One of the challenges of church ministry is how little time there is to step back and evaluate. Sunday is, after all, coming soon, that email inbox is filling up, the staff meetings, pastoral visits, and task lists aren’t going anywhere. And all of these things are great—they’re part of the blessing of church work. But it’s hard to find time to evaluate your church’s processes and systems and ask “is this still working for us?”
One of the big questions many churches struggle to find time to address is whether their church management software (ChMS) best fits the needs and values of their community. Consider this article, then, a cheat sheet of sorts, a quick breakdown of how to analyze your current ChMS and determine whether it’s meeting your church’s needs.
Sign #1 – Your Current ChMS Doesn’t Automatically Follow-up With Your People
There’s a cliché saying in the church world: “We count people because people count.” Every ChMS system counts people, but does it make people count? Or to put it another way, does your ChMS track numbers, or does it help you see total involvement and paint a picture of people who have pasts, needs, families, and multiple levels of involvement in your church? A great ChMS does more than note tithing and attendance, it tracks an individual’s involvement and engagement throughout every part of your church. It tears down data silos by creating a singular space for every ministry to share details about a member’s life.
Some smaller churches believe that everyone knows everyone within their church, and they don’t need personal features. There might be some truth to that. But when more people begin to attend your church, do you have processes put into place to truly help them engage and feel like they belong? How many people will walk away, because they don’t feel a personal connection? As a church grows it needs a ChMS that helps keep a large church small, and it’s much easier to implement processes and software when you are smaller rather than trying to catch up after growth.
Sign #2 – Your Current ChMS Doesn’t Provide Tools That Empower Leaders
One of the core callings of a church is to empower leaders. In Ephesians 4:11-12, we’re told to equip the body of Christ for service. Doesn’t it make sense that your ChMS would be designed to help with that goal?
A great ChMS creates a space for small group leaders to see who is in their group and provide a place for the group to communicate easily. A great ChMS allows ministry leaders to schedule volunteers, communicate with their teams, and cascade vision. A great ChMS provides support for your church’s communities to be strengthened.
Sign #3 – Your Current ChMS Doesn’t Advance Discipleship by Giving you a Holistic View of People Engagement
Does your church’s ChMS track exactly where a member is in your discipleship process, and invite them to the next step? One of the things Church Community Builder is passionate about is helping your church achieve its mission of discipleship by doing just that. Through our ChMS you can create automated emails that invite people to classes and volunteer opportunities, invite first-time guests back with a text, or send a question to your parents to start a family conversation about what their children heard in class. You are able to group people in their current discipleship stage, which helps you see whether there are “gaps” in the discipleship process.
Sign #4 – Your Church has Outgrown Your Current ChMS
The processes and systems your church needed in the past may be drastically different today. Maybe your church has gone from meeting in a gym to having your own building. In the early days, only one or two people needed access to your ChMS, but now you have a growing staff, growing volunteer leaders, and your ChMS isn’t set up to create multiple levels of access.
That last point is worth repeating: as your church grows is your ChMS empowering other leaders to participate in your church’s systems, or are all the processes still being funneled to one or two increasingly overwhelmed staff members? If it’s the latter, that’s a key sign it’s time to change your ChMS.
Sign #5 – Your ChMS is no Longer Technologically Relevant
Technology is changing fast, and not all ChMS companies have kept up with the technological innovations that can transform an okay ChMS great one.
There’s an app for everything. From mobile giving, small group connections, volunteer management, and children and volunteer check-in – your ChMS can provide access on-the-go. Churches are more aware than ever of the precise, complex needs of making a children’s ministry safe, reliable, and comforting for parents who are dropping off their kids. Does your ChMS fully support your children’s ministry with everything they need, allow them options to run church check-in on mobile devices, or is it an obstacle they complain about?
The danger of new technology is when you sacrifice discipleship for the flash of the latest technology. Technology should connect your people and the way you can care for your people – not separate data into multiple silos. Your ChMS should offer modern solutions to all these problems. If you’re system doesn’t, it might be time for a change.
At Church Community Builder we are passionate about providing churches with one tool that supports their mission – to make and grow disciples to advance God’s Kingdom. Your church can be the place people attend, connect, find community, and invite others. Sign-up for a personal follow-up to explore our latest additions and how our software can support your ministry!