Do you think of your church management software as a necessary evil? While working with a database may sometimes feel like a distraction from the work of ministry, a robust church management system (ChMS) is a powerful tool. It is intended to support your team as you accomplish your church’s established goals: connecting people to Christ and helping them grow in their faith.

Investing time into learning how to use your ChMS can help you recognize specific needs in your ministry. With this information, you can better serve the real people all that data represents. A superior church management software can help you go beyond data collection to making improvements that prioritize your ministry, especially when paired with quality training.

Check out these three ways your ChMS can be used to drive ministry results:

#1 – Use ChMS to Welcome Visitors and Encourage Them to Return

You probably track how many guests are coming each Sunday compared to your membership. How do you make sure they are being welcomed and choose to come back? Start by monitoring the percentage of guests in your congregation each week with an attendance report. Use this information to establish follow-up procedures.

Let’s say you want to send a homemade pie to each new guest two days after they attend (generous, we know, but almost everyone loves pie). Create a workflow to automate this procedure. You can incorporate each step in the process — the reminder you send to the baker, the reminder for the person who delivers it, etc. This can keep the process from derailing and, voila, successful pie deliveries every time a guest is entered into the system.

Bonus: You could also send an email to first-time visitors and remind small group leaders to reach out with interactions in the same workflow.

#2 – Use ChMS to Care for Those Who are Hurting

How do you typically handle a phone call or walk-in requesting a pastor to visit a member (or a local Christian without a church home) in the hospital? Capturing the details on a Post-It note and adding it to the pastor’s desk is an antiquated approach that can easily get lost in the process.

Instead, use interactions. This is ChMS lingo for assigning tasks, which increases accountability and streamlines communications. Even less tech-savvy staff and volunteers can use church management software interactions. You can assign and track contact with members via email, texts, and phone calls. Plus, you can receive notifications when they have been assigned or completed.

When you use this digital task assignment, it’s easier to ensure pastoral care is going to occur in a timely fashion. This is especially important when those who are struggling and in need of support request it. This can also be applied to scheduling hospital visits, checking in on sick members of the congregation, preparing meals, and more. You’ll be able to clearly and quickly communicate the details of a reported need, and those details will be available to view on a mobile phone by those who are positioned well to respond.

Bonus: These notes and interactions are also logged in the person’s profile, which can be seen by staff members.

#3 – Use ChMS to Support Spiritual Growth

While a first-time follow-up is important, supporting attendees as they move through the spiritual growth process is also critical. Diving into your data and measuring the percentages of people who move from crowd to core can provide a health check for your church. This can help you understand if they are engaging in the opportunities you offer.

To use the group management feature of your ChMS, assign people to a group who are not engaged (in other words, not in a small group or not attending). Then, assign a task for their age-group minister to reach out to help them get connected with a small group and an area of service. This ministry leader can help transition group members into other groups, such as small groups, choir, service, giving, and attending.

Follow the metrics that indicate engagement. If these numbers are growing in proportion to your new members, great! If they aren’t, look into why people might not be participating and strategize a plan to improve these experiences.

Bonus: You can move people to new groups or combine groups if necessary.

The Value of Quality Training

Church software is not going to save people, but it can support a ministry that prioritizes a message of salvation. Like any tool, how well it is used determines the results you can achieve with it. Investing the time into training and really learning the capabilities of your church management software can be the difference between just getting by and really using it effectively.

You’ll want to choose a ChMS that has a team dedicated to helping you succeed. Their support should feel like an extension of your church staff. Be sure to tap into their wealth of knowledge and have them help you customize your data to support your church’s specific goals.

Next Steps

Learn workflows from the pros in a ChMS webinar. Register for this opportunity to gain insights on some of the most effective church software strategies from experts who work with churches every day. The Elexio Community Church Management Software staff is comprised of former church staff members. They’ve sat in the seats of the customers they serve, and they understand what it’s like to be where you are. You’ll learn even more ways to use your ChMS to streamline processes and focus on the needs of your ministry.

For more information on optimizing your ChMS results, see these articles:

Using Your ChMS to Minister to Inactive Members

6 Ways Your Core Processes Can Be Improved With the Right ChMS

How to Leverage Powerful Church Management Software Integrations

9 Vital Church Management Software Features 

5 Signs It’s Time To Update Your Church Management Software