A More Connected Church

connected-churchVision drives need. Need drives technology. Technology drives budget. This simple truth is needed not only within the AVL industry, but within local churches, where purchasing decisions are often made in a vacuum of vision. Solving today’s issue may be a temporary fix, but ‘band-aids don’t fix bullet holes’ that are left from poor planning and little to no documentation. There’s a trend of churches buying gear two or three times in a row to fix the same problem, and that trend is exacerbated by integrators willing to make a sale in the moment instead of a making a customer for life.

Considering the sales cycle never ends, why are we often so short-sighted? Where’s the eye on repeat sales and referrals from satisfied clients? I’ve written this month’s Trends article in order to help you, the systems integrators, learn how to help churches make wise, consistent technology purchases as part of a bigger plan — a roadmap that follows vision.

I also think there’s something new on the horizon, and it is, surprisingly, my first prediction of 2015 (hey, I don’t fall for the January new-year pressure): there will be a Pastor of Digital Connections. This one is possibly a little bit ‘out there,’ but I think the Internet of Things has far bigger opportunities than personal notifications about the temperature in my fridge, and I think it’s up to AVL manufacturers and systems integrators to innovate with the new digital platforms freely available (hint: that means Open Source, not another proprietary system, please).

What will happen when the connections we take for granted in our personal lives intersect with many people’s ‘third place’ — the church? We need to be the ones imaging the possibilities and reaping the benefits of integrated everything — including the AVL. It’s well past time to stop thinking of churches as a singular venue, and look at the long-reach they have into the lives of their community members. Social media, mobile and IoT have converged for the personal user — why not the organizational user, too?

We may not see a Pastor of Digital Connections, but we will certainly see a more connected church. The question is will it be another market segment missed by the AVL industry?