Becoming a virtual organization

Since 2014, Vibrant Faith Ministries has been a virtual organization. When we quit selling physical resources, we made a decision to give up our main office, our warehouse, and individual office space, and move our offices to our homes. It was one of the best decisions we made as an organization. It drastically reduced overhead, created a more egalitarian culture, eliminated a multitude of meetings, and sped up decision-making.  As we navigated the transition toward becoming a virtual organization, we identified 5 essential learnings:

1 |  Select  platforms  wisely  to  manage  work

We decided to use Google Drive to store and share documents. We uploaded video to a Youtube channel. We used Slack to manage most staff-related conversations. We used Zoom for staff and leadership gatherings where we have the opportunity see people and their facial expressions. We learned the importance of naming protocols, clarifying Slack channels and what needed to be archived and for how long. We use email primarily for external clients and Slack for internal communications. We recently transitioned to MS Teams .

2  |  Deal  with  significant  issues  in  person  or  by zoom

We avoided using email or Slack to address issues that were quite consequential or delicate in nature. Until Covid-19 occurred, we scheduled 3-4 in person meetings a year work on major projects and iron out  personnel issues.

3  |  Create  consistent,  concise  check-in  times

Our staff meetings every Monday for check-in and devotional time. I have weekly meetings scheduled with other staff throughout the week. If we don't need to meet, we cancel the scheduled time but at least it's on our calendar to ensure that there's space in our schedules to do so. These check-ins may last as little as 15 minutes or as long as an hour. We often send talk points to each other before these meetings occur.

4  |  Compensate  staff  for  phone,  internet,  etc.

Recognize that staff member's homes become their offices. They may need  laptops, printers and office supplies. Yes, they're avoiding a daily commute but they're also sacrificing space in their homes that could be used for other purposes. Budget accordingly to cover their home-based office expenses.

5  |  Working  virtually  isn't  for  everyone 

Not everyone is a self-starter. Not everyone enjoys working without face-to-face communication with their colleagues. Not everyone has space that's conducive for working from home. Ask yourself and others, "Do you struggle with technology without other people's assistance? Will struggle to separate their private life from your professional life?" Some people will thrive in a virtual environment and others will not.

Have your "eyes wide open" when making a decision to go virtual. Ask the right questions before you dive in in order to avoid regrets later.  For Vibrant Faith, it was one of the best decisions we made as an organization. If you have the right people and the right platforms, it may be a great option for you.


  1.  What portions of your ministry could be "more virtual" in the future?
  2.  How would being more virtual impact how leaders interact with each other?
  3.  What facets of being a virtual organization be piloted now?
  4.  What would a hybrid organization look like for your setting?

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