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wrapped giftIn light of the Christmas season, we are offering 15% off of our Shelby v.5 modules such as: Church, Financials, Headquarters and e-Solutions (including: e-Give, e-Donor, e-Registrations and e-Bill) from now until December 31st! Don’t miss out because this deal won’t last long! Use the promo code: DEC2010 Questions? Call: 800-877-0222 Email: *Note: December offer excludes third-party products such as: Connections, ShelbyTeller & Mailroom/Move Agent.

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On the slopesWhen I was a teenager, a fun way to get to know people and learn more about God was to get involved in different church activities. During the winter months, there is plenty to do outdoors that can bring people together. The first thing to consider, however, is how to keep everyone safe. Here goes my embarrassing story… I was in ninth grade and going on my first ski trip with a friend’s youth group. I was so excited, and it was a good way to meet people and bring worship into my little vacation. It was over Christmas break and being from Tennessee, we made the (somewhat) short trip to the mountains of West Virginia. I had never been skiing before but I didn’t want to take the time for ski school since everyone else was headed straight for the slopes. I was doing fine until day two. On the second day, my friends and I decided to ride a ski lift to the middle of a large mountain, confident that we could get off there and slowly ski down. Boy… was I wrong. The chair took us to the very top and dropped us off on a black diamond slope, where I was sure one of my friends was going to have a panic attack. Thinking I was invincible at 15-years-old, I quickly flew down the mountain, rounded a corner, and collided right into the back of a snowboarder adjusting his eye wear. Embarrassingly, I had to be taken down the mountain in a truck to see the medic. My friends saw this as a photo opportunity and had a field day with it. I, too, found some amusement in it until I was told that I had seriously hurt my arm. Needless to say, I was not able to ski for the rest of the trip. The moral of my story is that the whole situation could have been avoided had there been a lot more organization on the trip. Our trip leaders never had any idea about my incident because there was no way for me to give the medics that information. I was also brand new to skiing, but there was never any push for newbies to do the one hour of ski school. And I don’t recall a single person on our trip wearing any safety gear, such as helmets or wrist bands. It is important to know what is going on with each person on your trip, and although I am to blame for my bad decision, I do understand how a 15-year-old might not think about keeping contact info in his or her pocket, or how he or she would think ski school would be a waste of time. Someone should have planned out these minor details and made sure that everyone was adequately prepared. So, the next time you are planning a retreat, in any season, make sure that you have the proper safety precautions sorted out so you can have fun and spend your time worshiping together. Best wishes to you all!


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We have a few great opportunities tomorrow to learn more about two of our Shelby Systems’ products: Arena Select and MinistryLINQ. Arena Select is our web-based software that has a pricing plan designed with your budget in mind. Arena Select is ideal for the church that wants an intuitive, powerful way of expanding its effectiveness. The webinar will take place tomorrow (Wednesday, December 8th) at 2 PM Central time. To sign up, click here. MinistryLINQ is a company that we have partnered with to provide you the ability to process payments directly from your software. To check out one of the MinistryLINQ webinars that are also being held tomorrow (Wednesday, December 8th), click here for the one at 10:00-10:45 AM and here for the one at 2:00-2:45 PM. We hope that you take advantage of these opportunities to see how these two products could be beneficial to your church or non-profit organization. See you there!

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Happy Friday! It is always nice to know what you are thinking about us, and we love getting feedback from you. One of our clients from Shepherd of the Hills Church, Jeremy Hoff, was asking around about Shelby Systems’ Payroll feature and was looking for feedback from our Payroll users on what they think about it. All of the feedback was positive, but I wanted to give everyone else a chance to see what some of our users are saying, as well as to take this moment and say ‘thanks’ to all of you. There is some great information here…

“I have worked lots of different PR programs and I think Shelby is one of the best. We are small but I still love how easy it is to use. I say go for it. It will pay for itself in just a few months.”

-Sue Nichols- Parish Manager at St. Margaret of Scotland Catholic Church

“Shelby Payroll is a great program. We used ADP for several years, but pulled it in-house in 1995 and are SO glad we did. Periodically, my boss will ask if we should consider outsourcing – but so far, I see no reason why we should. Doing it ourselves may cost us a bit more time for the reporting side of things, but we save way more money in ADP fees than we spend on the salary for our employees to do it for us.

I would also recommend the third party product, Time-Clock Plus. It interfaces with Shelby and eliminates manual entry of hours. Shelby Systems actually uses this for their payroll processing.”

-Cindy Rose- Finance/Accounting Manager at Christian Life Center

“We have about 55 employees and do payroll every other week. Piece of cake, including the tax forms, and the Shelby support is amazingly up-to-date on this stuff!

The minister’s “quirks” are handled very easily. The data input is about as simple as it gets, and you have to do the data part of it even if you outsource.

I will say, however, that we are blessed not to have the nasty stuff–garnishments, out-of-state people, etc. But, Shelby has a place for those things, too. It’s all in how it’s set up. Once the setup is done correctly, the thing just about runs itself! I don’t think I could ever be convinced to outsource.”

-Lori Manning at Zoar Baptist Church

Our clients are so important to us and we appreciate all of you. If you have any questions or concerns, feel free to leave a comment below and I will try to get back to you as soon as possible. I sound like a recording on an answering machine, don’t I?


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A couple of weeks ago, we held a training session for a few of our local National Association of Church Business Administration (NACBA) clients, and the general consensus is that it went quite swimmingly. We appreciate everyone who came for taking the time out of their busy schedules to get a better look at us as a company and to learn more about our products. It was a fun day filled with tons of useful tips, info, and food (you can’t ever go wrong when food is involved). When I asked if the Read more »

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In everyday life, you often hear people complaining about bad customer service, hidden fees or slow responses. Because of this, you can see many companies setting new goals or marketing strategies to resolve (or hide) these issues. Those tactics don’t ever seem to work very long and the companies still lose credibility if their customer service is… er… inadequate. One of our main focuses is keeping our customers happy and progressive. This cannot be done if you are spending too much time trying to figure out a product or avoid its glitches. We never want your experience with Shelby Systems to be like that, so we offer things like a support line that is open seven days a week for our Arena products (five days for Shelby v.5), as well as free training that we include when you choose to do business with us. The reason we are here is to make sure that you are satisfied and your needs are met. We have online support as well as podcasts and blogs (cough cough) to keep you up-to-date with what we are doing and why it is relevant to you. We also have email support with all of our new updates and how-to information. For a more hands-on experience, we offer training at our headquarters in Memphis, TN, or we can send a trainer to you for help. In my opinion, too much time is spent nowadays sitting on hold or listening to a recording over the phone. Customer service is what determines a lot of an organization’s success, and we want to put the pride that we have in our company right into your ministry. If you need assistance with your Shelby Systems product or have questions about purchasing a Shelby product, please contact us today!

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Blogs, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, digital ads, emails, text messages, podcasts, Skype, YouTube… wow, that was exhausting… and I could go on. As most of us already know, technology has taken over and everything is required to be instant and accessible. A huge issue in the church world is finding a way to keep up with it all. In some ways, it is easy for a church to stay relevant, and in others, you can feel like you are drowning in a sea of technological obstacles. Today’s Christian church has to make sure it is constantly evolving, all while keeping God at the center. On an online video called “Churches: Using the Internet to be on Mission, Disciple, and Create Community” by Drew Goodmanson, I learned that in 1992, there were only 26 web servers on the World Wide Web. Only eight years later, in 2000, there were over seven million websites, and by 2009, there were over 230 million. When polled in 2009, 64% of Americans said that they have used the internet for spiritual or religious purposes. A church in Los Angeles advertised on Facebook and saw a 50% increase in their attendance on Easter Sunday. I think it is safe to say that the internet is a very valuable tool if it is used correctly. Each ministry is different, and each comes with its own unique vision. It is not about the size of your church or non-profit, or even how well known you are, but what you are preaching and how you are reaching people. The ways to connect with people are ever-changing, and as the statistics show, it is very beneficial to stay in the online loop. Well, there is my two cents on that. Have a good day, everyone!

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Being loyal Shelby Systems’ clients, you have probably heard of or are familiar with what we call SSTips. This tool was created years ago with our clients’ needs in mind. It all started one day in the late 1990’s when then outside Shelby trainer, Alfred Johnson, walked into a training session in Amarillo, TX. Alfred was surprised when he was immediately confronted by the attendees, since each one seemed to have a Shelby v.5 problem of some kind. “Shelby won’t do this, or Shelby can’t help me with that,” Alfred recalls. The thing was, Shelby would and could help with each issue that the clients had. After showing each person where to find their answers, Alfred went back to his hotel room and thought about how he could eliminate the problems from earlier that day. This is where SSTips was created into a newsletter for people wanting extra tips on their Shelby product(s). A small annual subscription fee was set in place and SSTips soon had a large following. “I tried to think of tips that aren’t mentioned in the manuals, that people would need for things not usually thought of,” says Alfred. SSTips really took off and Shelby Systems knew it had something really valuable. Alfred traveled for years, taking notes at every training session on what people asked the most. Besides the creation of SSTips, the best thing to happen to it took place on October 1, 2010. SSTips was transformed from a newsletter to an online help tool… and the best part? It’s FREE! If you sign up for Shelby’s Community site, you will have first access to Shelby Systems’ SSTips, updates, information, discounts and more. There is no charge to be a part of the Shelby Community, but it gives our staff and clients an easier way to interact with one another. I hope that if you have never checked out SSTips before, you will be inspired to see what the buzz is all about and how it can help you. Thanks, everyone!

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Another year has passed and Shelby Systems will again be attending the National Outreach Convention this November. The convention will be held in San Diego, CA and will take place from November 3-5. This convention is a great way to network and get to know people in the church world. It is set up to show church leaders how they can expand their outreach efforts in their communities, around the country and maybe even around the world. If you have never been and you think this might be something useful for your church, you can find more information on their website and sign up from there. It is a fun learning experience and you can pick up a lot of great information about what the happenings are in the church world. We hope to see you there at booth number 116!