I’ll never forget what one church treasurer told me: “Cheap is good. Free is better.” I think she was right!
Here is a list of FREE tools for pastors that will save on your expenses, increase your efficiency, and help you focus more on ministry and less on administration.
1. Tungle.me. This is an online scheduling service that allows others to see your availability. People access your page (mine is tungle.me/benstroup) and suggest a meeting time that works with their schedule. Either you or the other individual can suggest multiple meeting times and let the other party decide what works best for them. No more “back and forth” e-mails trying to settle on the perfect meeting time. Once the meeting it scheduled, it automatically adds it to your native calendar.
2. Dropbox. Throw away your thumb drive…forever! Always be just a click away from your most important, most used files. Every file automatically syncs with your computer and can be accessed from any computer with an internet connection. (If you use this link to sign up, we’ll both get a little extra storage space.)
3. FreeConferenceCall.com. Get a personal, dedicated phone number for up to 99 people to be on the same call with you. No more trying to conference people in with the phone system and accidentally hitting the wrong button only to have to start dialing all over again. Plus, you can record calls for review later.
4. OpenOffice.org. Why are you still paying for Microsoft Office when you can get the same functionality with Open Office? Seriously. The latest version interfaces with Google Docs. A great benefit is that you can save and open files in almost any format.
5. Google Apps. Kill your Exchange Server today. Move your entire church to Google Apps for free. No more having to dial into the server or expensive IT maintenance fees. You’ll still get to keep your domain name (e.g. “@yourchurchname.whatever”), and you’ll gain the power of Google.
I use all of these tools and encourage all my clients to consider them. The life of a pastor is busy. (If you’re a bi-vocational minister, it’s even more chaotic.) It’s crazy not to think about ways to leverage technology to decrease the amount of time you spend on administration so you can do what you do best…ministry.
Save money and do more ministry today!
Do you currently use these tools? Have they been helpful? What would you add to the list?
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