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How Integrating VoIP & ChMS Solves Problems (We Don’t Not Know About or Try to Ignore)

Photo courtesy of Intulse

As a pastor, I know I am in good company. Pastors give it all for our church communities. Sayings like “there’s no such thing as part time ministry” are common, as are familial problems that can stem from pastors who do not prioritize well. 

Basically, there is a lot of risk in ministry. We see it all too often in the news: abuse, adultery, loneliness, and people leaving the church. Our own families can take a hit from broken marriages, lack of communication, even just missing out on family events because “something came up at church.” Probably not what you anticipated in an article that is pointed towards technology in the church, but if you’re a fellow pastor, you know that we’re great at ignoring the uncomfortable.

Pastors and churches must deal with these challenges often brought on by common problems: poor communication, bad habits, and opportunities to fall into temptation.

Luddite or tech-wizard, churches, and pastors—and their faith communities—can benefit from combining modern technologies to help prevent these problems.

The Good Lord knows I dislike giving my cell phone number to anyone except staff members or church leadership. Direct communication through personal devices is problematic. It’s risky, especially in a day when text, voice, and video messages can be faked seemingly with great ease, especially with the advent of AI systems that are capable of creating believable fakes.

Poor communication can be just as compromising as inappropriate physical situations. So how can we protect ourselves, our churches, and those we serve? By adopting technology that helps us.

What Can VoIP & ChMS Technology Do to Help?

Who among us spends every moment at the church? Or, how often have we been told by friends, spouses, or children that we do not spend enough time on ourselves or our families?

My most recent church appointment is small, so I’m rarely at my church. This also affords me more time with my family, which I appreciate. However, this introduces several points of risk. Because of our limited resources as a church, we do not have a lot of technology. Honestly, we do not even have internet in the building; I bring in a wi-fi hotspot each week. Our “ChMS”, or church management software, consists of a simple spreadsheet with a few worksheets in it to track birthdays and anniversaries, as well as administrative roles. This often means my communication is done with my personal device, which can introduce risk.

When I was appointed at a larger church of over 1,000 members and around 800 in weekly attendance, I found that our ChMS software made it easy to find email addresses, phone numbers, and even home addresses. But if the software is only used to store membership information, is it being used to its full potential? We definitely were not using it that way. I rarely saw any kind of record that indicated if anyone had communicated with an attendee or member, let alone what that communication had been. Though we had paper files, I finally instituted the use of the ChMS to track background checks and clearance information of staff and volunteers with automated reminders for renewals.

The problem? A ChMS is only as good or as versatile as the people using it.