I recently ran a half day training session for some wonderful people who do a really great job. Often they do the behind the scenes thankless work in our churches. They are our church office administrators. So a big shout out and thank you to our office administrators.
We dug deep into Elvanto which is a church management system. Think of it as the database for your church where you have everyone’s details. And there are a lot of other modules and functions that happen within the system.
There are three important areas that you need to focus on for the system to run well; whether you’re implementing a system from scratch for the first time or if you have a system already running and you want to improve the way that you use it.
These three core areas are structure, data and implementation.
You want to make sure that you’ve got your settings correct, and set in a way that will serve your church. Systems often get underutilised or they are not set up in the right way. Sometimes tweaking a few things can help to get the most out of the system to serve your church and your organization better.
Make sure you have things categorized and labeled correctly with consistency in the naming and conventions for your data.
Also make sure that the right people have the right access with the access permissions set correctly.
Keep your data up to date because the integrity of the data will make the difference between having good reporting and good outputs or not having accurate information in the first place.
This will flow through into all areas of your system; the way you group people, the way you utilise different modules such as the service and rostering modules, your reporting module, and other areas that utilise the people data in your database.
Implementation is really important. Even if the system has been running for a while, ensure that people are onboarded well, particularly new staff and volunteers who join for the first time. Set up a process so they are onboarded and trained well. This will give them confidence and clarity about your processes and systems from Day 1.
For your onboarding to run smoothly, you need to have a knowledge repository, both internally for your staff members and for other people who use the system. You can use the knowledge repository to train up people and expand shared knowledge for other areas of your ministries.
Finally, you want to ensure that you have a clear workflow for how data is added; how it is maintained, how it is kept up to date. Set up and communicate a consistent process and workflow for the system to ensure that the right people are responsible for their areas of the system.
There is a lot to consider. We spent 3.5 hours in this training session and there is so much more to make the strategy and system work well.
If you need help, please reach out. We are happy to assist you with your church management system; to structure your systems well, to implement and train up your team.