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.
101 — What Church Management Systems Are
At the most basic level they’re database solution churches can use to manage members and other data. This is a simplistic answer as some better ones are way more than a database. They help manage member data, giving, campaigns, check-ins, manage volunteers, right up to communication with congregants.
A Fuller Picture
One of the things (great) church management systems do, is give broader picture. Church life has so many facets to it. And, different aspects of it generate data. The number of people who attend services, demographics, ministry activities and more. Used well, you can make sense of data in a wider context.
For example, demographic data could tell you that you have more toddlers than youth. Again, this can further inform your strategy for the next few years. Meaning investing in the children’s ministry now, and later youth.
Even if everyone has access to all data collected in documents and spreadsheets, you’d still limitations in processing it. Sometimes we don’t know what the data in front of us means even if it slapped us in the face.
Data is useless if you can’t make sense of it.
Church management systems will crunch through data and generate reports faster than humans. Leveraging tech this way releases you to focus on the ministry of people. We’re called to serve people and not the tools.
People and ROI
The value or return on investment of church management systems is in that they can free you to serve people. Tech should free you to be more effective in serving people. We lose too much time poring over spreadsheets and wasted in manual tasks. Valuable time that could be spent in prayer or studying Scripture. Or, time that could be spent where it matters most, with people.
Tech should free you to be more effective in serving people.
This means that no data should live in spreadsheets or documents. As with any tech, all effectiveness of tech depends on its use. It doesn’t make sense to buy earthmoving machinery and still pick up a shovel.
You might also want to check out these posts:
- The Case for Church Management Software: Check-In
- The Case for Church Management Software: Membership
- The Case for Church Management Software: Financials
- 2018 Big List of Church Management Software — this list is like an encyclopedia for church management systems. the most comprehensive we know of #JustSaying
Church management systems help you make sense of data your church life generates. They also help you complete tasks and free you up so that you can focus on other important things. They’re an investment that compounds the impact of your church’s effort/activities.
Does your church use a church management system? Why or why not? Any other thoughts?