Emerging ChMS Trends For Reporting Data

Tuesday, May 6, 2014 7:50:00 AM Categories: Ministry & Technology
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Over the last month I’ve written on trends in the development of Church Management Software (CMS or ChMS). You can read my posts about business trends here and about data collection trends here.  Perhaps the most exciting thing about the future of CMS is it's potential for providing revolutionary feedback to staff and volunteers on the state of their ministry.  We call this feedback “reporting”.

Ministry Dashboards - Almost every church has a spreadsheet or document that helps it keep score and understand the state of their church.  This is a ministry dashboard.  You can run all sorts of reports now with every CMS, but the trend is to provide for you a synopsis report with drill down possibilities.  Currently most CMS allow you to export data to use business intelligence tools like Excel and --------.  But, there is definitely a trend to provide these in the software itself or reports automatically sent to you.

Scheduled Reporting - We stumbled on the idea of automated reporting.  At first we automated the system for leaders to fill out info on their meetings.  Over time it was logical for us to compile this data into a spreadsheet report that we email to the small groups pastor monthly.  It is just a matter of time before we have a system in place that allows you to create a report then save and schedule when it is to be run and emailed to you.  We will capture the best thinking in this area and make that available as default options.

Pastoral Analytics - Pastoral analytics involves the use of data to spot trends that may identify pastoral care needs and/or leadership development opportunities within your congregation.  We believe that studying then identifying and benchmarking changes in things like giving, group involvement, major life changes, ministry involvement and spiritual gifts or interests that we will be able to provide recommendations for leadership and pastoral needs much like Amazon recommends books.

Predictive Analytics - Predictive analytics is much like pastoral analytics but will help identify group, ministry, giving and organizational trends that will help executive leadership in their thinking about teaching and strategic priorities.  This is currently being effectively done by marketing and donor management organizations.

Organizational Comparisons - Because Church Management Software engages churches of every size, brand and geographical location, they can provide analytics that bridge between churches to help pastors and leaders better understand the broader church culture in light of their own church.

Local Ministry and Opportunity Matching - We've talked for decades about matching people based on spiritual gifts, personalities, talents, and ministry interests.  With new technologies and CMS design we will have software that makes sure this data is up to date and then automatically recommends volunteer ministry opportunities to both potential volunteers and ministry leaders.  Systems will provide accountability to see that volunteers are followed up with properly.

Global Ministry and Opportunity Matching - Like local ministry opportunity matching, we envision the CMS software of 10-15 years from now being able to match global needs from compassion and missions organizations with individual ministry profiles in order to recommend opportunities to individuals, churches and mission organizations across the globe.

These are exciting times to be alive and to be part of the church's commission to make disciples of all nations.  CMS will take the best ideas and practices from both ministry and technology and blend them together into a tool that will serve church and mission leaders like never before.

Boyd Pelley. Is Co-founder and CEO of Churchteams.com. He served for 18 years as Discipleship Pastor, Church Administrator and Family Pastor for churches in New Mexico, Nebraska and Texas. He has a bent toward improving processes and a passion for making disciples. Married for 27 years, he and Pam have 2 grown children.