Budgeting and Maintenance: Making the Most of Your Resources
Physical parts wear down over time, and routine cleaning will extend the life of your gear. Be sure that with every piece of equipment you own, that you have read the manufacturers recommendations and precautions first.
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Team Management ResourceWorship Facilities Magazine, September-October 2017
The September-October 2017 issue of Worship Facilities Magazine offers a glance at a Granger Community Church, and their recent install of a Lawo audio mixing console system.
Digital maintenance is an aspect of church tech that gets easily overlooked. Vendors often release new software and firmware for their devices. Keeping your software up to date will ensure as you add new devices things will continue to operate with each other as expected. Additional software and firmware updates will keep your devices secure. The last thing you need is someone controlling your mixer remotely during a Sunday morning worship service. This digital maintenance, though, does come with a few catches. Sometimes the software you have will not work with the latest version of the operating system of your computer. Carefully research the dependencies of your software and operating systems before making changes to either one.
When it comes to budgeting, be sure to leave about 10 to 20percent of your budget for maintenance or replacement of devices that may break. You may have to scramble in the last minute for one week, but having the reserves to get things fixed or replaced will save a lot of headaches in the long run.
Replacing working equipment is a delicate balance of sticking to a dollar amount while not having it explode with replacing other dependent pieces of equipment. This is where having an inventory is crucial.
You may want a 4k camera, but knowing your switcher can’t handle the new higher definition signals may cause you to shift priorities. For computers that run streaming, video or projection, plan on a replacement every three to four years. Don’t toss the old ones, but look to repurpose them for digital signage or maybe as an upgrade in alternative spaces. This can help the entire church stretch everyone’s budget a little bit further. And if you don’t have another use for it, sell it to another church. This can help them and again take your budget a little bit further.
Then again, though, you might the church that will be looking to buy used or refurbished equipment. Many reputable companies sell used equipment and even offer it with limited warranties. When buying used, be sure to know what the typical life of the equipment is. You don’t want to buy something that is useful for five years, and it is already four years old at the point of resale.
The most important part of budgeting and maintenance is being a good steward of your resources. What we have isn’t ours, its God’s.
Church members have faithfully obeyed what God has called them to give; we need to respect those offerings.
While new equipment can save us headaches, save us time, and be fun, we need to remember that we’re serving Him. God will always provide what is needed and will use exactly what you have to change hearts and lives for His glory.
Latest ResourceWorship Facilities Magazine, November-December 2017
The November-December 2017 issue of Worship Facilities Magazine offers a review of the 49 New Product Award entries this year, as well as those entries up for Solomon Awards in 2017.