Technology solutions are helpful to a church only as they help expand ministry and enhance stewardship. We provide strategic and process consulting to enable you to implement the best technology, software and data analytics tools, at the right time, in the most effective way, to serve others well and to meet the ministry goals God has placed before you.
Enable Ministry Partners’ Consulting goes beyond the day-to-day support and management of technology systems, to help you use those technology tools to support your vision and strategy. Because all the innovative tools in the world are useless if they don’t help you accomplish your ministry purpose. Our team has decades of church leadership experience in staff, lay leadership, and officer roles. We understand ministry people because we are ministry people. We combine that ministry focus with our experience in technology and business strategy to help you steward your resources more effectively and efficiently.
Our consulting team can provide strategic direction for:
- Church Management Software (hyperlink to ChMS page/section)
- Related Software and Systems (hyperlink to Related Software page/section)
- Accounting/Finance Software
- Facilities Management (HVAC, Lighting, etc.)
- Security (Door Access Controls, CCTV, etc.)
- Media (Audio/Video/Streaming)
- CIO and Strategic Planning Services (hyperlink to CIO page/section)
- Enhanced CIO services
- Vendor Contract Management
- Long range technology roadmap planning
- Decision Support and Data Analytics (hyperlink to Decision Support page/section)
- Giving and Generosity
- People Engagement/Assimilation
- Community Demographics
- Church Management Software Consulting
Does it sometimes seem like your staff serves your church software more than your software serves you? Do you find it hard to keep and maintain accurate data and even harder to get useful information out of your systems? Do people spend hours or days each week copying data from one spreadsheet to another, just to get a report to a pastor? Do your members complain that signing up for an event or communicating with members of their small group is cumbersome?
Do you now seem to have multiple “church management” applications that really don’t work all that well together? Do you have to repeatedly enter the same information into multiple systems and applications like the ones listed below?
- Email blast tools like MailChimp or Constant Contact
- Text-to-give applications
- Giving kiosks
- Volunteer signup like Planning Center Online or Signup.com
- Background check subscriptions
- Facilities scheduling software
It should be easier. And it can be. Church Management Software (ChMS) should free your people to do more ministry, not tie their hands with unwieldy administration. When implemented well a ChMS should enable you to have more intentional relationships with the people you serve and less relationship overall with your database.
When we talk with churches who are weary of or challenged by their current church management solutions, the reasons for their struggles often include:
- Wrong software fit – Maybe your current software package was a great fit (or the best fit available) years ago when it was first installed. But since then, your church has probably changed. New people, new culture, and/or a new ministry philosophy can all change whether the software you currently use is still the best choice for you. Or maybe the software you currently use just hasn’t kept up with the times and there are better options available now that offer greater flexibility and capabilities.
- Incomplete or improper implementation – Sometimes the software you currently use can do everything you need it to do, but it isn’t set up or configured in the specific way that you need it to operate. Maybe new features have been added to the software but you aren’t taking advantage of them. Perhaps your ministry direction or emphasis has changed and things need to be rearranged a bit to make the software work the way you need it to work.
- Inadequate training for the staff – Chances are, the people involved in the original training session during implementation were trained a long time ago. Maybe they don’t still work at the church. And even if they do, they may not have kept up with training on new features and methods over years of software upgrades. For those that started after the initial training, they’ve often been trained on some specific tasks as their predecessor did a rapid fire two-day “brain dump” of their whole job before heading out the door.
We can help you identify ways in which your church management system can better serve you and how to go about realizing those improvements whether your challenges are based in training, configuration, or possibly, overall software fit. We also can supply “church software champions” who provide ongoing ChMS support as a service. Our church software champions combine deep knowledge of leading ChMS systems with the ability to apply the software’s capabilities to enable ministry by addressing your specific ministry and information needs.
Church Management Evaluation and Selection Process
Our software evaluation process starts with gaining a clear understanding of your vision. Through a combination of staff interviews, “whiteboarding” workshops and surveys, we will identify the strategic issues, bottlenecks or pain points of your current system and help you identify your individualized functional requirements. Functional requirements are more than a feature list. They are a profile of not only what your software needs to do, but how it needs to do it. Your software needs to be able to help you work in the way you need to work; you should not have to adapt your process to the dictates of the software design. Additionally, we will consider the technical requirements flowing from these functional requirements. We will address with you questions around security, the technical platform utilized, the need to accommodate mobile staff and volunteers, etc. From this initial requirements phase, we will create a Request for Proposal and guide your key team members through the vendor evaluation and selection process. Once you’ve decided on your best option, we will walk with you through the implementation and training steps as well.
Related Software and Systems Consulting
No Church Management Software package does everything. We can help you develop a strategy for those complementary applications that don’t necessarily fit into the Church Management category. The Church Management Software workshops often reveal opportunities to consolidate redundant systems, as well as opportunities needs to bring in additional systems to support specialized, unique ministries. We can help evaluate solutions for accounting, facilities management, security (door access controls, CCTV), resource scheduling, and media related systems. These areas now connect back to the network and many can integrate certain functions with other components. We will help you navigate the many options for partners and providers of these solutions. This approach allows you to obtain a comprehensive and integrated view of all your related technology needs.
Analytics and Decision Support
If your data could talk, what story would it tell? What decisions would you make differently if you were fully informed and understood the whole situation? How do your leaders spot the trends and opportunities that will help your church not only grow in numbers and giving, but will also enable you to serve and care more?
Enable Ministry Partners’ Analytics and Decision Support services go well beyond stock reports to unlock the stories of your data and help you make better ministry decisions, serve your community better, and ultimately, reach more people with Christ’s Gospel.
Our process brings together data from both internal and external sources including census and demographic data, church management software, and other internal sources. Our team can help you interpret and understand the data and use it in strategic and tactical planning as well as day-to-day operations.
- Data health assessment – Is your data both correct and complete? We will assist to identify missing and incorrect data
- Generosity Development and Planning
- What are the drivers behind your giving trends?
- Assimilation- Who is attending, giving, serving and leading, and how do you stay on top of it?
- Front door and back door analysis- Who is coming and going, and why?
- Identify underserved populations and ministry opportunities
- Contact information
- Background check compliance
- Community and Church Profile
CIO and Strategic Planning Services
Do you have a master plan for technology? How well does it connect with your church’s overall vision and mission? Have you covered key areas of cyber security, business continuity, software licensing, staff structure and how the cloud and other emerging technologies fit into your mix? Does your network support other departments like media, facilities, building security, accounting, and communications? Do you have a plan that considers the unique needs of all departments and how the technologies in use will either complement or conflict with each other?
Whether you are one of our managed services clients or have your own internal staff, we can provide strategic direction to match your needs. Our custom CIO services leverage decades of experience serving churches, non-profits, and businesses from fast growing church plants to mature churches with hundreds of staff and thousands of members.
Most churches’ technology needs are met by an extended group comprised of internal and external staff, third party vendors, software solutions and other subscribed services. These components must be coordinated and must support the vision and mission of your church. Our CIO and Strategic Planning services are designed to coordinate all the technology inputs and resources so that they effectively help you realize your specific ministry goals. Foremost in our mind is assisting you to maximize the stewardship of your time, money and resources while enhancing ministry and influence.
Our strategic services include:
- Long range planning, master planning, budgeting
- Coordination of third party vendors, contract negotiation
- Security assessment and policy development
- Oversight and direction of internal IT department staff
- Analysis of processes to maximize operational efficiencies