Let’s get organised
Reform looks into how management software could help local churches
Technology plays a more visible role in church life than ever before, from hymn projection to social media evangelism. But new computer programmes are being developed all the time to help churches with the kind of work that goes on behind the scenes, such as financial accounts and members records, rota planning and room booking. Reform has been looking at three such programmes offered by Christian companies in the UK, one specifically for accounts and two for more general church organisation.
The first programme is iKnow Church, a subscription-based church management system. Developed in 2010 to help a local church manage its database, it is now used by more than 1,000 churches. The database is still at the heart of it. As well as names and addresses, iKnow Church records what groups, team members and other contacts are part of, and ‘where are they on their journey’. This allows it to prompt you to follow up with a candidate on the Alpha course who did not make a commitment. It looks after the church calendar too, handling rotas and automatically sending out reminders three days before each event. The finance aspect of the software was developed with HMRC, so as well as handling card payments and online giving, it can process gift aid in four days.
The subscription price for iKnow Church depends on the number of members in the database, starting at £20 a month or £200 a year for churches of fewer than 50 people. This pricing structure only counts members though, not children or mission contacts on the database. As the Managing Director, Kyle Cottington, told Reform: ‘The last thing we want is to penalise churches for doing mission!’ It also comes with a smartphone app for each church, for an extra £30 a month. …
This is an extract from an article that was published in the September 2017 edition of Reform