Some Helpful Online Tools

A while ago I wrote about becoming a Robo-Pastor. In Part 2 of that post I outlined a number of tools, particularly online tools, that can help ministry staff increase their efficiency and effectiveness. I thought I might take this opportunity to add a couple of helpful admin tools to that list. They may not necessarily be helpful in your situation, and they all do different things, but I think they are all tools that are at least worth a look.

Online Tools Logos

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Church Presentations Part 1

Presentations are usually an integral part of the modern church service. Song lyrics, bible verses, liturgy or videos displayed on a projection screen form the basis for many aspects of the service. However, behind the scenes this is often a nightmare to manage. What presentation software do you use? How can you ensure the right content will be on the screen/s at the right time? How do you train people to use it? How do you manage the processes required to collate all the material together? What happens when a guest speaker or presenter turns up last minute with a presentation on a USB Stick (or CD, DVD…)?

Projected Lyrics

But the questions don’t just stop with the technology. The purpose behind presentations is to visually communicate ideas. What does it mean to communicate ideas well? How do you communicate effectively? How do you ensure the technology doesn’t get in the way of the communication, or the other way around?

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The Essential Website

You may have heard the adage, ‘Programmers are tools that convert pizza and coffee into code’. This oft repeated phrase captures the imagination with its humour and apparent truth. It also captures the sentiment of many management types and those outside the developer community. So you could be forgiven for believing that, when the developers of St Barnabas Broadway (some of whom are Open Box Technology employees) were invited for dinner and drinks to discuss the Barneys website, we joined in like lemmings.

However, this sentiment is incorrect. Programmers and developers are not subservient tools that will do the bidding of the puppeteers, we require a good reason to spend time writing code. This is why companies like Google have grandiose mission statements such as “to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful” and motto’s of “don’t be evil”. Without something to believe in, a big vision for something new and better, we do the pizza and coffee part of our adage without any code to show for it.

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The Robo-Pastor Part 2

Robo-Pastor

In Part 1 of our series on the Robo-Pastor I discussed what it looks like to include technology in the life of the ministry staff. It is evident that technology is advancing at a rate that significantly changes workplaces and what is expected from employees. Tasks can be automated or eliminated, reducing the required output from staff. This can lead us to fear for our jobs. This fear is not valid, however, particularly when it comes to clergy. Technologically assisted ministry staff (or Robo-Pastors) have more time to invest in people and the life of the church.

How does this happen? What kind of tools are available for the Robo-Pastor?

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