Church management Essay
My proposal is to provide you with an Integrated Parish Management Solution which will synchronize all management processes including attendance records, church activities records , financial records, membership personal data etc. The need for a customized Integrated Parish Management Solution for the Church cannot be over emphasized because the solution will be tailored in solving your church’s unique needs. The Integrated Solution would deliver a single database containing data for the different software modules to be developed. The modules that would be developed are : Financial Module
-Manage Donations, Search Cash Expenses, Manage Offering Types, etc. Church Activity Module-Would provide the functionality of Searching Past Activities, New Church Activity, Testimonies, New testimony, Manage Activity Types etc. Membership and People Management Module – Would provide the functionality of Searching for Parish members, new members, Membership by Type, New Converts, Search for First-Timers, etc. Groups and Department Module
– Would Manage Groups, Manage Departments Activities, etc.
-would give Attendance report, Financial Report, Membership Detail Report, etc. We are aware that your congregation members are your most valuable assets and aim to ensure that you are able to provide them with that personal and intimate care required for deep commitment and loyalty on the part of the parishioners. Our solution aims to aid the church in the following areas:
•Membership Personal Information Management
•Church performance analysis and Reporting
•Easy Access to All Information about Every Individual
•Reducing Membership Outflow
•Building Enduring Personal relationship with the Members •Solve all Record Keeping Issues
•Manage All Financial Records
•Visual and Graphical Illustration of the Church Performance Per Time •High Security and Back Up Strategy •Effective Follow-up system for new Converts and First -timers We propose to deploy a robust Integrated Church management Solution.
This solution will focus primarily on integrating all key Church management processes and will result in ultimate member satisfaction with your services by providing a fast and efficient membership follow-up strategy. This is why our Integrated Parish Management Solution is designed to assist you to effectively harness information about your Members, Ministers, Workers, all Department and Group in the church, and other resources which should translate to better
Today, even with the digital transformation that the world is undergoing, numerous churches still use manual record keeping systems. Every record starting with members’ details all the way to the very delicate financial details are kept manually. A case study conducted at King’ong’o PCEA parish at Nyeri prove that churches are still in the analogue world despite the pursuit of the word to the digital heights. The church is an ever growing entity. More people are converted and more children are born into Christian homes. Gone are the days when pastors, shepherds, priests, bishops and the likes knew each and every member of his church personally.
Churches are no longer just fellowships, degrees are offered, accounts are kept, people are wedded and the welfare of members is attended to. Imagine what a professional football team would be like without a regimen of practice drills? Now take away their playbook and player statistics. What you have in this extreme scenario are highly talented (and perhaps overpaid) individuals participating in organized chaos. They might actually win a game or two, but in the long run, this team is doomed. This illustration is to drive home the point of why any organization needs to examine the existence and effectiveness of its management systems. The world is becoming Information and technologically based.
For this reason, Management Systems have been introduced into various industries ranging from the educational to the health sector and even into agriculture amongst other things. A management Information System is a system to convert data from internal and external sources into information, in an appropriate form, to management at all levels in all functions to enable them to make timely and effective decisions for planning, directing and controlling the activities for which they are response. The Church is not excluded from these industries.
The Church Management and Information System is a system for churches to manage their operations efficiently and systematically (Wikipedia, 2012). It is also a specialized software that assists churches in organization and automation of daily operations. Current System
King’ong’o PCEA uses a fully manual system of keeping all its records. Financial records, which need a lot of transparency and accountability, are kept in hand written documents. A lot of transactions involving money are carried out by the parish. For instance, managing donations from church members and well-wishers, managing offerings and tithes by members,searching and managing cash expenses by the church etc. All the financial details are kept manually which is cumbersome and prone to mistakes. Flaws can easily occur with this system making it not reliable ad calling for a remedy. The church also needs to keep track of activities that take place in the church every day.
For instance, searching past activities by the parish, newly integrated church activities, testimonies, new testimonies, managing activity types etc. Other things also need record keeping like managing people and the issue of membership to the church. In this case, records for new members, new converts, First-timers etc. need to be kept. With the existing system, searching the records is cumbersome and time-consuming. Records of groups and departments relating to the church ought to be maintained for the benefit of the church.
Department activities need to be properly recorded and updated accordingly and retrieved as per the church management needs. Retrieval of these records is hard since they are kept in files in written documents. Retrieving a record involves perusing through a huge number of files. A lot of time is wasted retrieving manual records. Reports need to be kept and retrieved as per the needs of church managers. For instance, attendance reports for church members, financial reports after a certain amount of time, membership details report etc. Reports for the existing system involves going through relevant records manually and coming up with the required reports. This is cumbersome and time-wasting. Proposed system
A software system is proposed to replace the manual system for keeping records. A financial module is used to automate financial record keeping and retrieval. A database is used to store financial details of the parish. An interface is provided for interacting with the database whereby a user can write into the database and they can query the database as per their needs. Financial data keeping is made easy through this software solution and also searching of financial details made even more easier through the proposed software.
Through an Activity module, daily activities in the church are stored in a database which is updated to embrace new activities. A platform for communicating to the database is offered where the user(authorized) interacts with the database(writes into the database and queries the database).With the new system, activities in the church are recorded in database tables and can always be retrieved with their respective dates via queries. A lot of valuable time is saved through the new system. Departments are automated using a department module.
This module offers an interface for entering details of interest into the database. Since departmental details are of prime importance in as far as the church is concerned, proper details relating to the Parish ought to be kept and retrieved with ease. The user searches records relating to a department of interest with a lot of ease through the interface provided by the departments’ module.
The cumbersomeness with the manual system would thus be alleviated by the proposed software solution. Report generation with the proposed system is automated (made alarmingly easy)through the Report module .This is done through integrating database SQL capabilities into the software. Financial reports, activity reports etc. can be generated through simply pressing a button which will give prompts to the user on the reports they want.
The tire and the boredom associated with perusing through records to draw a report are completely eradicated through the proposed software solution. The various modules defined with different functionalities are integrated to form a harmoniously and effectively working software to attend the manual problem of keeping Parish records.
Keeping records manually is utterly cumbersome since it involves handwriting or typing every detail of interest. Handling physical records is cumbersome since storage space is needed and they can be affected by natural circumstances such as pests and unfavorable environment. Additionally, compiling reports for physical(manual)records is not an easy task since it involves walking through all records and drawing information of interest.
A lot of personnel is needed to keep records for the different church departments and maintain them and this comes with higher costs due to wages for the record keepers. King’ong’o PCEA Parish is one of the victims of the above mentioned problems which the proposed system wishes to provide a remedy for.
The resulting Integrated Parish Management Solution will be in English and will include subsystems and functionality to support the following: FINANCIAL MODULE
The Financial Module comes with the right tools to aid in the church in management of the following: •Contributions and Donations
•Offerings and tithes
•Cash Expense and lots Donations management is a key area in this module as individual donations by members and linked to the major donations which help to answer questions like (How much has being released from a particular donation announcement)The offering management allows the church to record any kind of offering type, thus not restricting you to any form of predefined structure. GROUPS AND DEPARTMENT MANAGEMENT MODULE
Grouping system encourages the participation of members in the church, church+ takes special care in the implementation of grouping, the system comes with a flexible system for any form of group to be created by the users and members added to groups. Members of a given group can be managed from this module.
CHURCH ACTIVITY MANAGEMENT MODULE
Activities in the church provide a building block to almost all the other parts of the church and as such should be well structured and data emerging from it effectively managed. The church activity module provides you with the tools to enable you to manage the various diverse data about church activities, it is built in such a way as to be flexible to accommodate different needed of different churches. MEMBERSHIP MANAGEMENT MODULE
This module helps to manage the various information of member of the church. This feature is so flexible and you can work on it according to your specific needs and requirement. Under this module, we have all the personal data of each member. You can search for: •People
•Add new Member/First-Timer. When you add new member, all the data about that particular member is captured •View Members by Types: it helps to sort members by types e.g. are they full member? Worker? Minister? Etc. •New converts: all new converts are captured here.
Integrated parish Management Solution will be well integrated, meaning that changes in a module would automatically update another related module. High level authentication will be needed to log into the Integrated Parish Management Solution. Passwords are encrypted, such that it is practically impossible to gain access to someone’s password. Role Management is also
implemented making your church users have different access levels, hence making “users see only what they are supposed to see”.
The importance of creating a backup can never be emphasized enough. The parish’s IT department will be responsible for implementing routines for regular backup of organization’s data. In the event of a possible system crash, it will be time -consuming and difficult to reconstruct the database. For frequent program use I thus recommend that backups are taken daily.
Backups can be taken to the hard-drive, a shared folder in the network or to external media such as USB pen drives, Zip drives or similar. I recommend that you store at least one complete backup separate from the computer in case of disaster. Provision for external hard drive storage has been integrated in the financials.
A software solution for the named problem would be very appropriate compared to the existing system. The following reasons justify the need for the software solution: The tire associated with making records manually and maintaining them would be alleviated. The Integrated Parish Management Solution would offer a lot of ease in recording any details of interest. The software would offer an excellent interface to interact with the Parish database (entering new details and updating existing details to ensure integrity). As a result of the ease of recording and updating data, the problem of tire associated with data maintenance would be eradicated by the proposed Integrated Parish Management solution.
Parish personnel cost would go down as a result of implementation of the Proposed Integrated Parish Management Software. With the old system, a lot of personnel is required to keep and maintain Parish records which culminates in higher Parish running costs. The Proposed system would call for reduced personnel due to the resulting ease in keeping and maintain Parish records and consequently, the running costs of the parish would significantly reduce.
Accurate and reliable financial records would be kept using the proposed system through the financial module which would provide security to financial details and only allow access only by authorized individuals. This would promote some level of transparency and accountability in the handling of Parish finances compared to the existing manual system which can be easily tampered with. For instance, with the manual system documents reflecting financial details of the Parish can be distorted by water or pests. Malicious individuals can take advantage of such a situation to commit fraud.
With the proposed system, departmental management is easy. All Parish departments and the activities that revolve around the departments are well recorded and updated accordingly. Groups in the Parish are as well better managed through the propose Integrated Parish Management solution. This is unlike the old system where a manager or Parish head has to physically interact with departmental heads to get the required information. The proposed solution offers a remedy for the mentioned departmental and group-related issues. Reports, which are of prime importance in as far as running of any organization is concerned, are automatically generated by the Proposed Integrated Parish management Software.
For instance, financial transactions by the Parish according to the respective dates, Parish activities according to the date of occurrence etc. can be automatically generated with the proposed Solution. This eradicates the fatigue associated with going for long times through documents and files trying to compile a report that would otherwise be generated within a blink of an eye with the proposed system. Keeping track of members of the Parish would fairly easy with the proposed system. Records of old and new members would kept and made easy to retrieve.
New converts would also be part of the data that would be maintained and made easy to access and modify in case of secession of a member from the church. This way, the Parish would manage its members better than using the manual register system.
All the components and work packages of this project will take three weeks
to accomplish. Following the approval of this proposal, the table below summarizes the different phases and timelines of the various aspects of the project to be executed within time and on budget: –