There hasn’t been a time in history the Church has had this much tech at its disposal. We have many platforms, tools, and solutions for similar problems. Each with a different approach and options. Each hardware and software options, come with solutions and challenges.
The first conundrum is choice. “What tech to use? What is the most cost-effective?” Some of the questions present challenges. One challenge that could bog us down is being ‘locked in’. Going with a solution or combination of solutions, could have us stuck, and every solution has its limitations.
You know when you get a console that only works with certain hardware? Or you have a Windows setup and the best solution you can find is on macOS? You know when your setup is ProPresenter on macOS, and a visiting speaker shows up with a PowerPoint from the 90s on a USB? Or a video in .wmv embedded? How easy would it be for you to run your service and make everything work?
(Though I prefer Apple, I can’t handle another, “Our church is Apple-stolic”, brag-joke. I’ve heard it five too many times.)
We see this play out often: a new church tech solution comes on the scene. Their marketing and/or product is good and then, poof. In an instant they’ve come and gone. You might have experienced this. You update your operating system then discover software you’ve been using stops working. The reason: the developers stopped working on it for different reasons.
More Than “Plan B”
Like I’ve intimated, creating a system that works for your church is only part of the solution. The other is, at the very least, Plan B.
Plan B is about addressing failure within a particular system or tool. This could be as simple as booting up another computer or going with an acoustic set. It might mean having to use OpenSong instead of Easyworship.
More than that, there will be times your church needs to function on more than one platform at the same time. This applies to both hardware and software. Sometimes you might need to get Windoze, I mean Windows and Linux, playing together.
While some of the scenarios I’ve mentioned are rare, it’s good to prepare for them. Not doing so could cripple your church at the most inconvenient time. There’s a reason you do fire drills.
You don’t need insurance until you do.
How To Multi-Platform Proof Your Church
Of course, this isn’t a comprehensive list or strategy, but it might help.
With software, for example, get software that runs on more than one operating system. This means a less steep learning curve or disruption when you need to switch it up.
Whether for lighting, video etc., remember to check how well the gear plays with other brands. Sometimes manufacturers will prefer you to buy their other products and/or they might not do a good job when it comes to compatibility.
Church tech teams often get caught off guard when they get lulled into complacency by a working system. When things break, or stop working, they go into a frantic tailspin in search of alternatives. Don’t be that crew.
Always set aside time to research trends and developments. Build relationships with and visit other churches in your city. Sharing ideas has great Kingdom value, builds unity, and could save resources.
In The End
Remember that not everything will always work as planned. You know that. Every now and then, freak events sometimes demand ingenuity. Sometimes stuff happens, so make sure when it does, the mission of your church isn’t crippled. After all, tech is supposed to solve problems and enable it.
Your church needs to be fluent in multiple tools and solutions (Click to Tweet)