16 Rejoice evermore. 17 Pray without ceasing. 18 In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.
Ever wonder “how to pray without ceasing”? I mean, the Bible tells us to pray without ceasing, but how do you do this?
“The Game with Minutes” is a devotional developed through 20th century missionary, Frank Laubach. Here, Frank encourages his readers to make a game of placing their minds and hearts on God every minute of every day, in order to walk a more spiritually-fulfilled life.
It’s easy for the church to become some sort of clique or club, like once you are part of it you’re instantly better than those who aren’t. This is exactly the opposite of what Jesus Christ intended for his followers, even if we do it unintentionally. Not only does this happen in-person and at the church buildings, but the dialog of many church websites isn’t directed to their uninvolved visitors, but rather to their members. Here are a few strategies to implement that can steer your website to be more Great Commission-friendly.
1. Laughter is Good Medicine
What part of “living forever” isn’t fun? Well, the dialog on some church websites could bore a sloth. One of the keys to having a successful website is having good content. Dialog is important! Your dialog is essentially the voice of your ministry. How do you want to come across? Witty and humorous dialog can be entertaining and more welcoming than a plain, bland, mission statement.
2. Pictures of Actual Staff Personnel
Your church website will be much more welcoming should you actively post pictures of the congregation. Showing people the church is active is vital, as no one wants to be part of something that isn’t going anywhere or doing anything. Having tangible evidence of the real members of your church could mean the difference between a new member or just another fly-by website visitor. Here are a few examples of how you might lay out a church staff page from the Carpenter’s Path demo site.
3. Biblical Examples
Provided you have the first two strategies under your belt, move on to adding real and moving content from the Gospel. Remember, God is the Word and—with a compassionate and engaging attitude as illustrated by your website’s illustrious writing—lives can be changed. Your website could feature the means by which we find our salvation through Christ and essentially offer a walk-through experience.
P.S. Don’t shy away from the tough topics here.
4. Direct Connection Tools
Make use of face-to-face tools like Skype and make things a little more personal. The Internet spreads across the globe and sometimes people have nowhere to turn. Your church could be life-changing to those people. If you don’t have the staff in your ministry to provide that kind of immediate support, try using an active small group event planner. People visiting the site will have the potential to engage and go to the nearest meeting.
5. How Do They Get There?
Clear directions to your church is absolutely necessary for any potential newcomers. Use clear direction links like Mapquest or Google Maps. Offer event or meeting times alongside locations and contact details if folks have questions.
6. Different Age Groups
Keep in mind there are many different age groups that respond differently to the same kind of content. Try breaking things up a little and provide something for each different age group to maximize engagement.
These are just a few examples of what is already working in ministries all over the Internet, all over the world. Try new things with your website and ministry ALL THE TIME and don’t be scared! God is with you in all that you do; never forget it.
Saint Teresa of Ávila was born on March 28, 1515, as Teresa Sánchez de Cepeda y Ahumada. During her time as a Carmelite nun, she became revered as a Spanish mystic and a theologian of contemplative life through mental prayer. 40 years following her death on October 4, 1582, she was canonized as a saint by the Roman Catholic church.
As the author of the Interior Castle, Teresa portrays the spiritual development of the human soul and its response to God as being like a great castle, wherein lies seven rows of mansions. With each graduation, the soul moves from the outer mansions to the inner mansions, ever moving into closer union with God.
The first three mansions are considered to be stages of active prayer and asceticism.
First mansions – Though they are entering a state of grace, the souls are surrounded by sin and only starting to seek God’s grace through humility.
Second mansions – The soul seeks a deeper relationship with the Father through daily thoughts of God and daily prayer.
Third mansions – Here, love for God is growing so great that the soul develops an aversion to sin and a deepening desire to love and serve others.
The fourth through seventh mansions are considered to be mystical or contemplative prayer.
Fourth mansions – God begins to increase His role in the supernatural development of the soul.
Fifth mansions – God deepens union with the soul, preparing it to receive the gifts of the Spirit.
Sixth mansions – The soul spends increasing amounts of time torn between favors from God and from outside afflictions.
Seventh mansions – The soul achieves clarity in prayer and a spiritual marriage with God.
“Teresa candidly reveals this interior journey as being inseparable from her love for Christ and that the highest mansions can only be gained by being in a state of grace through the Church sacraments, fervent devotion of the soul’s will to Him, and humbly receiving a love so great it is beyond human capability or description. Through prayer and meditation the soul is placed in a quiet state to receive God’s gifts (she calls “consolations”) of contemplation, and Teresa notes that man’s efforts cannot achieve this if it is not His divine will.”
Christian blogs. One of the most powerful weapons in the Christian arsenal for expanding the Kingdom on earth is the printed word. Whether you’re looking to write for a Christian blog just to share ideas or simply praying for a great backlink and a little exposure for your own Christian blog, guest posting should become a regular practice.
To help you with that effort, here are the guest post submission guidelines for over 70 Christian blogs. (No kidding.)
Did we miss you? Submit the form at the bottom of this post and–if it fits–we’ll add your blog to the list.
Blogs help you quickly and easily publish compelling content about you and your services out to the world. Blogs help to connect your business to potential customers. But how do your readers know when you’ve published a new blog post?
RSS (Really Simple Syndication) helps you connect your customers to your blog. The problem is, not many people know what RSS is or even how to use it. Your audience wants to connect with you, but they’re not sure how. The fact you likely don’t know how to help them connect with you makes the challenge even greater, right?! Well, blog owners, there’s an answer to this.
Aweber has made it easy to connect your blog to your newsletter (your electronic newsletter, that is). Now you can turn your blog into an email newsletter. Simply plug in your blog’s RSS feed (for WordPress sites, this is usually something like yourdomainname.com/feed/) and choose one of Aweber’s colorful templates. When you publish a new post, Aweber places your brilliant content into the email template and fires it off to your subscribers.
You can even schedule your newsletters to go out on a particular day and time in the form of a weekly digest that delivers all of your latest posts! As your subscribers click through to your posts, you’ll see an increase in readers and comments. Plus, even more readers will discover your blog as your subscribers forward your emails to them.
Over the years, Aweber has been continually recognized for a high-quality email marketing experience:
PC Magazine 2016, Business Choice Award – Best Email Marketing Software
2016 Gold Stevie® for Best Service Industry – Contact Center of the Year
2015 NCSA All Stars Service Team of the Year – First Runner Up
Interested? If you’re tech-savvy, you can go straight to Aweber and proceed in setting up your account. If you’re a little unsure how to proceed–or if you get stuck–simply contact us and we can walk you through the next steps.
When the request first came to us, it arrived as a desire for a PayPal alternative. News to us, we discovered from our client PayPal offers financial support to organizations that don’t really support the ideals shared by our churches and faith-based organizations.
Let’s just say there are some concerns about the sanctity of human life.
So the search began. We reviewed a number of online donation systems. We looked at rates, client-bases, support levels and technology. Oh, and and we asked about who they financially supported.
And now we’ve partnered with Qgiv.
As their site boasts, fundraisers who use Qgiv process 39% more donations than they did before, and those donations are 160% greater than the industry average. Seems kind of impressive, but how do we know that 39% increase in donations isn’t just because now you’re able to take donations online? And does the 160 number include offline donations? If so, that might be explained by the 39% increase in donations, right?
We had to look deeper.
Alright. We know your members want to donate using their debit or credit cards instead of using cash or checks. The intuitive Qgiv platform makes that easy. Your donation forms and events will be beautiful and user-friendly on any computer, tablet, or smartphone. But what does it cost?
Using the Qqiv free account for nonprofits, your fee schedule is low:
3.95% + $0.30 per transaction
Hmm. Pretty competitive, but PayPal offers a lower rate of 2.2% + $0.30 per transaction. Now if the rate was the most important factor, our research would have ended there. However, we already know Qgiv’s heart is better aligned with our own (because we asked them point-blank if they financially supported the organization in question. They checked. They don’t.) Still, we needed to really get a sense for the Qgiv product. Here is a list of the Qgiv standard features. Power and extensibility just go up from here into the paid plans. Dreamscape Multimedia and the Qgiv team will work with you to ensure your donations work smoothly and securely. Setup is free.
Positions you for receiving year-round giving
Mobile-responsive giving – Supporters can give easily from their mobile devices
Smooth email and social sharing – True: fundraisers who share their pages through email and social posts raise more money.
Recurring donations and donor accounts – Your donors can customize frequency, start dates, and end dates for ongoing support.
Unlimited event registrations – Take event registrations on your donation form, virtual terminal, or kiosk.
Unlimited donation forms
Customizable landing & confirmation pages
Powerful donor receipts system
Account owner dashboard and reporting
Easy-to-use form builders and widgets
Online virtual terminal for in-person gifts
Unlimited email and phone support
Convenient donor summaries
Free live Qgiv training
Need to track your fundraising? Sounds like something you should be doing, right? Whether you need to know how much money you’ve raised this month or how many donors have given to a particular campaign, the information you need is right at your fingertips.
Then we began working with Qgiv. Don’t be surprised at the diligence with which they meet your account. These people are serious about your security and the security of your donors. After a little coordination and paperwork, your church or nonprofit will be ready to accept donations online, securely and elegantly.