Our current age of rapid technological advancement has made it an exciting and precarious time to be in the business of sharing the message of Jesus Christ. It’s exciting because the opportunities to reach people are more abundant than ever. It’s precarious because so much is happening so fast.

In some ways, this means keeping your church’s message in front of members has never been easier. As our screens multiply, so do the opportunities for connection. Live streaming via social media, podcasts, voice-activated devices, and other tools enable us to reach people at any place and time.

At the same time, our attention is more fragmented than ever—divided between family, friends, co-workers, church, and civic commitments. Even our screen time is fractured. For example, recent statistics reveal that some 60 percent of adults use the internet on their mobile devices while watching television.

The growing number of channels raises profound implications about the changing infrastructure of relationships. We know that discipleship happens between bent heads over clasped hands in living rooms, coffee shops, and hospital sickbeds. However, those points of connection are increasingly driven via digital channels.

While nothing can replace the power of face-to-face interaction, the reality of our blended online and offline existence means that the church must evolve its tools to fit that framework.

Unlocking the power of data for your church

One result of the multitude of digital channels and tools is a new wealth of data about who people are, what they care about, and where they spend their time. Some estimates say that 90 percent of all the data in the world—that’s including all recorded history—was created in the last two years.

Like it or not, the data-driven age is upon us. Your church has an incredible opportunity to responsibly put user-generated data to work making smarter decisions. Your data can help tell you what your members want and where to focus your attention. But in order for your data to be useful, it must be:

1. Accurate

Proverbs tells us that in an abundance of counselors one finds wisdom. The data that lives inside your church management system is one such counselor, and is one of the most unbiased sources of truth about your church—with one caveat: Your data must be accurate.

Many churches have been using church management technology for several years now, but they are frustrated. A development stall in the industry has caused many systems built for churches to lag far behind what is possible with commercial contact management systems. This has caused an increase in inaccurate data.

2. Accessible

In some cases, ministry staff and church members have stopped using their current church management system and now their data is out of date. Other churches have adopted new technologies to solve specific ministry pain points, but the data that resides within those systems doesn’t sync with the others.

These headaches have made too many church databases a source of embarrassment for church administrators. What’s more, they prevent church leaders from gaining a complete picture of who attends the church, how they are participating in your programs, and what drives them to deepen their commitment.

Choosing the right software to strengthen your church

The church is meant to be an integral part of our members’ lives between Sundays. That’s how spiritual maturity develops and how the body best serves the wider community. To accomplish this, today’s churches need to make a greater effort to stay connected with members.

That all starts with your church management system. An effective ChMS will enable you to tap into the power of digital and data to develop deeper relationships with your congregation members. That can have a profoundly positive impact on your church—both today and moving into the future.

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Download our content paper “What to Know Before You Switch” today to learn the key questions you need to ask when choosing a new church management system.

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