When you’re part of a church plant or new multi-site campus, it’s pretty easy to remember the names of your 25 members, their kids, and how often they’re sitting in their usual spot in the third row on the left.
But as the church starts growing—and hopefully it does—keeping track of all the little details about your congregation becomes much more difficult.
Yet whether your church has 10 members or 10,000, people will expect your staff to be able to recite the names of their entire family and remember each ministry they’re involved with when you run into them at the grocery store.
While you can’t realistically remember the intimate details of every single church member, you can take advantage of technology to keep certain important information accessible at all times.
Who are they?
Not just their first names—do you know where their heart for ministry is? How old they are? Who their kids are? Having this information about your church community readily available in a database so you can access it when needed (like on your smartphone during that run-in at the grocery store) can be a great tool for your ministry. You can also keep their contact information and links to their social accounts so you can see what’s important to them. Something as small as sending them happy birthday email or card can be a great encouragement to your people.
Are they still attending?
Just because someone was among the original members of your church back in 1992 doesn’t mean you should assume he’s still coming to weekly services. Invest in a church check-in system that automatically updates your database as people arrive. Look at what classes and events they’re attending and learn what’s important to them. If there’s a shift in attendance, you can then examine the data you’ve collected and determine who’s not coming and why that might be. If you’ve collected all the details, you can also look back at how long they’ve been attending, when they became members, where they came from, and much more. The more information you have available, the better you can lead and serve.
Are they giving?
If your church has doubled in size, but the offering totals each week have stayed the same, your church community may not be giving. Find out where the disconnect is. Of course money is not the main focus in a church. But bills still need to be paid and ministries still need to be funded. Especially when dealing with new Christians, they may not know what God’s Word says about giving—today’s culture is charitably benevolent, but have you addressed the concept of Biblical giving? Consider making it easier for them to make contributions with giving kiosks and mobile and online giving—and allow them to access their own financial records.
Are they connected?
It’s not difficult to slip into the habit of going to church on Sunday morning, saying hellos to the five people who typically sit in the same section, then go home and not interact with anyone from the church until next Sunday. But getting plugged in and fellowshipping with other believers is so important to the body of Christ. Keeping a record of what small groups—if any—your members are a part of will help you better understand your people and their spiritual growth. If they seem to be disengaged from your church community, how can you help them get better connected?
Are they actively involved?
Just as you want your church community to connect with each other, you also want them to actively participate—serve in the nursery, teach a Sunday school class, lead worship. Keep track of where your people are serving and make it easy for them to continue to volunteer. Take time to record where people would fit based on their gifts—someone with no technical knowledge may not be the best person to run your sound system, but might make a wonderful, friendly greeter. Based on people’s ministry strengths, you can actually reach out to them with specific service opportunities.
What are their needs?
When a believer is struggling in life—whether it be spiritually or financially or any other area—he should be able to go to the church (specifically leadership) for support and encouragement. Make it easy for people to share prayer request and seek out that support. Keep track of those needs and follow a system for dealing with them. Utilize functions like follow-ups to aide in the discipleship process.
Even in a small church, it would be practically impossible to remember each of these details about every single member. But you can utilize technology to keep track of all this information so you can access it whenever you need to. Check out how Elexio’s ChMS can help you know your church community better.
Visit these other great resources for more insight:
Do You Know Who Is in Your Church? (You May Be Surprised)
Are You Getting the Most out of Your Church Software?
Pastor, how well do you know your church?
Image Credits: istockphoto