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I talk to churches everyday who have a Messages-To-Go ministry. This is a great thing! The problem is they are having trouble getting the congregation to "buy into" the minsitry both by taking the CDs and sewing back into the ministry financially. Do any of you have any suggestions on was we can light the Messages-To-Go fire in the congregation?

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Great Post Heather! This is an area that many churches struggle with.

I can offer a couple suggestions on this actually.

I encourage pastors regularly to approach the congregation and ask for a show of hands of the folks that attended the service the previous week. If it's a church of 300 let's hope that 290+ of them proudly raise their hands to say "YES, I was here!" - then have the pastor say "okay, now, of those that have their hands up please keep them high in the air if I were to point you out and have you tell me what I preached on last week." - YEAH - watch the hands go down and the place get quiet. This really sends a message to the congregation that "yeah - ya know there is a problem here" and also sends the message to the pastor that "yeah, there is a problem here". So it's a win-win. To prove this works, I have a pastor who sits right next to me every day here at Kingdom, he has a congregation of about 50, kept hearing me say this to other pastors and one day said "ya know Guy, I keep hearing you say that and I am going to try it one of these days", I encouraged him to. A few weeks later he told me that he had a particular sermon the prior week that he felt was very Spirit-led - he had folks sniffling and wiping their eyes during the service so he was sure he was reaching folks. The next Sunday he got up in front of them and asked for a show of hands and who could tell him what his message was about the prior week. Guess how many hands stayed up?? One! One person could recall what his message was about. If this didn't speak to the congregation, I don't know what would. So I would encourage pastors to use this and see what happens in your own church, the results might just astound you!

Also, the biggest failure I see with regard to the Messages-to-go ministry is that people aren't doing anything with the CD's when they are done listening to them. We should always be encouraging our church congregation (from the pulpit) to pass them on and commit to inviting someone to church with that CD. Again, with the scenario above of 300 people in the congregation, if you can get even 10% of your congregation to commit to using the cd for evangelism and invite someone to church that's 30 lost souls per week that are potentially being personally invited to your church by a congregation member. Know what this can do for you church growth and tithes in a year?? Yeah, think about it.... if 10% of a congregation of 300 invited one person each week to church that's 1,560 new faces per year!! You may or may not keep them all, or get all of them to attend but the important thing is that you did your part! Not to mention that the evangelism end of it by itself is healthy for any congregation. It's sometimes as simple as leaving a cd with your tip at a restaurant so it's something all of us can do.

Last but not least, this whole program will likely fail if it is not promoted from the pulpit regularly. It needs to be taught and needs frequent reminders so we don't lose focus on it.

As for the financial portion of it, it may or may not be a revenue generator for your church but if done right it can be a "self-supporting ministry". Our church, for example requests $1.50 "donation" for cd's, this tells folks that if you want it and can't pay for it please take it, for those who can afford it please offer a donation of at least $1.50. Many of our messages are picked up with no donation, but seems that just as many times I see $5.00 bills in the box. It usually ends up that we have plenty of funds to order more necessary supplies. I would personally encourage churches not to price the cd's too high. You have well under $1.00 in them - even with the full color printing that Kingdom offers. The idea is to get God's word out and that's what we need to focus on. There's nothing wrong with charging a little to cover your costs but I think you will find that pricing the cd's too high will be very counter productive for you. Keep them priced down where most folks can afford them every week and don't look at it as being much of an expense to them and you will see better results.

This is my 2 cents Heather, hope this helps some who may be struggling in this area. Blessings to all! - Guy
One of the most original ideas I have heard comes from a church in Delaware. The pastor calls it the "Bread Program." He tells the congregation to take a cd after the service. Along with that free disc, the congregant receives a slip of paper. Each congregant is expected to pass that disc along to a different person each week, outside of the church family. They are to write down the name of that person on the slip of paper and have it with them at church the following Sunday. If any congregant does not have a slip with a name on it, they have to pay for last week's disc and this week's disc.
I don't think that every church should have a message to go ministry. Some church pastors are good pastors but it seems that their message resonates with their particular congregation. I think it is great if for some reason I miss a service that I can hear a message on cd. But some churches believe that they are going to reach others outside their church with the cd. Not everyone is a David Wilkerson, Carter Conlon, Mike Bickle or Lou Engle. I have seen some in local churches try to convince a pastor that their is a need to use cd's and the internet to reach a larger audience. Sometimes this leads them to concentrating on this phantom larger audience rather than the congregation and community that the Lord positioned them to lead. That being said I do think that it is great that the church is using technology such as the internet - Or producing Cd's ...it's just that I think they need to be wary of their expectations...I see the same people in the same church year after year...not being sent out...I think that the local church should be about the business of preparing the congregation to go out into the community and the world sharing the love of Jesus...that those who sit should a some point be the ones leading the bible studies, prayer groups, small groups, social ministry etc...sometimes people sit and never become a part of any ministry...people who work who don't see that as their mission field....I think that before they get involved with a cd ministry or internet ministry the churches need to seriously, honestly consider if they are promoting the church and pastor or building the kingdom of God.
I see your point, I think the important thing to consider though is that a cd ministry is a way to retain more of what God is trying to tell us each week - through our Pastors. I, myself (and it's not something I am proud of) have literally sat down in my car after a service and thought to myself "I have no idea what I just heard" - the fact is sometimes our minds wonder or something is particularly distracting that day. Some folks may not ever have this problem but I can tell you that I do. I do know I am not completely alone as I have spoken to many, many folks that can immediately relate to this. The fact is that we just don't remember everything we hear the first time we hear it. Studies tell us that we, as humans retain only about 10-15% of what we hear the first time we here it, the same studies suggest that we can also retain 300X more the 2nd time we hear something. This is simply a way for the congregation to take things more seriously, use the media that God has provided us with as a tool to use to grow spiritually and to also use as a descipleship tool in our lives. Pastors spend alot of time before God preparing His messages, God and our Pastors want us to retain as much as we can, this is just a tool in order to do that and hopefully grow. I can't see a down side.

We are to use any opportunity to share God's word and do what we can to bring the lost to Christ. Cd's and internet are a way to do that. I would invite you to read the post that I entered under outreach and evangelism about Fishbowl ministries for one example of how one cd had an impact on a particular religious cult over in Africa. The CD originated in a small church in a town named Bloomsburg here in Pennsylvania. It's a great story.

I certainly don't dissagree with all you've said but I have seen the value and importance of the impact of a cd ministry first hand feel that any church can benefit from a healthy media ministry.

You made the statement that "some churches believe that they are going to reach others outside their church with the cd", all I can say is that I could give you example after example of folks that have been brought to Christ with a tape or CD, including one very recently that was responsible for preventing a suicide and brought this individual into a relationship with our Lord. She picked up a message at a local DMV office that a church elder owns - he puts his messages there weekly in a fishbowl for folks to pick up. His comment to me was that he doesn't know how many people he reaches but he does know that lots of people pick them up. He said if this suicidal individual was the only person his CD's ever brought to Christ it was 100% worth it.

Hope this maybe helps to shed a new light on this kind of ministry, God Bless you.



debrah said:
I don't think that every church should have a message to go ministry. Some church pastors are good pastors but it seems that their message resonates with their particular congregation. I think it is great if for some reason I miss a service that I can hear a message on cd. But some churches believe that they are going to reach others outside their church with the cd. Not everyone is a David Wilkerson, Carter Conlon, Mike Bickle or Lou Engle. I have seen some in local churches try to convince a pastor that their is a need to use cd's and the internet to reach a larger audience. Sometimes this leads them to concentrating on this phantom larger audience rather than the congregation and community that the Lord positioned them to lead. That being said I do think that it is great that the church is using technology such as the internet - Or producing Cd's ...it's just that I think they need to be wary of their expectations...I see the same people in the same church year after year...not being sent out...I think that the local church should be about the business of preparing the congregation to go out into the community and the world sharing the love of Jesus...that those who sit should a some point be the ones leading the bible studies, prayer groups, small groups, social ministry etc...sometimes people sit and never become a part of any ministry...people who work who don't see that as their mission field....I think that before they get involved with a cd ministry or internet ministry the churches need to seriously, honestly consider if they are promoting the church and pastor or building the kingdom of God.
Guy - I absolutely need to improve my communication skills because I agree with what you said and agree that we are to use the tools available to us to deepen our understanding and to reach out to others. My concern is for those (hopefully few) who become more concerned about growing a church or promoting a pastor rather than growing God's kingdom...sometimes (again hopefully few) pastors who speak forthrightly and honestly to their congregation and community become more self conscious about their new wider audience and the message becomes watered down....or they become more concerned about becoming a mega preacher and those in their congregation get left behind. I am certainly all for whatever will move the congregation to extending the love of Jesus to their community and whatever tool will bring a people who don't know Jesus Christ into a relationship with Jesus Christ. I apologize for my lack of communicating skills. I have unfortunately seen good pastors fall prey to pride, discouragement - becoming involved in something before considering all the implications...it would seem that it is a given that Pastors, Elders, Deacons etc. would seek the Lord and ask for a revelation of motives and heart before entering into any ministry but sometimes even Pastors neglect to see the need for such prayer.
debrah said:
I don't think that every church should have a message to go ministry. Some church pastors are good pastors but it seems that their message resonates with their particular congregation. I think it is great if for some reason I miss a service that I can hear a message on cd. But some churches believe that they are going to reach others outside their church with the cd. Not everyone is a David Wilkerson, Carter Conlon, Mike Bickle or Lou Engle. I have seen some in local churches try to convince a pastor that their is a need to use cd's and the internet to reach a larger audience. Sometimes this leads them to concentrating on this phantom larger audience rather than the congregation and community that the Lord positioned them to lead. That being said I do think that it is great that the church is using technology such as the internet - Or producing Cd's ...it's just that I think they need to be wary of their expectations...I see the same people in the same church year after year...not being sent out...I think that the local church should be about the business of preparing the congregation to go out into the community and the world sharing the love of Jesus...that those who sit should a some point be the ones leading the bible studies, prayer groups, small groups, social ministry etc...sometimes people sit and never become a part of any ministry...people who work who don't see that as their mission field....I think that before they get involved with a cd ministry or internet ministry the churches need to seriously, honestly consider if they are promoting the church and pastor or building the kingdom of God.
Absolutely 100% Amen to that!! I have met many Pastors as well that I really have to question and have attended churches that I feel have really lost focus on the big picture!! All we can do is pray for them and take pride in the fact that God has allowed us the ability to recognize this and hopefully help prevent it from happening for ourselves and within our own churches. Fortunately for us God will be the one Judging them for their works. I get to stay out of that one! :)
Heather,
Thanks for posting this.

To everyone who has responded, Thank you as well!

I am the sound tech for a small church in eastern North Carolina. I was asked to run our sound booth in May of 2008 and wondered why I was being called into this position. I prayed really hard before I accepted the position and of course I stepped into a new job. At the time I took the job, the sound tech was only running the sound equipment and ensuring the mics worked and the correct buttons were pushed at the correct time.

About a month after I took over I found myself at home one night praying and asking God for direction in the sound booth. When I got quite and listened to God I was told to begin recording our services. Not just Sunday, but also our Wednesday night bible studies as well. I approached our pastor and discussed this with him and he was all in favor.
Then began the process of getting our equipment situated and getting everything working. By August I was recording two messages a week. Now I was back to praing and asking God for more direction. This time I was told to get better looking CD's and promote our messages. Our pastor and board has been in full support, however the members have barely jumped on board. I think I've handed out 12 cd's to members and 10 to non members.

There is a need and a use for Message-To-Go ministies. First of all, as has been stated by Guy Snyder, our retention of what we hear is very low the first time we hear it.
Second, in my church, I am in a church that's membership age is 50 and up. There are very few members below 40 including our kids. So if we can reach out and promote God's word and the church, maybe, just maybe we can help grow our membership. I am not attempting to knock our older members in any way, but I've found that many feel as if they've done the work to get members and now it's time for the younger members to do the work and there are very few of us to do it. So I'll take a chance and use CD's to spread the word and pray it helps us grow.

Third- Although I am concerned about our membership, let's face the facts. We, Christians, are at war! Satan is fighting with all his power to get each and every soul he can get his hands on. It is our job as Christian to reach out and spread God's word to save each sould we can. So if I can hand out 1,000,000,000,000,000 CD's or more and possibly save that ONE soul, is it not worth it?

And fourth- We strongly support our military. Being a prior service Marine and having served in combat I know just how hard it is for our men and women to have time and even some cases access to church. So our church is providing CD's in our care packages we send twice a year to our service members. If one of these CD's can help provide support or encouragement to a service member and help keep them grounded in God's word, is it again not worth it?

Now, I've said a lot about supporting and reasoning why we are using the Message-To-Go ministry and you can tell I support it. But I want those who've sent responces not supporting it. I've read your responce and I can see your side. media ministries can be a bad thing if the pastor and/or the church loose focus as the the intent of the ministry. There needs to remain a focus on the bodies sitting in front of you and encourageing the members to step out and reach out physically and not just with the internet or cd's. If we loose site of our mission from God to reach out and let people see our lives as the expample, the internet and cd's won't be a good tool. So I encourage any church considering using any form of media to pray and seek guidance first. And to keep your messages directed to the member in the seats.

I realize I've been long winded here and I hope I didn't run anyone off.
Thank you for reading my post and for your posts. Every reply has been helpful to me and promoting our ministry.

Shannon Nichols
Yesterday, I heard about a neat idea that a church in Virginia started this year. Previously, the only way to get copies of the message was for people to stand in line at the media table after the service. There they could pick up copies of that day's message on CDs. But they had a special event one night and knew there were going to be so many people there that the people wouldn't want to wait in lines for that long. So they introduced a concept they call "rovers." They asked certain people to help out with the distribution - mostly teens. (The media director said that there aren't a LOT of roles teens can fill in church, but that this was a great way to get them involved.) ANyway, what the rovers do is they stand in various locations after the service armed with copies of the messages so as people pass by, they can ask people "did you want to get a copy?" And the director told me it was amazing - that people that wouldn't normally stand in the line for copies were getting copies now too. He told me that they've increased the number of messages they give out by at least 65-80%! I think it's amazing - and a great way to get people involved and active at church!
The director went on to say that they need to add another duplicator now because they "sell out" of CDs every week - he thought they could probably give out even more CDs but they need another duplicator to increase capacity. All because they added "rovers!"
Our church message goes on youtube each week as well as out on our church website. The church website contains not only the video message, but the notes as well as voice only so it can be downloaded to an iPod or mp3 player.

We do have Message to Go CDs, but they are always a week in the rears. They are usually $5, but anyone can get one on what we call scholarship.

We set aside scholarship budget money each year to cover costs of goods (CDs, DVDs, books) or classes when folks would benefit from the goods or classes, but could not afford to pay on their own. Many of us direct our offerings to these scholarships because we have seen how many lives have been touched by opening access to anyone - not just those who can afford.
I would encourage the church to pick a message up that Sunday and use it for a devotion during the week. As a mother of four, when I go to church I am dealing with many different things with my kids. I may have missed what the Lord wanted to say to me that Sunday. So I take one home with me. I listen to it everyday and that same message applies to my life differently. So not only am I attending Church every Sunday but I am staying and walking in the Word everyday ( WHICH IS THE MOST IMPORTANT).

Luke 11:28 says
"But even more blessed are all who hear the Word of God and put it into practice" KJV

You see, many Christians feel that by going to church every Sunday gets us to heaven but that is WRONG. The Lord judges us by our WORKS. How many souls have we saved today?
To many churches have Christian getting TOO fat inside. It is time that ALL Christian follow Jesus' last command ( The Great Commission) He said GO ( not can you go, or when you have time, or will you) HE Said GO and make disciples of men. We should be out there doing this every chance we get. ( In the market place, with friends and family, on the street) I think you get the picture.
Hi Mo,

Sounds like you have alot of ways to get the messages to your congregation and beyond! I would encourage trying to get the CD's ready for the end of the service while it is still fresh in everyone's mind though, as we are much more apt to pick the cd up while it's still fresh than later on, or the following week. Many times we don't even remember what the previous message was about let alone remember that we wanted a copy. I have challenged pastors many times to approach the congregation on a given Sunday and ask for a show of hands of how many folks made it to last weeks service. Once all the hands are up then say "okay, now for those who have their hands up please keep them up if I could point you out right now and you can tell me what I preached on last week" - now watch the hands go back down! It's a problem many of have unfortunately. So you will get a better response if you can have them ready to go right after the service.

I love the scholarship idea by the way - that's a good idea and one I would like to potentially share with others as a way to maintain the cd ministry and keep it self-supporting.

One other thought I have is this; it' s great that you have messages online for everyone, but there's one big dissadvantage for you in terms of the outreach/evangelism that is there when there is a CD involved. If your congregation logs on to your website and listens to the messages that is great, but one of the biggest benefits of the messages to go concept is having your congregation members pass the CD to someone when they are done with it and invite them to your church. This peice can do amazing things for your church growth and, let's face it, getting our congregations to get use to using media as an evangelism tool is extremely healthy and important as well. Getting the messages online is wonderful but I'm not sure it should replace the CD's for this reason. Folks are much less likely to convert it into media that can be passed on to someone else or used as a tool to invite someone to your church. Just my thoughts anyway! Keep the media alive if you can, there are so many benefits. Have a great day & God Bless!! - Guy

Mo said:
Our church message goes on youtube each week as well as out on our church website. The church website contains not only the video message, but the notes as well as voice only so it can be downloaded to an iPod or mp3 player.

We do have Message to Go CDs, but they are always a week in the rears. They are usually $5, but anyone can get one on what we call scholarship.

We set aside scholarship budget money each year to cover costs of goods (CDs, DVDs, books) or classes when folks would benefit from the goods or classes, but could not afford to pay on their own. Many of us direct our offerings to these scholarships because we have seen how many lives have been touched by opening access to anyone - not just those who can afford.
I would suggest that Pastors encourage their congragations to get a copy of the message and "go behind" the Pastor to see what God would reveal to them by digging into the scriptures used in the message. By taking the time to read/study the scripture we can receive revelation from the Holy Spirit.

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