What is Church
A Complete Guide to ChMS
No matter the size of a church, it’s important to have a system in place to keep track of visitors, members, volunteers, events, and finances.
It’s easier to minister to people when there is organization. Better connection and communication can happen when you have tools on your side to better assist your service.
It can be an overwhelming task to manage, and that’s why most churches have a person (or people) with the gift of administration to oversee these operations. With such a wide variety of people, finances, and activities to monitor and process, church management software (ChMS) is a helpful tool to increase efficiency and save 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. A centralized platform will help your teams serve, lead, and connect better because the details will be easily managed.
In this article, we’ll discuss what church management software is, what the benefits are, and the various integrations that make up a fully robust ChMS.
What is ChMS?
Church Management Software, or ChMS, is technology that is specifically designed for churches and other ministry-based institutions. The purpose of ChMS is to assist in streamlining daily operations, with integrations to help with membership databases, volunteer management, scheduling, reporting, events, finances, and communications.
This software program aims to support churches by encouraging collaboration and centralizing administrative tasks while tracking growth and building community. ChMS makes it easier for teams to work together or to allow multiple people access to the information that’s needed.
History of Church Management Software
Church Management Software originated out of a need to centralize important information about members, finances, and communication. All of this was originally done on paper with some sort of filing system. Once computers became more prominent, this was still usually done by hand and then manually entered into spreadsheets.
The problem was that it took a lot of time. It was difficult to find what people needed and to collaborate using this process. It was also challenging to send any communication to church members. Often, telephones chains would have to be created in order to update the congregation. Imagine this process with a megachurch during COVID.
When ChMS was first created, it was mainly a data processing system to simplify mailing lists and other basic functions. Today, church management software is a powerful, web-based tool to help churches track, manage, and organize visitors, members, volunteers, small groups, finances, and more, including mass communication. With integrated functionality, all the back-end administrative work can happen seamlessly, allow for collaboration across staff and departments, and produce Kingdom growth.
Why your church needs an integrated ChMS
With an integrated church management software, various tasks that would normally be used with numerous different programs are actually unified under one suite of products that seamlessly work together. Rather than having a different software or online platform for membership, online giving, communications, website and content management, security, and events, an integrated ChMS cohesively ties all the tasks into one system. With ChMS, pastors, staff, and church administrators will be able to streamline the behind-the-scenes administrative work.
Below are seven benefits of having a Church Management Software that is integrated with multiple technological tools.
- Keep track of your people. Incorporate new visitors into your data management system and follow them through the process of becoming members. Monitor and maintain contact information, like phone numbers and addresses. View what ministries they’re serving in or if they need their background check updated.
- Stay engaged. Update your congregation with mass communication via text and email messaging. Update a segmented group, like women or parents, or send a message to the entire collection of people.
- Track finances. With integrated church accounting and online giving, you can manage monetary contributions and ensure funds are being used appropriately. Track the budget and monitor growth or dips in giving. Online giving makes it easy for your congregation to give from anywhere.
- Make training easy. Volunteers and staff don’t know what they’re doing the moment they begin; they need to be trained. Your database can help manage where they’re at in the training process and allow you to upload files and completion certificates.
- Generate reports. Analytics help your ministry track data over time. Reports will help you gain insightful information about trends in attendance, giving, and activities.
- Keep people safe. Security is crucial. You can provide safety for your people with security functions, check-in processes, and background checks. With integrated ChMs, this can be an automated process that blends seamlessly into your church database.
- Do more ministry. With an easy-to-use system designed for churches to be able to accomplish a wide variety of tasks, it will free up time for your team to be able to do more ministry. Rather than spending hours inputting information, entering data, and doing paperwork, they’ll have a streamlined process that saves hours of time.
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 a cloud-based system. Access visitors’ information from your phone. 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. And because it’s cloud-based, all of the data and information is automatically backed up regularly.
It is beneficial to have a software program designed for the church because you have a method that is specifically created to help ministries thrive. Churches have unique needs that require a system (and a team behind that system) 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 because the various systems work together. The suite of tools within an integrated system will help with management across the board. Check out the features of these tools below.
Manage your entire church from one system
The general administrative tasks of a church can be streamlined with an effective ChMS. You’ll be able to better support your ministry with the automation provided 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. Even members can update their information if they move or change their phone number.
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
Administrative burden will be reduced because everything related to generosity is simplified through an online giving platform that is synched directly to the ChMS.
Provide convenient giving options through your Website, Mobile App, Text Messaging, and Kiosk Giving, so members can contribute to the church however is the easiest for them. Foster generosity from anywhere, at any time.
Manage all contributions, gifts, and donations in one system. View a range of custom reports by person, transaction, fund, and date range. Access graphical reports of monthly trends, automatic recurring giving, and forecasting. You’ll be able to view church growth and trends.
Encourage generosity with a convenient recurring gifts feature. Many people automate their bill pay, why not provide the option for them to automate the important? And you can allow donors to access 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. With mass text and email options, you can either send an update instantly or have the message scheduled out in advance.
Message the entire church at once or segment groups for information that is specific to them. Let everybody know about an upcoming church-wide event or contact only specified people, like the parents of middle and high school students, to promote the summer youth camp.
Create an environment of 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 directly from your ChMS, 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. There’s no more need to have an outside mass email marketing program. Follow email best practices to increase congregation engagement through your communications.
Simplify the complexeties of church accounting
Accounting for non-profits, especially churches, is different than for regular, for-profit businesses. Churches have different needs, different issues, and different tax considerations. And just because a local business succeeds with the financial software it uses, that doesn’t mean that it’s the best option for churches with their unique needs.
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.
Financial software that is synced to your ChMS can help manage and maximize ministry growth through appropriately stewarding resources. With integrated church accounting software, you’ll be able to access and update ledgers, payroll, receivables, and payables.
Align data and financial insight with your ministry goals by effortlessly generating valuable reports. This can also take the stress out of providing financial statements to donors, pastors, and the church board. Your sensitive accounting data will also be secure.
Share your message and attract new members with a church website that reflects your ministry
In the digital age that we live in, your website is critical. It allows for people to find and connect with your church. With an integrated church website, build a virtual extension of your church's message. Because your website is a digital front door, you’ll want a content management system (CMS) that is designed specifically for the church.
Share the gospel through digital evangelism with your website. Bring in new members and get your church found on the web with search engine optimization. Set a great first impression with visitors and connect with your members.
An effective CMS will be easy to manage and update. Change content, 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.
Influence outside the church walls with live streaming
Live streaming became a necessity to stay connected with the congregation when everything turned digital during the pandemic. Integrating live streaming with your church management software makes for a seamless opportunity to continue in community, even when they aren’t able to attend in person.
Easy-to-use, all-in-one live streaming that’s created for the church will help expand your reach. You can share your services, in real time, through social media and your website.
Help your members grow with live chat, Bible passages, and sermon notes. Even if your people can’t attend in person, they can continue to feel like they’re a part of the service through live church streaming.
Protect your church and staff by implementing background checks
Church security and protection are important to your visitors, members, and volunteers. Background checks for church staff and volunteers enable churches of every size to take a substantial step in the journey to protect their people.
With a robust 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 a vital part of the volunteer process. They are critical in recruiting and approvals and help to appropriately assign volunteers. Churches need to be mindful of the safety (and the concern for safety) of their congregation.
Having a secure system in place to recruit and track volunteers is crucial. 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 they’re serving in. It will also verify whether their background check is current or not.
Engage your congregation with a personalized mobile app
Your ministry should be able to reach people no matter where they are at. And most people always have their phone on them. What better way to stay connected then through your church’s mobile app? 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.
Encourage members to participate 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 across the globe with a mobile-friendly app. People can watch the live streaming services on the go. They can get connected to a group during the week. They can also receive push notifications to get updates immediately.
Enhance your services with digitally managed worship planning
Take volunteer management even further by integrating worship planning software with your ChMS. Uncomplicate scheduling and organize who is serving at which times.
You can also do everything you need to coordinate your worship services. 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.
Church Management Software to Meet Your Ministry Goals
Increase efficiency for your teams with powerful technology that will put more time back their day, so your church can focus on ministry. With whole-church management at your fingertips, you can grow your impact, regardless if your church is just starting out or you have a large, multi-campus megachurch.
With an integrated ChMS, you’ll have access to a suite of tools that will save you time, organize your people, and streamline your processes. Contact us today to get started or begin your free 30-day trial now!