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Posted by on in personal productivity | 9 comments

11 FREE Online Collaboration Tools for Church Leaders

11 FREE Online Collaboration Tools for Church Leaders

We know that a huge part of leading in a church is keeping your people up to date on what is happening and gaining their input. Getting your team into the same room isn’t always possible but it doesn’t mean you need to sacrifice keeping everyone on the same page. People are used to working with online tools that are designed to help keep teams working together even if you can’t be in the same room all the time! Here are a number of FREE tools that you should explore using with your team:

  • SkypeIt’s been around forever but it has stood the test of time! Video conferencing that most people have used at some point and is pretty straight forward to use. Did you know that you can have as many as 25 people on a skype call at a time?
    • Need to interview a number of potential volunteers for your kids ministry? Rather than spending days driving around from place to place … set up an evening of skype calls with people.
  • DropboxImagine if you could share a folder on your computer that would automatically sync with other people on your team? That’s Dropbox. Perfect for sharing big files across multiple people.
    • Set up a series of folders for each weekend at your church … each of the team members who are contributing slides, videos or graphics can put their stuff into the folder on their computer … then it will automatically sync with the computer that runs it all during your services.
  • OneDriveMicrosoft’s answer to Dropbox … with a few more features added in to give you control over who uses what files. If your church is totally in the “Microsoft” space this is a great tool.
    • When your next missions trip gets back from the field share a folder of everyone’s best photos … as people upload them then everyone will have each others pictures!
  • Co-opAn online messaging collaboration space sort of like the original twitter look and feel. A clean interface for keeping people pointed in the same direction. Great for tracking together with a team working on a similar project.
    • Next time you plan a retreat for the youth group … use this tool to track the progress and conversation with the various team members.
  • WebExWant to hold an online meeting with 2-3 people at your church? Webex allows you to share your screen or even a common online whiteboard.
    • Hold a quick “pre-weekend” call with some volunteer leaders. Share your desktop to show them what’s happening and use the whiteboard to work out some of the logistics.
  • Prezi: Prezi is sort of like a fancy powerpoint that multiple people can edit at the same time. Give people their sections of the presentation to edit and allow them to make up their own slides.
    • Have multiple people presenting at an upcoming board meeting? Give them access to the same Prezi file and ask them to add their slides.
  • Join.meA really straight forward screen sharing tool that also includes the ability to connect all your people via audio for free. Perfect if you are having an online meeting with people who are on the road or not always in the same room.
    • Host a post-weekend evaluation call with your team and show them photos from the service to talk through how they can improve for the next weekend!
  • Mind42: Online mind-mapping tool … perfect for teams to brainstorm for upcoming projects. Get people’s input on an idea start up a mind-map and pass it around via email to everyone on your team.
    • Trying to come up with ways to show appreciation to your volunteers? Brainstorm a few ideas on a mindmap and then email it around to the rest of your team to add their ideas.
  • YouVersion: The leading online Bible app also have some great collaboration features built right in. Great for keeping your team on a spiritual journey together. 
    • Build a custom reading list that lines up with your weekend services so your core volunteers and leaders and can reading through what you will be preaching on each weekend.
  • WeVideo: Online video editing that allows multiple people to log into the same video project and work on it from anywhere.
    • At your next community service project have multiple team members take video with their smart phones and then upload it to a common video project. Assign someone to pull together the various pieces into a quick highlight video to upload to Facebook.
  • Google: It probably goes without saying that Google has a lot of free collaboration tools that you should be using at your church. In fact … the “Google Suite” should be the core of your church’s online collaboration. Here are few to highlight that are particularly good for churches looking to work together online: GmailGoogle AlertsGoogle AnalyticsGoogle Apps for BusinessGoogle CalendarGoogle HangoutsGoogle Insights, and Google Talk.

What did I miss? What are you using at your church to collaborate with your team? We’d love to hear about it in the comments section.


9 Comments

  1. As a church communications consultant, we do a LOT of communicating and a lot of tasks can fall between the cracks if not well managed.

    You can use Producteev as a task management solution to work efficiently between staff and volunteers. Do try it out.

  2. We’ve used basecamp for task management. Not free, but worth the few dollars to keep everyone on task in a project.

    • Darrell – thanks for dropping in!

      Basecamp is fantastic … another alternative is https://asana.com

      – Rich

  3. We use Google Drive to share our files. Since most of us use Android phones and tablets it’s very convenient.

    • I love the entire Google Suite … so great!

      – Rich

  4. Slack is unbelievably awesome. Gets your work communication out of the rest of your life and makes it so easy to track, archive and have discussions. I blogged about it back in June.

    Link here: slack.com

    Post here: bit.ly/1nhoG2c

  5. Hi! I absolutely love this site as it is now one of my favorite “go-to” and “how-to” sites. So, I used these 2 FREE tools at work and will start using them with my team at church. http://www.agreeAdate.com is the best FREE online meeting software ever. When I need to schedule a large group of folks to meet, this site makes my life so much easier. http://www.Trello.com is another site that I absolutely love and it is FREE. Our team is able to assign and track tasks using the board system. Boards are labeled “To Do”, “Doing”, “Done”. You can keep your on personal boards track or share boards to task others and track as well. Hope you find them as useful as I have. Kindest regards, Jenn

  6. Connectik has an awesome solution customized for churches & ministries. Some of the advanced features include Project Analytics, the ability to create and collect Team Polls. It also has a smart feature that Matches Profile information to recommend team members who could be an asset to your particular team or project.

    Link: http://bit.ly/1HsJwIU

    Hope this helps!

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