When Bill Davis proposed giving his church a computer, everyone was ecstatic. The trustees, the financial secretary, the treasurer, the Sunday school superintendent, and the office secretary-not to mention the pastor-looked forward to entering the computer age. The computer would help them save time and energy, and make their ministries more effective.
A few months later, the computer sits to one side in the church office, largely unused.
This story, though hypothetical, fairly represents many situations I've seen as a consultant offering computer services to churches and other nonprofit organizations. In their eagerness to become computerized, some churches have not examined closely the obstacles they'll need to overcome before a computer will genuinely help them.
Here are four "bugs" that I've found need to be worked out of the system.
Determining what the computer will do
Acquiring a computer is a simple, three-step process:
1. determine what you want a computer to accomplish;
2. find the ...1