Welcome to another New Year, the time that comes every 12 months where we reassess our goals and aspirations. As you do, I hope that you will take a few minutes to evaluate one of the most important and yet overlooked jobs within a church: Administration.

Tasks such as:

  • Internal communication
  • Event planning
  • Task tracking
  • Delegation

Administrating well within a ministry department can be challenging, and keeping a whole church running smoothly can be nearly impossible (especially with a largely volunteer staff). I know none of us like administration (ok, almost none of us) so I have come up with a list of tools that will help you automate and delegate all those pesky tasks.

By far the best products that I have found for team and project management are Basecamp and Asana. They are both pretty similar in their feature sets including task delegation, group communication, task specific communication, and team organization with Basecamp being the simpler (as in easier to use). Both, however, carry pretty stiff price tags unless you qualify for the teacher/student discount with Basecamp, or stay under 15 users with Asana.

Since this is a post about admin tools on a budget, I’d like to share a couple of free alternatives for you to consider.

Trello

Trello is an awesome little task manager. If you haven’t already tried it you should definitely create an account and do so. The interface isn’t quite as flexible as some of the other project management systems, but if you use it right, Trello can do a whole lot. Here are a list of different ways that people are using Trello to manage their projects. There are a few things that keep Trello from being perfect, and that is its lack of team messaging and its interface which is a little confusing for some of the non-techies.

Slack

Slack is a simple/intuitive messaging application that can be used on both your computer and phone. If you are old school, think IRC, but much easier to use. You can use it for messaging, voice/video calls, file transfers and more. There are no task management features, but if your team is looking for a simpler way to communicate, you should definitely check this out. Chances are most of your team is already a part of a Slack channel somewhere anyway.

RocoCPM

Back in August, CTT published an in-depth article about RocoCPM. Since then, I’ve had some time to sit down with the software and I am really excited about the direction these guys are going. RocoCPM is 100% free and has a number of advanced features that make it a very powerful tool. So why isn’t it at the top of my list? RocoCPM is still in its early stages of development which means that there is a lot of polish that still needs to happen. Put simply, I don’t think people will use it without great effort from the administrator. I’ve found that I have a hard enough time getting people in my church to use systems that are simple and straightforward. RocoCPM has some great potential and you should definitely check it out, but remember that the best tool is the one that people will actually use.

If you try out any of these recommendations or have recommendations of your own, I’d love to hear what you think! Be sure to leave a comment below.

I hope that you have an amazing, productive, God-glorifying New Year!