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You say "Too old, too small". We say "Have a little faith".

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At ChurchDesk we often hear churches commenting that they’re too old or too small to really benefit from a church management system. They mention that not enough of their congregation use computers, or that it’s difficult to set up; It’s too costly, and they wouldn’t save enough time on admin. We disagree, and want you to know why.

Small doesn’t mean less

A common misconception is that smaller parishes have fewer administrative and communicative tasks than large parishes, and that these parishes therefore do not need a comprehensive software solution for their administrative and communicative processes. The reality is that even small parishes need tools that help them solve daily tasks and communicate effectively with the parish members. Often, the admin and communication requirements by church members in smaller parishes tend to be as least as large as for larger parishes, and they have fewer staff members to help them cope with these processes.

Small parishes have the challenge that resources are scarce and the opportunity to organize religious and cultural events are fewer than for a large parish. This means that in small, local areas there is more of an incentive for collaboration across the different churches. By sharing knowledge and resources they can offer events for members which individual parishes alone could not handle. A collaboration across parishes, however, increases the need for internal resource management. To achieve optimal cooperation a small parish must be on equal footing with large parishes, and have a tool that is able to handle complex administrative processes. This requires the integrated software solutions that traditional calendar, file sharing and website solutions can not handle.

Don’t risk myopia

Another common misconception is that (demographically) older parishes don’t need a church management system because not enough of their congregation use computers, or that their staff wouldn’t have the technological know-how to use the system. To start with, we have an excellent onboarding process, which means staff are taught how to use the system at a pace which suits them, via an online course, webinars, demos, email, phone contact and our online support functions - plus more! And as for a low density of computer users in your congregation? To say this means you don’t need a church management system is to take a myopic view. Times are changing, and to encourage younger people to join the church we must communicate in their language - although making this digital change is difficult, if you don’t take the plunge you risk being left behind.

In fact, some churches already find it is their older members who make the best use of their technology. Malcolm Wilson from Dunblane Cathedral says "We have a wide age range of parishioners but in terms of reach to older members I would say they are the biggest user of our Facebook page and most frequent responder to posts there". Proof that the elder generations are willing and able to keep up during the digitalisation of religion.

Don’t let the cost become a worry

But the biggest hesitation from older and smaller churches is over the cost of a church management system. Many don’t feel that they would get enough benefit in efficiency savings to make such an investment worthwhile. But here they underestimate the concept of ‘time is money’. Whilst the church isn’t here to make a profit, many church staff are volunteers who take time out of their professional jobs to help the church. For them, time is precious, and using a church management system which is fully integrated (meaning no double-data entry, no losing important contacts scrawled on paper and access to the platform 24/7) is invaluable. Not only does a church management system save them time and allow them to work in those stolen moments on the commute, or before picking the kids up for school, but targeted communication between church and community leads to a happier, growing and more productive congregation.

There are other ways to negate the worry of the cost. For instance, some ChurchDesk users have managed to get their subscription sponsored by a local business, or have asked their congregation to use the ChurchDesk Contributions to cover the cost. There are many innovative ways to solve this problem. It shouldn’t be a worry for you, and if it is get in contact with us so we can put your minds at ease.

We help you grow, help you engage younger generations, and look towards the future. Surely every church wants that?

Topics: church management system, save time, costs, Engage & Grow