Like it or not, Alphabet (Google) controls the major search engine and largest free video streaming service on the planet. Read on to find out why it is recommended that all churches have at least one Gmail account.
- YouTube. If you are live streaming your services to Facebook only, you are probably missing out on the growing number of people who will not use Facebook. These people will happily watch live streaming on YouTube. You can’t have a YouTube channel without a Gmail account. Fun fact, YouTube is also a very popular search engine.
- Google Business Profile. If your church hasn’t taken ownership of its Google Business Profile, then beware! Someone else will. The diocese gets around 1,000 referrals a month from its business profile. Is your church’s profile claimed and set up? You’ll need a Gmail account to do so.
- A backup email address. This is especially important if your church has its own domain name and uses email addresses based on its domain. If for any reason something goes wrong with your domain, you’ll need a backup email address that can be used to access key accounts. I recommend using a Gmail (or another independent) address to set up your domain hosting account.
- It’s free(-ish).
Based on my personal experience, and that gained with another non-profit, I don’t necessarily recommend using Gmail for your church’s every day email addresses or Google as a business solution, but as a backup it is fine.
While we are talking about email, here are some email do’s and don’ts
- Do create email accounts to be used specifically for church business.
- Do ensure multiple people; clergy, wardens, and administrators all have access to key accounts.
- Do take advantage of the diocesan church email and Microsoft Office accounts — see ‘Did you know?’ below.
- Do have secure passwords. This is a whole topic on its own — to make life easier you can use passphrases and special characters, though be warned passphrases are not generally as secure.
- Do consider using a password manager, with the master password kept securely somewhere where all key staff have access to it.
- Do not ever let church members — including clergy — to create any accounts on behalf of the church using their personal email addresses. If that particular horse has already bolted, take action now to get the accounts moved to an email address owned by the church.
- Do not use personal cell phone numbers for two-factor authorization. Use email authorization if it is available — there’s another use for that backup Gmail account.
Did you know?
The diocese offers business-level email and Microsoft Office 365 software with 1TB of cloud-based storage to churches. We manage it for you so that you don’t have to worry about all the technical details.
Got questions? Leave them in the comments below, or your can email or call me. Details on this link: Gary Allman.