You don’t have to look far or long in the church world to hear someone talking about community. Yet despite all our talk of community and the rise of social media, loneliness is on the rise. According to the Barna Group,
“Ten years ago, slightly over one out of 10 Americans self-identified as lonely. Today, that number has doubled—a paradoxical reality in the full swing of the social media age.”
People are looking for a place to belong. What better place to belong than your community of faith? Are you using every tool available to you to help people connect? Here are three ways your church management software can help you build community.
1. Know your community
You cannot be anonymous and be part of a community. But, as a church grows bigger, it becomes increasingly difficult to know everyone in a meaningful way. So as the church grows, you must have good systems in place to keep from losing track of people. Many churches understand the importance of knowing pertinent information about individuals and families, but few implement the necessary processes to understand how that information can be used to build community. How are you tracking individuals’ interests and spiritual gifts? Thisis precisely where church management software can help.
2. Grow existing community groups
Engaging in community is a process — most people put their toe in the water before jumping in. Having tools that track engagement across groups and events helps to give a fuller picture of someone’s engagement. A small group is one of the best places to get community within a church; members actively involved in small group ministry are more likely to be financially generous, willing to volunteer, and more consistent in participation. But as your church grows, it can be difficult tokeep tabs on how each small group is doing. Church management software can help you identify ways to measure group effectiveness and keep people engaged in the ministry.
3. Stay connected to people
In our connected world, community happens every day, not just on Sunday. If you are not providing connection points during the week, people will look elsewhere for community. While staying in contact during the week has been made easy with the rise of social media, how you connect makes a difference. To build community using social media, you will need to avoid the common mistakes that churches make on social media. Of course, social media isn’t the only way you communicate to your people. When there’s a breakdown in communication, issues arise, people are left uninformed, and community growth is stunted. Church management software helps you streamline communication and avoid the silos created between various ministries by providing a church-wide calendar for sharing events and incorporating facility and resource management. It also helps churches effectively communicate with individuals within their church based on their personal communication preferences.
4. Help people move from observer to participant.
The key to building community throughout your entire church is to move people from observation to missional engagement. People who are part of your community want to help, but if a church doesn’t have a strategy forusing its church management software to boost volunteer engagement, there will be a revolving door of volunteers coming and going. Many church leaders are content to recruit replacements for volunteers who are stepping aside. But it doesn’t have to be this way. It is possible to keep existing volunteers engaged while equipping new volunteers for new aspects of ministry. Every church longs to build community, but it requires systems and processes to do it well. Using church management software to optimize these four critical areas will ensure your church is on track to build community throughout your church.