Who is your Church Database Champion?

11-28-2017

Your Church Management System (ChMS) needs a champion.  This person is committed to your church.  They also care deeply about the needs of your users.  They will learn what the system can do and translate that into opportunities for your team.  Your champion will engage with the community of churches using that system.  They will translate leadership objectives into easy-to-follow steps that users can perform for the departments and campuses they support. 

Maybe you already knew that you need a ChMS champion.  Do you know what else the champion needs?

 

Your champion needs a champion.  Churches have a political dimension and departments are constrained by time and resources.  Your ChMS Champion will encounter opposition.  This may take the form of a preference for different tools or a failure to follow instructions.  If the Champion is to ensure the organization gets the most from its ChMS, they will need help from a pastor or an executive in their corner.  This person will:

  • Communicate leadership priorities across departments and campuses
  • Translate technical challenges and opportunities to the executive team
  • Ensure continuity if your champion is in transition

 

Your champion also needs a budget.  They will gain tremendous insight from the ChMS company’s annual user group meetings and regional events.  They will be able to increase the value of the system with the occasional custom report or routine.  They will help the church save time and money by leveraging third party systems that are already integrated with your ChMS. This budget should focus on several key areas:

  • Ongoing ChMS Training
  • Professional Services & Customizations
  • 3rd Party Integrations

 

 

Your champion needs time.  In the early stages of the use of your new ChMS the champion needs to focus on successfully replacing or integrating systems.  The champion is often serving in other areas of your ministry.  The champion may even be a part-time team member.  Keep an eye on this person’s time and help them secure temporary help so they can offload some of their daily tasks when ChMS projects ramp up.

At Think Ministry, Inc. we’ve seen antiquated systems work well because of the champion.  We’ve seen powerful, modern applications fail when this key role was lacking.  The champion does not need to be a technician with programming or IT skills.  They should have strong project management skills, empathy for users, and the ability to persevere in a busy church.  A centrally administered system will help your church coordinate its efforts across age groups, geographic locations, and missional objectives.  The purpose of central administration is to empower these groups while coordinating their use of mission-critical information. The champion will keep these goals in view.  He or she can come to be viewed as an asset by both the support staff and leadership at your church.

Will you be your database champion’s champion?  They need one!