Community might not be the first thing that comes to mind when you hear “church management software,” but when used strategically, it can be a great tool for fostering connection among members within your congregation.
The capabilities of church management software are many and varied, from attendance tracking and financial recordkeeping to keeping an inventory of members’ interests and skills and hosting discussion forums. Community is often built around shared beliefs, experiences, and participation. Using church management software to facilitate or support these goals puts the ministry in administration.
Know Your People
Whatever the size of your church family, database features in church management software help to keep the interests, skills, needs, and demographics of individuals and families in a central location. This not only helps pastors and other church workers in getting to know those they serve, but it is also an asset to lay leaders and the membership at large, especially when recruiting for specific service or fellowship opportunities.
Tracking and noticing trends in attendance of worship, Bible studies, or other events can alert leadership to possible changes in the lives of their members and invite personalized follow up efforts.
Catalog and Tag Service Opportunities
It’s no secret that whether up front or behind the scenes, the opportunities for serving in the Body of Christ are endless. God works in and through His people in so many ways, and each congregation has a unique set of needs based on their membership and the community they serve.
Use church management software to create a catalog and tags of such opportunities and make it accessible to those in your congregation. This can include the ways many serve within a worship service, such as acolyting, greeting, ushering, reading, assisting with Communion, and providing technology support (slideshow clicking, sound, livestream oversight, etc.). Consider also more behind-the-scenes work involving preparation or maintenance, like facility upkeep, proofreading and production of various communications, even updating or maintaining the member database. Don’t forget community care and engagement opportunities, both face-to-face and digital.
Schedule and Share Event Invitations
Using integrated calendar, communication, and member database features, church management software provides a simple way to both schedule and share events with appropriate audiences. RSVPs are simple with only a couple of clicks on the part of the respondent. When used as part of a larger communication strategy, these tools keep members connected to their church family, knowing formal (and sometimes informal) opportunities for gathering together.
Share Stories and News
Speaking of communication strategy, church management software provides various channels for delivering stories and updates. Content shared through emails, text messages, online forums, and blog feeds on your website not only informs but also connects and builds community, especially when engagement is provided for and encouraged; communication is a two-way street, after all.
Using the tools at your fingertips, segment your audience so folks are not overwhelmed with information that doesn’t pertain to them. Creating and maintaining targeted lists keeps people engaged with relevant content, rather than tuned out by too many communications that don’t apply. Of course, there is a time and place for congregation-wide communications, but it’s best to use that superpower sparingly.
Stay Connected throughout the Week
Use group discussion forums like those found in Church360° Unite for online Bible studies or to stay connected throughout the week. Members can share insights they’ve found helpful or illuminating, post and respond to questions, and communicate needs and prayer requests.
Staying connected through prayer bonds a community together, as we see throughout Scripture, especially in Paul’s letters. Online groups are also a great way for a church family to share and respond to prayer needs. Using mass texting or emailing features, you can activate your prayer chain in a matter of minutes. (Note: be cognizant of privacy concerns and always obtain permission to share the request or specific details.)
Find Opportunities for Intergenerational Connections
Looking to pair third-grade students who have just received their first Bible with older-adult reading buddies ? Trying to find prayer partners for high school students throughout the school year? Head to your member database and search, using filters and tags, to find possible matches.
These digital tools are simply that—tools. Firmly rooted in God’s Word with the belief that it is the Holy Spirit who “calls, gathers, enlightens, and sanctifies” us, we use the resources available to us as we seek to build and nurture the communities of faith in which God has placed us.
Learn more about how Church360° Members can help you organize your church and foster community with amazing features such as attendance tracking and calendar of events.