Church management can be a tricky process. You don’t want the organizational side of things to take precedence over church ministry, but better management can help you better serve the congregation and community. Fortunately, new technologies are making this endeavor easier than ever.
Of course, a lack of new technology will never stand in the way of God’s work. However, proper management of these tools can help ensure that management concerns do not distract from the higher purpose of the church. Here’s a look at five new technologies that make church management easier.
1. Data analysis
Data analytics is one of the biggest technology trends in business right now, and it can help churches too. people spend 147 minutes on social networks every day, leaving behind a lot of data about where they are, what they do and what they like. You can use this information to make more informed decisions about new outreach opportunities or church activities.
Many social media sites like Facebook give you access to these analytics about people on your church page. You can also run ads on it as a form of awareness to get more data. As you collect more information, you can get a better idea of your community members and their needs.
These data-driven processes don’t need to be technically advanced to be effective. You can check visitor location data online to see where to plant a new church. Alternatively, you can check out user questions or common issues they post to see how the church can help them.
2. Online donations
Another useful new technology for church management is online giving platforms. Many financial technology (FinTech) apps on the market today allow you to send and receive funds securely. This presents a great opportunity for tithes and offerings in the digital age.
Younger members of the congregation don’t always have cash with them, but want to give to the ministry. Online donation platforms allow them to do just that from their phone. Many of these apps also make it easier to see where your money is going, which can help build trust that the church is investing funds for what it should.
3. Electronic signatures
Some technologies have a less direct but still useful impact on church management. Although contract signing may not be part of most ministries or weekly church activities, it always comes up. Whether you’re hiring construction crews to expand church property or hiring full-time staff, you’ll need a contract, and electronic signatures can make contract management easier.
Electronic signatures are secure electronic alternatives to signing a piece of paper. They have the same legal effect than handwritten signatures, but their digital nature offers several advantages.
First, it’s easier to send and receive electronic contracts, so this technology streamlines the process. Second, electronic signatures reduce paper costs, helping the church allocate more of its budget to ministry.
4. Church Management Software
While most of these technologies come from outside the church, some services specifically target church operations. Church management applications are a relatively new branch of software that offers a suite of tools to provide more visibility and control over church activities.
These programs typically include features such as accounting, attendance tracking, member logs, event schedules, and Sunday school registration. Having electronic tools for each of these processes means spending less time worrying about the administrative side of things. Because this software puts them all in one place, it’s also easier to get an overview of what’s going on in the church.
5. Video conferencing platforms
A less specific but still beneficial technology is videoconferencing. Apps like Zoom, Skype and Google Hangouts allow you to connect with people wherever they are. In the church, it can help strengthen the congregation and build community despite physical restrictions.
You can use these platforms to hold Bible studies throughout the week, regardless of where the individual members are. People can even call from their phones during the lunch break. Alternatively, you can use live streaming services to allow people who cannot physically come to worship with you.
These tools are also a great way to interview and hire new employees or volunteers. Roughly 57% of recruiters have used virtual interviews, and there’s no reason the church can’t either. Going digital means you can reach out to people in other areas if situations make an in-person meeting impossible.
Use these technologies to advance your ministry
It is important to remember that new technologies should always be a means to an end, not the end goal itself. However, if you keep this in mind and use these tools carefully, they can be of great help in managing the daily activities of the church. As the administrative side of running the church becomes easier, you can focus more on community service and expanding ministry.