Few people in a local church have a more important role in leveraging technology to make a greater ministry impact than those who lead it. Yes, Lead Pastors and Executive Pastors, I am talking to you! While you may not directly deal with the day-to-day management of your church software, you set the pace for those who do.
Many times I see church leaders delegate technology decisions and implementation processes to others without considering the foundational principles necessary for long-term success. The resulting lack of unity and utilization leads to regret, lost opportunity, and wasted money. For example, a church of 500 people can easily spend close to $10,000 implementing a new church management system in the first year. The ongoing costs of licensing and staff time can make this expenditure one of your largest outside of facilities and salaries. It’s just good stewardship to make sure you lead this well!
The key to success is found in these 5 principles
- Develop a basic understanding of how technology works. You may not manage the day-to-day activities, but you need to understand the tools. If you try to set expectations or hold others accountable for the managing your ChMS without really understanding how it works, you’re only going to create frustration amongst your team. You don’t have to know all of the ins and outs, but you should have an understanding of how it works in improving your ministry.
- Surround yourself with a network of people who understand what you’re trying to accomplish and how technology can help you achieve it. If you want to get the most out of your church management software, you should create a network of people to share the responsibility of managing it. Make sure they understand the ministry goals you’re trying accomplish and how your church management software can help you reach them.
- Set clear expectations and create accountability. What are the things your software must do? Set those objectives as expectations for successful implementation. Once everyone is on the same page, be sure you create accountability so that everyone is working toward reaching your goals.
- Create the processes and prioritize what’s important. You may not be responsible for setting up your church management software, but you are responsible for establishing the processes that will make it successful. You also set the direction for the areas your team should focus first — is it small groups, giving, children’s ministry?
- Clear the obstacles that are preventing people from maximizing technology for ministry. Most of the friction that occurs in ministry can be traced back to processes, not people. As a leader, it’s your job to help eliminate some of the ministry silos that are preventing your team from getting the most of your church management software.
We live in a time when every church should be using technology to equip people and empower ministry. As a church leader, you have a responsibility to set the precedent for how your church is going to steward the resources you have and the people God has brought into your church. Taking the time to focus on these areas will not only improve the overall effectiveness of your church technology, it will ultimately make a tremendous difference in the way your church impacts your community.
How are you setting the pace for how your church leverages technology? How is it working for you?