Saturday, May 8, 2010

While I Am At It...

...on the subject of computers...

faith-based institutions such as churches should plan for computer upgrades just like a hospital, private company of any type, library, or other institution.

Computer upgrades should happen every two to four years (two is probably not attainable for most and in many situations would be overkill), and this should be a planned budget item. One way to do this is to plan to buy one to two computers or upgrades per year, and replace the computers (or significantly upgrade them) on a rotating basis. The alternative, of course, is to build a fund that is used in significant amounts every two to four years when everyone's computers are upgraded at one time. The advantage of the former is that it provides a litle flexibility if someone's computer fails before the two to four year mark is reached...they can simply get a boost in line for the upgrade. That said, emergency money for computer fixes and unexpected replacements should be possible.

I am a big advocate of laptops, tablets (if personally preferred), or convertibles instead of PCs for members of professional ministries, who tend to spend their days in meetings and on the road.  These are also people who tend to have home offices in addition to whatever office spaces they use in their congregational facility.  I would like to see faith based organizations expect to pay the sometimes slightly higher cost of laptops, and in cases where *presence* is being emphasized among leadership, convertibles.

Lay leaders, check your church budgets. Is there a plan? If not, can you advocate for one in the next budget cycle?

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