Churches need to be vigilant about how they steward their resources, including their church tech. Sometimes that means saying no to good ideas so that they can afford to say yes to great ideas. But it can also create some hesitancy over deciding when is the best time to upgrade their current technology.
We put together this list of four signs that it’s time to bite the bullet and make that church tech upgrade.
1. The church tech no longer works the way it was intended
This seems like a no-brainer, but it isn’t. A lot of churches hobble along with equipment and software that’s no longer in working order—whether it’s a presentation software that’s unreliable and glitchy or a mixer that cuts in and out. Because they can get it to work “well enough” they sink a lot of time into making do with a faulty tool.
Sometimes church tech can be repaired or fixed. If you know someone in your congregation with the requisite skills, that’s great! You can also send the item in for repairs, but you still need to weigh the cost of one-time (or constant) repairs against the cost of replacing the item.
2. An upgrade in church tech would save you time
Stewardship is about a lot more than avoiding purchases. It’s about placing an appropriate value on every element in your organization. The money you save by not upgrading might not outweigh the cost of maintaining old technology.
For example, let’s say you have an old, complex website that only a highly tech-savvy member of your congregation can update and modify. When you consider upgrading to a new website, you can’t limit your decision to price. You also need to consider how much time you could save by moving to an easier-to-use platform.
What you “save” by putting off an upgrade might cost you in time-wasting labor.
3. New versions of your current tech are available
Some of the hardware your church uses operates on internal software systems called firmware. Without this firmware, your soundboard, projector, or even your parking lot lights wouldn’t work.
A lot of firmware is static. You’ll probably never have a reason to update the firmware in your furnace or coffee maker, but other things have firmware that gets regular updates. These updates fix bugs and give your hardware new functionality. Sometimes these upgrades are free, sometimes not. It’s typically wise to upgrade either way. Many manufacturers won’t service products if the firmware falls too far out of date.
Software providers frequently release new versions of their products, and there’s usually a cost associated with upgrading to the newest version. If you love the current iteration of the software, take a good look at how you might benefit from upgrading to the latest version.
4. When you’re caught in a time warp
Imagine if you handed your credit card to a grocery store clerk and she reached for a pen and some credit-card carbon paper and began writing down your information. You’d be taken aback, right? She might assure you that this method works fine. In fact, she might even have a good reason why she’s against credit card readers. But knowing that it’s a waste of time and puts your security at risk, you’d probably never return.
When people have similar experiences at your church, that’s a good sign that it’s time to upgrade.
Take, for example, the way churches collect funds. The average person that shows up in your church has very little cash on them, and no checks. When you hand them a plate for their offering, they have nothing to put on it. If you’re not prioritizing a mobile giving solution like Pushpay, you’re hurting your bottom line—and potentially alienating people who have moved into the 21st century.
This doesn’t mean you need to upgrade everything in order to keep up with the latest trends. You’re not necessarily expected to upgrade your entire worship hardware and software to accommodate style changes.
Rather, you want to focus on those areas where you might be expecting visitors to climb backward over a technological hurdle that makes little sense to them.
Know when it pays to upgrade
Your technology is intended to make life easier. If it’s not, it might be time to seriously consider upgrading. The time that is saved working with (or on) outdated tools can pay for the upgrade over time.
You might want to consider other tools that can help you and your team get even more productive. We’ve created a free ebook entitled Top 10 Tech Tools for Your Church, which will help you discover the must-have tools to help increase your productivity and grow your church!