Concerns with changing the name of ‘Elvanto pastoral care’ to ‘Tithely church management’
There are four sorts of churches, working along two difference axis. On the horizontal axis put relationship, on the vertical, put mission.
The worst kind of church (bottom left) is a church where there are low missional goals and low relationships. This church is going nowhere and no one likes or cares for each other.
The best kind of a church is a visionary/going somewhere church with good relationships (top right). The great strength of this kind of church is that it has a clear mission and really good pastoral care, with lots of people caring well for each other.
Unfortunately this kind of church is inherently unstable. There’s always pressure on the leaders to take their focus off the people/relationships and get concerned primarily around the vision/structure or money and become a Mercenary church (top left).
Or there is pressure on the leaders to take their focus off the vision and put it just onto relationships (bottom right).
One of the things that I have loved about the Elvanto software is that it has helped us stay on mission and do relationships really well (as we have grown).
I have found it really really disappointing that flowing from the merger of the two companies, the name of the pastoral care software will change from Elvanto to ‘tithe.ly Church Management.’ In one fell swoop it will significantly contribute to shifting at least the perceived focus from being a ‘Visionary church with good relationships’ at the centre to being a ‘Mercenary church’ where money is central and relationships are peripheral (See blue arrow).
Keeping the focus on vision with good relationships is really hard to get right at the best of times.
I fear that with Tith.ly being the central name for the pastoral care software, achieving this balance for users of this software will become more difficult.
Just feel the names of the various pastoral care software programs:
Those names sound like a top right quadrant names, names for software aimed at supporting visionary churches with good relationships.
Now try ‘Tithely Church Management System.’ That’s a top left quadrant name. That’s the name of a mercenary church.
I want to lead our church to be a visionary church that cares about people (a top right quadrant church). Elvanto really helped us to do that.
Therefore, I don’t want our church to be a strong pastoral care, but no vision (bottom right). That church wouldn’t have any pastoral care management software.
But equally I don’t want our church to be perceived as a mercenary, money focused church that has reduced it’s focus on pastoral care (top left). That’s not who we are. And I am sure that’s not who Elvanto/tithe.ly want us to be either.
I’m still hoping the leadership of this new company will see that if they really are aiming to help us serve our people pastorally, they need in the communications branding to put people first and money in second place, rather than branding money at the centre where pastoral care should be.
My first hope is that they reverse this naming decision.
If they won’t do that then I hope they won’t include the name tithely in the URL of the software going forward.
Acknowledgement: The idea for the table above is taken from figure 9.1 in Resilient Ministry: What pastors told us about surviving and thriving by Bob Burns, Tasha Chapman and Donald Guthrie.
(Comments are open below)
Update 11 January 2018.
Andrew Dalamba from Elvanto/Tithely has just (11 January 2019) emailed to guarantee that the URL will not be changing from Elvanto to Tithely.
That's good news and alleviates lots of concerns!
It's a shame that it has taken from November 17 till now to get this clarity. But we now have it.