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 automated church systems and services you need so you can focus on what you we’re 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 church 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 church service 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.

One Church Software featured as a top choice in people management systems for churches.

An article from Software Development Company Rankings looks into the top church management software systems of 2020 and how these can improve the day-to-day operations in churches and impact the quality of their community’s activities.

Read the full article here > Church Management Software

Stewardship is a touchy subject in churches today. It’s something pastors often don’t like to preach about. But it’s inevitable.

We’ve all heard of the summer slump. School is out. Summer vacations are in full swing. Church members are gone, and tithes and offerings take a hit. It seems like everyone knows about online giving today, but how many know about text giving?

Have you ever watched a fundraiser on TV that is trying to raise money for a cause or program? The first ones that come to my mind are instances like the Haiti earthquake or 9/11. Across the bottom of the screen you’ll see “text Give to 12345 now.” Why not do that at the church level as well? I’m not saying to commercialize giving by any means. I’m merely suggesting one more way for churches to allow their members to give the way God calls us to. Here are a few reasons why I like ministry text giving:

  1. It affords more people the opportunity to give. Not everyone carries cash or checks. Most carry credit cards, but when was last time you saw a card reader at church? Very seldom, I’m sure. Ministry text giving eliminates the barrier to give for folks who carry no cash or checks. Donors can also set up recurring payments with text giving, increasing the number of times, on average, people give each month.
  2. It’s inexpensive. For example, with One Church Software you can send or receive texts for $0.01 each
  3. Donors can choose which funds they want to donate to. Just like e-giving through the web, text giving allows multiple funds to receive donations via text. Set up is easy, and data can be exported to any ChMS. So if you have someone who wants to give strictly to missions or the youth that is possible.
  4. Your church gets donations in a timely manner. With some e-giving solutions, churches have to wait several days for money to clear aggregate accounts. With text giving, funds are deposited into accounts within a couple of days. This allows churches to be better stewards with their money.
  5. You can use text giving for things other than tithes and offerings.How cool would it be to create custom registration forms for events at your church? You can do that with text-to-donate software. Each form generates a unique URL that you can share via your website or social media. Think about the possibilities of being able to pay for mission trips or summer camp through text giving.

There are other benefits of text-to-donate software as well, like donor history, email receipts, tax reporting, etc., but the ones listed above are the main features I felt compelled to highlight. As technology continues to expand and churches continue to adopt more digital solutions, consider how text giving can benefit your members and your church.

Author: Matt Morris 

Technology is advancing at such a fast pace. It seems like once a tool is introduced to the market, it is out of date very quickly. With SaaS (Software as a service) models being so prevalent in today’s technology environment, updates are frequent. Competition breeds innovation and brings prices down. Software platforms and programs as tools for leadership development are more affordable than they’ve ever been.

So how can we use technology for church leadership development?

  1. Implement a Learning Management System (LMS). Online learning has been around for almost two decades. During the dot com boom in the late nineties and early 2000’s, online learning companies sprouted up all over the country. I was part of one of those dot com’s. It was a fun ride while it lasted. Many of the smaller companies were acquired by larger companies for their customers. LMS’ in the church world were late to the game, but they’re here now, and there are some really good ones on the market. Online learning allows churches to develop leaders within Her members, equipping them with the right tools they need to become strong leaders and make disciples. 
  2. Make sure you focus on what matters to your church. Denominations are all different. Baptists have different doctrinal beliefs than Catholics do. When developing leaders within your church body, ensure you focus on what matters to you, your doctrine and your theology. Leaders need to know what you believe and why. Online resources in learning management systems allow you to deliver relevant content to your body of believers. In fact, any good LMS will allow you to upload your own content, allowing you to teach exactly what you want to the leaders you are developing.
  3. Developing leaders is a marathon, not a sprint. Some people are natural born leaders, but many are not. Even with natural born leaders, development and continual learning must be a priority. John Rooney said “the quickest way to become and old dog is to stop learning new tricks.” I’m a firm believer in continual education. It is unrealistic to expect leaders to continue to develop without further education. The best leaders I know are learners. They read all of the time. They learn from other leaders. They never cease to stop developing themselves. They have a firm understanding that learning is a process, not a one-time event that makes them a leader. 

How often do you send emails to your church members? Once a week? Once a month? Rarely ever? If you’re anything like the typical church across the United States, the answer is probably very seldom. But why? Church email marketing is another form of communication that should be used frequently in your ministry. It’s not difficult to send an email out on a regular basis. In fact, many churches still send out weekly or monthly newsletters via USPS to their members and recent visitors. There is a cost in that, and it’s always higher than sending emails. 

Here are four reasons why I love email for church communication:

  1. Open rates are high. Open rates for emails from religious institutions are the highest of any category that is tracked. According to Constant Contact, a company that serves many churches for email marketing, 40.24% of emails from churches are opened. Why? Your members trust the content that is coming from your church. They want to know more about what is happening, what is planned for future events, and how they can be involved. Furthermore, opt-out rates are very low—only 0.22%, the lowest of any category Constant Contact tracks.
  2. Email keeps people engaged and reminded. My wife and I get emails a few days prior to our scheduled time to serve in the children’s ministry each Sunday. It’s a good reminder for me and allows me the opportunity to put it on my calendar. My small-group leader sends out an email every week to everyone in our group. He includes prayer requests, notes, and takeaways from the pastor’s sermon, areas and opportunities to serve, and much more. You may be surprised at how engaging these emails are and how conversation carries itself through the week to the following Sunday. 
  3. There are a few companies that allow churches to use their email service for free. Constant Contact and MailChimp are a couple of companies that I know. For example, MailChimp offers churches and nonprofits the ability to send 15,000 emails per month at no charge. Think about that for a second. If you’re a church with an average attendance of 200 each Sunday, you could send 75 emails each month, or two a day! I’m not suggesting that, by any means, but you get a sense for the enormity of what 15,000 emails a month means. 
  4. It’s cost effective. How many times have I used the word “free” in this post? Several. The days of sending out paper newsletters to your members should be long gone. Some older folks in your church may still value this form of communication, and that’s okay. But many would prefer email. It’s quick for you and easy for them. Pew says 88% of people in the US access their email on their smart phone, and Venture Beat says 65% of all email gets opened first on a mobile device. Does that open your eyes a bit? It sure does for me. 

So if you’re not communicating with your church congregation via email or you are at a minimal level, allow me to challenge you to explore the possibility. I think you’ll like the results, and I’m pretty certain your members will as well. Check out some of the church email software services I mentioned in this post and give me your feedback if you’re already using these services. Tell me your positive and negative experiences. I’d love to hear them. 

We developed One Church Software to allow for quick communication through email and text messaging. We even created an email builder and a way to schedule messages far in advance. However, we realize some churches prefer using third parties, so we have integration partners for email as well. 

Author: Matt Morris 

Obviously, there are many different ways churches can communicate with their members and communities. Years ago, churches all published newsletters. Churches also had bulletins that dumped a lot of content and information on members and visitors each Sunday. With technology, churches have migrated to e-mail newsletters. The invention of Facebook and Twitter has given churches tools to engage and broadcast messages to the church body at no cost. Other tools like Instagram and YouTube allow churches to post photos and videos for everyone to see.

Most churches are behind the curve when it comes to really knowing how to create an effective church social media strategy. So, what should churches do in order to make sure they are engaging and communicating effectively with their members?


1) Engage your members where they already are.
If a high percentage of your congregation is on Facebook/Instagram, and most likely they are, start there. As of January 2019, there were over 2.27 billion monthly active users on Facebook. Setting up a Facebook page or Instagram account is simple and doesn’t take much time. Those two forms of social media will help you engage your congregation and community with short messages about what is going on, prayer requests, or daily Bible verses. Make sure you are investing in these two areas.

2) Use social media as an outreach tool.
Many potential visitors will view your social media accounts prior to making a visit to your church. Communicating clearly with effective and engaging messages will say a lot about the vision you are hoping to get across. That leads us to our third point.

3) Keep your content relevant to your church and ministry.
What kind of personality does your church exhibit? Social media reflects your reputation and vision. Make sure the messages you send via social media represent who you are. Do not post anything on social media that could be misconstrued or interpreted in a way you do not intend. Social media is perfect for communicating short messages on a regular basis. Daily Bible verses, prayer requests, information about events or sermon times, etc., are good examples.

4) Who should I choose to lead social media for my church?
First and foremost, make sure that the staff member or volunteer you choose to lead your social media efforts is not a rookie in this area. Is one of your staff members very active and engaged on Twitter while another may use Facebook or Instagram more predominantly? It’s okay to have more than one person for each platform, just make sure they are communicating the same message and vision. In addition, it’s helpful to have one point person to hold multiple social media account owners accountable.

5) It’s ok to NOT be on some social media platforms.
There are multiple social media platforms, and it’s not necessary to have a presence on all of them.

The way we communicate as a church is changing. The way people in your congregation and community consume content is changing. If you haven’t already, adopt new church social media strategies and tools. They can help you develop new relationships with people outside of your church and enhance existing relationships with the members of your church body.

Author: Matt Morris 

The person who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and the person who sows generously will also reap generously. Each person should do as he has decided in his heart—not out of regret or out of necessity, for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to make every grace overflow in you, so that in every way, always having everything you need, you may excel in every good work.
— 2 Corinthians 9:6-8

Let’s be honest – Stewardship can be a challenge for many church bodies today. Pastors tend to focus on stewardship once or twice per year, and often times, it can be a topic that they just don’t want to preach about. For a church member, being a good steward is something we are called by God to do, but we don’t often make it a priority like we should. E-giving can help address some stewardship issues. In fact, LifeWay Research says that 23% of churches see a greater percentage of the congregation giving on a regular basis with online giving for churches.



So how do we as church leaders address issues with giving head-on in a digital world? Long gone are the days when everyone brought his or her offering in an envelope each Sunday. I still see some people do it, but it’s not as commonplace as it was even five years ago. We are seeing a similar shift with Bibles as well. People are leaving their Bibles at home in favor of Bible apps on their smartphones or tablets. With giving, churches need to meet their members where they are. Two of the excuses I hear the most from leaders who are against digital giving for churches are “It’s not a worship experience” and “It’s not safe.” First, I believe that engaging in stewardship is an act of worship, no matter the method. Beyond that, I’d like to offer you a few points to help you address this possible contention within your church body.

1) Make it easy.
The last thing you want for your members is a clunky, wordy, and sloppy experience. Of course, online givers will have to register once. After a giver sets up his or her account, it should be much easier on subsequent interactions, which only ask for a giver’s tithe amount, the budget to which he or she wants to give and the method of payment. Even the giving transaction itself can be automated based on remembering preferences at the user level.

2) Who is in control?
Your members like to have autonomy. They want to know they can control their giving each and every week. Some givers may want to set up recurring payments using their debit cards. Others may want to give various amounts each week to different ministries via automated checks. Regardless of the circumstance, make sure they have the ability to maintain control of their tithes and offerings.

3) Assure members that it is safe.
PCI compliance isn’t a household term. You may know exactly what I’m talking about, but most of your members probably don’t. People want to make sure their credit, debit, or check information is safe. Of all the places for them to trust, a church should be at the top. But they don’t realize the church isn’t the one processing the payment. That’s why PCI compliance is so important. Make sure you work with a processor who is PCI level 1 compliant. In short, that means they have met the highest level of security standards set by the Payment Card Industry, and they process hundreds of thousands of transactions per year.

4) Worship experiences shouldn’t be confined to your church.
Worship should extend to homes as well. Encourage people to worship with their families as they give their tithes and offerings with their spouse and/or children. Encourage members to use this as a time to teach their children why God calls us to give. In fact, place some educational information in your bulletin about online giving for churches. Reinforce the fact that God calls us to be good stewards of what He has entrusted us and explain how their tithes will help make disciples.

E-giving can help engage your members and meet them where they are. Giving them options on how to be good stewards can also enrich their worship experience. Without online giving, we miss out on an incredible way of becoming more like Christ, both as individuals and as a community.

Author: Matt Morris 

How much time each day do you think the average American spends on his/her mobile device? Not talking, but actually consuming content? Take a guess. According to a recent report by eMarketer, people spend 4 hours and 40 minutes each day on their mobile devices. 2 hours and 21 minutes of that time is in an app; the rest is online! People are checking email; perusing websites; checking Facebook, Instagram and Twitter; and playing games. You name it; they do it on their mobile devices. The number one reason people use their mobile devices is because of convenience. It’s easy to consume content when it’s right at their fingertips. Your church website is no different. Most of us probably have a decent church Web page, but how many of you know if your page is responsive to mobile users? Have you checked that out lately? Go ahead. Get out your mobile device and go to your website. Are you pinching and zooming to read what is there? Do images and content scale and reorganize themselves? If not, your website isn’t responsive and needs to be updated. Church app development will provide your users a much more positive and less frustrating experience. Now that we have responsive design out of the way, you’re probably asking, “Does my church need a mobile app now?” There are several advantages in having a mobile app for your church. An app allows members to dive deeper and consume content not on your website. It’s a much more interactive environment. People can listen to sermon audio and view video, upload or view photos, ask for prayer, read your pastor’s blog, tithe through the app and much more.


  1. Keep content fresh and updated regularly. Having a good content management solution in place will help with this. Find a service or technology tool that allows you to update all of your content channels in a single location, meaning there is no need to update the same information twice. (Hootsuite is a good option for managing all of your social media channels.)
  2. Make sure your app environment is one where people will always want to come back for more. The average lifespan of an app is four months. After that time, people tend to lose interest. Your church app should be different. Keeping your members engaged which will keep them coming back.
  3. Just like your website, make sure you have a clearly defined purpose for your app. It doesn’t need to be purely informational. If it is, you won’t even make the four-month mark. More and more churches are seeing the need for both responsive mobile sites and mobile apps now. However, the majority of churches are late to adopt. Don’t wait until your members start asking if you’re ever going to develop an app. Serve them well by staying ahead of
    the curve.

Author: Matt Morris 

You have between five and 10 seconds to get people focused on who you are and what you are all about. That’s right – between five and 10 seconds. Just to put things into perspective, Krispy Kreme recommends you warm its glazed donuts in the microwave for eight seconds for that “hot donuts now” experience.

Most traffic to your church website is from potential visitors and newcomers. Your site is a virtual welcome center, open 24/7/365. I’ll define a “visitor” as someone who has only been inside your church three or fewer times. Visitors make decisions and form opinions about your church based on the information they see online. Often times, they ask themselves, “Will I/my family fit in?” So, ask yourself, why do people come to our website?


  1. Who you are and what you are all about should be clear.
    Do you have a lot of young families in your church? Are you an ethnically diverse church? What is your worship style? Contemporary or traditional? What is your theology? You want visitors to know all about your church within seconds of being on your website. Subconsciously, they will form opinions about whether or not they will fit in based solely on your homepage content and images. If you have a contemporary worship style, don’t show a picture of an organ. And don’t show pictures of a bunch of young kids if your church represents an older demographic. Make content a true representation of your church.
  2. Communicate where you are.
    It’s great to tell people in your community all about your church, your mission, vision and values, but if it’s hard for people to find where you’re located, chances are they’re going to stop searching. Make that information easy to find, possibly in a couple of places within your site.
  3. Tell people when to be there.
    If you tell people who you are, what you’re all about, and where you are, but forget to tell them when to be there, how will they know when to come? Make service times a priority just as much as location, even including service times under your address. I’ve seen several churches that have images scrolling on their homepages where one image is dedicated solely to the current sermon series and when to be there. Make people want to come. Tell them when to be there.
  4. Content is key.
    Whatever you decide to include about who you are and what your church is all about is up to you, but keep it simple. Don’t overload people with a ton of useless information. Also, make sure that you are choosing images that correspond to the content on your website. Images solicit emotional responses. Again, people form opinions subconsciously based on what they see
    on your website.

Author: Matt Morris