Heartbeat of the Parish, Engaging Parishioners


Parishes are the heart of our Church

“The parish is where the Church lives…where the Gospel is proclaimed and celebrated, where believers are formed and sent to renew the earth. Parishes are the home of the Christian community; they are the heart of our Church.”[1]

If parishes are the heart of our Church, then the heart beats through our parishioners. Just as a physician uses a stethoscope to gauge vital patient health, so must the parish be attuned to the hearts of her parishioners to know how to maintain, or renew parish life!

The first step in knowing your parishioners’ hearts? Meet them where they are.

Engaging parishioners where they are – online

Across all demographics people are using technology to connect. The dawn of social media has changed the way we relate to information, especially our own. Although nothing replaces human interaction, we’re less tolerant of having to pick up the phone and more apt to take control of our own data and seek information, and even the first steps in engagement, online.

ConnectNow Family Suite’s online parishioner portal – My Own Church – offers your members just that! My Own Church is included with ConnectNow Family Directory, allowing you to offer your parishioners web tools they’re sure to love, including:

Online registration for the parish and faith formation programs.

Giving history and e-statements for envelopes and online giving.

Ministry scheduling for volunteering and managing ministry preferences.

Family pictorial directory to enter and update member information, connect with other parishioners…and much more!

Parish staff benefit from My Own Church, too:

Data control and fast processing – accept or reject registrations and member updates with the click of a button, no re-key entry needed.

Fully integrated – approved changes automatically update records across ALL ConnectNow Family Suite modules.

Engagement – accurate data, including contact information, is a major step in knowing and addressing parishioner needs.

Mobile directory – refresh your knowledge of family and member information anytime and anywhere your work and ministry take you!

Every update that flows through My Own Church gives your entire parish a more accurate understanding of the people – the souls – in your care. Good records support the health of every ministry and have the power to make every interaction more meaningful and effective.

Prep for success, then launch away

Ready to begin? Check out our training video and online tutorials to jump start your journey toward deeper encounters with your parishioners!

Successfully launching, or re-launching, a parishioner engagement platform, such as ConnectNow My Own Church, requires preparation, strategy and persistence, which is why ParishSOFT provides a comprehensive Marketing Kit to help guide your parish to success.

In the My Own Church Marketing Kit you’ll find what you need to help the parish:

    1. Organize: define plans and line up resources to stay focused.
    2. Set Goals: decide beforehand what you hope to achieve.
    3. Define Campaign Themes & Incentives: have fun engaging parishioners!
    4. Train Staff: make sure staff are onboard through readiness training to help ensure the parishioner’s first experience in My Own Church is a great one.
    5. Prepare Communications: no need to reinvent the wheel, we’ve got you covered! Simply customize to fit parish needs.
    6. Anticipate Parishioner Questions: with handy informational resources to ensure the best possible parishioner experience.

Our common mission

A dear friend of mine volunteers regularly at her parish office. She often shares the beautiful and sometimes challenging encounters that take her away from her administrative “work” and bring her face to face with the people behind her records. Apparently inconvenient at the time, it almost seems like all her other tasks lead her to be in just the right place at the right time to be the listening ear or the word of counsel that a parishioner needs to find solace and peace.

We are on a mission with you. We cannot meet and minister to your parishioners as you do, but in gratitude for your presence and service, we can provide the tools to make your job easier, to help you better know your parishioners so your encounters can be even more meaningful.

Technology and the Church

Technology isn’t going anywhere, and the Church must be ever flexible and responsive, adapting to the needs of its people. Surprise them by meeting them where they are. Your parishioners are online. Are you offering them a way to connect?

Stay tuned for Part Two of our four-part Heartbeat of the Parish series! In Part Two we’ll discuss the transformative effect of conducting a parish census with ConnectNow Family Directory and My Own Church based on tried and true customer experience.

Interested in learning more about how ConnectNow Family Suite can help transform your parish? Contact us at 866.930.4774 x 7, or sign up for a free demo!

Part One | Part Two | Part Three | Part Four

[1] Communities of Salt and Light: Reflections on the Social Mission of the Parish, USCCB, 1993, usccb.com.

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