Categories
Tools

10 Best Church Website Builder

According to research, 17.6 million people who don’t attend worship services regularly visit the website of their place of worship. This statistic highlights the importance of a church website in this digital age. A church website can help your church reach more people and cater to members who cannot personally attend worship services.

If you don’t have a church website yet, it’s time to start building your own so you can serve your congregation better. There are many website builders in the market, and this article will help you scrutinize them so you can choose one that will serve your church best. 

Best Church Website Builder Shortlist

  1. WordPress – Best themes
  2. SquareSpace – Best for website analytics
  3. CloverSites – Best for member engagement
  4. Abundant – Best for full-service websites
  5. The Church Co – Best for podcasts and sermon management
  6. ShareFaith – Best for website migration
  7. Nucleus – Best fon-page SEO
  8. Subsplash SnapPages – Best for device compatibility
  9. Tithe.ly – Best integrated online giving
  10. Aplos – Best member portal

Church Website Builder: Key Features

Here are some church website functionalities to consider when picking a tool to help build your website. 

Church content and news: Your church site and content should be easy to discover and interact with by consolidating it all into an easy-to-use, intuitive, and delightful feed that includes your social media. This will enable you to highlight events and gatherings to encourage participation and show your latest sermon, podcast, Bible study, blogging, and more.

Church events calendar: You’ll want to be able to list your regular Sunday services, mid-week groups, Bible study, prayer meetings, courses, and other activities, on your church website.

Sermons, podcasts & media player: Often people check out a church’s media library or podcast before visiting a church. Plan to put videos of your sermon recordings or audio on your website to accommodate this; you’ll want an easy way to host both the content and media player.

Church giving and donations: If you plan to take donations through your website, then you need to make sure that your church website will support this and connect with your church accounting software.

Registrations and forms: For certain events, you may need to limit registrations or attendance, so integrated forms and submissions are important. A range of contact forms will also help build your church and respond to your church’s needs better.

SEO: It’s no good having a website if no one can find you; you want a website builder that enables you to maximize your search engine visibility through custom titles, meta descriptions, internal linking, URL structuring, custom domains, and alternate domain names for special events or ministries.

Church app: A church app can be a great way to engage your church on the go through their mobile devices. Having a church app that runs the same content and data as the church website means less administration. and is useful in reminding members of events, podcasts, and more.

Church members’ area: You might want to have some content, like the event details and contact details only available to registered church members.

Design and templates: Good web design and design flexibility matters! Pick a church website builder with a wide variety of church website content templates and the ability to make changes with little website know-how. Think about what you want to communicate and how you want to do that – you’ll want features that enable you to have a professionally designed church website template to make your site look beautiful and function as one of the best church websites around. A good drag-and-drop editor will help you easily customize the design, add images, update colors, and more, so you can create a church website that matches your church’s brand.

Different user accounts and permissions: You’d probably want to have certain church members (volunteers) be able to update the website when needed, without giving them access to everything. Think too about step-by-step tutorials available and customer support on hand to help them do that!

The Lead Pastor is reader-supported. We may earn a commission when you click through links on our site — learn more about how we aim to stay transparent. 

Overviews of the 10 Best Church Website Builders

Here’s a brief description of each of the church website builders on my list, showing what it does best, plus screenshots to showcase some of the features.

1. WordPress – Best free website themes

WordPress Church Website Builder Screenshot
WordPress has a large directory of themes you can choose from when creating your website.

WordPress is a website builder you can use to publish content anywhere, making it ideal for church leaders who are always on the go. It has built-in social sharing allowing you to share content to church members through your church’s social media accounts, including Twitter, Facebook, and others. Another advantage of using WordPress is it works on almost any device you have, so you can update your website using your Android and iOS mobile devices or using your Mac, Windows, or Linux computer systems.

Themes are crucial in creating websites, and if you want thousands of themes you can choose from, then WordPress is the best website builder for you. WordPress offers users a wide variety of free and premium themes, ensuring that you can build a website according to your preferences. WordPress themes are also easy to use, making it ideal if you have no IT office on staff or are new to building websites.

WordPress has a free plan with a .wordpress URL, but you can opt for a premium plan for more features, including a unique domain name.

2. SquareSpace – Best for website analytics

Squarespace Church Website Builder Screenshot
Squarespace analytics gives you insights into how your website is performing and how you can improve it.

Squarespace is a website designer and builder you can use to develop a website that suits your church-specific needs. It has embedded blogging tools for you to share church news, sermons, inspirational messages, and event announcements to congregation members. Squarespace has integrated SEO tools that will help you develop content that will maximize your website’s prominence in search engines to attract more visitors.

If you want a website builder with analytics functionality, Squarespace might be the best choice for you because it can help you analyze how your website performs. The website analytics tool can help you determine who your visitors are and what they are looking at, giving you a better idea of which part of your website you need to improve on. Aside from traffic sources, Squarespace can also tell you which search keywords are leading visitors to your website so you can tweak your content and attract more visitors.

Squarespace pricing starts at $16/account/month.

3. CloverSites – Best for engagement

Clover Sites Church Website Builder Screenshot
Clover Sites provides you with a wide variety of ways to engage church members, including virtual groups, live streams, and prayer requests.

Clover Sites is a website builder with a diverse selection of tools you can use to connect to church members. You can use the site to announce and promote the church’s plans, so members have something to look forward to. You can also integrate online giving on your website through Clover Give, where members can support your church using different giving avenues like text to give, online giving, pledges, and kiosks.

Keeping church members engaged is one of the best ways to maintain and grow church membership, and Clover Sites can help you build a website that will foster engagement through online activities. You can build a website where you can live stream worship services to cater to members who cannot physically attend services. You can also use your website to promote and conduct other activities that foster togetherness, like virtual groups and prayer walls to engage with church members during any day of the week. 

Clover Sites pricing starts at $34/month plus a $500 setup fee.

4. Abundant – Best for full-service websites

Abundant Church Website Builder Screenshot
Abundant provides full-service websites saving you time so you can concentrate on ministering to your flock.

Abundant is a website builder with website-creation tools to help you get your website up and running. Abundant has a media library you can access for free stock images for your website to make it more interesting for church members. You can use Abundant to embed online forms on your website allowing members to sign up for activities or events, making registration easier.

Website building is not for everybody. If you want a website builder that can assist you in creating and maintaining your church’s website, then Abundant is something you should consider. Abundant provides free consultation services to clients allowing you to relay your vision for your website and receive feedback on how to bring the said vision to life and the challenges you should expect. Abundant also assists in branding and promoting your website, ensuring that your new website gains an abundance of followers in no time at all.

Abundant pricing starts at $180/year.

5. The Church Co – Best for podcasts and sermon management

The Church Co Church Website Builder Screenshot
The Church Co allows you to upload and manage podcasts and sermons that members can listen to or watch using their preferred media player.

The Church Co is a content hub you can use to craft a website that will suit the needs of your congregation. It has a blogging functionality so you can create, post, and categorize blogs that can help your congregation. With The Church Co, you can have a website with a member portal so members can view and update their member profiles or make changes to their recurring giving setup.

The Church Co is the best website builder for you if you want a website where you can post, manage, and broadcast podcasts and sermons to your members because you can upload as many podcasts and sermons as you want without worrying about bandwidth. Members choose how they want to listen to your podcasts and sermons because The Church Co is compatible with iTunes, Spotify, and Google Play. You can also categorize your podcasts and sermons, making it easy for members to search for the content they want to listen to.

The Church Co pricing starts at $29/month.

6. ShareFaith – Best for website migration

ShareFaith Church Website Builder Screenshot
ShareFaith can help you migrate your old website to a new one for free.

ShareFaith offers a suite of digital tools to help your church provide a wide range of services to your congregation, including church graphics, live streaming, scheduler, and Sunday school classes. ShareFaith can also provide your members with flexible ways of donating and tithing to your church to support services and fund advocacies. You can also count on ShareFaith if you want to create a church mobile app that works on iOS and Android mobile devices so you can reach more members.

ShareFaith is the best website builder for you if you need assistance in migrating your old website because ShareFaith can do it for you for free. Migrating a website can be tedious because you need to copy all the contents of your old website to the new one, and ShareFaith can save you time because they will migrate your website for you. Professionals will handle the website migration for you to avoid errors and minimize the risk of losing the content you’ve worked hard on. 

ShareFaith pricing is available upon request, and there is a free demo of their website builder.

7. Nucleus – Best on-page SEO

Nucleus Church Website Builder Screenshot
Nucleus can help you develop content that will rank high in search engine results boosting website visibility.

Nucleus is a website builder that helps church leaders consolidate all crucial information about their churches on their website so members can have a centralized location for all of their needs. It has a built-in form builder making registration and sign-ups for events for members. You can also use Nucleus in uploading and hosting a library of all your sermons, music, videos, and podcasts so members can listen to them anytime they want to. 

Nucleus has an on-page SEO tool for content optimization, so they rank high in search engine results. No matter how beautiful your content is, readers won’t be able to access them if they don’t know your website, making ranking high in search engine results critical. With Nucleus’ on-page SEO tool, you can create stunning optimized content even if you don’t have an SEO-trained writer on staff, allowing you to save money while attracting new visitors to your website.

Nucleus costs $99/month, and they offer a 30-day free trial.

8. Subsplash SnapPages – Best in device compatibility

Subsplash SnapPages Church Website Builder Screenshot
You can use Subsplash to create content that you can watch on various media devices, including TVs, mobile phones, computers, and tablets.

Subsplash SnapPages is a website builder integrated into the Subsplash platform and comes with custom church templates so you can build your website quickly. It has an easy-to-use drag and drop editor so you can create and manage your website even if you are not tech-savvy. Subsplash SnapPages comes with 20GB of storage and unlimited pages, so you can add as many contents and web pages as you want without worrying about going over your limits.

Subsplash SnapPages is the best website builder for you to create content compatible with any media device because Subsplash integrates TV and mobile apps into your website. One of the problems websites face is incompatibility with mobile devices, content looks great on computers but looks grainy and low-quality on other devices, and this can disappoint your audience. With the help of Subsplash, you can ensure that the contents of your website get optimized to look great on whatever media device your member wants to use.

Subsplash SnapPages pricing is available upon request.

9. Tithe.ly – Best for integrated online giving

Tithe.ly Church Website Builder Screenshot
Tithe.ly allows you to integrate online giving on your website, making it easier for members to support you.

Tithe.ly is a beginner-friendly website builder making it ideal for beginners and experts thanks to its customizable templates. You can create a website where you can post audio clips, videos, events, announcements, and others, ensuring that your website has all the information members need even if they cannot personally go to church. Tithe.ly allows you to embed live streams from your Facebook page, YouTube channel, or Vimeo account, expanding your reach and ensuring members can watch your live stream wherever they are. 

Tithe.ly is the best website builder for you if you want to make it easy for members to support your church by integrating online giving on your website. With Tithe.ly, you can add options for members to support your church and its causes either through one-time donations or as recurring ones. What’s great about this setup is even non-members can donate to your church via your website so you can gather support outside of your congregation.

Tithe.ly pricing starts at $19/month and charges $149 as a setup fee.

10. Aplos – Best member portal

Aplos Church Website Builder Screenshot
Aplos allows users to create websites with member portals where members can sign-up and coordinate for events.

Aplos is a website builder for nonprofits and churches with customizable website templates so you can create your church website even if you don’t have website creation training. You can use Aplos to create a website with a secure donations page where members can give one-time or recurring donations to support your church. Aplos also allows users to design websites with event registration and ticket sales functionalities making it easy to conduct fundraising events.  

If you want to turn your website into a central communications hub for your church, then Aplos is the best website builder for you because you can integrate a member portal into your website. Aplos’ member portal is a secure hub where you can engage existing members and onboard new ones. Members can also use your website to schedule committee meetings, track attendance, distribute agendas and minutes, and store documents for other members.

Aplos provides pricing upon request.

Other church website builders:

We’ve not yet had a chance to check out these website builders for churches yet, but it’s worth taking a look to see if they meet your needs.

  1. Weebly – Free website builder for websites, blogs, and ecommerce stores.
  2. Wix – Cloud-based web development service provider.
  3. Appypie – No-code web development platform for newbie web builders.
  4. Elexio – Website design platform to increase engagement and help websites rank higher in search engine results
  5. FellowshipOne – Web design platform for engaging and mobile-friendly church websites.
  6. Church Dev – Website developer to make your website easy to find for non-members.
  7. Church123 – Website builder for easy to update websites.
  8. Ministry Designs – Website builder with pre-designed themes and embedded SEO tools. 
  9. Digital Church Platform – Website designer for creating websites that target the congregation, the community, and visitors. 
  10. Ekklesia360 – Content management system for churches and ministries that support customization.
  11. FaithlifeSites – Free church website builder for mobile-friendly websites.
  12. FaithNetwork – Website builder for churches of all sizes, denominations, and demographics. 

Consider too, that many church management software includes website functionality.

White label website builders

Maybe you’ve got a few church websites you’re trying to build – if so, think about using a white label website builder like those listed below:

  1. Weblium
  2. SiteGalore
  3. Duda
  4. WebWave
  5. Ucraft
  6. Offsprout
  7. MotoCMS
  8. Mono

What church website builder do you like best?

One you have a website, you can then adapt different communication strategies using church communication software linked to your website, email list, or church app in order to keep your congregation up-to-date of goings-ons within the community. This holistic approach will help your congregation feel informed and engaged year-round. 

Looking for website building inspiration? Here’s our list of the 20 best church website designs that we’re loving this year.

Have you discovered or used any good church website builders recently? What did you think of it? Let us know in the comments below.

Categories
Tools

10 Best Church Accounting Software Of 2022

Find the best accounting software for your church. Compare product reviews, criteria and pricing in our in depth review of the best church accounting software. 

Churches need to track income and expenses like any other organization – but they also have some more specific requirements that some accounting software can’t easily support. Features like managing individual donations and tithes (and providing tax receipts) are unique. Similarly, keeping detailed reports of which church ministries and projects are funded, and how those funds are utilized are crucial to the success and transparency of a church accounting system.

Furthermore, while most accounting software is set up for the needs of businesses and requires some basic knowledge of accounting and bookkeeping. Church accounting software, by contrast, is typically geared toward non-accountants, making it easier to use.

Finding the right tools to maintain compliance and balance the books can be a challenge with so many hoops to jump through. We reviewed the best church accounting software platforms based on reputation, ease-of-use, features, price, and more. Here are ten of our top picks.

Best Church Accounting Software Shortlist

  1. Xero – Best accounting software for small churches
  2. MIP Fund Accounting – Best for managing multiple cost centers
  3. Sage Intacct – Best for larger churches
  4. ACS Technologies – Best for church oriented systems
  5. IconCMO – Best for web-based system
  6. PowerChurch Plus – Best for all-in-one system
  7. AccountEdge Pro – Best for local installation
  8. ZipBooks – Best for free church bookkeeping
  9. Botkeeper – Best for automated bookkeeping
  10. Blackbaud Financial Edge NXT – Best for nonprofits

What Is Church Accounting Software?

Church accounting software is an accounting system that helps churches keep their books balanced. It’s a general ledger used to track income (accounts receivable), usually in the form of member and donor contributions, covering regular tithing, giving, and management of fundraising, gift days, and grants. It includes budgeting management and expense tracking and provides an accounting solution for tracking the payment of vendors or staff.

Most churches are registered as nonprofit organizations or have charity status. Because of this, church accounting software offers similar functionalities as traditional nonprofit software, such as donor management and fundraising.

Even though churches are often bunched together with other nonprofit organizations, many religious organizations don’t have experienced accountants on staff. Consequently, the needs of churches are often different from other nonprofit organizations.

Churches, particularly small churches, need user-friendly accounting software that’s easy to use and set up, with the categories and types of transactions churches need to track. Accounting software that offers pre-made reports can also help present a church’s financial picture to members and stakeholders in an easy-to-understand format. 

How Much Do Church Accounting Software Programs Cost?

Most church accounting software is cloud-based and available on a monthly subscription. The convenience of having the platform online eliminates the need for churches to buy the resources required to operate and keep a system in-house. In most cases, all that’s needed is a computer with internet access. 

We found that subscription-based church accounting software typically ranges from $16 to $79 per month. However, you can still find church accounting programs going for up to $350 on the high end of the spectrum.

Many service providers offer tiered pricing options based on the features a church needs. Higher-tier solutions typically include more advanced finance features like payroll processing and advanced reporting.

Features of Church Accounting Software

While each software solution will be different, these are some of the most commonly found features in a church accounting software package:

Accounting: Covers aspects like accounts payable (AP), accounts receivable (AR), and a general ledger (GL). Given the nonprofit status of most churches, the AR functionality will usually work in unison with donor management, fundraising, or fund accounting functionality.

Payroll: Manages employee compensation: wage calculation, ACH deposits, check printing, and compensation tax reports.

Donor management & fundraising: Provides details like how much each member has given on a weekly, monthly, quarterly or annual basis and generates annual giving statements for tax reporting purposes. The feature also makes it possible to solicit donations with targeted campaigns and create campaigns to encourage smaller donors to contribute more.

Membership tracking: This feature makes it possible to manage general information such as attendance, frequency of gifts, and personal information such as addresses, volunteer details, interests, or activities. You can also analyze trends to monitor attendance.

Benefits of Church Accounting Software

Successful church organizations take advantage of two elements: knowledge and efficiency. While recording information via paper spreadsheets may be cost-effective, it is not the most efficient use of time. Having to go back through records in different file cabinets or different offices is slow and cumbersome. The key is finding the right balance between keeping the cost of accounting low and being efficient. 

Organize Your Member Contributions and Attendance

Most church income comes from member contributions. Consequently, tracking member contributions is crucial to gain insight into how much each member has given on a weekly, monthly, quarterly, or annual basis. Not only does this allow you to give annual giving statements to members for tax reporting purposes, but it also helps keep your financial reporting as clean as possible.

Advanced reporting on who is giving and when can help churches solicit donations through targeted campaigns. More prominent donors can be targeted for capital campaigns or even encouraged to have the church listed as a beneficiary when they create their estate plans. Smaller donors can contribute more frequently based on numerous small events or projects the church may be working on.

Get A Better Grasp of Finances

Church accounting software can help you better grasp your church finances without the need for extensive financial management skills or experience. The software can assist you in doing most accounting tasks required to run a successful and transparent organization, such as budgeting, tracking expenses, and managing savings and investments.

The software takes away the stress associated with managing the distinct facets of a religious organization. A good software program allows you to share the load and provides you with a real-time solution to monitor the health of your church finances.      

The Lead Pastor is reader-supported. We may earn a commission when you click through links on our site — learn more about how we aim to stay transparent.

Overviews of the 10 Best Church Accounting Software

Here’s a brief description of each of the church accounting software on my list, showing what it does best, plus screenshots to showcase some of the features.

1. Xero – Best accounting software for small churches

Xero Screenshot

Xero allows users a quick glimpse of their financial status, providing details on how much money they have, their expenses, and their spending.

This software program can effectively help users manage everyday tasks like paying bills and receiving payments. You can use it to keep a secure record of financial documents, including bills, contracts, and receipts that you can access anywhere for quick reference.

Xero is best for small churches because it allows you to keep your finances up to date even if you don’t have a full-time CPA. You can connect your church’s bank account to Xero, ensuring a smooth and secure flow and recording of transactions. Xero also makes it possible to categorize and reconcile bank account transactions daily, ensuring your financials are always up to date.

Xero integrates with Zapier, PayPal, Microsoft Outlook, MailChimp, HubSpot CRM, and others.

Xero pricing starts at $30/account/month, and they offer a 30-day free trial.

2. MIP Fund Accounting – Best for managing multiple cost centers

MIP Fund Accounting Church Accounting Software Screenshot

The MIP Fund Accounting software, a True Fund Accounting System, is designed from an understanding that nonprofit financial management is complex. Some of the leading functionalities of the software include a clear audit trail that makes it easier to detect fraud, provides transparency to stakeholders at different levels and allows for integration with other mission-critical systems.

The leading advantage of the IP Fund Accounting software is its multidimensional logic, which allows users to manage finances in different ways. This feature makes it possible to track any measure in different sections of the church organization, whether you want a view of the entire organization, a specific department, or a grant. This is made possible because the tool follows segment-driven charts instead of the more common linear charts found in many church accounting software products.

MIP Fund Accounting integrates with Diversified Billing, Martus, TripLog, Paypool, CUSI, and SkyStem ART.  

MIP Fund Accounting pricing is available upon request, but the software’s website does not mention a free trial. 

3. Sage Intacct – Best for larger churches

Sage Intacct Screenshot

Sage Intacct provides users a quick view of their financials so they can assess their church’s financial health easily.

Sage Intacct is accounting software that has a robust reporting functionality you can use to generate financial reports using up-to-date data on your church’s finances. It also has order management and purchasing capabilities to help you handle your church’s inventory requirements.

Unlike smaller churches, larger churches handle numerous transactions, which can be challenging. Sage Intacct solves this problem by helping shorten bank reconciliations, making handling numerous transactions quick and easy.

Sage Intacct has an AI that simplifies your accounts charts, allowing non-CPAs to understand them easily. The software makes it possible to view all transactions, donations, and tithes across all checking and savings accounts, including those made using credit cards, giving you control over your church’s cash flow.

Sage Intacct integrates with a host of tools, including Emburse Nexonia, Baker Tilly SaaS Intelligence, FloQast, APS Online, Yooz Accounts Payable Automation, RadiusOne, Workforce, and QCommission.

Sage Intacct pricing is available upon request, and they offer a 30-day free trial.

4. ACS Technologies – Best for church oriented systems

ACS Technologies Screenshot

ACS is a fund accounting software within a church management system that allows a church to manage contributions, cash flow, and financial records.

ACS is a church accounting software you can use to maintain your church’s general ledger, making it easy to monitor your church’s finances. You can use it to process outgoing funds, print checks, and manage vendor information for your church’s projects and your congregation’s daily financial needs. It also has an invoicing feature, which makes automating tasks related to invoicing a lot easier.   

ACS adheres to nonprofit accounting standards, making it ideal for those looking for accounting software for church-oriented systems. It can help you track budget and spending by department, fund, committee, or project. This functionality makes it possible to keep an eye on your church’s spending patterns. You can use it to file state and federal tax forms, avoiding penalties that can reach up to $54,000.

ACS pricing is available upon request.

5. IconCMO – Best for web-based system

IconCMO Screenshot

IconCMO allows you to handle your church’s tax-reporting requirements while ensuring compliance with state and federal laws.

IconCMO is a web-based system with a pledge management feature to help you develop a realistic proposed budget for your projects. This software package has features for every aspect of running the finances of a church you can imagine: complete fund budgeting, FASB compliance, banking, and accounts payable.

Suppose you’re looking for the best web-based accounting system. In that case, IconCMO might be your best choice because it allows you to take care of your church’s accounting needs wherever you are, as long as you have a device and an internet connection.

You can use IconCMO to send donor statements via mail or email, helping your donors keep track of their donations and the progress of the causes they support.

IconCMO integrates with Constant Contact and Text-Em-All.

IconCMO pricing starts at $35/account/month with additional charges for add-ons. The program offers a 30-day free trial.

6. PowerChurch Plus – Best for all-in-one system

PowerChurch Plus Screenshot

PowerChurch Plus is a software package that combines church management and accounting tools you can use to maintain auditable books while caring for your flock. It allows you to balance all your accounts while producing clear audit trails. The software also has a payroll feature that helps you ensure both employees and contractors receive proper compensation for their services. 

This software program provides an all-in-one system that includes accounting, record-keeping, and membership management features. PowerChurch Plus can also help you maintain an updated membership database, allowing you to get in touch with your congregation easily.

PowerChurch Plus also has an attendance-tracking feature to view attendance patterns at church meetings, Sunday school classes, and general meetings so you can implement attendance improvement plans.

PowerChurch Plus integrates with ASAP.

PowerChurch Plus charges a one-time license fee of $295.

7. AccountEdge Pro – Best for local installation

AccountEdge Pro Screenshot

AccountEdge Pro enables users to handle their church’s daily financial activities like making payments, printing checks, or handling purchases.

AccountEdge Pro is a convenient accounting tool for any church that needs to manage balances, account numbers, and budgets. It has more than 100 accounting templates you can use to manage your assets, liabilities, equities, incomes, and expenses. You can also use the software to track employee hours and create billable and non-billable activity slips and timesheets for payroll purposes.

If you prefer local installation, AccountEdge Pro is a suitable software solution. The software helps manage all your bank, credit card, and expense accounts within a unified system.

AccountEdge Pro enables users to automate repetitive transactions and receive alerts about upcoming payments, ensuring that you have adequate time to ensure the availability of funds.

AccountEdge Pro integrates with Shopify, TimeSolv Legal Billing, and Rerun.

AccountEdge Pro has a one-time fee of $499 for Windows users, while Mac users can avail themselves of the software for $15/account/month. 

8. ZipBooks – Best for free church bookkeeping

ZipBooks Screenshot

If you are looking for a software package with a free forever plan you can use to manage your church’s bookkeeping needs, you may want to consider ZipBooks.

ZipBooks is free accounting software and an online invoicing platform to send online invoices and quotes as PDF files. What’s great about ZipBooks is that you can customize invoices to meet your church’s specific needs. You can use it to store and track receipts, so you have accurate records of all of your church’s expenses, ensuring accurate year-end reporting of your church’s income and expenses.

The main advantage of ZipBooks, compared to other free software tools, is that it allows users to manage an unlimited number of vendors and donors. It can double as a donation management system where you can receive digital money through Square or PayPal. You can also use ZipBooks to view basic reports and stay updated on your church’s financial status. 

ZipBooks integrates with Google Drive, PayPal, Slack, Google Workspace, Asana, Gusto, Spiceworks, and Enrollsy.

ZipBooks has a free plan and paid accounts starting at $15/user/month.

9. Botkeeper – Best for automated bookkeeping

BotKeeper Screenshot

BotKeeper‘s file management feature lets users keep an accurate and paperless record of transactions, receipts, and invoices. Its Smart Connect feature makes pulling up bank and credit card statements easy, making account reconciliation equally simple.

BotKeeper is the best church accounting software for you if you want to automate your bookkeeping so you can save time. It allows the automation of repetitive bookkeeping tasks and the prevention of mistakes resulting from manual computations and bookkeeping. The software program uses AI technology to help you categorize transactions, making it easier to analyze complex financial data.

BotKeeper integrates with several tools, including Stripe, Gusto, QuickBooks, HubSpot, LinkedIn, Hootsuite, PayPal, Zendesk, Kissmetrics, and Chargify.  

BotKeeper pricing starts at $55/account/month.

10. Blackbaud Financial Edge NXT – Best for nonprofits

Blackbaud Financial Edge Nxt Screenshot

Blackbaud Financial Edge NXT is a fund accounting software with financial planning and analysis capabilities you can use to prioritize expenditures and assess funding needs. Users can use the program to generate FASB-compliant reports for sharing with team members and stakeholders. The program helps users manage multiple bank and credit card accounts to make funds balancing easier.  

Blackbaud Financial Edge NXT is best for nonprofits because it allows users to structure the software to suit their accounting needs. It has a grant accounting functionality that helps you ensure your sponsored research and projects stay within budget. It also provides users with a centralized platform for storing grant information, including contact information, budget details, and expenses.

Blackbaud Financial Edge NXT integrates with Paycor, Blackbaud Raiser’s Edge NXT, Procurify, MineralTree Invoice-to-Pay, Bellwether PO and Inventory, Windward Core, DBxtra, MartusTools, WorkPlace Requisition & Procurement, Planning Maestro, DLS Financials, contactSPACE, and Endowment Manager.        

Blackbaud pricing is available upon request.

Other Church Accounting Software

  1. Givelify  – Mobile and online giving software for churches and nonprofits.
  2. Church360 Ledger – Web-based finance software that streamlines the accounting process to make balancing budgets easy.
  3. ChurchPro – All-in-one financial software for tracking donations, payroll management, and budget management.
  4. Aplos – Nonprofit and church management software with bookkeeping capabilities.
  5. CDM + – Church management solution with attendance tracking, donation management, and event management capabilities.
  6. Church Windows Software  – Software for managing the membership database, donations, accounts receivables, and payroll.
  7. MartusTools – A budgeting and reporting tool for churches.
  8. ShelbyNext Financials  – Cloud-based accounting and financial management software for churches and nonprofits.
  9. FlockBase  – Church management software with accounting, payroll, and online giving functionalities.
  10. Breeze – Web-based church management software enabling users to monitor membership, manage events, and track donations.
  11. Elexio Church Financials – Cloud-based software with church management, group management, event management, and reporting capabilities.
  12. Paxton Charities Accounting – UK-based charity accounting software accessible online or via a desktop program.
  13. ExpensePlus – Cloud-based fund accounting software, that enables churches to streamline the way they process expenses, create accounts, view reports and track donations.
  14. Jewel – Church accounting system for writing checks and receipts, budgeting, reporting, and other financial needs.
  15. Breeze ChMS  – Church management software for monitoring membership, managing events, and tracking donations.
  16. ChurchTrac  – Cloud-based management solution for managing groups, tracking attendance, and handling contributions.

Church Management Software and accounting

If you’re looking for a more integrated accounting and church management solution, that combines financial management with church management, you should check out our list of church management software. Many of these tools integrate church accounting functionality. 

What church accounting software do you use?

Have you discovered or used any church accounting software recently? What did you think of it? Let us know if the comments below.

Categories
Tools

10 Best Church Management Software In 2022

Looking for church management software? Then check out our list of the best church management software. It’ll give you a simple, easy comparison of the best church management software on the market in 2022.

In this complete ChMs review, you’ll discover the best church management tool options along with a simple explanation of the criteria for choosing high-performing tools.

You’ll also find overviews of each tool, screenshots, to give you a quick and that will help you narrow down the choices.

On top of that, I answer all the commonly asked questions about church management software; you’ll learn what church management software is and how it can change the way you deliver you manage and run your church in a more effective and productive way.

Best church management software

Our shortlist of the best church management tools:

  1. Wild Apricot – Best free ChMS for small churches
  2. Elvanto – Best all-inclusive ChMS
  3. Breeze – Best for ease of use
  4. Chmeetings – Best for price
  5. TouchPoint – Best mobile app experience
  6. Blackbaud – Best for managing people, ministries, and payments, all in one place
  7. Excellerate Church Management – Best for on-site local network installation
  8. Fellowship One – Best all-in-one solution
  9. Shelby Systems – Best CHMs for larger churches
  10. Servant Keeper – Best for expandability

What is Church Management Software?

Church Management software (sometimes referred to as ChMS) is a suite of online tools that helps churches organize, automate and manage their daily church operations. 

Now you’ve seen the eclectic mix of church management software in our list, you’ll see it’s a wide range of software and SaaS tools that make running a thriving and growing church more effective, easier, and better. It does this by providing a combination of tools that support and in many ways, automate, church administration.

Related Read: What Every Lead Pastor Needs To Know About Church Metrics.

What can Church Management Software do for my Church?

Church Management software is designed to streamline church administration,  providing functionality for a host of different needs that churches have including communication, membership management, small groups and event registration, mass communication, check-in, and donor management. Below we break down the functionality you can expect and look out for in the tools listed below.

Church Management Software Functionality

Church management software (ChMS) features typically include:

  • Membership management – maintain an up-to-date member directory including family and contact information for your congregation.
  • Attendance tracking – Keep track of your congregation’s involvement and facilitate Covid-19 contact tracing.
  • Donor & Giving management – provides a secure channel of collection and management of tithes, donations, online giving, and other contributions from church members.
  • Financial accounting – assists in the management of resources, tracking of expenses, and reporting.
  • Communication tools – Send mass emails and/or text messages to all members
  • Events management – easily organize events for social activities and outreach opportunities
  • Volunteer management – Scheduling tools to manage large groups of volunteers to make running your church services as smooth as possible.
  • Check-in and child security management – a vital tool to ensure the safety of all minors placed in the care of church leaders during Sunday School or other activities.
  • Website builder – Tools to allow you to create and deploy your church website.

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The 10 Best Church Management Software Overviews

In this post, we’ve tried to cover a broad spectrum of software, considering the complexity, price points, and functionality. But as much as anything, it’ll come down to your church and what features and functionality you need to make it function better. Have a look and sign up for some trials to test-drive and find the best church management software for your case.

1. Wild ApricotBest free church management software for small churches

Wild Apricot Church Management Software's In-Built Website Builder Interface Screenshot
Wild Apricot church management software’s in-built website builder interface.
  • Price: Free for up to 50 contacts
  • Trial: Free 30 day trial (no credit card required)

Wild Apricot is a powerful, easy-to-use, web-based church management system for churches and non-profits to help manage administrative tasks, membership, website, event registration, and other activities.

Wild Apricot is a complete membership management system. Easily manage your contacts, process payments, send out emails, and register event attendees. You can also build a website for your organization using professionally designed and mobile-friendly templates.

Wild Apricot is designed for volunteer-run and small staff organizations with a user-friendly interface that doesn’t require a lot of technical knowledge. You will also have access to the user community of peers and experts to get support and share knowledge of best practices.

Pros

  • Easy to use
  • Competitive pricing
  • Highly customizable

Cons

  • Limited choice of website templates

2. Elvanto – Best all-inclusive ChMS

Elvanto's Homepage Screenshot
Elvanto’s homepage.
  • Price: $50/month
  • Trial: Demo call available

Elvanto is an all-in-one cloud-based solution with many innovative features. Elvanto streamlines pastoral and administrative duties. Plan worship activities, manage finances and engage with church members. 

Elvanto has an all-inclusive range of tools with no add-on modules and no extra charges. Some of the main features include access control, customizable forms, custom reports, mobile apps, event management, group management, email and SMS messaging, volunteer scheduling, and attendance tracking.

Elvanto makes the planning of worship services and managing volunteers simple. Create run sheets, schedule your volunteers, access your song database, lyrics, and chords. It has a simple drag and drop interface that makes quickly creating service plans for your team a breeze.

Child check-in, privacy, and safety are some of the key features integrated into Elvanto, vital for children and youth leaders to ensure all in their care are accounted for.

Elvanto also has powerful features for accessing financial data, contribution management, and has the ability to connect with various online giving providers.

Pros

  • Great integration with 3rd party financial partners

Cons

  • Some features like check-in don’t always work reliably.

3. Breeze – Best for ease of use

Breeze's Report Generating Interface Screenshot
Breeze’s report generating interface.
  • Price: Starting at $50/month
  • Trial: Instant Demo available

Breeze is an easy-to-use web-based church management system designed with small churches to mid-sized churches in mind. With Breeze, you can easily add new data, send mass emails and text messages, track attendance and check-in children securely, and process donations online and by text message. Breeze requires no contract or set up fee and offers a data migration service to get you started quickly.

Breeze makes it easy to manage your church’s database, communicate with your members via email or text message, offer online and text giving, safely check-in children, manage events and volunteers, run reports, and much more!

Pros

  • easy data transfer from other systems
  • responsive customer support

Cons

  • Some features are quite basic

4. CHMeetings – Best for price

CHMeetings Dashboard Screenshot
CHMeetings Dashboard.
  • Price: Free for 100 people. Starting at $10/month for up to 250 people.
  • Trial: Not available

CHMeetings is a powerful church management system designed for churches of all sizes and denominations. Easily manage church membership, groups, events, follow-up, and broadcasts.

CHMeetings transforms your workflow by doing it all online. You can create registration forms, see who already submitted theirs, and view attendance data of all events. Check-in is easy for leaders and members via the app. You can also offer your members an easy option to manage their online giving and event fees and easily generate up-to-date financial reports.

Managing the legal, security, and privacy aspects of your data are made easy, and with account restriction settings you have total control over which data individuals can access. CHMeetings include state-of-the-art security features and firewall technology. No matter what device you access data from, it will be secure. CHMeetings also makes daily backups of your data.

Pros

  • Very affordable, tiered pricing based on church size
  • Up-to-date security and firewall features

Cons

  • The mobile app could use some improvements

5. TouchPoint – Best mobile app experience

Screenshots from TouchPoint's Mobile App Screenshot
Screenshots from TouchPoint’s mobile app.
  • Price: $300/year (based on a 100-member church)
  • Trial: Not available

TouchPoint is a substantial cloud-based church management software solution that equips church leaders and administrators of mid-sized churches to large churches looking for an off the shelf ChMS which is also highly customizable. A fully-integrated mobile app helps you with membership management, volunteer management, child check-in, discipleship groups, ministry engagement, tithes, events, media, and more.

Pros

  • Responsive tech support
  • Best-in-class mobile app

Cons

  • Initial setup has a steep learning curve
  • Slow to implement updates

6. Blackbaud – Best for managing people, ministries, and payments, all in one place

Blackbaud's Congregation Summary Page Screenshot
Blackbaud’s Congregation summary page.
  • Price: Contact Blackbaud for a quote
  • Trial: Not available

Blackbaud Church Management Software is a cloud-based tool that can effectively manage your people, gifts, communications, events, and volunteers all in one place.

Better understand how your congregation is engaging with your church through a single source of data. With connected Financial Management, Payments, and more, on one digital platform. Simplify tithes and online giving for your congregation with one-time and recurring giving options via a connected giving app. With Faith Journey tracking you can get a better understanding of your members using comprehensive member and family profiles.

7. Excellerate Church Management – Best for on-site local network installation

Excellerate's Serve Point Scheduling System Screenshot
Excellerate’s Serve Point scheduling system.
  • Price: Free for 50 members. Starting at $145 for 100 members (some features omitted).
  • Trial: Not available

Excellerate Church Management Software is a comprehensive and flexible solution that is highly adaptable to your church needs, including membership management, visitor follow-up, small groups, fundraising, child check-In, volunteer scheduling, and more.

Pros

  • A choice between cloud-based or on-site installation.
  • No monthly subscription for on-site installations and cost varies based on church size

Cons

  • Accessing technical support costs extra
  • Some knowledge of SQL is helpful.

8. Fellowship One – Best all-in-one solution

Fellowship One's Member Profile Interface Screenshot
Fellowship One’s member profile interface.
  • Price: Starting at $19.60 per month
  • Trial: Not offered

Fellowship One’s church management software suite of tools allows for easily accessible and automated management of member data. Rapidly assimilate new visitors and reduce the workload of your staff. Members can access and update their own data and stay connected to the community through a central, online environment.

You can automate communication with mass email, using attractive newsletter templates and easily target specific demographics or groups, and maintain quality personal connections with all your members as your church grows in size

Pros

  • All-in-one solution

Cons

  • Not so user friendly
  • Outdated Interface

9. Shelby Systems – Best CHMs for larger churches

Shelby Systems Groups interface Screenshot
Shelby Systems Groups interface.
  • Price: Starting at $35.13/month
  • Trial: Not offered

Shelby Arena is a full church management software solution with strong, ministry-oriented tools and seamless integration with Shelby Financials and ShelbyNext Giving. Shelby Systems can help you increase your outreach in many ways to both current and potential new members.

Designed for mid-size to large Churches, it is a cloud-based membership management tool that helps with child check-ins, attendance tracking, room reservations, and more.

Pros

  • Unlimited access to technical support and training resources
  • Competitive monthly pricing based on church size

Cons

  • The desktop app is Windows only
  • The complex interface requires some technical knowledge
  • The software is not updated regularly

10. Servant Keeper – Best for expandability

Servant Keeper Contributions Overview Page Screenshot
Servant Keeper contributions overview page.
  • Price: Starting at $10/month + app licenses
  • Trial: Free demo available

Powerful, easy-to-use church management system for attendance tracking, donor management, mass communication via email or text, child check-in, custom financial reporting, and much more! Available across multiple platforms, including Windows/Mac and iOS/Android. Servant Keeper offers a cloud-based solution or an on-site solution that runs on your church’s network.

Pros

  • Choose between an on-site or cloud-based solution

Cons

  • The desktop app requires an expensive license for every computer it’s run on.

Church Management Software Comparison Criteria

It’s worth thinking about what makes a good church management software solution. To be featured on this list, I evaluated the church management tools based on the following criteria:

  • Value for money: How appropriate is the price for its features, capabilities, and use case? Is pricing clear, transparent, and flexible?
  • User Interface (UI): How well-designed is it? Does it offer clear displays and intuitive navigation?
  • Usability:  Is this resources management system easy to learn and master? Are there tutorials and training? Does the company offer good tech and user support?
  • Features & Functionality: How many of the key features and functions does it provide, and how powerful are they?
  • Integrations: Is it easy to connect with other tools? Any pre-built integrations?
  • Customizable: Can you customize and adapt the software to your church and team’s specific needs?

It’s worth comparing different tools as they’re set at different price points, different functionalities (such as timesheets, expenses, approval workflows, task management), and different 3rd party integrations.

Other church management software

None of the above work for you? Check out the list below for additional church management software tools:

  1. Faithlife Equip
  2. ChurchTrac
  3. CFS Live
  4. Churchteams
  5. Ministry Tracker
  6. Elexio
  7. CCIS
  8. Church Community Builder
  9. Parishsoft
  10. Power Church Software
  11. Realm
  12. Kyrios
  13. Raklet
  14. Text In Church
  15. CDM+
  16. Planning Center
  17. SeekerWorks
  18. Church Windows

Other church technology tools you should consider

Other types of church management software and technology you should also consider including in your toolkit:

Which Church Management Software Do You Recommend?

What do you think we’re missing? Which other tools do you recommend, and what would you add to these church management software reviews?

If you’re looking for something specific like donor management software, here’s our 12 Best Donor Management Software Comparison.

We’d love to hear if you’ve got any suggestions, tips or thoughts on using this kind of software – why not share them using the comments below?

Here’s a bonus for you looking to improve your church technology as well as management skills: The Best Church Technology Conferences 2022.

Categories
Tools

10 Best Church Software For 2022

Church software is designed to assist churches in managing daily operations. You can use it for event planning, volunteer management, child check-in for Sunday school, and attendance tracking. Mid-week, you can use it for Sunday service follow-up, attendance tracking, and church administration. You can use church software for event management, small group meetings, or running background checks on volunteers. 

Whether you’re a small church or large church, as a church leader, you know you need a reliable and efficient system that’s user-friendly and will equip both your congregation and staff with the tools they need to operate effectively.

Church software is any software specifically designed for use by a church. Church software can be sourced to meet a specific need but is often bundled with a wide range of functionality within a ChMs, or church management software.

You can find church software for:

If you’re looking for an all-in-one church management system, check out our list which contains all the best church management software solutions. 

Our pick of the best church software

This list of church software is what we think are the best in class church software platforms across all functionality. Our reviews below include functionality and pricing information.

We’ve made this shortlist primarily on what we consider to be forward-thinking and more cutting edge ChMs that is demonstrated by user-friendly interface, communication tools such as text messages, availability of mobile app (Apple and Android), child check-in, volunteer scheduling, event registration, text giving, and excellent customer support that would be suitable for churches of all sizes.

  1. Wild Apricot
  2. Servant Keeper 
  3. Aplos
  4. Breeze ChMS
  5. MinistryTracker
  6. Elexio
  7. Subsplash
  8. Tithe.ly
  9. ChurchStaq
  10. Blackbaud Church Management

The Lead Pastor is reader-supported. We may earn a commission when you click through links on our site — learn more about how we aim to stay transparent.

Overviews of the 10 Best Church Software

Here’s a brief description of each of the church software on my list, showing what it does best, plus screenshots to showcase some of the features.

1. Wild Apricot – Best for NGO website building

Wild Apricot Chucrh Software Screenshot
Wild Apricot gives you the freedom to build a church website with features that will help you serve your members.

Wild Apricot is cloud-based software to help you manage your NGO. Store, manage and update your church’s membership information in one centralized location. It has an event management feature you can use to organize events and handle the attendance of participants. 

Harnessing the power of the internet is one of the best ways to connect with church members and encourage new members to join your church, and Wild Apricot can help you create a website that reflects what your church is all about. Use Wild Apricot to build a website from scratch using templates with the sections, features, and functionalities your church members need. If your church has an existing website, you can use Wild Apricot to improve it through additional widgets, forms, and membership applications. 

Wild Apricot has a free account with limited features, while the paid version costs $48/account/month. Wild Apricot offers a 30-day free trial. 

2. Servant Keeper – Best for large churches

Servant Keeper  Church Software Screenshot
Servant Keeper allows church leaders to add an unlimited number of members.

Servant Keeper is a cloud-based church management software you can use to manage your church, its members, and your daily operations. It has embedded communication tools like emails, text messaging, voicemail, and video messages to help you keep in touch with members and update them about your church’s activities and events. You can also use it to create and manage fundraising activities to support your church’s projects and operations. 

Servant Keeper is an excellent church software if you have a large church or growing membership because it allows you to add an unlimited number of members. You can create a membership directory complete with crucial information like contact information, address, family members, crucial dates, and worship history. Members can access and update their details through a mobile app that works on iOS and Android mobile devices, ensuring you have updated information for all members. 

Servant Keeper has a one-time license fee starting at $299. 

3. Aplos – Best built-in accounting software

Aplos Church Software Screenshot
Aplos’ built-in accounting software enables you to manage your church’s finances.

Aplos is an all-purpose church software you can use in managing the day-to-day operations of your church. It has an online giving and tithing feature, giving members the freedom to use their preferred payment of choice, whether it’s through checks, bank transfers, or supported bank cards. This church software has built-in communication tools enabling you to utilize text messages, emails, and letters to maintain communication with members. 

If you want church software that lets you manage your church and your finances in one interface, then Aplos is the software for you. You can use Aplos to track and pay bills, ensuring the smooth operation of your church’s daily activities. Aplos allows you to track designated funds to show your members how you steward the gifts they give your church.  

Aplos pricing starts at $29.50/account/month, and they offer a 15-day free trial.  

4. Breeze ChMS – Best for event management

Breeze CHMS Church Software Screenshot
You can use Breeze ChMS to plan and implement events that can help your church membership grow.

Breeze ChMS is a church management software that can help you store and organize membership data so you can steward your congregation better. To get to know your members better, you can add personal notations on member records like special dates, food allergies, background check renewals, and other critical information. It also has a feature that enables you to track online giving to consolidate records and enable you to come up with year-end statements detailing your church’s financial status. 

Holding activities and events is one of the best ways to keep church members engaged, and Breeze ChMS can help you with its event management feature. You can use Breeze ChMS to plan and conduct a wide variety of activities and events like Sunday school classes, worship services, fundraising events, and community gatherings. You can also use Breeze ChMS to print name tags on the spot and track attendance to know which events appeal to your members. 

Breeze ChMS costs $50/account/month.

5. MinistryTracker – Best data reporting for churches

Ministry Tracker Church Software Screenshot
Ministry Tracker allows you to run reports at different levels and use a wide variety of data to help you understand your flock better.

Ministry Tracker is a church management software with dynamic features, including people management, events management, and small groups management. It comes with communication tools allowing you to keep in touch with members through emails, traditional mail, voice calls, and text messages. It also has a scheduler to help you allocate equipment, venues, tools, and human resources to church events and activities. 

Reports are fantastic tools if you want to understand your flock better and serve your members better. Ministry Tracker is the best church software for you if you want excellent reporting capabilities. You can generate reports to assess different aspects of your ministry like the demographics of members, attendance reports, financial reports, and others. What’s even better is you can use Ministry Tracker to create reports on different levels of your ministry, from a church-wide report down to small groups allowing you to drill down on even the smallest of issues.  

Ministry Tracker pricing starts at $44.99/account/month, and they offer a 30-day free trial. 

6. Elexio – Best for group management

Elexio Church Software Screenshot
Elexio’s group management feature lets you organize and manage your church’s small groups efficiently.

Elexio is a church management software you can use to manage members, organize schedules, and plan events. This software has reporting functionality to help you analyze critical data that can help you assess your church and implement action plans to address crucial issues. You can use Elexio to automate simple and repetitive tasks like sending welcome messages to new members to streamline workflow and allow you to devote your time to caring for your ministry. 

Small groups make up the backbone of your church, and if you need church software to help you organize them, then Elexio is the best software for you. Elexio allows you to create an unlimited number of small groups making it ideal no matter how small or large your church is. Organize members into different groups like choir members, Sunday school teachers, volunteers, and others. You can also use the software to send private messages to small groups ensuring confidentiality on sensitive matters. 

Elexio pricing starts at $35.13/account/month, and they offer a 30-day free trial.

7. Subsplash – Best for community engagement

Subsplash Church Software Screenshot
Connect to your members using media that you can live stream on your website or mobile app.

Subsplash is an all-in-one engagement platform with a mobile app version available to Android and iOS users to reach all your members regardless of their mobile device of choice. It has a mobile giving feature to help members support your church and outreach programs through donations and pledges. Subsplash has a messaging function to share messages, files, polls, and prayer requests, ensuring that you stay connected to church members. 

Media is a powerful tool your church can use to boost engagement with members, and Subsplash’s media hosting and streaming platform can help you reach not just current members but potential new members of your flock. You can use Subsplash to stream, publish and share videos that your members can benefit from. You can use your Subsplash dashboard to organize and upload sermons, music, and podcasts to your website, YouTube channel, or social media accounts so members can listen using their preferred media platform. 

Subsplash provides customized pricing upon request. 

8. Tithe.ly – Best giving solutions

Tithe.ly Church Software Screenshot
Tithe.ly provides members with a wide variety of giving options to support your church.

Tithe.ly is a church giving platform with a wide variety of digital tools for building your church’s website, organizing events, and managing membership. It also has a suite of communication tools allowing you to communicate with existing church members and reach new ones to grow your ministry. Tithe.ly can also help you set up your church’s mobile app to reach more members, highlight events, and upload media your members can enjoy. 

Tithe.ly is the best software for your church if you want to give members a wide variety of options to contribute to your church. This enables members to choose the giving option they’re most comfortable with, like online giving, text to give, or through checks. The software also allows members to set up recurring donations to continue supporting the church regularly. 

Tithe.ly’s giving app is free, but the pricing for Tithe.ly All Access is $99/month. 

9. ChurchStaq – Best mobile app

ChurchStaq Church Software Screenshot
You can choose Churchstaq to create a mobile app for your church to increase your church’s reach.

Churchstaq is a church management solution with useful tools for managing your congregation like attendance tracking, mobile check-ins, membership management, and events management. You can use Churchstaq to organize and schedule volunteers to maximize your church’s human resources. It has a useful dashboard to assess the health of your congregation and gain insights on critical aspects of your ministry like member participation, financial status, and others. 

There are mobile apps for almost everything in this digital age, and churches are no exemptions; if you want to increase your church’s reach, Churchstaq can help you create a mobile app for your church. You can use Churchstaq to send announcements or share media content to members improving engagement with your congregation. Members can also use the mobile app to give and tithe as well as view their giving history. 

Churchstaq integrates with productivity tools like QuickBooks, Planning Center, and others. 

Churchstaq pricing is available upon request. 

10. Blackbaud Church Management – Best congregant portal

Blackbaud Church Management Screenshot
You can use Blackbaud to personalize membership records with additional information like allergies, communication preferences, membership history, etc.

Blackbaud is a church software for managing and growing your church membership. Use the software to manage events, volunteers, and small groups. Blackbaud also simplifies tithing and offerings through online donation forms so members can continue supporting your church and its various activities and services. 

Blackbaud is the best software if you want a platform where your members can manage certain aspects of their membership. Congregants can use the portal to manage saved payments and recurring gifts and view their giving history. Members can also use the portal to update their contact information and personal details, ensuring that you have up-to-date information at all times. 

Blackbaud pricing is available upon request. 

Other church software

  1. Church Social – Church management software for tracking and managing membership data.
  2. One Church – Cloud-based church management software with online giving, membership management, and automated emailing capabilities.
  3. Faith Teams – Cloud-based management system for small and mid-sized churches. 
  4. ChurchTrac – Church software for tracking online giving, accounting, events management, and groups management.
  5. SimpleChurch CRM – A suite of tools to track engagement of church members.
  6. Rock RMS – Cloud-based open source church management system. 
  7. Donarius – Church management software for contribution management.
  8. IconCMO – Church software for ministry and financial management.
  9. CahabaWorks Church – Church management software for managing membership, contributions, events, and small groups. 
  10. Church Community Builder – Cloud-based church management solution specializing in flock engagement.
  11. Excellerate Church Software – Cloud-based or installed solution religious organizations can use in managing daily operations. 
  12. Church Office Online – Online ChMS for tracking members, sending communications, tracking attendance, and others. 
  13. Chmeetings – Church management software for membership, attendance, and event management. 
  14. Church Community – Centralized cloud-based church management solution for managing membership records. 
  15. CDM+ – Church management solution for small and mid-sized churches
  16. Planning Centre – A suite of software tools for organizing data, managing events, and communicating with your flock.
  17. Realm – Software developed by ACS for managing Catholic churches.
  18. Churchteams – Church management software for organizing small groups and managing your ministry. 
  19. ProPresenter – Presentation and production software for worship media.
  20. MediaShout – A church presentation tool you can use to edit media in real time and present it to your congregation.
  21. FellowshipOne – Communications and management platform for church teams and small groups. 

What church software do you use?

Have you discovered or used any good church software recently? What did you think of it? Ever wondered what kind of software is best for streaming? Here are the 10 Biggest Streaming Churches And The Software They Use.

Do you have any idea what to make of the data you’ve been gathering? We’re here to help with this article: What Every Lead Pastor Needs To Know About Church Metrics.

Let us know in the comments below!

If you’re looking for even more help, here’s our list of the 10 Top Church Technology Resources For Leaders in 2022.

Categories
Tools

10 Best Worship Software & Tools For Your Church

According to a Gallup Poll, less than 50% of Americans say they belong to a house of worship. This decline in membership in religious organizations has been going on for years, and churches need to innovate to keep their current members and attract new ones. 

One of the most effective ways of keeping members engaged and encouraging new ones is by ensuring that worship services are lively, interactive, and rewarding. An excellent worship software can help your church achieve this goal.

Keep reading this post to discover our shortlist of the best worship software for 2022, and you’ll find tools that provide additional functionality beyond presentation.

Best Worship Software

Here’s our list of the best church worship software and tools to help you plan worship, schedule people, and manage music and projection:

  1. Planning Centre – Best rehearsal tools
  2. WorshipTrac – Best for worship planning
  3. WorshipTeam – Best for song library
  4. Worship Planning – Best for scheduling
  5. Sunday Sounds – Best for MainStage worship patches and templates
  6. MultiTracks – Best for MacOS users
  7. FellowshipOne – Best integrated ChMS functionality
  8. PraiseCharts – Best online music sheet catalog
  9. Worship Extreme Music Stand – Best for chord sheets and lyrics
  10. Transposr – Best for transposing songs to different keys

What to look for when choosing worship software

Script/Playlist/ Presentation Order Creation/Editing

Church services typically use a combination of songs, graphics, videos, and countdowns. Sequencing these items should be easy and fast. Ask yourself – how easy is it to reorder a service when the need arises?

Song Importing

How easy is it to import songs into the software? Songs tend to come from various sources (web, email, Word docs, other databases, etc.); how capable and flexible is the software?

Song Editing

Once the songs are in there, how easy is it to edit them? This includes changing words, changing the order, or creating custom verses and choruses.

Song Background Support

Unless you put white text over black backgrounds, the way the software handles background images and video is essential.

Audio & Video Handling

Video playback can include files and DVD; SD & HD; controls and format capabilities. Does it work on different operating systems like Linux, Windows, and Mac OS? Can I use it on mobile devices like Android tablets and iPads? 

Speaker Support

We do a lot of sermons, bible verses, graphics, and text slideshows using Powerpoint. How do we do it, and how well does it work?

User Experience (For Training Volunteers)

The most powerful software in the world is useless unless people (in our case, volunteers) can use it. How quickly can non-professional volunteers pick it up and run with it?

Remote Editing

I like to create playlists during the week from my laptop. How easy is it to do this and then move the entire show to the presentation computer?

Price

How affordable is this for a young church plant, and larger churches?

3rd Party Integrations

How well does this play with other church management software? Does it work with other plugins and productivity tools?

Worship Software Functionality

Volunteer (band/worship team) scheduling – Who’s playing and serving, when.

Worship plans – Create unique plans for each service, including details on people, songs, and notes.

Order of service – What’s happening, in what order.

Rehearsal tools – Song library, transposing, and media player

Song & lyric projection – The song lyrics, on screen. Sequencing these items should be easy and fast. How easy is it to reorder a service should the need arise?

Video projection – Videos, and multimedia background graphics and other church presentation tools.

The Lead Pastor is reader-supported. We may earn a commission when you click through links on our site — learn more about how we aim to stay transparent.

The Lead Pastor is reader-supported. We may earn a commission when you click through links on our site — learn more about how we aim to stay transparent.

Overviews of the 10 Best Church Worship Software

Here’s a brief description of each church worship software on my list, showing what it does best, plus screenshots to showcase some of the features.

1. Planning Centre – Best rehearsal tool

Planning Centre Church Worship Software Screenshot
Planning Center has an extensive song library and a media player the worship team can use to rehearse before worship services.

Planning Center is a full suite of worship tools you can use to plan, organize, and execute worship services to keep your congregation engaged. It has a volunteer scheduling feature so you can schedule people according to their abilities and preferences. You can also use Planning Center to communicate with worship team members when sending scheduling requests or sending updates through text messages, emails, or push notifications.

Rehearsals are important to ensuring that worship services proceed smoothly, and Planning Center is the best church presentation software for you if you need an excellent rehearsal tool. It has an extensive song library you can use to ensure lively worship services, and you can upload your songs if you want to. Planning Center’s mobile app has an integrated media player so worship team members can listen to audio or watch videos to aid their performance even if they don’t have VLC or other video players installed.

Planning Center pricing starts at $14/month for up to 25 members, and they offer a 30-day free trial. 

2. WorshipTrac – Best for sermon scheduling

ChurchTrac Church Worship Software Screenshot
Create detailed worship plans team members can follow for a smooth flow of services.

ChurchTrac’s worship tool is an excellent aid in planning and executing worship services. You can use it to schedule volunteers, ensuring crucial positions get properly manned. ChurcTrac sends automatic reminders to team members, so they don’t forget their schedules. ChurchTrac allows volunteers to block out dates, so team leaders know when volunteers are unavailable.

If you’re looking for worship software you can use to plan services carefully, then ChurchTrac is a great fit for you because you can use it to create outlines your team can follow. You can share the worship outline you created to worship team members and musicians ensuring you are all on the same page. You can include notations on your worship plans if there are specific instructions.

ChurchTrac Plus pricing starts at $15/month for up to 75 names, and they offer a 30-day free trial. 

3. WorshipTeam – Best song library

WorshipTeam Church Worship Software Screenshot
WorshipTeam has more than 14,000 songs in its song library for you to use during worship services.

WorshipTeam is an online service you can use to run your worship ministry in a centralized location. You can use WorshipTeam to schedule and notify worship team members and musicians so they can accept or decline assignments and avoid conflicts. WorshipTeam is a cross-platform software accessible on your Windows or Mac PC and has a mobile app version that works on Android and iOS devices.

WorshipTeam has an extensive library with more than 14,000 songs you can use to keep your worship services lively and engaging. What makes this even better is that you can upload your songs to your WorshipTeam library, and your WorshipTeam account comes with unlimited storage to upload as many songs as you want. On top of the massive library of songs, WorshipTeam adds new songs regularly, giving you access to the latest worship songs.

WorshipTeam pricing starts at $14/month for up to 5 users.

4. Worship Planning – Best for volunteer management

Worship Planning Church Worship Software Screenshot
Worship Planning has a scheduler you can use to manage volunteers for worship services.

Worship Planning is a cloud-based software for planning and organizing worship services. It has a song organizer letting you organize, import, and export songs for use during worship services. Worship Planning comes with file storage, where you can store files and documents in a secure location. You can use Worship Planning to generate virtual music sheets for better organization and to help you save paper.

Volunteerism is at the heart of any congregation, and Worship Planning is the best worship software if you want one with an excellent scheduling feature. You can use Worship Planning to schedule people for multiple services simultaneously, helping you save time working on worship plans during busy seasons. Worship Planning allows the customization of roles if you need to assign human resources to a special role.

Worship Planning pricing starts at $15/month for one planner, and they offer a 30-day free trial.

5. Sunday Sounds – Best for MainStage worship patches and templates

Sunday Sounds Church Worship Software Screenshot
Sunday Sounds can help you maximize your Mainstage rig through patches and pre-programmed controls.

Sunday Sounds is music software with key templates and song-specific patches you can use to elevate your worship services. It has a massive sound library to create your songs and customize your worship music, including ambient sounds, bass, guitar, percussion, vocals, and synth. Sunday Sounds have pre-programmed templates and easy-to-use workflows so you can spend less time organizing music for worship services and more time ministering to your flock. 

Musicians rely on Mainstage to turn their computers into powerful multi-instrument systems, and Sunday Sounds is the best worship software for you if you want to get the most out of your Mainstage. Sunday Sounds has more than 250 worship patches giving you the power to create songs and sounds to give your members a service to remember. It has a built-in Tonic Pad player allowing you to glue together the sound of your band and underscore the quieter moments in your performance.

Sunday Sounds costs $120/year.

6. MultiTracks – Best for MacOS users

MultiTracks Church Worship Software Screenshot
MultiTrack has independent ambient pads allowing you to transition between song keys automatically.

MultiTrack is a collection of digital tools giving you the ability to shape your church’s worship music. It has ProPresenter templates ensuring you have the right lyrics and chord charts for your setlist. Cloud Pro feature gives you a platform to store all your tools and resources for easy access, not just for you but for your entire team. 

If you want worship software specifically designed for your iOS and MacOS devices, then MultiTrack is your best option. It allows you to edit, loop, or jump to any section of the track you’re playing so you can customize your music as needed. MultiTrack also enables you to create, edit, and save multiple setlists, so you have a ready-to-use setlist for a wide variety of events and activities.

Sunday Sounds works with Logic Remote Control letting you remotely control basic Mainstage functionalities like adding, selecting, or playing patches.

MultiTracks’ Playback Pro costs $8.33/seat/month

7. FellowshipOne – Best integrated ChMS functionality

Fellowship One Church Worship Software Screenshot
FellowshipOne has integrated church management functionality allowing you to take care of the other aspects of your ministry.

FellowshipOne is a cloud-based planner for planning worship services anywhere you are. You can use the software to schedule volunteers and employees, ensuring you have enough human resources for a successful worship service. It has a mobile app version that works on iOS and Android mobile devices so you can update worship plans and communicate with worship team members remotely.

FellowshipOne is the best worship software for you if you want one with ChMS functionality. You can use the software to store and manage membership data, ensuring you have updated information on all members. It also has accounting features to help you manage the finances of your church.

FellowshipOne pricing is available upon request.

8. PraiseCharts – Best online sheet music catalog

PraiseCharts Church Worship Software Screenshot
PraiseCharts has an extensive catalog of sheet music you can download and use during worship services.

PraiseCharts is a worship tool where you can obtain audio backing tracks for your worship songs. You can use PraiseCharts to get song-specific guitar patches, so your songs sound exactly like professional recordings. PraiseCharts also lets you access worship readings you can use on your worship services or stream on your church website. 

Sheet music is critical for musicians, and if you want to have access to an extensive catalog of sheet music, then PraiseCharts is the best worship software for your church. With PraiseCharts, you can access lyrics, chords, vocal chart arrangements, and orchestrations for praise and worship songs for your services. This is an excellent resource your worship band can use, especially when learning songs unfamiliar to them.

PraiseCharts pricing starts at $7.35/account/month.

9. Worship Extreme Music Stand – Best for chord sheets and lyrics

Worship Extreme Music Stand Church Worship Software Screenshot
You can use Worship Extreme Music Stand to download chord charts and lyric sheets to guide your ministry’s music team, ensuring flawless performance during services.

Worship Extreme Music Stand is a chord sheet and lyric app that works on Android and iOS mobile devices allowing users to study their setlist anywhere. This app will enable you to switch between lyrics only, one column chord charts, two-column chord charts, and Nashville number charts so you can use the chord charts your team is most comfortable with. Another great feature worth noting is that you get access to new songs and arrangements from worship leaders worldwide, allowing you to update your music repertoire during worship services. 

Worship Extreme Music Stand is the best software solution if you want a reliable source of chord charts and lyrics sheets that your music team can use. Chord charts can help ensure that all members of your music team or worship band play in sync to deliver excellent performances. What’s even better is Music Stand allows users to put notations on digital chord charts so your musicians can customize arrangements to suit your ministry’s preferences.

Worship Extreme Music Stand is a free worship software with limited features, but a paid version pricing starts at $15/month.

10. Transposr – Best free worship software

Transposr Church Worship Software Screenshot
Transposr allows users to transpose a music sheet or MP3 file to another key.

Transposr is a standalone worship presentation software from the makers of Planning Center. Its sole purpose is for transposing music sheets and MP3 files. If you want one with more software options like a media library, live streaming capabilities, or functionality to display songs, you might want to check out Planning Center.

Transposr is the best free church presentation software for you if you need to transpose a music sheet or MP3 file to another key. This is an excellent tool for you if you have a worship song in mind and would like to play it using a different key to put your personal touch on it. Transposr is also popular because of its ease of use. Just copy and paste the music sheet or MP3 file to Transposr, and the software will do the rest for you.

Transposr is a free worship tool.

What is Worship Software?

Now you’ve seen the eclectic mix of worship software in our list; you’ll see it’s a range of software and SaaS tools that make planning, coordinating, and running Sunday services and church services easier and better. It provides tools that support and automate the preparation and coordination efforts of pastors, worship leaders, musicians, and volunteers. 

Other worship software for church presentation

If you’re specifically looking for ways to project lyrics, images, and video onto a screen, you’re probably looking for a church presentation tool. Examples are Quelea, Opensong, and  OpenLP. For that, check out our complete list of church presentation software.

Use Worship Software to Organize Your Sermons

Cloud-based or downloadable worship software can help you to design presentations, organize songs and lyrics, build Sunday worship schedules, plan out sermons, support A/V needs, and organize volunteers. 

What tools do you use for modern-day worship planning? Do you use anything on our list…or plan to in the future? Is there a church software missing here that you would add if you could? Let us know in the comments.

Looking for even more tools to manage your growing church? Here’s a list you can start with: 10 Best Church Finance Software For Payroll & Expenses

Categories
Tools

12 Best Donor Management Software Comparison

To run a successful organization that depends on donations, it’s important that you have an excellent system to organize your work. You’ll need to manage a donor database, onboard new donors efficiently, store donation forms, run social media campaigns, and generally streamline your fundraiser processes. Without the right software and campaign management tools in the form of donor management software, this can be a challenging undertaking.

Donor management software is like customer relationship management (CRM) software; only it’s for non-profits. The software is essential for large and small not-for-profit businesses that want to run non-profit CRM, donor communication, event registration, outreach, and other fundraising efforts.

In this article, we look at the best donor management software on the market today. Keep reading to discover how you can use contemporary tools to manage your donor engagement and donor membership management. 

The Best Donor Management Software List

Below is our selection of the 12 best donor management software for fundraising campaigns, peer fundraising, managing direct mail with donors, storing donor information, and maintaining the donor base at the levels you want.

  1. Kindful
  2. Aplos
  3. Salesforce for Non-Profit
  4. Blackbaud
  5. Donorperfect
  6. Bloomerang
  7. Salsa Labs
  8. Little Green Light 
  9. Servant Keeper
  10. Donor Tools
  11. Church Community Builder
  12. Virtuous CRM

Donor Management Software FAQs

Before I look at the best donor management software in our list, let’s start by looking at some of the main questions I often encounter when talking about donor management tools that can help non-profit teams run some of the best fundraising events.

What is Donor Management Software?

Donor management software is a kind of computer program that assists teams in non-profit organizations involved in fundraising understand and take maximum advantage of their relationships with donors. These programs assist organizers in managing donor data and analyzing the data to ensure that donors keep funding projects.

Donor management software helps teams automate processes and manage workflows better. The technology ensures that processes that would take days when done by hand can be done in real-time in seconds. The software accomplishes this by providing user-friendly templates that can be customized for different campaigns.

Data gathered by these tools allows organizations to segment and sort both potential and current donors. This makes it possible to operate strategically and apply different approaches for diverse donors. This data includes donor behaviors and financial capacity, thus providing non-profit organizations with specific, actionable takeaways and fundraising strategies.

Why is Donation Management Software Important for NGO Teams?

Donor management software helps non-profit organizations run their processes more efficiently in a coordinated way. It makes tasks that would have taken hours, if not days, easily accomplished in minutes, if not seconds. It reduces the workload of staff members and frees up more time to concentrate on finding more donors.

The software helps organizations to put in place systems that improve relationships between the donor and the non-profit organization by building trust through secure transactions. The donation tool makes it possible for donors to share their personal and financial information without worrying that this will compromise their security. 

Analysis of the donor data acquired can be used to segment the donors. Based on their experiences, messaging and support can be personalized.

What Should Non-Profits Look for in a Donation Management Software Tool?

When you’ve decided on getting software for your non-profit, there are several elements you should consider: the capacity or member size the tool can handle, how easy the tool is to use, and the type of support you can expect from its developers or vendors. 

Find out the essential features that help you know who your donors are, how much they donate, the times they are likely to donate, and whether the donors have seen your correspondence. You also need to consider whether the software will assist you in monitoring donor retention.

The best way to get a grasp of each tool’s features is to ask for a demonstration. Check how many users can have accounts, as well as their access levels.

Testimonials are essential to the selection process. Reach out to the fundraising tool’s previous and current clientele to get real, unbiased, and independent user feedback.

Donation Management Software Comparison Criteria

To search for the best donation management software for non-profits, I use the following criteria: 

  1. User Interface (UI) and Functionality: Is it clean and attractive? Does the software solution come with more functionality than others? 
  2. Usability and Reliability: Is it easy to learn and master? Does the software offer good tech support, user support, tutorials, and training? Will it have mandatory upgrades to improve online fundraising processes and security?
  3. Integration with Other Tools: Does the software integrate with other tools, such as church management tools, non-profit management software, accounting software, and others?
  4. Efficiency: Does the software make teams more efficient through the consolidation of systems?
  5. Metrics and Analytics: Will the software assist the user in managing and analyzing donor data?
  6. Value for $: How appropriate is the price for the features, capabilities, and use cases? Is pricing clear, transparent, and flexible?

Donation Management Software Key Features

Below are some of the most critical features that software delivering donor management solutions should have:

Tracking Donation History

Donor management software should help teams track all volunteers, donors, and event attendees in one place. An important feature for monitoring fundraising campaigns and activities of the non-profit is the ability to provide a history of donors.  

Email Marketing

In donation management, communication is vital. Therefore, it is important that you consider if the fundraising software you want will allow for automated email marketing. This can help maintain and improve the donor list and donor retention because your projects remain in the donors’ minds. Also, donors want news about what their donations are being used for.

Reporting and Tracking

It is important to track all your activities to determine areas that are working and those that need improvement. Reports should tell you which campaigns are raising the most money, which campaigns lead to the most engagements, and which donors are donating to each campaign.

The ability to produce automated custom reports is also a feature that allows you to define the report you wish to have and when to get it for quick reviews of trends.

Process Automation

Process automation improves the efficiency of your organization. Some of the features you will find in the leading donation management software include creating personalized emails, receipts, and statements. All this can help to create a positive relationship with the donor community.

Online Donation Portal and Recurring Giving

Software Advice, an online resource for software buyers, carried out a study that showed that 20% of shoppers considered an online donation portal a “must-have” feature for organizations that want donations. Online donation portals allow donors to select how often they make donations and set recurring donations as well. They also allow donors to make donations as they make purchases. 

Event Planning and Project Management

For most non-profit organizations, event management is an inevitable task. Therefore, the right software should allow non-profits and their teams to put their focus where it is required: attracting more donations. They can work with a greater number of donors across different fundraising campaigns and events.

The software should also allow teams to collaborate across campaigns and get an idea of what the workflow looks like. This will ensure that projects are completed within budget and planned timelines. The project management feature also allows team members to get an idea of where each campaign is in the pipeline. 

The Lead Pastor is reader-supported. We may earn a commission when you click through links on our site — learn more about how we aim to stay transparent.

Overviews of the 10 Best Donor Management Software

Here’s a brief description of each of the donor management software on my list, showing what it does best, plus screenshots to showcase some of the features.

1. Kindful – Best donor management software for donor relationship building

Kindful Screenshot
Kindful keeps track of recent transactions and donations from donors.

Kindful is donor management software that focuses on building relationships with donors. It offers fundraising, donor management, and communication tools. The software also comes with tracking and reporting tools. 

Pricing for Kindful starts at $100 per month.

Pros

  • Excellent and timely customer service
  • Scalable and focuses on helping non-profits grow
  • Supports unlimited donation pages per account with numerous page designs and customization

Cons

  • Takes a while to learn and get around
  • Pricey for small non-profits with inconsistent income
  • Report design options are limited and lack customization

2. Aplos – Best software for donor management accounting 

Aplos Screenshot
Track cash balance and net income over time.

Aplos is a software that assists non-profits or churches in getting a grasp on their accounting. Other features provided by the software include donor or member management and communication, automatic tracking of gifts and recurring donations, fundraising tools, and much more.

Pricing for Aplos starts at $59 per month. 

Pros

  • Intuitive and easy to use
  • Specifically built to help non-profits or churches manage their accounting
  • Great all-round solutions for donor management

Cons

  • Facility management is not available
  • Uses Gusto, a third-party business, to maintain payroll
  • Not responsive on mobile devices

3. Salesforce for Non-Profit – Best donor management software for non-profits

Salesforce For Non-Profit Screenshot
Salesforce for Non-Profit offers a donations dashboard that breaks down donations by month, program, and other metrics.

Salesforce’s Non-Profit Cloud unites constituents and organizations. The software promises to help “build and maintain trusted and lasting relationships with supporters and beneficiaries by delivering the experiences they need in changing times.” 

Salesforce for Non-Profit is designed mainly to cater to the needs of non-profits, educational institutions, and foundations that provide grants. 

Salesforce for Non-Profit pricing starts at $48 per user per month.

Pros

  • Easy to use 
  • Great customer service 
  • Customizable reports that help filter out unwanted data

Cons

  • Too many functionalities make it challenging to get around in the beginning
  • Report generation can take a while
  • Poor integration with mobile platforms

4. Blackbaud – Best donor management software for data and analytics 

Blackbaud Screenshot
Record donor information, donation history, and transaction history.

Built by Microsoft Azure, Blackbaud is designed to meet the marketing and fundraising needs of non-profits. It provides excellent insight via its data intelligence.

Blackbaud pricing is available upon request.

Pros

  • Mobile responsive
  • Great with records generation
  • Comprehensive in terms of features

Cons

  • Takes a while to get accustomed to
  • Poor customer support
  • Expensive for small non-profits

5. Donorperfect – Best for donor segmentation and communication 

DonorPerfect Screenshot
Donorperfect’s organization dashboard allows users to view donation history, donation by region, donor retention, and more.

Donorperfect is a suitable fundraising solution for non-profits. It provides insight into the drivers of donations, donor segmentation, and communications via personalized emails. Event managers can use its auction management tools to manage silent, live, mobile, and online charity auctions.

Donorperfect pricing starts at $119 CAD per month.

Pros

  • Easy to use and intuitive
  • Allows for customization 
  • Great for tracking donors 

Cons

  • Lackluster report generation
  • Too many upgrades

6. Bloomerang – Best software for donor retention 

Bloomerang Screenshot
Bloomerang offers a donation dashboard as well as CRM features such as logging calls with donors.

Bloomerang focuses on retention and engagement solutions. It allows fund transactions and management to be carried out efficiently and on time.

Pricing for Bloomerang starts at $99 per month.

Pros

  • Great user interface
  • Great customer support
  • It is affordable for all sizes of startups and non-profits

Cons

  • Difficult to use when tracking grants from foundations
  • Report customization is limited
  • QuickBooks integration isn’t smooth

7. Salsa Labs – Best software for advocacy and event management 

Salsa Labs Screenshot
Get donation and fundraising insights broken down into relevant amounts of time.

Salsa Labs provides solutions for donor management, fundraising, advocacy, events, and marketing automation. Its primary focus is on providing intelligent insights and reports.

Salsa Labs pricing is available upon request.

Pros

  • Unlimited capabilities
  • Great customer support 
  • Relatively easy to learn and use

Cons

  • Scheduling in email setup needs improvement  
  • Easy to lose some contact names when importing contacts 

8. Little Green Light – Best software for simplifying processes

Little Green Light Screenshot
Easily search for donors and constituents, track volunteering hours, and measure fundraising totals.

Little Green Light describes itself as “your natural next step to simplify your donor management.” It promises, “With our intuitive fundraising platform, you can consolidate your spreadsheets, letting you see and analyze your data more clearly than ever before.” 

Little Green Light pricing starts at $39 per month.

Pros

  • Intuitive and easy-to-use interface
  • Seamless integration with third-party software
  • Mail and online support

Cons

  • Mobile support is lacking
  • Difficult to manage families 
  • Advanced analytics are complicated

9. Servant Keeper – Best church donor management system

Servant Keeper Screenshot
Servant Keeper allows users to track donations and income against monthly budgets.

Servant Keeper is a church management solution by Servant PC Resources. It caters to churches and other faith-based organizations by helping them manage and run their business operations, including tracking member attendance, skills, donations, and pledges.

Servant Keeper pricing starts at $299 for one-time license cost for a small church.

Pros

  • Great customer and technical support 
  • Great customization of reports
  • Seamless integrations with a variety of third-party software

Cons

  • Difficult to use 
  • Setting up groups is a bit taxing
  • Lots of learning material and resources to consume 

 10. Donor Tools – Best volunteer and donor management software 

Donor Tools Screenshot
Find and filter donors and volunteers.

Donor Tools offers solutions for donation tracking, massive spreadsheets, data entry, and high volunteer turnover. 

Pricing for Donor Tools starts at $39 per month.

Pros

  • Provides donor history as far back as several years
  • Affordable for small non-profits 
  • Intuitive and easy-to-use

Cons

  • Reports are standard and limited
  • Social integration is not fully supported
  • Email automation is limited

11. Church Community Builder – Best software for facilitating communication 

Church Community Builder Screenshot
Church Community Builder allows users to measure and analyze church attendance, donations, and servers.

Church Community Builder reinforces communications amongst church or faith-based organization members. There is a coach solution feature on the platform. 

Church Community Builder pricing starts at $90 per month.

Pros

  • Feature-rich software 
  • Seamless integration with various third-party software
  • Great customer support

Cons

  • Mobile responsiveness is still catching up
  • The learning period takes a while 
  • Recurring events are difficult to schedule

12. Virtuous CRM – Best software for mid-to-large organizations 

Virtuous CRM Screenshot
This donation management and CRM software provides users with an at-a-glance look at donor history, financial giving totals, and communication history.

Virtuous CRM is a software that works great for mid-sized to large non-profits. It is responsive on mobile phones, and focuses on building donor relationships. 

Pricing for Virtuous CRM starts at $350 per month.

Pros

  • Excellent customer support via chat and email
  • Finds duplicated data from imported contacts
  • The scoring of donors is based on several criteria

Cons

  • New contact profile creation is cumbersome
  • Difficult contact import tool 
  • Chat and phone support are not so great

Share Your Thoughts about Other Donor Management Software Comparison Options

If you’ve tried any of the above-listed software, please share your experiences and recommendations in the comments section. If your preferred software isn’t listed, please let us know in the comments section, as well as why you prefer it.

If you’ve ever wondered about how big churches run things, here’s the 10 Biggest Streaming Churches And The Software They Use.

Categories
Tools

10 Best Church Contact Management Software [2022]

A church contact management software is crucial in keeping an accurate record of church members for easier coordination during services and events. With many choices available in the market, it can be challenging to choose the ideal contact management software for your church. In this article, I will discuss with you some of the best church contact management software so you can choose one that will meet the needs of your church. 

The Best Church Contact Management Software

Here’s a shortlist of the best contact management software:

  1. Facebook Groups
  2. ChurchTrac 
  3. FaithTeams 
  4. Church Office Online 
  5. Breeze chMS 
  6. Membee 
  7. FlockBase 
  8. Elexio 
  9. SimpleChurch CRM
  10. ChurchStaq 

Church Contact Management Comparison Criteria

What do I look for when I select the best church contact management? Here’s a summary of my evaluation criteria: 

  1. User Interface (UI): Churches usually have lots of members, so managing all contacts can be challenging. I’m looking for a tool that’s clean and easy to use.
  2. Mobile App Version: Since the very purpose of contact management software is to manage contacts, it should be easily accessible. Does it have a mobile app version accessible to Android and iOS users?
  3. Security: This is the most important feature I’m looking for because contact management tools should be able to keep names, phone numbers, or email addresses secure above all else.
  4. Value for $: Does it have features that make its pricing reasonable? Does it offer a free trial for users?

Church Contact Management Software: Key Features

  • Member Management – allows users to keep an accurate record of church members.
  • Mobile App Version – allows administrators access to the software while working remotely.
  • Event Management – makes organizing events, services, and fundraising activities of religious organizations more organized. 
  • Financial Management – allows users to maintain a record of funds, expenses, and donations for better fund management. 

Overviews Of The 10 Best Church Contact Management Software

Here’s a brief description of each contact management software to showcase each tool’s best use case, some noteworthy features, and screenshots to give a snapshot of the interface. 

1. Facebook Groups – Best for Social Media Users

Facebook Groups Church Contact Management Software Screenshot
Facebook Groups allows you to restrict access to the group and assign administrators who can help you manage the group.

Facebook Groups is a feature that allows users to create a private or public group with members that share a common interest. You can create a Facebook Group and add members of your congregation so you can communicate with them via the FB group. You can post articles, videos, and documents visible only to the members of your group. 

Facebook Groups is best for congregations with social media savvy users because it is easy to use and accessible via mobile phones. You can restrict who can join the group and what information your members can see. You can also form small groups for specific purposes, such as a group for Sunday school teachers, for volunteers, or for choir members. 

Facebook Groups is free with the Facebook app. 

2. ChurchTrac – Best for Tracking Important Dates and Occasions.

ChurchTrac Church Contact Management Software Screenshot
ChurchTrac allows users to create picture directories of members with phone numbers so admins can keep track of their members and contact information.

ChurchTrac is a contact management software you can use to maintain a database of your church’s members, employees, donors, and volunteers. You can use it to organize people into groups and assign custom tags for easier filtering. ChurchTrac allows you to send SMS, voice messages, and newsletters to members if you have announcements or reminders.  

ChurchTrac is best for churches who want software that can generate directories of members with pictures and phone numbers for easier recordkeeping. You can also produce reports on anniversaries, birthdays, and other important events so you can track them on your calendar and send congratulatory emails or messages. 

ChurcTrac integrates with MailChimp for easier syncing of contacts and ensuring that your members’ contact information is up to date. 

Churchtac offers three price plans that you can choose from: you can get their free forever plan, their standard plan at $50 per month, or their plus plan at $60 per month.

3. Faith Teams – Best for Remote Work

Faith Teams Church Contact Management Software Screenshot
Faith Teams has a mobile app available to iPhone and Android users to access the software while working remotely.

Faith Teams is a church membership software you can use to create a database so you can quickly access a list of your members, families, donors, and church workers. It allows you to input an unlimited number of entries, making it ideal for small churches and large churches. You can also use Faith Teams to track attendance, print name tags, and do child check-in during events and services.

Faith Teams is best for remote work because it has a mobile app version on iOS and Android mobile devices. Faith Teams is a cloud-based SaaS, so you can access crucial information anywhere you are. 

Faith Teams costs $40 per month and has a free 10-day trial period.

4. Church Office – Best for Workflow Automation

Church Office Church Contact Management Software Screenshot
You can use Church Office to set trigger responses to specific tasks like receiving alerts when a member signs up for a group or event.

Church Office is a church management system that lets you keep an updated church member record. This system has a group management capability to create groups, manage team members, and assign tasks using a single platform. It has a user-friendly mobile app that you can use to access Church Office tools using your mobile device so you can work remotely. 

Church Office is the best church management software if you want to streamline workflow through automation. You can automate tasks, follow-ups, and assignments. You can also create triggers for specific actions like sending a welcome note whenever new members sign up. This can help you take care of repetitive administrative tasks to concentrate on essential tasks that require immediate attention. 

Background checks are an add-on service so you can screen new members, volunteers, or staff members and protect the children in your congregation. 

Church Office’s pricing starts at $35.13 per month and goes up depending on the number of records you need to maintain. Church Office offers a free 30-day trial.  

5. Breeze ChMS – Best for Customized Directories

Breeze CHMS Church Contact Management Software Screenshot
Breeze allows you to create customizable people profiles to add tags and fields according to your requirements.

Breeze is an intuitive contact management software you can use to store and organize church members’ contact information and personal details. You can use Breeze to plan church events and manage their execution from budgeting, volunteer scheduling, event registration, and post-event assessment. Breeze also allows you to track donations and offer online and text giving within a unified system. 

Breeze is best for creating highly customized directories of church members because it allows users to create unique profile templates. You can add custom fields to profiles such as food allergies, dates for background check renewals, birthdates, and baptism dates. You can also import existing directories to Breeze without additional costs. 

Breeze costs $50 per month. 

6. Membee – Best for Churches of All Sizes

Membee Church Contact Management Software Screenshot
Membee allows users to customize their account settings to reflect tags and dropdown choices that reflect their church’s unique needs.

Membee is a contact management software you can use to manage church membership sign-ups and renewals. It has built-in website analytics and SEO features to quickly determine areas for improvement and put into action intervention programs. You can use it to automate your donation system and provide donors with tax-compliant receipts. 

Membee is the best church management system for churches of all sizes because it provides unlimited sign-up forms. You can also customize your Membee account to reflect custom dropdown choices and tags to fit your church’s requirements. You can use Membee to store members’ credit card details to make donations, tithes, and event payments easier.   

Membee’s pricing is $179 per month, with an option to pay $44 per month for every administrator you want to add. 

7. FlockBase – Best for Accounting Features

FlockBase Church Contact Management Software Screenshot
FlockBase has accounting capabilities allowing users to track income, donations, expenses, and balances.

FlockBase is a church management solution that allows users to manage membership data and contact information. It has attendance tracking functionality so church leaders can track which events draw members and improve events with low attendance numbers. FlockBase equips church leaders with communication tools to send mass emails and text messages to reach their flock quickly. 

FlockBase is the best church management solution for those who need a financial management tool because it has a built-in accounting tool enabling users to track funds. You can use FlockBase to pay church employees and comply with IRS regulations. It also has robust reporting capabilities allowing users to track income, expenses, and balances for better records reconciliation. 

FlockBase basic plan costs $16 per month, plus plan for $29 per month and pro plan for $59 per month and offers a 2-week free trial period. 

8. Elexio – Best for Workflow Automation

Elexio Church Contact Management Software Screenshot
You can use Elexio’s workflow automation feature to automate simple tasks like sending a welcome note to new members.

Elexio is a membership management software that allows you to manage church members’ personal information, contact information, interaction history, and documents. It has an intuitive mobile app version that church members can use to update their profiles, ensuring that church records are accurate. Elexio has volunteer management capabilities, so you can organize groups, assign tasks, send communications, track attendances and evaluate them to make resource handling efficient. 

Elexio is the best church management solution for church leaders who want to streamline their workflow because of its automation capabilities. You can use Elexio to automate simple yet repetitive tasks such as sending a welcome note to new members and scheduling a phone call to members who frequently miss services. You can automate the sending of thank you notes and receipts to donors to make them feel appreciated. 

Elexio’s pricing starts at $35.13 per month and offers a free 30-day trial. 

9. SimpleChurch CRM – Best for Donation Management

SimpleChurch CRM Church Contact Management Software Screenshot
SimpleChurch CRM makes donating easier for members by giving them freedom over how they make their donations and control over the information they provide.

SimpleChurch CRM is a membership management software that you can use to record members’ names, addresses, contact information, and pictures. You can use the software to create directories of members that you can use as reference when planning fundraising events, worship services, and team-building activities. It has a mobile app version you can use to add new members, access information, assign tasks and view interactions while working remotely. 

SimpleChurch CRM is best for churches looking for donation management software because it provides members with a wide range of donating options like text giving and online giving. SimpleChurch can help encourage giving because it allows members to control their giving methods. On the other hand, church administration can use this donation management tool to automatically and accurately record donation transactions. 

SimpleChurch CRM pricing starts at $35.13 a month and offers a 30-day free trial. 

10. ChurchStaq – Best for Community Building

ChurchStaq CRM Church Contact Management Software Screenshot
ChurchStaq can help users build a community by making it easier to organize events such as worship services, team building activities, and community outreach programs.

ChurchStaq is a software solution you can use to store member records containing personal information, contact information, pictures, notes, and documents. It has a messaging feature you can use to send text messages and emails to members of your congregation. ChurchStaq also has a donation management feature you can use to encourage online donations, text to give, and automated donations.

ChurchStaq is best for those looking for a church community builder tool because it allows users to create events that foster camaraderie among church members. You can use ChurchStaq to engage members in volunteer and outreach activities. ChurchStaq makes planning worship services easier by helping you organize church groups into units with specific tasks and responsibilities. 

ChurchStaq pricing is available by request from its website. 

Other Contact Management Tools for NGOs

Here’s a few more that didn’t make the top list. They are less specialized than our top tools but excel in the fact they have free or low-cost plans that are perfect for non-profit organizations.

  1. MailChimp – Best e-newsletter builder
  2. Freshworks CRM Free Plan – Best for more traditional marketing efforts 
  3. Copper – Best for congregations under 2500 people 

What software do churches use?

Aside from contact management software, churches also use other software to deal with different aspects of the ministry including:

How do churches keep track of members?

Most churches keep physical records of their members, but they can also benefit from contact management software to digitize records keeping to make it easy to update. 

Keep track of donations, funds, and so much more with the help of the tools in our list of the 10 Best Church Accounting Software Of 2022.

What Do You Think About These Contact Management Software?

Contact management software can help provide churches with a way to maintain an accurate record of their members. This can help make it easy for church leaders to reach out to members to provide better services. If your church doesn’t have contact management software, get one now to spend less time recording your members’ contact information and more time expanding your ministry. Visit The Lead Pastor to know more about other software that can help your church reach its full potential. 

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Article How To

How To Build And Lead A Worship Team

The time has come; you have finished bible college ready to take on a new leadership role as a worship pastor. Or maybe you have recently planted a new church or inherited a struggling worship team. Whatever it may be, you find yourself starting a new worship team. 

It’s exciting and maybe a bit overwhelming. Where does one start? In this article, we will talk through how to build and lead a worship team!

Some topics we will cover in this article are:

Back in 2011 my husband and I had just moved to a new city. We were eager to find a new church family, so for a few months we tried different churches. We had heard of a new church plant that had just started and we were eager to try it out. 

After the first Sunday morning we attended, we were hooked. We knew we had found our new church family. It was a young church with a group of about 40 people. The service was a little rough, but there was an authenticity that we loved about it. We were excited to join this new worship team in our new church. 

Fast forward 6 months and the senior pastor sat my husband and I down and asked us if we would create and lead a worship team. Whoa! Talk about pressure. I had been involved with training and leading worship teams in the past, and had attended Bible College, but was I really equipped to start from scratch with a 4 person team? 

Establishing Guidelines For Your Worship Team

The first thing I had to establish was, what culture did I want for this worship team? What was my vision for the team? And what expectations did I have for this team?

As a worship pastor, your first priority is to lead your team well, and a huge aspect of that is creating the culture of the team. The culture of the team determines the effectiveness of the team. If you create a culture of camaraderie, connectedness, and encouragement, your worship ministry will be much more effective.

The first step in creating a culture of camaraderie and connectedness is to communicate clear guidelines and expectations right at the start. 

Clear expectations are actually comforting for team members. Knowing what’s expected allows the worship team to relax. There’s nothing more frustrating for a volunteer than committing to something and then finding out they’re expected to do things that they aren’t prepared or qualified to do.

What Worship Team Guidelines Should Cover

Some topics to cover in your worship team guidelines are:

  • Your team’s mission statement
  • Your vision for the worship ministry
  • Expectations around commitment and attending rehearsals
  • Rehearsal schedules
  • Standards for musicians and worship leaders
  • Skills and responsibilities
  • Dress code 
  • Communication tools that the team will use, such as Planning Center

If you want to see some more samples or download a worship team guidelines template, check out my article on how to create worship team guidelines

Worship Team Auditions

Once I had established the guidelines and expectations for being involved in the worship team, it was time to grow the team. 

In some circles, auditioning for a worship band has been a taboo concept. There is an argument that worship bands don’t need perfectionism or professional musicians, and that it’s about our worship to God, and that we need to look at the heart, not about how skilled we are on a Sunday morning. 

But is that really true? How does God really feel about the quality of our music? Does He care about skill or talent during a worship service? Does He care if we can’t play the worship songs well?

Many don’t think He cares at all. Many people believe as long as you are singing good theological songs, nothing else matters. “Let the Holy Spirit do its thing” is what I have often heard. This argument will often arise when people are being pushed past their comfort zones and don’t want to deal with all the practice and rehearsals. I have seen this many times, as not everyone wants to put in the hard work.

Holding auditions for your team is a really easy way to understand and observe a musician’s skill level and desire to serve. It’ll help connect people’s skills to where they can best serve in the church. The end result, a growing and thriving worship team that is passionate about the presence of God, is worth it.

The most important thing to remember when you audition musicians is that it is always easier to add a member to the team than to remove them from the team. No one wants that awkward conversation—been there, done that, never want to do it again.

Take your time in adding members to the worship team. Thankfully, the Lord doesn’t expect a certain sound or instrument to be playing when we are praising him, so we shouldn’t feel any pressure to add a bass player or drummer to the worship band as soon as possible.

Finally, a worship team audition should be a fun experience. It’s important that everyone who auditions feels encouraged, no matter how well they have done or how successful they were.

For more ideas on how to audition your worship band, see my previous article here.

Worship Team Training

Now that you have created your worship team, it’s time to do some training. Wait? Training? If we have set a standard of expectations and you held auditions, why do we need to train? 

Training a worship team, whether it’s musical or nonmusical training, is an important aspect in leading your team. 

Leading worship, as you know, is not just about singing. There are a lot of balls to juggle. Just because the team has the musical ability and all the skills to sound great does not mean that the team has the skills to lead worship. The opposite is also true; if they are not the strongest musicians, this doesn’t necessarily mean that they can’t lead worship. 

“The Lord does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” (1 Samuel 16v7) In the same way, worship leaders should look beyond just talent and look at the heart of their musicians. That being said, the more skillful the team is on their instruments, the more comfortable they will be on a Sunday. This will also draw the congregation into worship more effectively. 

If the musicians and vocalists are having to think too much about playing their piano or guitar, or which chords to play, then they’re not going to be able to fully worship God and lead people to Him as easily. Training and practice will assist team members in this, and if they are constantly improving on their instrument, they will be able to focus more on worshipping. 

For more on how to conduct worship team training, read my article here!

Tips For Leading Worship Teams

Here are my top three tips for leading worship teams effectively and with grace.

1. Build Relationships

Relationships are a huge aspect of your role in building a worship team. Be intentional about developing strong relationships with not only your senior pastor but any support staff as well. 

I can not emphasize this enough. Build strong relationships with your worship team. When tension and storms come to your church and ministry, which I am sorry to say will come, a strong relational connection will help weather those storms.

At my church, we would hold a team night once a month, where we would come together as a team to share food, pray together, and just have some fun. It was a great way to break through relational barriers and to get to know the team members in personal ways. 

Ask them about their families, how their jobs are going, and their hobbies. When your team feels cared for, the bonds between them will strengthen. If they are only looked at as a drummer for Sunday service and as having no value outside of that, this will cause resentment and hurt feelings.  

Although completing tasks is an important part of the worship leading process, it is secondary to relationships—first with God and secondly with each other. If we miss this, we miss everything.

2. Communication

Let’s be honest, there is nothing more annoying than a person with bad communication skills. A great way to honor your team is by practicing good and clear communication. If the idea of phone calls and emails stresses you out, take steps to move past this. 

Promptly returning emails and phone calls is such an important tool in building trust and cohesiveness with your team. Set aside time each day to check your emails, respond to worship team members, and clear your inbox. Don’t allow it to pile up. Focus on this as an utmost priority, because it is.

Stay connected by keeping your contacts organized with these tools: 10 Best Church Contact Management Software [2021]

3. Organization 

Serve your team well by being organized. Have the schedule nailed down on your communication or team management software, plan out rehearsals in advance, and have the setlist out early enough so the team can practice.

A lack of organization can be frustrating to your musicians and singers. So jump into the organization aspect with excellence. Your team will love you, and thank you for this! 

Related Read: 10 Best Church Management Software For Small Churches

Now What?

After all this, the hard work begins. Probably not what you want to hear, right?

While many musicians excel at being relaxed and carefree, the job of the music director or worship pastor can be quite stressful sometimes. There are a lot of moving parts in the worship ministry, and many people to lead and care for.

While being prepared and organized is an essential part of the role, remember that there are times when it will be necessary to relax and have fun! After all, your volunteers are there because they love music and using their talents to serve. 

You want to preserve those passions and foster a team that people are excited to be a part of. As a worship pastor, you will have many moments of exercising your patience. In times of frustration, remember why you are there and why you took the position in the first place. 

If you have any other suggestions or tips for leading a worship team, put them in the comments below, I would love to hear what has worked for other people!

Moving forward, you’re going to need help managing your growing church. Here’s our list of the 10 Best Free Church Management Software.

And as your church grows, you’re going to need the tools to manage your facilities. We came up with a list of the 10 Best Church Facility Management Software to get you started.

Categories
How To

Worship Team Training: An In-Depth Guide For Worship Leaders

Worship team training can be a little daunting. Not all of us worship pastors were high school band teachers, so the idea of having to train worship team members can be a little overwhelming.

Perhaps you inherited a worship team that is struggling or has little training, or maybe you want to spruce up the team you have now with some extra mentoring.

This article will take you through some worship team training ideas. 

In this article I will talk about:

Why Do We Train Worship Teams?

Putting together a worship team is an important task. You are essentially creating a worship ministry that will take the local church on a journey with the Holy Spirit into the heights and depths of the presence of God. 

Think of this “bike analogy”: You can’t steer a bike unless the bike is moving. If the bike is staying put, you can move the front wheel back and forth, but that bike isn’t going to move! There needs to be pedaling and momentum to get the bike to steer in the direction you want. In the same way, our worship team needs to be moving and going forward as we lead worship. 

Also, if there are parts of the bike that are not working properly or cohesively, that bike journey is going to be tough, and you may not get far. Likewise, for our worship teams, if everyone on the team is an expert at their instrument and has amazing skill, but they don’t have purity of heart, humility, or integrity, that team won’t be able to take the church anywhere.

Or the opposite can happen. They may have hearts pure and ready for worship, but they continually play wrong notes or sing off key. This can be a major distraction for church worship and cause a lot of road bumps along the journey. 

Need help coming up with guidelines? Check this out: How To Create Worship Team Guidelines (with examples & template)

Non Musical Training vs Musical Training 

We have to remember something important with our worship teams. Not all worship team training is about the musicianship. Although playing the right notes or electric guitar riffs is important, we need to also talk about the non musical aspects of the worship team, like our passion and spiritual growth. 

Leading your local church in worship is a sacred, holy responsibility that God has entrusted us with as we partner with him. Whether you are a worship pastor, back up vocalist, electric guitar player, bass player, or on the visuals team, the church is led into the Presence of God not just by that person’s instrument, sound, and skill, but more importantly, their heart. 

Non Musical Training

Here are three tips for non-musical worship team training.

1. Be Encouraging  

Encouraging your worship team can be super powerful. As you know, Sundays can be draining, and even preparation throughout the rest of the week can be hard or discouraging.

A weekly email or text out to the team might seem like such a small thing, but it could be a huge motivator to them. Be genuine in your encouragement, even pointing out specific things that you appreciate about the team. 

For example, my team has a WhatsApp group chat where we send encouragement to each other and funny worship YouTube videos. It’s been a great tool to keep the team connected and encouraged throughout the week. 

Creating a culture of encouragement will be an asset, not only for your team, but for the wider church. This culture of encouragement can be a great foundation for the worship team. If members are feeling encouraged and loved, this will help the team in their growth. 

When the team feels encouraged, this will also help them to receive any training or correction with love. Your team should never feel like you are judging them, especially in this very vulnerable area of worship. Applaud the efforts you see in them, and make sure that you balance your critiques with lots of love and encouragement. 

Tell them often that you’re proud of them when they take steps in the right direction.

2. Instill Passion In Your Team

This can be a tricky thing sometimes. How do you train your worship team to be full of passion? The first thing to do is to teach what the bible says on “expressive worship”

  • Psalm 47:1 – “Clap your hands, all you nations; shout to God with cries of joy.”
  • Psalm 63:4 – “I will praise You as long as I live, and in Your name I will lift up my hands.”
  • Psalm 95:6– “Come let us bow down in worship, let us kneel before the Lord our Maker.”
  • Psalm 149:3 – “Let them praise His name with dancing and make music to him with tambourine and harp.”

It’s also important to encourage your team to feel “released” in their worship. Continue encouraging them to feel free to worship expressively, even right before the team is about to go on stage.

It’s also important to model this. Your team should be able to look to you for what’s appropriate for the platform. Make sure you’re walking the talk.

Another great training tool is to record your Sunday morning services. We once set up an iphone to do a wide shot of the stage, and afterwards as a team we did a playback and watched it together. Many musicians were surprised to see how “miserable” they looked; they had no idea what their faces looked like.

Often you won’t need to point it out or say much. The goal is that they see the difference between what they think they are projecting and reality. This often is enough for them to change on their own. 

3. Foster Spiritual Growth Among Your Team

If the members of a worship team do not have a healthy relationship with God, they will not be able to effectively lead worship – no matter how incredible of a musician or singer they are. 

The best thing you can do as a worship leader is lead by example. Dedicate yourself to spending time with God and His Word daily. Your worship ministry will be inspired by your faith and joy, and you can begin mentoring them in this area. 

Other ideas for sparking spiritual growth in your team: 

  • Start a devotional with your team
  • Spend time at your rehearsals praying for the church and each other 
  • Spend a good chunk of your rehearsal time worshipping; you can’t lead people where you haven’t been
  • Start a team night once a month where you not only spend time learning new songs but spend time as a team praying and worshipping together 

Musical Training 

Here are some notes on training both instrumentalists and vocalists.

Training Instrumentalists

Getting a great rhythm sound from part-time musicians can often be challenging, especially if you have a band where instrumentalists are changing every Sunday as the schedule changes. 

Here are some practical skills you can work on as a team to help you get to the next level.

  • Make sure everyone is listening to each other when they play.
  • All players need to develop a good sense of time. Practicing with a click track can really help. If you don’t have access to click tracks, there are online metronomes you can use. 
  • Decide which instruments will be the lead sound on the different songs you practice, and run through those songs, choosing a different instrument each time.
  • Each instrumentalist should learn or know how to read a basic chord chart.
  • Practice playing by ear.
  • Regularly give the team new songs to listen to and learn. This will help them grow in their playing and stay challenged.
  • Practice how to play spontaneously. This will help in the flow of your Sunday morning worship, and with transitioning between songs. It can be as simple as deciding on a 4 chord progression.

Training Vocalists 

Investing time into your vocalists is so important. Sometimes we tend to focus on musicians only as they do carry a lot of musical responsibility. When we focus on training our vocalists to sing with excellence, they will be more equipped to lead with confidence and sing from their hearts. 

When you work with vocalists, here are some skills and abilties to consider working on:

  • Correctly singing harmonies and melodies
  • Properly listening to and blending with other voices
  • Staying on tempo without rushing or lagging
  • Breathing in the same place
  • Holding notes the same length
  • Memorizing the lyrics and enunciating properly
  • Singing into a microphone properly
  • Body language, like smiling when singing
  • Vocal warmups they can easily do at home

Lastly, make sure to encourage singers to still worship as they sing, which is of course the most important part!

Here is a great vocalist training manual to give you some more tips. 

How To Raise Up New Worship Leaders 

Having someone you have mentored rise up and become a worship leader themselves has to be the most amazing thing. It’s my absolute favourite thing to see. 

Mentoring a team member to become a worship leader takes time. It also takes commitment on their part and yours. But I can’t say it enough — it’s absolutely worth it.  

Raising up worship leaders is a major part of strengthening your worship ministry. There are 4 major steps in this process.

1. Find Team Members With Potential 

Always be on the lookout for team members who may be potential worship leaders. Do they have strong musical talent? Strong leadership skills? A strong worshipper with a heart for serving God? If so, encourage them to think about or try worship leading. 

2. Give Them A Song To Lead During Rehearsals

Find a song that they love to sing, and have them lead the song during rehearsal.  This helps them get the feel for leading a song and gives you an opportunity to observe.

Then, when they become comfortable with that, encourage them to lead the band during worship rehearsal, and encourage them to lead the team like the worship pastor would, to see their comfort level and ability.

Here’s a list of tools that will help make these decisions easier: 10 Best Worship Software & Tools For Your Church

3. Co-Leading

Once you feel that they have become confident in song leading, it’s time to get them to lead people. Organize a service for you two to co-lead. Invite them to work with you on building a worship set list. Get them to welcome everyone or to pray. This will help the church get comfortable with being led by a new worship leader. 

4. Let Them Lead

Finally, let them lead. Be gracious with their mistakes. Understand they may be nervous, but let them lead. Encourage them to go for it, and remind them that you are there to jump in if they need help. 

This whole process may take a few weeks, or a few months, but be patient. Also, don’t wait until you are absolutely desperate for a worship leader. You don’t want to rush this process either. 

Other Worship Team Training Resources

You can also check out this great training course from Bethel Worship on how to thrive as a worship team. 

Shane & Shane started a worship training website with additional tutorials, and there’s also some great podcasts out there for worship leaders.

Make sure to check out my article on holding worship team auditions as well, if you’re looking for new members to join your team.

For more on worship teams and to connect with other worship leaders and church leaders, join The Lead Pastor community here.

Or if you’re looking to keep learning, here’s a list of tools you should check out: 10 Best Church Software for 2022

Categories
How To

Worship Team Auditions: Step-by-Step Process + Templates

I think most of us at some point may have experienced this:

You’re the worship pastor, the worship leader, the music minister, and you have some people on your team that can’t cut it. Their musicality is not great, they show up unpracticed and late, and yet somehow they have managed time to stop and grab a Starbucks. Their attitudes drain the life out of practice time, and they just don’t seem to take instruction or work with a team very well.

How did we get here? Either we inherited this worship team mess or we created this mess ourselves. None the less, it’s time for auditions!

In this article I will cover:

I’ll also include some templates in a downloadable pack to make the process easier.

The most important thing to remember about auditions is this: it’s always easier to add a member to the team than to take them off. Thankfully, God hasn’t required us to use a specific instrument or vocal part in praising him, so we shouldn’t feel any pressure to add a drummer, guitarist, pianist, or alto ASAP to the worship band.

Auditions will certainly look different depending on the size of the church, the skill level of the current musicians, and the discernment of the leader. 

Related List of Tools: 10 Best Worship Software & Tools For Your Church

New Church Or Church Plant Auditions

For a new church, I’d recommend a more casual audition process. 

  • You could invite any musicians who are interested over to your house to play and sing on a regular basis. This way you can see how well they play, get to know them, and their character without any expectation of being included on a Sunday morning. 
  • While the standards may be lower in a new or smaller church auditions, I’d make sure that everyone is skilled enough not to be a distraction. 
  • Finally, look for people who are eager to support your leadership, not people who feel they need to display their gifts. Remember that pride on the team will only cause problems later, and it’s a contradiction to our intentions to bring glory to God, not ourselves.

Below is an outline of how you can run an audition in an established church.

Before The Audition

Here are some things you need to do at least a couple weeks before the audition. You want to make sure you are prepared before audition day arrives.

1. Select A Date And Time For Auditions

The whole audition may take a couple hours. This depends on how many musicians have signed up. It usually takes 10 to 15 minutes to audition one person, so if you have 5 people sign up, you’re looking at about an hour to an hour and a half with transition times.

2. Create A Way For People To Sign Up

An easy option is Google Forms. It’s a free service that Google offers where you can make a signup form and include all the questions you want people to answer before the audition.

If a good old piece of paper is easier for you, then go for it! Get that table set up in the church lobby and have people sign up.

Musicians could also email the worship pastor to sign up for the audition.

Instead of specifying what instrument(s) you are looking for, you may want to just hold an “open audition”. You never know who might walk through that door!

Worship Team Audition Signup Sheet Template

I’ve made an example of a worship team audition signup sheet, which you can download in the pack at the end of this article.

Download Template Here

3. Communicate With People Before The Audition

Email everyone who signed up to let them know when and where the audition will be and what they can expect to happen. People will want to be as prepared as possible, which is awesome. You may want to send the music ahead of time as well. With this email you can also add another form for the potential team member to fill in. This form will give you a bit more information about the person, their desires with worship, and some of their musical history.

Sample Worship Team Audition Email Template

 You can download an example of the email I usually send in the pack at the bottom of this article—copy and adapt for your auditions.

Download Template Here

 Worship Team Audition Info Sheet Template

You can include these info sheets in your email to collect additional information from people who are auditioning for your worship team. Get the download in the pack at the bottom of this article.

Download Template Here

4. Assemble An Audition Panel

An audition panel is one of the things that will separate a formal audition from just listening to someone play. It’s probably best to have three or five people on the audition panel (preferably an uneven number). Your audition panel should be other worship team members, like worship leaders, vocalists, or instrumentalists who are either on your team or others you know and trust. You don’t want the decision to lay only in your hands. There is safety in numbers, especially when it comes to having someone fail an audition and you need to communicate that with them. 

Day Of Audition

The day of the audition is finally here. Here are some ideas on what to do the day of the audition.

Auditioning Singers

  • Ask them to come with voices warmed up and ready to sing.
  • Have them sing a well-known worship song that you will pick for them.
  • Take some time to figure out their vocal range and decide on the best key for them. Make sure it’s a key they feel comfortable and confident in.
  • Be on stage playing the song during the audition, and callout different parts of the song to see how they flow with the music.
  • Ask them to sing a spontaneous song or even a bible verse over a chord progression of your choosing. This can test their ear and their flow as a singer.
  • If there are any weaknesses or mistakes, kindly point them out and have them play the song through again, and see if there are any improvements.
  • Encourage them with the strengths you saw in them after the audition.

Auditioning Musicians

  • Give them a few minutes to get their gear setup and prepared, whether this is an acoustic guitar, electric guitar, drum kit, or another instrument.
  • Lead them through a well-known worship song, watching that they confidently follow the chord charts and make smooth transitions.
  • Have them play the song in different keys, transposing in their heads.
  • Have them play lead-line melodies or a spontaneous song.
  • If there are any weaknesses or mistakes, kindly point them out and have them play the song through again, and see if there are any improvements.
  • Encourage them with the strengths you saw in them after the audition.

When auditioning a potential team member for the worship team, remember that you’re not only looking for technical ability, you’re also looking at their musicianship. Pay attention to how it felt playing with them. Was it smooth sailing or did it seem like they were struggling or fighting the flow of the music?

It is better for your worship team to consist of you and a keyboard player than a worship team full of musicians that can’t play or worse off, don’t care. I am quite happy to have a smaller worship team that is tight than a huge team that doesn’t know what they’re doing. It’s ok to build your team slowly over time. 

Make sure that you and your audition panel have a plan figured out. Try to establish exactly what you are looking for, and the type of standards you are expecting. Are you looking only for perfect pitch and tone? If they make a mistake, are they out? It’s best not to be too picky, but you also don’t want to be too lenient either. 

Worship Team Audition Scoring Sheet Template

This is a really useful sheet you and your panel can use to score the auditions. Download this and the other audition materials below.

Download Template Here

After The Audition

The auditions may be done, but the tough work is just beginning. Here is what you should do after the auditions.

1. Confer With Your Panel

Chat with the panel immediately after the auditions, assessing each person’s strengths and weaknesses in a way that honours their audition.

2. Send An Email With Your Decision

When you and the other leaders have figured out results, send an email letting people know the results within 3-5 days of their audition. One of the best ways we can honor those who audition is by following up in a clear and timely manner.

The email can be simple but should include: encouragement on their audition, whether or not they passed the audition, and the next steps in the process.

Remember that sometimes instead of “no” we can respond with “not yet”. Are there some tips you can send them? Perhaps it’s a suggestion of lessons? If the musician does put in that work you have suggested, this shows not only that they are teachable, but willing to put in the work and effort.

If you feel that they will be better suited for another ministry instead, suggest that to them as well.

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Worship Team Audition Templates

Download all the templates mentioned in this article here:

Conclusion

It may sound cliché to say, but prayer is also a big part of this audition process. Ask the Lord to direct you in this decision process as well. As worship pastors it’s our mission to not just lead our worship ministry well, but to lead the worship team in submission to the Holy Spirit. He will be your best friend when it comes to building your worship team.

I have had incredible musicians audition, but after praying I had a sense from the Holy Spirit that it wouldn’t be a good fit. Later on, things came out that confirmed this decision. Going through the worship team audition process gives time for both you and that musician auditioning to get a feel for whether this is really going to work.

In the end it’s important to emphasize that musical skill is not the most important thing. Character and skill must go hand in hand when finding a team member.

Having the right tools will also help so here’s our list of the 10 Best Church Management Software for Small Churches to get your started!

For more on worship teams and church planting, sign up for The Lead Pastor community here!

Other Worship Team Audition Resources

Read about Bethel Church’s worship audition process.

See an example of a worship audition application from Elevation.