If you’re reading this, you’re probably a Kids Pastor or somehow involved in the world of kidmin (although I know there are others as well… including my mom and other extended family). So, I need to throw you a serious line of caution. Don’t miss this… seriously.

When it comes to your role and what you’re responsible for, these social church database tools are the icing on the cake. I do believe that both tools (and those yet to come out) will enhance our ministry to our volunteers and better equip them to do their jobs. However, the people who are really going to get excited about these tools is everyone in your staff outside of the children’s ministry. Actually, they’re all going to go nuts, especially your pastor, small group pastors and the like. They’re going to be ready to make the switch yesterday. My word of caution for you is to hold the line.

We’ve actually been on the search for something like this for a few years now. Over two years ago we flirted with a company that allowed us to have a facebook-like experience that wasn’t very expensive, so we moved on it to check it out. They had plans to integrate (share the API) with a church database system so that all of it would fluidly talk together. The software turned out to be kind of crappy (totally not user friendly) and the church database system they were integrating with had some major deficiencies in areas that were essential to us as a church. So for them, it was a no-go. I wonder though, if this software we were looking at was as good (or better) than a facebook-like experience, would we have given in to the not-so-great church software and compromised? That’s where you might have to hold the line.

When looking at the new social church database tools on the market now, you need to evaluate what it offers as well as what it doesn’t. They may do some incredible things that you’ve not been able to do up until now, but what price are you willing to pay for this new found functionality? Here’s the scenario that is likely to play out. The new tools may be the answer to everything your small groups pastor needs, but making the switch will be a major sacrifice to the finance team as the financial tools are not as good as what they were previously using. Or in our case, the tool is a big win for small group connectivity, but is a step backward when it comes to check-in or something that affects the Children’s Ministry.

Does that make sense? Moving to new tools like this will affect the whole team. Make sure you know what the implications are with the tool you’re looking at. If it negatively affects kids, then know what it is and SPEAK UP! If it doesn’t, then all is good!

In the end, it’s an exciting time for our churches. I love the tools that are developing and it’s going to be cool to see what develops next!