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Preparing Ministry Environments: Wi-Fi Thermostats
By: Jeff Pelletier

Let's face it…the punch list of things that needs to get done in an effort to facilitate a ministry environment is often quite daunting. It's just not quite as simple as saying, "We're going to have this class or event in this room on this date and at this time."

One element that can be every bit as critical as the physical resources is the HVAC system and the ability to efficiently and effectively manage it.

The following are a couple of scenarios that I'm sure we've all experienced at one time or another. You walk into a room right about the time the class is supposed to start, and the room temperature is either steaming hot or freezing cold. Isn't it so encouraging watching people anxiously scan the room for something to fan themselves with or watching them shiver uncontrollably and feverishly blow warm air into their cupped hands?

Equally as fun is when the class starts and everything is comfortable, and then, all of a sudden (and beyond anyone's control), the temperature takes a sudden turn toward the uncomfortable. In other words, the class didn't end quite quickly enough before the air or heat either cut on or shut off.

While these two basic scenarios are just a small sample of the trials and tribulations of creating the perfect HVAC environment for a ministry event, they clearly make the point that there must be a better way. And there most certainly is. It's not nearly as complicated as one might otherwise think. And, no, it's not a human being that operates his or her entire life by a manual HVAC clock in order to perfectly time when the room is supposed to be a certain temperature. Rather, the answer to these troubling scenarios is simply this: Wi-Fi thermostats.

Given the fact that most everything else in this world can now be controlled by a smartphone or tablet, why not add the HVAC system to the list? Let me pause for a moment and state the obvious: Most of us have likely already deployed a scheduling component of some kind to the HVAC system, so as long as ministry environments operate on this nice and tidy schedule, all is good.

However, since most of us live in the "real" ministry world where things are often very fluid (i.e., not set in stone and likely to change), additional flexibility is not just a nice-to-have but a have-to-have.

In a scenario where thermostats can be controlled wirelessly, three beneficiaries immediately come to mind. First is the facilities director. This individual no longer has to physically be on campus to turn on or shut off the HVAC unit(s). Talk about freedom, eh?

Second is the ministry environment host. He or she can spend time working on delivering a great experience for all that attend without any concern for their comfort or lack thereof.

Finally, there are those that participate in the class or event. Although they will likely never know that there was some degree of chance that their comfort might have been impaired, they will enjoy a great experience at just the right temperature.

As Wi-Fi thermostats continue to become much more pervasive, each of the previously mentioned beneficiaries will grow accustomed to enjoying a consistent level of comfort and convenience. In other words, it will become the rule, not the exception.

So, if you're not already there, you should at least be thinking about how to make the transition.

Jeff Pelletier is the executive pastor of Milestone Church with campuses in Keller and McKinney, Texas. This article is courtesy of Lifeway Christian Resources, www.lifeway.com.

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