When is the RIGHT time for a new ChMS?

As churches evaluate their processes and introduce new ways of doing things, the common next step in the evaluation is the fundamental platform of a church management system (ChMS).

But, what are the milestones that would evoke a pursuit of this magnitude?

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Church management software: Ask “Why?” before you buy

Changing a church management system (ChMS) is a big deal for a church of any size. Make sure you understand why you want your church to undergo this shift.

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Choosing the right ChMS = not choosing a ChMS at all

You don’t need new church management software.

Traditional ChMS is old, antiquated and isn’t best suited to help your ministry grow the right way. Why get another software system that shares similarities to the one you currently have? They’ll both just continue to underperform and eat up too much of your time.

(Was that attention-grabbing enough?)

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8 key questions: How to choose the right management system for your church

Whether you’re hoping to convert from one church management software system to another — or even trying church software for the first time — you probably know by now that it takes a lot of planning and consideration before you and your church finally decide.

To help you along, here’s a handful of important questions to help your church find the best fit for its needs.

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ChMS Forum: Volunteering for the 21st Century

No one wants to volunteer in your church.

Scary thought, isn’t it?

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ChMS Forum: how to engage volunteers with technology

Shelby Systems has provided technology for the church and non-profit community for more than 35 years. In response to our customers’ growing needs and desires to effectively engage and mobilize church members as volunteers, we created the Volunteer Tracking product. Our customers were looking for ways to easily communicate serving opportunities to their members, schedule volunteers, and track volunteers’ service hours while helping members feel they are a vital part of the church and valuable to the community of believers.

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ChMS Forum: finding the right volunteer management tools

As a founding pastor of a church plant in North Carolina during the 1990s — managing more than 200 volunteers every week — a key component of success was tracking their interests, skills and spiritual gifts. Then, I needed to be able to apply that information to finding volunteer opportunities for all of them… all while managing schedules and avoiding volunteer burnout.

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How scheduling tools can streamline your ministry efforts

Scheduling can be a nightmare. Overbooking rooms. Double-booking church equipment. Accidentally scheduling two big functions on the same day. No matter the church size, the story is the same.

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ChMS-enabled volunteer management strategies

Two decades ago, we were using spreadsheets that needed to be emailed around to the various teams to keep track of who was serving each Sunday. A few years after the church launched, I was able to hire an administrative assistant to help me with the immense workload. But, after 18 months of frustration due to the overwhelming logistics of scheduling all those volunteers, she burned out … and she quit.

Back then, wCalendar_1e didn’t have the tools in place to effectively support our ministry processes. Sending spreadsheets back and forth all week wasn’t an efficient way of managing the schedules for hundreds of volunteers; it just led to confusion and frustration.

Now, the technology is available to streamline these processes. When implemented correctly, church management software simplifies scheduling every aspect of an event — including the crucial volunteers.

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Using technology to tame the volunteer schedule headache

Perhaps no other part of church is as important or as complicated as managing volunteers.

Visitors coming to the church are greeted by volunteers — those first few impressionable moments are left to volunteers. The same is true for the nursery, our children’s ministries, guardian angels patrolling the parking lot, and especially the lay leaders that lead out bible studies, Sunday school classes and children’s programs.

These critical roles in the church are bounded by a number of important concerns: Who has volunteered? Are they gifted in that way as a volunteer? (Just because you want to be a teacher, doesn’t make you a great teacher.) Have we checked their background — especially in regards to children’s ministry? Are we using them? How often do they serve? Are they burning out? What are their preferences in serving? Do they like to serve with their families? What rotation works best for them?

As a leader of volunteers, your concerns are more aggregated: How are my volunteers performing, and do they enjoy their roles? (Because if they don’t, they won’t volunteer much longer.) Do they have feedback that can make the position better, more efficient and more fulfilling?

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