<img height="1" width="1" style="display:none" src="https://www.facebook.com/tr?id=1758373551078632&amp;ev=PageView&amp;noscript=1">
Resource Center

Discover how to leverage technology in your church

Technology should not transform ministry, but rather do the things that people don’t have to do so they can do what they do best.

Katy Crawford

Katy Crawford loves her husband, twin boys, family life education, and exploring the intersection of dearly held traditions and innovative ideas. As a new mom, she has a deep appreciation for online grocery ordering and also enjoys podcasts, exploring new places, pretending to be a runner, and drinking a good cup of coffee. Her greatest joy is found in Christ and being baptized into His life, death, and resurrection!
Find me on:

Recent Posts

Planning Ahead for Advent and Lent

By Katy Crawford | Oct 22, 2021 12:00:00 PM

It’s the time of year when we’ve generally settled into the fall rhythm of life and begin anticipating the next big things coming down the line, namely the Advent and Christmas seasons. Some have decided on a theme/focus for midweek services and at-home devotions. For others, this is the first blip on the radar.

Whether you’re already well on your way to Advent planning success, just starting to think about it, or somewhere in between, Rev. Daniel Ross suggests combining your efforts with Lent planning as well. Not only is the gap between Christmas and Ash Wednesday sometimes small, but planning for these seasons simultaneously helps keep the Gospel story and the anticipation of the resurrection tied together in our minds rather than in isolated events.

Start by selecting themes for the Advent and Lent seasons. Selecting them sets the tone for the work ahead, bringing focus and direction to communication efforts and other planning. You can create your own or use a package. Synods and other organizations often create graphics for congregations to use. You’ll also find resources for the seasons in the Church Year through publishing houses that serve the needs of congregations.

Give yourself a gift; plan and work ahead by batching similar tasks. Once you’ve decided on a theme, focusing your work on one topic, type of task, or another grouping that makes sense for you will save time and can also sharpen skills through repeated practice. Pick a time, block it out on your calendar, and stick to it—your future self (and staff/team and family) will thank you! (If you need some external motivation, pick up a drink from your favorite coffee shop or consider working off site.) Seasons like Advent and Lent are great times to try this way of working if it isn’t already in your wheelhouse.

From a preaching and worship planning perspective, think about things like selecting a service order/structure, slotting hymns, and scheduling worship assistants. Doing each of these tasks at once for this focused period allows us to see how the individual parts support the big picture, decide where repetition is a helpful tool, and identify areas or elements that might need a little extra time or attention.

For seasonal social media, batching tasks like caption writing, image selection, graphic design, advertisement planning, and scheduling content goes a long way in avoiding the hamster wheel of last-minute scurrying when you’re in the thick of Advent or Lent. If you’re looking for some new ideas for Lenten (or Advent) social media, Pastor Ross shares a handful here and here.

Finally, breaking down your congregation’s general communication channels and creating a checklist can help identify specific areas where batch working could be helpful for you. Don’t forget about contact points with the community, printed media, resources for members, outdoor signs, and bulletin boards.

Don’t go it alone—work with others! Whether you enlist others in your congregation (staff or laity), set up brainstorming or work sessions with fellow pastors, church musicians or communicators (locally or virtually), or connect in some other way. Embrace the gift of community and allow the opportunity for iron to sharpen iron. This can also be a great way to implement accountability for the batch working plan you set up.

It may seem silly to take the time to plan for something this far in advance when your urgent to-do list is already overwhelming. But taking small steps and trying new approaches can deliver different, perhaps more favorable, results than you’ve had in the past.

We encourage those we serve to slow down, reflect, repent, and focus on Jesus throughout Advent and Lent. By carving out time to prepare for these seasons, we make space for the spiritual practices that point us to Jesus and nurture the faith we have in Him.

Continue Reading

Maximize Your Office Space to Increase Productivity

By Katy Crawford | Oct 8, 2021 12:00:00 PM

It feels so good to get things done and mark items off your to-do list. Sometimes, you’re in a groove, and everything is clicking. Other times, you can barely think, and you can’t seem to find the one book or piece of paper needed to move forward on a project.

Continue Reading

7 Steps to Build an Effective Fall Communications Plan at Your Church

By Katy Crawford | Sep 24, 2021 12:00:00 PM

I love heading into a new season (or month or week or even day) with a plan, knowing what needs to be tackled and when I'm going to do it. When that doesn’t happen (a fair amount of the time), it can feel defeating and I often find myself floundering, buying the lie that it’s too late to do anything, and constantly playing catch up.

Although school has already begun in most places, and many church activities are back on the calendar, it’s not too late to take time to plan for fall communications in your congregation! Here are a few ideas to get you started.

Continue Reading

Using Facebook to Connect Your Church Community

By Katy Crawford | Jun 18, 2021 12:00:00 PM

These days, it seems like social media is better known for its penchant to divide people rather than bring them together. While we’ve  likely experienced something along these lines in the past few years, hidden below the divisive rubble is a tool for connection.

“People go on social media because they’re seeking connection,” Seth Hinz, Director of the Marketing and Creative department at Pathfinder Church in Ellisville, Missouri, said in an interview on the Mission Field: USA podcast.

With various service options available (different times and days, in-person and online) and full schedules, building and nurturing connections between church members can be challenging. With so many members on social media, churches have an opportunity to leverage these platforms in ways that move toward the goal of connection.

Continue Reading

Meet Nebraska District Communications Director Kimberly Myers

By Katy Crawford | May 28, 2021 12:00:00 PM

Meet Kimberly Myers, Communications Director for the Nebraska District of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod and a communications volunteer in her congregation. With a focus on serving a broad range of congregations throughout her district and a background in teaching overseas, Kimberly offers insight and encouragement as she shares a picture of her work in church communications. 

Continue Reading

Six Tips for Summer Communication at Church

By Katy Crawford | May 7, 2021 12:00:00 PM

Communicating as a church throughout the summer has its challenges. With nice weather and time off from school, many families take vacations. In some areas, it’s common to head to the lake for the weekend when work wraps up on Friday and not return home until Sunday evening. Those in “destination” locations may see an uptick in visitors. For these and other reasons, summer church attendance can be sporadic, throwing a wrench in more traditional church communication methods.

Continue Reading

Cultivate Virtual Connections Among Church Members

By Katy Crawford | Apr 23, 2021 1:00:00 PM

Videoconferencing is a great tool for connecting with far-away friends and family. Initially prompted by a desire for connection and social interaction in the midst of a pandemic, many now have established a regular (weekly, monthly) virtual-gathering time with friends who are scattered across the country, or even the world.

Continue Reading

Best Practices to Engage Church Workers in Zoom Meetings

By Katy Crawford | Apr 6, 2021 12:00:00 PM

For those who work on remote teams, virtual meetings were commonplace prior to the spring of 2020. Thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic, they, and more specifically the platform Zoom, have now become a conduit for connection across nearly every sector of life. As those who serve in congregations, many of us have leveraged this technology in more than one ministry area: Bible study, board and staff meetings, visits with homebound and hospitalized members, even worship for some.

Continue Reading
Topics: Video Featured

Engaging and Leading Tech Volunteers at Your Congregation

By Katy Crawford | Mar 19, 2021 8:00:00 AM

Though not new, the opportunities for people to serve in technology-related roles have greatly expanded in many congregations. Joining the ranks of service mainstays in the church, technology teams are now just about as prevalent in the regular functioning of a congregation as the altar guild, trustees, and board of education.

Continue Reading
Topics: Volunteers

Post-Pandemic Church: Now What?

By Katy Crawford | Mar 8, 2021 7:00:00 AM

About a year ago, we were experiencing one of the biggest disruptions to collective life in decades. Although the calendars of some were wiped clean, others’ lives ramped up to an exhausting pace. Church workers and communicators fell into the latter category. Leading in unfamiliar territory quickly became the norm and tools that were once supplemental shifted to our primary conduit for connection.

Continue Reading

Lists by Topic

see all