What is Church
A Complete Guide to ChMS
It’s easier to do ministry when you can keep track of who is involved and who you are ministering to.
As churches grow and evolve, there should be a system in place to monitor and manage visitors, members, volunteers, events, and finances.
Managing all of this can be a complex task that is very time consuming. That’s why churches usually employ an administrator to handle these assignments. However, even with the most administratively savvy person, it’s still beneficial to have a software program designed to help ministries guide their day-to-day operations. With such a wide array of people, finances, and activities to monitor and process, church management software (ChMS) is a helpful tool to increase efficiency and reserve more time for ministry.
Church management software is technology designed for the church, so church administrators, pastors, and staff can be well equipped with the necessary resources to engage their community and expand as the organization grows.
In this post, we’ll discuss what church management software is, its benefits, and the various integrations that constitute a fully robust ChMS.
What is ChMS?
Church Management Software, or ChMS, is specialized technology designed for churches and other ministry-based institutions to help with streamlining the organization and optimization of daily operations. An integrated software system will aid in the coordination of membership databases, volunteer management, scheduling, reporting, events, finances, and communications.
It is a concentrated software program that aims to support churches by encouraging collaboration and centralizing administrative tasks. One person can oversee it, but with a cloud-based system, teams of people can utilize the useful information from anywhere. If used with intention, it can track growth and build community.
History of Church Management Software
Originally, churches had to rely on complex organization systems that would be written by hand and then compiled in some sort of fashion. Church admins would have to decipher people’s handwriting as they turned in their information card. Then they would input that member’s information into a filing cabinet or enter it into a word processor or excel spreadsheet.
The problem was that it was extremely time consuming, and it was difficult to find what people needed. Collaboration was challenging because usually only one person really knew the system well. Communication was also problematic because it would take hours to contact each person. Imagine doing that with the mega churches we have today. Even in smaller congregations this task would take precious time away from doing ministry.
When ChMS first arrived on the scene, it was mainly a data processing system to simplify mailing lists and handle other basic functions. Now, church management software is a powerful, web-based tool to help churches track, manage, and organize their visitors, members, volunteers, groups, finances, communication, and more. With integrated functionality, all the back-end administrative work can happen seamlessly, allow for collaboration across staff and departments, and produce Kingdom growth. And with a cloud-based system, tracking and reports can be done from anywhere.
Why your church needs an integrated ChMS
With an integrated church management software, you’ll have access to everything you need for your ministry to run smoothly because all the tools necessary for running the behind-the-scenes administrative work will coincide. Rather than having a different platform for membership, online giving, communications, website, security, and events, an integrated ChMS cohesively ties all the tasks into one system. This simplifies updates because you won’t have to do everything manually, rather it is all synced and automated together.
- Keep track of your people. Capture, monitor, and maintain members’ data. Keep their information up to date, and even allow them to make changes as needed. This will save admins time and effort.
- Stay engaged. Communicate easily with your congregation through mass text and emails. Update everyone all at once or segment into groups to send specific details to certain people.
- Track finances. Receive and manage contributions. Distribute allocated funds to the appropriate place. Allow your congregation to donate from anywhere with online giving.
- Make training easy. Equip new volunteers and staff with the appropriate training classes. See where they are at in the process and upload files to their user account. Leave notes in the system for other staff members to know of anything that comes up.
- Generate reports. Reporting analytics can help to track data over a set period of time. Receive insightful information about trends in attendance, giving, and activities. Print reports for the staff and board members that need to see them.
- Keep people safe. With security functions like check-in processes and background checks, you can provide safety for your people. Use the automated process that integrates seamlessly with your church database. Track who still needs a background check and who needs theirs updated.
- Do more ministry. By combining a wide variety of tools into an easy-to-use system that is specifically designed for the church, it will free up the time your team would have spent doing paperwork, inputting information, and entering data. With a streamlined process through innovative technology, you can spend more time doing what matters most — ministry.
Learn more about how one church simplified church management with time-saving features and functionality of ChMS.
Benefits of Integrated Church Management Software
Obtain whole-church management at your fingertips with cloud-based church administrative software. Access visitors’ information from your smart phone to send them a quick follow up welcoming them to your church. Download and print reports from your computer at the office. Or schedule an event with volunteers and a registration page from your laptop at the local café.
A church management system is specifically designed for the unique needs of the church. This is beneficial because you have a method that is created to help ministries thrive. Churches are complex organizations that require a software program (and a team behind that program) that understands how the church operates.
One of the main benefits is that ChMS is designed to assist churches with structuring and managing all aspects of daily operations. ChMS simplifies the complex, day-to-day tasks that churches face.
Integrated church management software can increase the productivity of the organizational and operational aspects of a church. The suite of tools within an integrated system will help with management across the board. Check out the features of these tools below.
Administer your entire church from one system
Streamline the general administrative tasks of your church with an effective ChMS. Better support your ministry with the automation created through the software.
Member data management will be simplified with cloud-based access from anywhere. Church staff can easily connect with their people because their information is not only easy to find but can be updated effortlessly.
All from the same program, create events and schedule volunteers and use of facilities. Keep track of attendance and who is serving where.
Administrative teams can run reports to gain valuable insight into trends within the church. To-do lists will shrink drastically (or at least the time it takes to check them off) with the support of an automated, administratively sufficient platform.
Grow your ministry with flexible online giving options
Reduce administrative burden with an online giving platform that is synced directly to your ChMS. Provide convenient and flexible giving options through your website, mobile app, text messaging, and kiosk giving — for members to contribute to the church. Foster generosity from anywhere, at any time, with access at your congregation’s fingertips.
Run a range of custom reports that can vary by person, transaction, fund, or date range. Access graphical reports, monthly trends, recurring giving, and forecasting. Manage all contributions, gifts, and donations in one system.
You can even encourage generosity with a convenient recurring gifts feature and allow donors to have immediate online access to what and when they have contributed.
Other Giving Resources:
Build your community with enhanced engagement.
Increase effectiveness of church communications and keep your congregation connected with various contact methods supported by ChMS. Send out immediate updates in the moment or plan ahead with a scheduled mass text or email. Let everybody know about an upcoming church-wide event or contact only specified people, like the parents of children, to promote the summer movie night.
Create exceptional member care by staying in contact with your people. Send a welcome email to new visitors and let them know how they can get connected. Reach out to volunteers in a ministry group, appreciating them for their time. Thank donors for their contributions and share how their generosity is making a difference.
With the ability to see email engagement statistics, you can view and gather reports on how many emails are being delivered successfully and which ones are bouncing. View open rates and click rates and view insights to people who are unsubscribing. You don’t even have to use a separate mass email marketing company since it’s integrated right into your ChMS. Follow email best practices to increase congregation engagement through your communications.
Simplify the complex world of church accounting
Accounting for non-profits, especially churches, is different than for regular, for-profit businesses. Churches have distinct needs, diverse issues, and different tax considerations. A typical business accounting software could potentially work for churches, but it will be much more complicated to manage and mold into the system they need.
Financial management is a critical tool in the ChMS suite. Some church management systems do not have the ability to do accounting, so be sure to find one that does because it will make it easier to handle financial particulars that come with the territory of church finances.
Through ChMS, financial software can help manage and maximize ministry growth by appropriately stewarding resources. You can access and update ledgers, payroll, accounts payable, and accounts receivable through this integrated church accounting software.
Create valuable reports that will help to align your ministry goals. Data and financial insight can help predict fluctuations in contributions. It can also alleviate stress and lower costs by easily providing financial statements to donors and pastors.
Share your message and attract new members with a church website that reflects your ministry
Because of the digital age that we live in, your website is critical in helping people find and connect with your church. With an integrated church website, build a virtual extension of your church's message. Because your website is the new front door, you’ll want a content management system (CMS) that is designed specifically for the church.
You can extend your church’s reach with digital evangelism through your website. Bring in new visitors by getting your church discovered through search engine optimization. Connect with your members and keep them updated.
An effective CMS will be quick and simple to manage and update. Change copy, add graphics, and edit pages with a user-friendly front-end editor. Create a website as unique as your ministry, designed specifically for the church.
Reach beyond the walls of your church with live streaming
As the world shut down and had to quickly go digital, including church services, live streaming became a necessity to stay connected with the congregation. Integrating live streaming with your church management software makes for a seamless opportunity to continue in community.
Easy-to-use, all-in-one live streaming that’s created for the church will help expand your reach. You can share your sermons, in real time, through social media and your website.
Even when people can’t attend service in person, you can connect with them through live chat. Help them grow by provided Bible passages and sermon notes while the sermon is taking place. Individuals can continue to feel included no matter where they are with live church streaming.
Protect your church and staff by implementing background checks
Church security and protection is important to your visitors, members, and volunteers. Background checks for church staff and volunteers enable churches to ensure the safety of the people attending their events and services.
With a powerful ChMS, the security and background check feature will help you manage tens, hundreds, or even thousands of volunteers. Reduce the risk to children, adults, property, and information by utilizing this pivotal tool. Between 4-10% of background checks reveal a criminal record. Knowing ahead of time can help protect your people.
Background checks are essential in the recruitment process and help with security approval and volunteer assignments. Churches should always be mindful of the safety of their congregation, especially now that in-person services are back in full swing.
The protection aspect of church management software should be able to accept volunteer applications, track where they’re at in the process, and allow you to see which ministries the volunteers are serving in.
Engage your congregation with a personalized mobile app
YPeople always have their phone with them. Allow your ministry to go with them, too. With advances in mobile technology, people are more connected than ever. If your ministry isn't mobile-optimized, then you are missing out on one of the best ways to connect and engage with your congregation.
Engage your members through your church app throughout the week. Inspire them to give, sign up for events, and request prayer, all from their fingertips.
Minister to people regardless of where they are with live streaming on the go. Get them connected to a group during the week. Even send push notifications to provide immediate updates.
Enhance your services with digitally managed worship planning
Take volunteer management a step further by integrating worship planning software with your ChMS. Successfully coordinate your worship services with easy scheduling. Arrange which volunteers are going to be serving at what times.
Specify details by dragging and dropping, use a template, or create a worship flow from scratch. Create pre-service elements, provide notes for team members, and share music sheets.
With a worship planner, get alerted if there are scheduling conflicts and allow your volunteers to block out any dates ahead of time if they’re unable to serve. This will help you to know if you need to find a sub or figure out what to do next.
Church Management Software to Move Your Ministry Forward
Want to put more time back in your day? Want to increase efficiency for your teams? With entire-church management that you can access from anywhere, watch your impact grow as you have even more time to focus on ministry.
Utilize the entire suite of tech tools through an integrated ChMS. Save time, organize information, and streamline your processes. Contact us today to get started or begin your free 30-day trial now!