There is no shortage of tech products to accelerate your ministry. But where do you get started?
Here are five steps to streamline your church operation.
Step 1. Take inventory of your technology
Write down all the tech products you currently own or subscribe to. This could take time, but be as thorough as possible.
If you have a small staff, you might do this together. At a larger church, ask the heads of each department or your in-house IT manager to do this for you.
With that list handy, proceed to Step 2.
Step 2. Cut redundancies
You want exactly one solution for each need.
There is no reason to pay two or more companies for tech products that do the same thing. Yet churches do this all the time.
Some common redundancies to look out for include…
- Desktop office software AND cloud-based office subscriptions
- More than one file-sharing service
- Multiple calendar programs
If this is the state of your church operations, then you are regularly wasting time converting files, tracking down documents (possibly working from out-of-date files), and confirming calendar appointments.
Do yourself a favor: Simplify and save money. Settle on just one tech solution for each need.
TIP: A sneaky way for redundancy to creep into your operation is to permit the use of personal technology at work. Don’t do it. Keep work emails, documents, calendars, etc., separate from personal ones.
Establishing these boundaries does more than increase workplace efficiency. It also improves work-life balance and staff morale.
Step 3. Identify slowdowns in your workflow
Think about where you spend a lot of time doing the same thing over and over.
- How often do people call asking about service times and Bible studies?
- How many hours (and people) does it take to count, record, and deposit the weekly collection?
- How long does it take to process registrations for high school retreats, Vacation Bible School, confirmation classes, etc.?
- How hard is it to get all your volunteer leaders together to plan the next church social?
Most of these tasks can be streamlined with a professional phone system, modern website, e-giving, electronic forms, and video conferencing. Do you have these technologies in place?
Step 4. Narrow down priorities
Each church community faces its own challenges, but most can relate to…
- Struggling to provide timely, relevant communication.
- An inordinate amount of time spent addressing the same issues and answering the same questions.
- Giving options that are slow, confusing, and miss out on donations.
Does that sound familiar?
If so, there are two main culprits:
- Your website is old, uninformative, or not designed with the correct audience in mind (i.e., church members and seekers).
- Your mobile app is clunky. Or worse—you don’t have one.
Imagine a more effective ministry.
Ask your ministry team:
- What if you could communicate instantly through a mobile app with push notifications?
- What if people could quickly and easily find routine answers online?
- What if people didn’t have to give in-person with cash or checks?
What would that free you up to do?
Could you launch a new ministry? Provide additional Bible studies? Reach out to visitors or church members you haven’t seen in a while?
Make a ministry wish list.
Step 5. Choose tech solutions that work
You know where you are exerting a lot of energy as a staff. You also know where your current tech falls short in alleviating those needs. Now is the time to choose new solutions that will bring your ministry to the next level.
If you’re like most churches, you could really benefit from an overhauled website and a dynamic mobile app. Make sure that what you choose is simple, easy to use, and backed up by world-class professionals. Don’t get locked into something that’s confusing or could quickly become obsolete.
Remember What Technology Is For
Technology is only useful to the extent that it speeds up work and reduces stress.
As a church leader, you deserve the very best of what technology can offer. Your people deserve and expect the very best, too.
Choose tech solutions that work, and get started on that wish list!