Church Tech Versus Budget
It doesn’t matter what size church you attend, you deal with a budget. You might go to a smaller church that has no full time staff, meets in a little room that is possibly rented, and has to watch every single dollar that comes in and out of the ministry. On the other hand, you might be part of a mega church that has millions of dollars that is meticulously planned and budgeted for. The more likely scenario is that you are somewhere between these two. No matter what size church you attend, we all have to deal with budgets to best use the resources the Lord has provided. This is not always an easy task and can lead to major amounts of frustration and anxiety. I personally deal with church budgets every day, both from running a church technology company and from serving with the financial team at my home church. Let me give you a few pieces of advice from my experience in this area.
The first thing to remember is we are all on the same team. For some reason, when we as adults don’t get our way or exactly what we want from a church decision, we turn into children and want to complain and cry about it. When presenting ideas for improving or fixing the tech in your church, go in prepared with your reasoning for the change, a general cost for the equipment or project, and most importantly with an open mind for other opinions and options. Your church family is not out to get you and working together to further worship should be the number one goal of everyone involved.
Use current gear. I walk into churches all the time with thousands of dollars in gear laying in closets and not being used. Yet, they are wanting to spend money on newer equipment that they already have. Do an inventory of what options you have laying around so that you can utilize everything you have already spent money on. If you have a ton of tech that no longer applies to your application, sell it! There are tons of churches out there that are in need of what you have laying around not using. There are many online sales websites or local avenues in order to make a little money or even donate to the right cause. This will be noticed by church decision makers and when you actually do need new gear, they will be a lot more open and understanding.
When the time comes to start looking for new equipment, shop the deals. Companies like mine (www.howtechnology.com) have specific discounts for churches and ministries. Call these companies for direction and ask for the best deal they can give you. Obviously, these are businesses and have to make profits to stay alive, but you can still find incredible deals away from regular retail locations and big website companies.
When it comes to installing new systems or changing your current set-up, only use professionals. Wait wait wait…. in an article about budgeting and saving money with church tech I am saying you need to spend more money in this area? Yes. Too often people get in over their head trying to do-it-yourself or hiring someone that doesn’t know what they are doing to try to save money. I promise you will end up spending more money trying to fix things and deal with problems over and over than you would have if you just did it right from the beginning. It is much smarter to wait, save money, fundraise, or find other avenues of budgeting for the project and use a professional company you trust.
The most important question to ask yourself and your team is, “Why are you doing this?” Making sure you have the most state of the art worship center? Cooler worship space than the church up the road? Wanting the best “tech toys” to play with each Sunday? Hopefully, it is
always the goal of your tech team and church family to best utilize your space and equipment to create an environment of distraction free worship. Make sure your heart is in the right place when evaluating your church’s tech ministry. Coming from someone who owns a church technology company, no light, speaker, projector, microphone, or any other equipment will ever save someone from an eternity in hell. That is only found in the one we worship, not what we worship with.
For more resources for your church technology, visit us at www.howtechnology.com.