Church management has evolved significantly over the past several years. Changing demographics, use of technology, multi-site campuses, and social media all play a role in shaping the way churches connect and interact with their members and visitors. Staff is challenged to stay focused on the mission of the church while constantly adapting to change and managing with fewer resources.
How can church staff stay engaged with members and visitors and work more efficiently? Here’s a look at ways churches can simplify church management:
- Maintain a USEFUL database
One of the best ways to simplify church management is to start with your database. Your church database is only as good as the information you put into it. Take the time to assess the information stored, identify areas for improvement (cleanup!), and establish clear guidelines for how information is collected, entered, and used. All too often databases are poorly maintained and become a roadblock to ongoing communication. If you have recently merged databases, take the time to purge duplicate records. If you are converting from one database to another, take the time to clean up the database both before and after the conversion. Ask your software provider if they offer support in migrating your old database to the new system.Next, identify the information you are going to collect and manage going forward. Think about how you are going to use the information to grow fellowship, serve unique ministries, and identify opportunities to grow. Do you know which small groups your members participate in? What about their passions and spiritual gifts and how they relate to volunteer opportunities? Are there any special event requests from a member that need to be managed (e.g., wedding)? How about tracking of contributions to thank faithful givers?
- Give Individuals the opportunity to update their own records
Save time. Decentralize your people record management by empowering individuals with secure web-based access via an online portal to your website or mobile apps. These tools provide a way for attendees to access/update personal information. Church attendees can also update information with a Self-Service Kiosk. Remind them while they are at church and give them the opportunity to update their information while they are thinking about it.
- Use Your Database to Target Communications
Church databases should be more than a place to store information. Use data in combination with mass communication tools to assist with your discipleship process. Send targeted email and text messages, post engaging content to your social networks, and send US mail only to those that prefer this communication method. Targeted communication is far more efficient and cost effective than sending out information that is not matched to interests, duplicated to multiple household members, or not sent via a recipient’s preferred communication channel (e.g., email or social networks).
- Set up Automation
Are you regularly communicating with members and visitors? Identify opportunities to connect and engage with your audience and create email templates matched to these opportunities. For example, create templates that thank first-time visitors, follow-up with people before and after an event, wish members a happy birthday or anniversary, remind people of small group opportunities, and thank them for their contributions.
- Engage Volunteers Wisely
First, a word of caution. Volunteers play a vital role in ministry. They help with discipleship and extend limited church resources. Volunteers deserve our ongoing appreciation. They also need to be matched to the right opportunity and engaged at the right time or they will suffer burnout and withdraw from volunteering altogether.Church staff needs to work together to plan opportunities for volunteers that are tied to its mission and then coordinate calendars to understand church-wide volunteer needs for the year. All too often the same small group of people is asked to volunteer for every need the church has. Plan out volunteer needs across all ministries and then use personal relationships and your church database to identify opportunities specifically tied to interests and spiritual gifts. People are more likely to volunteer for things they feel passionate about or feel confident they can add value to. Set up .your automated email system to make sure volunteers are thanked regularly for their service.
- Save Time with Online Giving
Reduce administrative costs with online giving. Use web-based tools to efficiently collect contributions and extract data to make decisions based on trends. With online giving and access tools, the church office no longer has to send statements and giving becomes as easy as using the church mobile app or self-service kiosk.
- Use an Event Management Tool
Simplify event management with a system that helps you plan resources and handles registration, payment, and promotion. An effective event management tool should integrate with your church database to streamline marketing of the event and identify and request volunteers. It should also allow you to save registration information for follow-up & future event participation.
- Simplify Check-In
A secure church check-in system simplifies children’s ministry and event attendance. It can help manage registration and ticketing, print name tags and security receipts for parents dropping their kids off at the nursery or kids’ ministry, and maintain a room registry that is easily retrieved for room checks. It can also be used to retain data for future events. Simplify church management while keeping attendees happy with shorter lines and quicker, more secure processes.
Looking for ways to simplify church management? Contact us.