As a church planting pastor without an actual church building with staff and volunteers working from coffee shops, the library and home we used cell phones and web based church management programs. We had a land line in our small ministry center office but eventually it was only used to capture voice mail. I had the land line number ported to my cell phone and for many years my personal cell phone and the church number were the same – I no longer think that is the best idea.
Recently I got myself a new cell phone number and had the church number ported to an online digital answering service. There are many to choose from including Grasshopper, Dialpad, RingCentral. Ooma and MightyCall.
I chose LinkedPhone because it was easy to setup the messages with their text to speech feature and they have an app that I can access the system from my Android phone. For $19.99 a month we can have 3 users.
My second choice was MightyCall and I think they even offer a non-profit discount. Mighty Call is much better with how to videos and marketing
So we are able to have the calls routed to the person they are looking for and allow multiple people to answer the church phone number from their smart phone. We can also include messages that tell about our church and where we are meeting. And since I am not using the church number for my own use when people call about the tires I am selling they don’t get the church voicemail message. And it allows me to say, “This is the church number but since we are friends here is my personal cell phone number”