Using Church Management Software for Better Discipleship | Boyd Pelley

Bart Blair Leave a Comment

Is your church using data for better Discipleship? Boyd Pelley of ChurchTeams shares how software and data is encouraging growth in church.

Podcast Notes




Podcast Transcription


Boyd Pelley: [00:00:00] I’ll keep it short.

Bart Blair: [00:00:02] Look, we are recording and I’m going to count us down and then I’m going to jump right in and welcome, Boyd, and then I’ll lead you into your first question. You ready? Okay, here we go. In three, two, one.

Bart Blair: [00:00:13] Boyd Pelley of Church Teams, thanks so much for joining Jason and me on the show today.

Boyd Pelley: [00:00:17] Hi, guys.

Bart Blair: [00:00:18] We are excited to have this conversation with you. We’ve been doing this podcast for a couple of years, and we’re diving into some territory that we haven’t really dived into directly before, which is talking about church management software and how churches manage the data of the people that they are called to reach and to disciple. But before we get into kind of the nuts and bolts of church management software, why don’t you share your story with us? Tell us a little bit about how you got into ministry and how you ended up at Church Teams.

Boyd Pelley: [00:00:50] Well, I’ve been doing that a long time, so maybe I don’t go all the way back to my college days that I sensed God calling me into ministry, maybe I don’t go quite that far. I’ll speed forward a little bit that I was on church staff as a discipleship pastor, a church administrator, family pastor for about 18 years at three different churches, one in Albuquerque, New Mexico, one in Lincoln, Nebraska, and one in Arlington, Texas. And about halfway through that time, I was at one of those times the most church staff feel like I’m ready to quit. What is this all about? You know, why am I doing this? I feel underappreciated, and I know I’m underpaid. Right? The challenges of just doing life. And so I was seriously thinking about, that was the great resignation year for me, was that year, right, and I was seriously thinking about it. And this was 1999, and it was the first time that I’d ever heard about cloud-based computing. Now, none of us today even hardly remember those days, but that was a new concept once upon a time, it really was. We, you know, put stuff into the computer at that time, and, right, it was kind of a combination of both of those things. Being a little bit frustrated, being frustrated with the ministry, seeing something that looked like was coming with cloud-based, that made a ton of sense to me.

Boyd Pelley: [00:02:19] And I thought, what if I could go back to the original calling of making disciples, which was totally clear, I’m going to do that all my life no matter what job I do, it doesn’t matter if I’m a pastor or not, I knew that. And what if I could blend those two things together? And so I’d been on a church staff, and I had a pretty good idea of what it looked like to make a disciple, what one looked like, how the process was. And I thought, you know, there’s a lot of things, what if we built the software around that core idea? And I was fortunate, that one of my small group leaders was a world-class software architect, and so he and I partnered together and began Church Teams primarily to solve the problem of connecting people in decentralized ministry. So it wasn’t about the centralized ministry, it was about the decentralized ministry. In fact, we coined the term small group software in 2000 and started that out. We built in the early days, we coined the term group finder, we built the first group finder tool out there, it kind of modeled for people to get connected in a decentralized manner. We did some things to help connect the leaders, and coach leaders, and the Lord used that. This was something we were just doing on the side, and a number of churches started hearing about it and told people, who told people, who told people, and it was one of those things.

Boyd Pelley: [00:03:37] Until fast forward a bunch of years, 2008, and it had grown to where I couldn’t do both anymore. And we decided that year to expand to be a full church management system because we didn’t feel like people were going to want to have different niche software for all the different purposes of the church, they’re going to want all their data under one umbrella. So that’s how we started, and that was kind of the thing there. And what I always tell people then is we went from being innovative, doing something nobody had ever done before, to chasing taillights to try to catch up with what everybody expected church management software to do already. And that was another chapter in the stage of our growth, and that was ‘O8 to about ’16-’17. And then really felt like we jumped about four or five years ago to back on the innovation side, with several of the really cool things that we’ve done on that. So yeah.

Jason Hamrock: [00:04:31] Wow. So you…

Boyd Pelley: [00:04:32] Long story there.

Jason Hamrock: [00:04:33] Yeah, that’s a really cool story because you can appreciate, kind of from day one, so to speak, of when church management systems actually became a term, wasn’t really a term much before then. And so you’ve seen this progress of how churches use a church management system. And most churches, most churches, have a church management system, I would think, or some version of that, maybe smaller.

Bart Blair: [00:05:00] My first church management system was a Rolodex, I had a Rolodex on my desk with little cards on it. I don’t have it anymore, sometimes I wish I did, just so that I could remember the analog days, but that was my first one.

Jason Hamrock: [00:05:12] That’s the real analog.

Bart Blair: [00:05:12] That was my first one. Hey, on that note, Boyd, why don’t you give us just kind of a 10,000-foot flyover of what church management systems or church management software is, and how Church Teams fits into the context of that.

Boyd Pelley: [00:05:26] Yeah, church management software is a pretty generic term that was just coined, I don’t know, like you said, Jason, 20 years ago, 25 years ago, somewhere right in there. The idea, the church management idea, was literally software to manage everything about the church. There are all kinds of renditions and subcategories underneath that, honestly, how people look at it. The way I look at it, the way we look at it, is we want to help churches manage their people and their people data. So that separates it a little bit from managing facilities, you know, because that doesn’t involve very much people data, it’s church management you know, but we don’t do security systems, you know, the swipe things when churches go in, that’s a different thing. We really want to focus on people data because it goes back to the original idea of helping churches make disciples, which is focused on the people side. So that was always kind of our thing, if it had to do with people data, we wanted to be a place where we managed everything around that and the people side of stuff.

Boyd Pelley: [00:06:35] Some folks come at it as church management means planning everything for what happens on Sunday morning, and that’s what church management is, you know, or, it has to do with everything around finances, or taking attendance, or things like that, so different companies kind of approached it in a different way. It’s really interesting when you look at a church management system, to go back and find out what was the original vision, what is the angle that they’re coming at because that’s the nuances of the differences between the different companies.

Jason Hamrock: [00:07:05] Okay, so you’ve been around, I love the fact that you’ve been on both sides of the coin, you’ve been in ministry, and now you get to serve ministries with what you have going on here. And like we said, a lot of churches have a church management system, but leaders often can become disillusioned as to what a church management system can do. So what are some of those common misunderstandings that those leaders have?

Boyd Pelley: [00:07:31] Okay. So most leaders, because a lot of folks, the basic understanding of church management system is a concept of we just need something where I can go look up a phone number, I can send an email from, I can manage the contributions, we can send out statements in January every year. I need something so I can do the attendance reports.

Bart Blair: [00:07:51] So a Rolodex, they want a Rolodex, I’m telling you.

Jason Hamrock: [00:07:54] Oh, Bart.

Bart Blair: [00:07:55] Sorry, Boyd.

Boyd Pelley: [00:07:56] But Bart, that’s where it all started, it was just let’s replace the Rolodex and the spreadsheet. I mean, that’s how we did accounting before computers, you wrote down the offering on a piece of paper, graph paper, right? Do you remember graph paper? And so, that’s how they think about it, and they’ll think, you know, the attendance, I have a worship attendance, how does that compare to Bible study or small group attendance, and what part of that’s children’s attendance, and then how much money? That’s about what people typically think of what church management software is because that’s kind of where it came from, and those were the problems that started to solve.

Boyd Pelley: [00:08:32] But with the entrepreneurial moves of the last 20 years, there have been so many innovations in technology that have influenced and integrated with the data, because the data is the hub of everything, the people data is. So you get people to come in with all these wonderful creative ideas, whether it’s a communication thing or a missional thing or whatever. And now it’s gone, I mean, we have gone, I had a guy the other day kind of refer to church management software like instead of just your basic Chevy, it’s now, a lot of them are, high-performance race cars that you can tune different parts to really make things work really well. We have not, most of us, not all of us, but most of us in the industry have not sat back and waited for pastors to suggest, hey, do this. Because we do this all the time, so we’re looking at the innovations in technology. We know what businesses are doing with CRMs. We know what Salesforce is like. We know what HubSpot is like. We investigate, that’s part of what we do, and so what we’re saying is how can we bring the lessons in those areas or that kind of software, and pull it into the software?

Boyd Pelley: [00:09:45] The second part of that is, also whose job is it to use it? Most pastors and staff think, oh, that’s an administrative assistant job. Well, back in the day when I first went on staff, the pastor I worked for would call in his secretary to bring a notebook, and when he wanted to do a letter, she would handwrite it out, stenographer it out, and type it. And the reason she did that is because he couldn’t type very well, and he didn’t like putting the Wite-Out on the thing, you guys remember way back then. Technology changed, I don’t know a pastor anywhere that calls his secretary in, maybe there probably are some, but nobody, because it’s gotten simple, we expect to be able to use word processing. We just haven’t made that leap as much yet on church management, pastors have got to learn, just like businesses do with Salesforce or HubSpot, pastors have got to learn that we have got to use the data if we’re going to get what the potential out of the software is.

Jason Hamrock: [00:10:48] So, kind of what you’re saying is instead of just using it for what you think it is, I need to find somebody’s number or email, it can be a discipleship tool and it should be a discipleship tool. So go into when it’s effectively used and employed, how does a CMS become a discipleship tool?

Boyd Pelley: [00:11:08] Yeah. So, at the essence, the concept of making disciples is a process. It’s not a static thing, but it’s a process of movement from one place to the other. And we want to be able to reach out, here’s what I love about Missional Marketing, you guys have figured out how to get the word out there using, whether it’s social, or even helping churches with SEO, begin thinking about marketing. Just like I would in a business about marketing Church Teams, you know what does SEO look like, where do I go? Okay, so one of the things we’ve built, that I feel like the software has to do, is it has to be able to pull the call to action from that. So wherever you’re at, that call to action isn’t just a generic form of sitting at the [inaudible] thing, that’s the 412th different database that we’ve got on church staff, right, and he’s got that, it’s siloed over here, and this is siloed over there, and this is siloed, and this is siloed. But your church management software has that call to action link in it, then that goes into the software, which creates the drip flow, the funnel, whatever that ought to look like in the church is you’ve got the automation, and the best software out there nowadays, we do that. We’ll send the email, we’ll notify the pastor to do the follow-up call, and we’ll send the text, you can personalize that text, and you can tell the responses on that text. With the objective of taking somebody who, maybe their marriage is falling apart, and you’ve caught them with something, they fill that out, they just get some emails with some tips and helps on marriage, not even an invitation to church yet, we’re just beginning to build trust. This is what you do in marketing all the time.

Jason Hamrock: [00:12:49] That’s right.

Boyd Pelley: [00:12:50] Again, to build trust, and helping churches, we are really here to serve. And some of those trust elements might be 3 to 5 minutes of the pastor’s sermon, the best part of the curriculum that we help churches with on marriage, just to salt the oats. And then after people have got a number of those, then you do the invitation, that’s where it then starts. Now they come, and you do the same sort of process from the first time they’re a visitor, getting them to a point of commitment. Then from that commitment point, you’ve got the same sort of process that you’re trying to manage to help people connect to a small group and to a ministry based on their ministry interests, the gifts, on the serving side based on geography, maybe life stage on the group side. And so you’re able to use the software to help flow that motion all the way from far away from God to the point they’re fully engaged in the life of the church.

Jason Hamrock: [00:13:43] Oh, I love that, and what’s cool about that is all the data that’s collected. I’ve always talked about, and Bart has heard me say this, and I learned this, the four stages of what we might call the buyer’s journey in the business world, but in the church world it’s a little bit different, but it’s still the same concept. And that is you’re building awareness, right, and that awareness is going to come into some kind of engagement or consider stage, right? So now they know who you are and they’re thinking about considering they’re engaging with some of the content you’ve created. That’s going to hopefully spill into the decision stage, which is, I’ve made a decision, I’m going to raise my hand, I’m going to fill out this thing, I’m going to show up to church, right? You’ve made yourself known, which then for businesses, that’s they bought something, for the church, that’s not the final stage, the final stage is the discipleship. You’re now discipling this person, leading them to Jesus, to the cross, and then once they dealt with the cross, on their walk with the Lord. What is so cool about what you just said was, all of those are trackable with data, and you can find and watch and tweak and change on the fly. I love the idea of people engaging with some kind of content that if they raise their hand, that they can easily get put into a drip-email campaign from your church management system until they make the step to say I want to join, I want to come to church, or whatever that next step would be.

Bart Blair: [00:15:17] I want to highlight, let me highlight here, Boyd, before you respond to that, I want to highlight the fact that what I think you explained were automated processes. Processes that can be automated in your church management system, so that it removes the human error of somebody forgetting to follow up with someone, somebody forgetting to call them, someone forgetting to send that email or text. But you’ve built that in so that you’re consistently nurturing those initial relationships with people right out of the gate, it’s consistent, it happens every single time and it doesn’t have to be thought about every single time.

Boyd Pelley: [00:15:53] Yeah, now, it takes some time to think through that. Sometimes it’s surprising to me how, and this is what you guys do with churches, right, is you help them think through what is that process? Because they’ve got some default things they’re kind of doing already, but they haven’t thought as intentionally, step by step. There’s a Navy SEAL quote that I love to use on this thing is, “Slow is smooth, and smooth is fast.”. And any of us that have been around any kind of athletic team or anything, know that the first time, whether it’s a Navy SEAL team or the sixth grade girls basketball team, you walk down, walk slowly through the plays, what those look like, so that everybody kind of understands where they’re going to be and when they do. And then you speed it up a little bit until finally you get up to game speed and that pops like that, and that’s smooth because everybody knows where everybody else is at and wants that [inaudible]. That’s what makes marketing work really well, is when in marketing you’re doing that, and in a discipleship process it’s the same sort of thing. How do we know, what are we doing to engage people? And it’s not linear, that’s the crazy thing, is it’s a nonlinear thing. So there are some pretty cool things that we’ve learned about process that are non-linear, that are more web-like, kind of a network of things, and kind of how we use groups in our software to help manage…Groups are kind of nodes on the net to move people along the way of a process, but that’s a pretty big deal.

Boyd Pelley: [00:17:26] The backside of that, that’s kind of the front side, the evangelism assimilation side. The backside of that is if you’ve got a good system for collecting information, you can get things like, well, let me tell you the groups, because that’s where we started from, right? You can get things like attendance, basic attendance, right? The thing about attendance that everybody hates is, what does that final number mean? We have X number of people in groups compared to last week, whatever. And if you’re in a decentralized ministry, you know, a quarter to a third of your groups didn’t even meet that week, so now you don’t even have the number. But we’re thinking like Sunday school days in that, back in the day, that’s where we’re still thinking about data that way. What data tells in community, is it tells a story not about the total number, but about the consistency rate. Consistency is a fundamental pattern of a disciple, Paul told Timothy in Second Timothy 2:2, “The things you’ve heard me say in the presence of many, entrust to…” Who? Reliable, faithful, consistent, there’s a quality of consistency there. So we’ve learned, this is one of our strongest things on the groups, you can rate the consistency rate of groups as well as people in the groups.

Boyd Pelley: [00:18:43] So there are a couple of things on that, you can see based on the consistency rate of a group, a group…Let me give you an example, a group of 8 to 12 that averages less than 50% consistency is a group that needs some coaching, something’s going on in there, there’s a relational dynamic, there is a teaching dynamic. If you’re serious about discipling and not just connecting people, now you’ve got to connect them, but the next stage is a discipling thing. That’s a flag that we can show you, and we can tell your team, here are the groups that need some attention. But also those groups that have 80% or more consistency when they meet, even if they only meet twice a month, that doesn’t matter, it’s consistency, not the number. When they meet twice a month, we can tell you that group that has 80%, this is a home run group, people are coming back from vacation they like their group so much. This is a go find new leaders, some of the things like that.

Boyd Pelley: [00:19:45] So one of the things that we’ve done, and you can do that at the group level, we did that. That’s kind of what made Church Teams grow on the group side for years, is we were really helping churches be able to see the relative health of all their groups and be able to be intentional about that. You can do the same thing at the individual level, the last few years we’ve learned that now I can see the consistency rate of an individual. We can actually automate reports that will do a summary and say, for Boyd, he is a person who attends more than 50% of the time, the software runs a report once a month, picks that up, he’s got a profile, the profile on that is a green profile, he’s doing good. And then if it was less than that, it might be yellow or even red if they’re not in groups. So I can glance at a member profile, see where they’re at on each of these areas, not based on subjective means, but actually based on actual analytics. And so then I can see as a church, how are we doing across the board? There are just some really cool things you can do with that data once you get into that. Sorry, I get probably in the weeds too much.

Jason Hamrock: [00:20:51] Well, no, I love that because you’re intersecting technology, data, with humans, and what’s really happening. And I think often, this is for church leaders, we have a think about our church management system that it’s limited in some ability. But that’s not the case, it doesn’t have to be the case, you can use it to connect, to find out. In fact, there’s a church we’re working with where they have a ton of stories, right, tons. God’s doing some amazing things in these people’s lives, their problem is being able to find and collect those stories. And I would imagine your church management system should and could fill that gap because the stories are there, the humans, and the people, and what God’s doing is all there, finding it and then being able to do something with it, that’s a whole nother thing. And so kind of what you’re saying here is a church management system, if it’s an effective system, it’s going to be able to bridge that gap.

Boyd Pelley: [00:21:55] That’s exactly right. And that data is coming not from the staff knowing all of that, it can actually come from the people. Like that group later that’s across a table and doing a quick summary of it, one of the things we do is we give them the place to where they can put in the story of what’s God’s doing in that group, and then that rolls up to the staff. So all they do is read the follow-up email on that, and see it, and then we send that to the right staff person to be able to follow up if they want to capture the story for something else.

Jason Hamrock: [00:22:24] Wow.

Bart Blair: [00:22:24] I mean, you could dumb that down even so much to say, like one of the questions that I work with churches a lot, they’re like, we need to tell stories, we don’t know what stories to tell. We want to highlight groups, this is a blanket statement, but I think it’s a pretty good generalization. Most churches, sorry, with small groups go through seasons where they need to make these hard pushes to try to get people, new people, to engage in groups. How do we get more people connected in groups? How do we get more people to raise their hand and say they will lead groups? How do we really champion this at a level that’s going to move the needle in our church and in the lives of the people in our church? And so they’ll go through these little seasons, and my feedback every single time is you need to get people who have been in groups to tell the story about how a group has impacted their lives. Well, how do we know where to go for the stories? Just like Boyd said, the first thing I do is I go pull an attendance report from a group and find somebody who attends their group for 80% of the time or more and who has been doing that for a year or two or more. And you go, This is a person who has prioritized group life and they’ve done it for a reason, I want to go have a conversation with that person. I also want to have a conversation with the group leader who is leading that group who has 80% attendance, consistency, time after time, because there’s something about the way that that group leader is leading that’s making the people want to participate and want to be engaged in that group. So right out of there, there are some boxes that get checked that tell you I don’t know necessarily what the story is based on the data that’s there, but I know there’s a story there that I need to go and investigate and that’s where I would start.

Boyd Pelley: [00:24:07] And what I love about that is now you can take the step, there are two sides to that issue. One is you got to capture the data because the output is only as good as the input, right? The other side is, once it’s in there, what do you do to pull it out? What if on that, like that illustration you just use Bart? What if we created a monthly report that is automatically sent to you on the first of the month, a list of names of people who had been 80% or more to their small group over the last three months. And you just built that, nobody runs that report anymore, you could set it up, but it just shows up in your inbox and you’ve got that list, whether you need it that month or not, it doesn’t matter. So the idea with that, is that the software takes responsibility for two things. One is to capture the information, which is really crazy. The other one is to disseminate it. That’s where the more intelligent software is headed, and that’s kind of what we’re thinking from, and we’ve got some systems in place like the automated reporting that can do the feedback. The other system is, and this was one of the things on our group side, is the accountability we built into getting feedback from the groups, which was pretty huge. And that’s where it’s got to be, right in the middle, in people’s faces, if you’re going to get the feedback from people.

Jason Hamrock: [00:25:33] Okay, because this is going to lead right into that, collecting that information is huge, right? So you’ve got a congregation, and you got all kinds of stories and changed lives, and we could go on and on about all that, collecting that. So you put a lot of emphasis on using texting, explain why, and some of your thinking through that.

Boyd Pelley: [00:25:55] And that’s exactly where this is headed, if your output exceeds your input, this is something somebody used to tell me all the time, if your output exceeds your input, in other words, the expectations that you want from your data exceeds the data that you have in it, then your upkeep is going to be your downfall. So everybody hates their database, right, that’s what that means, and that’s why, is because the output exceeds your input. And so your upkeep, what the pastor wants to get from the data can’t, because it’s not in there and that’s your downfall. So the solution to that is you’ve got to make it easy for people to capture the data, where it’s a no brainer, a no thinker. We learned this with small groups, if we just created a link on the website for group leaders to go log in to put in their attendance, you’d get maybe 20%, it’s just not going to happen.

Jason Hamrock: [00:26:42] That’d be a stretch.

Boyd Pelley: [00:26:42] We learned…Yeah, it is a stretch, Jason, actually. We learned that if we want to do that, we got to go where they already are, and most people check their email at least once a week, and back in the day it was more than that. So we push out an email, they don’t respond to the first one, they get a second one, they don’t respond to that, they get a third one, if they don’t respond to the third one, a fourth one goes to the coach. We learned how to get a 100% response from group leaders, 100%, that’s everybody, that’s pretty good data because of the output, and all people do is click on a link in an email that they check every day, that’s all they have to do. There’s no logging in, there’s nothing to download, there’s none of that, it’s right there. So that was the principle that really got Church Teams going where we were really collecting data on groups. Similarly, the tool like that, that has become the tool of choice in the last, whatever number of years, is texting. You don’t have to ask people to download a texting app, they already text. That is probably the app they use the most during the day, they hardly ever even call anymore. So we recognize that using text as a way for people to communicate with the church, to register for things, to give, even to check-in, you can do it by simply sending a text to the church. So around that same idea of keeping it where people already are, staying right out in front of them, we built out texting as a tool, as a way for people to do all of that, connection cards.

Boyd Pelley: [00:28:12] A really nice example with COVID has been with all the live streaming, wanting to be able to follow up with people that are sitting home on their couch. Text a keyword, whether you’re live or live streaming doesn’t matter where you are at all, you’re responding to the message, the appeal, whatever, the exact same way, by text, because everybody has a phone. Whether you’re sitting in a chair in the room, or you’re in a room, you’ve got a phone, and you do the text. That automatically puts them into a follow-up workflow wherever they are, and we’re able to begin doing some follow-up assimilation, get people in the pipelines, and calling them, and stuff like that. So we’ve done a ton of things with texting, and I could go on forever on the features, the open-ended chats, the back and forth chats. The automated workflows that people get a text when they came the first time, and it’s an automated text with a response question, how did you find out about us, it’s just open ended. And then that comes back as a chat, and a staff person can see that, they’re notified of that, they can respond back to that chat, and begin an ongoing relationship with them. So there are some really cool things with texting these days. And you see it everywhere, I mean, that’s what my dentist does, my doctor does that, shoot, the restaurant I go to does that, right, they send you a text whenever. So that’s pretty obviously a key communication tool these days.

Jason Hamrock: [00:29:34] Yeah, because I mean, I have like four or five emails, but I have one cell phone and it’s always with me. So if you want to get ahold of me, my team knows this, if you want to get ahold of me, you either Slack me or you text me.

Bart Blair: [00:29:47] That might be true, he might have a secret cell phone that he hasn’t told us about.

Jason Hamrock: [00:29:53] I can barely keep up with the one I have.

Bart Blair: [00:29:55] Yeah. So, Boyd, I want to ask you a question, and this is kind of off-script a little bit, we didn’t really prepare for this, and then we’re going to they’re going to wrap things up. But we often get this question, so our business, Missional Marketing, we’re really good about driving lots and lots of website visitors to church’s websites, to their social media accounts. We are hopeful and prayerful that many of those people that are connecting with those churches online are eventually making it through the front door of those churches, ultimately, we want people in incarnational relationships. We do value church online, and what church online can do, but we also know that life online, there’s nothing that’s ever going to replace life on life. Here’s the question that we often get, and we’ve seen it pre-COVID, we saw it pan-COVID, we’re seeing it post-COVID or whatever season we’re in, people say, people come to our church, if they don’t register a child, we’re not sure that they’re ever filling out contact information. Obviously, that’s the stranglehold that we have on people is that, hey, if you’re going to drop your kids off in children’s ministry, you have no choice but to give us your data. Do you have any examples, or any churches that you have seen, that are really doing an above-average job at getting people to say yes at a church service or even online and say, I’m ready to give you my information? Do you see anything unique or different with different churches, or do you have any ideas or thoughts on that?

Boyd Pelley: [00:31:28] Well, I can tell you one of the things we did to try to help with that, is because we’ve built this texting to check-in, so anybody can drive in the parking lot and text we’re checking in, get a link back, see their family, everybody in the family, check in to everything they’re going to. If I’m not sure if I’m going to 11:00 service or if I’m going to the men’s group, I’m checking that in as well as my kids that are going to fifth grade, everybody’s getting their name tags, all those families are doing it because they get their name tags. What about the ones that don’t have kids that way, and they don’t need those name tags? Our solution on that was using it as a connection card, was a digital bulletin. And the way the digital bulletin works is, the way you stay in touch with us, or go through the bulletin, or get the feedback, is you text, check in. You text the word, check in, you check that you’re there, and as soon as you enter it, now you have the bulletin. And so now you get the bulletin, but it’s an interactive bulletin, so I’m saving that because the song set for the day, the worship set for the day, all have links to the YouTube videos that are original on it. So on the way home I can click on that link and listen to that same song that I really like, that second or third song. That giving thing is just a button, I click on the giving thing because I’ve done it before, it comes up, all I have to do is put in the amount that I want to give and it’s done because it knows it’s me because it’s from the phone, and the phone is like logging in. So that’s a creative way, the results on that, hang on, are still in play, I think. Because of the adoption, we’ve not seen a ton on that, but that’s the innovation and the thoughts that we’re thinking now.

Boyd Pelley: [00:33:07] You know, there’s the other ones about people that are using their wi-fi, and there’s a little bit of that out there that are playing around, that once you say you’re going to use the wi-fi, you click okay. And one of the subscripts on the okay thing says, we can take attendance for you every time your phone walks in, and as soon as you hit the wi-fi, then we take attendance on you. There are ideas that people are doing like that, that’s a little bit iffy, I mean…

Jason Hamrock: [00:33:35] Yeah, because I have such good service, that I don’t need to connect to the church’s wi-fi.

Boyd Pelley: [00:33:40] Exactly, and people aren’t doing that anymore, they’ll take that off. I mean, you could go with the facial recognition thing, I suppose.

Jason Hamrock: [00:33:45] That’s a little scary. I really like your second one, like again, to me, it’s how much are you going to reinforce it church? Yeah, you can’t, like I said earlier, it’s like raising kids, it’s like your wife, you know, you don’t say, well, I told you I loved you when we got married, isn’t that good enough? You have to reinforce it all the time. And so you can’t just start something, I worked at a church for a long time, we would start stuff and if we didn’t really hammer it through, it just fizzled out. That’s the same thing with your technology, it’s going to fizzle out unless you use it and reinforce good habits. That’s really how you’ll get results.

Bart Blair: [00:34:28] Absolutely. Well, Boyd, we’re going to wrap things up. This has been a really fantastic conversation, and we really appreciate you taking the time to hang out with us via Zoom. We didn’t mention this at the start of the interview, but Boyd and I live like 10 minutes away from each other, so we could have actually gone and sat and done this in person. We will probably have another conversation about this stuff over a meal sometime soon. Jason, sorry, you’ll have to fly to Texas to join us, but I’m sure we can make arrangements for that. Boyd, If any of our listeners or those catching this video on YouTube would like more information about Church Teams, or if they’d like to connect with you, what are some of the best ways for them to do that?

Boyd Pelley: [00:35:11] Two things, a couple of things on that, one is, if you just want to stay in…I do a weekly blog on technology in ministry, kind of the blend of some of the stuff we’ve talked about today, I go over all kinds of things., just, that’s where we’re at. Also, if you want to take a step further than that, and just get in touch with us and begin thinking and learning more about software, there’s a 30-day trial on our website. But also, you can go to, and it’s there, and you can jump in, give a little more information. But really from our website, start a free trial from there, reach out to us in all kinds of ways on that. So

Bart Blair: [00:35:57] Awesome. Thanks so much for hanging out with us today, we really appreciate it. And we just pray that you guys continue to move the needle in helping churches manage data and make more disciples.

Boyd Pelley: [00:36:07] Thanks, Bart. I appreciate all you guys are doing too, a lot. Take care.

Free Church Growth Tools

Deliver More Google Search Traffic to Your Church Website

Lady pointing across her body
Use This First! arrow pointing to the first tool
Map rolled at the edges with a local pin
Local SEO Report
Grant certificate
Google Grant Eligibility Checker
Outreach to young people
Millennial Content Analyzer Tool
SEO magnifying glass
Keyword Analyzer Tool
Monitor with graph showing improvement
Homepage SEO Audit Report
Broken monitor
Website Downtime Alerts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *