Maybe I’m missing something but I’ve been unable to find a piece of software or an App that can help medium-sized churches organize their communications about congregational needs and project management.

I’ve looked at a number of possibilities (e.g. Asana, Trello, Basecamp, etc.), and, with my elders and deacons, we have tried a couple too. But we can’t seem to find anything that works for an average church like ours.

There are some incredibly expensive options that seem more suited to megachurches with mega-staffs; there are many incredibly complicated solutions that make it almost impossible to learn and sustain; and there are some horrendously expensive options too. But there’s a real lack of something basic, simple, and reasonably priced, which is easy to learn and can do just one thing really well.

Here’s what I’m looking for: an App for both iPhone and Android, that will enable pastors, elders, and deacons to keep up-to-date with congregational needs and basic project management.

Here’s what I mean. When a pastor, elder, deacon, church secretary, etc. gets information about a member with a pastoral need (e.g. a visit or a counseling problem), or they decide that a task or project needs to be done, they should be able to open this App and do the following:

1. Enter the member’s name (e.g. John Smith, Lisa Brown) or the task (e.g. write report, paint door, fix microphones, clean windows, etc.).

2. Briefly describe the need (visit, phone call, counseling, financial, repair, purchase cleaning materials).

3. Assign the need or task to designated person or people (pastor, elder, deacon, custodian, Woman’s Group, Youth Group, etc).

4. Send out the information to everyone who should know (together with a note of who is to perform the task). Depending on the need, the recipients list could be:

  • The elders.
  • The deacons.
  • One of more women who have been chosen to help the elders and deacons.
  • Youth Group leaders.
  • Woman’s Group leaders.
  • Church secretary
  • Custodian/Caretaker
  • All of the above.

5. When the designated person has completed the task, he/she enters a brief report and that information is sent out to everyone who got the information in #4.

6. A central record of each assigned task is maintained on the App and on a website, so that all who should know can know at any one time what has been done and what remains to be done.

If there’s something like this out there that I don’t know about, please let me know. It doesn’t have to be “Christian” or for churches. It’s really just a basic group task manager I’m looking for, but it has to have the following characteristics and capacities:

It must be simple (can’t emphasize this enough): This is to encourage speedy adoption and use (just enter name, task, or project, and brief description).

It must have input via a website and an App: All users must be able to enter and receive information even when away from their desks and computers.

It must allow group recipients: Users shouldn’t have to input all the elders or deacons names, but simply choose which group(s) to send the information to.

It must allow assignment of the task: When the information is sent out, a person is either designated or else recipients are asked to volunteer and assign the task to themselves. (If sub-tasks in a project could be incorporated that would be a bonus).

It must provide for “task done” notification: When assigned person has completed task, they record that and everyone is informed.

It must be centralized: Central website where tasks can be tracked and weekly and regular reports can be produced.

It must be secure: Although users would be trained to be discrete in entering information, there has to be good protections against hacking.

It must be reasonably priced: If someone can design something like this, I think they would sell a lot of Apps to churches with limited budgets. It would be financially profitable to the developer and spiritually profitable for the churches of Christ.

Ideally (not a necessity), it would enable editing of documents: If a group of people are working on a report or a proposal, it would be so helpful to have one place the file can be accessed and edited with the changes made by each person being noted.

So, have I missed this ideal App? Or is there a developer out there who wants to put their talents to good use?

  • James Boyd

    Bug tracking or issue tracking systems for software development should be configurable to do what you want.

    I’ve used, and like, Jira. It’ll be some work to configure the right workflow, and need ongoing administration to ensure permissions are correctly set for confidentiality reasons, but it’ll do the job.

    • James Boyd

      Since it does the job so well, it’ll cost a fair bit, but if you’re stuck it’d be pretty good.
      There are plenty alternatives, but I can’t speak for any of them as to whether they’d be good enough:
      Trac – wiki with ticketing system

      • James Boyd

        Contacting the vendor, they might be able to give a pretty healthy trial or entry rate if you help them open up a new market (or if they know you’ll never have the budget to purchase their stuff).
        If it avoids the need for a full-time admin assistant, and scales better, an expensive license is usually a lot less than someone’s wage.

  • James Boyd

    Although, if you want simple and really cheap, setting up a pile of google spreadsheets with webforms might be the way to gather tasks simply and easily.
    Something’d need to be done to link that up so the person it’s assigned to can get the information. It could let you prototype and evolve quite quickly and easily.

    Simple and feature-full is pretty hard to achieve.
    Demonstrably useful, and feature-full, is much easier to target.

  • Caleb Davis

    I really think the app Todoist could serve your team well.

  • Johnny Schlaack has worked fairly well for us

  • Jaron Vande Hoef

    It wouldn’t meet all of your requirements, but Evernote would be a free way to hit at least 80% of what you are trying to accomplish.

  • Melanie Harper

    One of our deacons texted me the following today when I told him about your post.

    I’ve been working with Zoho CRM. I think it could be used for much of what he is requesting. It has a free version they could check out and expand if they like it, to paid versions with more options.

    This Zoho doesn’t have an app however. I’m just adding to the overall discussion.

  • Daniel

    You can check by

  • David Murray

    Thanks for all the input. I’ll follow these up and let you know the results.

    • Rod Gomez

      Can’t wait to hear what you find!

  • Ed Eubanks, Jr.

    David, this is exactly what we envision for Flock, a system that is in development by Doulos Resources ( We’ve got a prototype in alpha builds now, and will be doing some limited (on a sign-up basis) public beta testing soon, we hope. What you outlined above is almost concept-for-concept in line with our vision for it.

    If you want a more in-depth idea of what we’re developing, we have a video that walks through our overall concept:

    Sorry to be “plugging” on your blog, but the similarities are so striking I felt I needed to say so.

  • Mark

    What about church trac online? They have a 14 day trial, and I’ve always been curious to know how their online product stacks up.

  • Liam Shannon

    Hi David,
    Just wondering what did you eventually go with? I am interested for our church.

  • David Murray

    Nothing positive to report yet, I’m afraid. I’ll let you know if I ever find this elusive piece of software.

  • Ben McKay

    Hey David, I’ve been looking for this very thing for my church too! I’ve tried out probably 5 different project management systems but no luck on finding ‘simple and easy to use’. All this to the point where I am about to have my company develop something for churches for this very thing. Would you be interested in having a say in features?

    • David Murray

      Yes, Ben, I welcome such an initiative and would gladly give some input.

      • Ben McKay

        Can you reach out to me at We can start the discussion there.

  • John Riggs

    I don’t know if you’ve found what you’re looking for yet, but several departments at my church use Basecamp 2. It is web based, and has apps for both iOS and Android. It suits our needs well.

  • Todd Bryant

    I use Asana. I’ve worked it out to a science. Let me know if you would like to chat.

  • Bit by Tick

    What doesn’t Asana do that you would like. They have greatly increased the features of the program and the app over the last year. Some of our church departments have used for a couple years.

  • Dis

    Check 5pm:
    Some churches using it are listed here:
    Solid, easy to use, and it’s been around for over ten years.

    Or, check smartQ:

  • Eric Syfrett

    Have you explored Realm from ACS Technologies? My understanding is that it is supposed to do most, if not all, of your requirements. We aren’t using it yet but considering for 2018 so I can’t verify.