Today’s blog is the second in a series where one of FellowshipOne’s most experienced employees, Matthew McMaster, tackles common challenges churches can face when integrating church management software into their ministry.
One mistake we have made in the past while training a church to use F1 is putting all of our eggs in one basket. This basket was the FellowshipOne Champion. We would pour all of our knowledge and experience into this one person. They in turn were supposed to lead the cause for FellowshipOne at The Local Church. Many times they would end up owning it to the point where the church staff would look at FellowshipOne as something they did not own or control. In hindsight, we were creating a silo and a lynch pin. Not only that, but this was a very mobile silo that could depart the church at any moment and leave the church with a huge hole. On many occasions we would have to go back to an existing client because one person left the church and took all the knowledge with them. To combat this problem, we have begun advocating the creation of a FellowshipOne Champion Team.
The Champion Team consists of one person from each ministry who will be responsible for FellowshipOne in that ministry. The team begins by meeting on a weekly basis to establish standards in FellowshipOne. This would include who gets access to FellowshipOne, what security rights are to be given out to whom, what standard requirements are for tracking attendance, and setting priorities for check in. Over time they will meet less and less, moving to monthly and possibly quarterly meetings. The exception to this is when large events come up such as VBS, conferences, volunteer fairs, and other large church events. When these events are announced by the leadership team at the church, the Champion Team meets to discuss how this will impact the system. They also need to communicate with leadership as to what information will let them know if the event was successful. Will you be tracking registrations via the web? Will check in be used?
This is where the real benefit of a cross functional team comes into play. The children’s ministry champion knows check-in better than anyone else so they can help make sure the event is setup properly and possibly provide training materials for the volunteers. The youth ministry champion knows web registration better than anyone else and can help set that up. The finance champion can make sure that the funds are setup for possible payments. Not only that, but the ministries are discussing at a very basic level what needs to be done and by whom. Communication increases, understanding of roles and responsibilities increases, and return on ministry from FellowshipOne increases.
If you’re saying to yourself… what silos? It’s just me to run the children’s, youth, worship, administration, men’s, women’s, and mission’s ministries. Or some variation of multi-tasking ministries then you might not have silo issues. What you should still do is find a backup person that can help you manage and understand FellowshipOne. In this scenario a key volunteer would be a good solution. They can work from home or from the office on their lunch break. Just don’t leave yourself open to becoming an island of information or a silo of one with little or no chance of taking a vacation without the world coming to an end.
In the next blog I will be discussing the other critical cross functional team: The Data Integrity Team.