Collaboration is easier than ever before. A plethora of tools and apps allow church teams to work more effectively, boosting productivity and increasing communication. Tools that help with this are:
1. Google Drive
Google Drive is a comprehensive, cloud-based, collaboration and file management tool. Google Drive syncs your team’s files in the cloud and gives each person the ability to modify or edit from anywhere around the globe. For church staff and pastors always on the go, Google Drive is a life saver.
Google Drive comes with its own collection of apps, including Google’s own version of a word processor, slide creator, and spreadsheet tools. Any team member can create documents and share them with other members on the team. Google Drive keeps all of your team’s information in one place and facilitates collaboration without the hassle of emailing documents back and forth.
Google offers Google Drive and Apps for free to nonprofits who apply for it. (Churches may wish to note, however, that organizations that share their tools via nonprofit programs include several terms a church must abide by. In the case of Google’s terms, organizations are expected to abide by a nondiscrimination clause in hiring/employment practices with regard to sexual orientation and/or gender identity. No exception for religious organizations using Google’s tools currently exists.)
Tools like Buffer help pastors and leaders stay connected to social media, without dominating a great deal of their time. Scheduling a week’s worth of your church’s social media posts takes just a few minutes each day. You can add social media posts to multiple outlets, and Buffer will automatically format and schedule each post for you.
A good task manager helps organize your life and enables you to get things done. There are many task managers on the market but none as powerful or as beautiful as Omnifocus. There is a bit of a learning curve to Omnifocus, but once you get the hang of it, you will wonder how you lived without it. Pretty soon, Omnifocus will be your digital brain as you dump tasks and action items into it. Omnifocus makes it easy to organize and prioritize these tasks so that you never forget what needs to be done.
Planning Center Online (PCO) is a tool designed for churches. Originally designed for planning worship services, PCO has grown into a full suite of apps and tools that largely replace a traditional Church Management System. It is a series of web-based tools with a full collection of mobile apps.
At my church, we use PCO to collaborate in service planning, manage volunteer schedules and communication, and manage our children check-in system. The user interface is beautiful, and the features are powerful, with great customer service to boot.