You’ve likely noticed that fewer and fewer people in your church bring a hard copy of the Bible, opting to use a Bible app on their smartphones instead. We have the power in our pocket to do any number of things from reading the Bible, taking notes, surfing the web, and responding in the moment to a message.

With the ability to do all this at your member’s fingertips (in church and outside of church!), it’s important that you consider all the ways that texting can actually help your ministry.

Why?

Well, according to Nonprofits Source, it takes 90 seconds on average to respond to a text while it takes 90 minutes on average to respond to an email. That is a staggering statistic that points to how texting can help make your church more effective at communicating with your current members and new guests.

Here are the top five ways a texting feature in your church management software can benefit your church:

1) Ministry to Others

Ministry doesn’t happen just in our Sunday services. In today’s world, we have the opportunity to more easily minister to people as they navigate their day-to-day lives. Did you know that you can use texting to do that?

For example, you could send a link to an encouraging devotional or a Bible verse. You could share an encouraging word or reminder throughout the week. You could send a question to ponder. Texting allows you and other church leaders to easily step into people’s lives during the week and minister to them as they go through their routines.

2) Sign-ups

Have you ever tried getting people to sign-up for an event or to get more information? It can be a chore to verbally tell them all the information in a conversation or from the pulpit.

With texting, however, you can have people text a word like “BAPTISM” to sign-up for the next baptism or get more information. The text response they automatically get back can have a link to all the details they need. So when you talk about an event or getting more information, you can keep it short and sweet and let your text send the extra details.

3) Reminders

Got an event coming up or perhaps you need to communicate a last-minute change? Texting can be a great option to notify people of changed locations, an important detail, or just a reminder not to forget that the event is happening. Nonprofits Source reported that 90% of text message reminders are read within three minutes, which means that you can make sure vital information is being read by most people!

4) Giving

Regardless of if your members are giving their regular tithe or if they want to give generously to a special area of ministry, online options for giving are more popular than ever and text-to-give options are one of the easiest ways to give today. When it comes to special giving or spur-of-the-moment gifts, the easiest way for people to be generous is by providing a simple way to meet the calling to give.

5) Guest Follow-Up

Visitors and first-time guests can feel awkward about being contacted with a phone call or even via email at times. Texting is a great way to casually and personally say hello and let them know how grateful you are they visited your church. You can even provide some links to next steps they can take if they’d like to learn more!

Texting is a great tool that can help inform and encourage your church’s members and guests. If you are interested in using texting in your church to do any of the things we mentioned here or if you’ve been on the lookout for a texting service that connects to your church management software, check out a demo of One Church Software to see how texting alongside our other features can support your ministry.

It’s 2022, so your church has likely had a website for quite some time! But did you know there are common issues that may be deterring visitors from your church’s website, or communicating messages you don’t want to be sending? Thankfully, there are simple checks you can do to see if these obstacles are impacting your website.

1. SSL Certificate Errors

It may sound complicated, but it’s actually super simple to check if you have an SSL Certificate Error. Check your browser’s address bar right now (if you don’t know, the address bar is where you type in the web address). There is a locked padlock to the left of our address of onechurchsoftware.com. That locked padlock is a sign that the information shared through your site has been encrypted. This is especially important if you offer online donations, but it is also the industry standard for almost any website nowadays. If you don’t see that locked padlock you’ll want to get in touch with your website hosting provider or try checking your site through https://www.whynopadlock.com.

2. Outdated or Inaccurate Privacy Policy

If your website collects any sort of information from its visitors, then you are required to have a privacy policy. And even if you aren’t required to have one, it’s still a good idea. By having a customized privacy policy you show visitors that you are good stewards of their information. If you need some help coming up with a customized privacy policy or just want some more information, we recommend checking out this article.

3. Sermon Archives are Difficult to Find

Do visitors have to click more than three times to find where your sermon content is located on your website? If so, then it’s too hard to find. When visitors want to get a taste of your church or if members want to catch up on sermons they couldn’t be at in person, you need to make them easy to find and well organized. If you utilize our sermon archive through One Church Software, then we’ve already done the hard work for you to keep your Bible teaching organized and easily accessible for others to enjoy. One Church Software also integrates with YouTube and Vimeo to make video hosting a breeze.

4. Target Audience and Next Steps Unclear

Church websites tend to talk to insiders first, instead of targeting people who are not yet a part of your community. And even when church websites target the right audience, the next steps to get connected are often unclear. Should they be reaching out for more information, “Planning a Visit,” signing up for a resource, watching a sermon, or something else?

5. Your Website is Disconnected From Other Tools

While this may not have to do directly with your website, integration across all the tools your church uses saves you a lot of time and makes you more effective in ministry. Too many churches are using different tools to do everything from registering for a special event, email sign-ups, event management, volunteer organization, texting software, and online giving. Having to maintain that many systems can get exhausting. Not to mention that it can create confusion and makes it difficult to manage all those systems. One Church Software is an all-in-one system that connects everything together. If you don’t already have a church management software or if the one you have doesn’t manage all your tools, try out our free demo video to see if One Church Software can help your church.

You don’t have to be a tech wiz to have a website that attracts visitors and serves your current members. By making sure your church website doesn’t have any of these 5 common issues, you can rest easy knowing that it shows care to your members and guests and points them to resources that can connect them.

If you found any of these issues or want some help getting an all-in-one technology solution to help you care for your members, empower your volunteers, and serve your community, we’d love to connect. Give us a call at 855.932.2060 or take advantage of our free trial.

As the warmer weather approaches, calendars fill up with vacations, sports, and other fun activities to take advantage of the summer sun! If you are a church leader, you have probably seen how this season impacts attendance at your church. This dip in attendance is commonly referred to as the “summer slump.” Churches see attendance hit an all-time low as the snowbirds return to their summer homes, college students travel back to their home states, and parents are looking for ways to occupy their kids during the break from school.

While you can’t bypass the summer slump altogether, we’ve got a few tips for church leaders to help deal with the summer slump and prioritize your church calendar.

1) Set Realistic Expectations

Don’t be discouraged when you see the summer slump start to impact your attendance. It’s normal for all churches to see a dip in attendance, and it is generally unavoidable. By setting realistic expectations, you won’t be disappointed or discouraged when those numbers start to dip.

2) Get Creative with Your Ministry

During the summer months, it might be difficult for some people to show up on a Sunday morning consistently. But that doesn’t have to mean that they are disconnected from their church community during this time. Look for ways to minister to your members and community outside of your prescribed service times. Look for local festivals, events, and service projects that you can participate in as a church and have a presence at to invest in the community.

3) Prioritize Digital Ministry

If you haven’t already, this is a great time to consider digital ministry options that people can partake in whenever it fits their schedule. Some questions to ask: How can we add value to people’s spiritual life through a digital ministry? Can we provide resources for a family worship night? Or maybe bite-sized devotionals that can easily be done in 5-10 minutes? The possibilities are endless to provide alternative ways to keep people connected to your church online.

4) Make Giving Accessible

Just because people are less likely to be physically at your church over the summer doesn’t mean that they don’t want to give regularly. Make sure your giving is accessible to those members with busy schedules. Online giving is a great way to provide options to your members whether they want to give once or set up a recurring monthly gift. Make sure your members know online giving is an option before the summer slump is in full swing!

5) Plan Ahead for the Fall

With a decrease in attendance, the summer is the perfect time to review and plan for the Fall. Set aside some time to review any systems you currently have in place and see if there is a way to improve them. When involvement gets more consistent, how will your ministry need to change? What initiatives need to be planned out now to be most effective?

6) Provide Special Events for the Whole Family

With children out of school and one, if not both, parents working, it can be difficult to find events the whole family can enjoy. Take note of the demographic of your church. Do you have more families, singles, or young couples? What kinds of events will serve your community best? Depending on the demographic of your church, you might consider offering VBS, movie nights, water park days, or picnics in the park. By offering events that help bring the family together, you can make sure connecting with your church is beneficial and not an obligation to fill-up their calendar even more.

The summer slump can be discouraging if you aren’t prepared for this season and don’t adjust what your church offers to support your congregation. If your church needs help setting up online giving or adding systems to be better prepared to get back into your stride in the Fall, now is the perfect time to try out a demo of One Church Software.

You may wonder if using a check-in station is the right call for your church. It may seem like it’s just a fancy new piece of technology that is nice, but is it really necessary?

The truth is that the purpose of using a check-in station is not just about technology; it’s actually to make it easier to reach and serve your community, and easier to manage the day-to-day life of your church.

Check-in stations have a number of benefits that provide connection, organization, and safety, and help you stay prepared to make a connection with the people you are called to serve. From checking kids in to your children’s ministry all the way to tracking attendance at special events or classes, here are five benefits a check-in station offers your church:

Benefit #1: Keep Your Children’s Ministry Secure

Whether the child care you are offering is for a special event or as a part of your regular Sunday morning service, there is no other place in your church where security matters more. With easy check-in, you’ll know who the child’s guardian is, the child’s name, and any dietary restrictions all on one label! This ensures that only an authorized adult can pick up the child.

If you ever need to look back at a full attendance roster for a service, or past attendance for a specific child, the system makes it really easy to track that information down.

Benefit #2: Track Attendance

Some churches use a check-in station to track attendance for their Sunday services, and some use it only for special events and classes. Either way, this is a huge benefit to a check-in station that allows people to check-in as they come in.

For special events, if you utilize a pre-registration, tracking the event attendance using a check-in station will allow you to compare the number of people that registered versus those who came to the event. Having attendees check-in at the event will also allow you to send follow-up emails and helpful resources only to the people who that information would apply to, and automatically print labels or name tags necessary for that event.

Benefit #3: Helps Identify New Guests

Church can be a busy place, especially if you have kids running about or are busy keeping a big event organized. With an event check-in station, you’ll know exactly who came to your event and be able to narrow down who wasn’t part of your regular attenders. So in the case you aren’t able to make a personal connection at the event, you can still send them a special follow-up afterward.

Benefit #4: Advance Registration for Events

One of the toughest parts of planning for an event is knowing how many people to plan for. With advance registration, you can collect an accurate number of how many people to expect, as well as compare that number with the number from your event check-in. If you have any conferences or events where there is a fee to attend, you are able to easily add that into the advanced registration.

Benefit #5: Provides Valuable Data

Coordinating events is more than just getting them scheduled in the calendar. You also need to know how many kids to expect (if you are offering childcare), how many volunteers you’ll need to watch the children, and how to set up your space for the amount of attendees expected. If you have a weekly event, a check-in station provides valuable data to tell you how many people are regularly attending, and the average number of children, so that you can properly prepare and adjust for the next event.

These are just a few of the benefits that come with having a check-in station at your church! The goal of utilizing a tool like this is to improve the experience for guests at your church, make organization easier for you and your team to manage, and allow you to connect more easily with the people in your church.

Interested in how One Church Software’s check-in station integration and all-in-one church management software could support your ministry? Learn how it works.

The world seems to be moving at lightning speed. The days of passing an offering plate to collect cash and paper checks are pretty much obsolete. With this shift to more convenient ways to tithe like text-to-give, online giving, and in-app donations, the security of user information has to be top-of-mind.

But how do you know what is truly “secure” and why is prioritizing security a key part of stewarding your church’s resources?

Safe Giving Options

47% of Americans experienced financial identity theft in 2020 and among the top five kinds of theft were online shopping and payment account fraud. Protecting your identity and credit card information has become a necessity for everyone. The last place anyone should be remotely worried about their data being stolen is at church.

Nonprofits and churches alike are (and should be) characterized by trustworthiness. The members of your church don’t just tithe because God tells them to do so, they also give because they trust you to steward their resources well. And part of good stewardship is protecting their data.

Just like in the days when you made sure there were always multiple ushers tallying up the weekly tithes, it’s wise to do your homework to make sure the giving option you offer is secure.

How to Know if Giving Software is Secure

You don’t have to be an expert in online security or know all the lingo and latest vulnerabilities in fraud, but an easy way to confirm security is to check to make sure the system you have is a PCI-Compliant Service Provider (like One Church Software). PCI stands for Payment Card Industry and they represent the highest set of security standards in the industry.

You should also check into the level of encryption any giving software offers. In short, encryptions are when your data is changed to a code that can only be read when you have the “key.” The higher the number of bits, the tougher it is to crack the key to get access to the data. Back when encryptions were first introduced, it was common to see 56-bit encryption. To compare, One Church Software uses 256-bit encryption, the strongest form of protection you can find in the industry today.

Additionally, here are some security measures we take pride in prioritizing:

  • Data is backed up every night to servers across the globe and redundantly stored securely. We store up to 6 months worth of back-ups.
  • We run server scans and perform penetration tests regularly.
  • User passwords are one-way hashed and salted so no one but the user knows what it is (not even we know what it is).
  • All access to the system is controlled via a robust and flexible permissions system so users can only see and edit data they are allowed to.

When it comes to your church’s giving, it’s important to pick a ChMS (Church Management Software) that takes security and stewardship just as seriously as you do. It’s an investment to protect personal, credit card, and bank information; however, when it comes to giving faithfully, secure solutions also provide the confidence and assurance of safety to each one of your members.

We know taking the step to start using a church management software can feel like a big one. Our team has worked with hundreds of churches and church leaders to help make the switch. If you aren’t sure if your church’s giving is currently secure or would like to find out how One Church Software would support your ministry, give us a call at 855.932.2060 or watch a software demo at your own pace.

Planning a service can take a lot of hard work and organization, from writing the sermon to picking the right music to coordinating all the volunteers needed to make it possible. While you don’t need to be planning out every tiny detail, you also shouldn’t be winging every aspect of your service the day-of either.

(We consistently see churches swing a little too far in one or the other direction!)

To give you a hand at finding that happy middle ground, here’s a list of some best practices for planning your service:

1) Make a plan in advance; make adjustments in the moment.

Planning is one of the most spiritual things a leader can do. Have you ever thought about that? Developing a plan is one of the core ways that we, as leaders, shepherd our flock carefully.

Now it’s still wise to allow for necessary, Spirit-led adjustments in the moment, and to remain flexible. But developing a plan helps your team prepare effectively, keeps your team organized, allows you to lead from intentionality rather than urgency, and keeps your overall pace at a manageable level.

2) Prioritizing excellence requires you to give your team time to prepare.

Rarely can a team produce their best at a moment’s notice. For most people, excellence comes when they know what their tasks are in advance, can prepare for those tasks ahead of time, and can even prepare their own heart for their role in the service.

If you’re not sure how much time would be best, ask your team! Giving them time to prepare shows that you care, and allows them to serve with the best of the passion and skills God has given them.

3) Stop texting your volunteers for their availability.

Texting may seem convenient, but in reality, tracking all those details week after week eats away too much of your time. Instead of texting each volunteer for their availability and then having to text them back after you’ve made your schedule, make it easier on yourself and them by utilizing a Church Management Software (ChMS).

Through a ChMS, you can have volunteers input their availability in advance, and the system will automatically notify them when they are scheduled to serve.

4) Communicate your sermon content as early as you can.

The earlier you can communicate your sermon content, the better! This will allow your team to have plenty of time to pick out music, Scripture readings, and special elements that match your sermon content and creates a cohesive service from start to finish.

Overall sermon topics should generally be defined at the start of a series, and a great goal is for your sermon content to be planned and communicated 1-2 weeks in advance.

5) Say “thank you.”

Encouraging your team is just as important in service planning as the elements you include in the service. You don’t want your team to become a revolving door of people. Building a solid team that is engaged in the work that God has called you to do requires that you encourage your team members regularly and show appreciation for what they do.

When you see a team member serving, take time to genuinely thank them. And it never hurts to schedule regular time in your schedule to give them a personal gesture of appreciation (handwritten thank you card, a small gift card, a text, etc.).

6) Always have a follow-up plan.

One of the most important pieces of planning for your service is your follow-up plan. How will you connect with new people that just experienced your service? Will people clearly understand what the next step is and how to take it?

Churches with a clear follow-up plan are much more likely to build long-term relationships with guests. Believe it or not, it’s actually something that can be automated!


If you are not naturally a planner, all this might seem a bit overwhelming. It may feel that way initially, but as you make these things part of your routine, you will find yourself with more time and less stress.

Ultimately, this is all about helping your church thrive and fulfill its mission to encourage believers and bring the Gospel to those that are not yet saved! The Holy Spirit has the power to work in our planning just as much as He has the power to work in the moment.

Looking for a church management system to support you in effective service planning? Learn how this core feature works in One Church Software’s award-winning, all-in-one software for churches.

A typical problem churches face is maintaining a consistent stream of funds to support ministry operations. The work of the local church, whether discipling teenagers or providing meals for the homeless, costs money, and if a church struggles to maintain a consistent stream of giving from its members, the work of ministry can be hindered.

How can churches encourage consistent giving from their church members without breaking trust or sounding “greedy,” a common fear of church leaders? Here are a few basic ways to promote consistent giving in the local church:

1. Talk about money outside of giving campaigns.

One of the biggest mistakes churches make is neglecting any talk about generosity, giving, or money outside of specialized fundraising campaigns for new facilities, new ministry opportunities, or other such projects.

A common line churches use is, “This is not about a building…it’s about cultivating generosity in your heart.” Unfortunately, if the only time you’re talking like that on a Sunday morning or in your small groups is when you’re trying to add a new facility, people are probably going to roll their eyes! And more importantly, you’re going to lose trust.

One of the best ways you can cultivate a culture of generosity and consistent giving in your church is to talk about money and generosity regularly so that finances aren’t as taboo a topic as they too often are. God cares about our money and how we spend, invest, or give it, and church leaders should be talking about our relationship with money as a regular part of the discipleship process, whether there’s a fundraising campaign or not.

Make conversations about finances a regular part of your discipleship efforts. You will not only cultivate generous hearts that are more like Christ, but you’ll also see more consistent giving from your church members.

2. Encourage regular service within the local church.

This is an essential but often overlooked point. In general, even outside of the church walls, people are more likely to personally invest in projects or efforts with which they are actively involved in some way. Sure, plenty of generous donors give to nonprofits or philanthropic causes with whom they have little personal connection. Still, most small and medium-sized givers will be most faithful and consistent if they have a vested interest and participatory relationship with the recipient of their giving.

A really simple, underrated way to encourage consistent giving in your church is to encourage your church members to serve regularly. The more involved they are through serving in the children’s ministry or taking meals to new parents throughout the week, the more likely they will be willing to open their wallets and give.

Two of the resources about which people are most stingy are their time and money. If you can get your church members to loosen their grip on their time and be generous on that front, you are more likely to successfully loosen their grip on their money and encourage them to be generous with it.

Encourage service and watch giving become more consistent.

3. Prioritize electronic giving and monitor it.

More and more people are paying their bills through automatic electronic withdrawals from their bank accounts. The number of people who write checks to pay their bills will only continue to decrease moving into the future. The same is true with church giving. Though church demographics tend to skew older than the average age of a community’s population, the digital financial revolution will hit your church soon if it hasn’t already.

If you hope to encourage regular, consistent giving in your church, reliable electronic giving needs to be a top priority. There are seemingly dozens of options available for churches to make electronic giving available to their church members. Whichever option you choose, make sure that user experience is important in your decision-making process. Electronic giving that is difficult to use creates unnecessary friction and could even erode trust in your church members, which will only hinder consistent financial giving.

An extra bonus if the solution you choose makes communication easy with your donors, allows members to give via text, and makes it simple for you to monitor it all!

Consistent financial giving is important in the life of the local church because we should always be growing in generosity as we strive to become more like Christ, and those funds fuel the important ministry in your community and around the world.

Looking for an easy giving solution for your church? Look no further than One Church Giving, Our safe, secure, and fully integrated giving solution. Learn more here.

Want to read more?
– 5 Ways We Should Talk About Money at Church
– 5 Reasons to Consider Text Giving for Your Ministry
3 Ways to Encourage Young Families to Give to Your Church

As a church leader, you have a lot of things on your plate. You may have considered upgrading to a church management system (ChMS) before, but weren’t sure if it was the right move for your church. The thought of changing your systems up can seem overwhelming and you may be wondering if it is even worth the effort.

You have a unique calling to not only shepherd and serve your church well, but also to steward your resources well. That may make you hesitant to spend some of your church’s finances to switch to a church management system or even wonder if it is necessary.

The purpose of a church management system is to help your ministry stay organized, automate repeatable tasks (so you can spend your time on the big stuff), communicate with your people, and much more.

So are you ready for one? We’ve put together a list of the top signs that your church is ready to get a church management system. Let’s dive in:

1) Are your members able to donate online?

If your church is still passing an offering plate during your regular service, it’s time to upgrade to a church management system. By offering online donations, people can give securely online and also set up recurring gifts.  This also makes it a breeze to deliver your end-of-year giving statements.

2) Does it take more than an hour to schedule volunteers for serving opportunities?

This is a big one! If you are spending an hour or more each week comparing availability, scheduling, and notifying your volunteers, then you should make the switch to a church management system to easily complete this task and organize your volunteers each week.

3) Are you still sending individual emails to follow up with guests?

Odds are you have several emails that you’ve been sending manually that you can automate. If you’ve got a list of repeatable tasks when someone visits for the first time that bog you down, then it’s time to take a look at how a church management system can take some of those off your plate. We promise that it will still feel just as personal to the receiver (you still are developing the email) but your to-do list will instantly be lighter!

4) How do you take attendance?

The days of manually counting people in seats or using a tally counter is one of those tasks that doesn’t need to be on your shoulders anymore. If you have been using one of these methods, it’s time to start using a church management system to save some time and to save your fingers from all that clicking!

5) Are you still relying on memory to try and identify visitors?

Before the days of the internet, you identified new visitors by some key volunteers that were outgoing and could spot the new faces in a sea of members. But that doesn’t always work anymore. As your church grows, or if you are short volunteers, it’s easy for new people to slip through the cracks. A church management system can create an automated system for visitors to check in and receive a follow-up from your church. No more people slipping through your doors unnoticed.

6) Do your kids’ volunteers rely on their memory to match kids with their parents?

The safety of our kids is a top priority at any church. But without a church management system, you rely on the memory of your kids’ volunteers to know which parent or guardian can pick up each child. A church management system can provide check-in labels with important information, like allergies and authorized adults to pick them up.

7) Is it easy for people to find and register for events or groups?

Far too often, it can feel like we have to reinvent the wheel every time we have something new for people to register for. Sometimes it’s a Facebook event. Sometimes it’s an email to RSVP to. Sometimes it’s a Google Form. It can get confusing, and it takes a lot more time and brain power for you and your team than it needs to. With a church management software, that is all organized in one place. Easy to set-up and easy to share.

We know taking the step to get a church management software can feel like a big one. But, we have worked with countless churches and church leaders to help make the switch. You have been called to steward your church’s resources well and that means both your finances and your time. So if any of the tasks above are taking up so much of your time that you don’t have the space to think about big picture things in your church, we’d invite you to consider the ripple effect a tool like this would have in your ministry and your leadership.

Adding a church management system can help free up your to-do list and open up your time to allow you to focus on leading your church well into where God is taking you.

Curious to learn more? Watch a software demo at your own pace >>

Christmas is a time when there is hustling and bustling in stores, people are visiting relatives they haven’t seen all year (or longer!), and when it comes to church, you’ll likely see a few more new faces.

Whether it’s the sporadic member, the major-holiday-only attender, new guest, or even a relative of a regular attendee, this is a time of year when you are likely expecting additional people to connect with your church in some way. For many, this will be the primary time those individuals will connect and receive encouragement from a church in the year.

What an incredible opportunity we have!

As we enter this season, here are a few things we want to encourage you to keep in mind for your Christmas service(s) this year:

1) Remember that people are still hurting and recovering from the disruption over the past two years.

Be mindful to acknowledge and consider that things aren’t “back to normal” yet. Over the last two years, many of us were cut off entirely from our community of support or were pushed to interact with them through a screen because of the pandemic. This was a major disruption that will likely have lasting effects for years to come. The best way to support people this holiday season is to make sure your church is a place where they can find stability and hope.

2) Be sure you have a first-time visitor follow-up process.

After new visitors walk out your door, do you have a plan to connect with them? Invite them back? Take some time before new people arrive to make sure you have a clear follow-up process. This is important to have set up year-round, but it’s doubly important around the holidays. And if you already have a follow-up process, take some time to review it before your Christmas services.

3) Don’t be afraid to approach Christmas with the same innovation you approached it with last year.

Last year, churches had to consider how to reach people when they couldn’t gather together in a physical space. As a result, many churches got creative with ways to connect with their community and offered additional resources to promote connection. While in many places, in-person gatherings are nearing their usual capacity, that doesn’t mean you should forgo a fresh approach this year.

Online resources, livestreams, video calls, and group study guides are a great way to reach a wider base of people than you may be able to with a physical service alone. What methods did you use last year that were particularily successful? Consider offering the most popular of these, or a version of it, again!

4) Make sure you are engaging people outside of Sunday.

We have a tendency to focus all our efforts into our Sunday service or Christmas Eve services, but what about the other six days of the week? Instead of only focusing on the service, plan ahead to have encouraging emails, text messages, weekly resources, or even some Christmas cards throughout the holiday season. Also, consider how you can be a special blessing to people around this season. If there is someone that doesn’t have family around to celebrate Christmas with this year, invite them to an event, go caroling at their house, or do something special to remind them they are valued and supported.

5) Don’t wait until next year to review how your Christmas service went.

If you don’t take the time to do this right after your Christmas service, then it will likely be 11 months before you consider it again and, by that time, you won’t remember. By taking the time to review what you did well and what still needs improvement while it’s all fresh in your mind, you’ll be that much more prepared for next year!

6) Let the Truth of this season impact your heart, too.

It can be easy to get wrapped up in decorating, planning the message, and making sure that the service is just right that you forget to let the truth of Christmas impact your own heart. This is the time of year that we remember the incredible truth that Jesus came to earth as a humble child, fully experiencing our humanity, to freely offer us salvation, redemption, and hope. Don’t merely focus on communicating this truth to others; be sure to meditate on it in your own life and walk with God.

This Christmas, remember that the most important thing you can do is to share the Good News with others. That our voices might join in with the shepherds, wise men, and angels in saying, “…I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people…” (Luke 2:10 ESV)

Merry Christmas from all of us here at One Church Software!

Is your church still using pen-and-paper to plan events and collect guest information? Do you find yourself going in and manually sending follow-up emails or confirming with volunteers? Are you trying to plan events based on the verbal RSVPs you got last service? There is so much going on at your church and if you’ve been relying on any of these methods of organization, it can probably feel pretty overwhelming at times.

Your time matters. There’s a lot happening each week and the last thing you need to do is to manage details that could be automated.

Here are six things you should be automating at your church so you can focus on what you were called to do — leading your church and reaching people for Jesus.

1. Guest Follow-Up

Are you still typing an individual reply to every person that fills out a connection card? Do you find yourself copying and pasting a past email each time you reach out to someone who’s new to the church? It might seem like a small thing, but the collective time and the diverted focus this task is likely causing is a big deal.

While you will still want to be aware of who is new to your church and specific prayer requests, automating a well-crafted welcome note that is sent shortly after someone submits their information won’t just save you time, it also greets new guests in a timely manner. You can also include resources and links to your upcoming events so they can take the next step sooner.

This is actually a really easy automation to set-up! You’ll get any replies straight to your inbox, but all you have to do is write at least one email (though you could set-up more) that runs in the background every time someone new is added to the system.

2. Giving Responses and Follow-Up

Statistics show that you should be thanking givers within 24-48 hours of their gift. Are you aware of when people tithe? Is thanking someone for giving a task that consistently makes it to the bottom of your list or that you feel is just assumed? Odds are if you don’t have an automated system here, some giving is falling through the cracks unnoticed and unthanked.

By automating your giving responses, you can make sure people get thanked right away. This lets people know that their gift went through and gives them confidence that they made the right choice in supporting the ministry. In this automated response, you could also include what their faithful giving has provided or even update them on any special giving progress.

3. Kids Check-In

If you have kids, you know how crazy checking them in can be. And with safety protocols to match up kids with authorized adults, it’s so valuable to have an automated check-in process here. (If you don’t have a process in place for check-in and security, you need to implement one ASAP! This is a crucial part of reaching younger families.)

By implementing an automated system, parents can check their kids in easily with automatically-printed labels containing all the information people need to know, from your child’s name to any allergies they may have. This system can also integrate into helping you track attendance throughout your children’s ministries.

4. Event Confirmations + Follow-Up

If you’ve tried to plan a church event, you know what a headache it already can be to figure out how many people to plan for, not to mention letting everyone know when dates, times, and locations change. So sending out a confirmation email and creating an updated list of event attendees are two things that should be done, but shouldn’t have to be done by hand.

Automating event lists (who’s attending) allows you to communicate with all the right people, rather than email blasting your entire church when the picnic gets rained out. Everyone who signs up gets added to a list. You can easily email (or text) just those people.

And by automating your event confirmations, you can send out event-specific follow-ups to go directly to the people that attended. This ensures people have the location, time, and any other details easily accessible come the day of the event.

5. Task Management

Have you ever had to track someone down to get a progress update about a task? It can be especially difficult in ministry, as you work with a lot of volunteers who help you in their spare time outside of normal work hours. 

By having an automated system to easily assign tasks and get project updates, you don’t have to spend hours or days playing phone tag with someone. And if you have recurring projects, there are many automations, like our Workflows, that will allow you to set up a progression of subtasks, such as sending a follow-up text to a new guest, updating a donor address, or finishing up plans for an aspect of the Sunday service.

6. Attendance Tracking

It’s helpful to know how many people are actually attending your church, and to easily see who is falling away from the life of the church. Or if your church is hosting an event, it’s valuable to easily be able to see who ended up coming and who wasn’t able to.

By automating your service resources through One Church Software, you can create a check-in system so attendance is taken automatically. As an added bonus, you can set-up a notification for a member of your team or an automated follow-up process whenever someone hasn’t made it to a few services (or a workflow trigger of your choice). This is a great way to make sure no one falls through the cracks!

This is just a short list of some of the things you can automate at your church to save you time so you can lead your church more effectively. If you are ready to start automating or are curious what other time-saving automations are out there, check out One Church Software’s features or reach out to see how we can help equip and organize your church so you are structured in a healthy way.