There is something to be said about working smarter not harder.
That doesn’t mean that we don’t work, mind you…it just means that perhaps there’s a smarter, more effective way.
Today on Pastorsponderings.org, I would like to explore some of the tips and tricks of ministry.
I would caution you though that these are simply tools of ministry and that these elements ought never take the place of person/pastoral studies as well as hard work and scholarly thought.
I remember in seminary (College For Officer’s Training) instructors expressing the need to have ministry files and preaching calendars. These elements, if prepared ahead of time, can save pastors from rushing around on the weekend or when a crisis hits they have spare messages and/or bible studies to reach for. Preparation is key!
This is the first tip to ministry. Don’t get blinded sided by how busy the life of a pastor can be. Work ahead of schedule, stockpile thoughts and ideas. Prepare to be bombarded, at times, by the “hecticness” of life. The Boy Scouts were right…”Be Prepared”…if you plan ahead, the late night cramming session won’t be necessary.
2. Dropbox/Cloud Storage.
I am sort of a tech-head. I use technology when it suits me. It has saved me at times when my computer has frozen up or crashed. Saving my sermons and other such pertinent information on a cloud based server can help preserve needed information in the future. It may seem tedious saving it twice…but it doesn’t hurt to have a backup, especially if the information pertains to finances, sermon prep and other administrative documents.
Make sure you pick a cloud device that has lots of free space, and if desired you can always purchase additional gig space in the future if the need arises. Most of the time, however, the start-up free space offered is more than sufficient. There are numerous platforms by which you can use these cloud based sites and applications for both android, windows and apple.
Save onto the cloud, make sure your password is complicated enough but not too complicated to forget…and save often!
3. CCLI/Songselect Subscription
For just over a $100 a year, you will have access to a plethora of worship songs both old and new.
There are other subscription based worship groups out there but none are linked like Songselect is to CCLI…and since there are the occasional audits from CCLI anyway, it doesn’t hurt to have an inventory of your songs already available to you. There are a couple of subscription options to choose from. Since I’m predominantly a guitar player, I utilize the basic membership which includes unlimited guitar chords to thousands of worship songs as well as traditional hymns. The beauty of this subscription is that you can link it to other software that perhaps your church already has such as MediaShout, ProPresenter…etc.
There are numerous song/scripture/lyric presenters out there for Sunday worship that do a far better job than the traditional Powerpoint software. I have used some, but admittedly not all. I cannot comment on the ones I haven’t personally used, but the ones I have used I can say that it can make life a lot easier. Again it comes back to the principle of thinking smarter not harder. Having software like this at your church can ease the load of having to build worship sets from scratch every week. I cannot tell you how great it feels to have a library of worship songs that are ready for me to choose from, and if it’s not there yet I can link my Songselect account to MediaShout and pull up that new song I need for the up and coming Sunday. Some might consider the cost of this software to be too much, and I certainly don’t work for this company or others I’ve mentioned, but I can tell you that they do certainly pay for themselves in the amount of use I get out of them.
I know that there are many other such software companies that offer similar services and I would imagine most of these would work just as well within your ministry.
5. Tablet For Ministry
Again, don’t get tempted to lean too much on technology, but don’t be afraid of it either. Take a risk from time to time…these modern devices can help to improve your ministry or provide you resources at the touch of a finger or two.
I personally use my iPad to preach from. I bought an app about two years back called ‘Documents to Go’ (before Microsoft Word was available on an Apple device). I usually write my sermons from my computer, save it to Dropbox and upload it into Documents to Go. I find it easy to use, it stays lit when I am preaching and I potentially can go paperless while still maintaining a library of my written sermons on my device or on the cloud.
I do have Bible Apps on my tablet, but honestly, I still use my personal Bible for study and while I’m preaching on Sundays…somethings won’t ever change for me. Perhaps you already feel comfortable using these devices, perhaps not. If you think you can use it, then give it a shot…if not, don’t sweat it. These are just a few suggestions to help you in your ministry.
How About You?
Do you have any other “Tech” Tips and Tricks for ministry that you can offer us today?
Leave your comments below…share, and join in the conversation. I promise to post your suggestions in the future, and I will have other tech tips and tricks in the coming weeks that perhaps can aid you in your ministry right now.
Something more to Ponder today.