Does Your Congregation Trust You?

Does Your Congregation Trust You?

Plot lines …

·      Sometimes churches are concerned that their people won’t give them more information about themselves – what if that information helps them live better lives?

·      It may be a well-founded concern that your congregation believes you do not respect their privacy and the security around their information.

·      If your software vendor is not helping you solve your data collection problem, perhaps you have the wrong software provider?

When we talk to churches about the amount of information we recommend for them to collect, some churches are concerned about the amount of data they already try to collect that goes unfilled. If a church cannot get people to give information about themselves to their church, does the church have a trust problem? What do they think you are going to use it for - to help them live a more functional Christian life? Isn’t that one of their primary reasons for attending church – to learn how to become more Christ-like? Isn’t that discipleship? That’s the Great Commission – go out and MAKE DISCIPLES.

However, any valuable data can be sensitive information and churches need to take the caring and feeding of that information very seriously. Does your church have a privacy policy that you publish to their congregation? Does your church have training for your staff to help them understand the confidential nature of the information and the repercussions of a confidentiality breach? What is the policy for the staff around passwords for their “people system?” Perhaps, people are not willing to give out more information because they actually realize their church does not take privacy seriously because they have never heard of anything like this in place?

At Communitas Technologies, we take privacy and security very seriously. As an IT service provider, the “broken faith” associated with a data breach is a business killer. We evaluate every process we have from a security perspective and ask ourselves the “what if’s?” Not only could something happen, but what if something like this happens, do we have the safeguards in place to prevent it. And if for some reason it is not preventable, is it detectable and correctable? Those terms come from back in the day when I was an EDP Auditor – preventive, detective, and corrective controls.

As we transform into a world of digital ministries, the more data the system has about the family members and the context of their spiritual journey, the more personalized ministry can happen. But that takes a different “information perspective” than is currently present in many churches. How will your church make that transition? With the help of a software vendor who doesn’t even see the problem?

As this world becomes less Christian and segments of the press get more hostile, I can only imagine what headlines will be made when a church has a data security problem that could be easily addressed. Give us a call. Let’s talk about how we can help get your church’s systems up to where they need to be. I don’t mind putting my EDP auditor hat back on if I can only find it in my old wardrobe trunk?

We’re in the business of helping churches transform digitally so I don’t have a problem giving out my contact information. If I did not, how would you find me? I think every telemarketer already has it anyway! Some of my ideas may seem radical based on your experience but give me a chance to explain myself more clearly by reaching out. We can exchange ideas about church, church metrics, processes, and systems, or anything else that might be relevant. Drop me an email at jhook@communitastech.com or text me at (214) 668-9807. Technology is rapidly changing the ways people live, so for the sake of the next generation, the church cannot be left behind. I look forward to hearing from you.

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