If you’ve been on the internet at all over the past few years, then you know that there are a ton of new products and services popping up to help you’re church thrive. Many of these are truly great resources that can make your days more productive and give you more time for what you truly love.
However, finding the right product or service can be an overwhelming task. So I’ve endeavored help you cut through the noise a bit by compiling a list of some of the best online subscription based tools focused on helping make your job more manageable and you more effective.
Planners and Administrators
If you do not already use a management system for your church, then you are in for a real treat. Listed below are a few of the best church management systems that will take you from zero to hero.
Tool #1 – Breeze CHMS
Breeze is a super simple web-based church management solution designed to be simple and easy for staff to use. You can tell that a lot of time went into the design and feature set. It doesn’t have all the bells and whistles that some of the other church management systems do which makes it easier for small churches to implement and train staff.
Tool #2 – Elvanto
Elvanto is a slightly more complex ChMS than Breeze and has a bigger price tag for all but the smallest churches. Its approach to the ChMS market is about creating a product that’s really user friendly and inclusive. The company serves a variety of churches including church plants composed of a few leaders all the way up to churches with members 10,000 and over.
Tool #3 – Planning Center Online
Planning Center Online (PCO) is a truly awesome resource for worship leaders and service planners. But that is not all they do. PCO has a host of other applications all built to help with many different facets of church management. It is truly one of the simplest management solutions for the church and plays well with other ChMS systems. You really get the sense that the PCO team knows how to help your church.
Read more about these options in our 5 Newer Web-Based Church Software Solutions roundup.
Leaders and Teachers
You spend your weeks engaging with your people through Small Group, Sunday School, Youth Group, and Bible Study. Your goal is to make to disciples who in turn go and make disciples. But connecting and engaging with people can be a challenge. Here are a few tools to help you purposefully engage with your people online.
Tool #4 – StudyChurch
StudyChurch is a simple online discussion platform for small groups. The system is built around your study material and allows your group members to engage and interact with one another on study questions. StudyChurch has solutions for individual small group leaders and whole churches.
Tool #5 – The City
The city is a social network built specifically for your church. It has many similarities to Facebook with a host of custom features built specifically to improve church communication and engagement.
Tool #6 – RightNow Media
RightNow Media is the discipleship resource hub that you never knew you needed, until now. Purchasing and distributing study material, in particular videos, can be a huge challenge. RightNow Media has created a HUGE library of biblical teaching from many of your favorite publishers and ministries that can be streamed instantly to your various classes and groups.
Read more about these and other solutions in our article, 4 Rules to Connect with your Church Online.
Pastors and Trainers
Like leaders and teachers, you spend your week engaging with people in your church, especially those you are training up as leaders. The level of effort that you put into training your leaders and teachers is often times staggering. Here are a few resources that will help guide you in your preparation and distribution of discipleship material.
Tool #7 – Ministry Library
Ministry Library is a ready-to-use leadership development system. They curate content from the leading pastors and teachers and then provide you with discussion questions, exercises, and more to keep you and your team focused on growing together.
Tool #8 – The Rocket Company
The Rocket Company has compiled a huge bank of training resources to increase your effectiveness in the “normal” aspects of your job. With modules focused on preaching, worship, and more this is a great solution for those seeking to get inspired and to inspire those around them.
Tool #9 – TrainedUp
TrainedUp is a platform specifically built to help you create and distribute your training material. Some training material can and should be standardized and TrainedUp is the perfect platform to make that happen while still staying engaged with those you are discipling.
Read more about online giving training in our article, 5 Key Reasons People Donate to Your church.
Whether you are a professional designer or a pastor just trying to fake it, you know that media is important. Regardless of your skill level, creating quality graphics and videos takes a ton of time. Here are some resources that will help you spend less time designing and more time communicating.
Tool #10 – Creative Church Graphics
Creative Church Graphics creates images that are ready to use on your website or social media posts. Posts with images can get as much as 40% more engagement than just text. Using a service like this is a cost effective way to save a ton of time creating graphics and makes it easy to communicate with media.
Tool #11 – Ministry Pass
Ministry Pass creates graphics for every aspect of church life with a special focus on sermon planning and graphics. If you have ever thought of hiring someone to design graphics for your sermon series, then you should definitely check them out. They also have a pretty sweet sermon calendar that can help you plan out your entire year and take full advantage of the media themes they have created.
Tool #12 – Open Edit Print
Open Edit Print also contains a wide variety of graphics for events, sermons, announcements and more! What makes Open Edit Print different is its clear focus on church communication. This system will not only provide you with graphics, but will help you to know when and how to use them to effectively communicate with your church.
Read more about creating excellent church graphics in our article, DIY Church Graphic Resources.
I know there are many other solutions out there (both paid and free) that I was not able to cover here. If there is an application that you have found that makes you more productive and less stressed we’d love it if you shared it below!