Church Management Software (ChMS) is often a hot button topic around churches and ministries. There seems to be a lot of passion regarding what software is chosen and why. Ministries often waste a lot of time and money bouncing between different software platforms to satisfy the perceived needs of specific staff members. More often than not any issues with a ChMS system can be resolved through proper training on the software and its features. Too often, however, ministries become software schizophrenic, bouncing from software package to software package, expending stewardship and missing ministry opportunities trying to find the perfect solution, and perhaps violating privacy, like a bigbrother software. Then a new staffer is hired who wants to use a solution they are more comfortable with and the whole process repeats itself over—and over, and over.
Did you know there is more to ChMS? While it is important a ministry selects the proper platform, receives the necessary training, and then holds staff accountable for using the solution selected there is another side to all of this, the human side. Another way to look at this is the ministry side of ChMS, where the software actually helps the ministry accomplish its mission of impacting souls for Christ.
Far too often this side is lost in the drama created through the selection process and then the fussing about the selection process and its result. What if we put the ministry side first and focused on using the tool to impact the Kingdom as opposed to all the drama surrounding the ChMS system itself? What might that look like?
How to Use ChMS Without Turning it Into BigBrother Software
Consider a family in your church who is plugged in and actively serving. They attend small group meetings, are faithful to Sunday services, give generously, and if there is a need for servants they show up. At one of their small group meetings they share a prayer request that a member of their family is ill and will require full time care. They tell the group their family member is going to move in with them.