Microsoft Excel and Google Docs
Sometimes low-tech is best. If you’re not interested in learning a new software or low on budget then you can use a paper-based system, something that is free (google docs/sheets), or a software that is likely on your computer now (Microsoft Office/Excel).
The upside of a system like this:
- It’s affordable or free apart from the computer you’re already using.
- Most people have easy access to Microsoft Office and or Google apps.
- The learning curve is relatively low and you may already be comfortable with these products.
- You get to decide on how to set up your church system and communication plan without a boxed system helping you decide.
The downside of a system like this:
- Communication tools like email, sms (text messaging), and social media have very little or no integration. You will need to set up other ways to communicate.
- You will likely need to use other products and systems to complete your church management system.
- You don’t have the support system and help that comes with a lot of church based content management systems.
Touchpoint describes itself as “People focused software designed to serve you and maximize your ministry.” Touchpoint is a church based software management system that helps you keep track of every person, family, and ministry in your church. It has great communication features like group emails, newsletters, sms (text messaging), and more.
I have been using Touchpoint for the last three years. It was the most economical Church Management System on the market at the time. We couple Touchpoint with Planning Center Online only because Planning Center allows us to more effectively sign people up for ministry assignments.
Touchpoint also has some big name churches that have been pivotal in helping it launch. Redeemer Church (Timothy Keller) and Belvue Baptist Church have played a role in developing the software.
CCB Technologies was our first choice a few years ago. CCB is used by several sister churches and they seem to be happy with it. It is more reasonably priced than some Church Management Systems I looked into and seemed to have more features than we would use. Cost at the time was moderate to high, however there is a sense in which you get what you pay for. Touchpoint met all of our needs at the time, but CCB won us over with their customer service and features. I am glad we went with Touchpoint, but I would encourage churches to look at CCB.
CCB description of itself is, “We’re here to help you and others in your church become more effective leaders. The work you do is important, and the best way we can support that work is by better equipping you, through software and coaching, with the knowledge of how to better manage and run your areas of responsibility. We know you are making a lasting impact on the lives you touch; we are honored to help you make that impact even greater!”
If you need features CCB should definitely be a consideration.
We use Planning Center Online to plan our worship services. We are able to schedule our Welcome Team, Worship Team, Sound and Video Crew, and others through this service. Planning Center is actually a suite of software that churches can mix and match to meet their needs.
I get a little confused looking at all of the different options that are available, however, some of my confusion simply comes down to a lack of knowledge about how the apps work. If all of the apps are like the Services app, then you can count on excellent quality.
It took us a little while to get acquainted with the app, but it’s been a great asset to our ministry.
Here’s a description from their website, “Planning Center was birthed at our local church and most of our team have worked at a church in some capacity. We know what it’s like to schedule volunteers, plan events and reserve rooms. We are committed to continue to make products to support you in your ministry so you can focus on what is most important. What we do, we do for churches, and we love it.”
Fellowship One has been the premier Church Management System for years.
The feature summary on their webpage says,
“Fellowship One’s church management software was designed for effective, long-term success in church administration. Manage your church’s greatest ministry resource—member data—with a suite of tools that allows many tasks to be automated and accessible online. Church software from Fellowship One offers a full-range of options that serve not only staff and ministry leaders, but also lay leaders, members, visitors, volunteers, and children.”
I don’t have any personal experience with Fellowship One. Some sister churches use it and on a performance level, it likely has more features than most systems.
I am not going to link to other options however, you can google any on the following.
- ACS Technologies
- By the Book
- Church Teams
- SalesForce for Non-Profits
If you want to research more options: