What I taught my church communications guru about communications (updated)


My main man Steve Fogg recently blogged about an out-of-office auto reply I had setup on my email while I took a week off. Great. Thanks. Good stuff Steve.

As an IT manager not only do I have the responsibility for Crossway’s IT systems, but I also have a responsibility for our users, or in sales speak, customers, or in communications speak, audience. This is because I have a constant challenge to be able to communicate news (of updates, downtime, config changes etc) without it being deleted within 2 second of landing in a user’s inbox. With that in mind I try to keep it fresh, a funny subject, an interesting graphic, humorous examples, etc.

Now here’s the terrible, awful, naked truth… it wasn’t my idea (shhhh… don’t tell anyone). A few months ago I read a great blog post from MS dude John Mullinax that totally inspired me to get a little creative and have some fun. And how is it that I read that post? Well, I saw the post’s title: “Finally, The Post No One Expected: The Top 9 OOF Messages!”. See, now that you’ve seen that title, you want to read it too.

So, what are the lessons here?

  1. A great idea is still a great idea, even if it’s not yours
  2. Have fun with your communications

Update: 18-Jun-10

So apparently I really did inspire Steve. He’s currently on leave and here’s his out-of-office auto-reply:



IT and the small church office – Q&A


So, what are the other questions that you may have? I had a think about a few of them, but I’m sure there are more. If you have a question you’d like to ask post it in the comments

What about Macs?

Sure, if you want Macs go for it. I personally don’t have a lot of experience with them, but there is absolutely no reason why you shouldn’t use them. The price differential is getting smaller every day and Apple make a seriously machine.

Can my pastor (minister/priest) get his email on his/her iPhone?

Yes. Just about everyone seems to have a iPhone these days and it seems to me that clergy love technology. If you’re using Google Apps, then setting the iPhone up to access Gmail is a walk in the park. Similarly if you using MS Exchange with Outlook Web Access you should be able to set it up with your eyes closed.

Can you recommend any other free software?

I sure can. For CD/DVD burning have a look at ImgBurn, and for image editing you can’t go past Paint.NET.

IT and the small church office – Part 4: E-mail


If you’ve decided to you run your own server and you have sufficient resources and know-how you could run your own email server. Alternatively you could make it somebody else’s problem buy using a “cloud” service such as Office Live (limited locations, not AU) or Google Apps. A nearby church with about a dozen people in the office recently switched from using MS Exchange to using Google, and they love it. The great thing about these services is that you can use your own domain, so you can be you@yourdomain.com rather than you@gmail.com.

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