IF YOUR CHURCH

FELL OFF THE MAP TOMORROW

WOULD ANYONE NOTICE?


The church leaders we’ve talked to
have made it abundantly clear. Three eternal priorities are more important to them than anything else:

One

Helping new people who have never heard the gospel learn about Jesus.

Two

Growing a healthy, engaged, discipled congregation.

Three

Mobilizing that congregation to impact the broader community.

Over the shoulder of pastor sitting in a chair

Healthy churches know the powerful secret to thriving as they lean into these priorities.

Collage of mobile phone, womam smiling, man smiling

Most church leaders assume that things like . . .

  • Having a website or online giving

  • Having great graphics and engaging content

  • Making budget, if only by a little bit

  • Posting sermons online or live streaming

  • Creating polished presentations every week

  • Having a handful of really committed volunteers and givers

. . . are the keys to thriving in today’s crisis.


While these things are essential if you want to survive, they aren’t the way your church will thrive.


So, what’s the secret to thriving in any season?

There’s one thing almost all thriving churches say has been the underlying secret to healthy spiritual and numerical growth.


Of course,
it’s the gospel.
What else could it be?

No church can thrive without the power of the Spirit pointing people to Christ and moving in the hearts of your congregation. Any church that abandons the centricity of the gospel for the hottest new trend will ultimately fail, but that doesn’t mean churches should ignore the resources God in his common grace has given them to amplify the gospel message.

history

Let's pause for a quick history lesson . . .


Spreading the gospel with technology

The Church has used technological advancements to spread the good news of Jesus for literally thousands of years. And with astounding success.

Think about it: the printing press helped fuel the Protestant Reformation. But really, it wasn’t just the printing press—it was the way Christians like Martin Luther used the printing press to print Bibles and distribute them to people who had never read Scripture in their own language.

Then, there was the telephone, microphone, radio, television, internet, and now, superpowered computers we carry around in our pockets and on our wrists. These are all great disrupters: they fundamentally change the way people interact with each other—and how information (like the gospel) spreads.



Fast forward to today.

Now, churches everywhere are using technology to further their missions—but they’re running into one huge issue. The way they’re using technology is creating new problems even as it solves old ones—problems like disconnection between all their software, wasting time on duplicated work, and duct taping together systems that don’t play nicely with one another.

Technology should make your life and ministry more effective. That’s why it’s time for one more paradigm shift—one that is designed to center communities around God’s Word, eliminate duplicate work, and allow systems to work together seamlessly.

thrive logo

WHAT IS THIS PARADIGM SHIFT?

The shift is moving from disconnected discipleship tactics and fragmented technology . . .

internet companies logo collage

. . . to a biblically rooted, step-by-step
discipleship strategy built on top of a truly
integrated ministry platform.



Integration

Integration means to bring together or incorporate (parts) into a whole. In the context of churches, an integrated tech stack is a critical component to moving from surviving the digital age to a thriving ministry that never compromises timeless biblical principles. This is about way more than just technology.


To reiterate . . .

Integration is about way more than just technology. It’s the foundational engine for reaching your city and community with the gospel in the digital age. It’s also the automated powerhouse that’s going to save you hours each week, freeing you up to spend more time on ministry.

Plenty of companies will tell you
their products will help you do just that.

The sad truth is that most of them don’t even come close.

We’re not just another software company trying to sell you a fragmented system that leaves you cobbling solutions together. We’re only interested in a complete technology solution coupled with discipleship resources and strategies that actually work, and you should be, too.



Keep reading
this page, and we’ll show you . . .

… how simple and beautiful integration can be when it’s coupled with a step-by-step discipleship strategy. We’ll hand you an easy-to-follow biblical discipleship plan that truly works—one that partners timeless discipleship methods with real integrated technology to help your ministry thrive in the digital age.



We’ve been serving churches like yours for over 25 years.

Many of our team members have helped build strategies like this at their own churches, too. We know it works—and now we want to share it with you. In a sense, it has informed our whole direction as a company.

That’s why, in more recent years,
Faithlife has invested in building a solution that contains everything churches need to do the critical work of the Church.

It’s an integrated ministry platform, which means it isn’t just a hodgepodge of tools with a bunch of staircases to nowhere. It’s a full church tech stack, centered on Scripture and built specifically for churches that want to thrive. It contains every tool you need to do ministry well without any of the integration problems that come with siloed solutions. Because real integration should be seamless.

Here's what's included:

check mark

Mobile giving

check mark

Church websites

check mark

Video courses

check mark

Church websites

check mark

Sermon storage

check mark

Presentation software

check mark

Bible study software

check mark

Digital asset manager

check mark

Discipleship essentials

check mark

Live streaming*

check mark

Stock media

check mark

And more

thrive logo

The truth is . . .

churches have been taping together solutions built for business and/or single functions for far too long. The way forward requires seamless integration.

Churches that get this right will thrive. Churches that get this wrong will continue drowning in a flood of admin work and duplicated processes— and they’ll have little time left for what’s most important: discipleship.

MINISTRY

BUSYWORK

Most struggling churches we’ve seen have one thing in common: they’re losing valuable time needed for discipleship strategy and execution in a sea of busywork.



But there’s a way out.

If you dread researching or thinking about church technology as much as some people, you can leverage the power of an integrated ministry platform to do the heavy lifting for you. But you still need a strategy to truly thrive.



It’s not enough to turn the engine on: you have to have a map.

Martin Luther didn’t invent the printing press, and he didn’t need to: he just saw opportunity for the gospel and seized on it.

This isn’t about slick brochures or marketing gimmicks. We’re talking about a cohesive plan for how you’re going to use the integrated ministry platform to drive the discipleship process in your church and beyond.



In other
words . . .

You need a strategy for moving people through a journey: strangers to visitors and visitors to members and members to disciplers. The good news is we’re going to provide you with that plan below for free. The bad news is you’re going to wish you had started this plan a long time ago.

thrive logo

Here is your free step-by-step plan

Integrating worship, stewardship, and ministry while fueling your discipleship flywheel using the integrated ministry platform . . .

Discipleship Journey - Share, Discover, Attend, Connect, Serve, Grow, Share

The Discipleship Journey

Learn how to nurture your community step by step
through six phases of discipleship using the
integrated ministry platform.


Instead of having a rough discipleship journey in your head, let us show you how this tried-and-true journey works—and how you can make it work at your church.


We call it a “journey” because it starts with a stranger who doesn’t know anything about your church and ends with a committed, growing church member. This journey gives strategy and direction to everything your church needs to thrive.


Here’s how to use the discipleship journey to reach and empower people in your community.

Discover

DISCOVER: STRANGERS TO KNOWN

STEP 1


Help Strangers Discover Your Church

Start by listing the ways a person can find your church. List your church website, social media, links from your denomination or affiliations, ads, and anywhere else you can think of.

Next, ask yourself what actions someone can take once they find your church and before they ever step foot in your building. They can email you, message you on social media, or fill out a form on your website.

Your goal here is to move people from strangers to “known.” Simply put, you want to know this person’s name and have a way to follow up with them.

This can only happen when you optimize the pathways above to collect that person’s name and email address at the very least. Collecting a phone number is great, too.



Here are some key activities you should do during this stage:

check mark

Create personas for your church

A persona is simply a rough outline of a person, like a college student, a single parent, or a blue-collar worker. Each persona should be based on a group of people who call your church home, and it should loosely represent the majority of people who fall in that category. You should answer some basic questions about each persona, such as:

  • Where does this person live?

  • How do they spend their days?

  • What’s their family like?

  • What does this person care about?

  • What is this person afraid of?

God has led your church to this particular place and time, and your job is to figure out who your church is uniquely equipped to help. Creating personas helps you identify those people and the most effective ways to reach them.

Make a list of 3–5 personas you want to make an effort to reach. You can even give them fictional names and a short description if you want. This will come into play again shortly.

check mark

Make sure your website is up to date

How will they believe if they haven’t heard? And how will they hear without a preacher? These are great questions posed by Scripture. However, we may want to ask one more question in the digital age: How will they find the preacher without a church website?

A church website is the digital front door to your church. It’s one of the simplest ways to be found by people who are looking for a new church, and yet, many churches don’t take the time to regularly update their site and/or make sure it even has all the relevant information a visitor might need.

Spend some time on your site. If you don’t have one or if it’s totally out of date, build a new one quickly on Faithlife Sites, and you’ll never have to worry about site updates again. That’s because Faithlife Sites updates itself. (We’ll explain more of this magic later.)

We cover church website basics in our guide Church Websites 101. There are some extra tips about writing personas in there, too.

check mark

Start blogging

Search engines like Google highlight fresh and relevant content. One of the easiest ways to keep your site full of fresh content is to blog on a weekly basis.

Some of you are likely overwhelmed by the thought of blogging, but listen: start simple. Just post your sermon notes once a week and link to your newly published sermon audio or video.

Easy peasy. Once you’ve got the basics down, you can slowly add more content.

check mark

Make sure your website is optimized for SEO

In addition to blogging, it helps to tell search engines what your site is all about. Make sure all of your main website pages are optimized for SEO (search engine optimization). We cover everything you need to know about SEO for churches in our upcoming guide, SEO for Churches: Everything You Need to Know to Get Found Online.

check mark

Create a social media plan

Again, you don’t have to do anything elaborate here, but social media is a great opportunity to not only reach your immediate community but also expand your reach to new people who might be looking for a church.

When you’re thinking about where to use your church group on Faithlife versus social media, consider your audience. If you’re trying to build out your internal community, subgroups, and discipleship programs, Faithlife is a great fit. But if you’re trying to reach newcomers or potential visitors—or if you’re running ads—social media is the better fit.

If you’re not sure which is best, you can use both in the same way until you get a feel for what works. Regardless, your church group on Faithlife and mainstream social media accounts are a strong one-two punch for online engagement.

check mark

Create a midweek event to attract new people to your community

Churches have a million ways to host midweek events, and they’re all great. You can host ESL classes or Bible studies or even run your own Bible study. Anyway you decide to do it, you’ll want to build a page on your church website with an optional sign-up form for the event and make sure each occurrence is listed on your church’s events page. And if you have room in your budget, we recommend running ads for the event. Midweek events are a huge on-ramp for people who may not be quite ready to dive in on a Sunday morning.



Here are some key tools and products you should use at this stage:

check mark

Events Tool

Use the events tool inside your church Faithlife group to create public events you’d like to invite the general community to attend. You can push those events to your website and also link directly to those events via social media. Additionally, you can create a registration form for any event on your calendar with just the click of a button.

check mark

Faithlife Media

Tie all of your digital environments together with beautiful graphics. Use the built-in editing tool to edit each graphic on the spot before you download it.

check mark

Faithlife Sites

As we mentioned above, Faithlife Sites is the church website that updates itself. Whenever you create new events, sermons, and more, you can push them directly to your site. No duplicate work necessary.

check mark

Faithlife Sermons

If you live stream or record your sermons, you can add them to Faithlife Sermons where you can tag them, organize them, add nice covers (using media you customized), and publish them to your website, group, and more.

check mark

Social Media

Use the social media platforms of your choice (Facebook is a great place to start) to spread your message further externally. Share your website, blog, and sermon links. Run ads to drive traffic to your events if you have the budget. Social media is great for reaching new people. But once you’ve reached them, you’ll want to pull them into your Faithlife group where you can continue to engage with and nurture them quickly.



This is the first step of the discipleship journey, and we’re eager to share the rest of the steps with you. It’s not a stretch to say you’d be able to walk away from the journey with a fresh, step-by-step discipleship strategy and insight on how an integrated ministry platform can help you focus on what matters most.

Discipleship Journey Next Step

Descipleship Journey

Ready to Unlock the Next 5 Steps in
the Discipleship Journey?


Free Guide Cover Image

Here’s how you can get
your free copy of

Digital Discipleship: 6 Steps to Thriving Church Community

Download free guide

The Six Steps We'll Cover in the Journey . . .

1

Step 1: Discover

Catch a stranger’s attention and make a lasting first impression.

2

Step 2: Attend

Invite someone to worship with you at your weekly gathering.

3

Step 3: Connect

Help people move from attending to belonging.

4

Step 4: Volunteer

Encourage people toward deeper commitment.

5

Step 5: Learn

Empower engaged members to keep growing.

6

Step 6: Share

Send people into their communities for evangelism and advocacy.

Faithlife Leaf Logo Circle

Integrated ministry platform

A glimpse into how Faithlife’s integrated ministry platform makes the discipleship journey work . . .



Easy to use

  • Every part of Faithlife’s integrated ministry platform is designed to work together—you don’t need another app or login to make your software play nice.

  • It’s so easy to use, an eight-year-old in Oregon uses it to run his church’s slides on Sunday mornings—the mornings he’s not playing the drums, that is.

  • You don’t have to know a lick of code to create a visitor-friendly church website or a beautiful email. The tools you need are built right in and easy to customize.


Saves you time

  • Ninety percent of the time that you export and import things, you shouldn’t actually need to. Our integrated ministry platform stores your images and files so you can easily add them to your website, presentation, calendar, and more.

  • You don’t need another program or complicated spreadsheet formulas to find giver history or print name tags. The integrated ministry platform makes it simple to pull your everyday reports and printouts.


Increases your discipleship capacity

  • You can set reminders to follow up with church visitors or check in with longtime attendees, so no one falls through the cracks.

  • Faithlife’s integrated ministry platform puts a wealth of biblical resources within reach for your entire congregation. From our Bible study app to devotionals and small group guides, everyone at your church gets a library in their pocket.


It’s easy to collaborate

  • Faithlife’s entire integrated ministry platform is cloud-based—which means your entire team can log on from anywhere to share the work.

  • Training your leadership and volunteer teams takes as little as five minutes, so you can delegate without worry.


Who Is Faithlife’s Integrated
Ministry Platform For?



The platform is designed for you.

Pastors

We know you’re juggling a million things every day, from sermon prep to counseling with a nice helping of admin work on the side. The integrated ministry platform is built to make the work you already do simpler, so you can get back to ministry quicker.

Communications staff

No more email lists in multiple systems, doing the same task twice, or ugly graphics that distract from the main point. Our integrated ministry platform helps you communicate clearly and consistently everywhere you get the message out.

Church admins

There’s always one more thing you need to do—but the integrated ministry platform saves you time by bringing so much of your work under one digital roof.

Worship leaders

Your job is far bigger than picking songs each week—you’re one of the few people involved in making your church look and sound beautiful. Our integrated ministry platform makes it easy to collaborate on each service with your pastor and share the design and A/V load with volunteers.


About Faithlife

Faithlife Leaf

We’re a company that uses technology to equip the Church to grow in the light of the Bible. Since 1992, we’ve grown from a couple of programmers in a basement into the largest developer of Bible study software and a worldwide leader in multilingual electronic publishing.

Today, we’ve built the world’s first integrated ministry platform, which houses everything church leaders need to engage and disciple their communities online. No matter your role, Faithlife’s integrated ministry platform is the robust tech stack you need to do the critical work of the church.

Best of all, as the makers of Logos Bible Software, we built the entire platform around Scripture, so you can always keep the main thing the main thing.

Faithlife Leaf

Ready to get started with the world’s first integrated ministry platform?

Here's what's included:

check mark

Mobile giving

check mark

Church websites

check mark

Video courses

check mark

Church websites

check mark

Sermon storage

check mark

Presentation software

check mark

Bible study software

check mark

Digital asset manager

check mark

Discipleship essentials

check mark

Live streaming

check mark

Stock media

check mark

And more

See pricing Get started

Note: Live streaming is optional