More on why it’s important for the whole Church to work together.

This evening I received an attendance reminder for an event.  An event that was canceled.  I’m listed as a group leader and with CCB, there’s an option when setting up an event, to have automatic attendance reminders sent to the group leader(s) of the group hosting the event.

The event that was canceled.

The event that was canceled that is also listed on the public web site calendar.

The event that was canceled that is also listed on the public web site calendar that also has a form available to sign up that is listed on the public list of forms.

Shall I go on?

With many Church Management Software programs, there are options to link things to your public web site or display them on public lists. Assuming that your software administrator is working closely with the web site designer and communications director (if those three areas of responsibility don’t already fall to one in the same person), with one click, what is entered into CCB can automatically go to your public web site.

*View this log-in page for The Gathering Community Church.  (Notice in the upper right the links to Forms, Find A Gathering Group, and Calendar.)  If you click calendar, please ignore the hockey game slated for January 14, 2017.  That will be deleted soon. If you click forms, please ignore the link to the hockey game sign up form.  That also will be deleted. Not soon enough.

A case like the one I’m looking at this evening, is further reason that you should make sure all of your ministry team leaders are working closely with each other and with your software administrator, to maximize the use of your church management software and understand how it connects the entire Church.

Including the public web site.

*I hope that by the time you read this, the hockey game won’t be listed on either of those pages.

What Do You Need?

I live in North Carolina. Over the weekend we had snow. And ice. It was only a few inches of snow with a nice glaze of ice. Enough ice that there were people ice skating on neighborhood streets. Terms were thrown around: Snowmageddon, Snowpocolypse, Snowzilla.

What we in North Carolina call “Snowmageddon,” people in other parts of the country might call “average Monday morning.”

One of the things we do is run to the store and stock up on bread, milk, toilet paper, and snack food (any brand of potato chips or crackers will do).  There are long lines at the gas pumps. People rush to get everything they need to ‘hunker down’ for an unknown period of time. Personally, and inevitably, I always forget something. (This time I forgot that I have a 17-year-old son with an electric guitar and thus, I forgot earplugs. And ibuprofen.)

Philippians 2:4 instructs us to not only look out for our own interest, but also the interest of others.  This can be a daunting task for church leaders – shepherds caring for their flock.

How can a good Church management software help?

This weekend, Fairview Baptist Church in Apex, NC, used the forms feature within Breeze ChMS to create a custom form.

They asked simple questions:

  • Are you in need of anything?
  • Are you able to offer your home to someone without power?
  • Are you able to safely drive and run errands or provide rides to people?

Form responses were automatically sent (emailed) to one person, but also accessible by people with form privileges within the software.

Church Community Builder has a ‘needs’ feature for each group in the software.  Group leaders can create needs, group members can sign up to take those needs.  Church leaders with full software privileges can view those needs and sign ups across all groups.

These are just a few examples of how a Church management software can help you meet the needs of your Church body.

How are you managing needs within your own Church?

What Do You Want In A Church Management Software?

Let me first tell you, you DO want a church management software.  Eventually you’re going to out grow simple spreadsheets and cloud-based file sharing.

A good church management software will offer a lot of benefits, so it’s best to start with a few questions:

  • What do you want?
  • Why do you want it?
  • What are your resources?

A few years ago our Lead Pastor walked in and talked about all the features he’d like in a “perfect” program.  I pointed out that he already had CCB (Church Community Builder).  He asked me if I knew how to use it and I told him I did.

CCB just partnered with @ChurchNumbers, but if you’re not too interested in data metrics, this won’t be of interest to you.  Breeze offers custom user roles and permissions, but unless you have someone dedicated to managing user roles and permissions, this is not a benefit to you.

What do you want?

  • Are you looking to track attendance on events or main services?
  • Do you want children’s check-in?
  • Do you want financial tracking?
  • Do you want group management features?
  • Do you want spiritual gift fields for getting people connected to ministry opportunities?
  • Do you want to manage resources – such as buildings and grounds usage?

Why do you want it?

  • Are you tracking attendance for the purpose of follow-up, first time guest engagement, or church growth?
  • Do you want children’s check-in only for attendance or will you use a check-out feature as well?
  • Are tracking financial contributions for office staff use or do you want the congregation to be able to access their own financial information?  Do you need online giving?
  • Is there a current problem or potential problem that can be solved with the use of a good church management software?
  • Are you looking for a more organized office or are you looking for something the congregation will embrace as an overall church communications tool?

What are your resources?

  • What are you willing to pay financially?  (If y ou’re not able to pay for the higher priced software, don’t expect a lower priced software to give you all of the features y ou want.)
  • What are your staff and volunteer resources?  (How much time commitment is involved in database management?)

Start with these questions. In the coming weeks I’ll begin to break these down based on how I’ve used church management software.

What questions do you have?

Do You Need A Church Management Software?

Do you need a Church Management Software?

In short, no.

You NEED God’s Word and strong visionary leader.

You need a core group of people committed to driving the church forward no matter what phase you’re in – launch team, elders, core staff.

You need to be committed to prayer.

You don’t need a church management software.

But a good church management software will help you in several areas.

  • Organize volunteers and schedules.
  • Integrate with your web site and/or other external calendars. Data entry takes place once and with one click, the information appears in multiple locations.
  • Track financial giving and offer online giving options.
  • Event registration and check-in.
  • Nursery/children’s check-in with the option to print security labels.
  • Group management options that allow you to move communications into the hands of small group leaders.
  • Input attendance on large gatherings (Sunday morning worship service) to track growth metrics.
  • Church-wide and group-specific messaging.
  • Keep all church-data in one single, secure location.
  • Track visitors and guests as they assimilate into the life and culture of your church.
  • Track attendance to know when to follow up with people who haven’t been at church for awhile.
  • Keep Pastoral or staff notes in a custom notes field.
  • Set reminders to follow up with individuals  or assign follow ups to other key staff members or volunteers.
  • Keep track of prayer requests.

There are many other features a good church management software will provide. So, while it’s not a NEED, it is definitely something you should want.

Tomorrow we’ll look into the question:  what do you want in a church management software?

 

Kenny Jahng’s Epic List of 142 Free Stock Photography Websites — >>KennyJahng.com

Depending on which church management software your church chooses, there may be areas where you can customize the screen with graphics.

Check out this custom form built through Breeze ChMS for Fairview Baptist Church:

chili-cookoff-screenshot

Check out Kenny Jahng’s list of free stock photo sites and connect with some awesome creative people over at Church Communications to help you get to started on creating some eye-catching graphics for your ChMS.

Looking for the right image on stock photography sites for your social media posts could sometimes be insanely difficult. What’s worse is when you go through the effort add images to your post, and then after publishing it, you see the same image everywhere. . . because everyone knows about unsplash after all 😉 Fortunately,…

via Kenny Jahng’s Epic List of 142 Free Stock Photography Websites — >>KennyJahng.com

The Process of Progress

January 1, 2017

As I was thinking about starting a blog, I realized my blog needed a theme.  Trust me, you WANT me to have a theme.   You don’t want some of the random thoughts that just come out of my head.

My boss has referred to me as “process thinker.”  And since the boss is always right, I thought about how that would fit into my blog.  Late last night, I realized that processes are good, but they should lead to progress.  As Christians we are always growing and progressing. Moving forward, not backward.

This morning, as I was scrolling through my Facebook news feed, this article came up:

How to Have a Better, Bolder 2017: Embrace the Process

I couldn’t have said it better myself.

Some things you’ll find:

  • I probably won’t blog every day.  I may not even blog every week.
  • I have some super smart friends.  You should check out their blogs (look over to the right if you’re on a computer or scroll down if you’re on a mobile device). If I don’t have anything original to say, I’ll share their stuff.
  • I’ll probably quote my boss (a lot).  He pays me.
  • I’ll probably quote my Pastors (a lot). They don’t pay me, but they are awesome.
  • I’m sarcastic.  Sarcasm is our family’s love language.  If you read something and think, ‘she can’t be serious,’ then you’re probably right.

Any questions?

Let’s go…