What is it? The Third Church technology revolution has been underway over the last 3 years since the Technology Team developed a “Technology Roadmap” to guide our journey and to support Third Church’s strategic and long-range goals. Thus far, the team has provided tools for moving to a collaborative, cloud-based, mobile, and flexible work environment. The scope has included networking, software, hardware, audiovisuals, and more.
Hardware highlights include:
- Ran fiber optic cable to connect the 2 main buildings with the internet to decrease costs.
- Installed 9 access points and 3 new network switches to provide high-speed wireless internet access to all areas of the church.
- Deployed 15 new computers and their accessories to the staff. Most are laptop computers which allow staff mobility with their work.
- Installed a Johnston Hall Audio/Visual system, including a large screen, in-ceiling projector and audio system.
Software highlights include:
- Elexio Community – our new Church Management System. All members can access, through a smartphone or computer, the contact directory (including pictures for those who have uploaded them), the church calendar, and their financial giving history.
- Google for Nonprofits – our new email and collaborative document and file management system. All staff, all boards, and most committees are using shared drives and group distribution lists to manage their work.
- Sage-Intacct – our new cloud-based accounting system that is managed by Bonadio, our outside accounting firm.
- Our Website – the new digital “Front-Door” to Third Church. It is mobile-friendly, uncluttered, and easily navigable. It is targeted for those people not familiar with the church.
What are the results? We have a much more digitally interconnected church that can accomplish more, do it more efficiently, and with fewer costs than previously imaginable. The annual operating budget technology spending is only 50% of what it was 3 years ago!
The Tech Team and others have contributed 9,000+ volunteer hours over the last 3 years. They have done all of the hardware work without any outside contracting. That alone has resulted in a cost avoidance of about $45,000. The Tech Team members include Paul Bishop, Clive Daunton, Andrew Elder, Paul Hutkowski, Joe Rossi, Sean Singh, Brad Sparks, Tim Stout, and Robert Veitch, along with the Third Church Staff.
What is next? We are implementing plans to live-stream our Sunday worship! This will allow anyone, anywhere, with internet access, to participate in our worship service. Our roadmap has many more waypoints on it but it does not have a final destination since the world is not slowing down.