Church Management 101

Tough days lie ahead for the 380,000 churches based in the US, according to a recent news report.

Due to the pandemic, church leadership teams face added difficulties managing their congregations. Extra measures needed to keep members safe within all religious organizations will continue. And keeping track of everything will only get more difficult.

This article provides an overview of church management issues that your organization is sure to face.

Learn about the hazards associated with managing your church and how to overcome them. Discover how implementing the right church management software can benefit everyone.

Read on to see how to grow your church in trying times by using the right church management system.

Church Management Systems for Church Leadership

A church consulting specialist has identified 5 common issues facing church leadership teams:

  1. Communications
  2. Family ministry
  3. Digital ministry strategy
  4. Discipleship pathway
  5. Outreach strategy

Each offers its own challenges, especially in the COVID-19 era where meetings of large groups are restricted. Statements issued by the CDC urge the careful control of such events and to manage them in accordance with their guidelines.

Congregation numbers are falling as a result. Yet those with a strong church leadership team that can adapt are bucking the trend.

The question is how can your leaders successfully manage a church in 2021 and beyond?

Church Management Software

Church management software (ChMS) can help organizations better manage their activities and finances.

The software’s designed to enable leaders to see a broad view of their church as well as deal with the daily operations. That includes:

  • Organizing events like church services
  • Managing membership databases
  • Sending and receiving communications
  • Fundraising and donations

These apps can also produce reports so managers know exactly what’s going on at all times. They help to streamline time-consuming processes. And they play an essential role in CDC rules for event registration.

Below are 5 ways that electronic church management systems can assist you.

1. Communicating With the Congregation

Did you know that 97% of Americans now own and use a smartphone?

Communicating with your congregation has never been easier. Sending emails, text messages and instant messaging can happen with the click of a button. You can easily update members on changes to church service times straight to their devices.

But how can you manage all those messages in an organized way?

Church management software makes the process easy by segmenting subscribers into lists.

You can send a combined email or SMS text to a particular group from one screen. Sharing individual reports like annual donation summaries can happen in bulk. No more having to send content per individual.

Remember that communication works both ways. And between members.

Your congregation can access the member’s directory using a secure app. That way, they can speak with each other and get the information they need without having to contact the leaders.

2. Event Registration

Social distancing is the ‘new norm’ and it poses serious challenges when church services occur. To help, church management systems like offer event registration features.

Leadership teams can see how many people are due to attend an event and prepare for them accordingly. Check-in facilities confirm every attendee and can be reviewed in the future if required.

Congregants can use their mobile phones to check-in so no one has to touch physical hardware. And for events that carry a charge, the ChMS can take payments securely online from any Internet device.

3. Managing Donations

Gifts, offerings, and charitable donations require accountability. Members that donate should have the option to view the total church income along with their own personal contributions.

Church management software achieves this through an electronic system of recording donations.

Every item gets logged. Leaders can email donor statements directly from the system. If the organization uses an anonymous method of recording transactions, the software can handle that too.

Depositing donations into a bank account is a time-consuming process. Especially if a paper-based ledger gets used.

By using a digital system, contribution batches can be automatically posted as deposits in the fund accounting system. It also has the advantage of preparing year-end statements within seconds. And receipts are fully compliant with national and regional regulations.

4. Fund Accounting

Fund accounting is unique to non-profits like churches as income gets generated from multiple sources. For example, from member contributions, grants, fundraising, etc.

The system enables NPOs to track how the money arrives and ensures it’s allocated appropriately.

These ‘accounting funds’ allow for a transparent structure for accountability purposes. They provide a way to easily track all money going in and out of the organization. And they follow GAAP principles laid down by the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB).

FASB compliant software helps church leadership members navigate the NPO financial landscape by:

  • Creating a budget for each fund
  • Reclassifingy expenses
  • Reconciling bank statements
  • Creating vendor and customer invoices

Using the right certified software tools will cut down on paperwork which in turn will reduce wasted time. The result is a more streamlined and automated process that produces improved results.

5. Safeguarding Congregation

Church management teams have the privilege and responsibility of safeguarding their congregation. That’s especially important when it comes to managing children and young people.

You must have emergency contact information close at hand at all times. You need to know of special allergy conditions and medical needs. Every child needs to leave with a trusted person so you have to know who they are.

By centralizing that data into one accessible app, managers can keep their congregants safe at all times.

The best applications include a photo identification system and a mobile-friendly way to add a check-in facility. That includes printing name tags from anywhere in the church. Parents can check-in their children or even let them do it themselves. 

More Tips for Your Religious Organization

Church management centers around managing people and finances.

Ensuring your congregation’s well-being is paramount through pre-registration and event management. Taking offerings and donations in a trustworthy and transparent way is essential too.

Using the right church management software can cover both these bases and more. And the right solution means less physical contact during the pandemic.

Read more articles and tips for church management systems on our site. Remember to bookmark us and share this post on social media.

Clare Louise

Clare Louise