Church Management Systems.

I’m a huge fan of using technology to augment and expedite whatever we are doing – within and outside of ministry. Obviously, technology is not the answer[1], but in seeking to be “wise as serpents, innocent as doves” technology can certainly be a tremendous asset.

For the last number of months I’ve been doing a lot of research on Church Management Systems (ChMS). These are the church equivalent of business ERP and/or CRM systems. I’m hoping that the hours I’ve spent pouring over a variety of websites and systems will be of use to others as they consider the options available.

This is a living document, it will grow with time.

TouchPoint Software (Open Source)

  • Since 2007.
  • Formerly TouchPoint software.
  • Developed initially for the megachurch Bellevue Baptist and still “underwritten” by Bellevue Baptist.
  • Free to download and deploy, or you can have hosted by TouchPoint.
  • Web-Based.
  • My Take: This is the ChMS I have chosen to go with. It is extremely robust, utilized by a number of churches from tiny ones to mega-churches, etc. It continues to improve at a rapid pace. Its UI isn’t entirely intuitive, but this is getting better by leaps and bounds.

Roll Call (Developer: BytheBook)

  • Since 1991.
  • Workstation or Client/Server Deployment.
  • Free Trial
  • Pricing begins at $100 for 100 people capacity, unlimited is $1699.
  • Runs on Windows and Mac OS X.
  • My Take: Seems like a fairly good application and the pricing is reasonable. The help system seems to be for the 4D development environment they used to create the application and not for Roll Call itself. I may be looping back to these folks for a reconsideration if I don’t find anything else.

ChurchPro (Developer: Database Designs)

  • Since 1994.
  • Workstation.
  • Free Trial.
  • Pricing starts at $299 for a one computer license.
  • Runs on Windows.
  • My Take: Hmmm…the fact that they use Paradox/BDE pushes me away. The UI definitely has that feel to it…still, the pricing is right and the UI appears fairly intuitive.

Church Helpmate (Developer: Helpmate Technology Solutions)

  • Since 1997, acquired by ACS.
  • Workstation or Client/Server Deployment.
  • Free Trial.
  • Pricing starts at $297 for 100 people capacity, unlimited is $1197.
  • Runs on Windows.
  • My Take: UI is intuitive and pricing is reasonable. I’m not a fan of their synchronization scheme, which uses a disconnected model which can sometimes result in conflicting data that needs to be merged. That said, I may be looping back around to them.

PowerChurch

  • Since 1984.
  • Workstation or Web-Based.
  • Free Trial.
  • Pricing starts at $295 (sale price), regularly $595 or the web-based version for $40/mo.
  • Runs on Windows, Mac, Linux.
  • My Take: The longevity of the company is impressive, unfortunately as is usual with older companies, the UI and overall feel carries some legacy characteristics. The web-based version is really just a remote-desktop-type experience to their servers – which is fine – just be aware you are getting the exact same program.

ACS Technologies

  • Since 1978.
  • One of the largest vendors of ChMS systems.
  • Offers various applications targeted at small / medium / large churches, organizations, schools, daycares, and specifically Catholic institutions.
  • There small church ChMS is Membership Plus which starts at $280 for a single user license or $380 for a multi-user license for the Standard edition and for the Deluxe edition is around $500.
  • My Take: I haven’t tried the software, but the site looks nice, the features look robust. If I need to investigate further, this ChMS would be on my list.

FellowshipOne (aka F1)

 

Other ChMS Options:

  1. [1]In my humble opinion, Christ is.

2 Replies to “Church Management Systems.”

  1. I’m pretty happy with Connection Power if the assimilation strategy they use will fit your context (since it is a turn key type system). It has worked well for us in getting the right information to the right people and helping us grow.

  2. Absolutely right, I do agree with your post. By the way I work for church. We use web based church management software of Congregation Builder. It’s easy to enter data, and print reports. Church Web Calendar is really good application by this we can manage the events for church & lots more options available.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.