There is a lot of confusion out there about Church Management Software. What is it? How would it help us? Is it worth it? These are some common questions. And rightfully so, you have to do the research before you commit to any product. I received a call today from someone from softwareadvice.com wanting to know about ChMS because, simply put, they didn’t know anything about it. They realized that ChMS is different than non-profit software and felt they needed to learn more about it.
ChMS often gets lumped into a category with non-profit software and the truth is, it caters to a different set of needs. So we are hoping to clear up some of the misconceptions that are out there about Church Management Software. Here we go, the top 10 misconceptions about Church Management Software.
1. ChMS is the same as Non-Profit Software
Church Management Software is not the same as Non-Profit software. The two products are often grouped together due to the fact that the churches and faith based ministries that would be interested in Church Management Software are indeed non-profit organizations. The major difference between Non-Profit Software and Church Management Software is the differing needs of the organizations. Non-Profit groups often need to gain greater social awareness in order to solicit funds and organize follow ups with possible donation leads. Churches and faith based organizations that do not rely heavily on fundraising but receive unsolicited donations often want a management tool to will help organize donations and track membership aspects. I agree, it can be confusing!! To add to it, some ChMS programs even include fundraising possibility. So, the easiest way to determine which product is best for your ministry is to figure out your major needs and goals and search for a program that can meet these needs well.
2. All ChMS software is the same
So let’s say you know ChMS is the software for you, then just pick one, right? They are all the same, aren’t they? FALSE. As we have said, many people are confused about church software. (We are hoping to lessen this confusion by writing this post.) ChMS consists of a wide variety of companies that offer a variety of products. So again, figure out the needs and goals of your church and start your research from there. Every product does NOT offer the same aspects.
Here is a tool from Christian Computing Magazine that will be helpful in your search. This Interactive Church Management Software Feature Chart exhibits ChMS companies and visually portrays the products they offer for an easy comparison. Keep in mind, some companies have been in the industry for over 25 years, which gives you a lot of time to assess the church’s needs. Translation; there are some great products out there!!
3. ChMS is not affordable
Many think ChMS is not affordable, which is a common misconception. There are price tiers available based on the size of your congregation and the needs that you have based on this number of attendees. There is something for every “body”.
Another misconception related to price is that Church software (and our friend non-profit software) should cost less than similar profit software. The keyword here is similar, which will lead us into our 4th point, but before we get there; why should a product that is made for churches cost less than it’s “profit” friends? Church software is designed specifically to meet the needs of a church. This customized product is worth the price.
4. ChMs is a mediocre product
We will keep it short and sweet here, not true. People have the tendency to think that “Christian products” are a step behind, mediocre, or just “not quite there yet”. This is not the case with ChMS. These products are a solid comparison to “profit” software on the market today. Technology is up to current standards. Financial software meets current GAAP requirements. ChMS is available in the cloud and has mobile capabilities. ChMS is a robust product with endless capabilities. Far from mediocre.
5. My church only needs a spreadsheet for management not ChMS
Today’s church is moving away from the reputation of being “set in our ways”. It is exciting to watch churches come up with creative ideas for worship and sharing the Lord with those who do not know Him. When you see this creativity look a little closer and you will see the church’s infrastructure, the operations/financial staff. These people aren’t really dreamers but they are very good at getting things done!!! Both the “dreamers” and “doers” are vital pieces to the body. Doers stick to formulas because they have made the formulas work. “Doers” don’t like change. I have heard of churches that have not moved to ChMS simply because of one staff members’ refusal (more likely than not the financial/operations person).
To clarify this misconception, you need more than a spreadsheet to manage your church or whatever old systems your are using. I know change is hard, but the sooner you muster up the effort to go after it, the better. the outcome will be worth it. Promise.
6. With ChMS the product is not worth the required effort
ChMS is an investment, but it’s worth it. I know the first thing that pops into our head when we hear investment is …. money. And as we discussed earlier ChMS does require a financial investment but it also requires you to invest your time and the time of your staff. Just remember, everything is for a season not forever.
Picture your vision and set the goals you want to accomplish with the help of ChMS. Knowing where you are headed makes the journey more tolerable. We know that it takes planting a seed in order to see growth. You will never see the fruit without some effort on the front end. Members in the years to come will be blessed and benefit from your investment. It feels good knowing you have paved the way for future generations. That’s how it’s supposed to work.
7. ChMS will not meet my organization’s unique needs
It’s hard to believe people with this misconception have done much research on existing products because there is so much available. Attendance, Check-In, Volunteer Tracking, Small Groups, Contributions, Mission Trips, plus a full range of financial tools are just a few of the products out there. And on top of that there are programs so in depth that you can develop them to be what you want them to be. Many churches use Check-In in their Children’s ministry and every church seems to customize it to fit their church atmosphere. Some churches check in with sticker labels others use iPads or check in kiosks. Another church took the prayer module and expanded it to track not only their prayer requests but also their hospital visitation ministry. If you have the need, there is likely a solution already available.
8. ChMS will not integrate with what we already have
You may be able to integrate more than you think. Users have integrated their current website and their online giving. Data conversion may even be a possibility in some cases.
9. ChMS is too hard to learn/use
ChMS is not impossible to learn but it will require training. Think of the first time you ever saw a smartphone. It was a foreign object. It had amazing potential but you either had to have someone with more knowledge teach you or you end up stumbling upon features a year later that would have been helpful. Getting the proper training will not only help you master the program but it will help you not waste valuable time that could be used in other ways.
10. ChMS should be beginner friendly
A program that has the ability to be personalized will take training. If the program has this depth it will not be a “works by itself” type program. It will need to managed in the beginning and set up well. The more you invest in this front end management the better the end-user experience will be.
There you have it!! So many misconception set straight. J If you made it all the way to the end then I am impressed. If you have any questions or if you’d like to talk to someone in person, give us a call at (800) 877-0222. We love it chat!Photo Credit: quinn.anya via Compfight cc
When I think about the Lord and all the things that He has done I cannot wrap my small brain around his greatness. He has created wonderful things for us to enjoy simply because He loves us. I have spent a lot of time investigating one particular creation. This creation is so beautiful and diverse that after pondering it’s vastness I am overwhelmed by the fact that there is no comprehendible limit to the Lord’s creativity. The creation that provokes such thought is none other than Homo sapiens; the human being.
I have spent a number of years studying humans. I say that as if I have special certification or a research grant but that is not the case. As humans we naturally perceive and evaluate the behavior of our species. After many years of observing myself and fellow humans I have noticed a thing or two. One attribute that I find very interesting is the human tendency to gravitate toward things that are familiar. As believers, being aware of this “comfort instinct” can help us reach out to other people and share the love of the Lord with His beautifully diverse creation.
I stumbled upon a video that I think is wonderful. It takes a varied group of people and gives them a challenge in a fun, unique atmosphere. The challenge is that two random people get in a large ball pit and ask each other scripted questions. The idea is that even though the two people are likely different they will have something in common. When we find a common ground and relate to another person that is where friendship is born.
I wonder what would happen if churches constructed a non-intimidating, one on one environment, like a ball pit to help launch new relationships between all types of people. This would require a fight against the human tendencies to gravitate toward the familiar but going off the outcome of this video, I say it would be worth it!! Now the only other challenge would be figuring out a way to have them talk about anything other than the most popular topics; weather and church management software.
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What wakes you up in the morning?
What possession do you not leave the house without?
What is one item that if lost creates a sense of panic and fear?
What component do you upgrade every 2 years with renewal of contract?
Go ahead, say what you are thinking. Yep! That’s it. The cell phone.
I know, I gave it away with the title. Thanks for humoring me at least.
Your cell phone is likely to be by your side 24/7. If you are like me, your cell phone wakes you up in the morning and your entire day will be affected if you leave it at home. It is a vital form of communication and it would be hard to live without. I was recently sent an article by my co-worker Don. (He’s a cool guy that creates great podcasts.) Don had been challenged by an article from Christian Media Magazine and after reading it, I was challenged too. What would the world look like if we treated our Bibles like we treat our cell phones?
What would the world be like if teenagers rarely looked up from their bibles like they rarely look up from their phones? What if we took time to search for answers in scripture like we search for apps in the app store? What if we listened to the audio version of the Bible every time we wanted to listen to music for a week; how would we change? It is challenging to admit that we are more likely to have our phone in hand than our Bible. A challenge is just that – challenging! It is not easy to go against habits but it is worth a try. I for one have never regretted choosing to read my Bible. It sounds like a worthy challenge to me. What do you think?
Would anyone like to take this challenge? Pick a phone habit and challenge yourself to replace it with a creative format of Scripture. Leave your ideas below!!
Allow us to share with you the next steps on our product road map along with viewing the features and benefits of using Shelby Arena, our browser-based church management software, and the new Shelby Financials, our browser-based fund accounting software. These products are for both PC and Mac users. See how it can help your members, future members, lay leaders, and staff connect to what’s going on in your church and with each other. Managing your member’s information just got easier with using Shelby Arena for group management, volunteer tracking, workflow management, serving areas, check-in, online event registration, online giving and much more!
Please don’t miss this opportunity to see it for yourself AND get a FREE lunch! Click below to register now.
Register for a Regional Sales Event
Los Angeles Area – Tues, Feb 4
Calvary Chapel Golden Springs
22324 Golden Springs Dr
Diamond Bar, CA 91765
San Diego County Regional – Weds, Feb 5
North Coast Church
2405 N. Santa Fe Ave
Vista, CA 92084
Arizona Area – Thurs, Feb 6
First Institutional Baptist Church
1141 E. Jefferson ST.
Phoenix, AZ 85034
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We have been adopted into the family of God. We are His children. Christ’s sacrifice freed us from the debt that we could not pay; the death that we deserved. Though we continue to struggle, God does not look upon us in disgust and disappointment. He does not regret saving us. In the midst of our struggle He lavishes His grace upon us. When we fail, God is simultaneously pouring grace upon us in an extravagant manner. He saved us when we first came to know Him and He has the power to save us from the struggles that are obstructing us today. Do you believe it?
I hope that this truth will resonate deep in your souls and that it would strengthen us to fight against the struggles that are at hand. I also hope that the Lord would help us understand this truth so that we can pass it on to others. As we prepare to serve others this weekend let us be filled with his grace so we can, in turn, lavish this grace upon His creation.
Watch this Sermon Jam video about Forgiveness from Pastor Matt Chandler. Turn the volume up loud and get lost in the grace that is available to all.Photo Credit: wilkristin via Compfight cc
Are you looking for a time clock tracking product in the cloud? TimeClock Plus OnDemand is a Software-as-a-Service application that works flawlessly with our Shelby Financials Online and Shelby v.5 product. That’s right, we are telling you it is possible to access your financial software and your time clock from anywhere that has an internet connection.
There are two package options with TimeClock Plus OnDemand, basic and premium. Set up is a breeze, there is zero maintenance and upgrades are automatic. So if you are in need of a system to track employee hours, monitor attendance, and eliminate unnecessary overtime you should consider TimeClock Plus OnDemand Basic. If you want all of those options and more, take it up a notch to Premium. Regulate vacation and sick days, send out automated email reports and much more. And let’s not forget to mention technical support is included!
You’re probably wondering where you can get more info, huh? Send a shout out to the Shelby Sales Guy over your region or call Shelby Sales directly at 800-877-0222. They will be excited to help assess your needs and let you know which TimeClock Plus OnDemand product will best serve you. Hope to talk to you soon.
I am excited about an upcoming event that is being hosted by a local church in my city. We have a lot of great churches here in this town. Many of these churches take turns hosting events that benefit the city. This really gives a sense that we are all in this together as believers; working for one purpose. All that to say, I love attending events at other churches. I have seen events go smoothly and not so smoothly.
My friend told me about a speaker who is coming to a local church here in Memphis this month. I am very excited about the opportunity to attend this event and glean from this speaker’s wealth of knowledge and life experience. What made it even better is how simple it was to register for this event. I just got on the church’s website and purchased my ticket. So simple. I paid for my ticket, made reservation for childcare and viewed the event schedule. I did all of this in about 3 minutes. It was a breeze!! I was finished so quickly that I kept looking around the webpage to make sure I didn’t skip a step. I guess I was a bit surprised, because in my experience, event registration is not usually that simple.
This experience made me think, hum, this church is utilizing their software very well. I realized first-hand the benefits that come from a product like Shelby v.5 e-Solutions. This product allows you to give online in order to pay for events, make donations and more.
It was kind of funny to me. I was sitting there thinking about church software. Which is natural for me because it is my job. Then I thought, the best software is the software that your visitors don’t have to think about. It works so smoothly that they can focus on the event/topic and not the logistics. If you want to learn more about Shelby’s e-Solutions module to help simplify for your events, check it out.
When I think of balloon animals my mind accompanies the thought with scary childhood clowns or people at restaurants that make balloon animals while wearing a big button that says “I Work for Tips”. I have always respected and stood in amazement of a person who can transform a balloon into a colorful creature. If you have the ability to make balloon animals and tell jokes at the same time, then you have won a new fan. Post your YouTube link below.
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I have a new, deeper appreciation for balloon art after running across Mashable’s article on graphic designer Megan Coleman. Coleman has assigned herself the challenge of creating some type of balloon art, every day, for one year. That is a lot of balloon people!! She is on day 115. These balloon creations range from simple to eccentric. This lady does excellent work and I have no doubt that you will agree. Check out her tumblr album. Let me know balloon combination is your favorite!!!! I love the Christmas Tree (Day 92) and the Lobster (Day 8).
It is that time of year again, tax deadline season. These deadlines sneak up all too quickly. We are faced with the harsh reality that there is a lot to be done before January 31st.
I always appreciate a heads up on deadlines, even the most solid and repetitive ones like the tax form deadline. Let this post be your “heads up”. It is time to get this on your to do list.
To eliminate further hassle, take a moment to check out the forms offered by our partner Nelco. Nelco forms are compatible with our software system to ensure proper alignment which will save much stress and ensure a quick printing process. Here are a few other new features Nelco has to offer:
- Federal E-File: Electronically file W-2 & 1099 forms to the federal government
- State Reporting Fulfillment: Direct filing to any state government in the state’s preferred method
- Recipient Print & Mail Delivery: Forms will be remotely printed and mailed directly to your recipients with only a click of your mouse. Your recipients will also receive an email that will allow them to instantly retrieve their forms from a secure website.
Have questions? Give them a call at 800-266-4669. It is worth checking this task off the list, the sooner the better.