Building The Foundation

Once we had decided on a new Church Management Software. It was time to start structuring it to meet our needs. Some ChMS systems are group-based, meaning events and people are always tied back to a group. Some are people-based, some are event-based.

Events needed to be entered into the calendar, rooms and room numbers needed to be added for scheduling purposes and people needed to be ‘tagged’ (the term that Breeze uses) based on their group and ministry participation.

My biggest challenge then (and this continues to be a challenge), is that I don’t attend the Church where I work. I probably know fewer than ten percent of the people who attend the Church. To put that in perspective for you, in a Church of 300, I would know fewer than 30.

I felt like a custom home builder who had been charged with building a home for a family they had never met.

So I set out to get to know the family. I asked my bosses if it would be possible for me to spend a Sunday on campus getting to know them and observing their ministry structure. Because my position description states that the person holding my position should not be a member or attender of the Church, I was concerned that I wouldn’t be able to truly get to know them and their processes. I was grateful when my bosses said I was welcome to join them that first Sunday morning. (I have had the privilege of being with them several Sundays since then. Although, here’s an interesting fact: I have never heard my boss preach live and in-person.)

I talked to the people checking-in families in the children’s area, and I watched the men in the office go through their normal procedures after taking up the offering.

After that initial Sunday morning visit, I spent the next few weeks reading about them as a Church body. I studied their by-laws and poured over past Church records and historical documents. I learned the correct verbiage (ie, small groups are called “Life Groups” and the sanctuary is referred to as the “Worship Center.”)

I was also intentional with my own language. ‘Their church’ or (to my boss) ‘your church’ became ‘our church.’ ‘You’ became ‘we’ as I set out to structure the software in a way that would best serve their (OUR) needs.

Spending this time, intentionally getting to know them, helped with organizing the software.

Having a good foundational structure, no matter which Church Management Software you are using, will help you as  your church grows and new people profiles and groups are added to the system.


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