Tools to Help Church Staff and Volunteers Working Remotely

Posted by Tim Aderman on March 24, 2020

In the midst of the COVID-19 outbreak, many churches are navigating the challenges of working remotely for the first time.

As a fully remote company, we realize that working remotely can be tough at times. 

We want to share with you a few tools that we find helpful, all of which offer free options.  

 

SLACK

Communication is critical when you’re not working down the hall from your team.

One of the tools we use to ensure our team feels connected is Slack.

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Slack is an easy to use messaging tool that lets you organize conversations, share files, do video calls, and much more.

Conversations can be grouped together in “channels” making it easier to follow than an email chain, and you can easily search your conversations to find something important later on. 

For us, Slack’s a game-changer.

It allows us to stay connected, and get answers to questions faster. Plus, it’s fun!

You can comment or react to a post using emojis and post animated gifs to keep smiles on everyones’ faces.

Depending on your church size and needs, they have pricing options that start at free!

Ways you might use it:

  • Share files and/or pictures with your staff
  • Create conversation channels for:
    • Prayer requests
    • Individual projects
    • Small groups
    • Weekend service updates

Zoom

As a remote company, we use Zoom for both one-to-one and group video calls.

It’s a powerful tool that helps us feel like we’re in the same room together.

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There’s something impactful about jumping into a quick Zoom video call and talking through something rather than typing an email back and forth.

One of the ways we love to use Zoom is for screen sharing.

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It’s often easier to show something on our screen rather than trying to explain it over the phone.

We would recommend someone on your staff start using Zoom first and then send an email to your team with directions on how to install, set up, and launch Zoom.

From there, do a quick training with your team over Zoom to help them become familiar with the interface. 

Ways you might use it:

  • Morning church staff prayer/devotional time
  • One-on-one calls with church attendees
  • Host a game or ice breaker to have some fun
  • Weekly church staff meetings
  • Collaborate in real time on projects 

Google Drive

At Breeze, we use the full Google Suite (G Suite) of apps, including Docs, Sheets, Slides, Gmail, Calendar, and Drive.

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Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides are great alternatives to Microsoft Office and can be much more affordable.

In many cases, churches are able to take advantage of Google’s suite of programs for free by signing up for a Google for Nonprofits account.

If you have existing Microsoft Word, Excel, or PowerPoint files, G Suite allows you to easily convert them and edit them using the comparable Google program.

With each program, you can collaborate on documents, making it helpful to share edits, comments, and feedback. 

With Drive, in addition to automatically storing all of your Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides, you can upload other files to access from anywhere and then share them with other team members as needed. 

Ways you might use it:

  • Lower or eliminate costs from other tools like Microsoft Office
  • Collaborate on service planning documents
  • Share pictures and/or files with other church staff

Wrap Up

Technology is critical in helping teams feel connected and engaged when they can’t meet in person.

It can also be a powerful tool to help church attendees build community outside of the church building.

If your church is using other tools to help navigate the challenges of working remotely for the first time, we’d love to hear about them. Share them in the comments below.

Topics: Advice

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I cannot say enough about Breeze. Their customer service is so friendly, you feel like you have friends and family helping you get started, they're prompt to reply and will do whatever they can to help you get things sorted out. It's been so easy to learn, our staff is loving it and best of all even our staff who are not computer savvy find it a breeze (pun intended). We are just thrilled by our choice.

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Ellel Ministries Canada