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Ultimate Guide To Church Leadership Roles And Responsibilities

An excellent church needs strong leadership and a dedicated congregation. Every single member of the church needs to understand the roles and responsibilities of the church’s leaders.

Different types of church leaders help your church-run, and all are equally important. When you define and understand the roles and responsibilities of each leader, your church will thrive. And a thriving church will grow from the congregation all the way up to your church board and worship team. 

You may know from my bio or the previous articles that I have worked in churches as small as fifty members up to a megachurch of over four thousand. I’ve also worked in nearly every role I’m about to mention.

Let my experience help you develop a leadership guide for your own church.

Here’s what I’ll cover:

Types Of Church Leadership Roles 

table showing different types of leadership roles in terms of ministry roles, church admin roles, and church board roles
There are a variety of church leadership roles.

You’re of course familiar with church leadership roles like the minister, pastor, bishop, and priest. But in addition to these titles, every religious organization needs a church board and an administration team to run the daily operations, ensure legal compliance, and make sure that the worship team is always communicating the church’s message. Your congregation notices when your church leadership team is on the same page.

Before continuing, let’s clarify a few terms.

  • Church Leader: The head pastor/bishop/priest. This is the person who leads the church.
  • Church Leadership: The rest of the team that follows the lead of the church leader. Sometimes, the leadership will be split into teams, like the worship team, or the youth team.

Maintaining and growing a successful church is a team effort. From the spiritual leader who preaches to the congregation to the treasurer and secretary, all successful churches must have strong leadership. The three main types of church leadership roles are ministry roles, church administration roles, and church board roles. 

As your church grows, you’ll need to increase the staff. Open job opportunities in your church can also help you increase the size of your congregation, so be sure to communicate all job openings to your community. 

Ministry Roles

Church leadership roles have evolved over the years. In the early church, for instance, some of the leadership was left to whoever owned the building that people worshipped in. But nowadays, the roles are much more complex. 

The title of your church leaders can vary by religion and denomination. For instance, a Baptist church is led by a minister, and a Catholic church’s leader is called a priest.

Pastor

The pastor is a key role in the church. Here are a few duties that every good pastor must fulfill: 

  • Lead a regular worship service
  • Serve at church events such as weddings, baptisms, and funerals 
  • Offer personal ministry to church members 
  • Communicate the church’s message to the community through words and actions 

Your church’s pastor is likely the face of your church. Each church member recognizes the pastor as a spiritual leader. So your pastor must embody the church’s message and philosophy to effectively serve your congregation.  

A good church leader takes their duties seriously and basically acts as a brand ambassador for the church.

Minister

While the minister is sometimes used interchangeably with the pastor, in some churches the roles are separate in a few ways. For instance, in the megachurch I worked in, we had many different ministries. We had one minister who was head of the hospital ministry, another who was head of the food pantry, and another who was head of the prison ministry.

The ministers never preached in the church as the pastors did, but they did preach in their respective areas and often led prayer meetings and other church functions. 

Deacon

Deacons fill many roles in the actual running of the church service. First, they can act as ushers. Later, they will collect and usually count the offering with the church treasurer. Finally, they will stand at the altar and pray with people at the end of service when the pastor is calling for prayer or for people who need salvation.

Historically, the books of 1st and 2nd Timothy were written to a deacon of a church that the Apostle Paul founded.

Lay Leader

In just about all Christian leadership, the “spokesperson” of the church is referred to as the lay leader. This person communicates directly with the congregation on a regular basis. 

The lay leader works with the church board. Every church has a lay leader in charge of ministry but serves underneath the senior pastor. These leaders communicate the church’s message to the congregation.

Worship Leader

Your worship leader is often the face of your church as much as the head pastor. So their attitude, demeanor, and dedication are important. They should caringly and enthusiastically lead worship services, be available to rehearse at any time, and minister the worship team’s needs.

The worship leader should not only have some musical talent themselves, but they must be able to see the potential in others so that your music program can grow. 

Church Administration Roles

Church administration is how the lights stay on and the restrooms stay clean. It isn’t always pretty, but the administration is what makes the world go round.

Receptionist

The first contact with your church will sometimes be the person who picks up the phone or responds to the email. A good receptionist is organized, friendly, and understands the roles of every other person working at the church so that a person in need can be sent to the proper ministry within the church.

Maintenance

Maintenance is probably the least spiritually demanding role, but without them, your building becomes a mess. Whether or not you agree that cleanliness is next to godliness, a messy building can send the wrong message to your congregation.

IT Department

IT, or Information Technology, departments are becoming more and more necessary as time goes on. Someone needs to be in charge of the church’s computers and website. While a smaller church might be able to get away with having someone volunteer for this position, larger churches will need to pay at least one person, if not more.

Security

As your church grows, you will attract more people who enjoy being disruptive. Not only that, but safety in the parking lot becomes a growing concern as well. Hiring a security firm to handle crowd control and to protect from disruptive influences becomes a necessary investment as you grow into the higher hundreds and possibly thousands of church members.

Legal

Any church can benefit from having a good relationship with a tax lawyer who can help you navigate through the maze of laws surrounding your church’s tax status on both the state and local levels. Much like IT, the larger your church grows, the more likely you will have to hire your own lawyer or put one on retainer.

Church Board Roles

The board consists of members of the congregation who handle the church’s finances, organize events, and keep the church compliant with denominational regulations and state and federal laws. The board is a crucial part of the church administration and leadership.

The church board must consist of at least 4 people, by law if it is a 501(c)(3) corporation in the U.S., so the structure will look very similar to any other corporation. You can have many more than 4 board members if you want, so consider it the minimum.

CEO

Almost invariably, in churches with a board structure, the CEO position is filled by the head pastor. This person is the leader of the corporation and helps steer it. The CEO takes the things that the board votes on and makes them happen. That is why the head pastor, as the spiritual leader, is usually the one to hold this position.

President

The president of any board ensures that the board meetings happen according to the bylaws of the church and is generally in charge of what gets onto the agenda of each meeting. Sometimes, the president is also called the chairman. Other times, the chairman of the board is an honorary title. There is no hard and fast rule to it.

Secretary

The board secretary handles any paperwork generated by the board and ensures that the board documents are properly and legally stored in case of an audit or investigation. This person usually is charged with handling the documents regarding any ordinations your church dispenses as well as baptisms, marriages, or other ceremonies.

Treasurer

The treasurer deals with money and must be present when offerings are counted. They are the ones who write the checks to pay the church’s bills. While this is the position most able to be exploited, the church bylaws can be written, or amended if they already exist, to say that the treasurer can only serve a certain amount of time, or to include a co-treasurer position on the board.

Other Positions

The aboveboard positions are only the ones required by law if you are trying to gain non-profit status in the U.S. Most likely, you will need more board members as your church grows. The other members don’t need specific titles, as not every board member in secular corporations has a title. Just remember to add each through your bylaws so you define their powers and responsibilities legally.

Wrapping Up The Roles

The church board and church administration staff work together to keep the church running behind the scenes, similar to how a board of directors and an administrative team help keep a company running. 

Your entire church governance team, the combination of spiritual, administrative, and board leaders, needs to work together for a church to succeed. The overall objectives and leadership styles need to mesh so they can appropriately serve the congregation and ensure smooth worship services. So when you consider who will fill each leadership role in your church, make sure that they’re a good fit.   

Every member of the church board—including administrators and spiritual leaders—is representative of the church.

The Importance Of Church Leadership

Church leadership is crucial to every church, whether it’s a national organization or a smaller local church. And for your church to succeed, it’s important to outline the responsibilities for church roles. 

For instance, in my megachurch experience, we put on a Passion Play with a cast and crew of over 500 people that took place on a stage that spanned just over 200 feet. The stage was divided into sections, and each person’s script told them which section to be in at which time. The play ran so smoothly that I still marvel at it sometimes.

The moral is to define your roles and responsibilities and everything just works, even when a live camel stops to do nature’s business in the middle of the market scene.

Just like running a business, a strong church needs great leaders and employees to run smoothly. Each church staff member has duties and responsibilities that they need to fulfill. And whether a particular staff member communicates directly with the congregation or works behind the scenes, every church leadership role is important. 

How To Grow Your Church’s Leadership Team 

Church growth happens when your leadership team successfully spreads your church’s message to the community and your church leadership team works together. And just like a growing business, a growing church sometimes needs to increase its staff to accommodate the increased demand. 

So how do you grow your team? How do you provide strong leadership development to sustain your growth, and what do your leaders need to be successful?

Developing Leaders Within Your Church

If you’re searching for new church leadership, it’s sometimes best to start within your church. Perhaps there’s an enthusiastic deacon who would like to expand their responsibilities. As an existing church member, they already understand and appreciate your church structure, message, mission, and goals. 

Developing a potential leader will take some time. They’ll need to learn what church leadership entails and how their daily responsibilities will change. But with some training and guidance, the right leaders can help your church grow. 

Growing With Your Community

The key to successful church growth is planning. If you’re not prepared to experience some growing pains, you’ll have a bumpy road ahead. But if you consider what church staff you’ll need to hire and how to support your church leadership, you’re setting yourself up for success. 

Adding to your team means creating roles that you didn’t previously need. For instance, you might need one dedicated staff member to coordinate weddings and another staff member that only focuses on youth ministry. You can make their lives easier with resources like a congregation database or specialized accounting software to keep track of costs. 

Growing your church is exciting. It means that you’re able to serve more of the community than you were before. Just be sure to plan for your growth so that you can keep achieving your church’s goals without missing a beat. 

Finding And Developing Church Leaders

Leadership development is challenging. You must make sure that all new additions to your church body agree with the church’s goals and message. Here are a few ways to find and develop new leaders: 

  • Write a concise mission statement that defines why your church exists.
  • Create a job description for each church staff member that clearly outlines their roles and responsibilities.
  • Look within your existing congregation for applicants, since they already understand and agree with your church’s objectives. 

In addition, you might want to ask your head pastor or minister (unless that’s you) to interview your top candidates before hiring anyone. Your existing leaders need to support your new staff, so it’s important that they agree with your hiring decision. 

Qualities Of Successful Church Leaders

A church leader’s needs can be divided into two categories: what talents and characteristics they must possess and what they need from the church to succeed. 

Successful church leaders are charismatic and enthusiastic about the church. They are excited to spread the church’s message to the congregation and the larger community. They must be good communicators and establish themselves as trustworthy advisors that church members can rely on. 

In addition to those inherent attributes, successful church leaders also need help from the church itself. The church board must support its leaders, particularly new additions to your church leadership team. 

The team members need encouragement and the board’s support so that the congregation will accept them. And if your church leader is particularly forward-thinking, they might need financial or strategic resources to make positive changes to the church and the surrounding community.    

Serve Your Congregation With Strong Church Leadership

Church leaders come in many forms. From the worship leader to the church board, every member of the leadership team plays an important role in the success of your church and the spiritual journey of your congregation. Strong leaders need care and teaching to grow.

As the head pastor, it is your responsibility to help them grow and become the best they can be. I recommend going to conferences or retreats to help your entire leadership team.

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What Is Church Leadership? Key Principles & Policies

Jesus said that we are the light of the world in Matthew 5:14, and our light shines most effectively through leadership within the church. Whether you are looking for the best church software or answers about how to disciple small group facilitators, church leadership is central to your decisions.  

Church leadership is the responsibility of every Christian, and a church’s organizational structure, policies, and practices help Christians to understand their leadership roles to successfully fulfill the Great Commission. Whether you are a senior pastor, an elder, or a local church member—all believers receive God’s call to be a part of Christian leadership.

In this article, I’ll cover:

What Is Church Leadership?

The Great Commission in Matthew 28:16–20 commands Christians to disciple the world, and that discipleship requires leadership from us, the church. So, what is church leadership? 

Church leadership is two things: the people who lead the church, and the actions that the church takes in the community. Typically, when talking about the people, we call them the church leadership team. The actions can be any kind of event that the church takes out in the community, from highway clean-up to holiday plays to food pantries.

Primarily, in this article, we will be talking about the leadership team. I will be careful to make it known when each is being talked about.

No matter how the church leadership team is structured, the church is most visible to the world through leadership actions on the local level. People within the congregation often look to the pastor or priest as the lead, and they observe other ministry leaders as models of what good Christian leadership is.

However, church leadership does not stop with the local church government, elder board, or pastor. A healthy church has leadership at all levels. As 1 Peter 2:9 says, every Christian is part of the priesthood, so Christian leadership needs to be undertaken by all believers.

At its core, church leadership means overseeing and shepherding the church, but the shape of leadership changes according to roles within the church.

Roles And Responsibilities Of Church Leadership

Here are some of the key roles in the church, along with their core responsibilities. 

  • Pastor: leads the congregation, and represents the church to the public.
  • Deacons: act as ushers and prayer leaders, as well as take offers
  • Lay Leader: in charge of coordinating between the congregation and spiritual leaders.
  • Worship Leader: directs the choir and band, picks the songs, and coordinates with the pastor for consistent messaging.
  • Administration: can act as everything from the receptionist to the maintenance crew and IT department.
  • Church Board: the group that provides accountability for the church to the government and possibly higher authorities in the denomination.

Attributes Of Church Leadership

No matter what position a person fills within your church leadership team, some attributes should be shared amongst everyone. Communication is key, and people who think alike can help avoid miscommunication. Plus, you want people who are as committed to the cause and call of your ministry as you, the head pastor, are.

Here are some key attributes to look for in potential and current church leaders:

  • Motivated: Your team needs to want your mission to be successful.
  • Cooperative: Your church should have leaders willing to work with anyone who volunteers their time and energy.
  • Independent: When you put someone in charge of a project, they should be able to complete it without having their hand held, after having had the proper training.
  • Devoted: This attribute is purely spiritual. Your team must possess a devotion to Christ.
  • Teachable: Every Christian is a disciple, and leaders should be more so.

Related Read: Church Volunteer Management Guide: Strategy, Tips, & Software

Leadership In A Healthy Church

While church leadership is clearly part of maintaining a healthy church, being leadership savvy is secondary to strong pastoring. If leadership establishes effective policies, procedures, and other leaders within the church, this allows pastors to focus on pastoring and being there for the congregation. This makes leading the church much more manageable.

Different Types Of Church Government 

Church government is often responsible for shaping church leadership within a denomination or local church body. One branch of ecclesiology (the study of churches) deals with the government, or polity, of church leadership. Church polity consists of three main types: episcopal, presbyterian, and congregational.

Episcopal Polity

In an episcopal structure, bishops hold authority in the church, providing guidance, support, orthodox theology, and even discipline when necessary. The bishop oversees (Greek episkopoi means “overseer”) a local diocese—a region of churches. In this way, local churches hold accountability to the diocese, and the diocese is accountable to the bishop who represents the diocese worldwide.

Presbyterian Polity

The Greek word for “elder,” presbuteros, is the source of the English word “priest,” but the priest or pastor is not the only authority in the church. Rather, in a presbyterian church government, the pastor is sometimes called a teaching elder. The local church, then, elects elders from the congregation to lead the local church in session, the local governing council, which is moderated by the teaching elder.

Session appoints and oversees deacons, who have local tasks in the church, such as serving communion and shepherding people within the congregation. Deacons are model servant leaders within the church.

Like the diocese in an episcopal structure, presbyterian government organizes elders within a region called a presbytery. Then, multiple presbyteries compose a synod as a larger governing council.

The fourth layer of presbyterian polity is the general assembly, a government gathering of elders from many synods that makes determinations for the church overall.

Congregational Polity

While episcopal polity places authority in an individual overseer, presbyterian government focuses on the “priesthood of all believers” by having teaching and lay elders act in a representative government. Congregational governance is still farther from a central authority within the church. In congregationalism, each church independently determines doctrine, theology, practice, and all matters of function.

Variations In Church Polity

Although these three structures are the main types of church organizational leadership, many churches practice variations. A congregational church, for instance, may elect elders, like a presbyterian model, to a board that provides governance to the local church; unlike presbyterian polity, however, the board of elders may be the final human authority over the local church.

Church Leadership Styles

Church leadership at the local level can take many forms. 

  • Autocratic leadership is where the pastor makes every decision and sets the vision for the church. 
  • Laissez-faire leadership provides minimal direction and disconnects from other leaders in the church to allow the local church to move in its own way. 
  • Democratic leaders, however, fall somewhere between autocratic and laissez-faire, where they guide and counsel the church in a democratic manner. 

No matter the leadership approach, the main objective of a pastor and other church leadership should be to facilitate spiritual growth in their community.

Key Principles Of Church Leadership 

Brian Dodd outlines many key principles of effective church administration, including the following:

  • Be organized with policies and procedures. Keeping everything in order will prevent chaos from overtaking your church.
  • Be sensible. Always be willing to shift your policies if they are making life difficult for your leaders or members.
  • Be consistent. A consistent message will draw people in and give them a guide to follow when miscommunications happen.
  • Guide others. As the head pastor, your responsibility is to be the teacher of both the leadership team and the general members. Don’t forget to give special workshops for your top leaders.
  • Appoint church leaders who provide solutions. If you follow the Attributes Of Church Leadership section above, you should have this covered.
  • Lead with others. No one person can do it all. The church is called the Body of Christ. The brain can’t work without the heart. The heart can’t pump without the lungs. Raise up people who can help.
  • Delegate to others. Similar to the previous point, give your responsibilities to those who can handle them. Sometimes, the only way to find out if someone is ready to move to the next level is by giving them a chance at something they’ve never done before.
  • Have advisors. Everyone has blindspots and biases. Let your leadership team offer advice and counsel when you don’t know what to do.
  • Study. The Bible is our greatest resource as pastors, but websites such as this one also help as we teach each other and share our experience. Never stop learning.
  • Focus on people, not process. Good people are more important than the specific processes that they follow. A good leader can fix problems as they arise, while a bad leader will fail when problems come. Build your leaders up, and the policies and procedures will become easier to fix when you find flaws.

Forging Church Leaders

As J. D. Greear claims, the church is a place where leaders are made. Current leadership within the church needs to challenge its people to be leaders, empower and equip them to be leaders, and have the courage to send those leaders beyond the local church. An effective church leader inspires church growth in depth and breadth. He strengthens the children’s ministry by challenging and encouraging its leadership team. She teaches leadership principles to her church staff.

If your church models and facilitates effective leadership to grow leaders, then get ahead of the curve and look at our guidance on church planting.

Most importantly, take a clue from the Apostle Paul’s letters. He almost always opens and closes his letters to the churches with callouts to the people who have been helpful to him in his ministry. Positive reinforcement is as old as the New Testament. Use it early and often to help create strong leaders.

Final Thoughts

I hope this article has opened your eyes to the many types and ways that churches can be led. Leaders come in all shapes and sizes, so always be ready for the next church member to step up. In the meantime, stay faithful in prayer and let the Lord Jesus help you create the environment where your leaders can thrive.

I’m Lexie, and God bless!

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Church Volunteer Management Guide: Strategy, Tips, & Software

According to a recent Gallup poll, the percentage of people who volunteer their time is at 58% in the U.S. This number includes all types of volunteering, from Habitat For Humanity to Christmas food pantries. 

Expect the number of people eager to give their time to your church to be even lower than that. Things are not all doom and gloom, though. Following this guide will have you on your way to a solid group of faithful volunteers.

This article will bring you up to speed with the latest tips in church volunteer management. I will cover various processes like background checks and identifying strengths and weaknesses, as well as software that can keep your volunteers organized.

My name is Alexandria Schmidt, and I spent twenty years in multiple churches helping coordinate everything from bake sales to full-scale youth productions of our local Passion Play. Let me help you manage your church volunteers with three simple concepts.

How To Manage Church Volunteers

Volunteering at non-profit organizations such as churches, soup kitchens, and food pantries is not a relic of bygone days. Even at the current low of 58%, which is due to many factors, especially the COVID-19 pandemic, we can see that a significant majority of people are willing to spend their time helping someone. 

How can you ensure that they spend their volunteer hours at your church? I will cover how to find and keep good volunteers in this section.

Recruiting Church Volunteers

Recruiting starts with you, the pastor. Enthusiasm and excitement for your next project go a long way towards bringing people into your church’s inner circle. People are like plants who need water and sunlight to grow. Let your encouragement and praise be that water and sunlight. A discouraged volunteer is one who will not return.

Step 1: Ask For Help

Don’t be afraid to announce the church’s needs when starting a new project or ministry. Some pastors are more willing to ask for money than time, but it is our congregation’s time that is most valuable. Also, when announcing a need for volunteers, give people at least a month to fix their schedules to help you. Asking for Wednesday’s help on Sunday morning will leave you very short-handed.

Step 2: Screen For Possible Legal Issues

Once you have announced your needs and given encouragement, what do you do? First, most churches and church events involve children in some capacity. Consult the National Sex Offender Registry in the U.S., or the equivalent for your country.

If a frequent volunteer seems to be ready to move into church leadership, you might even want to conduct a background check on them. This is typically done through your local law enforcement office. Not doing so could possibly open you or your church to legal issues, so consult with your church’s lawyer concerning your local laws about who can and cannot legally volunteer.

Step 3: Get To Know Your Volunteers

Spend some time talking to your volunteers. Even if it is just a moment or two each, you can get an idea about which parts of ministry they are passionate about. Volunteers will stop coming back if they are not in a role that they enjoy. 

Of course, not everyone can do exactly what they want every time. That’s where your encouragement and praise as their leader comes in. A person who feels as though they did a good job will be happy, even if the job was not their first choice.

Step 4: Lead From The Front

Finally, the most important thing that you can do to recruit and keep volunteers is to do the jobs yourself. I was assistant youth pastor to a head pastor at a church of over two thousand people, and we held a Passion Play every year with a cast in the hundreds. Year in, year out. Our volunteers always grew. The reason is that he was legendary for giving his all in everything he tried. Lead by example. Do the work, and the people will follow.

Training Church Volunteers

This section will examine why and how you should train your volunteers. Volunteering is for simple tasks, right? How much training does a person need to wipe down the Bibles after-service? Unless your church elders are getting paid, they count as volunteers. Unless your sound person or choir director is getting paid, they are volunteers. Volunteers frequently occupy key parts of our ministries and our church leadership.

Each church is its own entity with its own needs, so this article cannot specify what exactly to do, but this section will provide general advice. Training volunteers is a complex task. A worship leader might need to be trained on which songbooks are allowed by your denomination. A deacon or elder might need to be trained in what they are allowed to counsel a church member before sending the problem to an ordained minister. The bake sale cashier might need to be trained in the proper care and handling of the cash box or donation app. The number of ways your church members can volunteer, and the amount of training each position needs, is as different as the people themselves.

bar graph showing relative training times for deacons, elders, worship leaders, and bake sale cashiers

So, how do we train them? In my experience, the bake sale cashier only needs a few minutes of instruction. They will not be praying over someone or preaching. You, or your volunteer manager if you’ve trained one, can show them how the money handling procedures work, and then send them on their way. 

These simple tasks, which are the bulk of church volunteer opportunities, require some common sense and little supervision. This is a good thing because your leadership volunteers will require a higher investment of your time and energy.

Training your church elders is sometimes governed by denominational bylaws or other regulations, so, once again, consult with your lawyer or your higher clergy (such as a bishop) before deciding who to promote from a regular volunteer. 

Typically, elders require a great deal of experience in the church, having proven themselves through prayer meetings, church projects, and simply doing the work of keeping the church-going. I was always taught to be wary of people who want to skip the steps of simple service before reaching the point of standing before the stage and leading people to Jesus at the end of service. 

Church elders, or deacons, are just about the highest point a layperson can reach in their local church. Pray with them, study with them, and make sure they are there for the right reasons. Power-hungry elders can split a church like firewood.

In my personal experience, those people are somewhat rare but watch out. This is part of the purpose of training: to weed out the people who would use their position to do harm.

Caring For Your Volunteers

Good volunteers are a church’s most precious resource. To keep them coming back, they must be cared for. As I have said a few times before, encouragement and praise are your greatest tools in keeping volunteers happy. Still, after a long day of packing groceries for a food drive, those church members are probably going to be hungry. That sounds like a perfect time for a pizza party!

Yes, the pizza party is cliche, but it can be very cheap (depending on where you get your pizzas) and most people love it. What else can you do to make your volunteers feel special and encouraged to come back for your next project?

The Phone Blitz 

We’ll cover volunteer scheduling below, but, on your volunteer list, you should have an email or phone number. Hopefully, both. Get on the phone with your leadership team and call the volunteers to give them a personal “Thank You” from the pastor and church elders.

Church Announcements

We all have announcements on Sunday morning, usually just before or just after praise and worship. Place a general “Thank You” to all volunteers, or a specific one if a volunteer did a really great job. This can have the dual effect of bringing in more volunteers who are glad to be paid with their name being called.

Volunteer Retreat

Find a Christian leadership retreat or conference, such as these. Take your volunteers there both as a treat and for development. Bulk rates in hotel rooms can bring costs down, and churches near big cities may not even need to stay in hotel rooms for these kinds of conferences. Although, the trip is half the fun in itself.

These ideas may not work for your specific congregation, but they should get your brain moving in the right direction.

Church Volunteer Management Tips And Best Practices

In this section, I want to take you through some tips and best practices for church volunteer management. We might double back over a couple of points from above, but reinforcement is key to learning.

Establish Clear Roles

As you put on more events and develop your core volunteers, you might find that they start forming volunteer groups. Some will only show up for the bake sales. Others will only show up for food drives. Some will show up only to fold announcement papers if you even do that anymore. The point is that your volunteers will find people and jobs that they are comfortable with and attempt to stay there as much as possible.

While this is not a bad thing, per se, these small groups can develop into cliques if left unchecked. You can avoid this by establishing a very clear hierarchy from the beginning. By giving the role of gatekeeper to a person from the start, you stop everyone from trying to claim it at once. Just be sure the person in charge of each group is someone who is willing to bring new volunteers into the fold.

Establishing clear roles is also extremely helpful in figuring out where things went wrong. It’s going to happen. Some disaster will befall your event, and you will want to find out how to stop it from happening next time. By ensuring that everyone has a specific job, you can tell who messed up and might need more training. Just be prepared. That person is going to be with you a significant amount of the time. Those are the breaks of being the one in charge.

Finally, on this point, establishing clear roles allows you to identify those who are willing to step outside the lines for their own benefit. As I said earlier, these people are not common, but it only takes one to cause deep pain for many people. Your ministry leaders should be willing to do anything for the cause, but not for their own gain. Volunteer management is about protecting your church community as much as it is about helping it grow.

Define Realistic Goals

Realistic goals are all a part of that enthusiasm and praise I looked at earlier. Like all things, setting your goals is a balancing act that comes with experience. If your goals are too easy, your church leaders won’t feel a sense of accomplishment for achieving them. Meanwhile, harsh goals can suck the joy right out of any number of volunteers.

How do we find that balance? Experience, for one. For two, ask other pastors in your area how successful they have been. Maybe research your local area’s recent history for the type of event you are planning. If you have never done this type of event before, set your goals just slightly under the average. Always give yourself some wiggle room to find ways to praise people for reaching the goals you set.

On that note, not every group has to have the same goal, even within the same event. Let’s look at a 5K Fun Run. You might divide the volunteer groups into pre-race day and race day teams. Pre-race day might consist of the children’s ministry trying to collect donations for the runners and the route planners working with the city to find an appropriate day. 

Neither group would have the same goals, and their success does not depend on the other. The race day team might have a team that is in charge of getting each runner checked-in and pointed toward the start/finish line and start/finish team that would keep the time and prepares the finish line for the runners as they cross it.

All of those small groups work together to create the event even though they each strive toward different goals. What their goals should depend entirely on your church community and the number of volunteers you have to work with.

Other Best Practices For Church Volunteer Management

Here are a few other quick tips for managing your church volunteers.

  • Background checks can save your church legal trouble. When in doubt, consult an attorney.
  • Social media (Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, etc.) is how many people communicate with the world these days. A tech-savvy volunteer coordinator can wrangle a large number of volunteers with a couple Tweets. If you don’t know how to use social media, find someone in your volunteer pool or leadership group who does. Read this article about using YouTube in your ministry to get you started.
  • Lead from the front. Don’t ever ask your volunteers to do something you wouldn’t do. They will know that there is a double standard, and they will run.
  • Discipleship is key to great volunteer leaders. Just like the previous point, don’t promote someone who is not willing to serve. Churches have rules, and your ministry leaders need to be people who can listen. They don’t have to be robots who do exactly as you say and nothing else, but humility is one of the spiritual gifts. As someone who has stacked and folded thousands of chairs before getting a chance to preach, this one is close to my heart.
  • Speaking of spiritual gifts, don’t neglect spiritual training for your volunteer group. As you train them to assist with event check-in or whatever is at hand, don’t forget to relate back to the reason why you are all there in the first place: outreach into your neighborhood and community. Whether your focus is on soul-winning, fundraising, or just reminding people of a safe space in the community, always take a few minutes to pray with your volunteers or quote relevant scriptures about your event. This fosters solidarity and mindfulness around your larger goals.

A final point on those rare instances of a disruptive influence among your volunteer staff. Mercy and patience are always in order, but some people will not take the hint. You are the boss in your church, and you have the right and responsibility to kick someone out who is making it difficult for others to work. 

Tell them they can come back after they have cooled down if you want, but protecting your congregation will increase their respect for you and make them more likely to come back.

Church Volunteer Management Software

Church Management Software, or ChMS, is any computer program or mobile app that allows you to keep the information about your church and its members in one place. Sometimes, ChMS will also allow you to track your volunteers. I will highlight the best ChMS for churches that are trying to grow their volunteer program.

Here are the criteria I used:

  • Is it user-friendly?
  • Does it have competitive pricing?
  • Is church volunteer scheduling part of its functionality?

After careful analysis and some playing around with demos, I have to recommend ChurchCRM. ChurchCRM is free, easy-to-use, and fits the above criteria. More than just volunteer scheduling software, it has event registration, Sunday school groups, fundraising, and more. Maintain your rosters of volunteers with a few clicks or swipes. Installation can be a bit tricky, but the ChurchCRM team has a very helpful video right on the page I linked.

Church CRM Church Volunteer Management Software Screenshot
ChurchCRM’s demo page. Of note is all the different ways to organize and sort your members and volunteers.

I don’t think ChurchCRM is the end of your search for a management solution, but it is more of a beginning. You can find links to articles that will recommend more specialized and expensive software below. Think of ChurchCRM as something to help your church’s volunteer program grow to new heights. You will find different needs and solutions as you and your volunteers grow in ministry.

If ChurchCRM is a little too techy to start, Flocknote is another option that deals primarily with texts and emails for organizations. The setup is simpler, and it requires a subscription that starts at $8/month to fully unlock its features. Flocknote also requires $39/month to reach a similar level of function as ChurchCRM, although it has a simpler user interface.

Flocknote Church Volunteer Management Software Screenshot
Flocknote looks similar, but costs more than ChurchCRM.

ChMeetings is another option I would recommend. It’s the easiest to use, but it does not have the same robust support for volunteer management as the other two apps.

CHMeetings Church Volunteer Management Software Screenshot
ChMeetings has an easy-to-use interface but does not have the robust volunteer support you might be looking for.

If you want more in-depth looks at a variety of software for churches try these:

Most pastors will find that their needs outgrow or simply change from what they were in the past. These articles will give you a nice reference for when that happens.

Church Volunteer Management: What Have We Learned?

We have learned that one of the biggest obstacles is not just volunteer recruitment, but volunteer retention. I looked at ways to raise those retention rates through care and training while maintaining clear roles for our volunteers and giving them realistic goals. Finally, I took a quick look at the best software for a pastor who is looking to dip their toes into church volunteer management in the 21st century.

Comment below with questions or ideas about managing church volunteers. Look for more articles in the future about managing your church, your congregation, and the software that can help you do it.

Related Read: What Is Church Leadership? Key Principles & Policies

Categories
Article

10 Best Church Leadership Training Programs In 2022

Looking for the best church leadership training in 2022? Join us to explore and rate leadership training programs that will to help you and your teams build stronger church leadership strategies for your congregation. 

10 Best Church Leadership Training Programs

1. Arrow LeadershipFind clarity for an uncertain future

Arrow Leadership screenshot for Church Leadership Training Programs Screenshot
Learn to become a Jesus-centered leader with the Arrow Leadership Program.

The Arrow Leadership Program for church leaders is divided into Team Development, One-on-one Coaching, an Executive Leaders Stream, and an Emerging Leaders Stream. All these modules are structured differently to serve the unique needs of different levels of church leadership. The program offers various resources including small groups, the monthly Sharpening Leaders blog, leadership tune-ups, and free downloadable tools.

The Emerging Leaders Stream launches virtually on March 19, 2021 and runs through June 18, 2022 at $5,500, with a partner pricing option available.

The Virtual Executive Stream for senior church leaders launches on June 25, 2021, and runs through August 26, 2022 at $9,250, also with the partner pricing option available.

2. Foundations in Missional Ministry and Church Leadership CurriculumCertificate and diploma courses in church leadership

Foundations in Missional Ministry and Church Leadership Curriculum Screenshot
Certificate and diploma Christian courses courtesy of Tyndale University.

The Tyndale University church leadership program features a certificate and diploma course. Christian leaders are expected to complete four units for the certificate, and eight units for the diploma course. Students who have completed the certificate can obtain a diploma by studying four more units at the diploma level.

Some of the topics include Bible Interpretation and Survey of the Old and the New Testament.

3. Pastoral Care and Leadership – Short course for advanced pastors

Pastoral Care and Leadership Screenshot for Church Leadership Training Programs
Free online course on pastoral care and leadership.

Dr. John Johson of Western Seminary offers a free online course for advanced pastors on pastoral care and leadership focusing on preaching, leadership, and Biblical theology. A succinct 17 hours, this audio and video course equips you with the skills and knowledge required to be a good leader, nurture good leaders in the local church, grow from conflict, and relate well with the members and church staff. 

4. Mindful Leadership Training – Best customized training for an all-round, healthy church

Mindful Leadership Training for Church Leadership Training Programs Screenshot
Organization-specific training and public eLearning from the Institute for Mindful Leadership.

The Institute for Mindful Leadership has been running this training program for over 15 years with custom offerings to organizations, in-person workshops, and retreats. The program is aimed at equipping leaders with greater resiliency and more capacity for excellence.

The program currently has an online course for February, a workshop for March, and an upcoming retreat whose dates will be released soon.

5. Certificate of Biblical Leadership Course – Learn and grow in leadership for spiritual influence

Certificate of Biblical Leadership Course Screenshot
Three-part, 78-lesson Christian leadership training from Axx.

This course is best for beginner leaders starting their biblical leadership journey and looking to benefit from excellent ministry training for spiritual influence in the church and beyond. Leaders on the program have full lifetime access to the course materials and get a personalized certificate upon completion.

We love the low cost of the program as it is affordable for most leaders at only AUD 30 per month.

6. Administration and Leadership Webinars and Online Classes – Best courses for church administration

Administration and Leadership Webinars and Online Classes for Church Leadership Training Programs Screenshot
Webinars and Online Classes about Administration from Sacred Space Online Learning.

This leadership training focuses on ensuring people in the church leadership pipeline are fully equipped for church administration and religious leadership, with topics such as Nonprofit management, developing leadership styles, church fair trade stores, church websites, running small groups, and volunteer management.

The courses are offered on an on-demand basis across Canada and the U.S.

7. Emotionally Healthy Discipleship – Becoming the emotionally healthy leader your church needs

Emotionally Healthy Discipleship for Church Leadership Training Programs Screenshot
Transform into an emotionally healthy church leader for your church and the world.

Peter Scazzero shows you how to transform from an ordinary to the executive pastor your church needs by improving your emotional intelligence and well-being. You’ll be able to develop a new vision for healthy church leadership, integrate your personality with your calling, and lead the transformation of your church staff.

You’ll also draw inspiration from one of Scazzero’s bestseller leadership books – The Emotionally Healthy Leader.

8. Equipping Leaders International Leadership training – Courses for equipping leaders to transform their world

Equipping Leaders International Leadership Training Screenshot
Training on church leadership development from Equipping Leaders Inc.

Equipping Leaders International focuses on training that covers local church leadership, church rejuvenation, church planting, and administration of Christian schools. It seeks to equip pastors with formal training required for the effective running and management of the rapidly expanding churches.

The course covers the effects of hindrances such as corrupt governments, Western dependence, limited opportunities for ongoing education, and economic poverty to ensure that leaders can still bring glory to God through their service.

9. Building Church Leaders – Practical training tools for team members

Building Church Leaders Screenshot for Church Leadership Training Programs Screenshot
Best leadership training for a holistic church.

This program aims at producing a holistic church with high capacity ministry leadership across the board from pastors to lay leaders and other general church staff. The training focuses on mentoring church teams to enhance their competencies, gifting, and discipleship with a renewed passion for outreach to bring more people to God.

The training is best for leaders looking to enhance both themselves and their entire church by developing a united church as per the teachings of Ephesians 4.

10. Dallas Theological Seminary courses – Free Christian courses for podcast lovers

Dallas Theological Seminary Courses for Church Leadership Training Program Screenshot
Free podcast and email-based courses from the Dallas Theological Seminary.

The Dallas Theological Seminary offers free Christian courses on church leadership skills and other aspects through their podcast and weekly emails. Key topics include suffering, racial reconciliation, repentance, and walking with God through church leadership.

Next Steps

Finding the best church leadership training for yourself or church staff doesn’t have to be an uphill task if you consider insights from our list. There’s at least one training suitable for your every Christian leadership need! 

In fact, we’ve also compiled a list of the 10 Best Church Leadership Conferences In 2022 to make it easier for you!

If you’re simply looking for more resources to add to your library, here’s our list of the 10 Best Church Leadership Books.

Are you a church leader who wants to connect with others to share knowledge and best practices? Apply to join our exclusive community of church leaders and access to a private, moderated forum with other lead pastors.

Related Read: What Is Church Leadership? Key Principles & Policies

Categories
Tools

10 Best Church Finance Software For Payroll & Expenses

Church finance software is a powerful tool that can help users maintain precise accounting of funds, donations, and expenses to ensure the accounting of financial resources. With the help of finance software, churches can manage payrolls easily so church leaders can devote more time addressing the needs of their members. If you are looking for finance software for your church, here are some of the best finance software you can choose from.

The Best Church Finance Software

Here’s a shortlist of the best finance software:

  1. Xero
  2. QuickBooks Online + Breeze
  3. PowerChurch Plus
  4. CDM+
  5. Realm Church Management
  6. One Church Accounting
  7. FlockBase
  8. Church Windows
  9. Elexio Church Accounting 
  10. Aplos

Finance Software Comparison Criteria

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

User Interface (UI): I’m looking for a software interface that makes sense to accountants and non-accountants alike, as some churches may not have a dedicated bookkeeper.

Usability: I’m looking for a tool that can be used by any church member helping out with the books. Is it easy to use and understand for users without an accounting degree?

Compatibility: Can you use it to connect with other vital devices like check readers. How about credit and debit card readers or mobile kiosks?

Value for $: Does it have features that justify its pricing?

Church Finance Software: Key Features

1. Payroll: a feature that allows users to automate payroll, ensuring that employees receive accurate salaries to prevent payroll disputes.

2. Bank reconciliation: allows users to spot discrepancies and errors between bank balance and book balance.

3. Reporting and analytics: allows users to generate financial reports to assess the church’s financial standing.

4. Tax calculations: automatically calculate, file, and pay taxes ensuring compliance with government regulations. 

Overviews of the 10 Best Church Finance Software

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

1. Xero – Best for small churches

Xero Church Finance Software Screenshot
Xero has a simple payroll system making it ideal for small churches with fewer employees.

Xero is a church accounting software you can use to safely accept donations online so you can replenish funds for your church’s operations and expenses. You can use it to track expenses and settle your bills so your church can continue operating and serving its members. Xero also enables users to track accounts receivables and payables, allowing church administrators a clear view of their churches’ cash flow. 

Xero is best for small churches because it has a basic interface ideal for straightforward and recurring pay runs. A small church can use Xero to compute payroll, and it allows churches to pay employees manually or via batch payments depending on the church’s preference. Xero gives you the option of a third-party payroll app as your church grows and your payroll needs become more complex. 

Xero pricing starts at $30 per month. 

2. QuickBooks Online + Breeze – Best for tax calculations

QuickBooks Online + Breeze Church Finance Software Screenshot
QuickBooks automatically calculates, files, and pays taxes to ensure that your church complies with tax regulations.

QuickBooks is a church accounting software you can use to automatically run payroll daily so you can concentrate on your ministerial duties for your congregation. You can use QuickBooks to manage employee benefits to ensure employee satisfaction and increase loyalty. It has a time-tracking functionality ensuring that timesheets are correct and preventing payroll disputes. 

QuickBooks is best for settling taxes because it automatically calculates, files, and pays payroll taxes for users after setup completion. QuickBooks also provides users with a guarantee that tax calculations are accurate, and QuickBooks promises to cover up to $25,000 of payroll tax penalty if the calculations are incorrect. 

QuickBooks pricing starts at $35 per month plus $4 per employee per month. 

3. PowerChurch Plus – Best for issuance of checks

PowerChurch Plus Church Finance Software Screenshot
PowerChurch Plus allows users to quickly issue and maintain records of checks to ensure accurate bookkeeping.

PowerChurch Plus combines church management and a church accounting system you can use to balance your accounts and produce auditable trails to enhance accountability. It also has a simplified payroll system to plug in specific requirements that will automatically compute for you. The system also allows you to track restricted gifts to ensure compliance with FASB 117.  

PowerChurch Plus is best for religious organizations that issue many checks for their transactions because of its Quick Check feature. You can use Quick Check to print checks for issuance to suppliers, partner organizations, utility companies, and payroll. PowerChurch Plus also allows you to keep an accurate record of issued checks to ensure that your account stays balanced and has available funds for your checks. 

PowerChurch Plus pricing starts at a one-time payment of $395 per user. 

4. CDM+ – Best mobile app version

CDM+ Church Finance Software Screenshot
CDM+ has a mobile app version you can use on iOS and Android mobile devices.

CDM+ is a fund accounting software designed specifically for the unique needs of churches and nonprofits. You can use it to track your income and expenses, ensuring that you have enough funds to attend to your ministry’s needs. Church leaders can use CDM+ to generate reports about the church’s financial health and share them with boards, committees, and staff to give them a clear view of its structure and financial standing. 

CDM+ is best for those who work remotely because it has a mobile app version that you can use on iPhones and Android mobile devices. CDM+ mobile allows users a safe and secure way of accessing sensitive financial information. CDM+ also has features available on church management software like access to the member database, calendar management, and push notifications. 

CDM+ pricing starts at $100 per month per user with a charge of $5 per month per additional user.

5. Realm Church Management – Best for accurate timesheets

Realm Church Management Church Finance Software Screenshot
Realm gives you approval powers ensuring that timesheets get approved promptly.

Realm Church Management is a product of ACS Technologies and has a donation management functionality you can use to track donations and generate year-end reports for compliance purposes. Its online giving feature allows you to accept contributions anywhere you are through Realm Church’s mobile app. Realm Church Management provides your church members with the option to contribute through online donations, text giving, or credit cards and debit cards. 

ACS Technologies’ Realm Church Management is best for those looking for a nonprofit accounting software they can use as a timesheet management system. Users can use it to specify roles, ensuring that employees receive pay commensurate with their positions. You can also use Realm Church management to review timesheets, ensure accurate payrolls, and avoid disputes. 

Realm Church Management’s pricing starts at $29 per month. 

6. One Church Accounting – Best for financial dashboards

One Church Accounting Church Finance Software Screenshot
One Church Accounting’s customizable dashboard allows you an organized view of your church’s financial situation.

One Church Accounting has a bank integration feature that provides users a convenient way of importing and categorizing bank transactions for accurate reconciliation. It has a chart of accounts feature to have a complete listing of every account in a general ledger allowing you an easy-to-understand view of your fund’s subcategories. Its budgeting feature will enable you to track your annual budget and ensure that your expenses are within your church’s financial capability. 

One Church Accounting is best for those who want customizable dashboards for easier viewing of financial records. This church accounting software presents you with graphs and metrics to have an overview of your income statements, balance sheets, and cash flow in a user-friendly and easy-to-understand format. With the real-time data of One Church Accounting’s dashboards, you can immediately address financial concerns and prevent them from becoming major issues. 

One Church Accounting’s pricing starts at $24 per month billed annually. Users can try this church management software for free for 14 days.

7. FlockBase – Best for bank reconciliation

FlockBase Church Finance Software Screenshot
FlockBase has a bank reconciliation feature allowing you to identify differences between your book balance and bank balance.

FlockBase is a church management software you can use to compute payroll, pay your staff and comply with IRS regulations. A fund accounting feature allows you to track your fund balances and ensure that your programs have enough funding. FlockBase also has a robust reporting feature you can use to view balances, funds, and expenses on different levels of your organization. 

FlockBase is the best church accounting software if you want one with a robust bank reconciliation feature that allows you to match your bank balance with your book balance. FlockBase’s bank reconciliation feature allows you to immediately detect accounting and bank errors so you can correct them immediately. This feature also helps your church prevent and detect fraud to protect the fund and needs of your church. 

FlockBase pricing starts at $29 per month for five simultaneous users. FlockBase offers users a 14-day free trial.  

8. Church Windows – Best for offline version

Church Windows Church Finance Software Screenshot
Church Windows works offline to access and use the program when you don’t have a reliable internet connection.

Church Windows is a church management system that can also serve your church’s accounting needs like payroll, accounts receivable, financial reporting, and tax computations. You can use it in event registration, child check-in, and post-event reporting so you can assess the effectiveness of your church’s services. Church Windows allows you to send SMS and email communications to ensure that church members are up-to-date with what’s happening in your church.

Church Windows is best for those who want a software solution that works even with no internet connection because it still allows you to work offline. You can still view and update membership records even if you have no internet connectivity meaning you are always productive. Church Windows also allows you to its accounting program offline with records automatically updated once you have internet connectivity to work on your laptop in an area where you don’t have a reliable internet connection. 

Church Windows’ desktop version requires a one-time payment of $303 per module, $556 for two modules, $796 for three modules, and $856 for four modules. 

9. Elexio Church Accounting – Best cloud-based accounting solution

Elexio Church Accounting Church Finance Software Screenshot
Elexio is a cloud-based system ideal for users who want to access the program anywhere they are.

Elexio is a church management system you can use to manage your church’s database, ensuring that you have up-to-date information on all your members. You can also use Elexio to automate simple and repetitive tasks to streamline workflow so you can concentrate on ministering to your flock. Elexio’s church accounting feature is an add-on you can purchase to ensure that your church complies with government requirements even if you don’t have a CPA on board. 

Elexio is best for those who want access to their ChMS while working remotely because Elexio is a cloud-based system. You can use Elexio wherever you are as long as you have an internet connection. Since it is a cloud-based system, other team members will automatically see any updates or changes you implement on the system, ensuring that there won’t be any conflicts or discrepancies. 

Elexio’s pricing starts at $35.13 per month for one user. 

10. Aplos – Best for reporting and analytics

Aplos Church Finance Software Screenshot
Aplos allows you to generate reports quickly so you can assess your church’s financial standing.

Aplos is a church accounting software with a robust suite of features, including fund accounting, bank integration, bank reconciliation, pledge tracking, and check to print. It also has an integrated payroll system to ensure that all employees receive accurate salaries helping you avoid payroll disputes and ensuring employee satisfaction. Aplos also has a donor portal that allows church members to contribute to your church safely and securely. 

Aplos is best for those who need to generate financial reports so they can get a clear view of their church’s financial health. You can use Aplos to generate budgeting reports to ensure that expenses stay within budget. Aplos also allows you to generate donation reports to give you a better idea of where contributions are coming from and plan how you can improve them. 

Aplos integrates with Gusto Payroll System. 

Aplos pricing starts at $29.50 per month. Aplos offers a 15-day free trial. 

Other NGO finance software options

Here’s a few more that didn’t make the top list. Some are church-specific but others are simply NGO-friendly with free or low-cost plans. 

  1. Gusto – Best for Payroll Systems
  2. Gyve – Best for tithe & donation collection 
  3. ChurchTrac – Best for Recurring Transactions
  4. Sage Intacct – Best for Financial Forecasting
  5. ACS Technologies – Best for Vendor Management
  6. IconCMO – Best for CRA Compliant Receipts
  7. AccountEdge Pro – Best for Custom Paychecks
  8. ZipBooks – Best for Recording Receipts
  9. Botkeeper – Best for Automation
  10. Blackbaud Financial Edge NXT – Best for Fraud Prevention

Is QuickBooks good for churches?

Yes, QuickBooks is good for churches because it can help churches in bookkeeping and financial management. QuickBooks also allows churches to track donations and generate financial reports. 

What software do churches use?

There are several software systems that churches can use depending on their needs. A church can use a website builder if it doesn’t have a website or wants to improve its existing website. A church can also purchase donor management software if it wants a system to manage donors and contributors efficiently. 

Related Read: 10 Best Church Contact Management Software [2022]

What do you think about these financial software?

Finance software can help churches that want to make payroll and expense tracking easier. Using finance software can help church leaders save time because they can automate payroll and accounting needs to concentrate on taking care of the needs of their congregation. If you want to learn about other useful software, sign up with The Lead Pastor newsletter so you can receive the latest news about software systems that can help you manage your flock. 

For even more information, check this related list of tools: 10 Best Church Accounting Software Of 2022

Categories
Tools

10 Best Church Communication Software & How They Help Lead

Churches today are complex operations with lots of activity and deep roots in the community. Thanks to church communications software, it’s now easier than ever to communicate with congregations, keep people engaged, and maximize attendance. 

The Best Church Communication Software

Here’s a shortlist of the best church communication solutions: 

  1. One Church Software
  2. Planning Center 
  3. Elexio 
  4. Aplos 
  5. Servant Keeper 
  6. Breeze  
  7. Church Windows 
  8. Neon One 
  9. Trumpia 
  10. Pushpay

Church Communication Solutions: Comparison Criteria

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

  1. User Interface (UI): Is it clean, attractive, and appropriate for church use?
  2. Usability: Is it easy for non-professionals (such as church members) to master? Does the company offer tech support, user support, tutorials, and training that works with church needs (like a contact center available on weekends)?
  3. Integrations: Is it easy to connect with other church management tools? Are there any pre-built integrations? Does the tool connect with all popular communication solutions, like email, social media, SMS, website notices, and anything else you use daily?
  4. Value for $: How appropriate is the price for nonprofit organizations? Is pricing clear, transparent and flexible?

Church Communication Tools: Key Features

Here are some key features to look for when selecting church communication software:

  1. Supports your preferred messaging channels: offers a range of options to tailor your communications (from social media to text messages)
  2. Database management: enables you to update your list of contacts easily
  3. Engagement tools: offers features designed to increase engagement from members of the congregation
  4. Integrates with popular church management software: works with church accounting, church management software, etc.
  5. Simple to use: makes it easy for inexperienced team members to start using the software
  6. Scalable: grows as your church and its requirements develop
  7. Faith-based compliance: designed to be suitable for use by most faith-based or religious groups

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 Communication Software

Here’s a brief description of each of the best church management software solutions with membership communication features. I’ll go over some best use cases, feature highlights, and provide screenshots to give you a glimpse of their inner workings.

1. One Church Software – Best for empowering volunteers

One Church Software Church Communication Software Screenshot
OneChurch helps you stay in touch with visitors and increase return visits.

This cloud-based church management system helps ministries reach out to local communities and streamline daily operations. Features include text messaging, workflow creation, and volunteer management. 

One Church Software allows you to update contact preferences, send follow-up messages through the system, and inform members of upcoming church events. You can automate text in church messaging, emails, communications, and promotions.  

One Church Software costs from $24/user/month and a free 14-day trial is available.

2. Planning Center – Best for managing church resources

Planning Center Church Communication Software Screenshot
Planning Center helps you to organize music and other scheduling items for each service.

Planning Center is a suite of cloud-based applications designed to support church leaders in planning, scheduling, and managing church programs. The software is modular in design, so you only pay for the tools you need.

The publishing module allows you to create content and share it with your congregation. You can use customizable pages and the Android/iOS mobile app to distribute sermons and other messages. 

Planning Center costs from $14/user/month and a 30-day free trial is available. 

3. Elexio – Best for mass email communication

Elexio Church Communication Software Screenshot
Elexio allows you to keep detailed congregation contact records.

Elexio church administration software helps you to communicate with your members using text, mass emails, or voicemail. The system integrates church management software with church website design, check-in, giving kiosks, and a church mobile app. 

Key features include attendance tracking, contribution management, and automated workflows. You can also coordinate worship services and schedule volunteers. 

Elexio costs from $35.13/user/month and a 30-day free trial is available. 

4. Aplos – Best communication software with cash balancing

Aplos Church Communication Software Screenshot
Aplos tracks donations, tithes, and contributions to your church.

This cloud-based solution offers a range of software tools to help large and small churches run more efficiently. Aplos offers custom communications, along with fund accounting software, church membership management, donation management, and reporting.

With Aplos, churches of all sizes can handle all their communications and group management needs in one place. This user-friendly software is well suited to small groups and medium-sized churches. 

Aplos pricing starts from $29.50/user/month and a free trial is available.

5. Servant Keeper – Best for digital discipleship

Servant Keeper Church Communication Software Screenshot
Servant Keeper allows you to contact any member by email from right within the app.

This church management solution helps faith-based organizations organize operations more efficiently. It’s easy to communicate with members by email, track attendance and pinpoint volunteers with skills needed for specific events.

Visitors can be excluded from member-only communications. Other features include modules for child check-in, online scheduling, and accounting. 

Servant Keeper is priced from $9.99/user/month and a free trial is available.

6. Breeze – Best for event planning communication

Breeze Church Communication Software Screenshot
The Breeze ChMS church community builder can be used to book meetings, events, and Bible studies.

Breeze church management software is a cloud-based solution for small to medium-sized churches. The intuitive interface allows you to search and find contact information quickly, tag people as required, and customize accordingly.

Breeze also offers features to help with event registration, printing name tags, and tracking attendance. Alerts can be set to highlight individuals who have ceased attending for a given number of weeks.

This software suite costs from $50/month and a free demo is offered.

7. Church Windows – Best for membership reports

Church Windows Church Communication Software Screenshot
Church Windows offers a range of church management functions, including label printing.

Church Windows helps religious organizations manage administrative tasks and day-to-day interactions with followers. The system can be deployed either in the cloud or on-premises. You can also build a unified church calendar to keep track of community happenings, track your budget, and pay church employees. 

This software suite enables church administrators to view and track household and individual records, record interaction notes, perform accounting duties, and create visitation reports. Church Windows’ customer support is top-notch and they can help you make the most out of the tool according to your needs. 

Pricing starts from $80/user/month. There is no free trial option.

8. Neon One – Best for communication & marketing solution

Neon One Church Communication Software Screenshot
Neon One offers a full suite of nonprofit management software tools.

Neon One is a cloud-based contact management solution for nonprofit organizations of all sizes. The built-in fundraising tools include add-ons for email blasts, donor management, and automated membership renewals. They offer different modules for communication management, customer relationship management (CRM), fundraising, payroll, and website building. 

The system can be customized to match the look and feel of an existing website, and event pages can be configured as required. Administrators can send automated event notifications to registered attendees. They integrate with apps like QuickBooks, Mailchimp, TrueGivers, Eventbrite, and Windfall.

Neon One pricing starts from $49/user/month. There is no free trial, but a demo can be arranged. 

9. Trumpia – Best texting software for churches

Trumpia Church Communication Software Screenshot
Trumpia facilitates managed communications for churches and other nonprofit organizations.

Trumpia helps churches communicate with members through an automated SMS platform. Administrators can easily send messages, collect contacts, conduct outreach, engage with visitors or new members, and improve attendance. 

Features of the system include mobile keywords, mass texting, one-to-one texting, text giving, auto-response, and contact cleanup. Multiple campaigns can be run via SMS, email, or social media platforms.

Trumpia costs from $36/user/month. A free trial is available. 

10. Pushpay – Best for building a church smartphone app

Pushpay Church Communication Software Screenshot
The PushPay dashboard helps you keep tabs on church management functions.

This cloud-based solution assists churches in managing a range of operations. Church admins can create a database of donor information, including contact details. PushPay offers a no-code solution to building a smartphone app for your church, including a dynamic home screen, visual customizations, interactive notifications, and a built-in audio player. 

Data can be imported from third-party sources or uploaded through the PushPay portal. Customer support is available via an online knowledge base. 

Pushpay pricing starts from $199 a month. There is no free trial. 

Other Church Management Software Options

Here are a few more that didn’t make the top list.

  1. Click Nonprofit – Best for free Google advertising
  2. Church Teams – Best for discipleship communications
  3. CDM+ – Best for complete data integration
  4. Excellerate – Best for automated follow-up letters
  5. Faithful Steward by Diakonia – Best for an affordable solution
  6. Donarius – Best for tracking contributions
  7. Wild Apricot – Best for building an online store
  8. Attendance Now – Best HTML email builder
  9. Church Software by Grplife – Best free church website & hosting
  10. TouchPoint by Pursuant – Best for fundraising analytics
  11. Together+ by Aware3 – Best forms & registration tools
  12. ChurchTrac – Best for service outlines with a song library
  13. FellowshipOne – Best for background checks
  14. Connection Card Pro – Best for large churches 
  15. FaithLife – Best for sermon prep

Other tools to consider include ACS and Tithe.ly

What software do churches use?

Most churches today use specialized church management (ChMS) software to run their organizations efficiently. Many different software vendors develop applications specifically for this large, growing market. Pastors may require specialized functionality for venue upkeep, website & app building, real-time communication, discipleship tracking, fundraising & collections, event management, and even accounting & payroll.

What is ChMS software?

Church management software (also known as ChMS software) is the range of applications used by churches and related institutions to manage operations more effectively. ChMS software covers everything from attendance recording to people management and helps to simplify complex church procedures.

What Do You Think About These Church Management Systems and Communication Tools?

Do these systems help you communicate with your congregation, or are the old ways better? Let us know what you think in the comments below. While you’re here, be sure to check out this article on streaming software for churches, too.

Related Read: Church Volunteer Management Guide: Strategy, Tips, & Software

Categories
Tools

10 Best Free Church Management Software [Web or Download]

Church management software (ChMS) makes running your church easier. But the tools can be pricey, which means they are tough to justify if you operate on a small budget. To solve this problem, I’ve made this list of the best free church management tools. 

The majority of these free tools are limited versions of paid SaaS platforms. They are typically restricted by the number of members you can add, the available features, or both. Nonetheless, the functionality will be enough to streamline small churches. 

I’ve also included two open-source platforms. These are free to use with no restrictions. The only issue is that you need somewhere to host them. 

We’ve also added several non-church-specific tools to this list. Still, you’ll see that they have plenty of features useful for churches. 

The Best Free Church Management Software

Here’s a shortlist of the best free church management software. I’ve included one of the key benefits of each tool in the list. 

  1. ChurchInfo – free and open source 
  2. ChurchCRM – free if you have an existing website 
  3. ChurchTrac – free with feature limitations 
  4. TextEmAll – 25 message credits free
  5. Flocknote – free for under 40 members 
  6. Continue to Give – free for up to $5000/month
  7. CHMeetings – free for up to 100 people 
  8. Raklet – free for 50 contacts 
  9. Bitrix24 – free with feature limitations
  10. Cahaba Works – free with feature limitations 

Best Free Church Management Software Comparison Criteria

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

  1. User Interface (UI): A clean, intuitive UI makes a tool a pleasure to use.
  2. Usability: Is the tool easy to learn and master? This is all especially important if less tech-savvy members of your congregation will use the tool. Also, look out for tools with online support and helpful resources.
  3. Integrations: Many of the platforms below integrate with other tools you use. For example, your church website, calendar, or church accounting software
  4. Feature-Rich Free Plan: Many paid tools have free plans. We included the most generous ones on this list. 

Free Church Management Software Key Features

There are plenty of features that make church management easier. Here are some of the most useful ones. 

  1. Profiles: Creating profiles for the congregation lets you track member activity and pledges. Some tools allow your congregation to manage their profiles. Many of the free tools limit the number of profiles you can add.  
  2. Messaging: Tools with email or SMS messaging make it easy to connect with members of your congregation. Look for email editors that let you create media-rich emails.
  3. Contribution Tracking: Many of the tools on this list allow you to accept and track online donations. They also provide an overview of how much you have received in a particular period. 
  4. Event Management: These features let you create events. You can assign organizers from within the tool and highlight each event on your church’s calendar. 

Be aware that while most ChMS tools have these features, they don’t all offer them on the free version of the tool. 

Additionally, some of the tools focus on a particular element. For example, Continue to Give specializes in contribution 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 Free Church Management Software

Here’s a brief description of each free church management system. I’ve tried to showcase each platform’s best use case, some noteworthy features, and screenshots. 

1. ChurchInfo – Best free and open-source tool

ChurchInfo Free Church Management Software Screenshots
ChurchInfo makes it easy to create profiles for everyone in your congregation.

ChurchInfo is database software that enables online giving and helps with church membership management. It’s a web application which means you can access the information from anywhere with an internet connection. 

A feature I like is the self-service interface. This allows your church members to manage their own profiles from within the software. Each person can edit their details and make donations from within the tool via its integration with Vanco. Their volunteer management system is also helpful. Just create opportunities and then assign them to people from within the software. 

The tool is free and open-source—you just need to pay for a hosting plan if you don’t have one already. ChurchInfo has an affordable option you can use and they’ll even set it up for you. There is also a version that runs on your PC. This is useful if you don’t want to pay for hosting and you don’t need to access cloud-based features.

2. ChurchCRM – Best for churches with a website

ChurchCRM Free Church Management Software Screenshots
You can access the well-designed ChurchCRM dashboard from anywhere with internet access.

ChurchCRM is a free customer relationship management (CRM) system with features designed specifically for churches. It’s an online, cloud-based tool meaning you can access it from anywhere via an internet browser. The dashboard looks great and is user-friendly. It provides a quick snapshot of everything you need to know about your church, as well as links to the most important features. 

The tool has all you need to manage a church. Create member profiles, add phone numbers and email addresses, set up small groups, or organize events and enable check-in. It’s also easy to track member contributions so you can see how much everyone has donated. It’s even available in 25 different languages. 

The tool is completely free; you just need to pay for a hosting plan. If your church has an existing website, you can install it on a subdomain without paying an extra cent. Its lack of limitations means the ChurchCRM is a great free tool for churches of all sizes.

3. ChurchTrac – Best for free tech support

ChurchTrac Free Church Management Software Screenshots
The ChurchTrac dashboard provides valuable information about your church.

ChurchTrac is paid software with all the features you need to manage your church. The company also offers a free plan with limited—yet still useful—features. You can track your active members, roles & permissions, attendance records, and even Sunday school participants. 

The plan provides users with the ability to manage profiles for people and families. Add contact information and other details to each one. You can also send emails from within the platform. Unfortunately, more advanced features like donations, attendance tracking, child check-in, and scheduling are only available on the paid plan. 

The best thing about ChurchTrac is that it has an easy-to-use interface and offers free tech support, even on the free plan. This means that while the free version isn’t as feature-packed as some other tools on the list, it is easy to set up and use. And if you want to switch to a paid plan at any point, it’s easy to do so. Plans start at just $5 per month.

4. Text-em-all – Best for free text messaging

Text-em-all Free Church Management Software Screenshots
Create and schedule text messages within the Text-em-all online interface.

Text-em-all is a super helpful tool for managing church communication via text messaging. The tool allows you to create and schedule SMS messages to go out to your congregation. You can then manage replies from within the tool. It’s a helpful way to keep people updated about the goings-on at your church. 

The tool has several features that make texting easy. There are several templates you can use for different situations. You can give messages a personal touch by automatically adding the name of each recipient. Manage all these features from within the web-based dashboard. 

As a messaging platform, Text-em-all doesn’t offer some of the features available on other tools on this list. For example, you can’t track attendance and there’s no volunteer scheduling.

The free trial gives you access to all the features, although it is heavily limited by the fact you can only send 25 messages. Monthly plans start at $7.50 per month. 

5. FlockNote – Best free messaging for small churches

FlockNote Free Church Management Software Screenshots
FlockNote captures email and SMS responses and displays them in the dashboard.

FlockNote is another church communication platform. It lets you send both email and SMS messages to your congregation from within the online dashboard. The drag and drop email composer is a useful feature. It makes it a breeze to create and customize great-looking emails filled with multimedia. Once you’ve sent the email, you can respond to any replies from within the dashboard. 

The tool also offers analytics features. These show whether people are opening your outreach emails as well as what they click on once they do. Use this information to optimize future emails around the content you know people respond best to. 

The free plan provides churches with complete access to all the features and unlimited emails and messages but is limited to 40 users. It’s a great option if you have a small congregation. Pricing starts at $8 per month for large churches with more than 40 members. 

6. Continue To Give – Best for tracking donations

Continue To Give Free Church Management Software Screenshots
The continue to give dashboard simplifies keeping track of donations.

Continue To Give is software designed to help nonprofits and religious organizations engage their community and increase giving. It enables giving in many forms: from text donations, kiosk giving, mobile app donations, website forms, and P2P fundraising. This variety of options means every one of your members can access a method of donation that works for them: removing any barriers to giving. 

Donation management happens within the customizable dashboard. From here, you get a complete overview of where your donations are coming from and the amount you have received. The dashboard is also home to a powerful communication platform that lets you create and send emails, statements, and SMS messages. 

You can create audience segments, so people only receive content relevant to them. For example, one segment could be a particular church group; another could be people who attend a particular service. Other features include pledge management to help you follow up on pledges. 

Continue To Give is paid software, but there’s a free plan (minus a 3.2% commission) for churches that raise under $5,000 per month. 

7. CHMeetings – Best church management for small churches

CHMeetings Free Church Management Software Screenshots
Easily manage contacts and then send them messages from within the software.

CHMeetings is an all-in-one church management software solution used by more than 2,000 organizations. It has robust features that help you track and store group and member data and then turn this information into reports with the click of a button. 

A cool feature is the contact builder that lets you create and send SMS messages and email to your congregation. It’s an easy way to ensure everyone is up-to-date with happenings at your church. 

Meanwhile, powerful event management tools let you create single or recurring events and then collect event registrations. It’s easy to add people to different roles and then add notes to provide more information. When it’s time for the event, you can print off name tags for attendees.

CHMeetings has a limited free plan for up to 100 people, making it good for small-sized churches. To get access to more features or users, you’ll have to add a paid plan, which starts at $10 a month. You can access it on your PC or on mobile devices running both Android and iOS.

8. Raklet – Best for integrations

Raklet Free Church Management Software Screenshots
Get a quick overview of fundraising efforts from within the Raklet dashboard.

Raklet bills itself as a community engagement platform. Its features aren’t church-specific, but there’s still plenty available to help places of worship grow.  

Central to the tool is its contacts feature. Use these to create profiles for everyone in your church. Just upload a list of email addresses and create profiles for each person. You can then segment these people however you’d like, making it easy to create groups within your overall membership. 

It’s easy to connect with these contacts through features like email and SMS messaging. You can use this for use cases like an email newsletter that keeps everyone up-to-date about your church. 

I like that the tool lets members communicate with each other. They can create and comment on topics as well as send private messages. It’s like a private social media site for your church. 

Other features include the ability to create webinars and accept payments. There is even event planning functionality. The tool also integrates with plenty of the tools you and your congregation use every day like Gmail, Twitter, Facebook, and more. 

Raklet has a free plan for up to 50 contacts. If you need more users, the Essentials plan is $49 for up to 1,000 contacts. 

9. Bitrix24 – Best for church activity & event management

Bitrix24 Free Church Management Software Screenshots
Bitrix24 has features that enable you to create a private social media site for your congregation.

Bitrix24 is more business-focused than the other tools on this list. Nonetheless, it has a free version for unlimited users and plenty of features that—while not explicitly designed for churches—will definitely help. 

The communication tools are central to the platform. These enable you to create a powerful social networking platform. Your congregation can message, email, and communicate within the community for free. 

Beyond this, there are a huge array of management tools. There’s CRM, project management, contacts, and even a visual website builder. These are the features that are more business-aligned, and many of them cost money. You’ll have to decide whether they are worth paying for. 

Bitrix is available in both on-premise and cloud-based solutions. The great thing about the free plan is that you can add unlimited users.  If you feel the need to upgrade, paid plans start at $19 per month. 

10. Cahaba Works – Best desktop solution

CahabaWorks Free Church Management Software Screenshots
Use CahabaWorks to create profiles for people in your congregation.

CahabaWorks is church management software designed to help you track money, including payroll, member contributions, and fund accounting. There’s a free version of the software that is suitable for small churches. 

The free version contains three modules: members, contributions, and financials. The first module lets you create profiles to organize member information, while the latter provides some insight into your church’s contributions and financial management. These are all useful features for those in charge of church administration.

Other tools like group management are only available on paid plans. 

The tool is desktop-based which means it is only available on the computer you install it on. The good news is that you can add unlimited people and users to each piece of software. 

When you sign up, you get a free trial of the paid version, which then reverts back to the free one if you don’t pay up. The standard edition costs $350 and comes with a year of support. 

What is the difference between web-based (online) and download (offline) church management software?

Web-based church management software stores all your data online. This means you can access it anywhere with an internet connection. You can also create profiles for other members, who can then access the tool. Another benefit of these tools is that updates happen automatically, so you always use the most up-to-date version of the software. 

Offline tools are only available on a single computer in a single location. All the data is stored on your computer’s hardware. 

What Do You Think About These Free Church Management Tools?

I think all the tools on this list offer great free functionality for churches—especially small ones. All the free plans differ slightly, so take a look at precisely what they offer and then make your decision based on this. 

You can also check out our church management software recommendations for both free and paid options. This will help if you have outgrown free tools and their functional limitations.

Looking for more tools to help your church get up to speed with going digital? Check our list out on the 10 Best Church Giving Apps for Donations and Tithe Collection.

For more insights around church management, check out The Lead Pastor blog.

Categories
Tools

10 Best Church Facility Management Software To Optimize Your Spaces

Church properties often have a variety of facilities to manage, from public meeting spaces, to libraries, community resource hubs, washrooms, and A/C or heating systems. The more people use these assets, the more value they provide to your congregation and community. Managing these resources isn’t easy, but the church facility management software can help.  

This article will look at some great platforms churches can use to accomplish basic facility management. Our list contains two types of tools. The first is software designed specifically for church management. These tend to have features built with places of worship in mind. Then there are tools designed for business or NGO properties in general. These often have similar features and can be just as good as church-specific software.

Both types of software have their pros and cons. I’ve done my best to outline how every item on this list can help with church facility management. 

The Best Church Facility Management Software List

Here’s a shortlist of the best facility management software for churches:

  1. One Church
  2. Church Social
  3. Church MemberLink 
  4. Church Office Online 
  5. Blackbaud Church Management
  6. eFacility
  7. Perfect Mind 
  8. Hello Club
  9. Mazévo
  10. ChurchStaq by Pushpay 

Facility Management Software Comparison Criteria

The best church computerized maintenance management systems (CMMS) excel at streamlining facilities management. Here’s a summary of the evaluation criteria I used when choosing what to put on this list: 

  1. User Interface (UI): Is it clean and attractive? Church leaders have a ton of duties on their plate and may not have much free time to spend struggling with a complex user interface or cluttered menus.
  2. Usability: Is it easy to learn and master? Does the company offer good tech support, user support, tutorials, and training? Remember your congregation may use the software. It should be usable for even non-tech-savvy members.
  3. Integrations: Is it easy to connect with other tools? Are there any pre-built integrations? Website, calendar, communication, and payment software integrations are vital for many churches. 
  4. Value for $: How appropriate is the price for the features, capabilities, and use case? I also look for free trials so you can test the tool before buying. 

Church Facility Management Software Key Features

The church management software tools on our list cover a wide range of use cases. Some have simple features suitable for small churches. Others have complex functionality designed for large organizations. 

Whichever kind of church facility software you choose, look out for the following features:

  1. Booking: If you open your facilities to people in your congregation, choose a tool that enables people to book rooms, space, or equipment.
  2. Calendars: Tools with calendars automatically reflect all bookings made via the software, so everyone can see what is happening and when.
  3. Payments: You may need to accept, send, or record payment for facility use, facility upgrade, or facility repair. A digital payments system can help keep track of this.  
  4. Maintenance: Some of the tools on this list let you schedule maintenance for facilities. 
  5. Lights and doors: If you manage multiple spaces, consider a tool that lets you manage access to your building and lighting remotely. 

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 Facility Management Software

Here’s a brief description of each church facility maintenance management solution. We’ve included best use cases, feature highlights, and screenshots to showcase the look and feel of each tool. 

I have included both tools designed for churches and all-purpose (and usually more complex and feature-rich) facility management software.

1. One Church – Best for booking rooms

One Church Screenshot
One Church uses forms to collect event signups and registrations.

One Church is an all-inclusive church platform with powerful facilities management features that make organizing your church’s space easy.

Central to this is the powerful booking platform. Use the tool to schedule your rooms and resources. Those in charge can quickly see if the facilities they need are available and then make a request. Simplify the booking process by adding facility managers to each listing who can approve bookings.

One Church is a cloud-based app and is available on all your devices. You can manage your church’s facilities at home, while at your place of worship, or on the go via your smartphone. It also has a user-friendly interface you’ll have no problem getting to grips with.

Pricing depends on the number of profiles you expect to track. The lowest-cost plan is $24/month for 250 profiles. You can grab a 14-day free trial to test the software before committing. 

2. Church Social – Best for calendar management

Church Social Screenshot
Church Social’s calendar overview provides everyone with easy access to upcoming events.

Church Social is management software designed to help your congregation stay connected. It can help schedule regular facility maintenance, book spaces for events, and provide bulletins about the goings-on around the building. Members can contribute to the calendar to ensure community events are visible. 

A cool feature is the ability to set up recurring events. This ensures that groups that meet regularly don’t have to reserve their space before every meeting. You can view the calendar within the app, and it’s also easy to display it on your church website using the Church Social WordPress plugin or by connecting to the tool’s API.

Pricing starts at $50/month for up to 200 members. You can get a free 30-day trial to test out the software. 

3. Church Member Link – Best church bulletin board

Church Member Link Screenshot
You can access Church Member Link via desktop or smartphone app.

Church Member Link is a web-based church bulletin board with features such as attendance, calendars, and outreach tracking. It also has a facilities management tool. This allows you to set up profiles for each of your facilities and other resources and then schedule each one. The tool summarizes who is scheduled to use assets at different times. 

A feature I like is that you can set up conditions that must be met for each resource. This means people know exactly what is expected of them when they rent spaces or equipment. 

Church Member Link has a simple pricing plan that costs $50/month or $500/year when bought annually. There are no add ons or extra costs. You can sign up for a 14-day free trial to test the software. 

4. Church Office Online – Best for custom form building

Church Office Online Screenshot
Easily add rooms and equipment to Church Office Online.

Church Office Online is a complete church management solution with custom registration form building for event management, equipment rentals, or facility maintenance. The calendar is where you manage your church’s rooms and equipment. Just create an entry for each facility and provide essential information so people know how to use the asset correctly. 

All bookings show up on the calendar for a complete overview of who is using what and when. The calendar also integrates with your website, so events and reservations made on your website are automatically added to your calendar. This saves you from having to enter details manually. You can access all these features via desktop or on the go via the mobile app. 

Church Office Online pricing depends on the number of people at your church and starts at $35.13/month for 1 person and goes up incrementally by $0.12+ per additional person. The software offers a generous 2-month free trial. 

5. Blackbaud Church Management – Best for engaging your congregation

Blackbaud Church Management Screenshot
Blackbaud Church Management helps you manage facility events with in-app SMS and email support for alerts.

Blackbaud Church Management is the church solution from team management software Blackbaud, which specializes in fundraising and grant management tools for social causes. You get all the company’s software and team management expertise, plus features built explicitly for churches like fundraising and congregation communication. 

It’s easy to add all your spaces to the software. You can add further information to each listing and then price them effectively. All bookings and events are synced with your church’s calendar, so you get a quick overview of when your church’s facilities are being used. 

Blackbaud doesn’t publicize pricing, but you can request more information on the website. 

6. eFacility – Best for large churches

eFacility Screenshot
eFacility floor plans let you manage the booking of individual seats within a room.

eFacility is enterprise CMMS software. It has powerful features that go well beyond those offered by church-specific solutions. These give you granular control over all your facilities.  

The asset and inventory management toolkit tracks asset usage, helping you avoid unexpected and costly breakdowns. Use the tool to set preventive maintenance schedules, create templates for everyday maintenance tasks, and schedule inspections for each of your church’s assets. When the time comes for repairs, the software has robust work order management features to help. 

You also get powerful space management features. This lets you track, manage, and book space in your church. You can see a real-time overview, so you always know what is going on in your buildings. The floorplan feature even lets you rent specific seats within a room.

eFacility pricing depends on the specific software modules you want access to. The company doesn’t publicize its pricing, but you can contact the team via the website for a quote.

7. PerfectMind – Best interactive facility map

PerfectMind Screenshot
The PerfectMind has interactive maps with clickable pins and color-coded availability indicators.

PerfectMind is membership management for community-based businesses. It’s not explicitly designed for churches, but many of its features are great for this use case. 

The software’s facility management software can handle multiple types of booking, including recurring contracts. You can sell add-ons within the booking process, which is a good way to generate extra revenue while providing the people who book your room with more flexibility. 

Another feature I like is the automated lighting software. This lets you set which times you’d like to turn lights on and adjust your prices accordingly. Other features include maintenance management, waivers, contracts, and plenty of automation to simplify your workflow and save time. 

PerfectMind doesn’t publicize pricing for its community tool. You can contact the team for a quote and a product demo. All plans come with unlimited users. 

8. Hello Club – Best for integrations

Hello Club Screenshot
Hello Club provides a detailed overview of facility usage so that you can estimate where maintenance and upgrades are needed most.

Hello Club is a tool built for managing clubs. It has many features that help pastors with facility stewardship. Like the other tools on this list, it helps you manage bookings and events. It’s easy for your congregation to rent facilities when they need them. All the bookings sync to your calendar, which gives you an in-depth overview of facilities usage. 

A feature that caught my eye is the lights and doors management tool. This lets you set up automated lights and door rules for different facilities and bookings. The tool also has plenty of integrations. For example, you can use Stripe to collect payments via credit card and manage your church bookkeeping with Xerox. 

Pricing depends on the number of members in your congregation. The most popular plan costs $50/month for up to 300 users. You can sign up for a free trial on the website.

9. Mazevo – Best for church event management

Mazevo Screenshot
Mazevo’s calendar view provides an overview of all your church’s bookings.

Mazevo is software designed specifically for churches that want an event management system to help with facility resource allocation. The software has powerful booking features. It automatically avoids schedule conflicts by only showing rooms available for dates the scheduler has chosen. 

When listing space you can add detailed information about each room, including its type and how many people it is suitable for. All events are synced to the tool’s calendar. You can view this in multiple ways to get an overview of events on both a daily and monthly level. The tool has an app for easy phone access, and the UI on both mobile and desktop is easy to use. 

The company doesn’t publicize pricing, but you can request a demo on the website. 

10. ChurchStaq by Pushpay – Best for engagement metrics

ChurchStaq by Pushpay Screenshot
ChurchStaq lets you set up profiles for all members of your congregation so they can check-in as an audience member or volunteer.

ChurchStaq by Pushpay is a tool that lets you create optimized journey’s for your congregation designed to boost engagement. Each member of your church creates a profile that includes crucial contact information, event details, and contributions. Part of the engagement strategy is encouraging your congregation to join events. 

The software makes it easy for group leaders to rent space to hold meetings. They can then add members and communicate with other people in the group. The tool has an easy-to-use app that all congregation members can download to stay connected. It’s an easy way to connect with individuals and ensure that everyone stays engaged. 

ChurchStaq has three plans that provide access to different features. The company doesn’t promote pricing but you can contact the team via the website. 

Other Facility Management Software Options

Here’s a few more that didn’t make the top list. Some are church-specific tools that understand the niche; others are more general facility management solutions for all building maintenance and upkeep needs. 

  1. Imagine Mobile Church – Best for church administration 
  2. UpKeep – Best for managing church maintenance 
  3. Grplife Church Edition – Best for included church social network
  4. Hippo CMMS – Best equipment maintenance
  5. iOFFICE – Best for optimizing space use
  6. AkitaBox – Best for asset mapping 
  7. BlueFolder – Best for tracking assets

What is church facility management?

Church facility management is all the activities you do to organize your buildings, assets, spaces, and rooms. Tasks typically include managing facilities usage and keeping all your assets well-maintained. You can use facility management software to streamline this work. 

Is there any free church facility management software?

Many of the tools on our list have free paid trials you can use to test out the software before committing. There are no free church-specific facility management software options. But free general facility management tools are available:

What Do You Think About These Facility Maintenance Software Solutions for Churches?

The best facility maintenance software for your church will depend on what you want from the tool. 

A simple calendar that shows when people are scheduled to use your rooms and spaces will suffice for many smaller churches. But the larger your church, the more you’ll benefit from advanced features like granular asset management tools, maintenance functionality, and work order software to manage work requests.

Keep everyone in the loop and on the same page as you manage your church facilities with a software. Here’s our guide to the 10 Best Church Communication Software & How They Help Lead.

If you want to find out more about how software can help you manage your church, then check out some of our other church management software reviews.

Categories
Insights Tools

9 Biggest Streaming Churches And The Software They Use

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. 

Related Read: Getting Your Ministry Online Fast!

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.” 

Photo of Prestonwood Baptist Church, Texas for Church Streaming Software
Prestonwood Baptist Church, Texas is an early adopter of streaming technologies.

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 .” 

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.

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

Boxcast Streaming for Church Streaming Software Screenshot
Boxcast is suitable for first-time and seasoned streamers.

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

Wirecast Website for Church Streaming Software Screenshot
If you’re just starting out with church streaming then Wirecast is a great choice.

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).  

Propresenter: Best For Both Pros And Beginners   

Propresenter App for Church Streaming Software Screenshot
Propresenter has some powerful editing features.

“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

Dacast's Website for Church Streaming Software Screenshot
Dacast’s multiple bitrate streams optimizes broadcast across devices.

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 Software Video App for Church Streaming Software Screenshot
vMix captures the power of expensive hardware as software.

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.”

Churchstreaming.tv: Best For Broadcasting A Church Service To Various Sources 

Churchstreaming.tv Website for Church Streaming Software Screenshot
Churchstreaming.tv makes it easy to broadcast across various sources.

“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. 

Open Broadcaster Software (OBS): Best Free Live Stream Software 

Open Broadcast Software App for Church Streaming Software Screenshot
Open Broadcast Software is a free option great for newly planted churches.

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: Best Live Streaming Software For Mac 

MimoLive Website for Church Streaming Software Screenshot
mimoLive is professional-grade event recording software for Macs.

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  

StreamShark Website for Church Streaming Software Screenshot
StreamShark focused on developing a simple, intuitive interface for beginners.

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. 

TruthCasting: Best For Ad-Free Streaming 

TruthCasting Website for Church Streaming Software Screenshot
Thruthcasting makes it easy to Livestream from any device.

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

Lakewood Church & Joel Osteen YouTube Channel  Screenshot
Lakewood Church and Joel Osteen tops the list with 2million+  YouTube subscribers.

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.    

Elevation Church

Elevation Church App Screenshot
Elevation Church even have their own app.

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. 

Saddleback Church

Saddle Church Youtube Channel Screenshot
Saddleback makes effective use of Youtube with 389,00 subscribers.

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

Pastor Ryan Sharp from Life.church  Screensshot
Life.Church hosts 90 services a week on five platforms.

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. 

Bethel TV

Bethel TV website  Screenshot
Bethel TV’s streaming service is super-slick.

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

International House of Prayer's Livestream Screenshot
IHOPKC hold themselves to a 24/7 service.

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. 

VOUS Church

VOUS' Channel Screenshot
Vous has multiple channels to cater for different audiences.

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

REVERE's Youtube Channel Screenshot
Revere’s make good use of multiple digital channels as well as streaming.

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.”

The shift wasn’t just in the area of Christianity; it was also in the way people worship. Today, REVERE members have several options to listen to sermons and worship songs: Spotify, Apple Music, Facebook, the Church’s website, and Instagram.

John Gray Ministries

Pastor John Gray of The Relentless Church Screenshot
Pastor John Gray of The Relentless Church.

John Gray Ministries is led by a man who lives by the mantra, “We have a limited number of days on this planet, so give as much as you can, serve as best as you can, and love as hard as you can.”

Gray emphasizes the message above to the 114,000 YouTube subscribers on his ministry’s channel. The channel has a total of 3,461,300 views and counting.  

With numbers fluctuating, the world constantly changing, how can you measure success? Here’s an article that will help you make sense of the numbers: What Every Lead Pastor Needs To Know About Church Metrics.

If you’re looking for conferences to attend this year, check these out:

10 Best Church Leadership Conferences In 2022

The Best Church Technology Conferences 2022

And if you’re looking to stay connected with the members of your church, here’s our guide to the 1o Best Church Communication Software & How They Help Lead.

Categories
Tools

10 Best Church Presentation Software In 2022

Church presentation software helps churches engage with their congregation during services. 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 large screens. 

It’s also known as church projection software or worship presentation software, it’s the best presentation solution for projecting song lyrics and/or Bible verses during a worship service. According to a Gallup Poll, only 42% of millennials are church members. Using modern technology to update worship services might be instrumental in getting more millennials to attend church services.  

But what is the best church presentation software in 2022? Whether projecting video files, sermon notes, PowerPoint from a Windows PC, or Keynote from a Mac OS, 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 and paid options with ease of use, top of mind in our selection.

Best Church Presentation Software

  1. OpenSong – Best free, open-source church presentation software
  2. OpenLP – Best free church presentation software for  Linux and FreeBSD
  3. Song of Songs – Best free church worship presentation software
  4. FreeWorship – Best for small churches
  5. Presenter – Best for large churches
  6. Slipity – Best Mac and iOS users 
  7. Praisenter – Best for lyrics projection
  8. Quelea – Best for sermon note integrations
  9. SlideDog – Best for simple stage display support
  10. Big Screen – Best for multilingual Bible verses 

Church presentation software could be the tool you need for creating presentations to display at church services and church events.

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 participation during worship 

In the past, song sheets or songbooks were the norms, but church presentation software makes them obsolete. When song lyrics get projected onto a big screen or screens, 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 a Bible with them, as they’ll use their phone instead. But using church presentation software for sharing scripture references means your congregation doesn’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 church presentation software packages 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 
  • CCLI SongSelect (Christian Copyright Licensing International) usage tracking
  • Remote control (often within a functionality for the preacher to 
  • Countdown for the service to begin
  • Stage display or stage view preview

It’s also worth considering plugins for other church management software support, as many, like Planning Center, offer support and integrations.

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 Presentation Software

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

1. OpenSong – Best free, open-source church presentation software

OpenSong is free and open-source, so you can make changes that benefit your congregation. 

OpenSong is an open-source presentation app focused on lyric management, chord sheets, and bible verses. It supports timed loops of slides and allows you to keep track of song metadata and CCLI information. It is cross-platform, available for Windows, macOS, and Linux operating systems, and supports multiple languages.

OpenSong is best for you if you want a church presentation software without spending a dime because this software is free. OpenSong is also open-source, allowing you to alter and improve the software to suit your church’s unique needs. It can also save your church money because, aside from being free, open-source software is less demanding when it comes to hardware requirements. 

OpenSong is free software.

2. OpenLP – Best free church presentation software for Linux and FreeBSD

You can use OpenLP to display songs, Bible verses, videos, images, and presentations.

OpenLP is a church presentation software with various functionalities to make church services interactive and more interesting for church members. You can use it to create slides from templates or custom ones for church services or make announcements. OpenLP comes with a free Android remote control app allowing you to control your presentation using your Android device anywhere inside your church. 

If you’re using Linux or FreeBSD as your church’s operating system, then OpenLP is the best church presentation software for you because OpenLP was made specifically for these operating systems. You can use it to search and download a few selected Bible verses from a Bible site for use during presentations. You can use OpenLP to set up custom liturgies and setlists to make church services personalized in response to your congregation’s needs. 

Formatting multimedia files won’t be a problem for you because OpenLP integrates with VLC, allowing you to play audio and video formats in almost any format available. OpenLP also integrates with PowerPoint, PowerPoint Viewer, LibreOffice Impress on Windows, and Linux/FreeBSD.  

OpenLP is free and open-source software.

3. Song of Songs – Best free church worship presentation software

Use Song of Songs to display Bible verses, song lyrics, announcements, and videos for your congregation. 

Song of Songs is free church worship presentation software to create or import songs from CCLI, so you can use a song library during worship services. You can use it to create presentations manageable by operators or yourself via remote control during services. It also has a liturgy builder functionality to help you build and manage your liturgy in a centralized location for easy access during services.  

Free software is always welcome and can help your church save money, so if you want free church worship presentation software, then Song of Songs is the best one for you. It has periodic free upgrades, so your software always has the latest features at no cost. Song of Songs is easy to use, making it ideal for users even if they are not tech-savvy. 

Song of Songs integrates with VLC letting you play any video format. 

Song of Songs is free software.

4. FreeWorship – Best for small churches

FreeWorship allows the customization of presentations to help you prepare for worship services in advance. 

FreeWorship is an easy-to-use software for creating and managing presentations for use during worship services and other church events. It has a video enhancer feature for adjusting brightness and contrast, ensuring optimal viewing of videos. FreeWorship also allows you to search for specific hashtags when searching for multimedia items. 

FreeWorship is best for small churches because it has basic features and is uncomplicated to use. It has a drag and drop functionality, making adding files and images straight to your service list easier. FreeWorship has a Child Lock feature to keep your files and formats secure by limiting who can make changes on critical files and presentations. 

FreeWorship integrates with Google Slides. 

FreeWorship is free software.

5. Presenter – Best for large churches

Presenter has advanced features ensuring you can handle any type of presentation for your church.

It is a multimedia projection solution equipped with an independent media control and browser to access your favorite files. It has built-in CCLI support allowing you to display song lyrics. Presenter has picture-in-picture functionality, letting you play videos while navigating your presentation. 

This software is best for large churches that need church presentation software with advanced features to meet their congregation’s unique demands. It supports up to six independent outputs to support your church’s multimedia system, no matter how demanding it is. You can use Presenter to overlay text on images and videos to customize your church presentations.  

Presenter has a free forever version while Presenter Standard costs $12/license/month.

6. Slipity – Best Mac and iOS users 

Slipity allows Mac and iOS users to create and manage presentations.

Slipity is an iOS app for projecting texts, song lyrics, media, and YouTube videos on an external display. It allows customization of slides letting you control the size, duration of transitions, and background elements, so your slides look precisely how you envision them. You can use Slipity’s time-based triggers, allowing you to schedule the launch of a specific presentation. 

If your church uses Mac and iOS devices, Slipity is the best for your church because this software works best for the said operating systems. You can use AirPlay Mirroring to control presentations projected on a full screen. Its Stage Display feature lets you view current and succeeding slides on plain text on your control monitor while displaying full output on your projection screen. 

Slipity pricing is available upon request.

7. Praisenter – Best for lyrics projection

Praisenter allows you to project song lyrics so church members can sing along with your music team.

Praisenter is a church presentation software for producing slides and presentations with song lyrics, Bible verses, images, and videos. You can use Praisenter to search for Bible verses and save them for later use. It also allows you to import translations from The Unbound Bible, letting you present two translations of scripture simultaneously, making it ideal if your church has multilingual members. 

Praisenter is the best church presentation software for your church if you need to project lyrics for your congregation. You can use the software to search, edit, and create songs for worship services. It has a slide editor that allows you to customize different aspects of your slides or templates, including gradients, text outline, video looping, and others. Praisenter also lets you add images, pictures, audio, or video on your templates for full customization. 

Praisenter is free software.

8. Quelea – Best for sermon note integrations

Quelea lets you integrate sermon notes in presentations to guide you during worship services.

Quelea is a free and open-source church presentation software for creating amazing presentations you can use during worship services and other church events. It has a stage view feature enabling you to guide your music team with music chords without showing them to your congregation. Quelea supports multiple languages, including English, German, Spanish, Swedish, and Czech, making it ideal if your congregation has non- English speakers. 

Quelea is the best church presentation software if you need one that allows you to integrate sermon notes into your presentations. Use the software to include guide notes helping you emphasize critical points in your sermons. Sermon notes are visible only to you and not to your congregation so that you can include private notes depending on your preference. 

Quelea is free software.

9. SlideDog – Best for simple stage display support

SlideDog has a simple and easy-to-use interface that lets you create presentations for your congregation.

SlideDog is a multimedia presentation software you can use to combine PowerPoint presentations, PDF files, video clips, audio files, web pages, and others. Share your presentation in real-time so congregation members on their own devices. Another unique feature allows your audience to provide anonymous feedback to help you improve future presentations. 

SildeDog is the best church presentation software if you want something to use in creating simple stage displays and presentations. It lets you switch back and forth between different slides if you need to go back to a previous point. You can use SlideDog to remote control your presentation using your PC, mobile device, or tablet.  

SlideDog pricing starts at $19/account/month.

10. Big Screen – Best for multilingual Bible verses 

You can use Big Screen to create a multimedia presentation with Bible verses in several languages to cater to non-English speakers in your congregation.

Big Screen is a church presentation web app to help you create and manage presentations for church services and social events. You can use it to create themes giving presentations a consistent look and feel on different platforms. It supports multiple outputs making it ideal no matter how many output devices you have. 

Big Screen is best for your church if you need church presentation software to create presentations with multilingual Bible verses. It comes with scripture translations from the New American Standard Bible, New King James Version, La Biblia de las Américas, Japanese Contemporary Bible, etc. With Big Screen’s multilingual capability, you can promote inclusion and make non-English speakers feel more welcome in your congregation. 

Big Screen pricing starts at $10.91/license/month.

Other Church Presentation Software

  1. VideoPsalm – Free church presentation software for presenting songs, videos, images, and text to your congregation. 
  2. Worship Him – Presentation software for churches for displaying song lyrics, announcements, Bible passages and other multimedia files. 
  3. ZionWorx – Professional presentation software for presenting text and media to church members.
  4. Worship Extreme – Multilingual presentation software for churches for enhancing your congregation’s worship experience.
  5. Sharefaith Presenter – PowerPoint plugin allowing you to transform PowerPoint into a church presentation software.
  6. Mediashout – Customizable church presentation tool with a library of songs and Bible passages.
  7. Christie – Provides services including projectors and AV displays for churches.
  8. EasyWorship – Church presentation software for churches of all sizes.
  9. Renewed Vision ProPresenter – Presentation software for churches, concerts, sporting events, and fixed installations.
  10. Faithlife Proclaim – On-premise and cloud-based church presentation software for remote displays and presentations.
  11. WorshipStorm – Church presentation app you can connect to Planning Center for displaying lyrics, videos, images, and slides.
  12. Yodeck – Screen management platform for creating and managing digital displays and signages.

What Do You Think of These Church Presentation Solutions?

Church presentation software can help you organize and display multimedia aspects to your weekly sermons and special events. This helps you reach both visual and auditory learners with your message. Be sure to follow along with The Lead Pastor blog to keep up with more church software trends.

Have you tried any of these church presentation software solutions? Is there a church presentation platform you would add to this list? Let us know in the comments!

Make sure all of your church’s resources are maximized. Here’s a list of tools we think can help you! 10 Best Church Facility Management Software To Optimize Your Spaces.