As many of you may speculate—we here at Ekklesia 360 love the internet. And it’s not just for the awesome memes and Buzzfeed quizzes; the internet has truly made our all of our lives easier.
Online, we can make bills pay themselves through automatic payments, Netflix and Hulu automatically renew, we can order groceries on a recurring schedule that we choose, you can set automatic reminders for your doctor's appointments... the list goes on!
As church communicators there is a lot of work on our plates. Wouldn’t it be helpful if some of it would just ... do itself? With the right church management software this is very possible.
Here is how automatic workflows can make your very busy church office run a lot easier!
Workflows Can Manage Volunteers
Volunteers are an integral part of any church and while it's great to have so many of them sign up, it can be hard to effectively communicate with all of them. Whether there are just a few volunteers or a small army of them, you may be wondering how in the world workflows can help manage the communication between you and them.
In case you're not sure what a Workflow is, let me catch you up. A workflow is a tool to assign your members into groups based on timing or activity. Then you can automate content (usually emails) to go out to the different groups on the schedule that you set, or based on activities.
Let's say that some volunteers just signed up to help at your next event and you need to control the communication to your volunteers. With workflows, all of the volunteers can receive an automatic email shortly after they sign up, thanking them for their efforts. A reminder message can be sent one or two weeks before the event. It could be something like, "Don't forget, this is coming up!" Then, 3 days before the event you can send another message such as, "This is everything you need to know for your volunteering time." Communicating with your volunteers in this way helps you control the communication, which works much better than having all of your volunteers calling your receptionist asking the same questions and being given multiple versions of the information.
Workflows Can Set Your Volunteers Up for Success
If you have many volunteers and need to keep track of volunteer turnover, you'll want to ensure that your volunteers always have the information they need, when they need it. Perhaps you don't have an orientation and have to primarily rely on email to get the right information out to your volunteers. With an email workflow, you can set them up for success when preparing for their job.
Let's say you have someone volunteering for the first time this coming Sunday. This person may have no idea what to expect and may arrive Sunday morning to find out she was supposed to wear a team shirt that she doesn't have!
With workflows, you would be able to send out all the details and need-to-know info in an automated fashion. The volunteer coordinator could set up the information messaging one time and then add the new volunteers to the workflow to get the information and add reminder emails leading up to the time she's set to volunteer. All without having to think about it!
Workflows Can Greet and Nurture New Visitors
Following up with new visitors in a timely manner can make all the difference to having them come back to your church again. But it can be difficult to connect with them on a personal level, especially if you get several new visitors a week (and we hope that's the case!).
Workflows let you send visitors a "Welcome!" message along with a few (appropriately spaced out) emails sharing church news, new visitor meet-ups, FAQs, etc. You can help visitors meet your staff by sharing your "About Us" page and they will feel more informed as they call the office.
As you become more comfortable with the workflow tool, you'll even be able to move your new visitors to specific "groups" in your system so that you always send them the information that's relevant to them!
Workflows Can Do Much More
Besides the above benefits of using church management system workflows, some other advantages include:
- They can be easily set up to play well with your online giving options and your church website
- They can handle information that needs to be shared regarding children and youth ministry such as training and background checks
- They can automate training processes and spread information more consistently
- They tell segments of your congregation the information that is relevant to them, rather than overwhelming everyone with everything.
Effective communication is vital for every part of your church ministry. Church management software workflows allow you to spend less time communicating and keeping track of vital pieces of information and more time communicating excellently. It's also wonderful to know that besides pastors knowing how to use the church management system, volunteers and members of the leadership team can also be easily trained to use it.