Technology is an incredible tool that, if used well, will save time, money, and manpower. In other words, these savings mean more time, money, and manpower for meaningful ministry.
But it is not just how you use technology. You must also be wise in how you choose technology.
So how do you choose wisely?
The short answer is time, research, and prayer.
To help with research, ACTIVE Faith has provided below several tips for choosing technology as well as a free checklist on Questions You Should Ask Every Church Management Software Provider about Data Transitioning.
(1) There’s No Silver Bullet
There is no perfect product that is right for all churches. In fact, there may not even be one product that has all the features that your church wants. This is a common pitfall.
Don’t expect the perfect product. Rather identify the most important features to your church, focus on them, and don’t get distracted by flashy features.
(2) Buy for Your Future
Buying for today may not help you tomorrow. When evaluating a tech product, ask yourself:
- Is it built to scale with your growth?
- Is it capable of giving you the advanced features you will want once you get past the learning curve of its basic features?
- Is it built on a platform that allows other types of technology to connect to it, which creates expanded functionality for your database?
- Is its reputation and scope such that other companies want to build on its platform?
(3) Determine Your Ease vs. Power Balance
Do you want software that’s easy to use or that’s powerful? While this isn’t a pure either/or choice, it is important to realize you cannot get both robust and super simple in the same package.
Robust software can do more but comes with an unavoidable learning curve that is much longer. Simple software is easy to use and learn but equally limited in its functionality. So would you rather be frustrated by complexity or limitations?
Be wary of products claiming to offer both simplicity and robustness.
(4) Ask the Right Questions
Be sure you know what questions to ask when comparing software options. ACTIVE Faith is offering a free checklist of 12 questions to ask church management software providers on the topic of transitioning your data into a new system.
Compare more than just the obvious features. Investigate how technologies vary in their uptime, security, and cloud-based datacenters. This free checklist will guide you through those more complex questions.
Lastly, don’t forget to pray.
Ideally, you’ve already heightened your sensitivity to the leading of the Holy Spirit by investing adequate time abiding in Christ. That is, you are regularly spending time one-on-one with God and delighting in Him through prayer, worship, and Scripture. If you’re at this place, then praying about technology choices and hearing God’s leading will be much easier.
If you aren’t there yet spiritually, don’t become discouraged. You can still pray about these choices, but starting today, also start abiding in Christ more, so that you can better sense the Holy Spirit’s guidance when you need it in the future.
In recap, spend your time in prayer and researching the facts. Don’t get distracted by marketing hype or unneeded slick features. And do not procrastinate.