Anyone who has worked at a church understands the complexity of the tasks that have to be completed each week. On a Sunday morning, you have to assign parking lot attendants and greeters, have the hospitality team set up the coffee, schedule ushers, set up child check-in, and help families get their kids to Sunday school and find the sanctuary. That’s a ton of tasks, and the service hasn’t even started yet! Managing all of those moving pieces into a seamless experience for members and guests can be tough.
With all that to pull off for each service, it is easy to focus on finding tools that just make managing the tasks and details easier. But if you do this, you may be making one of the largest mistakes your ministry can make. Each piece of a successful Sunday service has tasks associated with it, but if those tasks are your focus, you are missing the boat.
What Is Your System Telling You?
Your church management system should not only help you do your ‘work’ more easily; it should help you make decisions about how to improve your ministries’ effectiveness and equip your people better. Behind each task is a person — in some cases many people. Church is about engaging and equipping those people, not simply pulling off a flawless event each Sunday.
What are you learning from your church management system? I don’t mean just what trends are happening in your church, like if giving is up or down this month. Is your software telling you what’s happening in the life of an individual family? Have you notice that the Johnsons have not brought their teenage children to church in the last three months? How about Mr. and Mrs. Stevens, who used to give faithfully and serve on the prayer team— when they stopped coming so often, did you notice? Did you catch that the Davis’ have been bringing kids from the neighborhood consistently to Sunday school?
When you look at your church management system, can you connect the dots between giving, serving, attendance, and other forms of engagement? It takes a cohesive system to show you that.
Here are 3 Ways a Cohesive ChMS System can Amplify Your Ministry:
1) A cohesive system values people over tasks.
A task-based system naturally breaks itself down the lines of the various jobs you have to complete in ministry. Children’s check-in is over here, volunteer scheduling is over here, finances are over here, and rarely if ever do they overlap. But all these areas connected in your ministry. They’re all pieces of that person’s overall engagement with your church, and if your ChMS separates all those things into their own isolated areas because they’re related to disparate ‘tasks’, you lose the whole picture of that individual. This creates data silos that hinder you from stewarding your people. A cohesive ChMS, that was designed from the ground up to work as a single system, values people over tasks, and can record all the different areas of someone’s engagement in one central place. That helps you keep your focus on what really matters most — the people God has brought to your church.
2) A cohesive system connects people and ministries.
Any decent ChMS will help you communicate, but task-focused systems won’t help you collaborate. Are there barriers between all your church’s various ministries in your software? A comprehensive system will enable both data and volunteers from different ministries to communicate, allowing you to leverage the information you gathered from children’s check-in last Sunday for your new guest followup process, and then your connection process, your membership process, your discipleship program, and more.
3) A cohesive system empowers ministry from more than just administrators.
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As ministry leaders, we’re all called to equip the saints for the work of the ministry, and a comprehensive ChMS can help you do that in a way that a suite of standalone tools can’t. An administrative-based or task-focused system restricts just a few people in your church office to being the ones driving ministry. That’s not how your actual ministry works — you have many more leaders serving in your church than just the ones on the payroll! Your software can come alongside you in empowering the people in your church to step up and minister, or it can hold you to an administrative model, where all the work is placed on just a few shoulders. When your software is built on managing tasks and your church’s focus is on people, it creates roadblocks you have to work around; when it’s designed around the same principles as your church, it naturally becomes a part of your ministry processes and enhances them.
A church management system can be more than just a tool; it can be a ministry partner, taking the work you do and amplifying it. A software system that’s focused on people over tasks, doesn’t segregate your ministry into artificial chunks, and is designed to equip the saints instead of just three people in your office building — in short, a ChMS that is built on the same foundation as your church — can come alongside you and help you multiply your ministry like no plain ‘tool’ never could.