Scheduling in a Merging Church? Consider these questions first.
Navigating a church merger brings unique challenges, especially when managing the multiple facets of parish life that suddenly become intertwined.
One of the biggest hurdles? Scheduling and database management. Should your newly unified parish maintain separate scheduling databases for each original church, or should you merge them into one? This decision impacts not just administrative efficiency but also the day-to-day experiences of your volunteers.
Questions to consider
Will one person or office oversee the scheduling for both churches? If yes, merging your database into one could be more efficient, helping streamline volunteer management and subscription costs. If the answer is no, continue by considering the following questions.
Will your parishioners be serving across all service times and locations frequently? If yes, merging the databases will be ideal for qualifying volunteers to serve at various services. If not, you may still manage volunteers in one database and use the Folders features to manage the ministries at each church location.
Does it make financial sense to combine? If you still have separate budgets, it may be easier to keep separate bills! It's usually more cost-effective to share, but not always; depending on the size of your subscriptions.
Evaluating Your Options
Separate Subscriptions: If you choose to keep separate subscriptions, you might find more autonomy and simpler management. However, consider the cost of multiple subscriptions for your church.
Merging: A full merge simplifies volunteer management across all services and locations and can be more cost-effective. Yet, it involves managing a larger, more complex database and potentially multiple schedulers.
Hybrid Approach: Sometimes, a cut-and-dry solution isn't the answer. For instance, if certain ministries have successfully combined while others remain distinct, you might opt for a hybrid approach. Suppose some ministries have combined between your clustering churches while some have not. In that case, consider keeping one subscription for the merged ministry and managing the other locations' ministries in another subscription.
If you are planning to combine your databases into one MSP subscription, our Tips for Clustered Parishes resource in the MSP Help Center is an excellent starting point. And remember, your Account Rep is at your disposal to share insights and their own experiences to guide you through this process.