Archives For Church Related

kiosk

At a recent Ministry Leaders’ meeting at church, we mentioned the need for a better system for people to signup for events and classes at church. We have two touchscreen all-in-one computers that were not being fully utilized, so we decided to turn them into signup kiosks.  After just a little bit of work, we came up with a great solution for a touchscreen kiosk system using a website run by WordPress.

If you are thinking about a project like this, here is information to help get you started. First, the web browser Google Chrome can run in a full screen kiosk mode that is not easily closed.  If you create a shortcut on your desktop for Chrome, you can edit the shortcut and add the -kiosk command and then add the website link. When you click the shortcut, the website will be opened full screen with no address bar and no menu. (see here for more detailed instructions)

I created a new website as a subdomain of our church website. The website is a single page, and is built using the Divi theme by Elegant Themes. It consists of several “call to action” modules in the Divi theme.  For each module, you enter the link, the button text, and the title for the block. I also added the Easy Fancybox plugin. By adding a CSS class to the Call to Action module, I forced each button to open up in a pop-up window instead of a separate page. This keeps everything on the same page and allows the kiosk to reset after each use. The links are to events in our church database so that we can track signups. The style is very similar to our main website so the branding is consistent.

It’s a very simple setup, and it has worked great the last few weeks. Our hope is that it will eliminate clipboards and signup sheets from our resource table.  You can view our current kiosk at kiosk.mycornerstone.org

Let me know if you have any questions.

divi-modules

At Cornerstone, I have been preaching a sermon series through the book of Galatians. It has been a great series for our church and for me personally. It has really required some extra study time and I wanted to share with you the commentaries and resources I have been using throughout the series. In preparing a message series, I start with the Bible passage and then break it down into manageable sections to preach each week. I then spend time looking for the major themes and points I want to make from each section. These commentaries have been helpful in preparing my messages. All are either available as Kindle books are as ebooks in Logos or Wordsearch. Here is a quick rundown.

Galatians For You by Tim Keller - This has been the most helpful commentary for my series. Keller does an incredible job of presenting the information in an understandable format. The information is detailed, yet practical. This is a perfect research for preaching through the book of Galatians.

Christ Centered Exposition - Exalting Jesus in Galatians by David Platt – This commentary is based on David Platt’s sermon series on Galatians. Platt does an excellent job in organizing and presenting the important details in the book of Galatians. My sermon series is based on the sections in this book, although many of my points have been adapted from Keller’s commentary.

The Message of Galatians by John Stott - This is the Galatians commentary that everyone else references. It is the standard and is excellent. The language is not as contemporary as Keller and Platt, but it is still easy to understand.

Cornerstone Biblical Commentary - This is a commentary series that I really enjoy using. It brings out both application and exegesis of each passage. It is also based on the New Living Translation which I have been using throughout my sermon series.

Holman Commentary - This is yet another commentary that is heavy on application. I like the use of illustrations as well. However, it is the least detailed of all the commentaries listed here.

I hope information like this is helpful to you. Even if you are not a pastor, commentaries can be helpful in studying the Bible. You will see different viewpoints, but trust God to reveal to you both the meaning and application of each text you study. 

Ministry-Pass-Announcement

Let me introduce you to a great new service. Most churches do not have a full-time graphic designer on staff. For our church, this means that as pastor, I spend time on creating graphics for new sermon series and events. There are a few sites that provide sermon graphics, but I always have trouble finding graphics that will work with the topic I am interested in preaching on.

Ministry Pass is a new service that provide creative graphic content for your church. It is a membership based site, with a yearly membership costing $399 (They are currently offering a special introductory rate of $299) Before you say that is too much money, think about what it would cost to hire a graphic designer to design sermon graphics, social media graphics, and even youth and children’s ministry graphic for your ministry. They also offer slides and graphics for special events in your church. I appreciate that many of the graphics can be customized through Photoshop (or Photoshop Elements).

After browsing through the site, this is something I am definitely excited about. I’m already planning on using several of their graphics for my 2015 sermon series. The only thing I would like to see added is sermon series video bumpers.

Ministry Pass provides done-for-you resources that include sermon series (for students, adults, and children), special event packages (VBS and youth big event night materials), and weekly announcement slides. Every bundle comes with:

  • Sermon Series Guide
  • Photoshop Layers
  • Series Title Jpeg
  • Scripture/Point Jpeg
  • Facebook Cover Image
  • Facebook Timeline Image
  • Instagram Image
  • Print Ready Postcard Front
  • Bulletin Shell Cover

Here are a few examples of the graphics you will find on their site. Browse their site to see the whole collection. Each month, more resources will be added.

Now for the good news! Ministry Pass has generously offered to give a free one year membership to one of our readers here on faithengineer.com.  Enter the giveaway below. The winner will be announced this Friday night!

 

On May 24th, four local churches came together for a night of worship. I wanted to share the video of this service here on the blog. It was a powerful night of worship and praise. I love seeing churches work together and break down denominational and geographical barriers.

Amazon-Smile

I recently started using Amazon Smile to support one of my favorite charities, Because We Care Ministries. I do a lot of shopping at Amazon since I have a Prime account with free 2-day shipping on most items. It’s an easy way to help support mission work in Nicaragua.  Here is how Amazon Describes it

What is AmazonSmile?
AmazonSmile is a simple and automatic way for you to support your favorite charitable organization every time you shop, at no cost to you. When you shop at smile.amazon.com, you’ll find the exact same low prices, vast selection and convenient shopping experience as Amazon.com, with the added bonus that Amazon will donate a portion of the purchase price to your favorite charitable organization. You can choose from nearly one million organizations to support.

When you go to smile.amazon.com and login with your Amazon account, you can choose from almost one million different charities. I chose Because We Care Ministries in Roanoke, Virginia, a great missions organization that we partner with to do mission work in Nicaragua.  They receive 0.5% of the purchase price from every eligible AmazonSmile purchase I make.  That may not sound like a lot, but if many people set it up, it can make a huge difference in the mission field.

After you set everything up, you do need to remember to shop at smile.amazon.com instead of the normal www.amazon.com. I installed a Google Chrome browser extension called SmileAlways that automatically redirects me to the smile page. Try it out! I love finding ways to support more mission work.

 

We just finished our latest sermon series called Foundations at Cornerstone. Our goal was to focus on basic foundational truths that every believer should know and understand. Sometimes, it’s good to just focus on the basics. I have been surprised throughout the series at the positive response from our mature believers. I think pastors tend to forget that many people struggle with doubt and confusion about what they believe.

We focused this series on questions that people have about their faith. 

  • Can I trust the Bible?
  • Who is Jesus?
  • Why is the resurrection important? (Easter Message)
  • What is our responsibility?

I created the graphics for this series using simple stock graphics and iMovie. It was quick, but I hope it shows what you can do with simple tools and a limited budget. Here is the opening video for the series.

I love hearing stories of growth and life change, and God moved throughout this series.

  • One person shared how much our church has helped him overcome his addiction. His comment was that he has never experienced people who truly care about him
  • One person shared how they were fearful of messing up and losing their salvation. When they understood what it truly means to have faith in Christ, they were set free from worry and fear of messing up
  • Multiple people trusted Christ for salvation
  • Two people who had a previous conflict reconciled and asked forgiveness

Each week I hear stories like these. It never gets old seeing God work miracles in our church!

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