“The LORD is in his holy Temple. All the earth—be quiet in his presence.” ~ Habakkuk 2:20
God asks us to be still and focus on His message. After all, isn’t the message of God the reason why we all do what we do? A resounding “YES” answers tech guru Sam Batterman, CEO and founder of Seraphim Software. “Most churches do not have the time to regularly research new technology trends to best serve their ministry, nor should they have to! It is our job (church software) to innovate and anticipate, making ministry easier.”
THE EVOLUTION OF CHMS
Thirty years ago, you bought a ChMS to serve as your electronic membership directory. Twenty years ago you bought a ChMS to improve communications. Most recently, church software seemed to be about the bells and whistles that can often distract us. Today, the focus is back to basics with an emphasis on membership. The time has come to truly connect with your church community. If your ChMS still feels like an electronic Rolodex you might not be engaging with today’s congregants in the most meaningful way, let alone empowering them in the process.
“We took a look at what church software was out there and the industry seemed mired in decades-old technology that had lost sight of the true point of ChMS. It was time to focus on the core,” said Seraphim CFO Chris Caldwell.
“With the onset of cloud and big data, why do we let the church sit behind the times?” asked Batterman. “Those of us in the ChMS industry should, and can, do better.”
In 2013, Seraphim set out to fix the void left by church management systems launched over three decades ago. This founding vision (to build the most innovative church management software focused around the essential message of the church) is what sets Seraphim apart. The core for Seraphim is the content of your worship service. They began by looking at the real reason today’s churches need a ChMS — and it wasn’t to be the best electronic Rolodex ever.
BUILDING A CHMS FROM THE INSIDE OUT
In the past, church software began with a feature like online giving or safe check-in, but Seraphim was founded on the belief that you must first look at the core of your church — spreading the Word of God — and build all components from there. By keeping their mission focused on serving the most integral part of the church, Seraphim has built a technology platform that caters to what matters most. Seraphim uses technology to make your church’s mission better in two simple ways.
- Assisting with all the preparation before the service, like organizing volunteers and implementing safe check-in.
- Recording everything that happens after the service, such as attendance, donations, servers, security, visitors and analysis
All of these pieces work together to provide a total church solution that satisfies every stakeholder. The cornerstone of Seraphim is not about one single feature, but how all can work together to complement the church’s core mission. Specific features include:
- Member Management
- Ministry Planner
- Finance Tools
- Reporting & Analytics
- Giving Tools
- Check Scanning
- Cherub Safe Check-in
- Gift/Skill based volunteer matching
- Attendance Tracking
- Mobile Church App
WHO CAN REMEMBER LAST MONTH’S SERMON?
When church content is at the core of a fully integrated church software suite, it’s okay if you don’t remember exact sermons. You can find whatever content you want, whenever you want! When staff or a congregant wants to reference something the pastor talked about three weeks ago, it is easy to find. Within Seraphim’s premiere production software known as Airstream, not only can you watch services but also any member can access complete texts of sermons. Video can be indexed so you can search for exact words your pastor said, not just images. AirStream is the only presentation software that can present, capture, stream, transcode, package and put it all on your website.
IS THERE AN APP FOR THAT?
To encourage engagement, the Seraphim ChurchApp was recently added into the structure of every Seraphim suite. Now congregants can donate, volunteer, update an event, or join a small group on an app that is fully branded to your church, helping them identify with your community every time they use the app. With more than three-quarters of Americans now using smartphones, this constantly evolving tool can truly broaden your church’s reach.
An option like the Seraphim ChurchApp automatically publishes live content from your database to the app. For instance, put a couple’s anniversary in your database and it can instantly be seen in the ChurchApp by your pastor who might just happen to be with that couple and can now offer them a prayer for their marriage then and there.
CAN I BRING MY PHONE?
Over 40 percent of young people bring a phone (instead of a Bible) to church. Let’s make it even easier for them to access the Word of God. With just the click of a button in the Seraphim ChurchApp, the sermon or a chosen Bible verse appears. A mobile app gains a role in worship not by simply pushing info to congregants, but by engaging members and encouraging interaction during the service as well as after.
By offering people the tools they need to stay connected where they will actually use them, you can demonstrate a true understanding of your congregants and a real willingness to attend to their needs anytime, anyplace. Your mobile app must not provide only one-way communication or serve as a static billboard; rather, it should provide a fully dynamic approach to interacting with and empowering your members.
CAN ANYONE UPDATE ANYWHERE ANYTIME?
Let your ChMS do your updates for you! With a comprehensive church management software system, no need to buy servers or network equipment or even worry about backing up your database. Seraphim automatically does your management for you, maximizing your computer’s hardware while leveraging the Cloud as centralized storage. Similar to powerful apps like Office 365, Adobe Connect or Spotify, Seraphim continuously updates users. Users are perpetually pushed new capabilities, all from the same system.
INNOVATE AND ANTICIPATE
Constant innovation should be at the heart of any ChMS. Social tools, analytics, and mobile devices are pushing technology in the church like never before. Seraphim meets this need with hundreds of new features introduced in four updates every year. In 2016 alone Seraphim had over a hundred platform updates. Four times a year we deliver feature-rich updates to every customer.
In the past four years, Seraphim has created:
- A Completely New, Integrated Church Management Software Suite (Seraphim Office)
- A Fully Branded Mobile Church App (Seraphim ChurchApp)
- A Unique Remote Deposit System, Complete With Check Scanning (Seraphim Teller)
- The First Ever Commercial Church Data Warehouse (Seraphim Insight)
WHAT COULD BE NEXT?
- The ability to “like” a song live as it is being played during Worship?
- Facial recognition to supply true attendance records?
- A Church Alexa to answer all inquiries?
Is it farfetched? “Maybe, but” according to Batterman, “If your ChMS isn’t supporting outside-the-box thinking, you aren’t with a visionary. That means you might just be paying for a glorified Rolodex.”
“In the rush and noise of life, as you have intervals, step home within yourselves and be still. Wait upon God, and feel His good presence; this will carry you evenly through your day’s business.” ~ William Penn
Still all the noise by finding the right ChMS for your church and get back to what matters most. To find out more, visit SeraphimSoftware.com