We’re answering the questions from yesterday based on case studies from actual churches.
Who is your software administrator – a paid employee or a trusted volunteer?
This will depend on your resources and structure. Whoever has this position, there are four key elements:
- Have a vetting process – check references.
- Set clear expectations and boundaries – job description and parameters.
- Grant authority – allow your administrator to make some decisions.
- Be a champion – make sure other ministry team leaders are aware of the administrator’s authority to make decisions on software usage.
Read: Seth Muse’s blog post on 6 ingredients of a great volunteer.
Who has access to financial information?
This will depend on your church structure. Above all, I recommend this be a very small circle. Start with one person, and branch out from there, continually evaluating. I know of one church of 300+ where every Deacon (volunteers voted to their position by the Congregation) has access. I know of another church of 300+ where only 4 key volunteers have access, one of those volunteers is the Elder who oversees finance.
Software features will also dictate this. A software based on role-based permissions will grant everyone with the same role, the same set of permissions. For example, everyone in a Deacon role will have the same set of permissions.
A software designed for individual permissions will give you that. Church Community Builder will allow you to give permissions based on the person, rather than their role.
Who has access to basic information – names, addresses, phone numbers?
This is virtually an on-line director and will force you to answer another question – are you using this as an office productivity tool or do you want the congregation to use it for church communications.
In almost all Church Management Software programs, there are ways to partition what people see. In some, this is done from the office/administrator role and in others, each individual user has the ability to set up their own communication and security preferences.
Who is using this for messaging? Have your driven communications into the hands of group leaders or is this a staff tool to help improve productivity?
Most software programs that offer role-based permissions will somewhat limit who has church-wide communication abilities and in some of these, permissions cannot be ‘stacked.’ For example, I’ve found using Breeze, that if I give all Children’s Teachers the same permissions to check in and view their students, but one of them needs additional permissions to create schedules and send messages, I need to create a different role just for that one person.
On the other hand, Church Community Builder offers person-based privileges to that I can modify the individual’s profile and set up the privileges they need. CCB also offers group privileges. I may be able to give one group leader the ability to publish their events on a public calendar (ie, a community outreach group), but another another group leader (ie, the church parking team), may not have that same ability.
What questions do you have regarding access and communications?