Christ Community Church Improved Their Communications Infrastructure and Reduced Expenses
Faith-based organizations have long existed in the U.S., with most seeking to expand the delivery of their message, increase their congregation membership and engage in various forms of assistance or charitable work – helping disadvantaged groups, such as the poor or homeless.
The ability of such organizations to carry out their mission has always been predicated on how well they are able to communicate – to reach out beyond their own walls to the surrounding community and beyond. Effective communication directly drives an organization’s ability to attract financial support and deliver outreach ministry programs, let alone survive to attend to the spiritual needs of their own members.
An organization that recognizes the importance of communications in support of their efforts is Christ Community Church. Founded in 1984 by a handful of members who desired to bring the message of Jesus Christ to their friends and neighbors, the Church now serves a congregation of over 5,000 weekend attendees gathering across four campuses located in communities throughout the western suburbs of Chicago.
To facilitate their ministries and mission, CCC created a multifaceted program consisting of an array of tools and services:
- Real-time broadcasts of weekend services created at one campus and live streamed to congregants attending services at their other campuses.
- Website with ecommerce capabilities and a content management system featuring an array of faith-focused content, including an extensive library of weekly video sermons dating to 2011.
- Weekly newsletter distributed via email.
- Wide-reaching social media campaign of ministry incorporating nearly 25 dedicated social media accounts spanning the Facebook, Twitter and Instagram platforms.
“Our goal was to create the communication tools and services that would best support the church, it’s various ministries and our overall core mission,” says David Gonzalez, information systems manager.
CCC’s program required the use of business grade optical fiber data services, provided by a national cable company. While satisfied with the service, church leadership questioned whether they had the broadband bandwidth necessary to meet current and future needs relating to their live streaming services and their other outreach ministry programs.
Additionally, they wanted to be sure they were properly stewarding their finances by utilizing the most cost efficient solution available, but they lacked the information and resources necessary to adequately determine such was the case. Given they were halfway through a long-term service contract with their provider, they were unsure they could do anything to address the matter until the contract expired.
While attending the 2015 Church IT Network National Roundtable, Gonzalez met Brad Lynde, president of Lynde Consulting, a Rockford, Illinois-based firm specializing in providing Telecom/IT procurement, project management and ongoing support solutions.
Lynde explained his firm’s “no risk” assessment program enabling companies to see what can be accomplished without upfront financial commitment and their model for performing assessments, analysis and recommendations. The firm often worked with customers who were in the midst of existing service contracts and were oftentimes able to deliver savings and service enhancements for the client at their existing provider – without having to wait for their contract to expire.
CCC decided to engage Lynde to perform an assessment of their existing telecom/IT services and contract. “We heard good things about Lynde Consulting from other churches within the Church IT Network. After speaking with Brad, we decided to take advantage of their no-risk assessment program,” offers Gonzalez. “Given we were two years into a five-year contract, we weren’t certain we’d be able to take advantage of recommendations made at the time, but we felt that at a minimum, it would still prove advantageous later when our contract commitment was over.”
Lynde initiated its assessment, focused on CCC’s 4 location Ethernet Private Line (EPL) Network and Dedicated Fiber Internet Access, as well as the service contract with their provider. Upon completion, they informed CCC of their findings.
“Lynde Consulting indicated we had done an outstanding job negotiating our service contract with the provider and that the services and tools provided were well suited for our needs,” states Gonzalez. “To our benefit, they were still able to obtain a better price for the same services with our existing provider and address our bandwidth needs. Lynde has also provided project management services, as well as ongoing support in the areas of invoice auditing and customer service relating to billing and repairs.”
Working together with Lynde Consulting and empowered by the findings of their “no risk” assessment, Christ Community Church was able to benefit in the following key areas with their existing provider – without waiting until their current contract expired:
- 36 percent price savings.
- More than $100,000 realized savings over five years.
- Able to reinvest a very small portion of the savings to double bandwidth from 50 mbps to 100 mbps at one campus and 100 to 200 mbps at another campus.
“In working with Lynde, we were able to reduce our overhead by more than $100,000 over five years and double bandwidth at two campuses,” notes Gonzalez. “They’ve helped us to meet our mandate of properly stewarding our finances and enabled us to upgrade our bandwidth to ensure we can continue to stream real-time services and engage in the other facets of our outreach program. Most importantly, the savings they’ve provided allow us to reinvest in our core ministry – furthering our mission of making passionate disciples of Jesus Christ who are belonging, growing, serving and reaching.”