Hoping to have a robust discussion on best practices for facilitating shared communication with different groups within the church comprised of both staff and lay leaders. Specifically, we have groups like the church board and various committees that need to share specific types of church information, are required to keep minutes and meet other legal and governance requirements. We have ministries that similarly need to share information and work products that facilitate ministry, we have many lay leaders that need to interact with the church staff and need shared access to various church forms, guidelines and procedures.
In the absence of IT taking leadership in this realm there is a tendency for groups to create their own solutions that lead to security, standards and continuity issues.
How do you address these needs? Or how would you like to address them? What products and solutions have you considered and what have you found to be the pros and cons?
Sharepoint online via office 365 is the absolute best option available for this at this point IMHO. My church (and a few other clients) are doing this and it works great once proper training and education happen. My wife, as a lay leader at our church, has been granted access to the areas necessary for her ministry area and she just logs in using her personal Microsoft ID. Works great.
It does require dedication on the part of the staff to adopt the tool and use it, but once they do, volunteers pick it up very easily.
We are users of the Microsoft Office 365 system. We have just embarked on researching exactly this same topic… shared communication with different groups within the church comprised of both staff and lay leaders. I have been looking at and learning about Microsoft’s fairly new offering called Microsoft Teams. Teams is part of the O365 suite of online apps and it has a desktop app, as well as mobile apps for iOS and Android. Teams incorporates/utilizes O365 groups and SharePoint to provide a communication platform that seems to provide what we are looking to do. At this point the biggest potential issue is that it seems team members must all be on the same organizational domain and guests must have either a Microsoft School or Business account or be on an Azure Active Directory account. I have more details written up in a 2-page document if anyone wants more information. I’d be happy to share.