There is nothing wrong with a church renting out its unused facilities to glean additional income. It is in fact good stewardship. The problem is that with the growing complexity of facility maintenance and planning – so are the tasks of managing such facilities. After returning from a conference on the topic, I’m wondering if there are any open source solutions for churches out there – especially any that would involve the use of a home-brewed super computer?
“The rumors of my death have been greatly exaggerated.” – Mark Twain
I need to apologize for my lack of bloggage, I know how disturbing long stretches of silence can be for HYCW cult members. For those whose panic has them entertaining the thought of donning black Nike’s and issue the "format c:\" directive – rest assured I’m back with the living having spent this past week at SchoolDude University enjoying valuable professional development and training in utilizing their school maintenance software (a.k.a. school cmms), their preventative maintenance management system, their web help desk software, an online utility management and reporting tool that has some interesting integration possibilities, and of great interest to YOU (at least in how it potentially relates to church websites) their facility scheduling software.
I mention their facilities scheduling software mostly because I would like to see something like this for specifically geared at churches, preferably in the open source arena.
Why? Glad you asked.
Its not that I find unintersting ‘wireless internet maintenance managment systems‘ and ‘web-native budget and capital planning‘ – rather I’m a person who strongly believes that good evangelists are good tent-makers. Meaning while I have no problem with the collection plate being passed my way, I do think that many churches miss the boat on additional revenue by not renting out their unused space to civic organizations such as the Boy Scouts and so on.
Those that do, may not be getting the equitable end of the stick either by not understanding their operating costs and/or by irritating invoicing snafus – or worse by losing profitable rental agreements by angering renters not having the right services (e.g. custodians and such) in place before, during and after an event occurs.
Of course in a perfect World, what I’d really like to see is my ‘Beowulf or Mosix – solving the parking lot problem through simulation‘ proposal implemented to include facilities scheduling – with an invoicing and billing component so volunteer and low-paid church secretaries aren’t overwhelmed by the tasks of becoming facilities maintenance and scheduling managers – especially when they need to post the facility calendar to the Internet and/or the church Intranet.
If you know of such a product that exists as open-source, leave a comment and a thought. I’d like to hear it – I’m sure others would as well.