Churches big and small have a need to keep detailed records. From financial receipts to a record of new converts and members, there is much that needs to be accounted for. When churches were first established in America, much of this was done by hand. As financial regulations evolved, the need for more detailed accounting emerged. This required a great deal of manpower and expense, both of which churches often did not have. The need for proper management has only continued to evolve over time, but thankfully so has technology. The software that now exists allows churches to take care of a variety of tasks in a fraction of the time it used to take in generations past.
What is Church Management Software?
Essentially, church management software involves a piece of technology that is designed to make the life of the congregation and its staff much easier. Depending on the actual package that is implemented, there are numerous features contained within any one piece of software. Naturally, the size of the church determines how many of those features become useful in the end, but the underlying principle remains the same. The software is specifically geared for religious organizations and is meant to automate nearly every aspect of the day to day operations of the church. This involves creating a detailed database of member information to the organization worship services and so much more. Many people will equate church management software with financial record keeping, and this is certainly one of the features that most organizations will find to be most valuable.
What Are the Benefits of Church Management Software?
Any church that implements management software within its operational structure will notice numerous benefits almost from the outset. To begin, such a package is designed specifically for the unique nature of the church. Unlike most other organizations, churches have long needed a system to keep track of its members, finances, and events. Church management software will do all of this and much more. With a platform that is focused on the church, the unique needs of the organization and its vision are accounted for. The software package offers the church the types of tools and resources that it needs to help retain its membership and even grow it.
A church management software package also makes the reporting of statistics and other pertinent data a breeze. You will be able to generate reports that detail member contributions, end of year reports, and so much more. Again, since these are specific reporting requirements unique to the church, such a software package is often necessary in order to streamline operations. The package can also help with events management, which is a huge benefit. Big and small churches alike run on events. You will be able to use the software to keep track of assets that are used from one event to another, as well as tricking contributions and other types of donations that may come in. The latter is also helpful in assisting members to have the documentation they need to claim any possible tax deduction on their end of year tax returns.
Popular Church Management Software
While there are many church management software packages out there on the market today, there are three in particular that seem to stand out from the rest.
- Faithful Steward - This church management software package has been around for a long time. It is best known for its membership record keeping ability, along with its integrated accounting features. Churches can run this program from either a stationary desktop computer, or access it from the Cloud. This program keeps up to do date with IRS tax code changes, so that is an added benefit as well.
- ChurchTrac - ChurchTrac is designed for large churches. It is feature rich and contains something for almost every type of operation imaginable. Churches can keep track of all types of membership data, along with donation tracking and report generation. There are mechanisms built into the program to account for child care check-in and to track attendance. The church can easily use this program to instantly generate electronic communication with members, which is helpful in outreach efforts and to inform the congregation of important events and announcements. Small churches will also find this package helpful as the number of features will allow the organization to grow organically without fear that an entirely new system will be needed.
- Worship Trac - More and more churches today are becoming focused on worship, and for good reason. This software package is designed for worship leaders and has proven useful in their efforts to generate outlines for worship and to help facilitate the efforts to engage the congregation more fully in the service.
Any one of these software packages will prove useful to the modern church. Many offer a few demo, so give one a try and make sure that it meets your needs before investing in the full package.