How Does Church Management Software Help Small Churches?

April 2, 2024 Hannah Hansen


Does church management software really help small churches? In short, the answer is yes, of course! However, the answer is much more complex than that.

Church management software isn’t automatically going to transform your church—your attendance won’t double overnight! However, it can relieve your staff members of tedious, time-consuming tasks, which allows them to put time into more people-oriented missions.

Small churches, especially, can benefit from investing in church management software. And it doesn’t have to break the bank! Let’s break down how church management software helps small churches—and how you can find one that’s right for your church.

Why Small Churches Need Church Management Software

There are two primary reasons why small churches need church management software—and the answers likely won’t come as a surprise to you if you’re a smaller-size church.

Understaffed with Lack of Resources

One of the biggest challenges that small churches face is a lack of staff and resources to do what needs to be done. And oftentimes you have more tasks to do than time allows! This can lead to overworking and burnout of your existing staff members.

You might especially experience this if you’re part of a church that is in a smaller or rural area, where you have a smaller population.

Need More Time to Get Everything Done

Naturally, understaffing challenges can lead to a lack of time to complete everything you need to for your church to run smoothly. You can use technology to get some of that time back by optimizing and automating some of your processes.

For example, rather than manually creating attendance reports for your church council, you can easily export that data from your church management software.

Church Management Software Benefits

Investing in the right church management software can make your church be more organized, help your staff feel more accomplished and focused, and allow your church to save money in time spent doing tedious tasks!

Here are just a few specific ways that church management software can help you streamline weekly tasks that allow your church to run smoothly.

Recording Offerings

Recording offerings is one of the biggest tasks a church office faces during the week! It requires accuracy, attention to detail, and organization. Doing it manually or by hand can take hours, but using church management software can optimize some aspects of it!

Church management software will automatically track online giving. You can input cash or check donations manually, assigning each to the corresponding member with the date it was given. Then, at the end of the year, you can easily export all giving data for your members’ taxes, as well as declare it for your own organization.

Tracking Attendance

Keeping meticulous attendance records is important not only to gauge the life of the members in your church but also for reporting to your district. This task can take hours for one individual, who has to comb through your attendance cards and create a system to track each member’s attendance.

By collecting all attendance records within a church management software, you can easily export data for each week, month, or year, so you can have a big picture of church attendance trends. Additionally, this data is assigned to each member or household, so you can easily view involvement in your church—from weekly attendance to giving to volunteering. All in one place!

Updating Your Congregant Records

Additionally, it’s important to keep updated records of your membership. This can be tricky if you do it manually because you might not have enough fields or specificity to update certain records easily.

Within a church management software, however, you can create custom fields to indicate whether a member is baptized or confirmed, an individual’s volunteer interests, and more. This allows you to easily categorize congregants based on their membership status or interests, so you can reach out to the right people at the right time.

Creating Reports for Church Council

Church council meetings are crucial to understanding the health of your congregation, so it’s important to have accurate and easy-to-understand reports to present to your board or council. Manually collecting this data can take hours, and it can be inaccurate if done too hastily.

However, with church management software, you can export multiple reports easily in almost no time—allowing you to focus on other tasks and spend less time at the computer.

Communicating with Church Members and Visitors

Your church likely has some form of digital communication with your members and visitors to encourage participation and engagement in the life of your church. Whether you’re sending emails about upcoming events or texts about last-minute service cancellations, communicating with your members can take a lot of time!

With church management software, you can easily create lists so that your emails get sent to the right people at the right time. You can send emails to only the volunteers registered for an upcoming event, all members of your church, or recent visitors to inform them about your upcoming church membership class.

Next Steps

Determine Decision Makers

Whether you form a committee or an informal group, you’ll need to determine who the decision-makers are in deciding if you should invest in church management software. This group of people should all have your church’s best interests at heart, but having a diverse group of people with different backgrounds can ensure you make the best decision.

At a minimum, we recommend having your pastor be one of the decision-makers, as well as the staff members that this decision would affect. They’ll be the best ones to comment on how it will affect the day-to-day operations of your church!

Figure Out Budget

This is the selling point that many church leaders and councils care about when it comes to investing in church management software. In addition to adding it as a line item in your yearly budget, you can make a convincing case for the time savings it will allow.

For example, if you estimate that your church administrative assistant will save ten hours every month by using this software, the software might pay for itself with the hours saved! And, of course, it frees up your employees or volunteers to do other high-touch tasks that are critical to the mission of your church.

Research Church Management Software Options

It’s important to determine what church management software features your small church actually needs; the post linked here can help you break down the features your church needs and can actually use. In a previous post, we also compiled a list of 13 questions to ask before buying church management software to help you find the best fit for your congregation. 

Church360° Members is a great church management software option for small churches, offering all the features you need at an affordable price point.

Start free trial »

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