Tools We Use: Dropbox

Dropbox is one of the most used tools in our church. For a bit of background, Thrive Church is smaller church with an all-volunteer staff. We use slide software for our worship and sermon notes. We use video fairly often, sometimes home-grown, sometimes purchased, sometimes gleaned from YouTube. We are all tent-makers, working outside the church so that we can fund our mission. We don’t have the luxury of spending a 40-hr work-week working on projects for the church. So, we do what we do when we can do it – a lot of it gets done “just in time” for the service.

On a typical Sunday, we have to create the lyric slides, the sermon note slides, populate the online church campus’ lyrics and notes pages, prepare video, edit the announcement slide set, etc. Some of these products may be previously created, or available early in the week, but some of the products cannot be made until Sunday morning because the source information isn’t fully prepared until hours before the service. It’s the reality of ministry with a staff of tent-makers.

Before Dropbox, we did the typical email-to-myself / burn-to-CD / copy-to-jump-drive processes that we all have come to know and loathe. We had to copy our stuff to our portable media, then wait until we got to the church to share that with the people who need to produce assets with it. Sometimes we’d copy the wrong file, or wrong version. Sometimes the media was corrupted. There have been some frustrating moments. Boy, have times changed.

With Dropbox, we have a central web-based repository that all the source and content creators can access. Dropbox has Windows, Mac, and mobile clients that seamlessly sync a folder on the local computer too, ensuring everyone has the up-to-date materials. And, you have complete control over access and sharing. Click the image on the right to see a video explanation of Dropbox.

We use Dropbox for a centralized lyrics repository, logo library, video sharing, font library, photo library, project collaboration, service media, announcement slide masters, assets library, and a ton of random uses. We also use it for off-site back-up of our WordPress installs.

Here’s the best news: it’s free. Of course there are limits – you only get 2GB of space to start with. But if you convince other people to sign-up you can get more free space. You can also pay for more space, and the price is very reasonable. Go check out Dropbox. It will change the way you manage and share assets.

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