Too often, when we look at a large, growing church, our minds quickly focus on the people up front. We see the dynamic preacher. We enjoy the powerful worship band. We notice the top-notch facilities.
But for large churches to grow, it also takes efficiency and creativity behind the scenes.
Seattle’s Churchome is a great example of this.
Leaning on Good Tech Solutions
Churchome is one of the fastest-growing churches on the West Coast. Pastor Wendell Smith started City Church (Churchome’s original name) in the early 1990s with a bold vision to build a church in metro Seattle that couldn’t be ignored, where people from all walks of life would come to hear the story of Jesus. Over the next few decades, the church grew as it became one of the most influential churches in the Pacific Northwest. Today, it has five campuses in Washington state and Southern California.
But as the church has grown, it has leaned on good tech solutions to help it become more efficient and to continue the growth trajectory. For example, before 2018, Annual Giving Statements had become a monster problem for the church.
“We literally got a bunch of people in a room and stuffed envelopes. It was quite the project,” says Justin Isenhart, the church’s director of business support.
Because the church needed to print and mail Annual Giving Statements, Churchome needed physical mailing addresses. But many people had moved without updating their physical addresses.
This made for a cumbersome process that included more manual data entry than should be necessary. After they sent out the statements, the church spent hours fielding questions from members trying to track down their Annual Giving Statements.
This drained time and resources from other important ministry efforts.
Pushpay Saves Churchome Time and Frustration
That’s why the church began implementing Pushpay’s Annual Giving Statement solution in 2017. In October, Isenhart reached out to the Pushpay team to see what needed to be done in order to import giving data from the church’s previous solution to Pushpay.
“The Pushpay team was extremely helpful as we went through these steps,” Isenhart says.
Isenhart called the process of moving over givers to the Pushpay system both easy and clear.
Then, as the church began sending out the statements, Isenhart says they appreciated the option to create a custom message to accompany the statement. Of course, the church leadership wanted to see the custom message before sending it out. Thanks to the Pushpay solution, Isenhart was able to provide a mockup of the email.
“And, of course, the email looked very professional,” Isenhart says.
After Isenhart and his team imported the giving data into the Pushpay system and approved the email, it took only a few minutes to send the giving statements to members.
Isenhart says the transition to Pushpay’s Annual Giving Statements was a win for Churchome—particularly the staff. The accounting no longer had to lock themselves inside a room for a week to get the statements out the door. Because the statements were now tied to email addresses rather than physical addresses, the church staff needed to field fewer questions from people trying to find their missing statements.
“The accounting team is an incredible group of people that probably work harder than anybody else in the entire church. They are just extremely faithful,” Isenhart says. “Anything we can do to make their lives easier is great. It provides them with more margin to do the important work they do.”
Isenhart estimates the Pushpay solution saved Churchome at least two full days with their help throughout the import process. Next year, without the need to do a similar import process, he believes the system will save the church a week and a half of time.
“Pushpay has caught up by leaps and bounds on the administrative side, especially with the Annual Giving Statements,” Isenhart adds. “I just don’t think there’s anything better from a product standpoint.”