Bryan and Shannon Miles have become good friends. They founded Miles Advisory Group (MAG) to help churches address leadership needs without committing payroll dollars. Churches are benefiting from their bookkeeping services, virtual small groups pastors, and virtual executive assistant services. Most churches will have access to more qualified people working at a higher capacity for an overall lower cost than what they might be able to do on their own. That's my endorsement, so check them out!
Bryan and Shannon recently posted about churches operating in the cloud. Technology is central to how organizations--even churches--operate today. Without a plan or the people to implement, monitor, or measure that plan, your church could put yourself and your data at risk. Because CCB also operates in the cloud, this topic is of particular interest to me. The demand for anywhere, anytime access coupled with the reality that leaders and lay people need to be able to interact with our system quickly and conveniently is naturally moving churches to the cloud.
We are in the third evolution of church management software. The first was a server-based account system with a database for housing contact information and to track contributions. The second generation emerged with a heavy emphasis on connecting but failed to tie it back to the operations of the church. The third generation, the one that I think CCB represents, is a balance between building community for the person in the pew and managing the operations of church for the staff member.
Cloud computing is quickly becoming the new norm, but not only for the church. As correctly pointed on in the comments on the post, popular online retailers and banks have been operating in the cloud for years. We just didn’t know it. As the dependence upon mobile technology grows, churches will be forced to adopt cloud computing when it comes to technology, if they don’t already feel the pressure.
Fewer and fewer churches object to ministry in the cloud. It’s the church who is just coming around to the centrality of the digital space to a younger, emerging demographic in their church and in their community that is struggling to reconcile a new approach to technology, software, and ministry. That’s OK. The cloud isn’t going anywhere.
One day, I’ll get to tell my grandkids that I lived through one of the most significant transformations in ministry as it relates to technology. That blows me away.
What about you? Are you doing ministry in the cloud? For those who have made the move, what’s been your experience?