Each new phase of growth introduces new issues to solve. For most organizations, data is the most underrated asset. For successful churches, data are key to modern ministry. When everyone has access to the current information, they’re better equipped to serve people and lead well. If this hasn’t been a priority for you, today is the best time to start and join other successful churches who are doing this and having great impact!
There’s a lot to do to avoid the gaps and continue leading a stronger church with the help of your critical asset: data. Ministry expert, Centralizing Data for More Effective Ministry, shares three steps that can be implemented now in your church:
#1 Leverage Your ChMS Partner
Knowing the ins and outs of your ChMS isn’t your full-time job. Your tech partner should have a customer team ready to answer your questions, explain new futures, and adjust your workflow for better results.
Action: Schedule time with the customer success manager at your ChMS brand. Ask them for best practices for putting in information, managing it, and using that data on a regular basis. They should have helpful insights learned from working with countless successful churches like yours.
#2 Assign an Owner
Most start with a lot of time, energy, and resources, only to fizzle. Why? Because the work belonged to everyone. Avoid this potential failure by assigning ownership to someone on staff. Their organizational position doesn’t matter.
Action: Look at your team and determine who is the right fit to lead this work for the long haul. Give them the authority to do the job, and the work should flourish.
#3 Dedicate Resources for Sustained Effort
It’s easy to get excited over an initial push. The data is in one place, so it’s time to celebrate, right? Wrong. This step is just the beginning. Without sustained effort and resources, it won’t matter where data lives.
Action: Give the owner a budget and the authority needed to make it work. Invest in such efforts as training, so your team is better equipped to be more effective.
In a previous blog, Centralizing Data for More Effective Ministry: A Critical Pillar, three areas data gets off the rails were shared, and in another blog in this series, Centralizing Data for More Effective Ministry: Path to Efficiency, we are encouraged by the fact that putting information in one place accelerates the pursuit of your church’s mission. Both of these are critical for successful churches to manage data, to connect with the community and congregants.
The church as we know it today is not the church of our parents or grandparents. Dare I say, there’s an even more protruding gap that didn’t exist in such plain sight with previous generations and prior to Covid-19? We formally thought and planned in this way, “When people come to church we want….” and post Covid and even more true to our current world and the varied generations we serve, we must strategically think, “If people come to church we want…”. See the difference? We’ve moved from when to if. This is our world, our community, our people. So how do we plan accordingly? We start by diving into the data and figuring out the who, the what, the when, the how, and the why. All of this is accessible to us, so we must choose to utilize the information and connect it accordingly.
When data comes to mind, think of your first steps as LAD (Leverage, Assign, Dedicate) to remind you of how best to put it to work for your ministry. It’s a tool. Fishers of men need a lot of nets and even more patience. Cast your nets deep and wide, and when you’re hauling in the fish make a calculated effort to add them to your database: organizing them to know who they are, where they came from, how they entered your net, and how to best serve them.
Data should be a massive ministry asset, and it starts by centralizing everything into a single, current, easy-to-use system. This latest resource, Centralizing Data for More Effective Ministry, along with the other guides in the Roadmaps Series: Solutions to Large Church Problems, show streamlined paths you and your team can follow. And, to make it even easier and so you don’t miss any of our Church Growth Resources, you can also receive our ministry blog posts straight to your inbox!
Pattie plays an integral role in key areas across ACS Technologies, including project management, business partnerships, operational excellence, and more. Pattie joined ACS Technologies in 1995. Before that, she worked in advertising and brand management leadership with Procter & Gamble. She also worked with Koinonia Partners, the birthplace of Habitat for Humanity. Pattie attends St. Catherine’s Episcopal Church in Florence, SC.