Spring Clean Your Church Management Software

Written by  //  April 18, 2012  //  Church Software  //  1 Comment

I’m not a fan of spring cleaning. I’d much rather be enjoying a Rockies game or a hike with the family than pressure washing the garage floor or cleaning windows. It’s not fun. But, I care about my home so I power through and get ‘er done! I am always glad I did.

A quick spring cleaning is also a good thing for your Church Management Software (ChMS). I would encourage every church administrator to make it an annual event. Wipe off that dusty database and make sure your data is clean and accurate. Your ChMS is only as good as the information that goes into it. Things like misspellings or duplicate entries can really impact the confidence you have in segmenting groups of people for targeted communication or monitoring.

In the technology space, we call this “data integrity.” Large companies employ people for the purpose of ensuring the data being entered into the system is accurate and up-to-date. (How would you like to do that every day? I’m only asking you to do it once a year!)

Beyond that, spring cleaning your church management solution affords a number of ministry opportunities which can help you make sure no one falls through the cracks. Here’s a few suggestions:

Births and Deaths
Make sure the people you contact are currently living. If someone died, did anyone follow up with the family? Have you built a process to help you remember and recognize the anniversary of the death?

Membership
Confirm you have people listed in the right membership status and make sure profiles are complete. This can help you identify a segment of your membership that has not been active for awhile. You can then create a new communications strategy for these people or move them to inactive status so that your reporting results are more relevant.

Volunteer Matching Data
Is your volunteer information up-to-date? Who has completed their gifts, passions and skills yet are not serving anywhere? Which profiles are still missing this information? This can present a great opportunity to cast vision around the value of these tools and re-engage some folks.

Family Status
Marriage status, children, etc. are critical to ensuring people don’t get left out of the communication or follow-up loop. Do you have all of this information? Why not invite your people to log in and add it for you?

Small Groups
Are you confident all your small group leaders are utilizing your church software to communicate and track their weekly attendance? If not, how are you monitoring the health of your groups? How do you know your groups are developing deeper relationships? If this is not part of your process, consider changing that.

Custom Searches
One of the most powerful aspects of a church software system is the ability to easily create custom searches which surface people meeting a variety of criteria. Looking for people who are not in a small group, not serving, dipping in their attendance or giving? A custom search can help you identify people who have either gone deeper in their engagement or are on their way out the back door.

If your church is using Church Community Builder [one of CTT valued site sponsors] our team would be honored to help you think through these strategies and identify the right ones for your church. Even if you don’t want our assistance, make it a priority this spring to clean up your church data and ensure you’re taking advantage of the tool you’ve invested your dollars, time, and energy into.

About the Author

Steve Caton is a husband, father of two boys, rabid Georgia Bulldog and part of the Leadership Team at Church Community Builder in Colorado Springs.

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One Comment on "Spring Clean Your Church Management Software"

  1. Greg McTaggart May 29, 2012 at 12:17 pm · Reply

    Great article! This is a great resource for any church trying to jump on the information super highway without getting run over.

    I work with a team of church management software developers and the points you raise are exactly what church leaders ask us. Some of the common things church leaders as us about are about “picture directory software” and payroll add-ons. So if you’re in the market you should check out to see if those your management software does those things.

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