For many churches and missions organizations, it’s budget season!
I know, that’s a weird thing to get excited for, but when it comes to ministry enablement these days, it’s the most strategic time of year. I won’t go into a full budget here, but depending on your ministry goals, the full IT spend for equipment, software, and support in 2023, I would expect to be between $100 and $250 per month for each employee. That’s $1,200 to $3,000 annually for each employee. Given inflation and supply chain issues, don’t be conservative this year.
That being said, let’s look at a few high return on investment (ROI) expenses that could really boost your church… and when we say “investment” here, we need to mean that. It’s not about “well, we just need to be able to use Word so we can print bulletins because people like bulletins,” it’s about doing the things better that make disciples.
Church Management System (ChMS)
Your church management system (ChMS) is more than just a database, it should be a system that’s helping you welcome newcomers, detect when people drop out, and put people onto established discipleship pathways.
I’m always shocked by how few churches use video messaging platforms considering how simple they are to use and what a massive positive experience they are for the recipients of a video message. 🤷
That church management system should be able to talk to other systems you use. For example, if a visitor gets added to the ChMS, then a video task should show up as assigned in the video messaging app so you can just click it, say hi, and let it send.
Just because they work for free doesn’t mean you shouldn’t spend on equipping them. Church volunteers, especially key ones, are great use cases for discounted Microsoft 365 frontline licenses. Remember, you can’t use donated licenses for volunteers, but you can use heavily discounted ones for them.
Many people think outsourcing is expensive, but for the average church it’s usually a massive ROI compared to internal hires. IT, graphic design, accounting/bookkeeping, media, and writing copy are areas where it makes sense to have a specialist who is working for many churches at scale and has established processes to handle that need at scale. For example, my company handles IT for churches, it’s almost impossible to get a better ROI from a hire until you have at least 50 full-time staff, and even then, it still might not be a better ROI until well over 100 full-time staff.
Happy budgeting season!