SUSAN FONTAINE GODWIN: With summer vacation days quickly slipping away, fall is all about getting back into the swing of things – whether it’s back to school, sports events or church programs. It’s a perfect time to spice up your offerings with great events that support fellowship and fun.
New year, new classes, kids are back in school and church ministries are starting up too. Church teachers and leaders are always looking for creative ways to help their students learn. Here are some innovative ways to use music, video and media in your Bible lessons, Sunday school lessons and children’s activities:
- Use music to engage children, manage their moods and emotions and develop music awareness. If they are extremely excited or unmanageable, play slow tempo music to help calm their emotions. If they seem lethargic, you can play up tempo, peppy music.
- Play classical or instrumental music in the background as they enter the classroom to introduce them to different types of music.
- Use music to reinforce learning. Music can facilitate younger children learning each other’s names, as well as Bible stories and memorize scriptures.
- Action songs or finger plays with music help illustrate stories for younger children.
- When media and curriculum are integrated, children learn better. Multimedia resources can include computer-based activities, PowerPoint presentations, CDs, DVDs, video games and projected images.
- Using media in a lesson promotes active learning. Children can operate the computers or DVDs themselves, and it’s a springboard for more open discussion. Press the pause button often and talk. You don’t want them to just watch the video without participating.
- Utilize blanket copyright licenses for the easiest and most cost effective way to make sure you are legally using music and media material. Download CCS’s FREE Blanket Licenses Fact Sheet to find details about common church blanket licenses.
What about other church programs that kick off in August and September? According to an article in Church Tech Today, here are three things to make sure you consider in planning your fall programs:
- Small Groups – Fall program planning typically leads to great ministries for children and youth. But what about the rest of your church community? Oftentimes a major portion of the church—anyone out of high school—is neglected. They are the ones mentoring the younger generations, so don’t forget that they need to be spiritually fed as well. Small groups are one of the best ways to get a large percentage of your people involved and connected. Rather than a one-size-fits-all class, make it easy for your church community to connect with those who are at the same stage of life or facing similar challenges.
- Sign-up and check-in – Sign-up lists and registration cards can make planning for fall programming even more complicated. Streamline the process with electronic sign-up. Make it easy for participants to register for the next event and for volunteers to find the right service opportunities this fall online, through your mobile app or on a kiosk.
- Ministry Funds – While many ministries hold fundraisers to help defer some of the costs of their activities, the financial support of the church community is what truly provides the resources that make these programs possible. Have you made it easy for your people to give and support these vital ministries?
- Online – Donors who give online can pay with a debit or credit card, or through a bank account—and set up recurring giving.
- Mobile -Allow your church community to give to the fund of their choice through your church’s mobile app.
- Kiosk – Touchscreen kiosks make it easy for anyone to give using a credit or debit card—even if they haven’t set up an account with your church.
There are a flurry of fall events designed to welcome new community members as well as strengthen long-time church member relationships. All of these events and programs may be greatly enhanced by the use of music, videos and other copyrighted material:
- Church picnics
- Football viewing parties
- Youth lock-ins
- Dinner and a movie nights
- Fall concerts
- Family fellowship nights
- Fall festivals
- Holiday bazaars
- Christmas programs
It’s easy to overlook necessary music licensing because many fall programs aren’t considered under the overall music program, so it’s important to have a plan and a way of identifying any use of copyrighted material.
If you’re wondering whether or not your church programs make the grade when it comes to copyright compliance, we have a fun and simple interactive test you can take to find out. We’re very excited to offer CCS’s online, interactive Copyright Compliance Report Card that helps you evaluate how your church is doing. This is a great place to start with a quick analysis and overview on just how “compliant” your church is and where the holes are in your licensing coverage. It also provides you with simple licensing solutions and ideas to cover your activities.
Church leaders are often overwhelmed and confused by copyright issues. Analyzing your level of compliance may be at the bottom of a long list of priorities, but wouldn’t it be nice to actually talk to a live person about your copyright needs? That’s exactly why we are offering a FREE 20-minute consultation. Call 1-877-394-5566 to schedule your FREE Consultation today!
CCS’s Founder and CVO, Susan Fontaine Godwin is an educator and long-time member of the Christian arts community with 30 years of experience in the Christian media industry, church copyright administration and copyright management. Susan is an author and speaker and frequently writes for several Christian magazines and online publications. She serves as an adjunct professor at the University of Mobile.
About Christian Copyright Solutions: CCS’s quest is to help churches and Christian ministries “do music right.” CCS is an expert on church music copyrights and our primary focus is providing licensing and clear educational resources to churches, as well as representation, administration and advocacy for copyright owners. Follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Youtube. The information contained herein is for informational purposes only, and is not legal advice or a substitute for legal counsel.