Nothing stays the same forever. Everything grows and changes. You see this in nature, with trees that are continually sprouting and losing leaves. You see this in children, who seem to grow six inches sometimes overnight. You probably see this in the faces of your congregation members—who likely look different they did 10 years ago.
The world is constantly changing. And as your community changes and the needs of the people coming through your doors change, some of the operations of your church will change too. You’ll shift your focus, adjust your programs, and make the changes necessary to better serve your members and build discipleship. In the business world, that’s just called good management.
To meet the continually changing needs of your ministry, choose a church management system that will adapt with you
When you want to make changes in your church, you don’t want your ChMS to be a roadblock. You want a system that can adapt. When one of your departments wants to switch to a different software, you want a system that will make the transition easy. When you want to add new capabilities to your ChMS, you never want to hear the word “impossible”.
Problem is, most church management systems aren’t built that way. While the technology may not be literally set in stone, it may as well be. The majority of systems are designed to do the things they do without a lot of flexibility. Try to bend it and it will break. This is certainly true of legacy and off-the-shelf church management systems, which are incredibly limited in what they can and cannot do.
That’s why flexibility is such an important attribute in a modern church management system. While you certainly want a system that can meet your needs in the here and now, those needs may not stay the same forever. Most likely they will evolve and change with your church in the coming years.
No matter where your journey takes your church over the years, your software should support your efforts
Many classic off-the-shelf solutions are stuck in an innovation rut—with outdated systems for check-in, email, registrations, clunky online giving, and set-in-stone reports that you can’t edit. What ultimately happens with those systems is, because changes or updates can’t be made to the system, they eventually become too slow, frustrating, or incompatible with other systems.
That decreases the useful life of the ChMS, which is not something you want for a piece of technology you’re investing a significant amount of money in.
While you can’t really see into the future and predict what the world will look like in five or 10 years, or what features your church will need from its ChMS in those time periods, you can look for a system that will give your church the most flexibility moving forward.