This is the second part from the earlier story concerning “Does the Church Industry Really Need Another Church Management System?”.
Plot lines …
• For the current players, digital transformation is good; digital disruption is threatening.
• With digital disruption, people go around past “delivery systems.”
• Could the drop in average church attendance be due to digital disruption?
• If churches truly helped people live better lives, would attendance be going down?
The main point we fear is that if churches do not embrace digital transformation, they will be digitally disrupted. Organizations and people will begin to “go around” the church institutions as we know them. That will be sad and unfortunate. Is that part of the current issue with people not attending as often? Are people getting their spiritual needs met outside the formal organized church structure? Can I get better answers concerning my spiritual questions from Google than I can from my local pastor?
Let’s face it, declining attendance has been happening for years; it is just now really affecting the Sunday morning services. Ask people of previous generations and many of us were three times a week church attenders. Think about it: how many people now attend every time the church doors open? When I was a kid, that was not uncommon. How many of those, people who attend on Wednesday and Sunday nights, do we see in the millennial generation? Or previous generations even, because many of those services no longer even exist! Why? Perhaps it was a “lack of attendance” problem?
I am not sounding a warning that “the Church will go away” for the Word says that even the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. However, some individual churches are going away. One recent study states that twelve churches shut their doors for good every month. Another study claims that that number is low.
We need to change our perspective - the church is not the building; the church are the people. If you believe that to be true, why do church management systems deal with the processing of people primarily on Sundays. Shouldn’t the church (people) be interacting as a community daily?
That begs the question, “How many church-going-people interact through a church app on a daily basis?” A weekly basis? The average person spends four hours or more a day on their mobile phones and very little, if any, time is spent on the phone with a person’s church app. And if they did, what would their experience be? Frankly, how many times does a person need to change their address, or set up recurring giving?
IOHO (In our humble opinion), church software vendors are not being very innovative today. Are they resting on their laurels because their revenue is growing fast enough to afford them the lifestyles they desire? It appears that some are simply putting a prettier front-end on old functionality. Why are they slowly moving their customers down the technology path while the church industry is in a state of atrophy?
Please do not get mad at me thinking I do not love my fellow Christians who build, market and sell their software products because of my frankness. They are all my brothers and sisters in Christ, and I love them - I've been working with them off and on for many years now. And, I am not trying to offend anyone, but read the headlines. If “church attendance” is down, then the “product” is not meeting the needs of the market. And in today’s markets, much of the product is digital or augmented with digital capabilities.
So yes, Virginia, we do need another church management system, and hopefully we can show you why in the next few months and years as we inspire and drive the market towards Digital Transformation.
You are always welcome to reach out to me if you want to discuss ideas about church systems, drop me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or text me at (214) 668-9807. I look forward to hearing from you.