Churches today gave access to such a tremendous amount of technology and talent. The times when churches were universally seen as museums full of technological artifacts and shortcomings are fading away.
Now, you can find churches leading the way with video and audio production, sermon graphics comparable to a Marvel movie poster and websites that are far reaching and cutting edge.
With that it has become increasingly easier to get a hold of this technology. Even on small budgets you can find a way. However, simply adding equipment and talent to enhance your ministry is simply not enough. I would even go so far to say that if you stop there it could be crippling.
With each new creative role or technology system you add, complication and potential problems are added right alongside it. While not all issues can be avoided, taking steps to get your technology and your volunteers organized and communicating from the start will save countless hours of rework and lost or nonexistent communication.
As my own church has thrust into a new level of growth, technology and the volunteers to make it all work has to quickly move to a new level as well. I have found in recent weeks 3 tools that can help your teams, whether large or small, stay connected and on point.
Basecamp is a project management tool built for and by graphic designers and web developers. It is one of the most popular solutions for design firms and freelance shops to use in staying connected to their teams and customers.
With calendars for each user, the ability to set project deadlines and milestones, assigned tasks and to-do lists with commenting systems, file and document sharing for fast collaboration – it is no wonder it is so widely used and one of my favorite tools for creative teams.
It is not free, but I have found the time saved to certainly outweigh its cost.
Widely used and well known in the IT space. Though not focused around design this tool will help your IT and technology groups keep an organized system to monitor your technology assets and systems.
A ticketing system has also been integrated into the tool. You can train your church staff and volunteers to push all of their needs and requests to a single point that can be assigned and taken care of.
I have not personally used Spiceworks to date, but I have a feeling it is not far in my future. And I look forward to reporting back on its application as it relates to ministry.
Another tool I have not yet implemented but will certainly be running some demos at the testimony from other church techs.
If you are in a church like ours that has been growing from a very humble beginning into a far more involved technology and production scene on Sundays then you will soon learn, if you have not already, that running and scheduling your services the way you always have just may not work anymore.
With the increase in moving parts and roles on your campus, Planning Center offers a number of services from facilities management to scheduling and running your services on point in the sound booth to the musicians on stage.
In short, as is with most things, the most challenging part of ministry is seldom the “thing” problems but rather the “people” ones. While talent and resources are needed to grow your church technology and design, it may not be enough. A combination of good communication and solid tools may help manage the “people” challenges before they consume you as you grow and expand your church technology.
I plan to kick the tires on Spiceworks and Planning Center Online in the coming weeks/months but I would love to hear any thoughts from those already using these tools – let me know in the comments!