We live in an era where church technology resources are an essential part of any successful ministry. Statistics show that these resources can help churches and their staff members in many ways. These include enhancing worship, improving church communication, and automating administrative tasks.
Many people tend to associate technology with entertainment. Pope Francis once noted this among his congregants when they were using their phones to take photographs instead of concentrating on his sermon. Church leaders should set an example on proper usage of these resources in educating and strengthening congregations.
In this article, I’m going to share ten church technology resources you can use to guide your adoption of church technology.
Pushpay is a template that offers various important church technology resources for church leaders including:
On-demand Pushpay University lessons for church leaders
Tips on planning and managing church budget
Church management software
Custom-branded church Apps.
It is the 21st century and Church leaders should take full advantage of church technology resources to enhance their worship services. Are you looking to set your church up with a website but don’t know where to start?
Church leadership conferences are a great way for leaders to unwind from daily church life tasks. They are an opportunity to recharge, refresh, learn, collect resources and connect with other like-minded leaders.
These conferences have many benefits, and that is why church leaders set aside time every year to attend them. Some leaders choose to bring along other church staff so that they can learn and grow together.
In this article, we will share the ten best in-person and online church leadership conferences of 2021.
Best Church Leadership Conferences List
This a selection of the best church leadership conferences you can attend in 2021.
Dates: May 5, 2021 Price: $79 Location: Cincinnati, OH 45221, United States
This is a one-day annual leadership event targeting leaders attending individually or in small groups. The event is meant to inspire and help pastors better their leadership roles and attracts over 100,000 visionaries every year.
LeaderCast’s mission is to create confident and infectiously inspired leaders who spread their impact on others. They cover every aspect of what it is to be an effective leader.
The conference can be attended virtually, but you can still connect with other leaders in your area to enjoy the classes by leadership experts.
Thousands of church leaders from different places meet in Dallas, TX to be encouraged by God’s vision, refreshed among other servant-leaders, and get equipped with leadership roles to advance God’s ministry.
It is a three-day conference with a pre-conference workshop to give you personal training and an opportunity to learn from other ministry leaders.
Breakout sessions will equip and resource you in many areas. Ministry overviews, leadership developments, and culture-relevant topics are just a few areas that will be featured in the talks.
All attendees receive all breakout session audios, podcasts, and resources at no additional fee.
Dates: Available on request Price: Free Location: Online
Catalyst aims at empowering upcoming and existing leaders who love the gospel and want to be great revolutionaries in their churches. The Catalyst was purposely founded to strengthen and empower new crops of leaders across the globe.
It aims at unifying, challenging, and equipping these leaders with various traditions and church originations. Leaders who attend benefit from world-class mentorship from business leaders and celebrated biblical teachers coming from diverse backgrounds.
Catalyst is an online program available on-demand for leaders who want to benefit from both business and church leadership mentoring.
Dates: Available on-demand Price: Free Location: Online
The Association of Related Churches (ARC) Conference’s main aim is to help leaders, pastors, and future church planters build a relationship that can help local churches to prosper.
The ARC strongly believes in equipping leaders with proper leadership skills through sharing life experience stories. The conference focuses on sharing each others’ stories of love, perseverance, trials, and adventures that have shaped them into who they are.
This conference is available on demand. Christian leaders seeking to benefit can get more information from the ARC website about their conferences.
Dates: February 18, 2021 Price: $49 Location: Dallas, TX
The C3 conference is a one-day event of intensive coaching, teaching, and learning on ways to advance the church. At the C3 conference, experienced leaders answer tough questions on how they have maneuvered the challenging leadership journey.
This is an online conference and leaders can host other church staff for a watch party.
Dates: October 19-20, 2021 Price: $49 Location: Vista, CA
North Coast Training is a two-day practical tool for pastors and other church communicators. With break-out sessions and keynote speeches, your team will acquire knowledge and inspiration for foundational leadership and team building.
There will be both pre-conference and break-out sessions. Tickets are affordable at only $49 with lunch included. Church leaders are encouraged to bring along their teams to benefit.
The Exponential Conference is among the largest church-planting annual gatherings for church leaders. It offers church leaders an opportunity to meet with other God’s people and connect with other planters.
Attendees can choose from over 200 workshops aimed at specific planters’ needs. This conference will be a 3-day event aimed at educating and inspiring planters on their leadership roles.
Exponential Conference also has a provision for those who can’t afford both time and money to attend. Regional conferences are offered close to your homes. This is a great opportunity for those who would wish to bring along their teams.
That Church Conference is a two-day nonprofit online event for pastors and church leaders aimed at helping digital communicators enhance their communication and reach a wider audience through the gospel.
Attendees benefit from lessons by real practitioners. Topics covered include marketing, social media, technology, and communications.
Those who wish to benefit can either choose to sign up and watch live for free or buy a Replay Pass to watch later.
Dates: August 5 & 6, 2021 Price: $169 (individual), $149 (2+ attendees) Location: Great Hill Baptist Church, Austin, Texas, US
The Global Leadership Summit brings together thousands of growth-minded leaders from around the world.
You’ll experience highly interactive sessions that will leave you re-energized and with a clear vision. Business experts and church leaders will give talks on various faculties including:
Improving workplace civility
You can choose to attend either in-person or online.
Let Us Know Your Favorite
Church leadership conferences offer leaders an opportunity to learn and benefit those they lead. Congregations are encouraged to support their leaders and other church staff to attend these annual gatherings. Let us know if you have a favorite from the list above or if there are any you’d like to recommend. Experienced running a church? Interested in sharing knowledge and collaborating with other leaders? You can apply to join our community of experienced Lead Pastors here.
Technology is rapidly changing the way churches are welcoming people to worship services and sermons.
“Whether you are joining us in person or online, we invite you to experience our services and be a part of the Lakewood family.” This is how the nondenominational Lakewood Church in Houston, Texas, welcomes those who visit the church’s website. On March 15, 2020, 4.6 million worshippers accepted this invitation and followed the church’s live streaming service.
When the Covid-19 pandemic started wreaking havoc across the world at the beginning of 2020, church services had to be suspended in many parts of the world in compliance with government regulations. If this was a time to panic for many other businesses, the story was different for streaming platforms, businesses offering streaming software, and social media companies.
In this article, I focus on the 10 biggest live streaming churches. I will also look at the reasons the number of live streaming churches is growing. The article also identifies the software these churches use for video streaming of their Sunday service or any other services for that matter.
Churches Have Always Embraced Technology
Even though sermons on platforms like YouTube, Facebook Live, and Zoom may be gaining traction because of Covid-19, churches have been embracing technology for some time now. Before churches could live stream, many recorded their sermons and distributed them either for free or for a fee. Others had their Sunday services aired by major broadcasters.
An article published by TheGuardian.com tells the story of Prestonwood Baptist Church in Plano, Texas, and how it was already embracing basic software by 2008.
The Guardian reports that, as far back as 2008, the church was already using software to track children in church and register them for Bible studies. Congregants could also “go online to request counseling on a variety of spiritual and personal matters.”
In 2009, Daniel Terdiman wrote an article for the technology website Cnet.com entitled “Technology and the megachurch.” He starts his article with a question: “If you’re in charge of what is thought to be one of the most powerful, influential and important megachurches in the United States, if not the world, how do you make sure that your message is reaching the largest possible audience?”
The answer to Terdiman’s question comes easily for Brady Boyd, the lead pastor at the New Life Church: “technology.”
In case a one-word answer was not sufficient for Terdiman, Boyd extends his answer: “Churches have to stay current. We’re in the communications business.” Adding, “The whole purpose of a church is to communicate a message of truth … We have to stay informed, and we have to realize that most of the world is rapidly advancing in their ability to communicate.”
Why Churches Are Resorting To Live Streaming
Churches have always been conscious that technologies like video streaming could assist them in reaching bigger audiences. This is a view also acknowledged by the Japanese electronics manufacturer Panasonic. According to Panasonic, “Producing an immersive, remote worship experience can also extend the reach of your church beyond the local community and give congregants the opportunity to view missed services through on-demand video.”
Like all other sectors of society, churches realize that the consumption of messages is mostly happening online. This is a reality noted by commentators like Matt Binder, who writes for the digital media platform Mashable.com. The headline of his article tells the whole story: “The live streaming boom isn’t slowing down anytime soon.”
Referring to the future of worship services after the pandemic, Binder quotes Eli Noam, a Columbia Business School professor. Noam asks some pertinent questions: “If a church, for example, continues to Livestream services after the pandemic, will the elderly, sick, and people with children just find it easier to attend virtually? Will people participate in more services because it’s easier to attend from the comfort of home?
Binder quotes Noam saying, “Maybe the churches will be emptier but people’s religious lives will actually be enriched.” Adding, “This [live video] is not temporary; the temporary situation [pandemic] is the accelerant .”
Live Streaming Software For Churches
If the need for real-time church service broadcasting is growing, providers of church streaming software, streaming solutions, and technical support have not been left behind. Here are some of the live streaming service providers that make it possible for both large and small churches to live broadcast their sermons and services.
Boxcast: Live Streaming Software For All Worship House Sizes
If there is one video streaming service I see in every list of the best church streaming software, it’s Boxcast. Boxcast’s promise: “Whether your congregation has 1,000 members or 100, our features and plans have been crafted to meet the needs of both first-time broadcasters and seasoned streamers.”
You can live stream on the Boxcast free trial for 14 days before deciding whether the live streaming software is for you. If you decide that it is, pricing plans start at $99/month and go all the way to $999/month.
Wirecast: Best Church Streaming Software For Beginners
Describing the Wirecast video streaming service, the Director of Music Ministries at Fredericksburg United Methodist Church, Don Doss, says, “Yes, it’s true that the ‘BIG’ churches have all the cool equipment, but it’s also true that some smaller churches with smaller budgets can now produce quality video with the help of Telestream’s Wirecast software.”
Wirecast comes with a free 30-day trial limited to two Rendezvous guests and does not permit ISO recording (an isolated recording of one camera in a multi-camera production). The service has two paid plans for both Mac and Windows: Wirecast Studio ($599) and Wirecast Pro ($799).
“Whether you’re a Photoshop expert or technology isn’t your friend, we’ve got you covered. Create beautiful graphics with our built-in editor.” This is how the developers of Propresenter market their software.
Among the several features, you’ll find on Propresenter is the ability to record your screen for further editing, switch video outputs, and capture and output audio. The service also presents live streaming tutorials on its website.
Propresenter has a free version, which is not designed to be used in front of an audience. The HoW (House of Worship) plan starts at $399 per year for a new account or $275 per year when renewing.
Dacast: Best Live Streaming Solution For Churches On A Budget
Visit Dacast.com, and you will realize that this live stream software promises every feature and functionality a live streaming church service needs. The service has 24/7 support, high-quality live streaming with top-tier CDNs, an all-device HTML5 player, VODs and live video integration, and customization that allows users to monetize their videos.
Another valuable Dacast feature is that it allows you to set up multiple bitrate streams using Wirecast video or vMix broadcasting software. These multiple bitrate streams ensure that your live streams can be watched on different devices and internet connections with varying bandwidths.
Dacast has a free 30-day trial. Paid plans start at $39 a month.
vMix: Best For Building A Custom Live Production System
vMix is a software video switcher and mixer that also functions as a live streaming software that works on Windows. Some of the software’s features include “LIVE mixing, switching, recording and LIVE streaming of SD, full HD and 4K video sources including cameras, video files, DVDs, images, [and] Powerpoint.”
The vMix software is customizable, based on the user’s production needs. All these features can be enjoyed on a free 60-day trial. Paid plans start with the Basic HD, which costs $60, and go all the way to the Pro plan that costs $1200. The software’s developers say that “Each purchase does not expire and includes Free Version Updates for one year from the date of purchase.”
“Video streaming simple enough for a church plant, powerful enough for worldwide ministry.” This is how Churchstreaming.tv advertises its service. The software makes it possible for a church service to be broadcast to various sources like YouTube, Facebook, or Apple TV.
Churchstreaming.tv also frees bandwidth with real-time transcoding. The streaming solution allows for plugins that make it possible to customize viewer layout by embedding navigation links.
Churchstreaming.tv has a free 30-day trial. Paid plans are based on the number of hours you need per month, the resolution, and video storage capacity. The plans start with the basic plan at $79/month. The Advanced Plan is the most expensive at $139 a month.
If your church is still new and wants to use free live stream software, the best place to find this is at Open Broadcast Software (OBS). Even though OBS is free, it compares well to other church streaming software out there. For example, it doesn’t restrict the number of scenes you can seamlessly switch between using custom transitions.
The OBS project is sponsored by several tech giants, including Facebook and YouTube.
mimoLive provides professional live streaming tools for live streaming to Apple products, including Mac, iPad, and iPhone. The software promises “an all-in-one live switcher, video encoder, editor, and streaming software for Mac. It enables you to switch multiple cameras, insert presentations, add graphics, overlay lower-thirds, social media comments, transparency with green screens.”
mimoLive’s 14-day free trial allows you to test drive the product. If you like it at the end of 14 days, you can get the Studio License at the cost of $699 per year or $69.99 per month.
StreamShark: Best For Churches That Want A Month-To-Month Solution
The developers of StreamShark say that they “understand the pressures involved when live streaming.” Consequently, they have designed a workflow that aims to “ease the burden on the stream operator.”
StreamShark’s leading features include instant stream archiving, real-time statistics showing viewer engagement, and live DVR rewind that allows viewers who join late to rewind and see areas they have missed.
StreamShark’s pricing starts at $199 per month, and the most expensive plan is $999 per month. The advantage of using this software is that you can cancel your plan anytime.
To show how easy the developers of TruthCasting believe their software is, they say, “If you can count to three, then you can live stream.” The software can be used whether you’re streaming from a webcam or a professional video camera.
You can also use any encoder to send your video to the streaming platform. As long as audiences have an internet connection, they can view videos broadcast through TruthCasting on any device, wherever they are.
TruthCasting offers a 15-day free trial. Churches with less than 2,000 members pay $39.95 a month to broadcast. YouTube and Facebook Live add-ons are available at $10 per month.
10 Biggest Streaming Churches
Here are some of the biggest streaming churches I found on YouTube. To determine how big a church is, I looked at the number of subscribers it has on YouTube.
Lakewood Church & Joel Osteen
Together, Lakewood Church and Joel Osteen (its pastor) have 2,202,000 subscribers on YouTube. According to Osteen’s YouTube channel, “More than 10 million viewers watch his weekly inspirational messages through television, and over 60 million people connect with Joel through his digital platforms worldwide.”
Lakewood Church’s live stream goes out every Saturday at 7 pm and Sundays at 8:30 am and 11:00 am CST. Apart from delivering the message to its 304,000-audience on YouTube, Lakewood Church also uses Facebook Live.
The work of Elevation Church is evident in its mission statement: “Elevation Church exists so that people far from God will be raised to life in Christ.” This Church does not seem to only target those far from God with its live streams; it’s also connecting those far from the church or each other.
The Elevation Church’s YouTube channel has around 1.99 million subscribers. The church’s YouTube worship channel has 2.85 million subscribers. It uses Vimeo and Comcast Technology Solutions as its video hosting solutions.
The mission of Hillsong Church is “To reach and influence the world by building a large Christ-centered, Bible-based church, changing mindsets and empowering people to lead and impact in every sphere of life.” If Hillsong’s online following can be used to assess how well the church is living up to its mission, then it’s clear that the church is succeeding.
With 409,000 subscribers on YouTube, Hillsong says that it has a global audience of 150,000 every week. Its video hosting platform is YouTube and Vimeo.
Saddleback Church’s motto is “one family, many locations.” With 389,000 subscribers on YouTube, this is a motto that the church seems to be living by. Its YouTube channel has more than 53,930,000 views.
Saddleback Church uses YouTube and JW Player as its hosting services.
Life.Church has a dedicated online service. The church has a message for those searching for meaning, connection, community, truth, and answers: “This is where you’ll find it.” Through its streaming service, Life. Church invites everyone to “come to join a community of people from around the world who are discovering answers, truth, and what it means to belong.”
According to Life. Church, has more than 90 online services every week on five platforms, accessible on any device. Its video hosting service is YouTube and Wistia.
With its live streams, Bethel TV calls itself “your front-row seat to all that God is doing at Bethel.” The church invites all to “Watch anytime, anywhere.” This is an invitation that 296,000 people have already responded to on YouTube, where it has more than 33,500,000 views.
Bethel TV’s hosting platform is JW Player.
International House of Prayer
The International House of Prayer‘s (IHOPKC) mission statement reads, “The IHOPKC community exists to partner in the Great Commission by advancing 24/7 prayer with worship and proclaiming the beauty of Jesus and His glorious return.”
A church that uses 24/7 to describe anything certainly needs some streaming service. This is what IHOPKC is doing using its YouTube channel that has over 296,000 subscribers.
The VOUS Church says that it has a simple mission: “to bring those who are far from God close to him.” The church has a dedicated team called the Crew Live that live streams to the church’s 194,000 YouTube subscribers.
REVERE is a community of worshippers with 181,000 subscribers on YouTube. The church says that Christianity experienced a massive shift a generation ago when “The formality of corporate worship gave way to ‘intimacy,’ and we were forever changed.”
Church presentation software helps churches engage with their congregation during a service. The software solution enables congregation participation during a church service by making song lyrics, video, PowerPoint, Keynote, sermon notes, Bible scripture, and information visible on a large screen or screens.
Also known as church projection software or worship presentation software it’s the best presentation solution for projecting song lyrics during worship and share Bible verses during preaching in a service or meeting.
But what is the best church presentation software in 2021? Whether projecting video files, sermon notes, PowerPoint from a Windows PC or Keynote from a Mac OS, find check out our pick of the best cross platform solutions allowing Linux or operating system agnostic support, in our list below. We’ve included some free church presentation software along with open source, and Android remote app options as well as paid options with ease of use, top of mind in our selection.
Best Church Presentation Software
OpenSong – Best free, open-source church presentation software
OpenLP – Best free church presentation software for Linux and FreeBSD
Church presentation software could be the tool you need for creating presentations that can be displayed at church services and church events.
The software allows you to display and present song lyrics, Bible passages and quotes, as well as announcements, and updates on a screen so that it’s visible to everyone in the congregation.
Some presentation tools can also integrate with online Bible resources and song repositories to fetch content and stream it live during sermons, prayer meetings and church services.
Why use church presentation software?
Church presentation software helps to make your church service accessible to the whole congregation. With a dynamic presentation displaying lyrics and scripture, the congregation can join in together. Here’s why you should consider using the software for your church:
Enables congregation participationduring worship In the past song sheets or song books have been used but with church presentation software, this is no longer necessary. When song lyrics are projected onto a big screen, or screens, it means that the whole congregation can easily read the song and sing along without getting lost. It makes the service accessible to everyone, to the same extent, without having prior knowledge of the song.
Provides the congregation with quick (and multilingual) access to scripture Many people don’t want to carry around a Bible with them, as they’ll use their phone instead. But using church presentation software for sharing scripture references means your congregation don’t get distracted while they start looking up Bible verses! What’s more, some solutions have multilingual functionality and can simultaneously display scripture in multiple languages which can be great for multilingual congregations.
Provides easy access to important information Church presentation software enables you to share your church notices and announcements either passively before and after the service, or together with verbal announcements.
Church presentation software functionality
Many of the church presentation software include feature rich functionality for the needs of churches to allow seamless church presentations:
Presentation streaming for worship services
Scripture database to display bible verses
Video file playing from worship software
Custom slides to allow a slideshow of notices or information
Slide integration from Windows or Mac PowerPoint, Mac Keynote, or Google Slides
Layout management and customizable slide layouts
Multi-Screen display support
Multilingual Bible and Bible translation support
Drag and drop presentation tools
Media library to allow playlist support including Spotify, YouTube or VLC
Keep reading this post to find all you need to know about the best church website builders for 2021.
We assessed each website builder’s ease of use, features, integrations, customization options, value for money and pricing, templates, and put their website building and website design through their paces.
Keep reading this post so you can build your new website and choose a website builder for your church that suits you and your church best.
Best Church Website Builder Shortlist
WordPress – Best for church website future flexibility
SquareSpace – Best for easily creating a beautiful design
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
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.
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 maybe be important. A range of contact forms will also help to build your church and ability to 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.
Extendibility: As your church grows, you want a website builder that can keep up – think about what church software you need to integrate with, what add-ons are available, plugins you can use,
Church app: A church app can be a great way to engage your church on the go through their mobile devices. By having a church app that runs from the same content and data as the church website, it’s less administration and useful to remind members of events, host the church podcast, enable giving, and more.
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 that has a wide variety of church website content templates and 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 like 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 Builder
Here’s a brief description of each of the church website builder on my list, showing what it does best, plus screenshots to showcase some of the features.
1. WordPress – Best for church website future flexibility
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
Xero – Best accounting software for small churches
Church accounting software is simply 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 usually from regular tithing, and giving, as well as managing fundraising, gift days, grants. It includes budgeting management, expense tracking, and provides an accounting solution for tracking the pay of vendors or staff.
Most churches are registered as nonprofit or have charity status. Because of this, church accounting software offers similar functionalities as traditional nonprofit software, such as donor management and fundraising. It’s no surprise that these accounting features can be found in many standard accounting software solutions.
Many churches don’t have experienced accountants on staff, so the needs of churches are perhaps 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 be helpful for presenting a church’s financial picture to church members and stakeholders.
How Much Do Church Accounting Software Programs Cost?
Most church accounting software is cloud-based and available for a monthly subscription. The convenience of having the platform online eliminates the need for churches to buy the right computer for their software. In most cases, any current computer with internet access will do.
We found that subscription-based church accounting software typically ranges from $16 to $79 per month, with $350 being the high end. Many offer tiered pricing options based on the features a church needs. Higher tiers 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 solution:
Accounting: Covers things such as 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 (or be replaced) with a donor management, fundraising, or fund accounting functionality.
Payroll: Manages employee compensation: wage calculation, ACH deposits, check printing, and compensation tax reports
Donor management & fundraising: Know how much each member has given on a weekly, monthly, quarterly or annual basis and provide annual giving statements to the members for tax reporting purposes. Solicit donations with targeted campaigns. Create campaigns that to encourage smaller donors to contribute more.
Membership tracking: Manage information on your members such as attendance, frequency of gifts, personal information such as address, volunteer details, interested, activities, and more. Analyze trends to see when attendance is increasing/decreasing.
Benefits of Church Accounting Software
The best kind of church organization has taken advantage of two things: knowledge, and efficiency. While recording information via paper spreadsheets may be cost-effective, is not the most efficient way of your 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.
Organize Your Member Contributions and Attendance
A majority of church income comes from member contributions, so tracking member contributions is a needed function to give you insight into how much each member has given on a weekly, monthly, quarterly, or annual basis. Now 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.
Having more advanced reporting on who is giving, and when, can help you solicit donations with targeted campaigns. Larger donors can be targeted for capital campaigns, or even encouraged to have the church listed as a beneficiary when they are creating their estate plans. Smaller donors can be worked to contribute more frequently based on numerous small events or projects the church may be working on.
Get A Better Grasp At Finances With Church Accounting
Accounting will work as accounting should. So what features make it exclusive to managing a church organization?
One ability that may go overlooked is the ability to print accounts payable and payroll checks in a self-mailer format. Mailings may seem like a thing of the past with the prevalence of emails and online newsletters, but sometimes an old-fashioned mailer sent to a members home is a great reminder of their past gifts and an easy way to encourage them to keep giving. It is especially beneficial for the technology-averse crowd.
Nonprofits should look for a solution with the intent of saving time. Online training is a great tool for self-paced learning, which is beneficial when you have a part-time staff composed of volunteers.
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
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.
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 2021.
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:
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.
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 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.
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1. Wild Apricot – Best free church management software for small churches
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.
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 app, 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.
Great integration with 3rd party financial partners
Some features like check-in don’t always work reliably.
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!
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.
Very affordable, tiered pricing based on church size
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.
6. Blackbaud – Best for managing people, ministries, and payments, all in one place
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.
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.
A choice between cloud-based or on-site installation.
No monthly subscription for on-site installations and cost varies based on church size
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
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.
Unlimited access to technical support and training resources
Competitive monthly pricing based on church size
The desktop app is Windows only
The complex interface requires some technical knowledge
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.
Choose between an on-site or cloud-based solution
The desktop app requires an expensive license for every computer it’s run on.
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:
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? 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?
Church software is designed to assist churches structure and manage daily operations. Typically on Sunday’s that the event planning, volunteer management, child check-in and attendance tracking. Mid-week it could be Sunday service follow up tracking and church administration, event management or small group meetings or running background checks on volunteers.
Whether you’re a small church, mid-sixed church, or even a large church, as a church leader you know you need a reliable and efficient system, that’s user friendly and that will equip both your congregation and staff to operate effectively.
Most broadly, church software is any software that specifically designed for use by a church. Church software can be sourced to meet a specific need but is often bundled together with a wide range of functionality within a chms, or church management software.
If you’re looking for church management software, or specifically 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 church chms software that is demonstrated by user-friendly interface, communication tools such as text messages, availability of mobile app (including android), child check-in, volunteer scheduling, event registration, text giving, and excellent customer support that would be suitable for churches of all sizes.
Worship software is often also called church presentation software. But it’s more than that – as you’ll see in our list of worship software and tools below, there are other tools and software that you can use to help your worship band lead – and congregation engage in worship.
Keep reading this post to discover our shortlist of the best worship software for 2021, and you’ll discover tools that provide additional functionality beyond presentation – but help the worship pastor, worship band and team create the best worship service to help people encounter Jesus.
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:
Transposr – Best for transposing songs to different keys
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 does this by providing 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. For that, check out our full list of church presentation tools here.
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 should when the need arises?
Song Importing How easy is it to import songs into the software? Songs tend to come from a variety of sources (web, e-mail, 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 important. How do these three compare?
Audio & Video Handling Video playback can include files and DVD; SD & HD; controls and format capabilities.
Speaker Support We do a lot of sermon graphics and text slides. 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 the 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 for larger churches
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, on-board 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.
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:
User Interface (UI) and Functionality: Is it clean and attractive? Does the software solution come with more functionality than others?
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?
Efficiency: Does the software make teams more efficient through the consolidation of systems?
Metrics and Analytics: Will the software assist the user in managing and analyzing donor data?
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.
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 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.
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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 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.
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
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 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.
Intuitive andeasy to use
Specifically built to help non-profits or churches manage their accounting
Great all-round solutions for donor management
Facility management is not available
Uses Gusto, a third-party business, to maintain payroll
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.
Easy to use
Great customer service
Customizable reports that help filter out unwanted data
Too many functionalities make it challenging to get around in the beginning
5. Donorperfect – Best for donor segmentation and communication
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.
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.
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.
Great customer and technical support
Great customization of reports
Seamless integrations with a variety of third-party software
Difficult to use
Setting up groups is a bit taxing
Lots of learning material and resources to consume
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.