9 church comms resources to make the most out of your 2021

by | Nov 19, 2020 | Resources

2021 is right around the corner. While many things are in flux, two things we can say for sure is that 2021 will be different and that churches should continue to reach, engage, and retain people by leveraging and investing in communications and marketing. To help, you’ll find a curated list of recommended church resources below!

Whether you’re wrapping up what you need for your 2021 budget, or if you’ve had an excellent giving year and have funds you need to spend before year-end, these recommended items will get you ready for whatever comes in 2021. 

This article contains affiliate links. Firm Foundations Marketing may receive a commission if you make a purchase using the links below.

1. Refresh your website with a visitor-focus

Your website serves as your digital hub. Potential visitors form early impressions based on the images and words chosen. People expect a site that’s easy to use, answers their questions, and allows them to get in touch if needed. 

If your site is hard to manage, says “us/we” more than “you”, loads slowly on a smartphone, or hasn’t been updated in 3 years, it’s time for a refresh!

ProTip: write down your needs and your wants before you start shopping around. That will help you to figure out a shortlist of vendors. 

Good news: tons of affordable options exist out there for churches of any size and budget. 

Better new: a site by our team equips your church with a site that’s both functional and looks fantastic. Plus, you own the site once completed. No ongoing monthly fees. Check out our website portfolio here

2. Easily speed up your WordPress site with ShortPixel

Photographs make your website come to life! However, they may also slow everything down. Why? Those full-size images take forever to load!

ShortPixel makes life easier for everyone by reducing the file size without making the image fuzzy.

This makes website updates faster and easier for your church and makes the webpages load faster for your website visitors. 

And if you know what lossless vs. lossy means – Short Pixel does both. 

Those are wins all around!

Check out ShortPixel for your WordPress site here.  Options include buying by credits or by the month. The credit packages work for most churches, as photo updates tend to be done in spurts rather than continuously.

3. Help people find sermons more easily with Series Engine on your WordPress site

Great for churches that produce a lot of content! If you have multiple services, pastors, and want to serve people by making it all easier to find, Series Engine makes it all a lot easier.

Have a podcast? This premium plugin works for podcasts or other audio files too!

Check out Series Engine here

4. Start off the new year with a new brand

What is branding? Short answer: it’s the overall impression the look of your church gives someone and what people think about you. 

It’s pretty important! And unlikely to be top of mind running through the usual list of recommended church resources. That’s exactly why it’s included on this list. 

Does your church:

    1. Want a simplified, more modern look?
    2. Have too many logos and want to unify their ministries?
    3. Plan on strategically shifting their ministry?
    4. Plan on launching their ministry? 
    5. Want an objective perspective to guide them through the process?

If you said “yes” to any of the questions above, it sounds like it’s time for a branding update! 

Packages, styles, and approaches range all over. At Firm Foundations, our team takes a holistic approach, equipping church partners with a new logo, set fonts and colors, and guidelines on how to use these to strengthen recognition among people in the community.

Whether you need a new look, like Breath of Life Church, or launching into the community, as Summit Church did, our team can help your church get to a great start with a great first impression in the community.  We’d love to chat!

5. Strengthen ministries + focus resources through better insight into the needs of people living in your community

Having a clear vision and understanding who you seek to reach can help church leaders make numeous decisions with more confidence and clarity. These two things inform everything from budgets to volunteers to messaging. The possibilities are endless. 

That’s why Community Insights research can be so incredibly useful to leaders like you. It allows you to better uncover who people are, learn how to relate to them, and create impactful ministries that bring hope and purpose into people’s lives. 

Curious about how you can make a greater ministry impact? Check out this FREE guide, 6 Ways Your Church Can Thrive with Community Insights.

6. Get updated photos of your people

Photos of what church life is like helps people get a feel for your community and help establish connections.

What does church look like right now? Capture those images! Families gathered for the streamed services at their television. Volunteers with masks on boxing up supplies. This varies by community, denomination, and church, so whatever church looks like for you, show it!

People still need your church. And the more you can do to authentically tell the story of what your church is like, the more likely someone new will take a step towards you. The more relevant your images, the more relevant your message will be as well. 

You may not necessarily need to pay to make this happen – but it’s so important it’s on the list regardless of how you get new images. It’s also one of the most highly versatile and recommended church resources you can acquire. Get these photos either by asking for volunteers or support a local photographer with experience in getting candid as well as staged photos. It’s worth it!

7. Great graphics and photos created just for churches

Need better images and graphics to compliment your photo catalog? Check out Lightstock.com – known for having non-cheesy photos, videos, timely graphics, and templates you can use. 

ProTip: even if you don’t sign up for their paid plan, you can still get their free photo and graphic every week. PLUS a free short-looping video every month!

Lightstock offers credits or monthly subscriptions, perfect for any size church.

8. Hire experienced graphic design/video help – for less

Most church leaders didn’t go to school for graphic design or making videos. And yet many have spent countless hours learning how to do just that. 

If this sounds like you, and you would rather devote your time and energy to the ministry work you’ve been called to do, this is for you. 

Get unlimited quality graphics and videos and time back by working with Church Media Squad. They even offer a 14-day free trial – so really, not much to lose by trying it out!

9. Level up on your guest follow-up with Text In Church. 

Some facts for you: 

  • 90%+ of text messages are read within 3 minutes
  • 96% of American adults own a mobile phone, and 81% of American adults own a smartphone (as of this study in 2019
  • About 1 in 10 guests return. 

Let’s use these stats in your favor and add Text In Church to your guest follow-up plan. Users benefit from scripts, automated workflows, and great support, plus guidance on how to incorporate the personal connections that nurture relationships. 

Our team loves both the Text In Church service and the team! That’s why we gladly share this exclusive offer of a  30-Day Free Trial PLUS 500 bonus messages

Think of where things could be with guests in a month – simply by following up with them and helping them feel known, noticed, and loved!

Hello, 2021!

As you wrap up 2020 and head into 2021, go into the year knowing that God has a plan for you and your church. Be ready to say YES and to reach, engage, and retain more people through better communication and the recommended church resources and tools shared above!

 Your Community Needs you!

Learn how you can make a greater impact in ministry when community insights inform everything you do!

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