Improving the daily running of things from behind the scenes, the people who work in church technology are the unsung heroes of our congregations. Every lyric sheet shared and audio played are usually down to the organization and understanding of these people and the technology they have access to. We know that there is always room for improvement and that many of the main mistakes are easily avoidable.
From the type of equipment you are investing into the roles assigned within your church, there are many ways to avoid slip-ups and problems. Planning, communication, and quality are critical, and sometimes better organization is all it takes to smooth the running of your church. Read this guide to better understand four of the terrible church technology mistakes that we make – and how to avoid them.
1. Not Delegating Tasks
In a church setting, a single person is often lumped with everything tech. Considered to be an ‘all-rounder,’ they can be blasted with way more work than they can handle. It is also difficult for one person to have a complete and nuanced understanding of all aspects of the church, and task delegation is the answer to avoiding this problem.
Instead of a tech all-rounder, why not employ a church tech leader? Instead of having the responsibility of everything, they will be able to delegate smaller tasks to volunteers and other workers within the church system. Not only will this help everything to run more smoothly, but it will make the church organization process more of a collaborative, team-based effort.
2. Panic Purchases
Instead of panic-buying new equipment when you desperately need it, make a long-term plan to help your decision-making. Holding meetings to discuss what kind of tech improvements you hope to make can mean that you are ready for whatever gets thrown at you. Rank possible purchases on priority and where they sit within the budget, creating a 5-year plan for your reference. We believe Kids Ministry is often neglected in the budget but the main driver for new families coming to your church. Make sure you spend wisely and invest enough money in your Kids Ministry.
If your church software includes in-built accounting, then you are already pretty set – run the numbers, and your church’s tech budget will be displayed. Then, if this budget is insufficient for your needs for that year or the year after, you can address this at a meeting much sooner. Rather than panic buying cheap products, your equipment will be carefully considered. At Playlister we recommend using Apple TVs as a way to distribute your content.
3. Choosing Cheap Over Quality
The main problem that comes with such impulse buying is that these products will generally not last. Buying second-hand or low-quality items, just for the low price tag, will often mean that you are tied into spending more in the long term. Replacement and repair costs can be minimized with state-of-the-art, high-tech purchases that you won’t want to upgrade year after year.
Investing in church technology is crucial, as it is an aspect of the church that absolutely everyone enjoys. Whether it’s streaming the Sunday service online, providing the perfect lighting for a sermon, or simply sharing the correct lyrics to your hymns, technology is the backbone of almost everything. Skip on those stressful times of tech failures by investing in products that will last. Household brands with top quality scores, like Apple, are high quality and user friendly. iPads, iMacs, and Apple TVs are ideal for your staff because they can be counted on for 5-10 years and odd are your folks have already been trained to use them.
4. Communication Is Key
Above all, most problems arise through a lack of communication. When the fundamental role of church technology is placed on the shoulders of one person, issues are communicated less efficiently. The best person to work in the technology department may not have the best interpersonal skills. By sharing this load, group meetings with different church members can provide a space for the crucial budget discussions that some would prefer to avoid.
Use church communication software to improve links between all workers, volunteers, and even congregation members. Set up group chats and easily organize your contact lists into groups, so you can quickly find the right person for the job. A good church management software can also help out your tech team, providing necessary statistics and budget reports.
These software options come in various shapes and sizes, but most will include an in-church instant messaging service. Many have seen the clear link between technology and church growth and would never look back. Simplifying those communication channels will encourage more profound, more quality connections between churchgoers, workers, and volunteers.
Choose to be a part of a community that works together, helps one another, and supports itself. Sharing the load of technology decision-making is essential, as they are decisions that impact the whole church. While some members might prefer to allocate budgets differently, a greater understanding of the importance of investing in that tech purchase will help everyone to see eye-to-eye.
A team where everyone feels seen, heard, and appreciated is a team that will flourish. Investing in your church means investing in your people, and we know that it’s worth it. Log your church technology ideas in a long-term plan, and refer back to it whenever you purchase. There will be no surprises this way, and your technology team will run smoothly, with fewer bumps in the road.