Church Management Software, sometimes referred to as ChMS, is a digital tool used to streamline different church administrative functions within one technology ecosystem.
Many churches are turning to ChMS out of convenience, cost savings and advanced people/resource management capabilities. Choosing software for your specific purpose can be sometimes daunting, simply because there are several options out there. However, in trying to decide, there are essential qualities a good software should have. Below are some.
- The capacity to streamline the church’s administrative and operational functions into one platform is a huge benefit. That’s the whole essence of effective management. The software should offer interconnected solutions so that the need for third-party products is significantly reduced. For example, the software should handle offerings, evangelism, membership, children’s church, etc. under one roof – without deploying another software to serve any of those needs.
- It should be built with cutting edge technology that is also scalable. It is common knowledge that technology changes in leaps and bounds. You want a software that is scalable and allows improvement as new technology emerges. This functionality gives you added confidence knowing that you will not be stuck in the past when the time comes for upgrades. Your choice should also allow plug-ins and be deployable on personal computers, mobile devices and cloud-based hosting for added capacity and security.
- It should come with a sound database management system. Record keeping and the ability to analyze data helps with strategy planning towards church growth. One benefit of ChMS is the ability to gauge your church health through accurate data and analysis.
- Unified Communication System. Not many ChMS offer this service, but it has enormous advantages. This tool is a system that allows for the integration of multiple communication avenues. A good ChMS should be capable of integrating texting, MMS, email, voice broadcast, phone calls, push notifications, video conferencing, etc, to achieve a church’s communication needs. A unified communication system reduces costs and makes for a more effective strategy for ministry outreach.
- A good ChMS should be budget-friendly and adaptable to any size church. While most software programs offer various products, clients should be able to choose what tools work for their purpose- especially for young churches. It should not be like a cable tv bouquet where half of the channels are not of interest. Flexibility in the choice is particularly useful for churches with plans for future expansions or growth. It makes for a seamless transition when the time comes. More importantly, it should factor in a broad spectrum of budgetary constraints. After all, cutting costs and enabling growth is one reason for desiring a software of this nature.
- International in outlook. With the global pandemic, churches are reaching people in far corners of the world. Also, more churches are going online globally. This access means deep engagement goes beyond the immediate community, state or country. A good software will factor in churches overseas’ needs, especially when it comes to generosity and evangelism.
- Good customer service. Good customer service is vital and cannot be overemphasized. Despite the advancements in technology, people still want to talk to a solutions expert that can answer questions and resolve issues expeditiously and in real-time. Check to see that the company operates beyond just online presence.
- Partner a company that is driven by biblical principles. The Bible says we should not be unequally yoked. An organization guided by biblical principles is more likely to share common values and not just focus on the bottom line. A software that has a foundation in Christ is less likely to be susceptible to infiltration from non-believers. In this labor of love, who is your partner in progress and what spiritual principles drive their mission?
- A good ChMS should provide tools for giving/generosity that afford members the convenience and options to use modern and secure methods of giving like Text-2-Give, Mobile app giving, Online and Recurring giving. This product is self-explanatory. Beyond this, members should be able to download their records and the software administrator should be able to export statements for accounting and planning purposes.
- Purposeful people engagement. There is no church without people. A good software should enable you to interact with existing members and win over visitors. It should be personable and help you know your church members better, especially as it concerns demographics like gender, membership status, age group, marital status, etc.
The software called ChurchPad checks all of these qualities.