At 78p.tv, we all have a huge passion for seeing the church embrace technology in creative ways. At my church plant, we have no choice but to do just that because of the minimized financial cost and its completely integrated web applications! It’s been about a year and a half since we planted Missio Dei, and since day one we were heavily invested in Google’s ecosystem. Google+, Google Drive, and Google Hangouts have been invaluable tools in our arsenal. If you’re a mega church or a plant like ours, I think you can easily integrate these Google services into your leadership team.
Google+ is a great place to connect with new people, but it’s also a great place to communicate with your leadership team. It’s as simple as making a private group and inviting your team onto it. From there, make some different posting categories to keep your conversations organized. When we first created our group, we had categories for immediate needs, 501C-3 filings, budget stuff, and some others. Naturally, you can adjust the categories to your liking.
Now, there are some drawbacks to using G+ as a communication platform. For back and forth interactions in a short period of time, G+ gets a little cumbersome. It’s easy to accidentally miss a comment when you’ve got multiple people commenting on the same thread all at once. Fortunately, this can be avoided if you properly use the next Google service I’m going to tell you about!
Hangouts is by far my favorite group messaging client out there. It’s fast, gorgeous, and cross platform. You should have no problem getting your team up and running on Hangouts. It’s great for a quick back-and-forth conversation. We use it for the day-to-day operations of Missio Dei.
Some of my favorite features are the little ones. Hangouts lets you see who is typing, as well as who has seen what parts of the conversation. That way, there’s no excuse when someone doesn’t respond to your question! We’ve even held virtual meetings via the Hangouts video chat feature. It’s easy to use and extremely flexible.
Google Drive is where we keep all of our articles, accounting info, and lesson plans. We even saw TC Johnson’s use case for digital signup forms that use Google Docs and Google Drive. I’ve written about it in the past and we even talked about the mobile application too, so I won’t go into too much detail about all the features, but I’ll fill you in on a few that we find useful at Missio Dei.
We really like the real-time collaboration features of Drive. When we have a meeting, we all take notes simultaneously on the same document, and it makes life way easier then all of us having different copies of notes. It’s also really easy to share documents too. If I create a new document I need the team to check out, all I have to do is copy and paste the link into Hangouts or G+ and they can check it out when they can. It’s fantastic.
All of these services are free to use and cross-platform, so don’t hesitate to give them a try!
Do you think any of these services have a place in your church? Have you ever thought to use them outside of using them personally? Do you have any other creative suggestions on implementing these services for your team?