Free Church Technology for Small Churches
God may bless his people with an abundance that comes from simply showing up with loaves and fishes, but for ministry leaders, getting everything done can feel impossible at times. Often, it feels like the devil really does show up in the details to make everything harder than it has to be. One way to combat that issue and redeem some time is to use free tech for small churches.
DonorWERX is in the business of making ministry and related fundraising efforts easier with the smart use of technology. You can read more about how DonorWERX’s platform stacks up against other church-giving apps after checking out the tips for putting free tech for small churches to work for your congregation below.
Free Tech for Small Churches: Start With This List
App developers and open source options make it possible to find free or low-cost technology for almost any need. Start with the list below, which includes nine options for free tech for small churches that cover many common needs.
Canva makes it easy to create a variety of digital designs and templates you can print. Churches might use Canva to make original image content for social media or a website, build fun slides for the projector screen, or design in-house materials for Sunday school.
You don’t have to be a designer to be successful with Canva, as it has a drag-and-drop interface and plenty of tips and tutorials. Small teams can use Canva for free, including access to more than a quarter million templates and plenty of free images and graphics.
Alternatives: PicMonkey or Visme
A list of free tech for small churches wouldn’t be complete without a tool that helps people connect with the Gospel. YouVersion offers a Bible app for both adults and children that includes access to Scripture as well as plenty of options for daily devotionals. Consider integrating this app into services and educational programs to make it easy for anyone with a smartphone to follow along or study a series together.
Alternatives: Bible Gateway App
Churches that don’t have a website yet should build one. Websites are a great way to connect with potential congregants or people who are researching local churches online. They also let you gather information for members in a single location and create landing pages for online giving campaigns. Discover more church uses for and tips for building an online platform.
WordPress is a favorite choice for many churches because it’s fairly easy to use, lets you update content quickly and has free options. Once you sign up for WordPress, you can take advantage of a number of free templates for church websites. You will need to pay for a domain name, but those can be had for as low as $12 for the entire year.
4. Google Drive
One great use for free tech for small churches is storing and organizing documents. Cloud storage options ensure everyone who needs access to a form or resource can access it, making it easier for members to share Sunday school materials, administrative forms or transcripts of sermons.
Google Drive is one option. You can store almost any type of file on Google Drive, including documents, presentations, images and videos. You can use Google Drive for free up to a certain amount of space. Each person on your ministry team can also set up a personal drive for each Google email they have. They can share documents from their own drives with each other too.
Alternative options: Dropbox and Microsoft OneDrive
5. Google Meet
One of the most well-known types of free tech for small churches is video conference tools. The COVID-19 pandemic made Zoom a household name, but another easy-to-use tool is Google Meet.
The free version lets you hold meetings with up to 100 people, though there are time limits for larger groups. You can hold as many meetings as you want, and people can join from their computers or mobile devices. The app has a pretty decent closed caption function to support accessibility.
Google Meet is a great choice for those looking to lead digital Bible studies or small groups. You can also set up privacy on meetings by making it where the host has to allow people into the meeting. This can provide peace of mind when small groups are discussing personal matters or ministry leaders are providing one-on-one coaching or prayer.
Telegram makes it easy for teams to communicate with each other in real time from anywhere. You can create group chats that allow ministry teams to collaborate and brainstorm or have one-on-one private conversations to support each other or provide coaching. Telegram is encrypted for peace of mind and supports file sharing. It also works on desktop devices and Android and Apple mobile devices, making it ideal for ministry teams who bring their own devices or work from home.
Unsplash is a stock photo site where you can find images for church marketing materials, the projector screen or bulletins. When it comes to free tech for small churches, finding a site with professional images you don’t have to pay to use is a big deal.
Do make sure you pay attention to the fine print on images as you use them, though. On free stock sharing sites, images often have different permissions and licenses.
Alternatives: Pexels and Pixabay
Managing projects and processes can take a lot of work. Check out the DonorWERX guide to church administration tools for more information.
One tool you can easily incorporate today is Trello. As far as free tech for small churches goes, this app should be at the top of the list for ministry teams that are working together on big goals. It lets you set up project boards with cards, assign tasks to certain people and leave notes and documents so everyone is on the same page with the work. The free version lets you use up to 10 boards and an unlimited number of cards, which should be sufficient for small ministry teams.
Alternatives: ToDoist and Monday.com
MailChimp makes it easy to send out group emails and newsletters. Have your entire congregation subscribe to make it easy to update people on closures, visiting speakers and other events.
With the free version of MailChimp, you can manage up to 2,000 contacts and one audience. Larger churches or churches that want to manage multiple audiences will have to sign up for a paid version, and email services can start to get a bit pricey. If you think you may grow out of MailChimp, you may want to consider paying the flat monthly rate for Flodesk, which doesn’t charge by the number of emails or subscribers.
Contact DonorWERX Today
You can do a lot with free tech for small churches. By partnering with DonorWERX, you can do even more with all of your resources. Get started today by contacting us to learn more about donor tools, accepting crypto donations and growing your leadership teams.
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