November 13: Congregations, Harness the Power of Your Podcast! 

Congregations, Harness The Power of Your Podcast!
Wednesday, November 13, 2019 at 7pm EST
60 Minutes • Presented by Peter Bowden

Many congregational leaders fear audio podcasts keep people from visiting. The opposite is true!

Audio podcasts are frequently used to evaluate congregations, including deciding to visit and ultimately join.  Podcasts also help existing members and volunteers stay engaged.

With podcasts and smart speakers growing in popularity, your audio ministry is more valuable than ever! We’ll discuss using podcasts for outreach, education, membership development, and stewardship.

NOTE: If you hold weekly services that include a sermon, you should be recording audio of these talks.  If you do, distributing this content as a podcast is a must!

New Members – Learn more and enroll
Members – Go to Program Site

 

Video overview of Fall Training Topics:

 

On-Demand: Mastering Your Plan a Visit Strategy

Leading Congregations Monthly Training

Topic:  Mastering your “Plan A Visit” Strategy
Date: Presented Wednesday, October 9, 2019
Duration: 60 minutes
Recording:  Available to program members

New Members – Learn more and enroll
Watch this Session – Leading Congregations Monthly Members

Many people thinking about visiting a congregation make it to the congregation’s website, but never follow through with a visit.

Thinking about visiting a congregation is very stressful, let alone actually visiting.

You can help people interested in your congregation follow through with a visit by helping them decide to visit RIGHT THEN AND THERE when they are on your website and considering it.

Don’t let people linger in an anxious, tentative, “maybe I’ll visit someday” state.

To help them commit to a visit and move forward requires understanding their state of mind, shifting your website’s language, and what you are asking them to do.

Instead of saying, “Oh, visit anytime,” you ask them to RSVP for an upcoming service. You proactively help them plan their visit and send them clear instructions, resources, and support.

The best part?

You can automate this process with automated emails sending visitors who RSVP the information they need, prompting them to ask if they have additional questions, as well as notifying your team that they are coming.

By doing this you shift when you collect information from when they visit in person to when they plan to visit online. Instead of trying to figure out who newcomers are as they come in, you’re proactively connecting with them in advance.

Can you tell I love this strategy? 

I’m watching this strategy being deployed across the church world. All the rapidly growing congregations I follow are shifting to this approach.

If you aren’t using this strategy on your website and membership development process, consider joining us for this session!

You can join my monthly training program for congregatioanl leaders and leave at any time via your PayPal account.  To join for this session, enroll, and then end your subscription via PayPal once the session is complete. You’ll have a full month of access to our program member site.

New Members – Learn more and enroll
Watch this Session – Leading Congregations Monthly Members

Training Greeters with Peter Bowden

If you’re like me, you care deeply about helping people connect with great congregations.  An essential part of this process is having fantastic greeters.   That’s the focus of my August 14th Leading Congregations Monthly session.  I hope you’ll join us!

Topic:  Training Greeters (Worship Greeters)

Presenter: 
Peter Bowden

Date and Time:
On-demand

Duration: 60 minute presentation with extended Q&A

Agenda:

• Why digital culture makes fantastic greeters more important than ever!
• What greeters need to do
• What greeters need to know
• Greeter pitfalls to avoid
• Other considerations inspired by your questions.

Registration: This training is part of my monthly training program. When you join Leading Congregations Monthly you are able participate in monthly live online trainings  and access all previous sessions on-demand.

Learn more and enroll
Program members, go to this training

Contact me if you have questions!

In cooperation,
Peter Bowden

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The Ministry of Communication

Friends, my session on “The Ministry of Communication” has been posted to our Leading Congregation’s Monthly member area.   Details below.  ~ Peter

Topic: The Ministry of Communication
Presenter:  Peter Bowden
When:   COMPLETED
Duration:  60 Minutes

Program Members:  Go to this module
New Members: Learn more and enroll

The goal of this session is to help you take your congregation’s communications to a new level!

Specifically, I’m talking about placing your media and communication efforts at the heart of your ministry — love it or hate it, that’s where it needs to be given our increasingly digitally oriented society.

After my opening challenge and cheerleading, we’ll cover the practical considerations listed below.

• Welcome and Introductions
• Upgrading your ministry-communication mindset!
• Collaboration between clergy, staff, and volunteer communicators
• Building your media capacity
• Coordinating your team’s work
• Thoughts on Communication Staff
•  Closing Q&A
•  Program Announcements

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Congregational Communication Audits

Friends,  with a new month comes a new training!

The COMMUNICATION AUDIT training module has been posted in our Leading Congregations Monthly member area complete with:

• A NEW Congregational Self-Audit Spreadsheet Template
• Session Notes
• Our live training edited into 20 discrete video segments so you can jump around with ease!
• Q&A responses from our live training
• Closed Captioning

Program members, see the handouts section of this module to download this template.

If you are thinking a full communication audit is too much to consider, if you are feel stressed at just the thought of looking at what this might entail, I have good news for you!

1) This session emphasized SELF-AUDITS your congregation can conduct in-house.
2)  I shared how you can start with a SIMPLE INVENTORY of your communication channels and then…
3) As inspired, do FOCUSED AUDITS on specific aspects of your ministry and communications.

Example: Look at your communication channels from the perspective of a specific audience you are seeking to reach.   Suppose you want to reach more young families.   What information, images, and invitations would help them determine your congregation is a match for them?  Develop a list of key items with your team, then review your channels and see if that content is represented.  You might find that a key channel rarely mentions children, families, or shows images with families.  From there you can start strategizing how to weave that content in, work more collaboratively on social media across ministry areas, or other actions.

Here’s how to access this module:

Leading Congregations Monthly Members

Here’s a teaser for NEXT MONTH’s session on the Ministry of Communication!

New Members, Want to Join Us?

The Future of Facebook, Congregations, and Meaningful Community

 

Does your congregation use Facebook?  If so, you’ll want to watch this Facebook Live discussion on the Future of Facebook, congregations, and meaningful community below.

  Make sure to subscribe to email updates so you can join the live conversation! Not on Facebook or just want recordings?  Subscribe to my Youtube Channel.

What did Zuck say to promp this conversation?   At the F8 conference, Mark Zuckerberg shared a vision for the future of Facebook including an intensified focus privacy, encryption, ephemeral content, and connecting people with “meaningful community” via Facebook groups. The group focus is already rolling out. You’ve seen the changes if you updated your app.

As Facebook works to drive people into groups, we need to make sure your congregation has a Facebook strategy that takes advantage of this group focus and helps people successfully connect with your congregation offline, face-to-face.

Tracking these changes and discussing related strategies is something I’ll continue to discuss via social media and in my Leading Congregations Monthly trainings.  If you’re interested in this topic, make sure you subscribe to my email newsletter so you get notifcations for live chats, video releases (like the one above), and training topics.

This session was recorded May 10, 2019 in my Facebook group for Unitarian Universalist Leaders.

Here’s Zuckerberg’s full F8 talk: