the shape of leadership

Five Free Resource Libraries Every Leader Should Know About

The help you need may be a click away

Yisrael Vincent on February 21, 2020

Over the past two years, I’ve had the chance to serve as the resource development manager for the Church Multiplication Network. A good amount of my time involved serving on a team that built a brand-new resource library for church leaders from scratch.

That process taught us a lot about the need for relevant resources at every level of leadership. Along the way, we’ve had the chance to get to know what’s out there. The following are five libraries of resources that stand out to us. They are not only producing the highest quality of resources, but giving them away for free:

Open Network for all things church. Open Network is hands down one of the best online resources for churches and leaders. This resource library from Life.Church, an influential multisite church pastored by Craig Groeschel, has everything from sermon graphics to small group curriculum to worship music and training videos. One thing that makes Open Network unique is that it has gathered the best resources from dozens of influential churches and networks.

The network also has several free apps, like Church Metrics for tracking attendance and volunteers and Church Online Platform to help launch an online worship service. Our team had a chance to work with the Open Network team this year to partner in the area of church planting resources. It was an amazing experience, and the electricity of their team to resource the capital “C” Church is reflected in every resource on the site.

CMN Lead for leadership development, church planting and multisite. We wouldn’t spend thousands of hours building a resource library if we didn’t think it was worth recommending to our friends. CMN Lead has hundreds of resources for pastors and leaders to help address pain points many leaders deal with on a regular basis. Every resource comes from recognized leaders who have experiential knowledge in the topic they address.

This library has videos on things like how to lead better, build teams, preach, lead worship and hire staff. We also have downloadable plug-and-play resources, such as ministry budgets, visitor cards, and sermon packages that will save you time, solve a problem, or create an opportunity. On top of that, we have free training courses on things like going multisite, planning a ministry budget, and marketing. New resources drop every week so you can have what you need, when you need it.

Ministry can be resource intensive — requiring time, money, energy and creativity.

VOUS Friends and Family for creative files and culture building. VOUS Friends and Family is a new resource library from the team at VOUS Church, pastored by Rich Wilkerson Jr. When I first looked at the site, it didn’t take me long to realize this was an amazing resource.

Similar to Open Network and CMN Lead, VOUS Church has provided resources in several areas that every staff member could appreciate. Creative files are cutting edge, and VOUS also shares internal documents developed to help shape culture and foster team building that any leader can use. One of the coolest features VOUS offers is the ability to chat live with one of its team members to get real-time feedback on ministry questions.

The Bible Project for Bible study tools. Whenever I lead a small group, prepare for a sermon series, or even teach a university level Bible course, I look to see what The Bible Project has on my subject. The Bible Project is a cross section of art and theology, and its team has created animated videos that explain and introduce all things Bible.

Whether I’m looking for an overview of a book in the Bible or trying to explain the concept of Sabbath, the Project has a video breaking it down in simple terms with compelling visuals that make for effective learning. The Bible Project also has downloadable notes and curriculum that accompany certain videos.

NewSpring for sermon series, kids and youth. One of my favorite resource sites comes from NewSpring Church in South Carolina, pastored by Brad Cooper. NewSpring has a special gift for production and creativity that it has made available to other churches at no cost.

The resource packages include everything you need to launch your next sermon series, including high-quality bumper stickers, compelling social media promotions, and original print material. All of it is editable so you can tailor it to your needs. NewSpring’s kids and student ministries packages are just as impressive.

Ministry can be resource intensive — requiring time, money, energy and creativity. Getting resources to leaders is an important ministry, and no one organization can do it all. Our hope is that these resource providers can meet a need today and help fulfill a vision tomorrow.

At CMN, we have team members dedicated to creating resources and getting them into the hands of pastors and leaders. If you need a resource on a particular topic, we would love to help you find it. Connect with us at If we can’t help you find it, we can help make it.

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