Choosing The Best Ministry Tool For Your Church
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You’re ready to connect with visitors! You’re in the ministry mindset and have an idea (or more!) on how you can connect with people in a helpful, valuable way. Now to put it all in motion with the right ministry tool to email or text people. How do you choose which is right for you?
Get your list together (or use ours)
To get started, most will put out a call to their peers and ask, “What do you use for email?” Or, “Which church management system do you use?”
If you’ve gone down this road, you know a TON of tools exists. You may even use a few already! And if you’re just getting started, we got you! At the end of this post, you’ll find lists of popular email, text, and church management software resources so you can save time tracking those down. We did that work for you!
The bigger question is, how do you choose?
Define what needs to happen with your ministry tool
Before you start down the rabbit trail of choose tools, put down on paper what you need your tools to do for you! If you have other people that help with guest follow-up or discipleship, get their insights as well.
What’s currently working well? Put that down so you can keep that as a part of your process. You can also keep an eye out for ways that it would be more effective or efficient.
What’s not working well? Is it collecting the information? Perhaps you’ve had visitors tell you your current process is clunky or hard to find. Is it getting your contact lists organized? You know there’s overlap between ministries, but cleaning it up feels like a time suck, and no one wants to touch it.
How does success look? This picture will vary by church size. A smaller church may need only a simple tool that helps them manage email and texting. A larger church may also need to integrate group and activity management. Once you know if you need email, text, contact management, or all three, that will help you to narrow the list down to the tools that match your wish list and align with your goals.
Finally, will this require an investment? Yup, check your budget. Many tools do – and if it’s the right tool for your church, it’s WORTH IT. If you need to ask for more budget, you’ll be better prepared to present a request by addressing the questions above.
Now, talking about budgets doesn’t mean your tool screening is over. How will it work?
Define the process and who does what
One of the mistakes we’ve seen churches make is choosing a ministry tool but not having a clear idea of how it will function within their organization. Or how the person tasked with managing the tool will do that. The excitement quickly fades once they get into implementation, and it’s no longer as easy as the sales material claimed.
Before making a purchase decision, most resources have some kind of demo. Take full advantage of that! Whether it’s a free trial offer or a demo site where you can see how it works, see if you can perform a real task you’d need the tool to do. Every system will have nuances that you’ll need to learn. However, you don’t want it to be beyond your skills or available time.
If others will be heavily using the tool, have them test it out as well. See how they like it and if it will help them successfully do their job as a part of your ministry team.
Sometimes, people lack the time or skill sets, especially on the implementation side. You may need a knowledgeable person to get you set-up, and then you can take it from there. Or someone to help the system humming so you can keep an eye on everything else. And that’s ok! It’s better to recognize this early on rather than discover you need help after you’ve made the financial and contractual commitment. This help comes in different forms. Some companies offer implementation help (sometimes included, sometimes for an additional fee). You may have someone on staff that’s a whiz at setting systems up and can request their help. You can always ask a volunteer from your congregation to help as well. For any of those instances, be clear about what help you need.
The tools to make it happen
You’ve now got your plan for how to think through this decision so you can choose the best one that will help make good things happen. You know what skills and people you have available – or will need.
Here’s our list – in alphabetical order – of popular email, texting, and church management resources. This resource list comes from church leaders like you who have successfully used them to meet their needs. Some of these tools even integrate, which is excellent if you need to have a robust communications system. Whenever the subject comes up, church leaders like you have successfully used them to meet their needs. Now, you have the framework to find the best ministry tool that will meet yours.
Church Management Systems
“Ok, but what do you recommend?” When it comes to flexibility, integration, framework, and customer support, your church should look at Text In Church. They’ve been great a great partner to work with, and we love how they specialize in helping churches grow and stay healthy through text and email. Plus, as of this date, they are running an impressive 60-day free trial, much longer than their typical 14-day free trial.
The critical thing to remember is “mindset over medium.” Why do you want to connect with people? What do you want to say? What do you want them to do? Once you can answer those questions, you can choose the best tool to make it happen.
Need to figure out the best way to start connecting with visitors? You’ll want to snag our free downloadable below, 9 Ways You Can Connect with New People.
FREE PDF DOWNLOAD FOR CHURCH LEADERS
9 Ways You Can Connect with New People
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