FellowshipOne Team Gathers for Training and Team Building

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Last month, we had the opportunity to gather the entire FellowshipOne family together at our headquarters in Dallas for a chance to hear from our leadership and learn the latest advancements with FellowshipOne Premier Insights. We also got to share a meal (or two, and maybe some dessert) and have a little fun along the way.

Our Product Development Team presented the latest on FellowshipOne Premier Insights and the improvements made to help our customers. Meanwhile, our Implementation Team spent time working on some new resources for customers that are currently in production and will be available before the end of the year. With everyone in the office, we had the opportunity to focus on how we can better serve our customers and keep our product on the cutting edge to help ministries achieve their goals more effectively. Despite all our hard work that week, we also found time to fellowship as a team and have some fun together. Some ice cream may have made an appearance as well.

Our All Hands week was a big success. But no matter what week it is, our main focus is always producing the best product we can to help your ministry maximize its reach.

Planning an Effective Church Budget: Budget Approved, Now What?

effective church budget

A guest blog from the accounting team at PSK.

4 Strategies for Following Through

1. Have a strong platform in place that includes:

+ A chart of accounts, or a list of the church’s general ledger accounts used to generate financial statements (This should be an exact replica of the church budget.)

+ Timely financial statements that include results of activities and a budget vs. actual comparison

+ A budget breakdown that incorporates the year’s giving/spending trends

+ Ideally, designated/restricted gift activity

Continue reading “Planning an Effective Church Budget: Budget Approved, Now What?”

Cross Functional Teams

This week we hear from one of FellowshipOne’s most experienced employees, Matthew McMaster.

My name is Matthew McMaster and I have been an Implementation Manager since March of 2004.  In that time, I have implemented FellowshipOne at over 1,000 churches.  Some of them are very sophisticated in how they communicate within their ministries but most of them have a real silo issues.

Continue reading “Cross Functional Teams”

Special Emergency Communications Offer for Churches, Schools and Businesses Impacted by Hurricane Harvey

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First and foremost, our family at FellowshipOne would like to extend our thoughts and prayers to the families, churches, and communities during this life-changing event that’s affecting your area.

Our hearts are heavy thinking about everything your community must be going through, and we’d like to help in any way we can. Communication is critical during any event such as this, and to help maintain contact with your church family we’d like to offer your church FULL USAGE of the ChurchCast messaging platform from the team at High Ground Solutions at NO CHARGE through September 30, 2017.
Continue reading “Special Emergency Communications Offer for Churches, Schools and Businesses Impacted by Hurricane Harvey”

Fellowship Community Church: Removing data silos and improving member care

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Jim Diercks followed a career in the United States defense industry by taking a lead volunteer role with the 1,300-member, two campus church. At the time, their church management system consisted of data silos of excel spreadsheets and Google Apps. for several years, the senior Pastor felt the church had outgrown this system and worried about who might be “falling through the cracks”. He tasked Jim with finding a ChMs for the church. Jim and a team of staff members conducted an extensive comparison of over 200 ChMs systems on the market, eventually focusing on cloud-based products. They then narrowed the selection down to two systems: CCB and F1.

Continue reading “Fellowship Community Church: Removing data silos and improving member care”

Grow and Empower Community with Small Groups Software

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Churches often rely on volunteers to manage and report on the groups in their care. Some churches have hundreds, or even thousands, of groups to monitor and track, which can make the administrative burden seem insurmountable without the proper tools.

How can FellowshipOne help your church make that massive amount of data work for you? Find out by downloading the resource below!

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Who Are Your Super Greeters?

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Ideally, everyone is part of the welcome team. Leadership must communicate clearly and regularly to the congregation that everyone is a host, not a guest. Greeters are those awesome volunteers who are quick with a smile and a handshake and can point people in the general direction of the worship center or the restroom. But high-volume events not only tax your supply of greeters, they also require a little more. They call for Super Greeters.

Do you have volunteers who fit this description? How do you support the Super Greeters you already have? Find out by downloading the resource below!

https://www.fellowshipone.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/07/SuperGreetersOnePager.pdf

Small Groups Summer Refresh

Summer is when many ministries of your church may switch gears and do things differently. Here are a few ways that summer can be for a time to refresh your small group leaders and groups.

Break the mold

Do your group leaders tell you they feel like they’re trying to cram too much into each group meeting?  Then tell them to stop thinking of their group as a meeting! Your group is a set of relationships that just happens to meet regularly. Spend time outside of your regular gatherings catching up with each other and having those deeper conversations for which even a small group is too big. Encourage group members to have another couple over for dinner, a pool party, or even take a camping trip!

Shake things up

Maybe some leaders feel like each group gathering is too vanilla.  If the agenda is always dessert…Bible study…prayer, it may be time to shake things up and get people out of their comfort zones. Look into a service project or missions opportunity that will get people out of rote answers and into living their faith. Many community service organizations need extra volunteers over the summer.

Consider passing the baton

Volunteer burnout can be a big problem for many churches. Adult ministries don’t always benefit from the same school year rhythms that children’s and student ministries do. When this happens, group leaders may serve month-in, month-out for years and feel worn down. Summer provides an ideal window of time for several different types of leadership transitions.

First, consider having an assistant or apprentice leader system at your church, and have them lead group gatherings during the summer. The group can still keep meeting, and the leader gets a break from having to do discussion prep for a few weeks!

Another idea is to launch new groups via multiplication during the summer. If a group grows too big, then keeping up with all of the members can be tough for a leader. Taking a qualified apprentice leader and two or three other families out to start a new group can help alleviate that burden. Summer is a great time to do this because it also helps make room for new guests in the fall.

Lastly, sometimes a group leader has just run his or her course. Often those who lead small groups are very involved in other areas of the church as well. Let group leaders know that summertime is a guilt-free off ramp for group leadership. Ideally, there is an apprentice leader ready and waiting to step in and keep the group moving forward. If not, many times a group member can be found who will respond to the call for group leaders.

When is a change needed?

There are a few basic metrics that can give a snapshot of group health. Attendance is the most foundational. How many people show up as well as meeting frequency can be good indicators of how much time and effort the leader is putting into meetings. FellowshipOne GO’s reporting gives ministry leaders quick and easy access to that kind of data.

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To learn more about all of the benefits of FellowshipOne GO and the FellowshipOne GO Complete bundle, make plans to attend an upcoming webinar. Click here to register.

Creating a Connecting Culture

Pastors often ask us (and themselves), “How do I know my people are connecting?” Great question! It’s actually one that can be taken a couple different ways. The first one is: are people forming relationships? The other is: are people taking steps to participate more deeply in the church? Both are important, and not surprisingly, they’re also related.

Here are some principles that can help your congregation do better at both.

Be Welcoming…Not Weird

“Hey brother! How’re you?” paired with a back slap might be an awkward overly zealous greeting for a first time guest at your church. On the other hand, sometimes churches feel like they’re not really sure what to do when someone new visits and they wind up gawking at and ignoring newcomers. The solution to both of these problems is the same—just be appropriately friendly! “Hi, welcome!” and a polite handshake are more than enough to convey a genuine, warm greeting.

The most crucial step for the church is capturing contact information that guests feel comfortable sharing. Child check-in is often the best opportunity to gather as much data as possible. It’s hard to follow-up with guests without email addresses and phone numbers!

The back-slapper and gawker have corresponding follow-up styles too. For most people showing up at their house Sunday afternoon can be intrusive. Likewise, doing nothing is not OK either. For a first time guest an email or text that day and a call from a pastor in a day or two to say, “Thanks for coming!” is just right. Tools like FellowshipOne Go’s Interactions let staff assign, complete, and track follow-up activities—even via a mobile app.

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Make the Next Step Obvious

In the book 7 Practices of Effective Ministry Andy Stanley et al. encourage church leaders to “think steps, not programs.”  This means thinking ahead and developing a system to help people go from new guest to connected member. When presented too many options, people suffer from a condition known as analysis paralysis. You have to answer the question, “What one step is the next thing we want a new guest to take?” Put all of your communication effort with that person into taking that next step. A step-based approach to connection might look like this:

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Many times church leaders are quick to push back on this type of simple, linear process. “People connect differently! We can’t limit options.” The reality is you already limit options: you do not have infinite ministries or groups. You have made choices based on the priorities of your church. Similarly, everyone can’t do everything! It may not be necessary to cut certain programs or ministries, but help people logically tackle their involvement one phase at a time. After membership, what kind of small group do you want to join, and then, what kind of serving opportunity will you pursue? When you narrow people’s focus, they are more likely to make a choice and move.

Connection is Ongoing

Connecting is not a one and done process. It’s an ongoing focus to make sure that your congregants are engaged in three crucial ways outlined in the graphic above. Disconnected attendees are likely to leave your church within 18 months, no matter how amazing and inspiring your worship services are. It’s important that people attend service regularly, participate in a group, and serve with other church members. Each of these relational dynamics is different and lends to an overall sense of belonging.  Worship services help people feel like they belong to a larger community. Small groups are a place to learn and connect. Serving opportunities are a way to meet the needs of others and give a sense of meaning and purpose. Meeting those three objectives will have your congregants remain engaged for the long haul.

Have a Retention Plan

Do you have a way to tell if people in your church are disconnecting? What are the signs? Monitoring attendance and participation in the three areas discussed above is a fundamental way to measure engagement. Technology can be a big help monitoring participation and help you intervene if needed when attendance drops off. Workflows in FellowshipOne Go are a great way to automate notifications and even take communication action like sending an email or text to a person who has missed a few weeks in a row.

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Contact us if you’d like to learn more about how Interactions and Workflows can help your church connect and retain more people!

To see this ChMS tool in action, make plans to attend one of our FREE upcoming webinars. Click here to register.

April Onsite Certification

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The April Onsite Champion Certification Course was a success! We hosted representatives from Arizona, Illinois, Maryland, Michigan and locally here in Texas. We had a blast not only in the classroom, but also when we went to dinner together!

This Champion Certification class built upon previous courses taken by adding real life scenarios, hands-on labs, and process documentation. Our class gained a more robust knowledge of FellowshipOne through sharing experiences and best practices at their own churches. In addition the class obtained tools that will allow them to train their staff, document their unique processes, and get the best return on your FellowshipOne investment.

During the 4-day class we had the opportunity to:

  • Learn new features and functions available in FellowshipOne, such as Insights.
  • Network with other FellowshipOne users
  • Meet and connect with our FellowshipOne expert staff

We discussed many different facets of FellowshipOne, some of which included:

  • Return on Ministry
  • Effectively documenting processes for your church
  • Tracking spiritual decisions
  • Tracking and following up with first-time guests
  • Building a FellowshipOne Champion Team
  • Connecting people to groups and tracking involvement
  • Tracking attendance and involvement
  • Connecting volunteers and tracking volunteer engagement
  • Entering contributions and delivering online statements

Upcoming Educational opportunities include:

Foundations class June 19-22. Click here for details and registration.

Online Certification class July 17-20. Click here for details and registration.