It’s been a while since I’ve ranted and raved about how awesome Google can be for your church. Since then, We’ve integrated some new Google services and products to our arsenal that have proven to be great allies with the added bonus of being cost effective. Stay tuned to learn about how to upgrade your church to Google V 2.0
Ever since Jeremy’s post on using Chromecast in the church, I’ve been hard at work trying to find ways the Chromecast could fit in to our church service. A few weeks ago, I was finally able to justify it, and it’s amazing.
We were taking a look at how we could redo our announcements segment of the service. From a leader’s perspective, announcements are the things we hate to do in a service, but have to do. Without them, the average attender or newcomer simply won’t know what’s going on with us outside our four walls. So, one of our deacons recommended creating a slideshow with our events looping on a monitor in the back of our “sanctuary” (read: room. Church plant remember?). One of our members donated a monitor he wasn’t using, we grabbed a Chromebook, made a presentation in Google Drive, and viola! Cheap ($35), easy, effective communication to our church. #winning
A quick note on this point: Auto-looping a Drive presentation is hidden in the settings. Go to File > Publish to web. From there select the amount of time per slide and you’re done. Copy the link provided into a new window and save it to your bookmarks and you’re done! As you update the original presentation doc, the link will auto update with the new info so you don’t have to do anything extra after you make changes.
If you don’t have an extra laptop or workstation to present from, consider what we did and purchase a Chromebook. Recently our teaching pastor (my brother) witnessed the slow death of his laptop. Needless to say, his life shut down for a few days. As the elder overseeing our communications and technology, I recommended the church front the cost for a Chromebook. He picked one up that afternoon and got back to work instantly. And Missio Dei already uses Google Drive for everything, he had all his documents accessible from the get go.
Not wanting to be outdone, I picked one up for myself for school, and I have to say it’s incredibly useful. But what about all the programs on my desktop or laptop that I’ll need to use? Google’s Remote Desktop Chrome extension is a powerhouse. The lag is practically nonexistent. So far, I’ve been able to use it to access files on my desktop, as well as edit images in Adobe Illustrator all from my Chromebook. I see no reason why pastors wouldn’t be able to remotely access their Bible software through this feature as well.
With Chromecasts priced at under $35, and Chromebooks ranging from $200-$350, you should be able to meet a ton of tech needs in a short amount of time. Both of these products are available at Best Buy and other physical retailers. I would imagine the hardest part would be obtaining purchase approval, but thankfully that’s a very short process at Missio Dei (“Hey guys, I think we need this.” “Okay, let’s get it done!” Church plant, remember!).
Now it’s your turn! What are your success stories with these technologies, both in your home and at your church? Can you think of other creative ways to use Chromecasts and Chromebooks to serve your local body? Let us know in the comments below, or anywhere that sells social media!