After the festivities of Christmas, we enter a new calendar year. We welcome the new year as a fresh start, in the hope that it will bring additional opportunities and projects. Some people (and even organisations) make firm goals, in the form of resolutions, whereas others take things day by day; either way, it is good to think about what you want to achieve in the next 12 months. At ChurchDesk we’ve thought about how to do this, and come up with some top tips...
Identify your challenges
There are many people involved in the life of the church. From the choir to the volunteers, staff and the PCC…. and they all have different needs! It is important to listen to everyone; make sure to ask them about their challenges and how you can help them in 2017. The choir may want access to a schedule where they can see who is singing at which services, while the admin may want an easier workflow. Ask your colleagues and others involved in the church what they envision when they think about the future of your church. Note the key points down on a list and bring it to your next PCC, volunteer or staff meeting.
Discuss, and choose priorities
No matter which group you are setting goals for, it is important that colleagues, volunteers and all other stakeholders reach a consensus. The list has to be prioritised before it is shown to the PCC. Consider what challenges you have now, but also which factors you foresee becoming a challenge in the future. Is it more important to consider long term or short term projects at the moment? In which order should the goals be handled?
Some diocese will have already set out their goals, whether that be for the next few months, the year or even longer term - but that doesn’t necessarily mean you can’t deviate and prioritise the things that your church, in particular, needs.
Visualise what is needed to reach your goals
When your prioritised list is ready, it is time to make a plan. Where do you want to start? What has to be done first? Do you need external help and/or other resources in order to reach your goal? Who has to handle what? This process will be different for every church, but it is imperative that there is a clear, actionable and (most importantly) measurable plan in place. It is important for your success that you look over these steps on a semi-regular basis to make sure you are still on target, and that they are still relevant to your mission.
If you have followed the three previous steps, you should now have a complete plan for the year to come. Now all that is left to do is respect the internal agreements you have made and watch your goals materialise!
Why prioritise digital tools?
We anticipate (and through experience believe) that one of the hardest aspects of this process is to choose what to prioritise. At ChurchDesk, we hope that you will prioritise making digital tools a part of your church. We can see that digital workflows and digital communication improves your outreach and efficiency. Furthermore, in a 2016 report published by the Office for National Statistics, 88% of adults in the UK had used the internet recently (in the last 3 months). This is up almost 2% just from the previous year, and we expect this trend to continue. A large part of this internet usage is used for finding information. This means that if the church has something to say, it should be saying it online (as well as in services and events). Any tools which can make this easier for the church should be absorbed into your daily routine.
At ChurchDesk we have one common goal: We want to be even better at helping the church digitally. This involved both the churches who choose 2017 to be the year where they start communicating digitally with the congregation but also the churches already doing so.
Whether it is ChurchDesk or another Church Management System, there are lots of opportunities for making your workday easier. We do not want to tell you what is best for you - of course, you are much more qualified to know - but, we would like to be a partner and advisor to you. As such, we continually work on developing our product to be an even better solution which fits your needs.
Interested in learning more? Do you have any questions? Please don’t hesitate to contact one of our customer advisers through firstname.lastname@example.org or via phone +44 (0) 20 3808 5097.
Happy new year!