If you haven’t heard, clouds are in.  We aren’t talking about the white fluffy things you see in the sky.  We are talking about online web-based file storage.

Churches and pastors should really consider using them.  They save can save you from having to emailing files back and forth and keeping track of old which one is the newest.  You don’t have to use thumb drives to transfer files from your computer at home to work or to the church’s powerpoint computer any more.  Everything syncs automatically!

There are a number of different options out there.  Apple has iCloud.  We use DropBox at our church and it works great.

You can get 2 GB automatically for free by creating an account.  You can up to 6 GB more for free as more folks from your team sign up.  If you need more than that, you can pay a small fee for more.

Here is what we do at our church

1)    Each person creates and account. I have one & two main worship guys have one.  You can access the files online or download a free computer program to your computer that creates a DropBox folder.

2)  We created a worship folder and allow certain people (whoever has an account) to share it.

3)  We put all our Powerpoint files, Chord sheets, Worship Planning Materials, etc. there to share.

4)  Multiple people can edit files and the newest copy is saved on their hard drive and on the cloud.  When the others log onto the internet, DropBox automatically looks to see who has modified the file and replaces the old files with a new one.  If multiple people have worked on it at the same time, it will save different copies and note who modified them.

This all may seem a bit abstract so let me demonstrate how this works practically.

  1. The Worship Leader starts a Powerpoint file and saves it into the DropBox Worship Folder
  2. The secretary opens the file from that folder and ads a slide for all the announcements and saves it.  Worship pastor and senior pastor now have the updated file on their computer.
  3. The senior Pastor ads his sermons slides and saves it. (DropBox syncs it with all the computers)
  4. The Worship Planner ad some responsive readings and saves it.  (DropBox automatically syncs it with all the computers).
  5. The Video Tech opens up the final file and projects it during the service.

Did you notice no email, no thumb drives, just seamless collaboration?  Click here to learn more about DropBox.    You don’t have to use DropBox.  You can use any cloud service really.  I am just more familiar with this one.

I also use it personally to share pictures with my family and friends and swap my sermon files from my computer to my Ipad every Sunday.  It works great.