As technology becomes more vital to the church world each day, communication within the church organization is critical.
Not only is there plenty going on but the people who need quick access to their important services, like email, calendaring, and documents are also on the go. Many churches do not have the resources to employ a full time IT staff and churches could cause volunteer burnout if those loyal servants are constantly having to do tech support.
There is a solution for that. It is Google Apps.
Google Apps is “cloud computing.” Rather than having all of your data stored on a server within your organization, it’s all located on Google’s own scalable server environment. Google Apps includes email, calendaring, document sharing, intranet websites, instant messaging, video and groups.
Essentially it’s a complete package.
Below are 10 reasons why you should consider making the switch:
1. Cost – It’s free. That’s right. Free. Churches and non-profits with less than 3,000 users qualify for the education edition of Google Apps which has no cost. This comes with Google’s own support which is also free.
2. Easy access – You can access your email, calendar or documents from any computer with an Internet connection. You can also have your email and calendar synced with your mobile device.
3. Free up IT – Whether you have IT staff or just volunteers, this frees them up to do other work and projects.
4. Calendar Sharing – One of the most difficult aspect of church communication is the inability for people to see what others in their organization are doing. By having access to shared calendars, everybody can see what others are doing. This reduces unnecessary email communication and phone calls.
5. Google Docs – Fully compatible with Microsoft Office, Google Docs allows for the organization to store and share documents on Google servers instead of a local server (or desktop/notebook computers). This also allows the church to share documents with their congregation. Google Docs has easy ways of creating online forms that can be used for church functions, ministries, small groups, etc.
6. Ease of Deployment – They walk you through the entire process and it is easy to set up.
7. Cross Platform Capability – Your lead pastor has a Dell Latitude and uses Outlook. Your worship pastor has a Mac and uses Apple Mail and iCal. Not a problem. Google Apps can do two-way sync with both platforms.
8. Synchronization – You have a desktop at your office with Microsoft Outlook and another at home with the same, but you’re connecting using POP. Emails you read and respond to at home, don’t sync to your computer at the office. With Google Apps, you can have it all synced. Whether you access it from Outlook at home or at the office, through your mobile device or on the web at an Internet cafe, all of your info is synced.
9. Saves Time – You’ll spend less time trying to get everybody on the same page with information and more time working on your various church ministries.
10. It’s Free. – Did I mention that already? I did. But it is worth mentioning again.