Need an account? Request it here.
Here's some quick info to help you establish your church's online & in-person presence!
Taking care of business.
All CLGI churches must be properly registered with their respective countries, states & cities. This info will get you started
Your church will need an EIN number for banking, accounting, and other business needs. They are provided FREE by the IRS (no need to pay a 3rd-party service) on their website IRS.gov. Note, the IRS doesn't provide info on established EINs, so be sure not to misplace this info. Tip: print a few extra copies to keep secure in your church's files.
This process is different state-by-state but is almost always handled by your state's Secretary of State office. If you have questions about or need assistance with the process of being registered in your state as a legal Nonprofit Organization/Church, contact your district superintendent & Secretary of state office (linked below).
Building with the Future in Mind
During the 2021 SEJ Leadership Workshop, the collective leadership of the Southeast joined together to develop a 10-year growth strategy to build & support thriving churches within the jurisdiction. The plan created is called SEJ2030 is all about "Building with the Future in Mind."
Bookmark the SEJ2030 page (link below) to have access to leadership-specific tools & resources develop to meet your growth goals.
Have questions? Contact your local District Superintendent for assistance.
Get on the map
How to get found on Google Search & Google Maps.
Google is the #1 place visitors & community members will look to find your church & learn more about it. Here's how to show up on Google.
Star here, by going to Google Business.
Using your church's email, sign in to the church's Google account (or create one, if the church doesn't already have one).
Follow the promotes, starting with entering the church's info:
Enter the church's physical location. If the church doesn't have a permanent location yet, that's okay - just select your local area as your "service area".
Select that you want the church's location to show up on Google Maps.
Enter the church's contact info (phone & website) & service times.
Verify the profile. Typically, Google will mail a postcard to the church's address. The postcard has a verification code on it that you will need to enter on Google. The postcard will have the specific info on this process, so be sure to look for it in the mail.
If the church's Google profile has already been claimed, follow these steps to 'request access'.
Build a website
Your church's virtual home.
Your church needs a website. Today, most people will look your church up online BEFORE they visit. So it's important that your website represents your church well. This doesn't mean that you need an elaborate expensive site, but it must (at least) look up-to-date & have accurate info. Contrary to popular belief, websites are very low maintenance & depending on how evergreen your info is, it may only need to be updated once a year or so and if the design is now outdated. There are tons of website options out there but here the Top 3:
A simple webpage using Google Sites.
A webpage is a website with 1-page. Google Sites if Google's FREE website builder. Put them together & you have the simplest, cheapest website option available. Your only expense will be the domain name [also referred to as a URL] (for example, www.YourChurchName.com) which are super cheap. GoDaddy is the best place to purchase a domain name & most are less than $20/year (a recurring once/year cost). Here are the steps:
Buy your church's domain name. There are several reputable domain companies but GoDaddy is the industry leader.
Go to Google Sites & build your church's webpage here. The platform is very user-friendly. If your not technically-savvy, don't stress - take your time & keep everything super simple.
Link your domain name to your Google Site here.
A pre-built website template using Wix.
WIX is a great option for those who are comfortable with computers. It's very simple to use & you can build your church an amazing looking website, with tons of bell & whistles - for very little time, effort & money. Wix has tons of pre-built website templates: 1) you just pick the one you like, 2) drag & drop in whatever else you need & want to create a site that suits your church, 3) select your FREE domain name (which is included when you upgrade your website to the paid plan - avg. $150/year). And YOUR GOOD TO GO!
Tip: Start with the FREE plan & once you've finished building the website, then upgrade to a paid plan (avg. about $150/yr) - which will come with a FREE domain name. If you already have a domain name, you can also link it to your WIX site (but only after you've upgraded to a paid plan)
The fully-customized site using WordPress.
32% of the ENTIRE internet is made up of WordPress websites. This option is only recommended if someone in your church is computer-savvy or at least doesn't mind learning a new skill. WordPress isn't extremely difficult, but there is a slight learning curve - so, you'll have to decided if it's worth the time investment. But, if your church decides to go this route, it can become a powerful ministry tool. If this option seems right for your church, here are a few things to get you started:
Buy your church's domain name. There are several reputable domain companies but GoDaddy is the industry leader (avg. $20/year).
Setup a Bluehost account to host your WordPress site. Bluehost isn't the only hosting service out there, but it's the industry leader and is priced at about $115/year.
Note: The difference between WordPress.COM & Wordpress.ORG is that the .ORG site requires your WordPress site to be 'self-hosted'. This means you have to host the site yourself using a company like Bluehost. This is recommended over the .COM sites, because you have full ownership & freedom over your site.
Note: WordPress sites require slightly more maintenance than the other options, but there are tons of resources online to help you keep your site in good working order.
Taking care of business.
Social Media is key. Besides Google, YouTube & Facebook are the top places your local community will be looking to find you. These resources will help you develop a social media plan that is right for your church.
Set up social media profiles for your church.
Even if you ultimately decide not to use it, have them anyway. It's important to claim this virtual real estate. If nothing else, it will help to protect your church's name and brand. But more so, social media sites are viewed by Google as authorities sites, so when people search your church's name on Google, your social media profiles will be one of the first things they see. Here are the links to top social media platforms your church should have:
Develop a social media plan.
Once a quarter or so, your church should come up with a simple social media schedule. It doesn't need to be complicated, but take a moment to note any upcoming events, testimonies, announcements, etc. and plot out a quick schedule. For instance, if the church is having a revival at the end of the month, your church should re-post the flyer weekly & 2-3 more times the week of the event. Posting it once isn't enough, because most people won't see every post you make. So, the more you post, the more likely it is that they will see it.
However, your social media isn't just for announcements. It's primarily for giving your community the chance to get to know you & for you to get to know them. So, be sure to post other things on your social media that will be encouraging and engaging.
Create eye-catching social media posts, flyers, and more with Canva.
Canva is a great online service for creating any graphic you might need for your church - flyers, social media posts, logos, etc. The FREE version of Canva is sufficient for most of your church needs, but the upgraded paid version is excellent when your church is ready to scale up their social media appearance - and only costs about $12/month.
Post on social media - automatically, using Hootsuite or Buffer.
Both sites are social media content schedulers that will allow your church to pre-load social media posts, set the time & date for each post to go up on your church's social media pages, and manage all those accounts in one place. Both have FREE versions of their service that will allow your church to upload a limited number of posts in advance, which is sufficient for most churches. But when your church is ready to scale up its social media presence, the paid version (both are about $35/mon) of these serves are ideal because they allow you to schedule an unlimited number post. Automating your church's online activity - pretty much, set it & forget it.
Here are a few other resources that your church may find helpful:
A Freelance Marketplace - starting at $5.
An Online Giving Platform built exclusively for churches.
Online Church Management & Accounting Software.