I was talking with one of my colleagues recently, Chris Reeder, who is the executive pastor of a small but quickly growing church, Pee Dee Community Fellowship. The church, which sees about 200 people on weekends but has a paid staff of one (five when you count unpaid staff) doesn’t have a building. When you’ve got a portable church, you’ve got to be quick on your feet, and you have to be ready to problem-solve.
Chris and I were discussing the kinds of tools that churches can use that just make life easier. One that Chris and the folks at Pee Dee Community Church like is Dropbox (and before you ask, ACS Technologies has no relationship with Dropbox).
“Since we’re a mobile church, we used to have to wait for the pastor to show up with his jump drive,” Chris said. “Same thing with our music – we’d be waiting for the worship person to show up on Sunday mornings, hoping we’d get everything set up on time.”
With Dropbox, users can save files – photos, documents, and videos – in folders that can be accessed from Macs, PCs, phones, iPads, or the Web. A basic, 2GB subscription is free, and a few Dropbox accounts and some shared folders have been enough to allow Chris and the staff at his church to share most files without having to worry about the pastor or worship leader arriving late on Sunday morning, files being incompatible, or too-large files from getting clogged up in email.
“It’s a tool that’s helped us out a lot,” Chris said.
In order to use Dropbox, you will have to download a desktop application using the same login wherever you want to use it. I can back up Chris’s experience with Dropbox—I’ve used it for personal items, as well, both with my Mac at home and with my PC at work. Once I installed Dropbox, I could add files to the folder on my hard drive, and they were later available wherever I needed them.
That’s just one idea – what are some other free tools you have unearthed that help you in your ministry?