In Part One of this four-part series, we discussed meeting and engaging parishioners online using your My Own Church, Family Directory’s online parishioner portal. Part Two broke down steps to mobilize the parish for a census using your ParishSOFT platform – critical to assess parish health, and a catalyst for parishioner engagement. Part Three explores leveraging your ParishSOFT tools to go beyond the basics, analyzing parish data to reach parishioners and support parish ministries. Part Four, the series finale, we will consider practical tips to ensure maximum data usability and census follow up.
Updates are rolling in… practical tips
Establish data standards
Record data completely and correctly to prevent confusion later. Check out previous blog articles for helpful tips on this topic including a comprehensive Database Fitness for Your Parish article and March’s blog series Making Data Matter Part One and Good Data, Tell the Real Story Part Two.
Define a plan to keep information up to date
The plan to stay updated can be roughly divided into two categories: what parish staff will do and how you will ask parishioners to participate. See the blog posts above for ideas. As always, frequent invitations to update changes and engage in parish life through My Own Church are a must!
Affirm and encourage engagement
Your parish “check-up” and revitalization process, innocuously included in the parish census, will have begun to stir hearts. Some parishioners may express a desire to be more involved through feedback and suggestions. What a blessing!
As a staff, determine a plan of action to follow up. Be sure to respond promptly, thanking parishioners for their insights and desire to see the parish thrive. Explain the review/implementation process parish staff has established and, if applicable, give them an approximate time frame for when they can expect to hear back.
Remember this is a wonderful opportunity to affirm their presence and encourage them to take an active role in parish life.
All paths must lead to the personal connection
“Knowing Jesus is the best gift that anyone can ever receive. That we have encountered Him is the best thing that has happened in our lives. And making Him known by our deeds and words is our greatest joy.” 
Nothing replaces a personal invitation; no one can fill your role as you can. It is the warmth, welcoming atmosphere, and authenticity of a parish firmly grounded in Christ that will ultimately win hearts and lead them to a deeper encounter with Jesus.
With an accessible online presence, built-in communication functionality and incisive data mining capabilities your ParishSOFT Family Directory and My Own Church offer the tools to help you better know and engage your parishioners. Efficient and intuitive workflows save parish staff time and money, opening up even more avenues to reach out and be available to your parishioners. Don’t wait to put your ParishSOFT tools to use in support of your parishioners and parish mission – to be the heart of the Church!
Eager to find out more about how ParishSOFT Family Directory and My Own Church can help you reach your parishioners? Call us at 866.930.4774 x 7, or sign up for a free demo!
 Latin American Bishops, “The Joy of Being Disciples and Missionaries of Jesus Christ,” Aparecida, Paragraph #29.