the algorithm works for Facebook is that maybe 10 or 15 people out of that thousand are going to see what you post, unless you pay to have it boosted or pay for more people to see it. That’s on a Facebook page. So for you to assume that because your church is on Facebook and because you’re posting on Facebook, that everyone in your church is seeing the content – that is an incorrect assumption.

The majority of people are not seeing what you publish on Facebook, I’m sorry to let you know.

Many of you know that Facebook Groups have a better audience or a better potential reach than a Facebook Page does.

I encourage churches to have a Facebook Page, which you can kind of think of like someone’s driving by your church and they see your church, and that’s what a Facebook Page does. It still needed. You need a Facebook page.

Facebook Groups, which have a better chance of reaching more people or more people seeing your content, that’s kind of like the front porch of your church. You’re gathered on the front porch and you’re having a conversation – a friendly conversation inside of your Facebook Group.

So you do need a Facebook Page and a Facebook Group, but where do websites fall into this, and do we still need a website if we have Facebook?

The way Facebook allgo… Struggling today, boys.

The answer is yes, absolutely. You need a church website. You need a good church website.

Okay, let’s look at a few reasons why you need a church website.

First of all, guests. I guarantee you that nobody who you want to reach is on Facebook looking for your church. They’re not a part of your Facebook page, and they’re not a part of your Facebook Group, if you want to reach first time guests, then you need a church website to reach them.

¬†So let’s talk about Google for a minute. If someone searches “churches in my area” or “churches near me,” you want to be one of the first churches that show up in that list. If you’re not one of the first churches on that page, it’s very unlikely that guests are going to visit your website.

Now, the technical language for this is called SEO – search engine optimization. We’ll talk about more of that later in another video. But what you need to know is that your website will help you reach first time guests because it’s Google friendly. So when someone searches, “churches near me” or “churches in my city,” you want to be one of the first ones that show up. You can make that happen with your church website.

So the first reason you need a church website is to reach first-time guests.

The second reason you need a church website is because you can build your website to be accessible to everyone, not just the 89%. And let’s be honest, not everyone is on Facebook all the time. Facebook is very mobile-friendly and it looks great on a device, but there are some people who are not engaged in Facebook, especially those who are 30 and under.

If you don’t believe me, go back and look at your analytics. Your Facebook crowd is going to be between the ages of 45 and 65. That’s the majority of that audience – which is an important part of your church, don’t get me wrong. But you probably want to reach some younger people. So in order to do that, you need to be involved in some of the social media channels they’re involved in, but you especially need to have your own church website – a great church website that’s Google friendly and that young people can find easily.

Okay, the third reason you need a church website is because it, along with your email list is the only digital real estate that you actually own.

I’m gonna say that again, your website and your email list are the only digital real estate that you actually own. Your church’s Facebook account, your Twitter account, your Instagram, you’re Linked-In any other social media platforms that you’re a part of for your church, your YouTube account – you don’t own those. Those companies are letting you be a part of their platform. Which means at any time they can make a change and it can drastically affect your audience.

Think back a few years ago when Facebook changed their algorithm and all of a sudden, the organic reach for posts went from 8% to 0.8%. That’s because Facebook made the change and there was nothing we could do about it.

Your church website is digital real estate that you own. Right now, at least you can do anything you want on your church website. Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Instagram – they can’t restrict what you put on your website. And so it’s important for you to have a quality website with great content that not only your church family, but also your guests can access very easily.¬†

I hope you guys are getting the idea. Your church website is important. You need a great church website.

So I mentioned digital real estate. Let me expand on that just a little bit more. Your email list is also some digital real estate that you currently have full control over. Right now, there are no algorithms restricting you from how many emails you send to your email list. And you actually should nurture that list and do better with communicating through email. We’ll talk about that in another video.

But your email list and your church website, those are the only two digital real estate assets that you own, and you can do whatever you want to with them. So you can’t put all of your eggs in the Facebook basket. You can’t put all of your eggs in the YouTube basket.

¬†It’s kind of like your retirement account, you don’t need to put all of your money in one fund, because if that fund goes down, then all of your money is gone. The same is true for your digital reach, you don’t need to put all of your digital assets in the Facebook basket okay! Don’t put all of your eggs in the YouTube basket, you need to diversify.

So yes, you need to post on Facebook. You need to be active there. You need to be active on YouTube. But you also need to have a quality website that your church can be proud of.

Okay, so this video is the first of many that we’re gonna talk about church websites. I’m gonna tell you basically everything I know about church websites, and hopefully it’ll be helpful to you and your church.

If I can help you further about church websites or anything tech related, send me an email, [email protected]. And I hope you’ll visit WorshipResources.church to discover all the resources that we offer there on the site.

Well, I hope you’ll let me know what you think about this video in the comments. Was it helpful for you? I wanna hear from you. Let me know if this content is helpful and we’ll keep producing more content to help you and your church get better each week.

Hey, before you go, click that [whistles] Hey, before you go, click that like button beneath me. That would be awesome, I’d really appreciate it. And subscribe to the channel. Again, we’re trying to reach 100 subscribers.

Hey, have a great day guys, we’ll see you back your next week!

 

Using The New Stage Layouts In Planning Center Services

Using The New Stage Layouts In Planning Center Services

Using stage layouts is a great way to let your tech team know where all the musicians and singers will go on the stage.

This is especially helpful if you are in a portable set up or your personnel change frequently. Learn how to use the new Stage Layouts in Planning Center Services!

Transcript

Hey everybody! Planning Center just released a brand new feature inside of Planning Center Services called stage layouts. They’ve had stage layouts in the past, but now they’ve upgraded them with some new features. In this video, I’m gonna show you how to create a stage layout for your plan from scratch and using a template. Okay, let’s get started.

Hello 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. I hope you’ll take a minute to like this video and subscribe to this channel. That would really help us out. We’re doing our best to get to 100 subscribers. So if you wanna be one of the first 100 subscribers, go ahead and click that subscribe button below. And if this video is helpful to you, put it in the comments below. I’d love to start a conversation with you about Planning Center. And I’d love for you to join our Planning Center Training Facebook group. You can find the link in the description below. Okay, let’s look at stage layouts.

So, I’m here in Planning Center Services and plans. I’m gonna choose the folder of the service type that I want to add the stage layout to, so I’m gonna go to this service. Okay, I’m inside the service and I’m going to minimize these tabs. You can minimize just by clicking on them. Okay, this files tab, this is where we’re going to add the new stage lay out, click Add.

And then stage layout. You can see there are a few templates already added, a generic stage layout, a grid layout and a picture layout. And there are also custom options, so if I click Custom, you can see there are no custom templates available, so I’m going to create a new template, and I’m gonna call this Bethany Stage. The template needs an image to place things on, so I’m going to drag in my template. If you don’t have a template to use, I put a template in the description below. So go down below and you can download this template that I’m using.

I’m. gonna click Add Template, and you can see here is my stage. So now I’m gonna click on the actual template, and I can see right away that I have some people that are ready to be placed onto the stage. So if I click on them, they show up.

So you can click and add your personnel wherever you want them to be. We’ve got a tenor here, worship leader, alto, acoustic guitar. So you can place your personnel where you want them to be.

And a new feature is the objects. So if I click on objects, I have these different instruments and gear that I can add to the stage before you add them, you can change the color if you like. I’m gonna change them to green. So I’m going to add acoustic guitar, and that goes right here. If I click on the actual image, I can resize, rotate and change the color. So there’s my acoustic guitar. I’m going to add bass guitar. Again, click on it, resize, rotate.

Okay, I’m gonna change these back to this peach color and start adding these instruments in. And I wanna add some vocal mics. So we’re gonna add these microphones and we’ll increase the signs a little bit.

Now, one other thing you can do inside the stage layout is to make the names smaller or just use initials. So if you click on the person’s name, you can choose name, small name or initials.

I’m gonna choose small. Okay, just a couple more things for your stage layout. If you want to edit the name, you can click the pencil here. You can also delete the stage layout up here on the top right. And I’m gonna go back and we can see here’s the stage layout – Bethany stage. I can preview it, and these stage layouts will be visible to everyone that’s scheduled in your plan.

So from the preview window on the top right, you can download the stage layout or print the stage layout, which will then allow you to give it to your tech team, so they can see what personnel are where.

Okay, I’m gonna show you one more option for stage layout, and that is to use an actual picture of your church stage. So I’m gonna click Add File, stage layout, new template. And we’ll call this Bethany New. I’m going to grab the image and drag it in here. One thing to note is the image cannot be wider or taller than 1000 pixels, so you might have to resize your image before you can import it into the stage layouts. Add template, Bethany New. And now I can do the same thing, I can start adding my people exactly where they’re going to go.

Okay, that’s stage layouts, very simple, but helpful feature, especially if you’re in a portable church or your personnel change frequently, you can use stage layouts to clarify where everyone needs to be. This feature is especially helpful to your tech teams, so they know where to set up gear and where everything should go.

Okay, so that’s it for this video. If you like the video, I hope you’ll click the like button below and subscribe to this channel. Click that little bell so you don’t miss any of the new content we produce. And I hope you’ll visit WorshipResources.church to discover tons of free and inexpensive resources you can use to make your church better.

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

How To Create And Use Planning Center Templates

How To Create And Use Planning Center Templates

Using Planning Center Templates will save you SO MUCH TIME in planning your services.

This video will show you how to create a template from scratch AND the fastest way to create a template (that I almost forgot!).

Transcript

Hey guys, what’s up? So today we’re going to look at templates in Planning Center. Using templates is a great way to save time so that you have about 60% to 70% of your service already completed. So today, I’m gonna walk you through how to create a template from scratch, and then how to use that template for creating services in the future. 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. As I said, in this video, we’re gonna look at templates, and this is gonna be from the desktop.

Okay, I’m in Planning Center Services, and I’m gonna go to plans and then I’m gonna select the folder and the service type that I want to add the template to. On the top right, click the gear, drop down and go to Templates. And you can see you’re in the templates tab.

Now, we have several templates already created, but I’m gonna create a new one. I’m gonna click Add template, and we’ll call this Default Sunday Worship, enter. And so right away, I see that this is a blank plan. It looks very similar to a plan, but I don’t have anything in it, so I’m going to add my first item.

¬†And here it is right here, and let’s call this countdown. And this is going to be before the service begins – and that’s awesome. And now I’m going to start adding some more items.

Now, the quickest way to add items is to use the keyboard shortcuts, for instance, S for song, I for Item, H For header. So I’m gonna click on H and then I’m going to type in walk in. Now I’m gonna click and drag that above. So this is while people are walking in. I’m gonna add some more headers here – so this will be Music. I’m typing in H on the keyboard – this will be a Sermon, and then one more for announcements.

So now I have my headers and now I’m gonna add some items.

These are items that we do every week, so press I and we’ll call this Welcome and Announcements. And we’re gonna say this usually takes 5 minutes and it’s during all the services. So now I’m gonna drag it down beneath the announcements. I’m gonna add another item, and we’ll call this sermon bumper. Let’s say it’s one minute and 30 seconds. I’m gonna add another item, call it sermon. And we’ll say 40 minutes for the sermon. And this is looking pretty good.

It’s a pretty good template – I’m gonna move the announcements up before the sermon, to move those here. And the sermon bumper, of course, goes before the sermon. So we’ve got walk in. We’ve got music, announcements. Let’s do a response. So I’m gonna do – I’ll call this response song, and we’ll say, this is 5 minutes. And I’m gonna put this underneath the sermon. And let’s add another header called walk out. And we’ll add one more item for announcement loop. This will be 10 minutes and it’s going to be after the service.

So in just a few minutes, I created a template, and this is a basic structure for our services from week to week. Obviously I didn’t add the songs because the songs are gonna change from week to week. But now I’m gonna add personnel. So these are all the needed positions for our team. So if we go to the top and click on teams, it gives you some instructions. I can import a template, I can add people and I can do needed positions. I’m gonna click on needed positions, and I’m gonna go through and add all of the needed positions that we need for our team. Front of house; one, light programmer; one, lights; one, livestream; one, screens; one, technical director one.

So we need a piano player, we need keyboard player, we need electric lead, drums, bass, acoustic. I want two altos, two Sopranos, one worship leader and two tenors. And then for staff, we need an assistant, we need an intro pastor, online host, pastor and worship pastor. Now, done.

Now you can see I have the order here and the teams here. If you have people that serve every week in the same position, you can go ahead and add them to the template, and then you don’t have to add them when you create a service. So for instance, our technical director is the same every week. So I’m going to click on that and search for Nick, there is Nick, and add one. So now Nick is automatically added as the technical director in this template, our bass player is usually the same bass player every week, so I’m gonna search for Pablo and add one. Our pastor is the same every week – hopefully your pastor is the same every week. Add one.

Okay, you get the idea, I’m gonna speed up through this process.

Okay, now I have all of my normal personnel, the people who serve every week, in the template, but I’ve left open the slots where the volunteers rotate. So I have my order and I have my teams. And the great thing about Planning Center, it automatically saves. So here’s the title of the template, and if you want, you could add some notes to this template and add categories here.

Now, I do want to mention, you have to first set up your teams in Planning Center before you’re gonna be able to see audio visual, band, vocals, staff. You need to set up those teams first in Planning Center. You can watch another video to see how to do that.

Okay, before we finalize this template, I’m gonna add a few more details. We like to add the leader for each group, but I’m gonna remove a couple of these columns that aren’t needed. So this is video.

Hey, I realized after I recorded this video that I forgot about the fastest and easiest way to create a template, and that’s by exporting a current plan into a template. I’m gonna show you how it’s done.

So I’m inside my plan, and in the top right, I’m gonna click these two little arrows that say export. I’m gonna export to template. You can choose your service type, you can choose the items that you want to export, give it a name, then click submit. After it exports, it sends me right to the template. I can see I’m on default template 2. And here’s all my people, here’s all my songs, and so I’m just gonna delete the songs from the template because we’re not gonna sing those songs every week. And I also will go up to teams and delete the personnel who don’t serve every week, or who I don’t want included on this template.¬†

Okay, I’m gonna show you one more way to create a template. I’m gonna go to the gear, click on templates, add template, give it a name. Under actions, I’m going to import template and I’m gonna choose recent plans.

So I’m going to import everything from this recent plan to this template. Okay, you can see I’m on template default three, and then I can just remove all of the songs, and now I have my template ready to go.

I’m pretty happy with this template, so now let’s create a service from the template. I’m gonna go to plans, and first I’ll show you, if you go back to templates on the top right, you can see here’s your default Sunday Worship template with six items, four teams, no notes and the date it was created and updated. If I want to update the template, just click on the template, and then you can make some updates from here.

So now I’m going to create some services using this template from plans. Go to the service type you want to add. Click add a plan. I’m gonna choose four, and I’m gonna change this template to default Sunday worship. So I’m copying the times from this Sunday and we’re starting on March the 7th. I click add four. Now, it automatically redirects me to the first service of the services I created, which was March the 7th. So if I go back to plans, I can see here are all the services I just created. And if I click on March 7th, I can see, I already have all of these items added because we used the template. So now really all I have to do is add the songs and adjust the personnel. So I’m gonna click S and I’m gonna start adding songs.

Once you’re finished adding all the songs and all the personnel, now it’s time to send out that service to your team.

Well, I hope this video was helpful in learning how to use templates, how to create a template from scratch, and use templates to plan upcoming services. If you use this, you will save a whole lot of time. And here’s a tip, you can create as many templates as you want. So if you have the same team that serves on the first Sunday and the third Sunday, and then a different team that serves on the second Sunday and the fourth Sunday, create two templates and then build your orders of service from those templates.

Templates are a great way to save time from week to week, so you’re not starting from scratch and building the plan. If you have any questions about templates or anything Planning Center, send me an email, [email protected] And will you take a minute to like this video and subscribe to this channel if you haven’t yet?

I’d love to connect with you over at WorshipResources.church, or on our Planning Center Training Facebook group. You can find all those links and a free download in the description below.

Hey, thanks for tuning in today. I hope you guys have a great day. We’ll see back here next week.

How To Set Up Notifications In Planning Center Services

How To Set Up Notifications In Planning Center Services

Setting up notifications in Planning Center is not hard but it’s important so you don’t miss any services you’ve been scheduled for.

And if you’re a team leader, you need to know when someone declines a service invite or blocks out dates in the future.

This video will show you how to set up email and text notifications!

Transcript

Hey, what’s up, everybody? So my son comes, my middle son, he’s 13, he comes to my room this morning and he says, “Dad, I think I know how you can get more YouTube subscribers.” And I said, Oh yeah, really? How… And he said, “You need to be more exciting.” And I said, Okay. And he said, I watched one of your videos. And it was really boring.

So, I’m sorry, if these videos are boring. I will try to be more exciting for you guys. But thanks for tuning in.

So in today’s quick tip video, I’m gonna show you everything you need to know about Planning Center notifications – how you can set up notifications if you’re a leader and also if you’re just a normal user on Planning Center. This is how you can set up notifications for your Planning Center Services account.

Okay, 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 if you haven’t yet subscribe to this channel – I promise to be more exciting.

¬†In future videos, I will follow my son’s advice. I promise he’s a YouTube Pro.

Okay, so we’re gonna dive into notifications.

Now, the first thing you need to know is that you have to set your notifications for team leaders. So whoever is a team leader, that’s who your notification is gonna be set for. And these notifications are if they accept a plan, decline a plan, or they block out their dates.

So first, go to the service type that you want to edit the notifications in, click the drop down in the top right next to the gear, and go to teams. You will see you’re on the teams tab, and you’ll see a list of your teams. These might look similar or these could be totally different, it just depends on how you have set up Planning Center.

But I’m gonna click on the first team and then I’m gonna click team leaders. And you can see I’m a team leader for the audio visual team, and these are the notifications that I will receive if someone accepts a plan, if they decline a plan or they block out.

Now, I always like to just have decline and block out because I don’t really need to know if they accepted it. I don’t need to get an email or a text for that. I just wanna know if they declined so I can find a replacement for them, or if they block out dates, then I’ll know I need to find a replacement for them coming up in the future. So I always leave the decline and block out checked. Now you have to make these settings for every team, so I’m on go to band, team leaders and decline and block out.

I’m making sure that they are set. Then you go to vocals, team leaders, decline, block out.

Now, let’s say you wanted to add a team leader – you can do that right from here. Click add a person and then search for someone you want to add as a team member. And this pop-up is letting me know if I add Allison as a leader, it will increase their permissions to scheduler for adult worship. Sounds good.

And now I can set the notifications for her – what notifications she will receive. Obviously, if you don’t have any of them ticked, then she won’t receive any notifications. Then if you want to remove the team leader, just mouse over, click the minus button and remove…

Okay, so that’s how you set your permissions if you’re a team leader. Now let’s check how you can set permissions. If you’re just a regular user on Planning Center and you wanna get, let’s say, text notifications.

So I’ve logged in to another account, and you can see I can block out dates. I can look at my messages. I can also email my leader. And if I’m scheduled for an event, it will show up here. But to edit my notifications, in the top right corner I’m gonna click the drop down and then profile under the profile tab. Click communication, and then where it says text notifications, click edit to add a mobile number and carrier.

So I’m going to edit, I’m gonna add my mobile number, which of course is 867-5309, and I’m gonna click Save.

Now you’ll notice nothing showed up here, it doesn’t look like anything happened. And that’s because you have to choose a mobile carrier. Now, you can set text permissions for your users if you’re an admin or an editor, or you can set your own text notifications, but you have to know who their mobile carrier is AT&T, Verizon, US Cellular, etc.

So I’m gonna go back to edit, I’m gonna change my mobile carrier and click save from there. I can tick the boxes where I want text notifications, if I want general emails, scheduling request reminders, these will become text message notifications.

Before we move on, I wanna let you know that if you are a Verizon customer, you cannot receive text notifications unfortunately. So if you click edit and you change to Verizon – save, you will see this notification that says Verizon has stopped supporting text notifications.

So what they encourage you to do is to install the Planning Center Services mobile app on your phone and Enable notifications using the mobile app. If you want to find out more information, just click learn more and I’ll link this page, this is the help page from Planning Center. But you can see that Verizon does not support text notifications.

Okay, what if your mobile carrier is not listed? So, if you go to edit and you select the mobile carrier, you can see there are several dozen mobile carriers available. They have the most common ones listed here at the top. But if your mobile carrier is not listed here, then it’s probably not supported to get text messages through Planning Center. Also, please note, you have to have your email address. Also, if you have more than one mobile number, make sure you put a star next to the one that you want to receive text notifications and save.

Okay, so that’s all you need to know really about notifications and how to set them up in Planning Center. I hope this was helpful for you.

If you have any questions about Planning Center, shoot me an email, [email protected]. And I’d love for you to connect with us on our Planning Center training Facebook group. You can follow the link in the comments below to access the Planning Center training Facebook group. It’s free, and we’re helping users just like you, maximize Planning Center to its fullest potential.

Hey, thanks again for watching. Like this video and subscribe. I’ll be more excited from now on! Have a great day, guys. We’ll see you next week.¬†

Whoa.

How To Create A Free Digital Release Form Using Planning Center

How To Create A Free Digital Release Form Using Planning Center

Learn how to create your own Digital Release Form for free, using Planning Center People Forms. This will save you and your parents time from having to fill out those pesky release forms. Digital is better!

Download a free Digital Release Form Example Here.

*This is not legal advice. You should consult your own attorney before implementing Digital Release Forms for your church.

Transcript

 Hey, before we jump into this video, you need to know I am not an attorney, you should not take legal advice from me or from this video. You need to consult your own attorney when deciding if digital release forms are legal or appropriate for your context. Okay, here we go.

In this video, I’m gonna show you how to create a digital release form for free using Planning Center People, and also how you can link your digital release form using Planning Center registrations. Okay, let’s dive in.

Hey everybody, I’m Joshua, I’m the creator of WorshipResources.church, where we help you discover and learn how to use quality resources to make your church better. In this video, I’ve got a brand new, free download in the description below where you can download all of the copy – the language we use for our digital release forms. And then you can edit it to fit your context.

Again, this is not legal advice, but you can edit this content for your digital release forms. It’s a free download in the description below, I hope you’ll grab it today.

Okay, before we get started, I’m gonna show you an example of a digital release form that we have created for one of our events. This is for one of our kids events, parents night out. You can see that an adult must fill out the form and they need to check each section to confirm compliance. So they’re gonna put their name and email address, the age group of their children, the children’s names, any allergies, and then emergency contact. And here’s where we get to the release. So we have created multiple checkboxes that the parents need to check to release liability, injury risk, assuming risk, comply with conditions, negligence, photo release – this is a great thing that you actually need to have. You need to get a photo release so that the parents can give permission for you to show pictures of their kids on your website or on social media and videos, and things like that.

We even added a COVID-19 release and you can read that here.

So the guardian must sign – so they’re gonna check the box and then they print their name as a signature below. And then they click Submit.

Okay, I’m gonna show you how to create the form now. So I’m in Planning Center People, I’m gonna go to forms, and I’m gonna click new form in the top right corner. I’m gonna give it a name – parent release, and then I’m going to add a description. And I have some text already filled out, so I’m just gonna copy the text from here. I’m gonna click Save and Save.

Now, I do recommend to put the name of the activity or event that they’re releasing from. I know some churches do one release for the entire year. For us, we do one per event just to hopefully cover any bases.

So I’m gonna put Summer Camp 2021 save. Now, by default, they always have to put their first name, last name and email address.

So now we’re gonna start dragging some fields in to get started. So you can see there are profile fields over here, there are workflow fields, which we won’t get into those today, and then basic fields. These are the main fields that we’re going to start adding.

Okay, in the form, you can collect any information that you want to – names, phone numbers, email addresses, personal information about the kids or the parents – whatever you deem necessary. So I’m going to drag a couple of basic fields in, text and I’m gonna ask, how old is your child? I’m gonna make it required and then save. And then I’m going to ask for the child’s name, make it required, and save. I’m going to ask if there’s any allergies or medical issues. So I’m gonna copy this text.

Now before I move on, I’m gonna put a header here under this child information, just so it cleans up the form a little bit. And the way to do that is here, where it says section heading. I’m gonna drag it above here, and I’m gonna put child’s information.

¬†Now, I’m going to add an emergency contact by default. Every form gathers the first name, last name and email address, but sometimes the emergency contact might be different. So I’m going to add a header, first, section heading and emergency contact. And then I’m going to add the name. I’m gonna use the basic text field, make it required. And then I’m going to add phone number. So I’m gonna come up here, click on Phone Number, drag it down and make that required.

Now, if you use the profile field, this phone number will be permanently attached to the first name, last name and email address. So it might be that you wanna just use a basic text field for the phone number. It just depends on your scenario.

Okay, so now we’re gonna get to the release form part. I’m gonna add another section heading, and I’m gonna copy this text and copy the description. Now this information you will want to update. So, Bethany Church Students, let’s make this all caps Students Summer Camp.

¬†Now I’m gonna start adding the check boxes, I can click on it and it’s gonna add it to the bottom, and I will copy this information. So now I have the information. I’m going to, of course, make it required, and then click save. And then I’m going to add more checkboxes and I’ll speed up through this process ’cause you don’t wanna watch all this.

Okay, now I have all of the forms copied and you can see what it looks like on the back end. Let’s see what it looks like to the public. On the top right, I’m gonna click View Public Form, and I can see that this release form is looking good.

So now if I wanna send out the release form, all I have to do is copy this link, and of course, this part of the link before Church Center will be your church-specific link. You can also go to settings and copy the link or learn how to embed the form onto your website, following these directions.

A couple of other things to mention; you might want your student pastor to have access to this form, so I’m going to add him, and also we’re gonna give him a notification, so that any time someone fills out the form, he will get a notification that the form has been filled out. You can also add a category for the form if you want to, you can also close the form or archive the form once you’re done with it.

Now, I’m gonna show you how you can integrate the form into Planning Center Registrations. Which means that your entire registration process will be digital. No more pesky paper forms waiting for parents to print the off, fill out the form.

¬†And then hand it back to you. Now, it can be all done digitally. So I’ll go to Planning Center Registrations. I’m gonna go to this Bethany Students. Under settings and forms, I’m going to add a form, new form, and make sure that you check people forms. And then you can select the form that you just filled out, which was… Parent Release Form. You can see we have a lot of forms. Parent Release Summer Camp. And then if you want to, you can only ask for the students, save.

And that’s all there is to it. Now, when someone registers for an event using Planning Registrations, they will be prompted to fill out the digital release form that you created in Planning Center People. How cool is that?

There are some other options for digital release forms, I’ll put those in the description, but we decided to keep things simple and use Planning Center Registrations and Planning Center Forms for all of our sign-ups, including our digital release forms.

Again, I am not a lawyer or an attorney. I cannot give you legal advice. You should consult an attorney before you implement this strategy, but I hope this was helpful in learning how to create a form, a digital release form that you can send out to your parents.

Hey, before you go, I wanna mention one thing. You don’t have to use Planning Center Registrations to send out the digital release form. All you need to do is copy the link of the Planning Center People Form and then send that out in an email and get them to fill out the form that way.

So you can use it just with Forms, or you can use the Forms feature inside of Planning Center Registrations – whichever is most convenient for you.

I hope this video was helpful. If I can serve you in any way, send me an email, [email protected] And I hope you’ll visit WorshipResources.church where we help you discover and learn how to use quality resources to make your church better.

Hey, be sure to download the free copy that we use for our Parent Release Forms. You can get that in the description below. You can edit it and use it however you need to for your church.

Hey, will you take a minute to click the like button and also subscribe to this channel if you haven’t yet? And maybe share this with a friend who might find this information helpful.

I hope you have a great day. We’ll see back here next week!