Last month we began to look at the fundamental aspects of a ChMS (Church Management Software), starting with financials. Remember, since most ChMS financial modules integrate with your more popular financial apps, this isn’t something that should be quickly overlooked. Your ChMS is not a replacement for Quickbooks, it’s a way to enhance it.
Now let’s get to the core of what a ChMS has to offer, as before, using By the Book as a case example.
The primary use of a ChMS boils down to this. It’s all about keeping your church membership data organized. Having your entire congregation’s personal information is as helpful as the quantity and quality of the data you have. So don’t think by simply having a ChMS will let you reap the rewards. You’re going to need to sow into it first.
You’ll want to collect simple member data such as:
- Phone Number
These are the no-brainers and give you the basic foundation—at the very least—a contact directory of the entire congregation.
Having this alone could help a lot of church communication, but most of your ChMS’ have far much more to offer.
Things such as:
- Individual & Family Photos
- Age, Grade for Children
- Address Validation, Directions with Webmap
- Track Spiritual Gifts, Talents, and Volunteer Using Keywords
- General and Confidential Comments
- Custody Information
- Track Home and Hospital Visitations
- Record Background Check Info
And really good ChMS’ include customized fields (because every church has unique needs).
Can you imagine how helpful this can be for pastors, ministers, and church leaders to better serve the Body of Christ!?!
This is also why it’s important for your ChMS to offer a mobile app—but we’ll get into some of that in a different post.
I hinted at it before when I said that a well designed and maintained ChMS can help church communication.
Since you can find people based on any field in the database, sending out texts and emails based on volunteer interests, spiritual gifts, attendance, and any other fields you want to add, makes it super easy to target your communication within your congregation.
Your ChMS should also allow you to:
- Create and Print Mail Merge Letters
- Send Plain Text and HTML Emails
- Print Mailing Labels
Some ChMS’ even give you the option to send out texts!
Talk about upping your church communication game, right?
There are also some fun things you can do, too, like:
- Birthday Lists
- Anniversary Lists
As well as more serious things like:
- Find Uninvolved Families
- Find Outdated or Missing Background Checks
Of course, as I’ve mentioned before, keeping all of this data up to date is important. So being able to import contact information, printing data confirmation letters, and making it easy for church goers to update their own data, is super important.
ChMS Membership Awesomeness!
Fundamentally, a ChMS is all about herding your church member data.
A great ChMS like By the Book even makes it easy to create different types of printable church directories, too! 😀
Now that we’ve talked about how helpful all of the membership data can be, imagine what happens when you can also tie that together with the financial aspects of a good ChMS?
Pretty cool stuff.