So many of us look forward to the Christmas season every year. It’s one of our favorite, festive times of celebration! But in the midst of all the food, fun, presents, and décor, it can be easy to forget that there are people at church who feel a little different about the holidays. For many, the Christmas season is filled with emotional stress. It’s a reminder of loss, pain, and heartache. For them, it’s a really difficult season to celebrate. So as you’re planning for the holiday season at your church, it’s imperative that you don’t forget about people in your congregation and community who are hurting.
Hello, my name is Luke, and I love holidays!
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We made a major transition in my family this year… No, I’m not talking about Lebron’s infamous move to Los Angeles (though I’m still dealing with the emotional impact of that one!). I’m talking about our transition from being a family of three to a family of four! We welcomed our second son this year. Of course he’s been the best addition to our little tribe, but all you parents out there know that this transition doesn’t always come easy. Dealing with a child #1 who’s used to undivided child #1 attention (And isn’t necessarily ready to share the spotlight!) Dealing with a child #2 who’s COMPLETELY different than child #1 (So going through it once doesn’t really help that much, does it?) Yeah. It’s a transition that takes some getting used to! As parents, you go from zone defense to a man-to-man. Suddenly, you can’t pass off the baby and take a nap. Why? Because there’s another kid who needs you, too! (If you’re a parent of five, you’re laughing at me right now. But remember, there was day when you actually took naps!) Several months in, I think we’ve finally gotten the hang of this two-kid family thing. And here’s how we made it through the transition… We had help.
Here’s a common misconception a lot of churches have about their website… It doesn’t really connect us with anyone. Believe it or not, we hear this a lot! So many people think that their website is simply for information, not connection. It’s seen as a place where people come, look around, find what they need, and leave. Sure, that’s one way your website can work, but it’s certainly not the only way. In fact, it’s not even the best way! Your church website is one of the best resources you have to connect with visitors at your church.
Did you know that you have a great tool at your disposal to reach people almost anywhere? I’m talking about the inbox, people! Email newsletters are a great way to keep your people informed. A little prep work on your end, click “send,” and all of a sudden your congregation has access to vital information 24 hours a day. Pretty cool, right? One disclaimer… If it’s used correctly, email newsletter is an awesome tool. If it’s not used correctly, then it will work against you.
“A picture is worth a thousand words.” You’ve heard that old saying, right? Well, we think it’s especially true when it comes to your church website. Good photography speaks volumes on your website. It tells a story. It paints a picture of the people in your community, your church, and its different environments. It gives visitors a glimpse into what your church looks like. That’s why having good photography is essential for your church website! But the reality is, not every church has access to a professional quality photographer who can snap hundreds of pics to find the best 10-30. And not every church has the budget to hire one, either! So what do you do when you want good, quality photography for your website, but you don’t want to break the bank? The answer: stock photos!
If you’ve been around the Clover blogosphere for a while, then you know that we talk about this fact a lot… You can’t get people in the doors of your church if they don’t know your church exists. And in this day and age, a lot of people figure out what exists out there using one powerful tool… Google. Believe it or not, “local churches” is one of the things people search for on the Internet. And hopefully, that search takes them to your website! Having your church found online is one of the big catalysts to having your church found in person.
You guys, it’s official… Fall is here! School is in full swing. A chill is entering the air. Scarves and beanies are making their triumphant return to wardrobes around the country. Football is here. And everything (and I mean everything) is suddenly flavored with pumpkin! One of my favorite sights in the world is the leaves changing colors at the start of every fall. There’s a tree in a nearby park that I marvel at every year... It’s almost as if the entire world goes through a little renovation each fall! With everything around you changing this season, you don’t want to forget to do the same for your church website! You’ve heard of spring cleaning, right? Well, let me introduce you to the fall overhaul! Let the changing of seasons be a signal to you to make some changes on your church website!
Because we live in a broken world, our children face a battlefield every day. And on this battlefield, they face monsters of fear, anger, shame, apathy, greed, loneliness, and pride. However, we know that, “in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us” (Romans 8:37). We also know that these monsters gain strength and grow from a pack of lies that suggest we are unworthy or wrong-headed to think we can do anything about our state of affairs. God’s Word tells us something different, and as our children realize God’s teaching through the Word, they will understand more fully how to fight against these monsters. Is your child wrestling with one or more of these monsters? Set apart some time and read through this article with them. Together you’ll learn how to overcome fear and find victory as God’s Word exposes each monster as a lie. As a bonus, you can download a free "7 Monsters" resource pack that includes a powerpoint, bookmark, and video bumper.