Church management software evolves quickly these days. That’s why, when you’re shopping around for a new church management system (ChMS), you want to make sure you’re open to things you didn’t even know were possible with a ChMS. When you open your eyes and mind to some of the “what if” features available, you may discover the potential for doing some truly incredible things.
If you’ve ever shopped for a smartphone or computer, you know the experience: You go in looking for a few select features (this much memory, this size screen) and end up finding a few products that offer those core needs plus a few more features you didn’t even know you wanted. In many cases, those “extras” end up being deciding factors.
Examples of “what-if” features you may want to consider
What are some things you might not know you want from your ChMS but are available? Here are a few examples:
What if you could automate tracking member participation?
One thing TouchPoint can do that many churches haven’t even thought of is track different levels of member involvement. Using the system, you can set specific criteria like events attended, contributions made, etc., and the system will automatically assign people a status such as “active attender”, “connected”, or “active giver” when they reach pre-set milestones.
What if you could perform specific searches of your database?
Let’s say you wanted to find male church members in a certain age bracket from a specific zip code for a men’s ministry fall retreat. Wouldn’t it be great if you could do a search of your database to find this information, and then email those individuals directly with a registration form? Some church management systems can give you this capability.
What if group leaders could get a better sense of who’s attending (and not attending)?
Another great feature some church management systems may be able to provide is the ability for a leader to take attendance using a mobile app at group events, and then receive an email list each week telling them who was absent from the class and if any guests were in attendance. This allows the leader (or someone else in the ministry) to reach out to people who may have missed a couple of groups or classes, or thank any new guests for attending.
What if we could use our church management system to help support mission trips?
With TouchPoint, people going on mission trips can track the balance of their trip funds and send support emails asking friends and family to contribute to their trip. The ChMS makes this process a whole lot easier both for people who want to go on mission trips and those who want to support their amazing efforts.
Keep your eyes open for added value
Sometimes the most used and valued features of a ChMS aren’t those initial non-negotiables. Sometimes they’re the ones you didn’t even know were available. Keeping your eyes open at this stage in the process may help you find a few standout systems with the potential to offer big improvements. Leave yourself the latitude to find out about new features and ask “what if?”