The power of modern technology and the internet is changing the ways that you can run a ministry. Gone are the days where you can only post announcements or upcoming events in print newsletters or on the church bulletin board.
With new technology being used more and more within ministries, it doesn’t mean that you need to end the sharing of a print newsletter or take down that bulletin area. It simply means you can expand where you publish information, allow members to access that information when they need it, and update it much easier!
One of the best steps you can take to digitize your ministry is to include a calendar of events on your ministry’s website. Keeping a central, up-to-date source for all of your ministry’s happenings can help to keep everyone on track and help to attract new members.
Here at Worship Times we use an industry leading event management system that works right inside of your website! Don’t worry about remembering another password, paying for another service, or using some overly-complex system. We take care of it for you, help get you up and running, and can lend you a hand along the way!
Why Would I Want a Calendar on My Website?
There seems to be a misconception that only large ministries that have several hundred events a month need an event management system. That could not be more wrong. Every ministry that has a website should have a digital calendar!
So, what can I even use a calendar and events management system for? Great question! There are a number of reasons and ways you can get creative with your digital calendar:
- Full Calendar: The first, and probably most obvious, reason you would (and should) want a calendar on your ministry’s website would be to have a full calendar for anyone to see and use. This should be your first priority! All of the events that you display (whether it be 2 or 200) should be updated and correct! With a full calendar, any visitor can see past and future events and can even add events to their own personal calendar right from your website.
- Event Lists/Maps: You can also take the events that you have entered into your event management system and display them in more creative ways such as a list of events or on a map. You can further categorize and filter events. For instance, you could categorize any worship related event under a category named “worship” and then on the Worship page of your website display a list of upcoming worship services.
- Real-Time Updating: Have you ever sent your ministry’s monthly newsletter to the printer only to realize that the date or time for an event is incorrect? Or have you ever had the date, time, or location for an upcoming event change half-way through the month? With a digital calendar this issue is gone! When you need to update an event, you sign into your website and update it in a single spot, and the changes you make will be reflected across your website!
- SEO: Having a complete, updated calendar of events can also help to boost your SEO score making your ministry rank higher on Google! This is one of the very reasons that every website from us here at Worship Times has a calendar and event management system! It is literally invaluable.
This is just the beginning! There are a number of other features that your ministry can take advantage of as a partner with us here at Worship Times!
What Else Can I Do with an Event Management System?
So, this event management system and calendar sounds like a great idea? Sweet, but it gets even better! The event management system that we use is beyond flexible to fit any of your needs. What does that include? Well, I am glad you asked!
- Color Coded Categories: Gone are the days where you look at a calendar and everything looks like a jumbled mess. As you categorize events, you can change the colors for any category that you have created. This means that wherever that event is displayed whether it be on a full calendar, an event list, or blog feed any visitor will be able to tell what category it is a part of.
- Search & Filter Events: Similar to color coding categories, visitors can filter by category or even search for events! Being able to find the event you are looking for should never be difficult, and this is just another quality of life feature that makes everyone happy!
- Promote Organizers: Have you ever worked with a local business to sponsor an event? Perfect! Every event has an area to promote that company, provide contact information, and even display information for the primary contact for visitors to direct questions to. This can help save not only you and your ministry but any interested attendees frustration and any concern(s) that they might have!
- Sell Tickets: Yes, an event management system can sell tickets for you! When you have that event every once and awhile that just gets to crowded or when you need attendees to have a ticket of some sort, you can use the event management system to sell tickets for you! It will keep track of everything! Payment, how many tickets are left, different tiered tickets, and more! All in one spot. And the team here at Worship Times can help get you up and running.
- Community Events: Let your members submit their own events to be included directly on your calendar! Your ministry can’t get more connected and inclusive than that!
Things to Watch Out For
This calendar and event management system can be an amazing asset for your ministry. There are some things to watch out for:
- Keep Everything Updated: Make sure that all of your events for the month are up-to-date and correct. If your digital calendar says one thing and Facebook says another, etc. that is obviously a big problem. We recommend that when your monthly newsletter goes out take a peek at your website’s calendar. If events are missing or need some tweaking it is a perfect time to get it done! When conflicts do occur, you can tell all of your members to follow the calendar online, as it is easy to update, anyone can view it, and since it is updated (at the very minimum) every month it will be accurate.
- Don’t Go Overboard: It is great that you want every event on your calendar! That is what it is there for! Avoid turning on every bell and whistle just for the sake of having it on. Keep everything simple and easy to use for visitors. No one likes being overwhelmed. Here at Worship Times we can help you find that balance to keep things simple, clean, and functional.
This is just the tip of the iceberg! An event management system and calendar are two of the most powerful features of any website, especially your ministry’s website!
Our team has tens of years of experience working with ministries large and small to help digitize the most critical components of their ministry. Let us help guide you through digitizing not only your ministry’s calendar, but the heart and soul of the mission you are trying to spread!
Ready to get started! No matter where you are in the digitizing process, give us a shout! We are only a single click away!