MediaShout and Easy Worship Presentation
These software packages enable you to create a flawless,
interruption-free worship presentation that will wow kids and grab
Field Notes: These easy-to-use software packages
offer everything you've dreamed of for professional, seamless
worship presentations, including songs, slide shows, videos,
voice-overs, and more.
"We have a great sound system and a PC-controlled projector which
we can use to show videos, add PowerPoint, play music, and project
lyrics," explains Kevin Verstegen of Praise Fellowship Assembly of
God in Sheboygan, Wisconsin. "A system like ours needs to be
expert-installed and set up, but with a little training just about
anyone can run the computer and projector." You can also use these
programs to provide alerts to parents in your congregation with
little or no distractions.
MediaShout offers one-hour online training sessions for each of
three levels of training. Sessions include instruction and a live
Q&A chat with the trainer. For use with Windows XP and
Price Tag: Around $400
Learn More: mediashout.com or easyworship.com
Plotter or Large-Format Printer
Print signage, window graphics, and stage sets to enhance your
Field Notes: Save your ministry time and money by
investing in a large-format printer. Printers are available for
24-, 36-, and 42-inch widths, and take paper or even vinyl up to
150-feet long. Use your printer with a design program such as Adobe
Photoshop or Macromedia FreeHand, and recruit a gifted individual
to give your ministry a distinctive and professional look.
Matt McKee of Horizon Community Church in Cincinnati, Ohio, found
a refurbished printer for $3,500 and uses it regularly. "I print
all my own sets, backdrops, signs, and props every six to eight
weeks and a new environment for our children's space at least twice
a year," he says. "It doesn't take long to learn how to use, and
it'll change your image overnight."
Price Tag: $3,000-$20,000
Learn More: hp.com
Security and Church Management Software
Synchronize your database with software that tracks kids'
attendance, tracks volunteers, streamlines event registration, and
provides a safe checkin/checkout security system.
Field Notes: Options and levels of integration
vary from company to company, so consider your needs before you
inquire. Some programs allow you to notify parents that they're
needed in your children's area with a coded number that flashes on
screen during the adult worship service; others use vibrating
pagers. Either way, you're giving parents peace of mind. Many offer
follow-up features so you're alerted to families who haven't shown
up in several weeks. Steven Dilla of Fellowship Church in Dallas,
Texas, says, "The most exciting part of the 'misser call' strategy
is that over 85 percent of the families we call at the three-week
mark return in the next three weeks to church."
Holly Wiley, director of operations for children's ministry at
Mariners Church in Irvine, California, says they started using
Fellowship One when they opened their children's building in
"We print two tags for each child, one they wear, and the other
goes on the clipboard for the classroom. If we ever had to evacuate
for fire or other emergency, the volunteers bring the clipboard
with them along with the children so we can facilitate checking
kids out to parents and have an accurate count."
You can also use these system to automate background and reference
Some systems offer other advantages for the classroom, as well,
such as TOUCHPage from Seeker Communication. "This allows teachers
to call for assistance -- needed supplies, an additional person, or
help with a discipline issue. This is done by touching one button
and sending one of three preset messages to the children's ministry
support team," says Steve Fortner of Seeker Communication.
Price Tag: Varies based on features; often based
on attendance numbers
Learn More: fellowshiptech.com, parentpager.com, seekercomm.com, sonblest.com, microframecorp.com, bythebook.com,