Technology is a part of life. It can work for you, or you can work for it. This is why selecting and implementing technology requires leadership. Technology has the ability to inform and improve how you connect with people, lead your volunteers, and make disciples.
There are three common mistakes that churches make when looking for new technology. These mistakes can lead to a decision that will only cause more problems.
>> The first mistake — cheaper is better. We wouldn’t put the cheapest roof on our homes, would we? No way. Why? Because it protects our families and our possessions from the elements of nature. The same principle applies to church management software. The right technology will give your church the ability to operate more efficiently and effectively for the long term.
>> The second mistake — if it worked for them, it will work for us. Just because a software solution works well for the church across town doesn’t mean it will do the same for you. Never confuse your preferences or needs with the preferences of others or the needs of another church.
>> The third mistake — let them choose. Often decisions about technology are delegated to others, but this approach doesn’t take into account the impact that these decisions can have on the long-term success of all your different ministries. Yes, Lead Pastors and Executive Pastors, I am talking to you! While you may not directly deal with the day-to-day management of your church software, you set the pace for those who do.
The key to success is found in these 5 principles
- Cast a vision for the staff. You are the leader for a reason. The staff looks to you for direction and vision. Change can be intimidating and uncomfortable, and implementing new technology requires change. Casting a clear vision of how this technology will improve ministry is the first step. If you can’t answer that question, perhaps it’s not the right technology. You don’t have to know all of the ins and outs, but you should have an understanding of how it works in improving your ministry.
- Build a team. If you want to get the most out of your new technology, you should create a network of people to share the responsibility of managing it. Make sure the key players have a stake in the success of the new tools.
- Define success and lead towards it. What are the things your software must do? Set those objectives as expectations for successful implementation. Once everyone is on the same page, be sure you create accountability so that everyone is working toward reaching your goals.
- Chart the course. Implementing change takes time. By having a defined path with measurable and achievable milestones, you can measure your progress. This will establish the processes that will make it successful. Get some small wins early and keep moving in the right direction.
- Clear the obstacles. This is one of the most overlooked roles of a leader. You should be clearing the way for other to succeed. Most of the friction that occurs in ministry can be traced back to processes, not people. Begin by eliminating ministry silos that are preventing your team from getting the most from your technology.
We live in a time when every church should be using technology to equip people and empower ministry. As a church leader, you have a responsibility to set the precedent for how your church is going to steward the resources you have and the people God has brought into your church. Taking the time to focus on these areas will not only improve the overall effectiveness of your church technology, it will ultimately make a tremendous difference in the way your church impacts your community.
How are you setting the pace for how your church leverages technology? How is it working for you?
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