How Your Church Can Effectively Apologize on Social Media

Oct 6, 2016 1:31:20 PM

Though the need might seem negligible, at some point, your church might have to apologize for a miscommunication, misunderstanding, or general misstep for something it posted on social media.

The thing is, apologizing on social media isn’t the same as apologizing in person; these mediums have their own rules. This post breaks down how to effectively communicate an apology on social media.

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Should You Rethink Your Church Announcements?

Sep 29, 2016 1:40:30 PM

Imagine if every play, concert or sports game was preceded by a lengthy monologue of related events. How long would it take before you tuned it out?

Not long.

Yet, many churches are guilty of doing exactly that. They begin each service with church announcements, a chronicle of committee meetings, bake sales, baptisms, church trips, etc. that every member must sit through before they can begin to worship.

It’s time to reconsider the tradition of church announcements. It’s 2016, and there are better ways to share information - ways that won’t delay the start of services and potentially drain the energy in the room.

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5 Proven Ways Pastors Can Relax in Front of the Camera

Sep 22, 2016 9:30:32 AM

There’s something about a camera lens that absolutely unhinges some people.

Even pastors at ease in front of large congregations can be paralyzed when they see the unblinking eye of a lens staring back at them. That not only makes for an awkward live stream, but it can actually hurt the experience for the people in the audience.

There’s no surefire way to turn someone into a natural in front of the camera, but there are ways that can help anyone relax and forget about the lens, at least for a little while. Below you’ll find several simple tips:

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How to Choose the Right Microphone for Your Pastor

Sep 15, 2016 11:19:29 AM

If you’ve been live streaming services or other church events, you realize the importance of audio quality. Few things can ruin a broadcast more thoroughly than bad sound. We’ve written before about ways to improve audio without getting into equipment, but this post deals with the types of microphones your church should use during services.

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Does Live Video Streaming Hurt Church Attendance?

Sep 13, 2016 11:41:08 AM

When a church is deciding whether to stream its services, one of the most common concerns is if going online will affect in-person attendance on Sunday mornings. This post addresses that concern head-on, showing how live video streaming is actually an important step to grow and strengthen your church community.

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What You Need to Know About BoxCast's "Exceedingly Enough" Podcast

Sep 7, 2016 4:36:52 PM

Dear listener,

Shepherding a child's heart to know and follow Jesus is simultaneously wonderful and challenging. When my son Thaddeus was born four years ago, one of the ways that I embarked on this journey was by writing him daily devotionals from the pages of Scripture.

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The Top 5 Christian Movies Every Believer Should Watch

Aug 18, 2016 11:57:38 AM

We all know the struggle of endlessly flipping through Netflix titles looking for the perfect way to spend a Friday night. The truth is it can be difficult to find wholesome Christian movies to watch with your entire family. If you’re trying to find a wonderful way to spend an evening, be sure to consider these five faith-rooted films.

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6 Reasons Your Church Should Automate Its Social Media

Aug 17, 2016 9:21:55 AM

Churches around the country have turned to social media to engage their members, communicate announcements, and share inspirational posts. Chances are high that if you’ve started to use social media to reach your community, your members enjoy seeing reminders of their faith on their social media feeds.

Still, many churches find that keeping an active presence on social media platforms is more work than they had initially anticipated. After all, maintaining frequency of high quality content is no easy task. That’s why many have turned to automation.

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Can Virtual Reality Help a Church Reach its Youth?

Aug 3, 2016 11:55:01 AM

Photo from Bible VR

Don’t just read the Bible. Live in it.”

That’s the tagline of Bible VR, a faith-based tech startup that is rendering scenes from the Bible in virtual reality.

The company has filmed an extensive collection of reenacted scenes from the Bible in Israel and Palestine. The idea is to give VR viewers the sense that they are right there along with Moses parting the Red Sea or in the manger at the birth of Christ. The scenes are filmed in such a way that the actors interact with the viewer to make it seem even more realistic.

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The Solution to Becoming a Strong Multi-Site Church

Jul 27, 2016 10:05:00 AM


Screenshot of BoxCast's Multi-Site Video Player

In recent years, the multi-site church model has become increasingly popular. Most churches open a new campus when they approach 1,000 members, but about 50% of those churches say that they could have opened a satellite campus even sooner, at around 850 members.

If your ministry is thinking about opening an additional location, that means you’re reaching a growing number of engaged members and people are excited about joining your community. This can only happen when a church truly connects with its members to deliver a message they want and need, so congratulations!

One of the biggest decisions to make when opening new campuses is determining how to share your main sermon with separate locations. BoxCast’s Multi-Site Video Player is the solution to enabling remote campuses to watch your live broadcasts seamlessly.

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Why Audio Streaming Should be Free for Churches

Jul 26, 2016 11:35:49 AM

Every church seeks to spread its ministry and improve the lives of those it touches. With the onset of various live streaming technologies, many churches have started to stream their Sunday sermons to engage people beyond their walls.

However, this technology hasn’t been accessible for everyone because streaming has historically been expensive and complicated. When BoxCast first entered the video streaming market, we wanted to disrupt the existing model. BoxCast has always believed that live video streaming should be simple, reliable and affordable for every organization. With the release of our latest audio streaming app, we’re taking that idea one step further:

Audio streaming should be free for churches.

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How to Reach Your Entire Congregation When You Need to

Jul 19, 2016 1:06:39 PM

There are times when you want to deliver a message to your congregation, but you can’t wait until your weekend service.

Natural disasters and other unexpected events in the community present instances when you might not want to wait to communicate with those who need to hear from you now.

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How to Bridge the Technology Gap in Live Video Streaming

Jul 13, 2016 9:03:33 AM

If you are live video streaming your content, you’ve already shown that reaching your community is important to you. Still, you aren’t reaching everyone you can.

There are members of your church who can’t attend services and aren’t taking advantage of live streaming. In many cases, this is because they simply do not know how.

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5 Hymns You Don’t Know But Need To

Jun 29, 2016 9:40:19 AM

We live in a world where people are quick to praise the new and deride the antiquated. When it comes to song selection in our churches, this spirit of our age makes it easy to discover contemporary music and incorporate it into our services.

Though this has many benefits, too deep a fascination with novel melodies poses a danger that our worship will stray far from the invaluable canticles of the past. To combat such deadfall, it’s important to make a concerted effort to seek timeless and meaningful hymns.

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4 Reasons You Should Be at Alive Music Festival

Jun 28, 2016 11:28:16 AM

There you are, standing barefoot in a giant outdoor amphitheatre, listening to your favorite band perform live in front of thousands of other people. You close your eyes and feel the pulse of the bass and God’s presence moving through you. You are exactly where you need to be this summer – you are at Alive Festival.

Getting its start in 1988, Alive Festival has grown to be one of the country’s largest Christian music festivals. Next month’s four-day, multi-stage festival (July 20 - 23, 2016) welcomes some of the most well-known Christian artists from around the world. This post aims to explain why you should attend this year’s celebration.

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Is There Such a Thing as a "Typical" Sermon?

Jun 23, 2016 5:04:20 PM

It’s said that a good sermon can’t be too long and a bad sermon can’t be short enough.

The sermon is one of the most important parts of the service. Done well, it can elevate a weekly routine into something memorable and life-changing. Done poorly, it is quickly forgotten.

As you’ll see in the 2012 National Congregations Study, there’s no “best” or “right” way to conduct a sermon. Below are some interesting facts on how they can be influenced by region, congregation size, and other factors.

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[Exceedingly Enough:] What Do You Want From Jesus?

Jun 23, 2016 9:10:16 AM

Jesus answered them, ‘Truly, truly, I say to you, you are seeking me, not because you saw signs, but because you ate your fill of the loaves. Do not work for the food that perishes, but for the food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give to you. For on him God the Father has set his seal.’

(John 6:26-27 ESV)

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How Your Church Should Use Instagram

Jun 15, 2016 10:50:00 AM

It’s impossible to ignore the increasing presence of churches on social media. Most churches now have Facebook pages and Twitter accounts, as they've realized that they can use these platforms to further connect and communicate with their community.

As churches seek to connect with their younger members, many have started to consider two additional forms of social media: Snapchat and Instagram.

Last week, we explained why your church should be on Snapchat. This post explains why your church needs an Instagram account and suggests ways you can use it.

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3 Reasons Your Church’s Travel Planner Should Attend the Going On Faith Conference

Jun 14, 2016 10:26:07 AM

Many churches are fortunate to enjoy a following that relishes traveling with their fellow members. It’s during these trips that community members build lasting relationships and gain meaningful experiences they’ll never forget.

If you have a member at your church who typically plans all the group trips throughout the year, we highly recommend you consider sending them to this year’s Going On Faith Conference.

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How to Live Video Stream Amazing Outdoor Events

Jun 2, 2016 12:29:49 PM

You’ve got indoor live video streaming down. You’ve mastered the sound, established where to put the cameras for the best shots, and determined when to switch angles for the best effect.

But can you take it outdoors?

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Why Your Church Should Be On Snapchat

May 31, 2016 3:53:20 PM

I’m sure you’ve seen it lately — the white ghost in front of the yellow background. 

It seems like this white ghost is everywhere these days. That’s because Ghostface Chillah (the ghost’s official name) is the mascot of the fastest growing social media app: Snapchat.  

You might be thinking, “What does Snapchat have to do with my church?”

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5 Ways You Can Improve the Performance of Your Volunteers

May 25, 2016 12:50:11 PM

You have a problem. A volunteer is consistently performing below expectations.

Maybe he shows up late or makes it a habit to cancel at the last minute. Maybe, despite tutorials and advice, she just isn’t doing the job as well as it needs to be done. What should you do?

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[Exceedingly Enough:] Why Do We Do What We Do?

May 24, 2016 9:31:38 AM

 

I can do nothing on my own. As I hear, I judge, and my judgment is just, because I seek not my own will but the will of him who sent me.’

(John 5:30 ESV)

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How to Keep Strong Ties With Your Church Community This Summer

May 19, 2016 11:02:41 AM

Summer is the season when the grass comes up and church attendance goes down.

Many congregations experience declining attendance during the summer for various reasons: people go on vacation, there are more family activities to compete with, there’s yard work to be done.

While your church should do everything in its power to encourage people to attend services this summer, some decline is inevitable. However, this can be a good opportunity to make the most of live video streaming.

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The Top 5 Ministry Books Every Thoughtful Pastor Should Read

May 18, 2016 2:03:26 PM


Ministry is hard.

But as we learn in Proverbs 11:14, “Where there is no guidance, a people falls, but in an abundance of counselors there is safety” (ESV).

Though you can find this “abundance of counselors” in friends and family, one of the best ways to seek counsel is to read books by godly men. Below are 5 books that I found encouraging while serving in pastoral ministry. It is my prayer that they encourage your heart as well.

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How to Get the Most Out of Your Worship Service on Your Live Stream

May 12, 2016 10:44:47 AM

Take a moment to imagine a Sunday at your church. It probably consists of fellowship, congregational prayer, worship through song, Scripture reading, and the preaching of the Word.

Though worship is one of these main components, it often gets the short stick when it comes to your live video stream.

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7 Tech Companies Mixing Things Up in the Church World

May 10, 2016 9:00:00 AM


It's been proven that churches that embrace change, including the use of technology in their services, are more likely to thrive and grow.

So, it makes sense that the world of “church tech” is expanding. Keeping track of all the new technological innovations can be tricky, so we’ve done our best to highlight the biggest movers and shakers. Below are seven church tech companies that have gone above and beyond to help churches in ministry.

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An Amazing Thing Can Happen When You Know Your Online Audience

May 5, 2016 5:37:39 PM

Take a moment to consider who you could reach with a live video stream.

The people tuning in online likely include a mix of the housebound, travelers, members who’ve moved away and can no longer attend, people temporarily under the weather and those who’ve never been to your church but who found it online and want to learn more.

It’s an eclectic group, one that changes in size and membership with each broadcast. But it remains unseen. The live stream viewers are unaware of who else is watching. And, despite the presence of cameras, it can be easy for your congregation to forget there is an audience other than the one sitting in front of them - those in attendance simply do not think about those watching remotely. 

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Are Your Archived Streams Are Actually Important?

Apr 28, 2016 12:15:11 PM

 

When most people think about live video streaming services, they tend to focus on what’s happening that day or on the coming Sunday. Live streaming is, after all, primarily about immediacy and helping viewers to share in a celebration that they can’t attend.

But there’s another aspect to live streaming that is often overlooked — the archived version of events that were just streamed.

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4 Ways to Make a Great Church Website

Apr 26, 2016 8:46:35 AM

 

In an online world that is becoming increasingly saturated with content, the task of creating a standout church website can seem daunting.

At Compass, we’ve had the opportunity to launch over a hundred websites. In this post, we set out to answer one simple question: what makes a great church website?

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[Exceedingly Enough:] The Importance of Prioritizing People

Apr 20, 2016 11:56:15 AM

Many Samaritans from that town believed in him because of the woman’s testimony, ‘He told me all that I ever did.’ So when the Samaritans came to him, they asked him to stay with them, and he stayed there two days. And many more believed because of his word. They said to the woman, ‘It is no longer because of what you said that we believe, for we have heard for ourselves, and we know that this is indeed the Savior of the world.’

(John 4:39-42 ESV)

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Why You Should Be Live Video Streaming Every Church Meeting

Apr 14, 2016 11:30:38 AM

The church is so much more than a place for Sunday morning worship.

Churches also house various committees essential to every community, whether they be for community service, youth group, family counseling, and more. 

Still, with so many people involved, it can seem impossible to coordinate meeting times that work with everyone’s hectic schedules.

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How to Attract Amazing Volunteers for Your Church

Apr 7, 2016 2:58:53 PM

Every church depends, to one degree or another, on volunteers.

We know how difficult that can be, as attracting and keeping enthusiastic volunteers can feel like a never-ending struggle. But there are certain things you can do to help you engage capable, high-energy people who will help your church thrive and grow.

Follow these five steps and you’ll be well on your way to find more quality helpers.

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Research Shows Technology is Paramount to Church Growth

Apr 5, 2016 9:26:50 AM

Churches that embrace change, including the use of technology in their services, are more likely to thrive and grow, according to a new study from the Hartford Institute for Religion Research.

American Congregations 2015, a national survey of congregations, is something the Hartford Institute has done five times since 2000. The findings are based on data from more than 4,400 congregations of all denominations.

The survey looked at what growing church bodies had in common and found that churches willing to embrace change and modify their worship offerings generally fare better.

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How to Elevate God’s Truth Through Technology

Mar 29, 2016 9:11:05 AM

I had the privilege of spending a number of my formative years studying the Scriptures at the Moody Bible Institute. There, I developed not only a deep affection for the Word of God, but also for strolling the alluring streets of downtown Chicago.

Heading east of campus toward LaSalle Boulevard, I would regularly pass the Institute’s grand stone archway to read the sole verse etched on the wall:

Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.”

(2 Timothy 2:15 KJV)

This was why I came to Bible College.

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[Exceedingly Enough:] I Will Be Lifted Up For You

Mar 24, 2016 10:27:36 AM


And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of Man be lifted up, that whoever believes in him may have eternal life. For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.

(John 3:14-16 ESV)

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7 Types of Camera Shots To Consider When Filming Church Services

Mar 23, 2016 5:58:19 PM

This post is based on the "Video Framing & Composition Guide: What You Need to Know to Frame a Killer Shot." To learn simple framing and composition techniques to improve your live streams, download the free guide

 As a camera operator for your church, you can make your message even more powerful by taking some time to consider the goal of each sequence of a service.

Are you trying to evoke emotion? Do you need to emphasize the scenery behind the pastor? What’s the theme of the pastor's sermon?

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Here's How to Ensure That Your Easter Stream is Special

Mar 23, 2016 9:21:42 AM

For most churches, Easter services are the most beautiful and important of the year.

We celebrate the resurrection of Christ and the salvation of mankind in the spring—a time when nature renews itself, echoing the message that life has begun anew. It’s as if everything is working together to proclaim God’s glory.

Spirits are high, the sense of community is strong and it’s a wonderful chance to convert “Easter lilies,” those congregants who show up only once a year, into regulars.

But all of this can be lost on members who live stream the services. Yes, they’ll hear the sermon and the hymns, but, if you don’t plan for it, they’ll miss some of what makes Easter worship so special.

Here’s how to make your Easter live stream as glorious as possible:

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5 Unique Moments Your Church Should Be Streaming

Mar 16, 2016 9:00:00 AM

 

It’s no secret that I live and breathe “church.” I play the drums on our worship team, am involved in college and career ministry, and even spend my workdays partnering with churches to best spread the Gospel.

This means that I’ve spent a lot of time with churches and have seen what works best for them when it comes to streaming.

Almost every church has success streaming their Sunday services, but here are some additional ways that you and your ministry can use streaming to glorify God and bless your church body.

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Good Churches Need Good Websites. Here's How to Make Yours Great.

Mar 8, 2016 9:00:00 AM

The debate over whether churches need websites is over.

Despite a few holdouts, the consensus is that churches, particularly those that hope to thrive, need a presence online.

No one sets out to build a bad website, but some organizations don’t put enough strategic thought into it and throw up a confusing mix of art, information and graphics, making it difficult to navigate and hard to interact with.

While companies like Squarespace, WordPress, or FaithConnector have taken a lot of the guesswork out of designing a site, there are some key principles to keep in mind:

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[INTERVIEW:] How This Devoted Church Conquered Its Snowstorm Problem

Mar 1, 2016 9:00:00 AM

We love doing what we do because it allows people to share in moments that they couldn’t have otherwise.

Brandon Lovelace of Parkwood Baptist Church (NC) opened up to us about the ways that BoxCast has helped him reach his community members, even when snowstorms or thousands of miles keep them from attending church.

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Why Churches Want Lower Thirds In Their Video

Feb 24, 2016 11:46:45 AM

Looking to bring an extra level of sophistication and interaction to your live video stream? Consider using lower thirds.

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[Exceedingly Enough:] “Men? Men Are Weak.”

Feb 24, 2016 11:37:21 AM


Now when he was in Jerusalem at the Passover Feast, many believed in his name when they saw the signs that he was doing. But Jesus on his part did not entrust himself to them, because he knew all people and needed no one to bear witness about man, for he himself knew what was in man.”

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5 Easy Ways to Get Your Church on the News

Feb 18, 2016 9:30:00 AM

Have you noticed that the mainstream media outlets in your town tend to publicize a handful of congregations while largely ignoring the others?

It seems like every newspaper and TV station has a “go-to” congregation and religious leader for each faith. As a result, certain priests, ministers, rabbis and imams are quoted and interviewed over and over....and your voice isn’t being heard.

Have you ever wondered why? As a former newspaper reporter and editor who’s written many stories about churches, I can tell you how to get coverage.

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[Interview:] How to Convince Your Church to Stream

Feb 16, 2016 9:30:00 AM


 

We were recently lucky enough to speak with John V. DiPietro of Cathedral Church of St. Peter, an Episcopal cathedral in St. Petersburg, Florida. He talked to us about his BoxCast experience as well as how he was able to convince his church to stream.

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5 Surprising Things You Didn't Know about Valentine’s Day

Feb 9, 2016 12:04:18 PM

Ah, Valentine’s Day...the day we often treat our beloved to dinner and delight them with chocolates, roses, and teddy bears.

Though millions of people around the world celebrate it every year, how many actually know how Valentine’s Day originated?

This post takes a peek at the man behind the curtain, seeking to better understand why February 14th is so important. Below are five surprising facts about the holiday we commemorate with love.

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The Events Your Church Needs to Be Streaming

Feb 2, 2016 10:41:02 AM

You’ve been live streaming Sunday services for a while now, and you’ve improved the quality and professionalism of your broadcasts. Your crew has a handle on the basics of sound and lighting and your audience is grateful for the new access.

But why stop there?

While Sunday services seem to be the most popular events to stream, there are many other ceremonies and events hosted by the church that people would love to watch if they were available to them. Below are three events we recommend your church should start streaming.

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Are You Growing Your Live Video Streaming Audience?

Jan 25, 2016 12:27:28 PM

So, you’ve decided to start live video streaming your services.

Who’s watching? Perhaps a family that faithfully attends in person is away on vacation; A parent that is home caring for a sick child; Someone traveling for business. There are multiple scenarios that keep people from physically being able to attend Sunday service.

Streaming your services helps you include faraway members in your worship experience — but only if they know it’s available and how to access it. Though you might think you’ve done a thorough job making your congregation aware of the stream, odds are that those who haven’t used it yet have forgotten it’s available. Below are a few considerations to help grow your live streaming audience.

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[Exceedingly Enough:] The Language That We Use

Jan 21, 2016 10:25:56 AM

  The next day he saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, ‘Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world! ’”

(John 1:29 ESV)

First impressions mean a lot.

The Book of John opens with artistic and somewhat mystical language to describe creation and introduce God. The first 18 verses of the chapter use lofty wording, deep concepts, and move at a rapid pace, likely leaving the first-time reader with more questions than answers.

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The Top 5 Church Conferences You Need to Attend in 2016

Jan 14, 2016 9:00:00 AM

For those of you who have had been blessed enough to attend church conferences, you know that joining thousands of other dedicated believers is an amazing way to recharge spiritually.

The sermons and breakout sessions challenge you intellectually and can strengthen your relationship with God in ways you might not have thought possible.

Luckily, there are hundreds of conferences each year, so there is rich opportunity to attend at least one. Below are five conferences we find most worthwhile to attend in 2016.

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How to Fix Your Church's Lighting Problems

Jan 13, 2016 11:02:29 AM

Have you noticed that the lighting on your streams just doesn’t look as good as it does in person?

Some people would suggest to add more lights, but that can quickly become an expensive endeavor. Luckily, making adjustments to the fixtures and equipment that you already have can usually achieve the desired effect.

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Why You Need To Improve Your Church Lighting

Jan 6, 2016 11:00:00 AM

How much easier would video streaming be if those watching at home could easily overlook murky audio, poor camera angles and insufficient lighting?

But they don’t.

We’ve all seen too many movies and TV shows to let us ignore those deficiencies. Of course, the members of your church don’t expect a movie-quality production, but low-quality broadcasts take away from the viewing experience and, eventually, could lose your viewership.

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