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We (Friendship CRC in Byron Center, MI) use PowerChurch. I researched the various options (about 4 years ago) and thought PowerChurch was the best software for our church for the money. We are very happy with it. We use it to print the church directory, for volunteer lists, event/room scheduling, contribution statements, membership reports, etc. We will be upgrading to version 11 this month. Feel free to contact me to schedule a look at how we use it if you want.

One thing that I've seen work well, whether the meeting is expected to be controversial or not, is to have a "town hall" type of meeting prior to the meeting where the votes are called for.  This provides for a time of discussion followed by a time of waiting prior to voting.  Emotions that come out during the discussion portion don't carry over into the voting time, and issues/concerns that are raised during the discussion time are followed up with time for consideration, research, prayer, etc.

Thank you to all who participated in the survey.  I will be working on the data and will get results back to you.

When we redesigned our website three years ago we really struggled with this issue.  In the end, we decided that the privacy of our members needed to be protected in many cases.  Therefore, we have a "members only" section (called MY FCRC) ... for meeting minutes, our "focus" section of the bulletin (which contains names, phone numbers, e-mails and other things that should be kept private), budget reports, our prayer line (again, some private information).  I disagree with the statement that e-mail is best for prayer updates ... I don't think there is a "best" anymore.  For a lot of our membership, e-mail is best; for others, the webpage is best; for others, an unpublished phone line with a recording is best.  In March, for example, we had 114 visits to our member-only Prayer Line webpage -- I don't know how many people that represents, but that's between 3 and 4 visits every day -- all by our church members (since it requires a log-in).

We just updated our website, hoping to make it, primarily, a site for visitors ... there is plenty of stuff there for visitors: our bulletin (i.e. our order of worship), pictures, videos, our history, our ministry plan, our floor plan, most of our policies, etc.  But, we also wanted to have a member section for communication purposes.  See  Also, our website stats for Jan. thru March of this year can be viewed at  I think it's a good idea to know what your web traffic stats are -- we've been surprised at what gets looked at and what doesn't.  It's often good to have data.

Every church's situation will be different, so it's good to hear the different ideas and thoughts on The Network!

FYI, I would recommend FaithConnector if you want some good Content Management Software for your website.  Easy to use.

I am the task team leader for our church "Governance & Ministry Task Team".  We formed this past summer (as directed by our council) and are finishing up our work to review how we do things at our church -- in particular with elders, deacons, council structure, ministry teams, etc.  In addition to reading Dr. DeMoor's "Church Order Commentary" (which was excellent), we also read Hotchkiss' "Governance and Ministry".  This book paved the way for the direction we took.  It is an excellent explanation of a concept -- you still have to do a lot of the work and figuring out how if applies to your specific situation, but the concepts, as explained in this book, are, in my opinion, the best way to approach this problem.  I would highly recommend the "Governance and Ministry" book!

I have found The Network very helpful, mostly from a church adminstration and/or church finance perspective.  I am somewhat disappointed with the number of people who do not use it (both in our local church and denomination wide).  I would like a broader perspective.

I think the various "guides" have done an admirable job.  There has been much thought and time spent from some very dedicated persons.  My thanks to them!

We, too, have used the national survey data -- primarily through the National Association of Church Business Administrators (NACBA) -- which includes regional information as well.  The limitation with this survey and with the information in Richard Hammar's book is that it lacks good information on the local market.  That is why, particularly in the Grand Rapids area where we have several CRCs, it seems that we could work together to provide good local information.  I'm just not sure how to make it happen.  If nothing else, the NACBA survey and/or the Compensation Handbook for Church Staff are a great place to start.

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