As most of you who follow this blog know, I work for The Pentecostals of Sydney as the Church Administrator. This is a role I have been in for over 10 years now – hello long service leave! For years we did not have a church management system but operated via email/text message using spreadsheets and word documents. Then about 6 years ago we were encouraged to use Church Community Builder as our CMS and we loved it! Over the years we did notice a few things that we highlight as a church that weren’t particularly emphasised in their system – namely, tracking people being born again and Bible studies. Also, CCB is an American-based company and we ran into snags with their built-in giving platform as well as their SMS service because they weren’t operational in Australia. Then one day my Pastor told me about a CMS that had been developed by an Apostolic Church in Singapore.
The system is called Apostolic Care & Training System or ACTS for short. It is the creation of Tabernacle of Joy, an Apostolic Pentecostal church in Singapore led by Pastor Timothy Lee. The idea of this system is to help facilitate making disciples, whether that is through tracking guests, Bible studies, small groups or discipleship training. This focus is what truly sets ACTS apart from other church management systems.
I cannot stress enough how good the Bible studies and Training features are in ACTS. You have not seen anything like it. You are able to assign online training courses to developing leaders (all video based) right in the system. These courses range on topics from how to teach the Unlocking the Bible (UTB) bible study to courses on prayer, spiritual gifts and much more. Again, these courses can be assigned in ACTS and your members are able to watch them by clicking a link in the email sent to them. Once assigned, you are able to track your student’s progress. It really is amazing!
On top of making it easy to track the discipleship process for each member of your church, ACTS offers all the features you would expect from a CMS platform.
- You can organise your members in families as well as choose between types of members (regular, member, voting member).
- Guests are kept seperate in this system so it is easy to see how they are progressing.
- You are able to email or SMS through ACTS – whether that is the entire church or seperate groups.
- You can create events & groups and assign members to those groups for attendance purposes, creating accountability and giving leadership the ability to have a better gauge on the health of the church (we use this for our departments and small groups).
- It has a giving feature that you can activate by linking ACTS with PayPal or Tithe.ly (I’ll be posting about this giving platform in the coming weeks).
- It has a Serving feature that allows you schedule all of your volunteers across your services. Everything is kept in one place and the system does not allow you to roster the same volunteer for 2 different roles. This creates clarity within your volunteer teams/leaders. (We LOVE this feature)
- You can build custom forms as well as create events that require registration, making it easy to host a paid event.
- There is a check-in/check-out feature for Children’s Ministry.
- You can track weekly giving, attendance, monthly baptisms and Holy Spirit infilling. This allows you to get a better idea of how the church is progressing.
ACTS is a system that isn’t meant just for church leadership but it is for every member to access and use. Each member has their own unique dashboard when they log into ACTS; displaying their events, serving schedule, Bible studies and discipleship training. They are able to give, notify when they are unable to serve, access discipleship training and ‘trade’ volunteer spots. They have also developed an app for your members to download and use.
If you are interested, I encourage you to reach out to them and they will organise a walk through of the ACTS system. It really is affordable and something worth investing in from a monetary standpoint. They have tiered pricing based on the needs of your church. I cannot recommend them highly enough, it truly is a great product – especially since it is Apostolic!