The necessity of technology in church management has led to the dilemma of how to handle IT services. It is now easier for churches to manage donations, schedule meetings, manage their member database, transcribe messages and make travel arrangements. However, the dilemma remains whether to outsource or keep your IT management in-house.
Knowing your God-given abilities will help you understand what to outsource and what to keep in-house. It is tempting to want to do everything yourself, but for your church to have a significant impact, you need help with the things you cannot do. The key is to balance what you keep in-house and what you outsource. This article outlines five factors to keep in mind as you solve your dilemma.
Automating tasks requires the use of software to manage your information, and this comes at a price. If you are a small church, you may not be able to afford the cost of using some of the more expensive services that require a technical level of service, so outsourcing your tasks may be a better option. Managing IT in-house will need staff members to operate and maintain the software. A large church may have the financial means to hire staff to operate the IT services necessary to function, whereas a smaller church may not have the financial resources to get the same results.
If your budget is strained, you can hire a freelancer to help you with tasks when you need help. A virtual assistant can help you organize your administration tasks. You can also make use of online cloud services that can host your information or database for an affordable fee.
God has called us to be good stewards of the time He has given us. As a church leader, God does not expect you to do everything but to make a wise choice in hiring a helping hand. Technical tasks that take a lot time to complete are good candidates for outsourcing. These include Social Media profile management, marketing campaigns, creating email templates and designing forms, to name a few. You can manage updating your member database or volunteer management in-house.
If you want your church staff to perform tasks instead of outsourcing, you can make use of free or affordable online services that your team can manage. For example, you can use a service that lets you schedule Social Media posts or email marketing campaigns and have one of your staff manage the activity. This way, your team can handle the work efficiently, and you still save time.
Quality of service delivery is crucial for a church. Technology has made it easy for churches to maintain high-quality standards in their activities. Quality is reflected in the speed of service delivery, brand consistency, the voice or tone of your messages, and your unique style of operation.
If you desire a high level of quality, which takes a while for one to master, you may opt to keep your technology-based tasks in-house. For example, you could be very particular about the tone of your Social Media or blog posts, which an outsider will take a while to understand. You may want your videos or audios delivered a specific way, so if you do it yourself, you can get it done the way you like it. If you out-source that task, you need to be clear on your requirements to the outsourced staff.
If you have quality standards that you can easily explain to outsiders, you can outsource your tasks with a set of instructions. Train your freelancers, part-time employees, or volunteers on your quality requirements and provide them with documentation where necessary.
#4 Technical Tasks
You may have time to perform many tasks, but the lack of a high level of skill to complete some of them becomes a hindrance. You do not have all the skills to do everything that needs attention in your church. Some complex tasks that require technical help include bookkeeping, publishing online content, video editing, or maintaining a website.
If you are a small church, you may not be able to afford to hire highly skilled staff. Therefore, those you assign to specific tasks may not handle the technical tasks well. Here, you can outsource to experts who can help you when you need their services. Outsourcing will enable you to make use of different experts who will help your church grow.
A larger church may be able to afford to hire staff that is highly skilled because they have the budget and capacity to do so, however, outsourcing those services may still be best done by someone who is outsourced and has a higher level of ability to do the work.
#5 Sensitive Information
Churches have sensitive data that must be secure at all times. Any breach in security could severely harm individuals in your church and cause massive damage to the church's reputation. The details of your donors and financial supporters and the amounts they give is highly confidential information. Using a trusted and reputable IT company to help manage this information is a must.
In closing, an IT consultant can help you determine which tasks to outsource and which to keep in-house if you’re not sure. MinistryCraft has been in business for 20 years and is a trusted source for evaluation and IT solutions. Give us a call today at (682) 233-5745 so we can free you up to do more ministry.