Friday Fives: The Top Five Most Useful Websites for Church Leaders

If you’re a pastor, lay leader, Sunday School teacher or small group leader, you obviously use the world wide web to help fulfill your responsibilities. The problem with the Internet, of course, is that it’s too much. You’ll get way more information than is helpful depending on what you’re researching, and much of it is incorrect, fraudulent, or, at least, undependable.

So I’ve found it very helpful to have a core set of helpful and trustworthy websites I can always fall back on. I’m almost ready to say I could do most of what I need to do – from prepare sermons, complete writing assignments, to research for the college classes I teach – using only these top five websites. (Of course I hope you see leaderhelps.com in that light.)

In compiling the list, I’ve placed an emphasis on those sites about which you may not already be aware.

I recommend all five of these have a prominent place on your favorites or bookmarks bar.


#5 Newsmap

URL: newsmap.jp

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Description: Want to know what’s going on in the world in under 30 seconds? Newsmap presents the key headlines of the day sortable by country. When I’m looking for a very current sermon illustration or a current events topic for leaderhelps.com, I often start with newsmap.


#4 The Punctuation Guide

URL: www.thepunctuationguide.com/index.html?

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Description: If you write at all, you’ll love this site. It’s one of the easiest-to-use tools for punctuation I’ve ever seen. And the material is presented in such a way that non-experts can find the information as easily as English professors. Let’s put it this way, when you see errors in punctuation on leaderhelps.com, it’s not the guide’s fault. (I also use www.grammarly.com in my writing.)


#3 Pond5

URL: www.pond5.com

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Description: Pond5 is one of the largest – if not the largest – source for royalty free content for websites, teaching material, content for slides, video production, etc.  I believe it’s indispensable for anyone who writes, blogs, preaches or teaches. Of course “royalty free” doesn’t me “free”, but it does mean, once something is purchased, you can use it in most any context, which for me holds a great deal of value. When Pond5 has bailed me out of a jam in my work or ministry, it’s always been worth the price.


#2 Blue Letter Bible

URL: www.blueletterbible.org

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Description: This is one of the most useful tools for Bible research, study, exposition and hermeneutics that I’m aware of, and all of it is within a few clicks. Chances are, if you need it for your work, Blue Letter Bible has it, right down to a graphical Greek analysis for any text. I don’t think it’s hyperbole for me to say I use BLB every day.

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#1 Wolfram Alpha

URL: www.wolframalpha.comScreen Shot 2015-04-29 at 6.54.54 PM

Description: Amazing, plain and simple. It’s so much more than a search engine. In fact, I think the most complimentary thing I can say about the site is that you just have to try it to understand all that it brings to the table. You can do research on everything from how to apply mathematical formulas to pop culture. You get important, dependable, and creative information on whatever you’re searching. It’s clean quick and creative.

For instance, if you use wolfram alpha to search Abraham Lincoln, you get the information you would expect on the 16th president, but you also get this graph that tracks the wikipedia hits over time for Lincoln.

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