As the United States comes out of COVID, now is a good time to look back to examine what the church industry might have learned from this tragic time in our history.
Sure, a number of businesses excelled during the lockdown because the whole industry had to go digital; so, I guess it wasn’t tragic for everyone – have you seen the stock market setting records lately?
This time was especially lucrative for the technology partners who helped churches by providing streaming services for the Sunday services as well as the vendors that provide online giving capabilities.
As they say, “Necessity is the mother of invention,” but in today’s world, creativity is the mother of innovation.
We’ll come back to that statement in a bit.
As we look back, let’s ask ourselves some questions:
- How good was your congregational data, as we needed to contact the regular attenders? What about the occasional attenders? Reaching out to them is one way to build loyalty.
- Did you know who the regular attenders were? As they come back, will you know who is missing? Who moved away?
- Do you know what families lost loved ones to COVID during this time, people who need to be mourned with?
- Will you remember in a year or in 5 years who lost family members and friends to COVID? They will remember, will you? It will be important to the congregation members who lost loved ones. It should be important to you.
- How many first responders and health care workers buckled under the stress of their jobs during the height of the pandemic? Do you know who the first responders are who attend our church?
- How many people in the restaurant industry lost their jobs? How many changed career paths? If you know your congregation, wouldn’t you know these things?
- As we were all forced into lockdown, what youths suffered from anxiety and depression because they could not participate in life in a normal way. What assistance was provided to the parents?
- Did any of your kids die from suicide or did they know someone who died from suicide?
- How can we all support those who mourned? Do they have to burden it themselves?
Think about it … how well do you know your people?
As I think about things like these, I think about the overburdened church staff and all the burdens that they take on during these times.
Frankly, it’s unfair. The church staff should not be required to take on all these burdens. That’s not their job, that’s the entire church’s job.
Yes, every individual Christian is obligated to share in these burdens.
In the modern world, most things require some sort of systems support.
Isn’t that the main purpose of technology? To help efficiently and effectively process operations/business?
And today, most companies rely on outside software vendors to provide the operational software to support a good majority of their business.
- In business, this is referred to as the ERP system.
- In churches, this is the ChMS, or church management system.
If the data isn’t any good, then how good is your ChMS system? The old adage is garbage in, garbage out.
What good is a system that doesn’t help keep out the garbage?
So, if it’s the entire church’s job, is the church, are the people, equipped to do so?
Is the technology and content in place to prepare us to deal with such a crisis? It probably wasn’t then, and it’s probably not now either.
When is mediocrity good enough?
If people aren’t coming back to physical church, maybe it’s because their needs are or were not being met?
Who is the real culprit in this scenario?
What church technology vendors took it upon themselves to innovate and drive “digital church” before it was a real necessity?
Your technology providers should be your business partners. They should not want to line their pockets as much as they want you to thrive, because if you thrive, they should thrive.
In the church world, your technology providers should want your people to thrive, because isn’t that what you are trying to do … help people live out God’s plan for their lives?
Remember, necessity is the mother of invention, not the mother of innovation.
It’s 2021. Innovation is happening all around.
- Is it happening in your church?
- Are your chosen software vendors partnering with you to build a better church?
- Are they challenging you to be better?
- Are they providing you better tools?
- Or are they just waiting there, waiting for you to request the next feature while they charge you the same monthly fees whether they build new features or not?
At Communitas, we are driving change within the church through better technology.
We want to help church staffs equip the congregation to be the entire body of Christ. Come join us on this journey!