Whether or not you are one to make New Year’s resolutions, the end of the year is a good time to take stock and think about the year to come.
For church folks (and my non-profit friends,) this might be a good moment to think about some plans for 2016 in the area of technology. With some planning, you can be more effective in your ministry in the new year. Here are a few things you might want to commit to in the new year:
I don’t know of any churches who don’t face budget limitations. Honestly, if your budget isn’t a little tight, you may ask yourself why you aren’t doing more. When the budget it tight, we often cut corners on things that cost us more money in the long run.
Computers are a great example. When we fail to upgrade our computers, we need to calculate the extra soft costs we are incurring with staff and volunteers. If you are fortunate enough to have staff, how much time are they wasting because their computer takes too long to boot or crashes multiple times a day or just works tediously slow? If you consider the fact that you are paying them while they are waiting for their computer to recover, you might realize that a new computer might save you money.
If your volunteers work on computers, do they work well or are they a source of frustration? Good volunteers are hard to find and their time is valuable. It would be tragic to lose a volunteer over their frustration with the computer they are using.
How about the pastor? A fast, up to date machine will give a pastor more time to spend on the million other things that make up her day. Maybe it is time to make sure the pastor has a laptop or iPad so work isn’t always constrained to the office but can be done out in the mission field.
A New Website
I have spoken to a lot of churches who are meaning to get their website updated or meaning to get one started. Now might be the time to make a plan to get one in the new year.
Your church’s website may be the first, or maybe only, impression potential visitors will have of your church. A majority of first-time visitors will visit a church’s website before their physical location. Right now is the time to make this the priority for the coming year.
Rio Texas churches can visit the Media Center online and request a free consultation for getting started with a new website or upgrading a current one. And make sure it is mobile ready. Fewer people are going online on computers and are instead reaching for mobile phones and tablets.
Most churches I know are dealing with attendance issues in one way or another. Either they are struggling with declining attendance, or they are dealing with space issues from increased attendance. Live streaming can help with either or both. Declining attendance, in many of our churches, is a factor of an aging congregation and/or a more mobile congregation. The cost of the necessary equipment and subscriptions to get started is at an all time low. Live streaming is a gift for your homebound members, your members who travel, and it is a great tool for evangelism. We would be glad to help you get started.
On any given Sunday, I carry about zero dollars in cash and not a single check. And I am not alone. There are people who want to give to the church but the church needs to meet them where they are.
Online giving can seem like a big leap for churches who have been handling giving the same way for decades. The process of selecting a platform and provider can also seem a bit daunting. The Media Center has resources to help you make sense of online giving and some tips for getting started.
What other tech pieces might make your church more effective in 2016? I would love to hear from you in the comments below.