Trial by fire. It happens. It happened to me. I flash all the way back to 1998 when the company I worked for suddenly split. The owner and several investors created a whole new company. I was working in a financial capacity at the company and spent the previous 5 years working in commodities in NYC. I was able to grasp very easily how computers and servers worked as well as networking
But there was so much I didn’t know.
Didn’t matter. I was made to be “the guy” who would take over IT for my company. I had to learn a lot of things and learn fast.
If it ever happens to you or you know somebody it is happening to, this will hopefully help them. It won’t provide all of the answers, but it will provide some assistance on the basics. We’re going to look at it from the angle of a person who is thrown those responsibilities in the midst of a church plant.
The one guy that knows how to boot his PC into safe mode without looking it up, is given the task to head up IT for a church plant.
So what is the first step?
It’s a church plant. Like most church plants there is no building. There is no congregation. There is just a group of people who have put it all on the line to spread the Gospel. But this church needs to get the word out.
So it starts with getting a website.
Note I said “getting” a website. Not designing and building a website. You’re a noob. Let others do the hard work. You can always learn more later.
The first thing you have to do is get that domain name registered. Check out this post from Tom for some tips on choosing a domain name. Great stuff.
As for the site itself, you have a church plant. Chances are you do not have $5000 for a custom designed site. You have to look elsewhere. Thankfully there are resources that can assist church plants where money is tight. There are two ways this can be done.
1. Use a blog – This is as barebones as you can get. WordPress is easy to set up on most web hosting sites (in fact many of them will do it for you). Apply a theme and a church site can be up and running in minutes. Over time it can be customized to appear to be more like a regular website, but this approach can provide some instant exposure, particularly with the SEO strength of WordPress.
2. Use a pay as you go solution – This solution can provide your church with a nice website but at the same time will keep the costs down. Companies like Clover charge $1000 up front and then $20 a month for their flash-based websites. You can see examples here. Another firm that does much of the legwork is Radium 3. For $2000 and then $29 per month, they’ll take a template and customize it to suit your needs. Better yet, they have completely free templates you can use and then pay the $29 per month .
In Part 2 of this series, we’ll discuss acquiring computers for the core team.
[This is part 1 of a 10 part series titled: “So You’re An IT Noob”][image via lastquest]