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
- 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?