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Archive for the ‘Free’ Category


Paperwork, paperwork, paperwork. You don’t have time to create it, so copy and paste it! Here’s the entire volunteer application packet we give to all our prospective youth volunteers. This is accompanied by a background check form as well. Let me know how you use it!

DOWNLOAD APPLICATION PACKET
All forms are in pdf, Word doc, and Apple pages format.

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Too good to be true? Hardly. Here’s how. WordPress is what this blog is written on and it’s free. Go Daddy (if you can get past their awful ad campain) registers domain names for $10 a year (and that includes “domain forwarding with masking…I’ll explain later).  So, start to finish, here’s the steps to get your ministry or organizational or personal website up and looking crazy awesome in 5 easy steps.

5 Steps to A Great Website for 10 Bucks:

1) First, you need a domain name (i.e. http://www.yourchurchsite.com) and you get it through Go Daddy for $10.
2) You go to WordPress.com and sign up for a free blog. Try to give it a similar name as your .com domain.
3) Here comes the fun part. While on WordPress, navigate to your “dashboard”, the “behind the scenes” section, and under the “appearance” menu (left column) click on “themes” and pick out a theme for your site.  Then, make some “pages” with various content, leave a few posts, and play around with “widgets”.  The more you play around with this interface, the more familiar you’ll become with it and the more you’ll discover just how simple having a website really is.
4) Once you’ve designed your site, put in your content, and are happy with it…it’s time to show it off. Go back to Go Daddy.com and on the their upper menu click the tab “log in” and…well…log in.  In the center of the window you’ll see your new domain name.  Click on it and it launches “dashboard” (wow, the same name as wordpress…it’s a conspiracy of simplicity). Click on “forwarding” and input your WordPress site address (i.e. yourchurch.wordpress.com) and click “advanced options”. Choose “forward with masking” and enter the info that you want people to see when they navigate to your site. Click “ok” and you’re done.
5) You’ve done all the hard work…now tell people about it. Anyone can now type in your domain http://www.yourchurch.com and it will “forward” them straight to your wordpress site! Enjoy. You just got an awesome site with YOUR NAME for $10 a year!

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FOLLOW THIS LINK
This link will only last 1 week, but after that you can sign up for a weekly free download from http://www.footagefirm.com and you’ll get the same free content delivered every week. These backgrounds come in SD and HD and they’re not bad…for free! Let me know how you use them!

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Simply TXT

Email is dead. Youth communicate primarily through text, so why are you still trying to communicate your announcements through email, snail mail, and (God forbid) fliers!

With mass text messaging you can communicate instantly to your entire youth group or congregation! Simply Youth Ministry has come up with a ministry focused program with a 30 day free trial and per month fees as low as $10.

How we have used it:
1) Youth group announcements
2) Sign-ups. Example: We need volunteers for VBS, text me back if you want more information.
3) On our church bulletin we have a tear off section: “Sign-up for Text Message Announcements”
4) On our Uturn website students can sign up to receive these announcements
5) Reminder announcements about events and weekly info about what’s going on at Uturn
6) Bible Verse reading for the day

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Vacation Bible School is rad. Every year we have hundreds of little kiddos who come, play, sing, and learn about Jesus. It’s our church’s biggest outreach of the year and we, like you, put a lot of time and effort into making VBS fun and memorable.  Here are all the admin forms and workflow we use. Start with the form tilted, “VBS Volunteer Meeting”. Every other form will make sense after reading it. Post your comments or thoughts on how you organize VBS.

CLICK HERE FOR FORMS
(All forms are doc, pdf, and apple pages formats)

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How many times have I sat around thinking, what should I speak to these people about? What do they need to hear? Even praying the prayer, God what do your people need right now (and that’s not a bad prayer), what are they struggling with?  One could argue, immerse yourself in the culture, read-read-read, and even ask them!

However, even when asking people straight out, you don’t always get the kind of deep, heartfelt answers you’d receive if you ask anonymously. So, survey them. We survey our students every year and ask various questions to help us improve our ministry. Here’s an example for you to fill out: Click here to take survey

We get some pretty varied feedback, but you must ask the hard questions!
Here’s the latest survey we had our students fill out: UTURN SURVEY
I had to face the fact that some kids thought my messages were horrible and  what I thought was a strength, our small groups, had a really big weakness…they never ended on time! This information would never have been openly shared in person, thank you Survey Monkey! Survey monkey is a free service, take advantage of it!

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Article Summary:

1) Google Apps = Word, Excel, & More
2) Education Edition free for non-profits

Ok, so we all know Google will someday rule the world and might even be the anti-christ…someday…but not today. Today it provides incredible resources for the local church through Google apps.

First, for those who don’t know about google apps education edition, it’s a set of online programs that include:
1) Google Mail – Ad Free, & Calendar
2) Google Docs – Word, Excel, PowerPoint, & Drawing (for flowcharts, etc.)
3) Google Forms, Site (free website)

What are all these Apps good for?
The main benefit is that all your documents are online and accessible anywhere!
The secondary benefit is that you can collaborate on the same document, at the same time, while chatting or talking to each other via google video or audio chat!

Here’s how we use some of the apps:
1) All Prayer requests are put in an Excel document that all staff members and prayer team members can navigate to. When they receive an update, THEY can update the document so it always stays current.
2) All my sermons are organized in a folder and accessible at any time from any location.
3) Google Site allows us to have an inner office intranet where all important logos, letterhead, etc. are kept and easily downloaded.
4) Google Forms allow us to embed registration forms on our website. The data from those forms can easily or even automatically be put into a Google Excel document for interpretation of data.
5) All our Email is AT OUR DOMAIN (i.e. jon@esfoursquare.com, not @gmail.com) plus if you own mulitple domains (we own esfoursquare.com, .net, .org, esuturn.com) people can email you at any of your domains and it goes to the same account (jon@esfoursquare.com, jon@esfoursquare.net, jon@esfoursquare.org)

Best of all…It’s free!

Information on “how to” get the FREE Education Edition (same as Premium which costs $50 per user, per year)
Information on Google Apps

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www.dropbox.com
Get drop box. That’s all I need to say. Forget a network server, this is the easiest way to share files…period. You install a little app (both mac & pc) and it looks like just another folder on your computer. But, anything you drag into it, automatically is synced to every other computer you choose. Imagine the possibilities. You have all your logos, letterhead, and important docs shared and updated all the time. You have a safe and secure online backup of all your important documents (free) that you can access from anywhere. You have a folder with all your previous sermons and PowerPoint files so when you’re asked to speak last minute…you’re prepared.

*One way I use it. Every week, during our LIVE broadcast, we have a copy of the sermon notes in a pdf file that can be downloaded by anyone watching (so they can follow along). Rather than updating the website every week with a new file, I just “drop” the latest pdf file into my dropbox folder, on my computer and give it the same name (sermon-notes.pdf) and dropbox automatically puts the new file on the server and my web link never has to change. Brilliant! (not me, dropbox).

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As a camp director of over 500 kids a camp, I understand you NEED good admin resources and forms. Here are all the forms I’ve developed over the years, from medical releases to staff job descriptions. Most forms were created in an apple program called “pages“. Below you will find a zip file with all .pdf files and another zip file with all the pages or word documents.

1) Zip File with all PDF forms
2) Zip File with all Pages and Word documents

Documents include:
1) Cover letter (explaining everything to camp leaders)
2) Cabin Leader Criteria
3) Financial worksheets
4) Camper & Leader Registration form & medical release
5) Letter to Parents
6) Policies & Procedures
7) Rules & Packing List
8) Gift Certificate for fundraising
9) Staff Job descriptions

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Trust me, this is simple. And very, very effective. And very, very free.  First question to answer, why? Here are the top 5 reasons:
1) For perspective visitors who wouldn’t dare step into a church.
2) For congregants who are sick or injured.
3) For people who’ve moved (i.e. college students, etc).
4) For a free video recording of your services.
5) For those who don’t live close but want to see a baptism, special performance of their nephew, etc.

Here are the 3 simple steps:

1) Log on to Ustream.tv and create a free account.
2) Have a computer and a webcam or (video camera connected with a firewire cable) (point webcam at stage)
3) Link or embed your Ustream account to your website.

Optional: Download the free application, Ustream Producer and use that interface instead of the online one.

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www.polleverywhere.com A-ma-zing. This little web software has an infinite number of applications. LIVE AUDIENCE POLLING through text.  It’s free for the first 30 responses, then the monthly fee kicks in. You can poll and have free rolling texts. Simple and effective. Here’s some application to ministry:

1) A game. Create a keyword for “boy” and “girl” and have the kids text in as much as possible, over and over and see the bar graph jump in real time.  Which gender can type faster!
2) A question. “What if….” and you let each person fill in the blank with their texts.
3) A survey. Each week poll your congregation with a question, this software will generate reports.
4) Voting or fund-raising. Have a contest and the audience can vote (once, they have the option to restrict voting to 1 vote per number) for a winner.
5) Choose your own adventure, I mean sermon. Start a message, pitch your 3 points, and let the audience decide which one you actually speak on…LIVE.

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