Digital Resources

Welcome to our District Digital Resources page – a hub of digital downloads, practical advice and resources. Aimed specifically at those running social and web projects in our Methodist Churches. We hope the below provides you with a starting point to assist with developing your website or social media account in your Church or Circuit. Check back for regular updates… #YNEMethodists

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Need more
help?

Feel free to get in touch with our 
Digital Communications Enabler.

 

 

Contact: Elliot Crippen digital@yorkshirenemethodist.org

 

 

 

 

Digital Events and Training

Need help with your Church/Circuit website or social media? Organise a Digital Training Session in your circuit or area – just get in touch with our Digital Communications Enabler. Websites and Social Media are key tools for the future of our churches. This flexible training is focused on providing practical advice and digital skills to take back to your church or circuit. Upcoming events will be listed here and also on the District Calendar

5/5

"An excellent and very informative session - as well as meeting some great people. Delighted that the church is being progressive in this way"

Training Feedback

"Just wanted to say a very big thank you for your training session yesterday. I found it extremely useful and its taught me more about other digital media. You answered the questions people came with and some they hadn't thought of!"

Training Feedback

"Thank you for the course on Saturday, I found it very helpful"

Training Feedback

"It gave us all food to thought. There was lots of good comments about the session and has made us all think and sure will be discussed at a church meeting going forward"

Training Feedback

"A very comprehensive session. Thank you"

Training Feedback

"A good overview. Very responsive to questions. Really goods session - lots to learn"

Training Feedback

"Very good. We learnt lots about which social media platforms were best and how to use them effectively. The suggested resources were very good. Thank you"

Training Feedback

Past Events

Goole and Selby Circuit Digital Training – Monday 13th January 2020 
Thirsk & Northallerton Circuit Digital Training – Saturday 27th July 2019 
South Holderness Circuit Digital Training – Thursday 20th June 2019 
Ryedale Circuit Digital Training – Saturday 25th May 2019 
Digital Training Workshop at District Synod – Saturday 6th April 2019

Digital Communications Enabler

These Digital Resources have been complied by our Digital Communications Enabler, who works half for our District but also has remits with the Connexional Evangelism & Growth team and the Communications Team. 

District 50%
Evangelism & Growth 30%
Comms 20%

"How to" Guides and Downloads

See below useful resources and guides on a range of digital and online topics – created by our Digital Communications Enabler. All are PDF Documents: (click the red heading text and the document will open in a new tab. You can then choose to read it online or download it)

A Checklist for your Church Website
Level: Easy to Advanced | 2 pages 
This guide is a good starting point to reference with your Church website and see how well you’re doing. Do you have all these on your website?

Guide for Creating a New Church Website
Level: Medium | 2 pages 
A good starting point if you’re looking to build a Church website and have no idea where to begin. This guide is aimed at provoking the right quesitions you need to ask – not providing simple answers for how to set up your website. There are many factors to consider and will depend on your context and aims.

Step by Step Guide to set up a Church Facebook Page
Level: Easy | 9 pages 
This guide is for beginners and walks you through each step in creating a Facebook Page for your church.

How to use a Church Facebook Page
Level: Easy | 3 pages 
This guide is for those who haven’t used a Facebook Page before, but have just been given admin/editor access for a Church Page which is already set up. Walking you through how to get to the page and post on it. Some more advanced tips are included at the end.

Checklist to Improve your Church Facebook Page
Level: Easy to Advanced | 2 pages 
This guide is for those who manage existing Church Facebook Pages and provides practical advice on how to get the best out of them, ranging from simple to more advanced tips.

Checklist to Improve your Church Twitter
Level: Medium | 1 page 
This guide is for those who manage existing Church Twitter Accounts and provides practical advice on how to get the best out of them.

Comming soon…

Guide for Converting a Poster for Social Media (Word Doc to JPEG)
Level: Easy | 2 pages
Avoid taking photos of your printed church posters for online use – use this simple guide to learn how to simply convert a word document into a professional image.

District Digital Review

Our Digital Communications Enabler has produced an entire Review of Digital Communications for the District (written Sep-Dec 2018). Have a read below: contains statistics, feedback on all District websites, and numbers for web and social media accounts, plus helpful advice and tips for improvement. The document is 125 pages long, so it is recommend to read the intro & summary, followed by your local circuit and/or church pages, finishing with the broad outcomes & support section at the end.

PDF Document: (click text to open in a new tab)

In our District...

Websites
35%
Facebook
25%
Twitter
10%
Instagram
2%

Numbers of churches in our District that have their own website, Facebook Page, Twitter account or Instagram profile – based on findings in the District Digital Review undertaken between Sep to Dec 2018

Around 54.2% of our district churches have no online presence

*based on findings between Sep-Dec 2018. Churches without a website or any social media account managed by the church

Guidance: Church Websites

Around 35% of Churches in our District have a website. Whether you are looking to improve yours, have a complete overhaul or create your first church website, the below information should hopefully help you. Click the headings below to toggle seeing the info in each section. 

 

A Checklist for your Church Website
Level: Easy to Advanced | 2 pages 
This guide is a good starting point to reference with your Church website and see how well you’re doing. Do you have all these on your website?

Guide for Creating a New Church Website
Level: Medium | 2 pages 
A good starting point if you’re looking to build a Church website and have no idea where to begin. This guide is aimed at provoking the right quesitions you need to ask – not providing simple answers for how to set up your website. There are many factors to consider and will depend on your context and aims.

If you are a church within our District and have a website, then it’s quite likely that your church website has already been reviewed by our Digital Communications Enabler in our report of digital communication in 2018. 

This review looked at all websites in our District and evaluated them based on common cirteria and provides helpful feedback, advice and guidance on changes to make.

Click here:
Review of District Digital Communications

Contact our Digital Communications Enabler:

Elliot Crippen
digital@yorkshirenemethodist.org

Guidance: Social Media

Why is social media important?

We are in a digital age, and social media is no longer considered ‘niche’ or only for young people. Social media makes it easier to reach out to people and places other methods of communication cannot reach. It’s a case of ‘going where people are’.

It connects us, and when used properly can increase learning and spiritual growth within our churches. It offers opportunities to reach out in mission and evangelism.

Official Methodist Social Media guidance: www.methodist.org.uk/for-churches/guidance-for-churches/technology-and-church/digital-communication-guidance-for-churches/using-social-media/ 

Social Media Resources

Hootsuite (https://hootsuite.com/en-gb) – Hootsuite is a social media management platform and allows you to integrate and schedule social media for your church across different platforms. There is a free version and paid version with additional features, which can be offered at a discount for churches and charities.

Buffer (https://buffer.com) – Social media management platform with free and paid options available. Plan and publish your content for Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and LinkedIn, all from one simple dashboard. Craft the perfect post for each social network, all in one place.

Later (https://later.com) – free marketing and scheduling platform for Instagram, but also you can visually plan, schedule and analyse posts for Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter. Plan a Week of Instagram Posts in 20 Minutes. Spend less time posting to Instagram and more time growing your business.

Tweet Deck (https://tweetdeck.twitter.com) – TweetDeck is a social media dashboard application for management of Twitter accounts. The most powerful Twitter tool for real-time tracking, organizing, and engagement. Reach your audiences and discover the best of Twitter.

 

CPO, Christian Publishing & Outreach (www.cpo.org.uk/Digital) – Digital downloads provided by CPO for sharing on social media, most free and some at a small cost. Facebook banners, Social Media images and videos. Themes for Christmas, Easter and general use. 

Guidance: Facebook for Churches

Background: Facebook is a social media website founded by Mark Zuckerberg in 2004. Users can post comments, share photographs and post links to news or other interesting content on the web, chat live, and watch short-form video. “People use Facebook to stay connected with friends and family, to discover what’s going on in the world, and to share and express what matters to them.” In Europe, over 307 million people are on Facebook – and in the UK 78% of all internet users are on Facebook.

District Resources:
Around 21% of Churches in our District have a Facebook Page. Whether you are looking to improve yours, have a complete overhaul or create your first church Facebook Page, the below information should hopefully help you:

Step by Step Guide to set up a Church Facebook Page
Level: Easy | 9 pages 
This guide is for beginners and walks you through each step in creating a Facebook Page for your church.

How to use a Church Facebook Page
Level: Easy | 3 pages 
This guide is for those who haven’t used a Facebook Page before, but have just been given admin/editor access for a Church Page which is already set up. Walking you through how to get to the page and post on it. Some more advanced tips are included at the end.

Checklist to Improve your Church Facebook Page
Level: Easy to Advanced | 2 pages 
This guide is for those who manage existing Church Facebook Pages and provides practical advice on how to get the best out of them, ranging from simple to more advanced tips.

It’s easy to get confused between the three different options you have on Facebook. In simple terms, a ‘profile’ is for individuals, a ‘page’ is a public profile for businesses, charities or churches, and a ‘group’ is a community-based feature where small groups of people can communicate together. 

Facebook Profiles
A Facebook Profile is created when you set up an account on Facebook as an individual. If you’re on Facebook yourself and have set up an account, then you have a Facebook Profile. In the words of Facebook: “A profile is a place on Facebook where you can share information about yourself, such as your interests, photos, videos, current city and hometown. To see your profile, click or tap your name or profile picture at the top of Facebook.”

It is designed for individuals in mind – it’s for one person, where you can add other people as friends, and can choose to share personal information such as gender, age, relationship status and more. Facebook accounts shouldn’t be accessed by more than one person, and a personal profile shouldn’t be passed from one person to another. As such they shouldn’t be set up for a Church.

Note: under Facebook’s Terms of Service you should only have one Facebook account as an individual and shouldn’t create a second account for yourself for work purposes. Instead, for those who work with young / vulnerable people, you should adjust your personal privacy settings so only a small amount can be viewed publicly. You have complete control over what information is visible to others on Facebook and can restrict it as much you need (including not allowing others to add you as a friend).

Facebook Pages
In the words of Facebook: “You must have a profile to create a Page or help manage one. Pages are places on Facebook where artists, public figures, businesses, brands, organizations and non-profits can connect with their fans or customers. When someone likes or follows a Page on Facebook, they can start seeing updates from that Page in their News Feed.”

Facebook Pages are great for Churches as we are an organisation that wants to connect with our ‘customers’ and communities – this is exactly what Facebook Pages are designed to facilitate. Facebook Pages give you many additional features you don’t get with a personal profile. Multiple people can be given access to the Page and can be assigned ‘roles’ depending what they need to do. Think of your Facebook Page as the front porch of your church, it is the public face of your church and can be a useful addition (or alternative) to your website.

A common confusion for Facebook Pages, is that you need someone to monitor posts to the page. Whilst this is true for Facebook Groups (see below), it is not the case for Facebook Pages. Visitors can send private messages to your page (if enabled), and they can send comments to your Page (if enabled), but only you control what is posted on your actual page for others to see.

Facebook Groups
In the words of Facebook: “You must have a profile to create a group or help manage one. Groups are a place to communicate about shared interests with certain people. You can create a group for anything — your family reunion, your after-work sports team, your book club — and customize the group’s privacy settings depending on who you want to be able to join and see the group. When you join a group on Facebook, you start seeing content from that group in your News Feed.”

A Facebook Group might be suitable for your church but remember that it is best used for internal communication. They are great for your congregation to communicate with each other during the week and promoting discipleship (e.g. you could have a group for your church house group, messy church, toddler group, youth group etc.) but they are not great for inviting visitors to join – as the process of having to ask to ‘join’ your church group is off putting and can give the impression that your church is an exclusive ‘club’. How many of your existing congregation are already on Facebook?  If lots are, then a church Facebook Group provides a space for building relationships and connecting through the week. If a Facebook Page is your front porch, then your Facebook Group is the living room.

You can also join and post in a Facebook Group as your church page (rather than your personal profile), and link your group to your page, to make it easier for people to find. Do be aware, if you create a group for your church or church group, you will need a few admins of the group who can monitor posts and approve requests to join.

 

Difference between Facebook Pages, Personal Profiles and Groups
www.churchofengland.org/more/media-centre/church-england-digital-labs/labs-learning/facebook-pages-vs-profiles-vs-groups

How to set up a personal Facebook Profile (not for Church use – but needed to set up a Church Page, if you don’t already have one)
www.wikihow.com/Set-up-a-Facebook-Account

Ultimate Church Facebook Page Guide
https://prochurchtools.com/the-ultimate-church-facebook-page-guide

10 Effective Facebook Tips for Churches
https://pushpay.com/blog/10-facebook-tips-for-churches

Understanding Facebook Insights
www.churchofengland.org/more/media-centre/church-england-digital-labs/labs-learning/understanding-facebook-insights

Reaching more people from your Facebook Page
www.sdadata.org/digital-evangelism-blog/5-strategies-to-overcome-facebook-zero

Facebook Page vs Church website – which is more important for a church?
www.causely.com/reach/blog/facebook-page-vs-church-website-which-is-more-important?

Free Facebook Banner downloads – from CPO (Christian Publishing & Outreach):
www.cpo.org.uk/Facebook

Social Media post ideas with examples:
www.churchofengland.org/more/media-centre/digital-labs/labs-learning-blog/7-social-media-post-ideas-examples

Methodist Safeguarding for Social Media: (currently being updated)
www.methodist.org.uk/media/10396/children-and-youth-social-media-policy-for-churches.pdf

Contact our Digital Communications Enabler:

Elliot Crippen
digital@yorkshirenemethodist.org

Guidance: Twitter for Churches

Background: Twitter is an online news and social networking service founded in 2006, on which users post and interact with messages known as “tweets”, which are restricted to 280 characters. It is a form of “micro-blogging” where users write about whatever they want: politics, sports, film&TV, fashion etc. People make connections by following other people’s twitter feeds. Once you click follow, anything that person or organisation says will appear on your timeline. 500 million Tweets are sent everyday worldwide, and the UK has around 16 million active users.

District Resources:
Around 8% of Churches in our District have Twitter. Whether you are looking to improve your tweets or create a church twitter account, the below information should hopefully help you:

Guidance: Instagram for Churches

Background: Instagram is a photo and video sharing social networking service owned by Facebook and founded in 2010. It used to only be available as an App on a mobile device, but can now be accessed online as well. It’s like a simplified version of Facebook, with an emphasis on mobile use and visual sharing. At the beginning of 2019 there are an estimated 24 million Instagram users in the UK (42% of the population). It’s also incredible popular with the younger generation.

 

Guidance: Live Streaming for Churches

Background: Live Streaming is to transmit or receive live video & audio coverage of an event over the Internet. In other words, its about broadcasting real-time experiences to an online audience. It’s not a platform or website (unlike the Social Media channels mentioned above) but rather a method of communication and can be achieved through many different ways. Live streaming is on the rise and people are watching more video-based content than ever before. Reasons for your church to livestream include: Reaching more people / connecting with those who have moved away, are homesick or housebound / capturing and sharing important moments and events in the life of the church / opportunity for people to “catch up” if they are away, unwell or unable to attend one week / welcoming visitors who want to experience your church before stepping over the threshold.

Here is some guidance if you are looking to livestream your church service or event:

Equipment: Smartphone (you don’t need expensive or technical gear)
Platform: will you stream it on Facebook Live, YouTube or Instagram?

Tips
•Publicise in advance when and where livestreaming will happen so people can “opt-out” 
•Have signs up on the day informing people that livestreaming is happening 
•Create a space where you can “opt-out” of being seen / recorded
•Make sure you have written consent for anyone who is visibly identifiable 
•Your church will hopefully hold a Church Copyright License (CCL) – this is needed to record and publish audio of hymns / songs 
•It’s good practice to ask all the musicians, singers, speakers etc. for their consent before broadcasting their ‘performance’

Contact our Digital Communications Enabler:

Elliot Crippen
digital@yorkshirenemethodist.org

Guidance: Other Digital Comms

Videos are the best way to engage our visitors and are really useful for our church websites and social media. Looking to create a video for your church? Here’s some resources to help.

Go Chatter Videos (https://gochattervideos.com) – Go Chatter helps those in Christian ministry discover helpful videos that can get people talking about Jesus. The Go Chatter site brings videos together from over 20 different Christian content creators who have kindly given permission to make their videos available for churches to download for free.

Go Chatter Customisable Videos (https://gochattercustomvideos.com) – the Go Chatter team have created an online tool to that enables you to create your own customised videos in just a few minutes for only a small price per video. The tool is easy to use and doesn’t require any video editing experience. Simply choose a template video, add your text, logo, photos etc and then the online tool will compile your finished video. For the price of a coffee you can download the video which will be ideal for showing in your church or posting on social media.

Resources:
Here is some guidance if you are looking to create a video for your church or event:

Tips for shooting church video from your phone:
www.fishhook.us/blog/8-steps-to-shooting-iphone-videos-at-your-church

How to set up to film a video on your phone:
www.churchofengland.org/How-to-set-up-to-film-a-video-on-your-phone

The Ultimate Church Video Production Guide:
https://easychurchtech.com/church-video-production

How to create subtitles for your video:
www.churchofengland.org/more/media-centre/digital-labs/labs-learning-blog/how-create-subtitles-video

How to upgrade your church video production:
https://prochurchtools.com/how-to-instantly-upgrade-your-churchs-video-production

Advanced Video Techniques:
https://prochurchtools.com/pcp036

Best video editing software:
www.techradar.com/best/best-video-editing-software-premium-free

Royalty-Free music sites for your videos:
https://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/royalty-free-music-videos 

Photography

Taking great church photos: 
www.churchofengland.org/more/media-centre/church-england-digital-labs/labs-learning/taking-great-church-photos

Building your church photography library:
www.churchofengland.org/more/media-centre/church-england-digital-labs/labs-learning/building-your-photography-library

Photo editing

PIXLR (https://pixlr.com) – a free online editing service (with a paid option available). Take photo editing to the next level with AI-powered tools. Experience speedier and easier edits for maximized creativity. Designed to be easy, you can now edit images smarter and faster for Free – with Pixlr. No steep learning curve, no design experience needed. 

Graphic Design Platforms

Canva (www.canva.com) – Canva is a free online simplified graphic-design tool, founded in 2012. It uses a drag-and-drop format and provides access to photographs, vector images, graphics, and fonts. It is used by non-designers as well as professionals. The tools can be used for both web and print media design and graphics.

Church Comms Create, by CPO (www.churchcommscreate.com) – Church Comms Create is a paid desktop design platform for church communicators and Christian creatives in the UK provided by CPO (Christian Publishing and Outreach – www.cpo.org.uk). Optimised for desktop computers, Church Comms Create allows you to instantly resize any design, integrates thousands of free fonts and makes it easy even for those less confident with design, saving you time and money.

 

Photos, Images and Graphics

Unsplash (https://unsplash.com) – Unsplash provides over 1 million free high-resolution images brought to you by the world’s most generous community of photographers. All photos published on Unsplash can be used for free. You can use them for commercial and non-commercial purposes. You do not need to ask permission from or provide credit to the photographer or Unsplash.

Pexels (www.pexels.com) – The best free stock photos & videos shared by talented creators. Pexels is very similar to Unsplash, and by providing free stock photos Pexels helps millions of creators all over the world to easily create beautiful products and designs. All photos on Pexels are free to use and attribution is not required.

Flaticon (www.flaticon.com) – Flaticon is a Freepik company (www.freepikcompany.com) and is the largest database of free customizable icons. Flaticon has more than a million icons in all formats, for all kind of projects: presentations, apps, websites, catalogues, infographics etc. They are free to download and can be used for multiple purposes (with a few restrictions).

Guide for Converting a Poster for Social Media (Word Doc to JPEG)
Level: Easy | 2 pages
Avoid taking photos of your printed church posters for online use – use this simple guide to learn how to simply convert a word document into a professional image.

Resources:
Here is some guidance for creating posters for your church, particularly if you are looking to use them online:

Free editor for easily making church posters:
www.canva.com/create/flyers/church-flyers/

Church posters online resources:
https://www.cpo.org.uk/christian-posters

How to create great posters for your church:
www.churchofengland.org/more/media-centre/church-england-digital-labs/labs-learning/how-create-great-posters-promote-your

Do’s and Dont’s of Church Flyer design:
www.churchtrain.uk/blog/church-flyer-design-dos-and-donts/

Church poster design tips:
www.churchtrain.uk/blog/church-poster-design-tips/

The Methodist Church (www.methodist.org.uk/for-churches/guidance-for-churches/technology-and-church) – Digital Communication guidance for churches. Information on websites and social media and how to effectively use them for mission and evangelism.

Church of England Digital Labs (www.churchofengland.org/labs-learning) – a hub of resources, news and events to support digital evangelism and digital discipleship in the Church of England. We’re excited to be expanding Church of England Digital Labs so that we can resource more churches with the right tools and skills they need to do digital effectively. Digital Labs now consists of a number of areas: 1.Labs Learning blog: Weekly blogs on helpful topics for churches around maintaining a good digital and online presence. 2.Labs Learning roadshow: Large events held across the country, where we bring our training to you. 3.Labs Latest newsletter: Monthly email newsletters filled with digital hints, tips and good practice. 4.Digital Labs Live: An annual event for Christian creatives

Seventh-day Adventist Church digital resources (www.sdadata.org/resource-menu.html) – resources to empower and equip ministries with the necessary resources, skills, and information to accomplish our shared goal of serving the community and advancing the gospel message. New resources added weekly. Resources include: Adventist Identity Guidelines, Big Data Resources, Branding, Images & Design Resources, Church/Ministry Specific Resources, Copyright & Trademark Resources, Digital Discipleship & Evangelism, Email Resources, Guidance for Hiring a Social Media Positions, NAD Social Media Guidelines, Podcasts, Reports & Case Studies, (SEO) Search Engine Optimization for Ministries, Tracking & Analytics Resources, Social Media Resources, Video Resources, Videos & Tutorials, Website Tips.

United Methodist Church (www.umcom.org/topics/learn) – digital resources from the United Methodist Church.

Pro Church Tools (https://prochurchtools.com/free-tools) – free tools for churches provided by Brady Shearer from the USA. Whatever your learning style, you’ll find video, audio, and written training to help your church seize the 167 (your week has 168 hours. If your Sunday Service is just 1hr, how is your church reaching people in the other 167?). Pro Church Tools provides guidance on all aspects of digital communication, websites and social media.  

Church Train (www.churchtrain.uk) – Church Communication Training. Equipping UK churches and volunteers to communicate effectively with free blog posts on digital guidance and as a business providing graphic design, websites and branding for churches (paid).

iKnow (paid) (www.iknowchurch.co.uk) – All of the tools to equip your church, giving you more time for mission. From managing your contact list, to events, rotas and finance. There are many different administration tasks that need to happen to make the wheels of a church keep turning. You can find the tools to help within iKnow. We’ve developed tools such as journey tracking, relationships, groups and networks to help you do this. Use iKnow to ensure no church visitor or member goes unnoticed. Sometimes church communication can be messy. Centralise all of your church communication to be sure no one will end up with their wires crossed. Use our communication suite for Text Messages, Emails and Mail Merge.

ChurchSuite (paid) (https://churchsuite.com) – ChurchSuite is a cloud hosted, web-based church management system, ideal church database software for churches. It is for Churches of all sizes and denominations will benefit from the ChurchSuite church management system. ChurchSuite allows unlimited users to manage unlimited amounts of data, from anywhere. Putting you back in control.

GoogleDrive (free) (www.google.com/drive) – Google Drive is a free file storage and synchronization service developed by Google. Launched on April 24, 2012, Google Drive allows users to store files on their servers, synchronize files across devices, and share files. Limit of 15GB storage.

DropBox (free and paid options) (www.dropbox.com) Dropbox is a file hosting service operated by the American company Dropbox, Inc., headquartered in San Francisco, California, that offers cloud storage, file synchronization, personal cloud, and client software. Limit of 2GB storage on a free account.

Office365 (paid) (www.office.com) – Office 365 is a line of subscription services offered by Microsoft as part of the Microsoft Office product line. Store and share files with 1 TB of OneDrive cloud storage (or more depending on the subscription service you sign up to).

Canva – see description under Graphic Design Platforms.

Snapseed – A free photo editing app to enhance your photos. This app is for those who want to quickly edit photos but want them to look professional. You can apply pre-set filters for quick edits or create your own style with the app’s more advanced features.  

PIXLR – see description under Photo Editing

Unfold – Turn your photos or videos into collages ready for your Instagram and Facebook story feed. Unfold is quick and easy to use with multiple templates ready to go. You can save your templates to use again, add text and customise backgrounds. 

Over – Over is another tool for editing photos, creating posters, videos and much more. Choose from multiple templates and custom fonts to create content for your social media profiles. The user-friendly design makes this app easy to use, but you’ll need to ignore the invitations to upgrade to a paid account!

InShot – This free app is great for editing and resizing videos on the go. Trim videos, merge clips, resize, or add music, filters and text. It is simple to use and ideal for any church looking to increase the number of videos they are posting on social media.

Facebook Pages Manager – Manage your church’s Facebook page and Instagram account all from one app. Pages Manager helps admins monitor activity, keep up to date with notifications and reply to comments and messages all within one app for both Facebook and Instagram.

Planoly – see description under Social Media Resources

Buffer – see description under Social Media Resources

Repost (for Instagram) – Repost makes it easy to share photos and videos while giving credit to the original Instagrammer. You could use it for posts from other local churches or share a photo or video from The Methodist Church Instagram account.

So Everyone Can Hear: Communicating Church In A Digital Culture by Mark Crosby (2019)Communication lies at the heart of every healthy community; the church is no exception. In Matthew 11:15, Jesus says, ‘Whoever has ears, let them hear’. How do we make sure we are saying things in a way that invites all people – no matter their background – to engage with what it means to be church today? This colourful, engaging and practical book will help leaders and members alike be more mindful of how they ‘communicate church’ both inside and outside of it within our dynamic and ever-changing digital culture.

The Social Church, a theology of digital communication by Justin Wise (2014)We’ve been living in a digital world for quite a while now. Justin Wise speaks about social media as this generation’s printing press–a revolutionary technology that can spread the gospel farther and faster than we can imagine. It’s time to take what we know (and admit what we don’t know) and learn together how to move forward as the church. Are you ready to think theologically about this digital age and reach people in a new way?

Church Online: websites by Laura Treneer from CPO (2017) – part of the CPO series “Reach Out: Church Communications”. Combining missional vision with practical advice, this resource gives you the tools you need to transform a church website or create one for the first time. Ideal for church teams who want to reach their communities effectively.

Church Online: social media by Laura Treneer from CPO (2017) – part of the CPO series “Reach Out: Church Communications”. Combining missional vision with practical advice, this resource gives you the tools and checklists to consider your approach to social media as a church. Ideal for church teams who want to reach their communities effectively.

Online Mission and Ministry: A Theological and Practical Guide by Pam Smith (2015) – Many clergy and churches are now taking to the internet and social media to promote their churches or ministries, but few have thought through some of the difficult pastoral and theological issues that may arise. ‘Virtual vicar’ Revd Pam Smith guides both new and experienced practitioners through setting up online ministries and considers some of the issues that may arise, such as: Are relationships online as valid as those offline? Is it possible to participate in a ‘virtual’ communion service? How do you deal with ‘trolls’ in a Christian way? What is it appropriate for a clergyperson to say on social media?

Youth Ministry in a Digital Age: Understanding and Reaching a Generation of Digital Natives by Liz Dumain (2017) – The digital revolution that has transformed how young people communicate, interact and live every aspect of their lives. This vital booklet argues that if ignored, the impact of digitalization—where connection to social media and digital networks is as intrinsic as the act of breathing—is a divided church with generations drifting further apart. But opportunities abound for youth workers to be digital prophets to a generation of digital natives who have disengaged from traditional church.

Sharing Faith Using Social Media by Bryony Taylor (2016) – How can my church utilize social media for outreach and evangelism? Are my online friends real or virtual? And does Jesus really have his own Facebook page? This compelling booklet draws on primary research to explore these and many other questions. It sets out a series of implications for mission in the inter-connected, tech-savvy world that the church is called to bear witness to today.

Digital Millennials and the Bible report by CODEC in partnership with Barna and Bible Society (2018) – Discover how the Bible is perceived by ‘digital millennials’. Available online.

Bit.ly (https://bitly.com) – Shorten, create and share trusted, powerful links for your business. Bitly helps businesses shine by shortening URL links. With Bitly, you can easily track your customers’ journeys on every link and channel from a single, sleek dashboard. Free and paid accounts are available.

Digital Church Toolkit (www.digitalchurchtoolkit.com)Helping you preach the Gospel, build His Church & expand the Kingdom in the Digital Age. We equip the church with tools and wisdom to spread the gospel and reach communities in the digital age. Does your Social Media feel like an afterthought? They provide training, paid services, and bespoke packages in the UK.

Missional Generation (www.missionalgen.co.uk) – Missional Generation is about equipping young people to be influential for God in every arena of life. Our work is to help the Church strengthen its voice and be at the cutting edge in society. Our Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality resources are a powerful means to inform, expose and help young people explore faith, mission and evangelism. We believe that if we can immerse a generation into exploring faith in Jesus using VR or AR, we will create a space that enables young people to develop a passion to know and share Jesus with the world and places they occupy.  We believe that there is an exciting technological growth within the secular world, and we want to resource the church.

Church Comms Collective UK (www.facebook.com/groups/churchcommscollectiveuk) – a Facebook group specifically for those who help provide communications for churches, Christian charities, or Christian content creation in the UK. This includes leaders, administrators, designers, videographers & social media managers (if you contribute to a church social media page that means you)! There are many church communication groups on Facebook full of great content, however, there are specific cultural factors unique to UK that are sometimes missed, and this group is designed so we can help one another in that void. This is a place to share good practice, ideas, ask questions, inspire others and gain from shared knowledge.

Church Communications Improvement Project by CPO (www.churchcomms.uk) – The Church has a world-changing message of hope to communicate, but sometimes needs help with design, with digital, with all that is needed in communication. CPO has been working to support the UK Church in its communication for over 60 years. We understand the challenges of a small budget, over-stretched volunteers and lack of specific expertise and we are here to help. The Church Communications Project is a comms improvement fund for churches who lack the financial resources to improve their communications. Grants are between £50 and £1000 in the form of communication tools provided by CPO or its partners.

Christian Creative Network (https://christiancreativenetwork.com) – The Christian Creative Network UK was launched in May 2017 to get Christian creatives together to connect, share ideas, grow and encourage one another. The vision of the Christian Creative Network is to “Champion creativity in the body of Christ” and it does this through providing a free network for Christian creatives, made up of branches up and down the UK. Each branch has a monthly meet and an online Facebook group for local networking. Branches run workshops and host events, which equip creatives and provide opportunities to showcase individual’s creativity.

Premier Digital Conference (www.premierdigital.info/conference) – discover a world of advice, ideas, insight and guidance to help you communicate credibly and effectively online. Through 32 sessions delivered by over 40 contributors you are sure to find the help you need for your digital endeavours. New ideas that you can use in your church, charity or project. Understand how digital tools can work for you in your context. Learn new skills that will help you grow your project or ministry. Explore how digital is impacting our theology and humanity. Meet new people, build relationships and learn from one another. Whether you’re looking to go deeper into social media, websites, evangelism, digital theology, fundraising or communications there will be sessions for you. Pro or beginner come along as a church, team or on your own for an inspiring day that provides content and value for money you can’t find anywhere else. Ticket pricing is available on the Premier website.

Centre for Digital Theology formerly CODEC (www.dur.ac.uk/digitaltheology) – a research centre at Durham University – their staff write both academic papers and publications as well as writing for a more general audience. They supervise postgraduate students researching at Durham and elsewhere, and have a world first MA in Digital Theology. Their MediaLit course offers a great opportunity for those seeking an introduction to theological reflections and practical training on digital culture.   

District Logos and Graphics

Logos are the face of an organisation (whether the national Methodist Church, our District, or your local church). It is part of our branding. “Your church’s logo is the foundation of your visual identity. And with the prominence of digital platforms, your church logo is now more visible than ever before.” – Pro Church Tools

63% church websites in our district don’t display the Methodist logo
*based on findings between Sep-Dec 2018. Churches displaying the red Methodist orb on the homepage

Resources:
Please find Connexional download files and guidance here
www.methodist.org.uk/about-us/connect/methodist-logos

Colours
Preferably the logo should be ‘Methodist red’ against a white background
Or should be white against a ‘Methodist red’ background
For ‘Methodist red’ use Pantone 186 or CMYK: 5c 100m 84y 1k or RGB: 219r 0g 46b or HEX: #db002e

Downloads:

To use the following logos, hover your mouse/cursor over the image, ‘Right-click’ and choose to ‘save file as’. Please note: transparent files will save as ‘.png’. 

GDPR / Photo Consent

As general best practice advice, don’t post photos or images of adults or (especially) children online (websites or social media) without explicit written consent from the individual (or parent).

Methodist Church guidelines: “You should… obtain consent for any photographs/videos to be taken, shown or displayed”.
Methodist Church policy for Social Media: “Parental permission via annual consent forms is required for photographs and video footage of children and young people and the consent forms should state what the usage of the images will be for. … Leaders should endeavour not to state any unnecessary personal details or information relating to the child or young person when posting images or photos online e.g. full names, addresses, schools attending.”

Methodist Church Social Media guidelines can be found here

Consent Forms for Young People

Official Methodist Church Photography consent forms and information can be found here: 
The Methodist Church has released new guidance on consent for photohtaphs and videos. Details of policies and the appropriate forms are available to download; 
for subjects under the age of 12 here 
for those 12-18 years old here

Consent Forms for Adults

GDPR and social media: 
www.gdprforchurches.org.uk/key-elements/pictures-and-video/

Example photo consent form for a church from our District: (see the Media Permissions section at bottom)