Breakups are no fun. But sometimes you just have to grit your teeth and do it. If any of these signs sound familiar, it may be time to find a new church management system.
#1 Your ChMS is not the single source of truth of information about your congregation.
All relationships rely on trust. As Christians, we trust the Bible to be the single source of truth. Similarly, your church database should provide a unified source of information for all of your digital tools. But too often that’s not the case.
As technology has evolved over the decades, different ministries in your church have adopted tools that helped them streamline processes and do more with less. Before you knew it, your church technology became a Frankenstein’s monster of different solutions held together with scotch tape and bubble gum. Important information about your church members is now locked up or duplicated in systems that don’t automatically update when church members leave, move addresses, or get a new email.
When you don’t have all the information in one place, it’s not a matter of if people will fall through the cracks — they already are. And you have no idea how often or when the next person will walk out the door.
#2 Your support tickets never get answered.
Churches on a strict technology budget often don’t have the resources to afford on-site training for their IT staff. The good news is many church management systems provide rich libraries of documentation that can help you accomplish just about any ministry goal. But sometimes you still get stuck.
No one likes to feel “ghosted.” If your church management system doesn’t reply in a reasonable timeframe to your support tickets, that’s good sign it’s time to start looking for a new partner.
#3 Your church staff rarely logs in or updates the ChMS.
Successful relationships require integrity and communication. If your data isn’t clean and up-to-date, it’s really hard to communicate with your church members in relevant and personal ways. Everyone who accesses your database — from the senior pastor to the small group leader — should be regularly logging in to update information about people they are discipling. But people don’t like systems that are cumbersome and hard to navigate, and they forget their passwords if you are forcing them to use too many point solutions. Having a single tool will help reduce friction and encourage better data integrity. You deserve a church management system that your staff can’t live without.
#4 Your ChMS isn’t fully mobile responsive.
The realities of ministry require your staff and lay leaders to be on-the-go — not stuck behind a desk lost in spreadsheets. The beauty of mobile technology is that it puts immense power right in your pocket. You already research new ministry resources, order coffee, schedule meetings, and communicate with members with the swipe of your finger. Why should your church management system demand that you be chained to your desk? You need a ChMS that is fully accessible on any device. If you find yourself spending hours behind a computer when you should be ministering to your people, it may be time to break up with your current system.