Church software is any type of computer software specifically designed for use by a church. There are administrative packages tailored to handle membership databases and finances, and also worship presentation programs to generate images for video projectors.
Worship presentation software
A worship presentation program is a specialised presentation program designed for displaying images (primarily song lyrics) during some forms of Christian worship. Some programs include other features to help plan the service or schedule participants.
There are programs available both commercially and as shareware including EasyWorship, SongPro, and Worship, Inc. for Windows, as well as MediaShout, ProPresenter, and Proclaim for both Macintosh and Windows. Free cross-platform alternatives, which operate on both of these systems as well as Linux, include OpenLP.
Church management software
Church management software is a specialized software that assists churches and other religious organizations in organization and automation of daily operations. These packages typically assist in the management of membership and mailings, fundraising, events, report generation, and bulletin publishing. Churches use the packages to reduce the cost of operations and track the growth in their congregations. The growth in the church management software business coincides with the growing trend of using computers for religious activity.
Larger systems allow multi-user access, with security options to protect confidentiality. Flexible features to keep and report information on attendance and pastoral visits can help church staff manage members. Using a purpose-made package guards against relying on the knowledge of a specific individual to maintain a custom database. However, different church management applications vary significantly from one another, and what works well for one church may not fit the needs of another.
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Church Management Software (ChMS) allows a congregation to keep tabs on information related to activities of the church. It uses a database to store information and typically includes a set of programs or modules to manipulate the stored data.
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With more than 7,000 members and an office staff of 75, Asbury United Methodist Church of Tulsa, Okla., relies on church management software to help run the administrative side of the church.
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Specially-designed software for church management, to track contributions and membership, can be used by savvy pastors to minister to their congregants, said Pat Faudree, a spokeswoman for Shelby Systems, which is a leading church management software company.
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