Church Management Software

One common problem that church leaders face is how to spend their time most effectively. Although these leaders seem to have an unlimited amount of energy, they are only human. Often they divide their work up into two categories: housekeeping items and spirituality. The housekeeping items involve tasks like updating the church records and taking care of the accounting. The spiritual tasks include preparing for sermons and serving the members in any way. Unfortunately these housekeeping items often take up a lot of time leaving it hard to focus on what’s most important.


Fortunately, there is technology to help these leaders with their housekeeping items. Church management software has several features that make it easier to run the day-to-day operations of the church: (1) Accounting and payroll. Handling all of the contributions can be a real head-ache and it is very time consuming. Church staff members have to make sure that all of the donations are categorized properly according to the FASB nonprofit standards. In addition, at the end of the year members should receive a contribution statement that lists how much they contributed during the year for tax purposes. Fortunately there is church accounting software to help you with all of this. (2) Tracking membership information. A good church software package will also be able to help with tracking important member information such as contact information, current callings, and conversion date. Managing all of this would be a nightmare without a good management program. (3) Scheduling and managing activities. A good church membership software program will help you keep track of all the service opportunities and other activities going on within the church.

Non-sponsored List of Church Management Software Providers:

Click on any of the links below to read a review about the software (you’ll also find links to each companies’ website).

Church Windows

This company has been making church software since software started being developed. Okay, maybe not that long, but they have been in the business since 1987. They have the friendliest staff and the best customer service (I’ve dealt with quite a few church software companies and have been really impressed by how I was treated at ChurchWindows). Their software is broken up into 6 modules: Membership, Scheduling, Payroll, Accounting, Contribution, and Accounts Receivable. Initially the separate module idea bothered me, but as I deal with more church leaders I find that they all have different needs.

ACS Technologies

ACS has been in this business for a long time. They provide some very high-quality and flashy software. Probably the thing I like best about ACS is how they cater to different sized churches. They have an option for small churches, medium/large churches, and mega churches. This is very good software. This is a larger company so expect to receive all that comes with dealing with a big company: tried and tested software, but occasionally a small customer might fall between the cracks.

Power Church

PowerChurch is another company that has been providing church management software for a long time. They provide a solid program at a great price. As they like to say they “provide the biggest bang for your buck.”

Servant Keeper

This is an interesting church management system solution. One feature that is particularly intriguing is the option to integrate the management software with QuickBooks. Many people prefer to do their accounting on QuickBooks (because that’s how they’ve always done it). This software allows you to manage your church and contributions using QuickBooks as an extension.

Icon Systems

Icon Systems' LogoThe people at Icon Systems take church management very seriously. They have a licensed CPA on staff that can answer all of your church accounting questions (accounting is where most church leaders run into problems, usually membership management doesn’t cause as much stress because you don’t have standards and regulations that you are required to follow). IconCMO (the software provided by Icon Systems) is based online. The new trend in technology is to move the software online. This makes it so church volunteers can access the information from anywhere they have Internet access. It also means that your church doesn’t have to worry about the technology headaches that comes with upgrading (the tech experts at Icon Systems take care of all this for you).

ChurchTrac

ChurchTrac management software The idea behind ChurchTrac is to provide a low-cost solution for managing your church. The ChurchTrac software is free for your first 100 members. This is great new for those churches that are just starting out and are on extremely tight budgets.

ChurchTrac has also branded itself as the “easy-to-use” church management system. This means that your church will save money in support costs. Many software companies make their living off of providing difficult software programs and then charging a lot of money for support. ChurchTrac goes the other way; they try to make their software as user-friendly as possible so that you’ll never have to bug them. You can read my full review by clicking on the link above.

More church management software reviews to come…

I would be very grateful if others could provide their experience with these church management software programs. If you have experience with any church management program please write about it below (in the comments section). This will really help out people looking to find programs for their church. You would be surprised at the number of people looking for help. Take a few minutes to serve your fellow man. You’ll be blessed for it!

Please include the following information.

Name of program used:

Years using it:

Approximate size of your church:

Your experience with the software (Did it save you time?) (Was it hard to get up and running?) (Would you recommend it to a friend?) (How user friendly is it?):

Anything else you think will help others who are searching for software to manage their church:

Note: If you work for one of these companies and would like to get your logo placed next to your review, then please contact me.

Comments

  1. An interesting discussion is definitely worth comment.
    There’s no doubt that that you need to write more about this subject matter, it might not be a taboo subject but generally folks don’t discuss
    these issues. To the next! Many thanks!!

  2. Hi My church is looking to update our church management software. We are a medium size congregation, presently we have a 10 year old version of Church Windows that has not been upgraded. Welike how ServantKeeper looks but are concerned that we can’t seem to locate any churches locally that are using it..although the salesperson says “22,000 churches” are. We did find one church that has it but the church assisstant didn’t like it-said it had problems and the support desk was hard to reach. Can anyone out there let me know if you do have it and how you like/don’t like it? Especially in Ohio…thanks!

  3. hi….. sir i am a student of engg .i m requesting for u that show the application of church mangement requirement n how if forms flows .so it can helps us to implement
    hope so u will take in consideration n response for same

  4. We designed Track-A-Donor specifically to help with the enormous task of printing and mailing donation receipts. As online donation tracking software, Track-A-Donor allows multiple people to collaborate on the same organization from home or church office.

  5. I’ve been involved with ChurchApp recently – it’s still a pretty new product, but is definitely worth checking out. Very simple interface, but there’s a lot that you can do with it, and new features are being added all the time. http://churchapp.co.uk

  6. Is one of these programs that you’ve reviewed better for United Methodist Churches than the others? Or, do any of them have a United Methodist module? I’m looking for something that is programmed to reflect both our church’s administrative structure on the local and Annual Conference levels as well as being able to link in with Quickbooks, which our treasurer has been using for several years.

    • Hey Douglas,

      To be honest with you, I don’t know if one is better for the United Methodists Churches or not. I’d recommend asking some of the church leaders at other United Methodist Churches what they are using.

      Sorry, I couldn’t be more helpful.

      Best,

  7. This was super helpful. Our church is looking to change our management software. I am not particularly fond of Power Church because it is not as flexible as our church needs. I have run across a few ChMS that I believe are pretty good: Elexio and Fellowship One. In this day and age ChMS are necessary to connect with your members. It is not just used to record contributions. I like these ChMS because they project connection points and means to send different types of communications to your members. Check them out!

  8. I would also suggest that you check out Fresh Vine. They have a great online management system for churches that is very easy to use.

  9. I was asked to be Clerk for the church. I had never done this before but was willing to try. The pastor handed over to me a physical ledger book where all the contributions and offerings were being hand recorded. I thought it would be much easier if I setup all this information up in an excel spreadsheet. This worked great until we started growing and adding more ministries, then it became very cumbersome and time consuming. The board agreed for me to purchase a church software program that would simplify my job. I began searching on the internet for church software that would fit our needs. After looking at many, I chose CahabaWorks. Their demo online was so easy to understand and very user friendly. There were so many report options that were perfect for our board meeting reports. I was spending hours preparing the monthly board reports with Excel, but with CahabaWorks, I click one button, choose the dates and there it is! There was a learning curve at the beginning. But I can’t say enough as to how helpful and kind Support was each and every time I called them. The program was easy to install and I’ve already downloaded an upgrade and it all went smoothly. I would recommend this program to any church that is looking for software to organize and track their finances. There are so many options that are available in CahabaWorks that I’ve not even touched the surface. It’s great to know that as our church grows and we add more ministries, groups and activities that this program will easily keep up. You should check them out.

  10. We have been using Concordia Technologies Member Connect for several years now, and find it very good for what its name implies, Connecting with Members. What is extremely good about Member Connect is that it includes a VERY comprehensive web site for the church that serves as a central communications point for the congregation.

    Concordia also has a full management program, Shepherd’s Staff that includes complete Membership, Attendance, Contributions, and Finance modules. Though we don’t use it yet, we are planning to look into Shepherd’s Staff in some depth to accommodate some changes that are happening in our congregation.

    More as I find out more.

  11. We’ve been using ChurchDB for over 9 years now. It is a great online church management system.

    ChurchDB was the only online church management system when we searched for one starting over 10 years ago. It has grown and improved into a superior church management system, and it pays for itself!

    ChurchDB handles accounting for pledges, donations, and religious education fees. In fact, you can register and pay for religious education online with the software. Parishioners are able to log into ChurchDB to update personal information, sign-up for ministries, participate in egroups, register for education classes and other events, and make pledges and donations online.

    • Thanks for mentioning that Bill. I”ll put that software package on my list of church management programs to review. Slowly, I’m going to get through them all. Thanks for the heads up.

  12. Renia,

    My name is Byron, and I’m with ChurchTrac Software. One of my customers saw your post and told me about it. Please allow me to respond. If we are unable to answer your call, we do have a voice mail system, and we make every effort to call you back as soon as humanly possible. We strive for excellent customer service. But I could not find where you had left a message for us to call you back. We don’t make a profit off our support center like some other companies do. Instead, we strive to make ChurchTrac as easy to use as possible–and we include lots of free help resources too. When you do have a question, phone and email support is available. Again, if we don’t answer, please leave us a message and we’ll call you right back.

    ChurchTrac’s accounting features are perhaps more basic when compared to other programs, and similar to Quicken. Most of our users find it easier to use and well suited to small to mid-size congregations than something like Quickbooks. ChurchTrac also includes an excellent system for contribution tracking–perhaps the best in the industry. Since you can download ChurchTrac for free, we recommend you try it out, or at least view our help articles on the website, which will give you a very good idea of what ChurchTrac is capable of. Let me know if I can help in any way.

  13. Renia Johnson says:

    Have you reviewed or heard of ChurchTrac Software. Our church is only using Excel and an accountant to keep our books. We are trying to find a software that manages the accounting as well as track the membership, but at a “reasonable price”. Someone recommmended ChurchTrac software to me, but I’ve tried calling them for the last two days and just get an answering service. (Not a good sign) We are a small/medium size congregation. Any suggestions?

    • Well look at that. Faster service over the Internet than over the phone! hehe. Hopefully you have been in touch with ChurchTrac now and have had your questions answered. Good luck finding the right software for your church. If you have any more questions for me you can contact me using my contact page. Or you can just leave a comment.

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