• Find a Seminary Program

  • Information Hub

  • Share This Site

Leading a church involves an impressive number of responsibilities, many of which largely go unnoticed. Pastors and other congregational leaders have a great deal of pressure to maintain and grow their congregations, ensuring that the financial needs and obligations of the church are met, planning a long term curriculum for church programs, and a range of other duties. Naturally, most churches have accountants to take care of their finances and volunteers or paid lay-members who manage various other aspects of church affairs, but the leadership responsibilities of the congregational leader are still enormous. The resources on this list can be useful for leaders of congregations of any size or denomination. Many of the sites listed here are most useful for general and financial management in a church, but there are also plenty that offer advice on writing sermons and homilies, fostering youth engagement in a church, and other more spiritual aspects of leadership. This list is not intended as a ranking but as a recommendation of some of the highest quality online resources for pastors and congregation leaders.

Church Leadership

The challenges of church leadership vary widely depending on denomination, congregation size, budget, and the backgrounds of church members, but there are tried and true principles that any church leader can follow to encourage greater engagement, participation, and faith development in a congregation.

    1. Church Leaders


      Church Leaders is a blog for those who lead a church by the same individuals. It’s an interesting source for getting valuable commentary on some of the most prominent issues today.

      Learning & Leading: Features

    2. National Association of Christian Ministers


      The National Association of Christian Ministers unites ministers cross the country for the purpose of advocating for God and strengthening communities. The site has great information on how to develop leadership skills more thoroughly and also a very useful mentor program.

      Learning & Leading: Mentor Program

    3. Church Leadership Resources


      Church Leadership Resources has in-depth tools for an impressive amount of areas within the church. It’s very helpful for managing the wide-spanning aspects of maintaining a successful church.

      Learning & Leading: Topical Index

    4. The Leadership Institute


      The Leadership Institute works with Christian leaders from around the world to have great informational tools, as well as a series of retreats, that help promote Christian leaders of tomorrow.

      Learning & Leading: The Journey

    5. Ministry Tools Resource Center


      Ministry Tools Resource Center has so many different avenues to explore, it’s almost impossible to list them all. Aside from the large quantity of resources, they’re also incredibly thorough in providing the highest quality material.

      Learning & Leading: Bible Curriculum

    6. Leading Smart


      Leading Smart is a great way to understand the best approach to managing a church and ensuring upkeep of a family and personal life. Tim Stevens, the site’s primary author, also has fascinating books that he has published with more great supplementary material.

      Learning & Leading: Books by Tim Stevens

    7. Philip Nation


      Philip Nation is a blog run by the Director of Adult Ministry Publishing at LifeWay Christian Resources and he’s also a frequent speaker at many different conferences.

      Learning & Leading: My Books

    8. The United Methodist Reporter


      The United Methodist Reporter is a news source for getting all the latest on the United Methodist Church and the different initiatives they’re currently working on to provide help around the world and more aptly reinforce the will of God.

      Learning & Leading: 10 Questions for Church Leaders

    9. Barna Group


      Barna Group is a research group that studies the intersection of faith and culture and has done so since 1984, often providing some of the most insightful information imaginable pertaining to the field.

      Learning & Leading: Research

    10. United Methodist Women


      United Methodist Women the largest denominational faith organization for women with nearly 800,000 members who all work to provide a better environment for spiritual growth, women’s rights, and justice work around the world. Working in over 100 countries, they empower women and promote equal rights on a number of issues.

      Learning & Leading: Connect

    11. General Board of Global Ministries


      The General Board of Global Ministries is an organization with intent on promoting God’s mission globally and help strengthen Christian congregations and communities.

      Learning & Leading: Explore Our Work

    12. UU Planet Growth Resources

      UUPlanetGrowth Resources

      UU Planet Growth Resources has a very impressive array of handbooks and other information for maintaining a successful congregation and they even have resources that are specific to the size of your church.

      Learning & Leading: The Congregational Handbook

    13. Forward Progress


      Froward Progress is a blog that emphasizes how living through the values of Christ can be beneficial to one’s life and provide guidance and discipline to many. His posts touch on how invigorating being a Christian can be for not only himself, but for those around as well.

      Learning & Leading: Speaking

    14. The Texas Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church


      The Texas Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church is one of the more prominent Christian conferences in the state of Texas, largely because of their commitment to providing the latest and highest quality information relating to Christianity.

      Learning & Leading: Mission and Vision

    15. RevWriter


      RevWriter is an impressive way for pastors, as well as congregations, to have quality information keeping them up to date on the latest happenings within the religious community. There’s incredibly valuable advice that is many times applicable to different situations faced day-to-day.

      Learning & Leading: RevWriter Resource

    16. Leading Congregations


      Leading Congregations promotes Christian values and valuable leadership skills through their wealth of background information and useful services.

      Learning & Leading: Guest Preaching and Pulpit Supply

    17. Pacific Northwest Conference


      The Pacific Northwest Conference of the Free Methodist Church offers great leadership development resources on their website for anyone interested in becoming a minister.

      Learning & Leading: Leadership Development Resources

    18. The Hardy Group Pastoral Consulting


      The Hardy Group works to advocate on behalf of pastors to reinforce leadership skills and their consulting can prove incredibly useful to pastors trying to become more effective leaders in their community.

      Learning & Leading: Pastoral Leadership Growth

    19. Christian Copyright Licensing International


      Christian Copyright Licensing International is an organization that offers help obtaining and managing copyrights and licenses for religious music being used in church events. CCLI is a great resource for worship leaders looking to diversify the group singing in their congregation.

      Learning & Leading: Worship Leaders Magazine

    20. Genesee Home


      Genesee Home is a retreat for those involved with the church to get some refreshment and spend some time in a more intimate setting for connecting to God. The gorgeous retreat has many great amenities and even discounted rates for those in ministry.

      Learning & Leading: Pastoral Retreat and Counseling Ministries

    21. LifeChurch.tv


      LifeChurch.tv provides engaging content in the form of videos, worship music, and a great environment for fostering a better relationship its God.

      Learning & Leading: Causes

    22. The Hill Consulting Group


      The Hill Consulting Group provides consulting services aimed at promoting stronger leadership and organizational development within churches and ministries across the country.

      Learning & Leading: Services

    23. National Association of Church Personnel Administrators


      The National Association of Church Administrators is the official organization for those who work in the church to have a meeting place and a forum for discussing different issues they may face in their job.

      Learning & Leading: Publications

    24. National Federation of Priests’ Councils


      The National Federation of Priests’ Council is an incredible organization based in Chicago, Illinois that works to serve the mission of Jesus Christ and the profession of being a Catholic priest and the supporting councils.

      Learning & Leading: Archives

    25. American Catholic Counsel: Catholic Leadership for the 21st Century


      American Catholic Counsel: Catholic Leadership for the 21st Century is a publication that any leader in the Catholic Church should read. It is a great way to refine leadership skills and support those in the community through the Catholic values.

      Learning & Leading: New! Celebrating a Season of Hope

    26. Leadership Conference of Women Religious


      Leadership Conference of Religious Women is a place for women to come together since 1956 and collaborate within the Catholic Church and society to promote social change and free others from violence or oppression.

      Learning & Leading: Publications

    27. Christian Leadership


      Christian Leadership propels ministers, pastors, and others working in the church to a higher level through great resources for developing leadership skills and understanding how to cope with the unique stresses associated with the position.

      Learning & Leading: Being a Christ-Centered Servant Leader

    28. Christian Leadership Alliance


      Christian Leadership Alliance helps to promote the most engaging forum for discussing different aspects of leading the church and properly running the ministry. They have information on conferences, resources, and even an online academy.

      Learning & Leading: Blog

    29. The Lewis Center for Church Leadership


      The Lewis Center for Church Leadership reinforces the principles of Christian leadership and helps instill faithful practicing. Their dedicated staff also works to publish a variety of quality supplementary material.

      Learning & Leading: Leading Ideas

    30. Faith & Leadership


      Having long stood as a place to get fantastic information on different principles and community support, Faith & Leadership is a fantastic site to get support from a vibrant community of fellow Christian leaders.

      Learning & Leading: Thriving Communities

    31. Anglican Communion: Mission – Commissions – MISSIO


      Anglican Communion helps promote the mission of God by helping advocate for “Five Marks of Mission” and the values of the church. The site is loaded with information relating to instruments, ministries, networks, and more.

      Learning & Leading: Covenant

    32. Anglican Theological Review


      Anglican Theological Review is a quarterly publication that has all the latest information relating to theological reflection and how to more aptly engage in quality conversations relating to the church.

      Learning & Leading: Conversations

    33. Tony Cooke Ministries


      Tony Cooke Ministries works to make sure churches and leaders across the world have the resources to advocate for Jesus Christ and help communities. They have 5 primary means for implementing these goals, namely by offering seminars for church staffs and ministry personnel.

      Learning & Leading: General Articles by Tony Cooke

    34. The Mormon Channel


      The Mormon Channel displays an impressive amount of content on their site, complete with engaging videos and audio content. If y you’re looking for local events in your area, they also have a very up-to-date Events section.

      Learning & Leading: Videos

    35. Enter the Bible


      Enter The Bible is a great accompaniment to reading or teaching the bible, often providing useful insight and perspective on even the tiniest facets of the bible.

      Learning & Leading: Periods of Time

    36. The UU Small Group Ministry Network


      The Unitarian Universalist Group Ministry Network helps to strengthen small group ministries, also known as covenant groups, through outreach and educational resources.

      Learning & Leading: Small Group Sessions

    37. Ed Stetzer


      Ed Stetzer is the President of LifeWay Research, as well as a seminar leader and many other occupations. He has an esteemed reputation and is an editor of Facts & Trends Magazine, a Christian Leadership publication with over 70,000 readers.

      Learning & Leading: Leadership

    38. Because People Matter


      Because People Matter is the vision of a couple who have been a part of Granger Community Church since 1997 and have helped foster a wonderful community through the footsteps of Jesus.

      Learning & Leading: Reflections | God & Faith

    39. Leadership Network


      The Leadership Network works with leaders in a variety of churches to delve into bigger questions and engage in meaningful conversations. The idea is to promote ways to change the world through the fundamentals of Christianity.

      Learning & Leading: Books

    40. LifeWay


      LifeWay is a comprehensive site with all the books, music, bibles, magazine, and camp information for any practicing Christian. They also help keep others up-or-date on different happenings with a very current Events section.

      Learning & Leading: Christian Living

    41. Will Mancini


      Will Mancini is the founder of Auxano, a consulting ministry that helps churches of many different kinds and works as a “clarity evangelist”. Through a unique approach, Will administers the best aid and support to multiple Christian organizations.

      Learning & Leading: Speaking

    42. Eric Geiger


      Eric Geiger is a Vice President of LifeWay Christian Resources and works in the Church Resources Division. He works as a pastor, speaker, and a consultant on church mission and strategy. The site highlights different books and resources, effective for anyone attempting to lead their church in a more promising direction.

      Learning & Leading: Books

    43. Augsburg Fortress


      Augsburg Fortress is a dense resource for educating yourself and others on different facets of Christian living. They have great tools for children as well and even an animated version of the bible.

      Learning & Leading: For Children

    44. Faith Formation Learning Exchange


      Faith Formation Learning Exchange is a place to cultivate ideas and showcase some of the best literature and research pertaining to faith ministries. The site is very dense with features and informational tools to propagate the most useful information possible to leaders.

      Learning & Leading: Articles by Our Curators

    45. National Leadership Roundtable on Church Management


      The National Leadership Roundtable on Church Management is a forum that takes place, often pushing forward the standards of church leadership and helping reinforce the level of excellence regarding ethics and accountability within the Catholic Church.

      Learning & Leading: Online Forum

    46. XPastor


      Xpastor is exclusively for Executive Pastors and those in supporting roles who could benefit from this particular bank of knowledge, such as staff and volunteers.

      Learning & Leading: Facilities

    47. Growing Vital Leaders


      Growing Vital Leaders blogs about ways that Christian leaders can reinforce leadership skills and better not only their church, but their communities as well. The site has an impressive array of resources that will be enlightening to a wide group of people.

      Learning & Leading: Foundations

    48. PastorServe


      PastorServe confronts the particularly difficult struggles pastors face to help others, but lack the support for themselves. The site makes a great outlet for pastors in need of support.

      Learning & Leading: Crisis Care

    49. International Association of Women Ministers


      The International Association of Women Ministers helps encourage women to enter the field and celebrates women who do ministry work. For those wondering how to get started or where to come for supportive tools, the site is wonderful.

      Learning & Leading: Upcoming Events

    50. Leadership Development Resources


      Leadership Development Resources have the astute ability to work with individuals in a number of ways to effective help create religious leaders and church organizers.

      Learning & Leading: Church Development Process

    51. Insights into Religion


      Insights into Religion is a way for religious leaders and those in the public to have access to different organizational resources relating to religious practice. The site has sections pertaining to congregations, leadership, research, and even theological education for expanding the breadth of knowledge one has.

      Learning & Leading: Choosing a Seminary

    52. Emerging Models of Pastoral Leadership


      Emerging Models of Pastoral Leadership is a program supported in part by various National Catholic ministerial organizations and helps ensure the highest quality of leadership to their communities.

      Learning & Leading: Focus Areas

    53. National Association for Lay Ministry


      National Association for Lay Ministry is an organization that promotes Lay ministers and further develop lay ministry within the Catholic Church. The site is dense with ways on how to get certified and even has its own job bank.

      Learning & Leading: LEM Certification

    54. Christian Leadership Initiative


      Christian Leadership Initiative is an organization that works to help connect different Christian Organizations with the leaders they need to properly maintain different aspects of what they’re accomplishing.

      Learning & Leading: Programs

    55. International Ministerial Association


      The International Ministerial Association is an organization with an expansive worldview that aims to unite others through Christianity. It’s composed of ministers from all over the world and a regular amount of conferences are held to bring these people together.

      Learning & Leading: Churches

    56. The Leadership Development Initiative


      The Leadership Development Initiative works to develop spiritual leaders and help spread the word of God. They are active in a number of arenas though, recently helping campaign to end gun violence.

      Learning & Leading: Get Involved

    57. Christian Leadership Concepts


      Christian Leadership Concepts helps to propagate the most pertinent ideas within the Christian community and foster the best set of leaders from tomorrow. The site has great training resources and a vast curriculum of information.

      Learning & Leading: Curriculum

    58. Church Leader Insights


      Church Leader Insights is a site that helps equip pastors with the most appropriate information for running their church and helps promote the integral values of Christianity.

      Learning & Leading: eBooks

Top of Page

Preaching & Sermon Writing

Writing sermons that correspond with a liturgical calendar while also grasping the interest of listeners and touching on current issues is not an easy task. Following common strategies and getting fresh eyes on a sermon is a sure way to make it more engaging.

    1. Academy of Homiletics


      The Academy of Homiletics was founded in 1965 and is for teachers and doctoral students of homiletics. The academy has many fantastic support options for members, including archived papers, audio resources, teaching assistance, information pertaining to the annual meeting, and much, much more.

      Learning & Leading: Resources

    2. Homiletic & Pastoral Review


      Homiletic & Pastoral Review is one of the most prominent pastoral publications in the United States and has been around for over 100 years. The articles are written by some of the best Catholic writers and pieces typically focus on spiritual guidance, morality, and authentic pastoral practice.

      Learning & Leading: Questions Answered

    3. Homiletic


      Homiletic is a peer-reviewed journal focused sole on homiletics and communicating in a variety of ways in religious communication.

      Learning & Leading: Archive

    4. SermonBase


      SermonBase functions as a way for preachers to get sermon coaching and useful software related to preparing the best sermons possible. They also have regularly updated posts concerning many different elements within giving sermons.

      Learning & Leading: Sermon Tips

    5. Proclaim Sermons


      Proclaim Sermons is a tool for pastors that help them have one less hassle when preparing the sermon to give to the congregation. A new sermon is written weekly and is loaded with the latest information and is always contextually relevant.

      Learning & Leading: Upcoming Sermons

    6. Sermon Writer


      Sermon Writer is an incredibly worthwhile tool for refining speeches and providing relevant information to your congregation, while still staying faithful to the texts.

      Learning & Leading: Free Samples

    7. Working Preacher


      Working Preacher is a tool for every practicing minister and preacher who wants a quality section from which to pull valuable commentary and insight on a many different issues.

      Learning & Leading: Narrative Lectionary

    8. Good Preacher


      Good Preacher helps those who work in Homiletics to have all the tools available to effectively preach and the site’s journal proves to be a very educational publication as well.

      Learning & Leading: Quick Access to This Week’s Resources

    9. Homiletics Online


      Homiletics Online supports pastors through innovative tools for preparing sermons and is dense with the most contemporary resources, allowing for those in the church to stay well-connected to their congregation.

      Learning & Leading: How to Live When The World’s On Fire

    10. Sermons


      Sermons.com is for preachers to have access to some of the most insightful resources for preparing sermons and many other useful tools for ensuring only the highest quality speeches are provided to the congregation.

      Learning & Leading: Illustrations

Top of Page

Planning & Finance

A church’s budget frequently depends on regular, tax-deductible donations from parishioners, which requires a great deal of accounting to make sure the church knows how much money it has, and keeps spending within those limits. While a certified public accountant should take care of most of the mathematical heavy lifting, there are software suites and outside consultants that can help out with some of the difficulties of managing church finance.

    1. Church Financial Matters


      Church Financial Matters is a go-to resource for gaining a complete understanding of how to properly manage the finances of a church and useful safeguards to prevent untimely losses.

      Learning & Leading: Budgeting in the Local Church: Participation Counts

    2. Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability


      The Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability aims to quell the problem associated with churches often not having transparency in terms of finances. They work ardently to promote higher standards of compliance.

      Learning & Leading: Seven Standards of Responsible Stewardship

    3. Church Administration and Finance


      Church Administration and Finance outlines all of the most important aspects to proper upkeep of a church and how church treasurers and administrators play an incredibly crucial role in the process.

      Learning & Leading: Ministries

    4. Church Finance Resources


      Church Finance Resources is loaded with useful guides and handbooks for improving the efficiency of successfully running the financial aspect of a church. In addition, they also have really great directories and information relating to how to promote the mission of God more effectively.

      Learning & Leading: Directories

    5. Impact Stewardship


      Impact Stewardship is a company that works to engage with churches and help raise capital for various endeavors that enable ministries to continue advancing their spiritual campaign.

      Learning & Leading: Pre Capital Campaign Planning

    6. Finance for Churches


      Finance for Churches helps those who run a church understand the unique obstacles presented when ensuring financial stability in managing day-to-day operations. The posts are incredibly enlightening and shouldn’t be missed.

      Learning & Leading: Consulting

    7. Church Finance Today


      Church Finance Today understands the unique obstacles that churches face everyday and this publication is for them to better identify ways to function properly.

      Learning & Leading: Our Mission

    8. Church Finance Ministry


      Church Finance Ministry services different churches and helps facilities consulting and financial resources concerning loans, facility planning, safe levels of debt, and more. If you’re part of a church seeking improved financial stability, it’s definitely worth checking out.

      Learning & Leading: Church Loans

    9. Church Development Fund


      Church Development Fund is an organization devoted to helping churches expand the infrastructure and foster methods for increasing the deployment of their message.

      Learning & Leading: Investments

    10. ABCs of Church Management


      The ABC’s of Church Management is a non-profit that equips individuals involved with the church with all the know-how to properly assess different situations and have all the resources to promote the most effective practices within it.

      Learning & Leading: Services

    11. Wisdom Over Wealth


      Wisdom Over Wealth was founded by William O’Connell, who has a ton of experience in church leadership. The site advocates for ways to keep the books balanced at your church and keep your focus on providing great leadership to your congregation.

      Learning & Leading: Newsletter

    12. Church Building Consultants & Capital Campaign Consultants


      Church Building Consultants & Capital Campaign Consultants helps provide infrastructure for advancing your church by helping implement an effective campaign to garner more capital.

      Learning & Leading: Church Capital Campaign

Top of Page

Church Management Software

Churches usually offer much more than just a weekly religious service. There are Sunday school programs, community involvement events, and even child care, all of which requires significant organization to keep it running smoothly. Additionally, keeping track of membership numbers and staying in-sync with the national governing body of the church’s denomination also require organizational bandwidth. There are many suites of software out there specifically for church management, and these are a few of the best.

    1. Intacct – Faith based and church financial software


      Intact is faith-based and church financial software that helps promote safer, more secure accounting information through cloud-based applications. Over 6000 companies use the software, so it has been thoroughly tested and verified.

      Learning & Leading: Case Studies

    2. Church Community Builder


      Church Community Builder is intuitive software designed to make the process of cultivating a faith-based community less daunting and provide organization. The software’s impressive array of features is particularly notable and is worth looking into.

      Learning & Leading: Software

    3. Excellerate Church Management Software


      Excellerate Church Software is the foremost resource for managing a church and has been refined for over 15 years, so it has been tailored to include all of the features one would need.

      Learning & Leading: Check-In System

    4. Icon Systems Church Software


      Icon Systems Church Software is some of the most well-known church management software on the market and assists those looking to streamline the functionality of day-to-day tasks.

      Learning & Leading: Products

    5. Flockbase


      Flockbase is a great 21st century software that allows for tracking memberships and church attendance. The software is explicitly designed for small to medium-sized churches and is great for not only tracking members and contributions, but pledges, birthdays, and even attendance.

      Learning & Leading: About Us

    6. Church Helpmate


      Church Helpmate is software designed to help streamline how churches function and implement the day-to-day functions of running a church of just about any size. Their thoroughness has been well noted in praise from customers across the country.

      Learning & Leading: Products

    7. PowerChurch Software


      PowerChurch Software was designed from the ground-up to help churches grow more efficiently and keep track of contributions, attendance, membership, and much more. They also have a newsletter published quarterly that is tremendously useful when it comes to the latest happenings in the church community.

      Learning & Leading: Products

    8. Ministry Grid


      Ministry Grid helps turn those interested in ministry work and God into the effective leaders of tomorrow. They have a wealth of training tools and even events to meet others and work together.

      Learning & Leading: Training

    9. Shelby Systems Pastoral Leadership


      Shelby Systems is an integrative solution for software and financial tools relating to running ministries and religious organizations. With over 24,000 users, they are one of the most renowned software companies for church management software.

      Learning & Leading: Current Customers

    10. Easy Church Tools


      Easy Church Tools is software that reduces the stress associated with running a church at a price point that is reasonable. The software helps compile a membership database of all the attendees of the church and includes many other valuable resources.

      Learning & Leading: Church Management Software

    11. Church Management Resources


      Church Management Resources is software that helps users manage their church and maintain an impressive amount of information simultaneously. The software is surprisingly advanced and invaluable to operating a church today.

      Learning & Leading: Remote Assistance

    12. By The Book


      By The Book is software for churches and nonprofits that focuses on implementing a variety of features that make managing a church a much more intuitive process.

      Learning & Leading: Church Management Software

    13. Ministry Tracker


      Ministry Tracker is cloud-based ministry database software that helps church staff manage churches. Since it’s cloud-based, it can be accessed from anywhere and helps those on-the-go to stay updated on the latest developments within the church.

      Learning & Leading: Features

    14. LOGOS Christian Focus Church Leadership Collection


      LOGOS Christian Focus Church Leadership Collection is a series of software programs that promotes management and growth within the church. The tips should not be missed for any church looking to increase its prospective congregation and blossom into a more esteemed organization.

      Learning & Leading: Support

    15. Ministry Briefing


      Ministry Briefing helps summarize all the latest developments in the field of managing a church in the past 30 days. The list is usually around 200 items that can be quickly and easily accessed. For pastors, it’s an integral tool for staying up to date while focusing on your own congregation.

      Learning & Leading: Sampler

    16. ChurchSoft


      ChurchSoft is an incredibly reliable software program that has a plethora of resources in which to manage your church with. The program runs on many different devices and includes three installs so that it can be set up in different places.

      Learning & Leading: News

    17. Church Management Solutions


      Church Management Solutions has all the latest innovations on how to better manage your church, allowing for more time to be focused on providing a good message for the congregation. There’s even a video demo that’s incredibly effective.

      Learning & Leading: Products

    18. ChurchPro


      ChurchPro is church management software, but they also hold regular conferences designed to promote a community of pastors and ministers. The website is a great way to get support or more information on ChurchPro.

      Learning & Leading: ChurchPro 2013

    19. CDM+ Church Management Software


      CDM+ Church Management Software creates cloud-based software that allows for access on-the-go from a phone, laptop, desktop, and more. For a 21st century church, it’s an incredibly valuable tool for managing a variety of tasks.

      Learning & Leading: Fund Accounting

Top of Page