Why Technology is a Senior Leadership Decision

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

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. Clear the obstacles. This is one of the most overlooked roles of a leader.  You should be clearing the way for other to succeedMost 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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Steve Caton

Steve Caton

Steve Caton is part of the Leadership Team at Church Community Builder. He leverages a unique background in technology, fundraising and church leadership to help local churches decentralize their processes and equip their people to be disciple makers. Steve is a contributing author on a number of websites, including the Vision Room, ChurchTech Today, Innovate for Jesus and the popular Church Community Builder Blog. He also co-wrote the eBook “Getting Disciple Making Right”. While technology is what Steve does on a daily basis, impacting and influencing the local church is what really matters to him……as well as enjoying deep Colorado powder with his wife and two sons!

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comment_post_ID); ?> Thank you for sharing such a good article. It is a great lesson I learned from this article. I am one of the leaders in Emmanuel united church of Ethiopia (A denomination with more-than 780 local churches through out the country). I am preparing a presentation on succession planning for local church leaders. It will help me for preparation If you send me more resources and recommend me books to read on the topic. I hope we may collaborate in advancing leadership capacity of our church. God Bless You and Your Ministry.
— Argaw Alemu
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— Scott Michael Whitley
comment_post_ID); ?> Thank you so Much for this great article. It has open my eyes on where we have faltered and the things we need to work on. God can never indeed be the problem. It's us.
— Bertille

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