Once your small group ministry grows beyond a few groups you’re going to need new capabilities:
- a system that makes it easy 24/7 to find a small group to join
- a way to communicate with your leaders
- a way to evaluate the health of your system
Church Teams has all three and two of the three are pretty distinctive. To the best of my knowledge, no other small group management system has them.
- The Finder enables connection from your website, is simple to use, and has some very nice features. It allows you to easily search the available groups by day of the week, zip code and type of group. In addition, the new Facebook look provides an easy-to-understand list of the groups that meet your search criteria.
- Reminder: A real distinctive, ChurchTeams has a built-in system that establishes communication with every leader. An automated email is sent to every leader as follow-up to their meetings, allowing leaders to provide feedback on some very important aspects of grouplife. With keen insight into the situation, the developers understood that although management wants accurate reporting of attendance, the last thing leaders care about is reporting attendance. Leaders use this feature to enter prayer requests, meeting notes, and attendance (including guest and visitors) and are able to send a recap to their members (with their coach copied). A definite win/win and a very nice approach.
- Another real distinctive is the Summary, which helps staff to coach or coordinate through analytics (automated reports), providing a helpful overview of the ministry in general and every group in particular. Developed by a concerned user in Seattle (a Microsoft employee and a volunteer small group director), this feature sends a snapshot once a month that staff can use to evaluate the health of the system.
I think one of the best aspects to the ChurchTeams product is the fact that its founders are small group practitioners. That’s huge! They get the issues that underlie small group ministry. In our conversation, Boyd recounted the story of a group member that told him, “I’d often see the email and just delete it. One time I opened it up and saw that I was marked ‘absent.’ Then I noticed that the group prayed for me. This email is how I even know my church cared about me.” Boyd continued, “As pastors, we care about every member but we can’t shepherd everyone. The email every week took me out of the dark ages into the 21st century.”
Another very important aspect of the ChurchTeams product is their personalized approach to customer service. Although they’ve been around for a number of years (they were the first web-based small group ministry specific tool I used), they remain very committed to a personal approach and have many raving fans around the country. Additionally, customer requests have encouraged them to develop a more comprehensive church management system in the last 2 1/2 years.
Next Steps and a Great Offer:
- Take a look at the Grace Family Church website to get a look at ChurchTeams in action.
- Find out more about ChurchTeams by signing up for a webinar with founder, Boyd Pelley.
- Test it out by signing up for a free 30 day trial. Be sure and take advantage of a very important offer for readers here at MarkHowellLive. On the 30 day free trial page, enter MHL100 for a $100 discount on your setup fee should you choose to continue (Offer good through 12/01/10).