It began in 1976—the founders of Shelby Systems recognized early that ministries would benefit from better solutions to manage their membership and financial needs. They were passionate about providing effective and efficient tools that helped ministries and nonprofits increase their impact on the world. For decades, that passion has continued, and 45 years later Shelby Systems remains at the forefront of technology and solutions for ministries.

So what have we learned in almost half a century? Plenty! Through all the ups and downs, amid every opportunity to expand and all the upheaval of unpredictable events like COVID-19, we’ve built knowledge and insights that can only come through decades of experience. Here are five lessons we’ve learned over the past 45 years …

  1. Always Be Innovating!
    One of the biggest responsibilities of a Church Management System (ChMS) provider is to stay on top of trends and new technologies, so the best software solutions for churches and faith-based nonprofits can always get even better. This is a responsibility Shelby Systems has taken seriously since our founding, and it’s the reason why today we’re a leading provider of total software solutions for ministries, dioceses, and denominational headquarters.

    From our earliest offerings that incorporated the best technology available, we’ve grown to a suite of solutions including church accounting, online giving, background checks and websites, as well as a full-featured mobile app and additional add-ons like check-in kiosks and other hardware. And we’re always hard at work developing new systems and services that will make our best technology even better and set new standards for excellence.

  2. Customer Service is Essential
    As much as our software solutions have changed over the past 45 years, one constant has been customer service: when a program isn’t working or a system is down, people need answers quickly. Shelby Systems has always made a point to deliver the best possible customer service, and the trust and knowledge we’ve built for our clients is an enormous factor in our 45 years of success.

    And just as we innovate with software and programs, we’ve learned that constantly improving the customer service experience is one of the best investments we can make. Today our response options include the tried-and-true toll-free telephone number as well as live chat and a dedicated email address, plus online communities where Shelby users can share questions, tips and insights. We’re proud of our strong, innovative customer service; it’s a sign that we stand behind our product and care about the ministries that use our software solutions.

  3. Faith Forges a Connection
    The best ChMS solutions are driven by those who love the church and seek to spread the Good News near and far—that was true when Shelby Systems was founded in 1976 by a team of faithful innovators, and it’s true 45 years later, especially with so many “one size fits all” software programs now marketing themselves to churches and faith communities.

    You’ll discover that the leaders and employees at Shelby are aligned in their desire to live out their faith and serve God locally and globally. Because our team is active in the local church and comprised of people committed to supporting ministry, our products are naturally tailored to the specific needs of our customers. Best of all, we not only provide these solutions, but we also use them while volunteering and working at our ministries!

  4. Relationships Matter
    Over the past four-and-a-half decades, our Shelby Systems team has never forgotten that strong ministries go beyond the numbers—they’re about one-on-one connections with church families, long-time members, first-time visitors, community partners, individuals in need… lasting connections with ALL who encounter the ministry. Forging these connections must be at the heart of any effective ChMS; it’s certainly at the heart of Shelby Systems. 

    Our software solutions help churches engage current and new members with simplicity and connect with their congregations beyond the walls of the church—everything from recording attendance and tracking day-to-day interactions to sending timely, relevant messages to individuals or curated groups. This fosters growth, engagement, community involvement, and stronger ministries … results that have been important to Shelby Systems from the beginning.

  5. People Value Giving Options
    Some of us at Shelby Systems are old enough to remember what a big deal it was when churches began accepting credit cards for tithes and payments, in addition to cash and checks. In our four-plus decades of experience, we’ve learned the importance of meeting givers where they’re at. The more things change, the more they stay the same, it’s often said. As ministries today recognize and incorporate new giving methods, Shelby Systems is thrilled to stand with them!

    Our giving system is now helping churches and ministries reach more people in more ways, whether it’s online giving, recurring gifts, a mobile giving app, or text donations. Our goal is to make sure everyone has the opportunity to give, so the ministries we serve will be better equipped to share God’s love and help those in need.

Looking Ahead: The Next 45 Years

As we move forward, Shelby Systems will continue to innovate and develop software tailored for the needs and goals of faith-based organizations. We’ve been blessed to be able to assist the Church in ministry since 1976, and we look forward to our next 45 years. How can we assist you? Our team is eager to talk with you about how we are helping all aspects of your church management—connect with us to discover the variety of solutions and decades of experience you can access through Shelby Systems.