Here are the top three reasons that Google Docs will help your ministry team get the word out to your church. None of these ideas are new to the web, but Google has founded a joint effort to allow you to collaborate, publish and access your docs from anywhere online. Give it a try on your next project and see how easy it is to create and manage content for your team and the families of your church!
Google Docs is an online service that allows you to host documents, spreadsheets, presentations and forms online. All you need to begin is a Google account and the service is yours! Here are the three ways that Google Docs has helped us at my church:
A team of people can collaborate on a single document. Whether we are talking about a sign up sheet for your next special event, Sunday’s order of service or the outline for the next small group study the ability to edit and view the same material at the same time is
priceless! If you have ever pulled out your hair over emailing a document back and forth this feature will save your thousands on Rogaine. I have been able to upload a Sunday school lesson and edit the document, along with two other teachers in real time! When one of us makes a change, the rest of us see it! Our finished project is in one place at one time cutting down on a lot of wasted time and confusion.
2. Universal Access
You can access your documents from anywhere the internet is. How many USB memory sticks have you lost in the washing machine or desk drawer (you know the one). Or how many times have you tried to email yourself a document to have it get caught up in the interweb? Google Docs allows you to store all of your documents online and use, print or share them anywhere you can get to the internet. It gives me great peace of mind to know that if everything falls apart on my way to speak somewhere that all of my documents are only a click away! Getting your documents in and out of Google Docs is easy too! What if you have a pile of documents that you would like to upload? No prob! But what if you want to download them back onto a computer? No prob! Everything in Google Docs comes and goes how you please.
3. Online Publishing
You can publish any documents online for anyone to see or print. Next time your make a sign up sheet and half of the church wants to go online and download it you can just point them to your Google doc! Any document that your create online can be, “published.” There are several ways to publish a document including your choice of private or public. But the point is that anyone you want is a click away from reading or printing your document! That’s right youth pastor. You can email one link to all of your families for the medical release form. And guess what? When the pastor decides that each parent must sign off on, “Chubby Bunny” any changes you make are automatically uploaded to your published sheet! No new links, no new hassle.
Google Docs has helped my ministry team access, collaborate and publish our documents in a big way. We love it because it helps us get our work done better, faster. Our church loves it because they are a click away from the most recent information about their church and its activities! The presentations, documents, spreadsheets and forms are a valuable part of what we do every day. Give Google Docs a spin, I think you will like it.
Not everything about Google Docs is perfect. Spend enough time editing documents and you realize that some things are not quite right. Next week we will write about the, “Google Docs Bottom 3” reasons to use the service. For now we will leave you with your rose colored glasses, enjoy the bliss!