Nick B. Nicholaou is president of MBS Inc., based in Huntington Beach, California. In his role with MBS—which stands for Ministry Business Services—Nicholaou has served churches as an IT (Information Technology) consultant and strategist for many years. Since 1987, he has helped churches through a number of IT transitions, and he wrote the forthcoming Christianity Today book Church IT: Strategies and Solutions. I spoke with him about how churches should approach IT.
What common mistakes do churches make when it comes to IT support and personnel?
Church leaders tend to think they need somebody who's a network administrator or engineer, and network engineers are really only needed when you're designing a network or doing major updates to the network, and I mean at the server level and the configuration level.
What they really typically need is a help-desk person, someone who provides basic technological help, who can answer the question, Why can't I print? or Why can't I connect to this webpage? Here's why the difference is significant: engineers communicate very differently than help-desk people. Help-desk people tend to be very patient and much better at supporting folks who are in the church community.