TOOLS OF THE TRADE

Ministry requires a large toolbox full of many different types of tools. This page is an ever-expanding list of recommended tools to help pastors and churches minister more effectively. 

Choose a category

Preaching Resources

Preaching Today (Sermon prep, preaching skills, Illustrations)


I have used this website for about a year now and has been a great resource for illustrations and other preaching helps. I encourage you to check it out. You can access some of the material for free, but to gain full access, there is an annual membership fee (~$14/mth). I think it is worth it and use some of my annual book budget to pay for the subscription.

Description from preachingtoday.com:

PreachingToday.com seeks to inspire preachers to cultivate their craft in order to faithfully and creatively proclaim God's word. We do this by providing online resources and providing tools to advance biblical preaching. We are guided by Matt Woodley, a veteran preacher and author of God With Us: The Gospel of Matthew and Leading with Love: 5 Principles for Effective Leaders.

PreachingToday.com is a resource from Christianity Today, a nonprofit, global media ministry that serves the church through print magazines, digital publications, websites and blogs which together reach over 5 million people each month. We are committed to building up the church and those who lead it. Read our statement of faith.

We provide:

  • 14,000+ illustrations

  • 1,100+ Skills articles

  • 1,500+ Sermon outlines and transcripts

  • Sermon series

  • Series ideas

  • Audio sermons

  • Audio workshops

  • Video sermons

  • Images

  • Cartoons

Our goal is to help you communicate the gospel in all its richness and power and to see the church matured through the inspired preaching of God's word.

As a member, you can access all areas of the site (though the video clips are sold separately in a media store). You will also receive the Preaching Today email newsletter, a weekly roundup of all the newest material on the site.




The Charles Simeon Trust (Biblical Exposition training, atricles, playlists)


The Charles Simeon Trust offers great training courses for biblical exposition. Their mission statement is, "We exist to promote the growth of the gospel of Jesus Christ throughout the world by training up the next generation of Biblical expositors." You can receive training through online coures as well as regional worskshops. There is also a helpful resource page that features playlists and downloadable articles.




RTS Resources (Articles, lectures, Bible studies, books, interviews, lectures, and sermons)


Even though many in the GARBC / WARBC would have areas of disagreement with Reformed Theological Seminary, there are more areas of agreement. RTS's resource website has many free lectures, articles, and videos. Bypass what you disagree with and benefit from the material in areas of agreement.





Safety / Security

Breeze (Church managment software, child-check in, and much more)


Breeze is a web-based church management software specifically designed for small and mid-sized churches.

One helpful use for breeze is for check-in for children's ministry. Breeze can generate labels for children and parents that have matching randomly generated numbers on them to ensure the children are being picked up by only authorized people.

There are many other great uses for breeze:

  • Database of church members, regular attenders, and guests.

  • Follow-up assignments.

  • Giving tracking / reporting.

  • Email and texting people and groups.

  • Create and share member directories.

  • Mobile app

The cost is $50/mth which includes:

  • Unlimited people added to the database.

  • Unlimited users

  • All features (no add-ons like with other church management software)

  • Phone and Email support

  • Mobile app

  • No set up fees

  • Cancel anytime

  • No termination fees

  • Free data transfer

  • Free upgrades

You can see a demo of the software at: https://www.breezechms.com (Note: A member of the WARBC, Memorial Baptist Church in Verona, uses Breeze and recommends it).





Counseling

Faith Baptist Biblical Counseling - Lafayette (online resources for counseling)


Faith Baptist Church in Lafayette has provided a large semon and article resource library that is easy to use. There is also a large online bookstore where you can find helpful material for most counseling situations.

From the website:

We've scoured all available sources to bring you only the very best materials on Bible-based counseling. In addition to what's in our library and online bookstore, our Faith Resources site includes over 1,000 resources, including lessons and sermons covering counseling-related topics, along with a topical index and a short list of our top recommendations for each topic.




Association of Certified Biblical Counselors


If you are interested in becoming a certified Biblical Counselor, ACBC gives serveral training options.





Workshops, Seminars, and Conferences

The Charles Simeon Trust


The Charles Simeon Trust offers great training courses for biblical exposition. Their mission statement is, "We exist to promote the growth of the gospel of Jesus Christ throughout the world by training up the next generation of Biblical expositors." You can receive training through online coures as well as regional worskshops. There is also a helpful resource page that features playlists and downloadable articles.




GARBC National Conference


Every year, the GARBC hosts a national conference that features workshops and general sessions aimed to help the churches of the General Association of Regular Baptist Churches.




T4G (Together for the Gospel)


From the conference website: Pastors and church leaders from over 25 denominations, all 50 states, and 62 nations gather at Together for the Gospel every other year. While we have many differences on issues like baptism and spiritual gifts we are committed to stand together for the main thing—the gospel of Jesus Christ.
T4G aims to encourage and aid ministry leaders with three days of biblical preaching, fellowship, books, and singing. What T4G believes:
At the inaugural T4G, we adopted a series of theological positions in the form of affirmations and denials.
As false gospels circulate and pastors are tempted to bow to cultural pressures, we remain convinced that the church is in a moment of spiritual crisis. Fourteen years following our first gathering, buoyed by Christ’s promise that the gates of hell will not prevail against it, we remain convinced of the need for a full and gladdening recovery of the gospel in the church. Our State Educator, Jeremy Scott, has attended every T4G except for the first one back in 2006. He recommends attending the conference - if for nothing else, the singing with several thousand men and the free books are worth the trip.





Organization and Management

Evernote (Organizational tool for....everything).


What does your desk look like right now?

How many stacks of paper do you have waiting to be filed?

When you read an article online and think it would be great for an upcoming sermon, how do you ensure you will remember where to find it when you need it?

After you read a book, how do you organize what you highlighted so you can use it later on?

And what about all of those receipts?

We live in the information age, and that means we have many helpful resources available via blogs, books, theological journals, and websites. This abundance of information is a blessing to the modern-day pastor.

But how do we organize and manage all of this information?

One tool that I have used for the past few years is Evernote. If you are not familiar with Evernote, it is best to think of it as a giant filing cabinet where you can store files, articles, audio files, pictures, personal notes – really any digital file you have can be stored in Evernote.

The beauty of Evernote is that anything you put into your account becomes searchable (even pdf files, if you have the paid version). Ever since I started using Evernote, I rarely have had a paper to file. In fact, once I am done with a meeting, I just scan the agenda or handout with the smartphone app, and the scan goes right into my Evernote database ready to be searched and recalled when need. I can even access my Evernote documents through a computer, tablet, or smartphone.

I won’t go into detail about how Evernote works since those articles are already available online. But I would encourage you to read the following two links so you can see how pastors and ministries can use Evernote to become more organized.

Article one. Article two.

In brief, one tool of the trade that I recommend to pastors is Evernote.




Breeze (Church managment software, child-check in, and much more)


Breeze is a web-based church management software specifically designed for small and mid-sized churches.

One helpful use for breeze is for check-in for children's ministry. Breeze can generate labels for children and parents that have matching randomly generated numbers on them to ensure the children are being picked up by only authorized people.

There are many other great uses for breeze:

  • Database of church members, regular attenders, and guests.

  • Follow-up assignments.

  • Giving tracking / reporting.

  • Email and texting people and groups.

  • Create and share member directories.

  • Mobile app

The cost is $50/mth which includes:

  • Unlimited people added to the database.

  • Unlimited users

  • All features (no add-ons like with other church management software)

  • Phone and Email support

  • Mobile app

  • No set up fees

  • Cancel anytime

  • No termination fees

  • Free data transfer

  • Free upgrades

You can see a demo of the software at: https://www.breezechms.com

(Note: A member of the WARBC, Memorial Baptist Church in Verona, uses Breeze and recommends it).





Multimedia Tools

Proclaim (Presentation software)


Proclaim is presentation software that is easy to use. Some of the helpful features include:

  • Web-based. Multiple people can edit / contribute to each week's presentation from remote locations.
  • Real time editing. Errors can be corrected and last minute changes can be made on the fly.
  • Engaging tools like: countdown clock, polls, on-screen Bible trivia for during preservice announcements, and digital bulletins.
  • Pre and Post Service loops for announcements, reminders, etc.
  • Robust integration: e.g. Planning Center, SongSelct by CCLI, Logos Bible Software, WorshipPlanning.com, and Elvanto.
  • Library of songs, graphics, still slides, motion backgrounds, bible versions.
You can try a full version for 30 days and after the subscription is based on church size. https://proclaim.faithlife.com




Pixabay (Royalty free photographs)


We live in a visual society. People like pictures and graphics to help them visualize what we are saying. While it is tempting to copy a perfect picture and use it in our slideshows, it probably isn't legal.

Unless you do your due diligence, the image you want to use most likely has a copyright on it. Pixabay is a large library of royalty-free pictures broken down into helpful categories that will help you get the perfect background for your sermon or music slides.

(Note: as with many online sites, Pixabay does have some inappropriate pictures. Using their "safe filter" is helpful in avoiding access to those pictures.)




Canva (Web-based graphic design)


Canva is a free (paid upgrade also available) website that helps those with no graphic design skills make great graphics. There are templates for just about any application you would need: Flyers, social media posts, presentations, and many more.




Right Now Media


Every WARBC has access to over 10,000 free videos at Right Now Media. Get your free access here.





Grants / Financial Assistance

Baptist Builders Club


The Regular Baptist Builders Club provides grants / interest free loans to help with church plants, revitalization, as well as disaster releif for GARBC churches.




Lilly Endowment Clergy Renewal Fund


The Lilly Endowment Clergy Renewal Program provides grants for pastors and churches to help fund sabbaticals. More information can be found at their website.





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