You are likely familiar with form building tools like Wufoo, Formstack, Google Forms, Jotforms and many others. Or maybe even dedicated event registration applications like Eventbrite, Cvent, EventU or others. They are great at what they do.
20 years ago I was at a place in ministry where I wanted out. It was not what I expected it to be when I started working for a church full time 9 years earlier. Maybe you've been there. If so you likely know that hardship like this is often the path God uses to mature us and refine our calling.
Eight weeks ago, I did a blog post on using Workflows to help you with volunteer recruitment. This is the time of the year that most church staff are stressed out to make sure all the volunteers needed are in place. But, once you get them recruited and trained, there is still the challenge of getting everyone scheduled.
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.
When Mark and I started, the motivation was to build software to help churches make disciples and build teams. For us, people are intrinsically the focus of this. Resources like space and money, though important, have not been the problems that we've built software to solve. There are other software products focused on just these issues. I was explaining to our marketing partner a couple of months ago that our focus is on everything related to "People Data." In my webinars I often talk about the 5 Software sets that from my perspective every church needs, and Churchteams is just one of them. The one place where all your people data can live. Here they are:
Churches have always addressed the needs of families. Priority is often given to worship and the education or discipleship of not only children, but also their parents. As the role of marriage and family continues to denigrate in our culture, churches are taking up the slack to help people better understand and align with God's design. Although we don't do content for training, another question on the minds of these churches is how can a church database help manage family ministry? Here how we do it.
Anytime someone asks about a specific solution to a problem, we ask questions to better under the problem itself first. This practice enables us to take a fresh look at a problem rather than simply comparing it to other solutions. Calendars is a great example. What are the problems that calendars exist to solve in churches? Here are the three that I've come up with and how we've chosen to address them.
In 2014, our friends at Leadership Network found that over 8,000 churches in the U.S. were multisite. And, that was 3 years ago! In a blog post last year, Portable Church points out that churches of all sizes are going multisite. This isn't a fad, it's now a normal part of ministry. In fact I go to a campus of a very large, multisite church ... and love it. So, what must church software be able to do to serve this growing movement? Here are six things I believe are essential.
"Let us not give up meeting together as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another, and all the more as you see the day approaching." Hebrews 10:24-25
In my Membership Class, I show a slide that I've developed over the years to help church staff evaluate the nature of the software they need. Each of these serve a different purpose and require a different architecture. Just as the architecture of a grocery store, a restaurant and a doctor's office are different based on purpose, so the architecture of church software is different based on its primary purpose. Here's how I break them down: