Regardless of the size of your church you don’t have the luxury of debating when and why you should use church management system (ChMS) or software. If anything, this post is helping you clarify the why. I’ll also suggest some self-diagnostic questions. We’ll also explore what should / shouldn’t be happening in churches already using ChMS. So, churches already using ChMS should also find this useful.
We’ve found that it is hard to compare church management software. The pricing can be hidden. And the features can seem more like comparing apples to watermelons rather than apples to apples.
So this fall we sent surveys to over 200 church management software providers asking in-depth questions about features, pricing, clientele, and the companies behind the code. Sixty-one responded and were willing to share details beyond their sales pitch.
This list represents over 12,000 cells of spreadsheet data that’s been analyzed and distilled into an easier way to compare cost and features. In fact, we calculated the estimated 3-year costs for each solution regardless of if pricing was a one-time purchase, a flat rate subscription, or a tiered-rate subscription (i.e., based on congregation size, licensed users, or modules).
There’s a good chance your church website is using WordPress. After all, WordPress powers 29% of internet sites thanks to its free price for the actual software, the wide supply of themes and plugins to customize the look and add powerful functionality. Well, the latest update to WordPress, WordPress 4.9, adds some very useful functionality for churches that you should check out.
I have long been a fan of churchthemes.com and their Church Content plugin. My church, as well, is a happy customer—we’ve been using their church WordPress themes since 2013! And now, we’ve just switched over to the Saved Theme, and I have to say, I love it! Best of all, my pastor loves it, too. Here’s what the designers have to say about it:
It’s becoming much rarer for a church not to have some form of a website, but there are still some churches which don’t have one. In addition, some churches websites are now getting old and dated, and at best, give off a bad impression, but at worse, aren’t mobile friendly (how most people access the web now) and have poor navigation, functionality, and rank worse in search engines. All this made me think of a little mini series of a couple of video guides how you (or anyone else) can set up a church website from scratch using one of two popular WordPress theme providers.
We’ve found that it is hard to compare church software. The pricing can be hidden. And the features can seem more like comparing apples to watermelons rather than apples to apples.
ChurchMag is looking to change that by surveying both church software companies and the customers that use them. If you represent a church that uses church software, please take a moment to complete this quick and easy survey.
We’re gathering data on full-service church management software solutions as well as more niche solutions for planning, accounting, online giving, communications, events, community, learning, and more.
Your answers will help us make a list that makes comparing church software much, much easier! Thanks for participating!
Note: If your church uses multiple church software products, please complete one survey for each product. If you are a software company representative, please fill-out our Church Software Company Survey.
Please share this with other churches. The more data we can collect, the more we will all benefit. Thank you!