Whether your church has 50 or 5000 people, you need to store information about them. At the very least that information is their address and phone number, in a larger scenario it would extend to group involvement, rosters, donations, attendance etc. In the olden days (BC – before computers) this was done on index cards and the like. Today a small church may maintain a list of people in an Excel spreadsheet. These are all tools, and as the church becomes more and more tech savvy the range of tools on offer is ever expanding.
This post is not meant to be a review as I haven’t seen all of these products firsthand, but it’s merely a pointer to some of the tools that are out there and are suitable to Aussie churches.
This is the grand-daddy of Aussie church database software. Now up to version 10, it seems like it’s been around since the dawn of time. It’s an old style Windows application and is probably best suited to small churches with one or two PCs in the office.
This is originally a US product, but has been Aussie-fied by a Melbourne based developer. I have heard nothing but good reports from the Aussie churches that use it.
Developed by Sydney based software house Smardox, iChurch has been built to satisfy the needs of what is probably Australia’s largest church (and one of the worlds). iChurch is a hosted solution that uses a Windows based client. There is also a web-portal for your church members called miChurch. Their check-in system for kids church was also one of the first products in the world to natively support biometric scanning (finger prints).
This is a US based hosted solution. In recent times they have started to take international needs seriously (someone must have bought an atlas and release there were other places outside of the US) and have added features that are applicable to Aussie churches. Aside from the check-in module that requires a small Windows appication, the whole system is web based, so there is nothing to install and can be used anywhere on any platform (Windows, Mac, Linux, mobile). They’ve even released an iPhone/iPod Touch app: F1Touch, which while pretty basic at the moment, is a good first step.
So that’s it. Used any of the above? Had good or bad experiences? Got some other suggestions? Tell the world by leaving your thoughts in the comments.