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"I am Jon Pierce, the crewNeckTech. I am employed full-time at Crossroads Community Church as the Technology Specialist. Fulfilling this title pretty much makes me in charge of anything with current flowing through it... This ranges from our 1 electronic stapler, to our 6 servers, to our 8 Rooftop HVAC units, and to our 64 input video switcher."


    Decisions, decisions...

    I've spent some good chunks of the last several months researching church management systems. We were more or less 100% split, in my opinion, atwixt the 2 best church management systems out there: Church Community Builder (v 2.0), and Fellowship One.

    I frankly feel as if I've got to be the most educated person on the planet (approximately for the next two weeks, as each system just keeps evolving...) on the good, the bad, and the beautiful of each of these two systems. They both have strengths and weaknesses...

    They both take what we have now, and make it sooo much better. They both provide an excellent/accessible user interface that just plain doesn't exist in other packages with similar feature sets. They both come with a long list of features (CCB's list and F1's list). To summarize, they both manage people, groups, finances, check-in, web-related API stuff really well.

    They're both extremely secure, well-protected, and well-backed up. They both have an excellent track record of little to no service outages.

    I've had excellent, productive, thought-provoking discussions with both of my primary "sales" contacts at each company. In fact, we've both got each others' cell numbers just to keep conversations going outside the office... Dedication... They both have an incredible passion to see their product revolutionize our church.

    But there are some differences. So much information on the differences in their feature sets was floating around in my head, that I just had to get it down on (virtual) paper and analyze it without anything else popping up. What follows is a dump of my brain on those ups and downs (bold is really good stuff):

    I could stay in research mode forever, literally.. There is so much to each system, it has taken a long time to understand the benefits of one vs. another. And once you go with one, there is great value (both in implementation costs and longevity of data) in sticking with that choice for a long time. But I had to stop researching/talking, and start doing. With some excellent help from my dad (the executive pastor) we finally did make a decision. We ended up going with CCB pretty much because we ranked the online community the top priority amongst the differences, and the calendaring/resource management second. 2 big items currently in CCB's favor.

    I can see that list above having gone either way depending on priorities, but for our church, CCB was the answer. I am really excited about partnering with Church Community Builder, and can't wait to start implementation! I hope our ministries get to work together for quite a long time. Fellowship, I know many great churches using your system, and I have no doubt many more will flock your direction as well!

    *8/15/08 1:16 AM Update* I will try to make changes to the above spreadsheet as more details & features are made aware to me... already the sheet has changed!

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    • Anonymous Mark Pierce says so:
      August 14, 2008 4:15 PM  

      This is a great post on the difficulty of deciding between the two opportunities. I think I need to post from my end too over at www.churchrequel.com. Maybe I'll do that soon. Thanks for all your hard work! top