A church executes its vision by developing a strategy. But, whether or not that strategy succeeds is determined by how well a church uses its software.
If that's true, and I believe it is, then how you use your church software can significantly impact how your church grows.
Need proof? Consider these 5 ways church software can help your church grow.
- Communication. Ministry is about relationships. It starts with a relationship with God, but loving God always leads to relating to people. Without the Bible, prayer and community, a relationship with God is hard to know and grow. Without email, text, phone calls, letters and personal conversations relationships with people are hard to know and grow. That's why we build church software that helps you execute and manage all these forms of communication without requiring you to link to secondary applications. Also, it gives you the ability to track and follow-up with conversations with people so that pastors and staff can collaborate their communication. This significantly improves a relationship driven, disciple-making process.
- Data collection - Communication is never one way. When you create classes, serving opportunities, events or forms you need feedback. But collecting information is really hard. It used to rely on a pastor, volunteer, guest or member communicating information to an admin who did the data entry. This was cumbersome. So, web-based access and apps were added so pastors and volunteers could login to enter their data. But many of them forgot to do it and forgot how, so only part of the necessary data was collected. That's why we developed systems years ago to go where people already were. With one click from email or text reminders, they were where they needed to be. Then we threw in an automated accountability system to make sure vital data gets collected.
- Workflow execution. Some of the collected data from sources like Connection Cards require important but tedious follow-up tasks. This could be updating member profiles, moving people between groups, notifying pastors / staff, or sending out emails and texts. This is called workflow. Workflow automation is now possible. It is fully customizable and communication is personalized. You have to build all the resources for these workflows any way. Now, you can do it all in one place. Take the time to built it right so that each process and response is smooth. When you do, you won't believe how fast you can execute workflows reclaiming valuable staff time and expense.
- Stewardship strategy. Stewardship provides the financial fuel necessary for church growth. Many churches these days have developed intentional strategies to grow in this area. Every one of these parts of the strategy are driven by your software:
- Appreciating first time donors.
- Identifying donors who've stopped giving for pastoral care follow up.
- Quarterly vision update to donors / investors in ministry that include their YTD statement.
- Annual statements are required.
- All aspects of communication mentioned above.
- Actionable feedback. The output of your software system is only as good as the input. That's why #2 above is more important than #5. It is also why many pastors feel like they are casting vision and evaluating strategy on the fly - based on subjective stories and hunches not objective information. They long for objective data to confirm or cause them to question their gut feeling about a part of the strategy. To be actionable data needs to be in a single storehouse. But just because it is all in the same database doesn't mean it is easily retrievable. Simple and clear reporting is essential even of often complex questions. We've been doing this long enough that we can help you with any answer you need from the database, but it's not always as simple as you or we want. We are always right here to help with that, but we're also always looking toward the future. Let's see what impact some of the new AI software applications will have on church software in the next few years.
So, here's the application for this blog post. Take the time to learn to use your church software. If you are the cultural architect of your church, revision the value and priority of software. You are limiting the success of your ministry and growth of your church if you don't. ... Really.