The Five-Minute Demo


Most companies do anything to make a sale. They give long demos, hoping to secure interest and gain a new client, whether the product is ideal for that client or not. But that’s never been the goal of Think Ministry, as evidenced by the infamous five-minute demo.

Most MinistryPlatform demos last an hour, followed by another half hour or so spent answering questions and getting to know the specific needs of the church. The demos are always done one church at a time to make sure the focus is on that church and finding out their needs in a ChMS.

But not this time.

Kevin McCord began his demo like any other. But after just five minutes, he put a stop to it. He knew that MinistryPlatform was not what this church needed and didn’t want to waste anyone’s time discussing a product that was clearly ill-suited to this church’s needs.

What was it that had him hitting the brakes so fast?

The church had several systems for their people and events. They wanted to use MinistryPlatform for events, but not for tracking their people. There was another system in place for that. They intended to add MinistryPlatform as another silo in their data farm.

Many Silos
Too many silos leads to inefficiency and lost data (photo credit: Tinou Bao)


The design and passion of MinistryPlatform has always been that it be the only database of information and tracking, that it be the single source for large and multi-site churches. Many MinistryPlatform churches may use third party tools to customize MinistryPlatform to make it fit their needs better, but all the data should still flow into and out of MinistryPlatform. Everything should come back to one place to avoid those dreaded silos of information that can severely limit a church’s functionality and efficiency, therefore also limiting its effectiveness.

Knowing that this specific church was not on the same page with our primary focus was more important than making the sale. Kevin could have sold MinistryPlatform to them for events. Perhaps they would have eventually seen all the benefits the software has to offer, but because they were set on the idea of many databases, he decided not to continue the discussion. The demo ended on a happy note, with the church relieved at not having been sold an ill-fitting product for the sake of the sale.

One Source
Once source for data keeps the focus where it should be (photo credit: David DeHetre)


This is a good reminder for us all that the churches who will get the most from MinistryPlatform are those who understand its primary purpose and its deepest goal—one source for all information.