4 Ways to Implement Remote Work with Your Church Staff
These four critical strategies could revolutionize the way church staff works.
December 9, 2019
We’re going to walk you through five steps to help you create a social media calendar that will help you to connect with people in your community, share the gospel, and lead people to your worship services or weekly activities.
August 15, 2017
Social media can be overwhelming for church leaders.
The median work week for pastors is 50 hours per week. For half of the pastors in the U.S., they work less than 50 hours per week, whereas the other half works more than 50 hours per week.
Now, if we were to survey the work these pastors do during this time, we wouldn’t see social media at the top of their list. But this doesn’t mean that they don’t believe social media is not necessary.
Every day, most of the pastors are probably checking their social media accounts. They see the request from Facebook to “write something…”, Twitter asks them, “What’s happening?”, and LinkedIn wants them to “Share an article, photo, or update.”
Not only do they feel the burden of sharing something for their personal account, but they know they should engage with people on the church’s social media accounts, too. Why? Because that’s where most of the people in their community are spending time.
For many church leaders, they find it difficult to post something on their church’s social media accounts. They don’t know where to start, what to say, or who to connect with online. So, instead of saying anything, they tend to say nothing at all.
If you struggle with figuring out what to say, then you need a social media calendar. We know this can sound daunting, but it doesn’t have to be. You don’t need an advanced degree, secret digital marketing knowledge, or a high-level of proficiency in social media marketing.
Below, we’re going to walk you through five steps to help you create a social media calendar that will help you to connect with people in your community, share the gospel, and lead people to your worship services or weekly activities.
Knowing what you want to say is the first step you need to take in creating a social media strategy. In this step, you don’t need to worry about the nitty-gritty details of what you’re going to say. You need to focus on the big topics you’re going to cover throughout the week.
Clarifying what you’re going to share on social media will help you to focus and keep you from chasing multiple rabbit trails or sharing the same thing every single day.
For your church, there are many ideas to consider sharing:
Action Step: Identify 3–5 specific topics you’re going to share on social media.
There’s one thing people do on social media: Be social. People from your church and within your community are spending time on social media socializing with each other. They’re sharing photos, letting people know what they’re getting into during the day, and on and on and on.
As a church, you are talking to your members and people in your community. Unless you turn your settings to private, whatever you post on social media can be seen by anyone in your community and around the world.
When you create your social media calendar, you need to create content that will connect with the members of your church and people in your community. At times, what you post will connect with both of these groups of people. However, on other occasions, it’s important to share something specifically for people within these groups.
Action Step: Keep in mind the people in your church and community when you post on social media.
As a pastor, your life is busy.
Before creating a social media calendar, you need to take a step back and assess how much time you can realistically devote to social media.
Whether you can squeeze in a few minutes during the day or you only have time for 15–30 minutes per week, then that’s okay. Scheduling a portion of time will help you to take control of your church’s social media calendar.
Action Step: Look at your week and month. Now, schedule a few minutes each day, 15–30 minutes per week, or 1 or more hours to curate and create content.
The great thing about managing your church’s social media accounts is that you don’t have to share updates throughout the day. You can set it and forget it with a social media sharing service.
There are multiple options you can choose from. If you don’t like these choices, no hard feelings. Research some different options and find one that works best for you.
Action Step: Pick a social media sharing service.
Alright, now it’s time to create your social media calendar.
By now, you know what you’re going to say, who you’re talking to, how much time you can spend, and the social media sharing service you’re going to use. Armed with this information, you need to determine how often you’re going to post during the week.
Before we provide suggestions, hear us loud and clear: You don’t have to post frequently, just consistently.
If you are just getting started, then here are two social media platforms we suggest focusing on at first and how often you should post:
For now, don’t worry about LinkedIn, Pinterest, Snapchat, or Google+. Facebook and Instagram have the largest audiences, and many of the people in your community use them.
Action Step: Spend 15–30 minutes and schedule your posts for the week.
Did you use this plan to create your social media strategy? Share what you learned in the comments below!
In a previous blog post, I shared the different ways your church can thank donors—from automated emails to year-end giving reports. Printed donation letters also play an essential role in your church’s stewardship efforts.
Donation letters are the Swiss Army knife of your church’s gratitude arsenal. It may not be the most powerful—but it’s versatile, handy, and gets used often.
Your basic church donation letter can serve many different purposes, including:
A single, well-crafted donation letter can pull together several of these things simultaneously. Better donation letters lead to more giving, which leads to more donation letters—thus creating a cycle of on-going church generosity.
Here’s the good news—you don’t have to write an individualized letter for every person who gives to your church. That would be tough to do for even smaller churches. And most donors don’t expect you to. They’d rather you be putting their gift to better use in the community, instead of ceaselessly writing thank you notes.
With the possible exception of some unique circumstances, your church can use template language for the majority of your church donation letters. You’ll have to add in custom details like the donor’s name and gift amount, but you can write everything else in advance.
To make this even easier on you, here are a few basic church donation letter templates you can copy and paste. Keep in mind that not all of these have to be in print—you could just as easily turn some of these samples into email appeals.
The Donation Acknowledgement Letter is a basic way you can confirm and affirm a monetary gift to your church. Sending these is standard practice in church and nonprofit culture.
Dear [first name],
I want to personally thank you for your donation of [gift amount] to [church name]. We’re honored you would bless us with your generosity. Donations like yours make a big difference in the work our church is doing in the community.
Without givers like you, our church can’t have an impact or influence in our community. With your support, we’re partnering with local nonprofits, sending out global mission trips, and hosting small groups on topics that help real people like you. Together, we can make a difference.
Because we’re a tax-exempt nonprofit, you also get to write this donation off on your taxes. This letter serves as official proof of your donation, so keep it in your records come tax season. At the end of the year, we’ll also send you an annual recap with how much you’ve given to the church.
Thank you for supporting [church name]!
Not every church member realizes the importance of giving, or understand Bible verses about tithing and giving. So a Donation Request Letter helps to spread that awareness and encourage a spirit of generosity.
Dear [first name],
How are the finances in your household? That was a rhetorical question, so you don’t have to answer—besides, this is a letter so we wouldn’t hear you anyway. But we still want you to think about that question.
Money is a uniquely human issue, one we all struggle with to one degree or another. Even if you’re financially blessed, you still have the burden of stewarding your money wisely. And we believe that one of the best ways to invest your money is into the local church.
Tithing (giving 10% of your income) on a regular basis not only supports the work we do at [church name]. It doesn’t just support local missions and community growth. It also shows an obedience to God by making his work a financial priority in your life.
So if you find yourself ready to put God first in both your heart and your wallet, we encourage you to make a one-time gift or sign up to make recurring donations. That way, you won’t have to ever wonder again about the financial status of your household.
Many church donations aren’t just one-time gifts. Plenty of givers contribute monthly—and that should be acknowledged.
Use this template to correspond with recurring givers.
Dear [first name],
Thank you for being an active and faithful member of our church community. By giving to our church on a monthly basis, you’re showing that our church has a meaningful place in your heart. We just wanted to write this to let you know that you’re in our heart, too.
Donating to the church monthly allows us to preach the gospel, make disciples, and support others in our community who need help. Others like the local food bank and the nearby homeless shelter. We’re answering the cry of the needy, and it’s all thanks to contributors like you.
We earnestly appreciate your ongoing support and want to let you know we’re here for you. If there’s ever anything we can do for you and your family, don’t hesitate to reach out. You are a valued member of our church family. And you’re financial support is making a difference.
At the end of each year, it’s customary to give your church supporters a summary of their gifts. The primary reason is for tax purposes, but it’s also a way to recap everything your church has done over the past year with their support.
Dear [first name],
You’re getting this letter because you gave to [church name] at some point during the past year. That might have been a one-time gift, or recurring donations. Either way, we want to thank you for your generous support. Every contribution helps.
One of the official reasons for this letter is for tax purposes. That’s right—you get to write these donations off on your taxes. Which is why we’ve included a summary of all the contributions you’ve made to our church this year.
But the other reason for this letter is to let you know what we’ve done with the money you gave. We take stewardship very seriously, which means we value spending our time and resources wisely.
During the year, our church supported local nonprofits, sent global missions teams, and baptised quite a few people. It was a great year for us—thanks in large part to donors like you.
So thank you for your support of our church, and we hope you’ll consider continuing to contribute to our mission in the coming year.
Sometimes you need to make a more significant financial push using tried and true church fundraising ideas. Some churches call this a Stewardship Campaign or a Church Capital Campaign. Either way, the goal is to raise a certain amount of money for a big project. And typically, a solid letter of appeal is an integral part of that.
Dear [first name],
God has a plan for everyone and everything. That includes you, and it includes [church name]. None of us can fully know God’s plan—the best we can do is pray and listen for clarity. Our church leadership has been doing just that and are excited to announce our latest church project.
[Detail the outline of the major church project—this could include a building campaign, or raising support for a global mission trip. Anything specific to your church that requires a fundraising letter. Be sure to include a fundraising goal so everyone knows what you’re shooting for.]
But we can’t pull this off without your support. Whether you give to the church on a regular basis, or just attend on occasion, we’re asking you to consider contributing to this massive undertaking prayerfully. It’s something we need our entire church community’s help with.
Even if you can’t make a large gift, know that every little bit helps. It’s more about coming together as a community united behind a common cause. We hope that you’ll consider making a donation towards this great step forward that we’re making together.
It’s not enough to just copy and paste this content and send away. The key to an effective church donation letter is a touch of personalization. Follow these tips to take your donation letters to the next level:
There’s no one right or wrong way to write a donation letter or request contributions. You’ve got to do what is right for your church and congregation. But if you stick to these general tips, you’ll probably start to see some traction when it comes to giving.
Most people don’t love talking about money in church. But it’s a necessary and vital part of your church. And maximizing your efforts when it comes to donation letters will help make those conversations more comfortable. So what do you do next to put this into effect?
And if you’re looking for ways to grow your church’s giving capacity, Tithely can help.
Tithely’s systems make it as easy as possible for people to give to your church. Now all you need to start doing is generating a culture of gratitude. There’s nothing standing in your way. Go unleash generosity in your church.
How does your church use donation letters to spread generosity? Share your thoughts in the comments below!
Editor's Note: This is a guest post from Robert Carnes. Robert is a writer and storyteller. He's the author of The Original Storyteller: Become a Better Storyteller in 30 Days. A former church communicator and nonprofit marketer, Robert works as a managing editor for Orange in Atlanta.