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What Role Does Data Have In The Church?

Meredith Mahon Morris January 27, 2017

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Companies like Amazon, Netflix and Capital One, among countless others, use enormous databases to tailor their products and services to fit their customer’s needs. They develop new products, offer specialized services and reduce costs while satisfying customers and increasing company revenue. Politicians spend millions of dollars to collect and analyze massive data sets that help them win elections by micro-targeting individuals to influence their decisions and behaviors.

What role does data have in the church?

  • Numbers matter. Numbers represent people. Someone counted the thousands of people Jesus fed with five loaves and two fish, and someone counted the leftover baskets because the numbers told the story of Jesus’ love and power. Others counted the 3,000 people who came to faith following Peter’s Pentecost sermon because it mattered.
  • People’s Needs Matter. The Apostle Paul had his finger on the pulse of the churches he planted. He wrote letters to them that dealt with specific issues they faced. Paul knew their needs, kept up with their growth and their struggles because he listened to couriers who traveled long distances with important messages. He used this information to pray for them and speak words of life to them.
  • Churches that effectively gather and analyze data make better decisions for people.  Good decisions come from good information. Churches that know their people adjust their processes to fit their people rather than trying to fit people into their rigid processes.
  • How does Realm help churches manage their data? Realm provides multiple metrics leaders monitor to understand the effectiveness of their ministry and the impact it has on people.  The bigger the data set, the more important it is that your program displays this data in meaningful ways.

Here are a few easy to use data features in Realm:

  1. Children’s Check-In. Parents want to know their kids are safe, having fun, and learning about Christ. Children’s check-in gathers the data you need to make sure this happens. It provides instant access to your children’s ministry data so you can improve your ministry to children.
  2. Big Picture Data. Realm shows how many people are in your community, the total number of families, their ages, and group involvement. Take a look at your church from the air so that can make better decisions on the ground.
  3. Giving Trends By Age. Churches age, but good leaders make sure their ministries last and prosper. As society changes and family dynamics expand to include multi-generational households, is a metric which allows you to see giving trends by age. You can then have insights into your church’s effectiveness in promoting giving across age ranges.
  4. Giving Trends By Quarter. Giving is like the tides. It ebbs and flows. Smart churches understand their people’s giving patterns and plan their budgets accordingly. You can get a handle on your churches financial patterns.
  5. First Time Givers. Giving expresses a person’s trust level with your ministry. People don’t easily part with their money, even though we’re taught through scripture to tithe. Receiving a gift is a huge responsibility and many churches like to send special thank you notes to each first time giver. These notes usually include a reminder that the giver’s gift, no matter the size, is greatly appreciated and will be put to good use.
  6. Member Involvement & Member Movement. People are involved in your church or they are not. Good leaders know where their people are and provide ways for them to get easily involved. If people aren’t getting involved, good leaders find out why (and then work to fix it).
  7. Campaign Contribution. Giving campaigns take time and energy. Realm allows churches and members to see the progress they are making to fulfilling their pledges. Churches can track the health of campaigns and members can see the veracity of their commitment.
  8. Attendance Tracking. Numbers represent people and attendance is one metric ministry effectiveness. If you’re spending time planing events, it’s good to know how many show up and who they were. Attendance tracking shouldn’t dictate the direction of the ministry, but it may show you things that need to be tweaked or adjusted to increase their practicality.
  9. Visitor Tracking. Visitors become members, and members become leaders. Efficient ministries identify their visitors and find ways to move them towards membership and leadership opportunities.Realm allows for this to happen, positively and efficiently.

Realm can do these things and more. And now you can get a demo for free.

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