I read Jenni Catron's post, "Warning Signs" and saw an immediate connection to the warning signs I find in churches who are in search of or in desperate need of a new ChMS. Since I get to have these conversations regularly, I recognize that it might be easier for me to spot the warning signs it's time to consider changing your church technology solution.
Here are the top 5 warning signs to watch for:
- You don't trust the integrity of the data in the reports your run because you notice inconsistencies in the results even though the inputs and equations are the same.
- You don't have all your member information stored in one database but have assembled a series of different software solutions over the years that were really reactive patches to an immediate need.
- You don't see your ChMS as a central communication tool but simply a place to log information for attendance, mailing information, and contribution statements.
- You notice that only a handful of people access the database either because it is not fully accessible via the "cloud" or people simply find it too complicated. That means people doing ministry are not fully informed or equipped.
- Your small group ministry and any multisite campuses are forced to "tack on" to the main system rather than creating one central hub of interaction the empowers many users of the system with varying degrees of access rather than a few users with all the access.
Just because you see these warning signs doesn't mean you should change your ChMS. Sometimes it's a training issue. But when your solution dictates to you how you will do ministry, it is time to reconsider your options.
Are you just getting by with your ChMS, or is it a silent staff member you depend on to make mission critical decisions and your people depend on to stay connected with your church between Sundays?