A Comprehensive Review of Churchteams ChMS

Tuesday, August 5, 2014 7:50:00 AM Categories: Ministry & Technology
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Let’s compare church management software (ChMS or CMS) to leasing a luxury car.  Why am I relating cars to church software?  Because this fictional luxury car experience is the actual experience I, as a pastor, have had with church management software.  And sadly, it’s an experience I have in common with many of my ministry colleagues.   So imagine with me for a moment…

Imagine your first luxury car. How excited would you be about the plush seats, the amazing sound system, the astonishingly quiet engine, the brilliant use of technology and the sleek appearance of the vehicle?  You’d be ready to tell everyone you know about it!

Now imagine your luxury vehicle being shockingly difficult to use.  The keyless entry only works if you are standing no closer than 5” to the car and no further than 10”.  The voice operated sound system works well, but it has a long list of specific commands that are too hard to remember.  You can’t just say, “Play radio.”  Instead you have to say, “Tune Radio FM 98.4.”  If you mess up and say “98.4 FM” the car simply responds with ***COMMAND NOT UNDERSTOOD***.  The advanced touch-screen includes GPS, stereo controls, HVAC controls, and all sorts of other cool features. It’s impressive, but it’s not easy to operate.  There are too many steps just to get the temperature changed.  Switching from one screen to the next requires a double-tap while changing a setting requires a triple-tap.

Exasperated, you call customer service department of the company who built your vehicle.  They apologize for your difficulties and invite you come to a conference they are hosting that explains how to operate your new luxury car and how to get the most out of it’s systems.  Unfortunately the conference is very expensive.  Apprehensive but hopeful, you give the customer service agent your credit card number and you sign up.  After the three day conference and spending a couple thousand dollars on registration, hotel, rental car, flight and food, you are thrilled to finally understand your luxury vehicle!

Then the company drops another bomb on you.  They release software upgrade for your vehicle and everything changes.  The company promises these are good changes and that you will love your new luxury car experience.  After downloading the upgrade you realize that about half of the things you learned at the conference no longer apply.  You now have to stand 6” to 11” away from the vehicle, the touch-screen now has single and double taps rather than double and triple.  You have a new list of voice-commands to memorize that aren’t any easier to memorize. It’s so confusing you feel like your mind has turned to pudding, so you call customer service.  In the nicest way possible, they apologize for your inconvenience and they invite you to come back for a conference about the new software upgrades.

Now you’ve had it!  You just want to return the vehicle and get something different…something that simply works.  But you’ve leased the vehicle; you’re locked into a contract for 5 years and you can’t get out without paying a ridiculous fee.  You’ve already dropped so much cash on this car that you’re reluctant to walk away from all that money you’ve spent.

This is the point where the car / ChMS comparison breaks down.  You can easily replace a car after 5 years.  But replacing your church software after 5 years is way more difficult.  You have thousands of names, and millions of bits of information in the database.  Walking away from that is just not as easy as walking away from a car.

When I changed ministry positions and moved to another church I had my opportunity to walk away from one church management system.  That’s when I was able to choose another ChMS:  Churchteams.  Today I’m their biggest fan and happiest customer.

Churchteams never requires a contract, so their service is always month-to-month with no cancelation fees.  Why does their company take the risk of requiring no contracts?  Because one of their core values is “ministry first”.  Churchteams church management software has all the luxury-car attributes at a family-sedan price.  You’ll be stunned by the affordability of their software.  They have a generous, responsive, kind and generous customer service culture.  All the data in Churchteams is cloud-based allowing access from any or all of your data from your computer, tablet or smartphone.  And their security encryption is excellent.  Best of all, Churchteams just works.  That’s right, Churchteams software works! The basic systems of the software are intuitive and simple.  The software is fully customizable.  An in case that’s not enough, Churchteams actually listens to customer feedback and makes changes that truly help their ministry clients.

Here’s a list of some of the main features:

·     Free 30 day trial with no strings attached

·     Event registration (camps, mission trips, retreats, banquets, etc.)

·     Kid’s check-in (tablet, barcode scanner or computer)

·     Full Church directory

·     Intuitive merge feature for redundant database entries

·     Online small group search

·     Powerful small group / Sunday school communication, reports and attendance

·     Customizable discipleship assessment called “growth finder”

·     Online giving

·     Contribution tracking

·     Easy-to-send donor statements

·     Automatically generated custom reports (first time guests, second time guests, first time givers, event sign ups, group participation, etc.)

·     Multi-site church functionality

·     Easy Social media incorporation

·     Style sheets can be changed to match your website

·     Responsive design for tablet and phone compatibility

Remember, I’m not writing this review as a salesman, but as a raving fan!  To learn more about this cloud-based, affordable, powerful church management software click here.

 

Alan Danielson is the Senior Pastor of New Life Bible Church in Norman, Oklahoma. Previously he served as Central Team Leader for LifeGroups at LifeChurch.tv in Edmond, OK, where he led over a thousand small groups on LifeChurch’s thirteen campuses in six different states. He then founded 3Threat.net to help leaders master three essential leadership skills: vision-casting, creating strategy and fostering relationships. Alan is a popular conference speaker and consults regularly with ministries and leaders on topics relating to small groups and leadership. Learn more from Alan at 3Threat.net.