Selecting or switching church ministry solutions to suit the unique needs of your church can be a real pain. But, it doesn’t have to be.
Our church is “average.” Just above the national average for attendance. Just below the average age of a congregation. While we know we are unique in meaningful ways, the stats show that we could be “any church USA”. As we grow, we are constantly hitting obstacles and feeling the pain that can be associated with ministry. Our leaders feel it, our volunteers feel it, and our members feel it. Yet, we also feel the joy of seeing God move in the lives of his people and the people He is drawing to his Church.
One way we seek to eliminate the pain points in ministry is by selecting church technology that meets our needs without getting in the way. We need to keep accurate records for our people. We need to communicate effectively. We need to track progress. We need an integrated e-giving solution. We need congregants to be able to engage with their groups and have online access to their giving history. And do all this while saving us time.
When we set out researching church ministry solutions, we started by addressing not only our basic needs, but our pain points as well. We asked the question, “What will do what we need it to do, and eliminate barriers to growth – pain points?”
We first identified the basic functions we needed – that every church needs. Then we dreamt about what would help us go above and beyond to address the issues that seemed to harangue our progress.
We identified the following pain points:
- Assimilating people and tracking their progress toward discipleship
- Time – namely, lack of time
- Reaching our members with targeted messages to encourage and inspire them
- Training volunteers and staff to use our systems
- Getting people engaged in the conversation
- Moving people from where they are, to where God wants them to be.
Taking a step back, we looked at what we had and realized it wasn’t helping us get to where we wanted to go. So, we asked ourselves four key questions that every church should ask in assessing their current church technology.
1) What do you dislike most about your current church ministry solutions? Go ahead, get it off your chest.
2) Are you having problems related to: accessibility, data silos, security concerns, lack of online giving integrations, lack of communication, or difficulty engaging groups? We were.
3) What are the things you’d most want in a new solution? We wanted insights into our congregants’, good volunteer management, giving and contribution records, child check-in, solid assimilation workflows, and a solution that would help us engage with our congregants and vice versa.
4) Why should you switch now? For us, sooner was better than later. If you have selected the right church technology partner, they’ll help make the transition easy. With new technology, easy data transfers, and better-than-ever accessibility, making the switch is not as hard as you’d think.
We determined that having a church technology solution that people could actually use, with minimal training, needed a few key feature sets. It needed to have good reporting so we could get a pulse on our congregation. It needed to have good communication features so we could share our messages in ways that could be heard. It needed to be intuitive so our congregation and teams could use it to engage with each other and the church. It needed to be cost effective to meet our tight budget. Finally, it needed to be simple, yet robust, so it would actually save us time instead of burden us with another clunky workflow.
Good church ministry solutions should empower your team to do more real ministry. It should affect the spiritual growth and personal development of your people. It should make your life and your ministry more effective.