Software Considerations

What do you need to do?


What computer do you have?


How much do you have to spend?


Do your research.


Where to go for help.

What do you need to do?

There is software available to help you do almost every part of ministry. This increases the importance of defining and prioritizing your needs.

Where software can be of service to you

  • Administration & Finance (Membership/Giving/Fund Maintenance/Budget/Receipts/Forms/library management/purchases/record archiving)
  • Audio/Video composition/editing/presentation
  • Bible Study/Devotion/Journaling
  • Communication (letters, notes, memos, e-mail, chat, newsletters, web)
  • Composition for Presentations (sermon, Bible Studies, small group experiences)
  • Computer security and maintenance (You serve others when you keep your own secure!)
  • Music Score composition/transposition
  • Teaching- Classroom, Seminars, Field, Online, Mobile

Identify which tasks you need to do.

Then do your research as to the most appropriate software to get. This srequirements panelection of your GRR web site is to give you some starting points in that research.

 

What computer do you have?

There are 3 issues here:

1. What type (platform?) do you have? Is it a PC (runs Microsoft Windows) or an Apple/Mac Computer? Most software is written and published for Windows machine, but in any case you will need to make sure the software is written for the type of computer you are planning to use.

2. Is the computer you have able to "run" the software. Look for "system requirements" on the box at the store or on the "specifications" or "More About" page of the company's web site.

3. Is the software you are about to choose a full program or an upgrade? If you do not already have the program, you must purchase the full program. If you do have it, you can often save money by purchasing the upgrade.

How much are you led/authorized to spend?

There are many software programs and suites of programs (several related ones combined together) that are available to you for no cost. Several of these will do as much or more, as well as or better than, the more expensive options. In this section of this site you can find these listed. In each division of software there will be three levels of pricing reported: free, modest cost, high cost.

Places to go for reviews.

C-Net.com, PC-Mag.com, and Consumer Reports web sites are good ways to research specifications, functions, effectiveness, availability, and cost of software.

PC Today Magazine, Computer Novice Magazine, and PC World Magazine and their corresponding web sites are also good. Computer Novice magazine is a good subscription for a person who wants articles and product review in plain English. It also offers tutorials in specific tasks of many popular programs.

Places to go for help in using the software.

One great place to go for reviews of software that is most often used in churches is Christianity Today's web site. In their various publications (e.g. "Your Church"), online and print, you will be able to find software described, evaluated and variously compared its competitors.

The places listed above for reviews also serve you well for help in using your software. Or, better yet, ask someone in your church. A new friendship might develop!