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Get Your Team Ready For Fall Kick-off!

Fall will be here before we know it, and that means it’s time for another new beginning! Sure, January might be the beginning of the calendar year. But in the church world, we kick things off in Fall. So right now is the best time to start strategically planning for one of your busiest times of the year, a time when more first-time guests will show up than during any other season. We’re here to help!

This is the time to begin stockpiling first-time guest resources like Next Step Booklets, welcome bags, and inviting Signage. I’d suggest that you even dedicate an entire teaching series to promoting the vision and purpose of your church with one of the most powerful series we’ve ever done, The Table Series! Then, transform all those first-time guests into committed members with the Table Talk classes!

We have so many incredible resources for you to take advantage of at CreativePastors.com. Don’t miss out on changing lives and getting those first-timers connected to your church with these resources! I look forward to hearing all about what the next few months and your Fall kick-off do for the life of your church!

Top 4 Ways to Welcome First-time Guests:

1. First Time Guest Booth:
Make them feel like a VIP! Reserving front-row spots in the parking lot and strategically placing your best greeters to welcome First Time Guests is a great way to make their first impression the best. Their experience starts in the parking lot and doesn’t end until they get back in the car so make sure your welcome team looks inviting from head to toe. Having a First Time Guest booth at the entrance of the church is very important, this gives them something to look for if they have questions, or somewhere to go if they feel lost. Have goodie bags and first-time guest signage on hand and give these guests the warmest welcome you can!

2. Next Step Booklet
Now that they’re here, they need to know what to do next! Placing a Next Step booklet in the seatback in front of everyone gives them easy access to information on what their next steps are in their walk with God and as a member of the church!

3. Membership Classes:
After the experience, be sure to have greeters holding signs directing people to your Growth Track or Table Talk classes! Get them involved in the church and cast your vision to them as they become a member of your church family!

4. Get Volunteers Ready: 
Pump up the volunteers on Sundays!! Hold a vision-casting meeting, serve breakfast, and rally the amazing people that make things happen every weekend!

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Who Can You Bring to The Table This Summer?

Summer is finally here! I love this time of year because school is out, schedules are opening up, and people are looking for a place to get plugged in! This is a great opportunity to connect new people to your church and get them involved in what you do! Summer events and vision casting are the two best ways to get your volunteers and newcomers alike included and involved. Get the season off to a great start with a powerful vision-casting series, and discover a reach that goes beyond what you imagined!

Below, my team and I have come up with 3 quick tips on how to make the most of summer vision casting and get more people plugged in as the temperature goes up. I can’t wait to hear about all the life change your church is about to bring to the Table.

How to Bring More to the Table This Summer:

1. Cast (then recast) the vision. 
This Table series is a great steal for all Creative Pastors to give their church a refresh this summer on what it’s all about! 

2. Connect them to the vision.
Table Talk Classes are a way to expand on the vision and get people involved in what you’re doing! This kit we’ve created just for you has all of the resources you’ll need to get people involved with the vision you’re casting.

3. Help them work the vision.
After they finish Table Talk Classes, get your sharpest volunteers in the lobby meeting people and making connections. Sundays are prime time for extending the reach and bringing new people in to be a part of what we do! Keep track of all of the connections your team is making with this FREE Weekly Reach Report.

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4 Tips to Keep People Connected All Summer Long!

Spring is winding down, which means summer is about to ramp up! That means Memorial Day, Father’s Day, Fourth of July, Kids and Student camps are just around the corner! To help your team make the most of this summer, our team has put together a list of tips, tricks, and themes!

Summer Church Tips:

1. Memorial Day Weekend
Memorial Day (May 28th) is a time to honor those who have paid the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom. Help make it memorable with this Declaration of Independence Day Video, promote your experience with these Social Media Graphics, and welcome your church family with these Patriotic Greeting Signs

2. Father’s Day Weekend
Celebrate the Dads in your community this Father’s Day (June 19th)! Capture special family memories with Church Sign Shop’s Father’s Day Photo Booths (Click Here). Then throw a celebration party that includes a motorcycle ride for the Dad’s that ride, an afternoon cookout or an all-out car show in your parking lot. End the celebration with a gift card raffle to a sporting goods store or on a fishing trip! For more Father’s Day messages & media, Click Here!

3. Fourth of July Weekend
Families are looking for fun activities around the Independence Day Holiday. Create an easy opportunity for your church to invite others by hosting a night of fireworks the weekend before July 4th. This kind of community-wide Freedom Celebration will attract big crowds as the first Independence Celebration of the week! Need a special element for your service? Check out this Pledge of Allegiance Video

4. Kids & Student Camp
Keep parents, children, and students engaged all summer long (even the weekend right after camp) by bringing summer camp to the weekend! Feature the kids in the worship experience where they can show off a special song they learned, have students share firsthand stories from summer camp on stage or show highlight videos from camp. Looking for a strong children’s curriculum? Check out this Elevate Resource!

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Inspiration for the July 4th Celebration at Your Church!

Inspiration for the July 4th Celebration at Your Church

Summer is right around the corner, and the firework stands will be opening before we know it! July 4th is the biggest summer celebration we have, and it’s one of the greatest opportunities to reach our community. Make the most of this patriotic celebration by planning your stars and stripes themed experience now. Whatever plans you make, be sure and include a creative community-wide celebration that connects people of all ages to your church. Throwing a big summer bash will bring in new guests and the fun atmosphere will be an amazing way to share your church’s vision with newcomers! Remember, every event we plan is about the one life. I look forward to hearing how a big event in your church can become a big event in someone’s life.

Inspiration for the July 4th Celebration at Your Church:

1. Light it up!
Light up your experience, day or night! If you have an evening experience, include a fireworks show and provide glow sticks. If it’s during the daylight, set up some fun confetti and streamer stations for the kids! Everyone will love the festive July 4th touch!

2. Take them to the movies!
DIY a big screen and have a movie night! Project a movie onto the side of your building and invite everyone to bring lawn chairs and picnic blankets. This is a fantastic and economical way to throw a summer night bash!

3. Bring out the foodies!
Food Trucks are a crowd favorite! Schedule to have a few food truck options for guests during the event and invite local vendors from your community to set up tents and sell family-festival-friendly foods! You don’t have to pay, just provide!

4. Make it magic for the kids!
This is a family-friendly holiday, so consider events that reach the whole family. Face painting, balloon animals, puppet shows, bubbles, crafts, and games are all great ideas to scatter throughout the celebration!

5. Make it musical!
Have live music, invite church-friendly bands or have a fun-in-the-sun playlist going throughout the event. Having some tunes will set the tone and give your party some extra pizzazz!

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Top 10 Ways for Your Church to Thrive in 2018!

Top 10 Ways For Your Church To Thrive In 2018!

2018 is off to an amazing start! And for so many of the churches who have partnered with Creative Pastors, things are only going to get better! I am so honored to be a part of this community of leaders, and I want to encourage you to continue to cast vision and get into the raw and real as the year continues. To help, our team has come up with a list of the “Top 10 Ways For Your Church to Thrive.” Check it out below, and we pray that this helps stretch your vision and get your creative muscles moving! I look forward to hearing all the success the rest of 2018 brings!

Blessings,
Ed Young

Top 10 Ways for Your Church to Thrive in 2018!

1. Cast the Vision! Begin a vision-focused series to re-direct your church’s attention to the reason we exist–to bring people to Christ! For message inspiration, check out the series, The Table!

2. Engage All Ages! Partner with your Kids’ Ministry for a weekend message. Put together an Adventure Week or a Vacation Bible School through the Kids’ Ministry and use your weekend experience to show off all the fun lessons and creativity from the week! Download some great curriculum Here!

3. Kick off Camp Right! Make drop-off day for your summer camp an event for kids and parents. Use all the video footage from camp week to put together an epic camp recap, and share it with parents and the rest of the church during the following weekend experience.

4. Ignite Your Social Media Engines! Promote heavily on social media all week long as you share the weekend experience through photos your team captures on Sunday.

5. Get Back to the Basics! Have generic church invite cards to hand out. Just extending the invite to your church without a series or promotion is sometimes the best way to bring in those who have never shown up.

6. Broadcast Vision Victories! Regularly share life-change stories of people coming to Christ through the hard work of the church. It’s a great way to get the community pumped for more to come!

7. Baptize! Do a special believer’s baptism, and make it an event they can invite their friends and family to. Networking through new members is a great way to extend the reach of your church!

8. Start Them Young! Have a kid-specific believer’s baptism celebration for friends and family to attend as well. Having a theme like “pizza party baptism” gets kids excited about the event and draws in parents to learn more!

9. Get Ahead of the Game! Prepare for Fall NOW with one of our amazing series. For Fall series inspiration, Click Here!

10. Look for Inspiration Everywhere! Follow other churches on social media, watch other pastors’ messages, steal (yes, we said it!) content and concepts. Remember: God gave you eyes, so plagiarize! Imitation is the highest form of flattery, and building on the ideas of others is how we learn and grow!

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Top 6 Ways To Keep Your Church Creative

Creative Pastors Blog - February 2018

We all know that God is a creative God. The fifth word in the Bible reminds us of that fact. As His creation, we’re made in that creative image. But the question we have to ask is: Are we doing all we can to weave our God-given creativity into the fiber and fabric of our churches? God invented creativity, Jesus modeled it, the Holy Spirit empowers it, and people need it! That’s why my creative team and I have put together 6 quick tips to help you bring out your God-given creativity and use them to transform your weekend experiences!

Blessings,
Ed Young

Top 6 Ways to Keep Your Church Creative:

1. Craft effective illustrations. Develop new and creative ways to illustrate your point in each message! Whether you paint while you teach, unpack suitcases, or sit on a fence, exciting illustrations help drive home your main point!

2. Creative meetings take you places! Hold a weekly meeting with your creative team that is nothing more than a “brain dump!” Write down every idea that comes out — good, bad, or ugly. Avoid words like “can’t” and “no” in this meeting. Then, take some time to follow them through and to see where they lead!

3. Hit the magic number. Every experience should be 60 minutes long, including worship, the message, announcements, and all! Keeping it short and sweet leaves people excited for the next experience and hits right within the average attention span!

4. Mix it up! The Message should remain the same, but the methods should constantly change. Do what you can to switch up your service. Try new elements. Change the order of what happens. Use new people on stage. Combine old songs in with new songs. Do whatever you can to make it a memorable experience!

5. Creative elements are key. Sprinkling in creative elements throughout the experience is an easy and effective way to “wow” newcomers and get the energy in the room up! Here is an example of one of Fellowship’s most powerful creative elements we’ve ever done: Click Here!

6. ATTEND C3 CONFERENCE 2018. Nothing gets your creative juices flowing like taking a break and rubbing shoulders with other creative leaders! Join us for C3 Conference 2018 this February 14-15! Register Today!

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How To Grow Your Church In 2018

Creative Pastors Blog - January 2018

Happy New Year! Right now, each of us is thinking and praying about what we can do to make the biggest impact in our ministries. In a word, it comes down to VISION. We need to say it, spray it, wheel it, deal it, and make people feel it! Constantly casting and recasting the vision of the church is the best way to get-and keep-people involved and excited about the purpose of the church! (For one of my favorite vision series, check out The Table!)

As we ring in 2018, we see so much potential. We want to help you reach that potential. So below, you’ll find 7 Vision Tips to help you reach and get newcomers involved in your church, not only for the new year but for years to come!

Blessings,
Ed Young

How to Grow Your Church in 2018:

1. Kick off the year with a bang! Starting the new year with a strong, new series will bring a lot of excitement to the church. We have so many series ideas to help you bring the new year to the people! Download them HERE.

2. Reach out. If you want the community in the church, take your church to the community! Go to local events and promote with teams of volunteers, signs, invites, and flyers.

3. Realize the power of a poster. Print posters to promote the weekend or an upcoming series! Spread the word and put up posters at schools, coffee shops, community boards, etc. EVERYWHERE is a promotion opportunity!

4. Sign UP to bring them IN! Promote with BIG signs on or around your building to bring in the BIG crowds. Great signage is attention-grabbing, so the bigger, the better!

5. Make it personal. Plan a message on evangelism and make a point to challenge your church to invite, invite, invite. Hand out packs of flyers and invites after service to everyone and really initiate the invite!

6. Take advantage of social media reach. Create a Facebook event, spread it through your staff and volunteers, and watch the checkmarks pour in! Facebook events are a great way to get the community involved in the inviting process. What easier way to invite all of your friends and family to church than over social media?!

7. Please, un-silence your cellphones. Challenge everyone to take out their phone during service (yes, DURING service) and text at least one person, inviting them to your new series!

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7 Tips To Make Your Christmas Service Run Smoothly

Creative Pastors Blog - December 2017

This is the time of the year where so many people are willing to give God and the Church one more try, and our goal is to make sure they come back! One of the most important aspects to any meaningful experience is making sure we don’t miss a beat. Thats why the FC Creative team and I have come up with 7 tips and tricks to help make your Christmas service run smoothly and seamlessly. Remember, it’s all about those small tweaks, because small tweaks take you to giant peaks!

Blessings,
Ed Young 

7 Tips to Make Your Christmas Service Run Smoothly:

1. Get the Party Started Right
Make your pre-service memorable with fun Christmas trivia! We have created this FREE Christmas Trivia Slideshow you can play on the big screen as guests are coming in.

2. Say it, Spray it, Wheel it, Deal it, Make Them Feel it
This season is a time that requires a lot more time and energy from our volunteers. Make sure you are casting EXTRA vision to keep the energy high and excitement up for this busy season.

3. Practice Makes Perfect
Rehearsing is crucial. Having a few run-throughs of not only the worship music, but the Scriptures, welcome, and announcements will make the entire thing seamless. Have everyone who will be on stage or helping stage at each rehearsal so everyone is prepared.

4. Don’t Play Musical Chairs
Make sure your service doesn’t include multiple times where the audience moves from sitting to standing and back to sitting. This can be uncomfortable for people and have a “musical chairs” feel. Think through this BEFORE your first Christmas experience. Make sure it is communicated clearly when you want the audience to sit and stand throughout the service.

5. Transitions Are Crucial
Great transitions make a great service! Flawless transitions between worship, carols, special elements, the messages, and announcements will make the service feel tight and add to that WOW! factor newcomers are looking for.

6. Set the Stage Crew up for Success
Have stage crew on hand and rehearsed to take band equipment on and off stage in between transitions. This will help speed up the transition and look much better from the audience’s perspective.

7. Have a Creative Critique Meeting
Invite your top creativity consultants to rewatch the first message immediately after the service ends. Go over the entire service with a fine-tooth comb and have a critique session to improve any loose ends!

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5 Creative Ways to Invite

Creative Pastors Blog - November 2017

Reach UP. Reach OUT. Reach IN. Since day one of Fellowship Church, we have passionately pursued this vision. It is the very heartbeat of everything we do. While it may be easy to focus on the ‘Up’ and ‘In,’ too often we can overlook the ‘Out,’ because reaching people takes work! Yet, reaching people is exactly what the local church is designed to do.
So as we all prepare for the Christmas season, I want to encourage you to keep working to reach the lives God has put in your path. Work hard to build your message in a way that will clearly communicate the light of Christ! And to help, check out these 5 Creative Ways to Invite this Christmas. I can’t wait to see how God works IN your church to reach OUT to the world as you look UP to Him!

5 Creative Ways to Invite:

1. Begin ordering your invite cards.
Start ordering invites now so they will be ready for action when you start promoting in December. Direct your holiday invitations towards those you want to step into God’s house for the first time and start growing your church one invite at a time!

2. Bundle your invites.
Hand out bundles of 3 invitations after every service and challenge your congregation to reach their community. Leave the invitations with a tip, place them on doors, or pin them to bulletin boards to extend the reach beyond close acquaintances. Get your invite on!

3. Break-out the social media.
Social media is THE place to get your invite to the masses. Start posting through Facebook and Instagram to promote your holiday service (Click Here for Free Graphics). Send out text message reminders available for members to sign up for. You will be able to reach so many people at a rate you couldn’t humanly accomplish with printed invitations!

4. Build a community around the church.
The holiday season provides a huge opportunity to connect with our communities.  Use holiday events in the community to promote your holiday event. Hand out invites at local parades, football games, and Black Friday lines. Go out and connect to show people the hospitality they’ll receive at your church!

5. Invite over local radio stations.
Perform a live Christmas acoustic set with your worship team and invite listeners to join you for the real deal! Use popular media platforms to share what your Christmas worship experience has to offer.  Nothing gets people in the swing of the season better than Christmas Carols!

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Giving Campaign

One of the key roles of any pastor is that of “chief fundraiser.” And October is the best time to begin a giving campaign! This year, our team has combined Fellowship’s most impactful Giving Series and a customizable Year-End Giving Kit, including an annual pledge card, announcement slide, iPartner giving envelope, and more. This all-inclusive resource has everything you need to start your next campaign out the right way!
I look forward to hearing about what you have planned next!

Customizable Downloads:

  • Year-End Giving Strategy
  • iPartner Envelope
  • Annual Pledge Card
  • Media Screen Slide
  • Automatic Withdrawal Form
  • Large Collection Boxes
  • Year-End Vision Letter
  • Thank You Letter
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The Importance of Excellence

From the very beginning of my life in ministry, God has impressed upon me the need for excellence. Why? Simply put, excellence attracts. We see it all around us. Those entities who exude excellence are the ones that people are drawn to. And excellence within the one-hour window of weekend worship not only motivates people to keep coming back, it motivates them to come back with more people!

1. Keep the main thing the main thing.
The weekend. The weekend. The weekend. So goes the weekend, so goes your church. Like you, your church can only do so many things and still maintain a level of excellence, so stay true to your vision. Your weekend experiences are the gateway to reach your community. I’m not saying don’t have other ministries, those are important. But, not if they are distracting from the main thing. The weekend.

2. Inspect what you expect.
Excellence is achieved when we check our egos at the door. Each weekend at FC, I gather the team after our Saturday service to watch the experience and critique it. We evaluate the flow, the length, and especially the message. Cut what doesn’t work and be open to suggestions. A culture of constant critique is not always easy, but it ensures that you and your leaders are being stretched to greater heights for greater impact.

3. It’s a no-go if it doesn’t flow.
We all want to avoid those “music screeching to a halt” moments. The same is true for achieving excellence in every worship experience. Get with your team and inspect your last experience:

  • Does the worship and production set up the message?
  • Does your emcee understand how to come out of a worship moment and turn the corner to greet people?
  • Are announcements too long? People check out quick so it’s important to keep those tight.
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Three Steps To A Great First Impression

Did you know that your first time guest experience begins BEFORE anyone even walks through your church doors? In this 4 minute interview, I break down our first time guest protocol with the one and only Tianne Moon, who leads out in our hospitality area. Don’t wait for your first big fall kick-off weekend to get this going. Work now to inspect and elevate your first time guest experience!

Three Steps To A Great First Impression:

1. The Person is More Important Than the Process. 

It’s vital to have a solid plan in place for guests – from the moment they drive on campus to the follow-up call they receive that week from your team. But, take time this week to inspect your guest flow and make sure it’s personal – the volunteers teams, how you collect information, who is calling them and is it timely? Download our FREE Weekly Reach Report.

2. Put Your Best Foot Forward.

Spring cleaning should also take place in the fall. Clean your facility from top to bottom and update your signage for a fresh look. Take your hospitality to another level with special treats, schedule your sharpest volunteers, and make your experience unforgettable!

3. Tell Them Why They Should Come Back. 

Don’t be passive about this. It’s the best hour of their week and it’ll be here again in 6 days. Spice things up with giveaways or a porch party. If it’s membership class weekend, serve a fun meal. Depending on your schedule, you can also tease your next series.