Eucharist Church
Growing Christian congregation rooted in Anglican tradition
San Francisco, CA
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A scene from a service at Eucharist Church
Eucharist Church is a small, young Christian congregation rooted in Anglican tradition. Pastor Ryan Jones started the Church 18 months ago with the goal of connecting ancient forms of worship and classic Christian faith to the lives of 21st-century people. He strives to promote community in service of God and believes that technology should not be a substitute for real, rich human-to-human interactions.
~50
community members
Software used
Planning Center Online
Church and service management
Pastors plan Sunday service and can assign roles to parts of the sermon. Collaborators confirm their parts of the service through email and text. Planning Center Online has a suite of software offerings customized for churches, and Ryan said that it is widely popular.
MailChimp
Email newsletters
Eucharist Church tracks members on spreadsheets and uses MailChimp to send out weekly newsletters on upcoming holidays and community events.
Audio Daily Office
Prayer guidance
Jones advises his congregation to use this Podcast, Audio Daily Office, for regular worship, both independently and communally. Every day, new 15-20 minute recorded sermons are posted, and listeners participate in morning, mid-day, and evening prayer. Jones said that the Podcast facilitates a deeper experience than solitary worship.
Sure Payroll by Paychex
Payroll
Payroll management with an integration into Quickbooks. The Pastor said that it is important to make the church’s finances visible so that people trust that their funds are taken care of. The church publishes an annual financial report.
Intuit Quickbooks
Accounting
All donations and income for the Church are tracked in Quickbooks along side expenses. Members can give also give online with Paypal.
Q&A
What are some of the main problems and challenges that you face?

Administrative tasks: Jones spends a large portion of his day addressing the administrative tasks of the church - booking space, organizing weekly events, communicating with staff, and generally managing tasks. Jones expressed how he prefers to spend less time on the computer, and more time with members of his congregation, but administrative work is necessary to keep things moving forward.

Creating a strong community: Jones feels that technology (especially social media) can contribute to a lack of real connection between people. Eucharist Church strives to structure an experience around collective worship and communion. Jones thinks about how to create a vibrant, healthy experience by fostering relationships between strangers.

How do you discover new software to use for your business?
Mostly, Jones hears about new software offerings through referrals from other churches and from conferences. The Pastor said that he seeks out tech (with Search and by asking friends) when there’s a specific problem he thinks software could solve. He doesn’t generally browse without a specific intention. Eucharist Church has, in the past, run experiments with Facebook advertising to attract more members, but stopped investing in the ads because Jones didn’t think they were successful.
Takeaways

Speaking with Jones helped us realize that there are actually many software companies focused on the small market of software for churches. These companies, like Planning Center Online, do a good job of addressing the specific needs of churches as they grow, and also have solid market penetration.

It was clear that Jones was focused on how he could create more meaningful, real human interactions. Sometimes, software like the daily podcast or communications tools, could help with this, but for Jones, there was no substitute for sitting face to face and having an engaging conversation.