Biblically, we know Jesus said, “I will build my church,” and when He gives the word, a church grows. Church growth is dependent on Him and His power; however, Jesus choses to channel that power through us. Therefore as church leaders, we must ask ourselves, “How can we do a better job of positioning ourselves to be ready for those moments when God blesses us with growth?”
If used correctly, Church Management Software (ChMS or CMS) can help put your church in a better position for growth. To ensure you’re leveraging ChMS in the right way, here are six ways a good ChMS can help your church grow:
1) By Keeping People first. Ministry is about the people we serve, not the tools we use. Use your church management software to help you identify and track the spiritual growth process and benchmarks of your people. Churchteams, the ChMS we use, allows us to keep track of who is responsible for whom. We know every person involved in a small group and who their group leaders are. We also know whom the leaders report to and those designated to provide care for them. We know those that need to get connected into a group. Furthermore, we know who wants to be baptized, who is interested in finding a small group, who wants to come to membership class, and most importantly, who is responsible to make these things happen.
2) By Aiding Your Discipleship Process. At its heart, discipleship is a process. ChMS, if used correctly, can clarify that process. If your church has a clear process for disciple making, make sure each step is recorded in your church management software. One of the greatest advantages is the ability to clearly assign responsibility and accountability. Our ChMS helps us track discipleship benchmarks like spiritual gifts, baptisms, decisions for Christ, membership class participation, prayer requests, and much more.
3) By Decentralizing Access To The Software. Facebook and other social media platforms have changed how we handle information and software. The old method of church management software was where just a few people managed the data input and integrity. That method is sadly outdated, and if you still use it, you will be behind. Multiple staff members must learn to use your ChMS in order to have adequate information about your church’s interactions with people. Remember, communication is key to relationships.
4) By Creating Confidence Through Kids’ Safety. In a world where we have to be proactive about such safety concerns as “active shooter” scenarios, kidnappings and child-custody battles, security for children is an absolute must. Your church management software can help with this process. Every church needs a clear check-in and checkout process. They need to know exactly which kids are in which rooms. Most importantly, every church should make these processes obvious to everyone, especially guests. Our ChMS generates a random code each week for each child checked in. That code is printed on the child’s nametag and a matching tag for the parent/guardian. Only the adult with the matching tag may check out a child from their room. When people see that the safety and security of their kids matters as much to you as it does them, they’ll be more likely to return to your church.
5) Through Online Giving. Let’s face it; the simple truth is ministry is usually more effective when there are more resources. Many churches are losing money because they don’t provide digital giving solutions. Think about these stats from a study done by the eleventy marketing group about online donations to nonprofit organizations:
- $60 – Average online one-time gift in 2012
- $19 – Average online monthly gift in 2012
- One-time gifts accounted for 89% of online giving, while monthly accounted for 11%
Online giving is not just a trend, nor a fad. It’s the present, and it’s definitely the future. Every church needs a simple online-giving solution and your ChMS should incorporate that solution.
6) Through Easy Website Tie-Ins. People like to search for things online and signing up for things online. Your ChMS should allow people to search and sign up for classes, events, groups and other ministry opportunities from your website. You may ask, “why not just create a simple registration form using another third party organization like formsite or wufoo?” The reason you shouldn’t use those services is because those tools don’t link directly to your database. We are all busy as church leaders so we need to eliminate as many administrative steps as possible. Maintaining multiple databases can be difficult, inaccurate and frequently a waste of time. Be sure to leverage your ChMS database to give people the opportunity to find and register for all ministry opportunities online.