A friend recently sent me the link to Simon Sinek's famous TED talk, "Start with Why". It has been a few years since I watched it, so I decided to invest 18 minutes for a refresher. I'm glad I did.
"Why" is the best way to make a case for the most under-utilized feature in the Churchteams tool box: Scheduled Reports. Here are three reasons why Scheduled Reports are so important and powerful.
First, people are lonely. Friends are not a nice extra to complement a me-first lifestyle. God made us for friendship. Only one thing was not good in creation prior to the first sin. That was for man to be alone. We're built for friendships and that's a good thing.
Yet, whether it's a result of Covid or culture, people are lonely. You can Google the stats. One indicates that 73% of millennials are lonely and a higher percentage for Gen Z.
Finding friends is one of the major reasons people go to church. In recent decades we've built great systems to make sure people feel welcomed to worship, but systems for connecting people have a long way to go to be as effective.
Scheduled Reports can play a pivotal role in creating a system to make sure people are recognized when they visit, give, attend, or serve the first time. Or, when they've been absent for awhile from any of these habits that indicate connection.
Second, leaders are fatigued. You probably saw the stat last year from Barna that 39% of pastors thought about leaving full time ministry in the previous 12 months.
Like Paul in 2 Corinthians 11:28, pastors carry a heavy burden for the church and people they lead. That is the nature of their job. They are concerned that new people connect, hurting people find help, and helping people don't burnout. Oh, and bills need paid, facilities need maintained, and every week has a Sunday to prepare for.
Scheduled Reports make sure pastors have the information they need, when they need it to make the best decision possible and to set priorities.
Third, church data is not trusted. Adding to the pastor's burden is a lack of trust in the information s/he is depending on because it comes from too many different sources and often is insufficient.
Scheduled Reports include reports that allow the database to update and maintain itself based on other data. For instance, if someone identifies as a first time guest using a dropdown on a digital connection card, the system can update that date field on their member profile and put them in a first time guest group and workflow.
Admittedly, figuring out how to optimize the use of scheduled reports is pretty geeky because it involves careful thought and logical use of data. But, when you consider the why behind creating and using scheduled reports, all of a sudden, the power of this least used feature in Churchteams becomes crystal clear. People are connected. Leaders are empowered. And, data is trustworthy enough to invite to the decision-making table.