About Shelby Church


Shelby System is a cloud-based church management solution for ministries and nonprofit organizations. Key features include giving management, financial management, website building, bulk communication, background check and volunteer verification.

Shelby supports multiple channels to accept and process giving, including online, mobile, text and kiosk. Donors can make donations through their credit/debit cards and even transfer funds through online modes. It offers recurring giving feature through which a fixed donation is automatically debited from the donors’ account in favor of the church every month.

Shelby offers an accounting system that includes general ledger, payroll, account payable, account receivable and more. It also offers bank reconciliation feature to help ministries manage and record their financial transactions to-and-from the bank.

Additionally, it offers website building tool that helps to create websites for church and nonprofit organizations. The solution is available on a monthly subscription basis, which includes support via phone, email and fax.



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Supported Operating System(s):

Windows 7, Windows Vista, Windows XP, Web browser (OS agnostic), Windows 2000, Windows 8

38 Reviews of Shelby Church

Average User Ratings

Overall

3.92 / 5 stars

Ease-of-use

3.5

Value for money

3.5

Customer support

4.0

Functionality

4.0

Ratings Snapshot

5 stars

(13)

4 stars

(14)

3 stars

(7)

2 stars

(3)

1 stars

(1)

Likelihood to Recommend

Not likely

Very likely

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Showing 1-20 of 38 reviews

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June 2018

Connie from Lighthouse Christian Church of Oceanside

Review Source: Capterra


Ease-of-use

5.0

Value for money

5.0

Customer support

5.0

Functionality

5.0

June 2018

User for 3 years, Arena is user friendly

Pros

Easily accessible, able to locate files in multiple ways i.e phone #, email, b-day, areas of ministry. Well organized, provides for detailed info (W9s, areas where volunteering/ ministries, individual notes) & easy to edit. Address provides map/directions; feature pastor's use for visitation. Contributions used by Accounting Dept-- Fund Management allows for large number of purpose codes so donations can be categorized for easy access when doing reports. Batch Lists provide donor info; particularly useful when using ShelbyGiving which aids in identifying donors of Online Giving donations. Ability to use Check Scan for large volume of in-house donations to be processed quickly & provides ability to store records of all checks received--a very useful tool to provide copies of checks when bank disputes Deposit Total & deducts funds from account. Annual Contribution Statements can be easily printed for mailing & Contribution tab allows Accounting personnel to give donors quick info regarding receipt of check/donation or to generate statements on demand; a priceless addition which saves time when donor wants mid- year statement. Online giving also allows donors to access their own account at any time during year. Provides ability to email Contribution Statements rather than mail, an option we will use at end of 2018. Contribution analysis offers various breakdowns of data; providing useful info for Elders to make sound financial decisions.

Cons

Printing on tabs at top of individual's account info is too light, sometimes difficult to read. Print is small in body of forms. would like Arena to have longer access time; having to logon repeatedly is frustrating

May 2018

Cara from Hope Lutheran Church

Company Size: 51-200 employees

Review Source: Capterra


Ease-of-use

4.0

Value for money

5.0

Customer support

5.0

Functionality

4.0

May 2018

Arena allows our large staff to work together and mutually benefit each other in productivity.

Working with a common purpose as a whole staff. After getting all of the ministries working with a common goal and unified processes work became more efficient and understandable to staff members. It truly helps us work to support God's work in our world.

Pros

It is flexible and allows us to categorize things according to our needs. Maintaining records can be effectively done by a number of people, which in turn benefits the whole organization and makes communication and other work efficient. Maintaining family relationships is easy and clear. Each ministry can have its section but work is done similarly so cross training is easy. Security is specific and granular so it is easy manage the access people have. It is easy to see how people are involved and connect with them according to their interests. The Members Responsive Portal allows congregation participants to manage their personal information, register for events and connect to volunteer positions. All of that updates their records and their record shows their own activity. God's work in this world is supported and furthered because our staff works with a common purpose. The data work is done once, in one place and all are blessed by up-to-date shared information. Development is strong

Cons

The best part of Arena is also its hardest part - its ability to be customized. Each instance of Arena is unique. It takes a lot of work to move in and get ministries set to work efficiently. It takes a strong lead person to have a vision that gets the whole staff working together and moving in the same direction. Ministries are often used to working in isolation from each other. If they don't learn how to standardize the way they work so the whole organization works the same way, everyone fails. Following direction of the trainers is paramount! Incorrect set up of check in, group structure, etc. causes huge headaches and wastes time. Without a well developed strategy for setting up Arena it doesn't work. Strong guidance is needed for efficient set up. Communicating with PARENTS (or split households) of students who are connected to groups or tags is not effective. Custom procedures are needed to do this easily.

May 2018

Erik from Bethany Baptist Church

Company Size: 11-50 employees

Review Source: Capterra


Ease-of-use

4.0

Value for money

4.0

Customer support

5.0

Functionality

5.0

May 2018

For anything more customizable, you'd have to make it yourself.

Pros

I just wrote a review about 6 months ago, but Capterra invited me to write another one.

It seems unusual Arena would give you so much customizing freedom. You can totally change up the look, navigation, fields, options, reports, etc. to really fit your needs or make it easier for your staff to get things done. We're using Arena to cross-reference data and automate to streamline processes and help people making meaningful connections. For example, we just started using an Arena driven process where prayer requests are assigned to elders. An algorithm (built with SQL and the Holy Spirit) is used to choose the best connection. Instead of an overwhelming list of all prayer requests, Arena sends an email to each elder each week with just a few requests so they can make more personal connections and they follow up and pray with people. I hear the elders love it.

Oh, in response to the recent review, 'Arena check-in system for kids church': Check-in is one small part of the huge program. I would not suggest Arena just for check-in. But, it's check-in is quite customizable with some effort. That flexibility comes with an amount of complexity which takes some training, and if you don't have the resources to make the desired customization, there are companies out there that can help. The friendly guys at Arena can help connect you up.

Cons

Arena isn't for everyone. You really need a trusted person on staff who understands your culture, processes, and workflows that can then dig into the capabilities of the software and make it fit those needs. But, it's worth it.

May 2018

Elizabeth from Bellevue Presbyterian Church

Company Size: 51-200 employees

Review Source: Capterra


Ease-of-use

3.0

Value for money

3.0

Customer support

4.0

Functionality

5.0

May 2018

I enjoy using Arena but find challenges in customizing it with only minor SQL experience.

ability to know more about the people in our church, ways to track involvement and collect data. An easy directory system to find out how to contact people, a snapshot of individuals and families--not just actual picture, but a glimpse in ways they are connected to our church. in a large church it helps to know more about people in the congregation.

Pros

I really like that it is comprehensive and we are able to customize to make it fit our specific needs. We can add notes, update data, add information easily to people and tags. Sending communication to large numbers of people is easy and easily tracked. Having others who use the software and are happy to share is also a big bonus to use what they are and not have to create something new. Arena works with our finance system. the potential with arena is amazing and so thinking forward is exciting with this product of what could be done and how we might utilize more of its functionality for what we want to do.

Cons

The layers of permission and the skill necessary to take it to a level that is truly customized to what we want is challenging for those who don't have the time or skill level to go deep to create exactly what is desired. The look is not as current or "attractive" as some of the other programs and can be intimidating to those who only look at it on a rare basis--when they have to.

January 2019

STEPHANIE from Church

Company Size: 11-50 employees

Review Source: Capterra


Ease-of-use

5.0

Functionality

4.0

January 2019

Arena Shelby for religious organizations

I would say my overall experience is good. It provides the level of detail that is needed for the religious organization that I work for . It has many different tools to utilize.

Pros

I like the fact that you can be able to go into a members record and track their giving as well as set them up with different committees that they may be a part of within the church. Arena has a function that will allow you to categorize individuals who serve in different areas of the church. Also, it will generate giving statement for end of year and allows you to input service tags for the different services that the church has on Sunday in order to track finances etc.

Cons

The only thing I have just a slight problem with in when you are inputting certain contributions you have to go it will not allow you to select the individual you have to go through the entire batch in order to make corrections within it. It also is not compatible with certain web browsers.

October 2018

Mark from Watermark Community Church

Company Size: 201-500 employees

Review Source: Capterra


Ease-of-use

2.0

Value for money

1.0

Customer support

1.0

Functionality

2.0

October 2018

Old and Dusty

We used it for 10 years. It provided us with more tools than our previous ChMS when we moved onto it in 2007. It was a good tool at the time, but as time passed it never updated with the time and become a better tool. It just did the basics and mostly stuck with them. In the current development environment it is a dinosaur that is unwieldy. One of our happiest days in the past 4 years was when we got to put a bullet in it when we switched to another ChMS in early 2018.

Pros

Checkin was very stable and was very consistent.

Cons

Pretty much everything. It functioned well when it was working. You got what you expected to get. the bugs were minimal, but what you get feels like it is from the late 1990's or early 2000's. To get anything modern requires a herculean effort, and if you want to get that data into another program or application good luck getting it out of the API. Arena had its time and place, but it did not keep up with the times. It has stagnated and no longer has the tools needed for a modern church.

May 2018

Stephanie from Village Church of Barrington

Review Source: Capterra


Ease-of-use

2.0

Value for money

3.0

Customer support

2.0

Functionality

2.0

May 2018

Overall decent church database program

Pros

Ability to have child check-in for weekend services, ability to tag individuals to groups and create lists (reports) from said tags. Some areas are customizable which is nice (we've added a field for school attending for our student ministry and a field to track background check dates).

Cons

Not very user friendly nor customizable. Have repeatedly had difficulty generating lists without always having to scrub/review for individuals that should not be on list, individuals being left off etc. For check-in procedure we require parents to enter a pager number, in Shelby V.5, I was able to go back and look at who checked-in with which pager. Lost ability to do this with Arena which has been a challenge.

May 2018

Vicki from Ebenezer UMC

Company Size: 51-200 employees

Review Source: Capterra


Ease-of-use

4.0

Value for money

4.0

Customer support

5.0

Functionality

5.0

May 2018

Arena is part of my every day life!

very easy to use

Pros

Arena is our database for almost everything we do. I like that i have one place for all of the info for Groups, Members, Check in , Contributions, etc. Having one system to manage all of that has helped with maintaining up to date info correctly! I like that I can now see my contacts online in an easy format for my phone. The system has been easy to teach others who are not regular users of the larger database. Overall, Arena has been a great system!

Cons

In order to customize the look of Arena it requires skills we do not have on staff. We have been able to do a little bit on our own. I wish there were more choices on the front end.

September 2018

Shelby from ECO

Company Size: 11-50 employees

Review Source: Capterra


Ease-of-use

4.0

Value for money

5.0

Customer support

5.0

Functionality

5.0

September 2018

Great Church Management Software

I have really enjoyed using Arena and it has helped us keep track of our growing denomination and all the churches we are adding.

Pros

We use the customizable function of this product to really create what we want. This is helpful because while the product is geared towards churches we have the ability to customize it to our needs as a denomination. The layout is easy to use and we have the ability to take a birds eye view of all our churches. Even our presbyteries made up of an older generation can use it well.

Cons

The reporting function is not the easiest to use. We often have to create our own reports and unfortunately they do not come out like I wish they would.

November 2018

Anonymous

Verified Reviewer

Company Size: 51-200 employees

Review Source: Capterra


Ease-of-use

1.0

Value for money

2.0

Customer support

3.0

Functionality

1.0

November 2018

Way behind the times

The people at Shelby are nice people, they just aren't up with the times. If they could get ahead and make things easier to use and more attractive or just add simple things like making their group search feature customization so it could be integrated into your existing website's design - and making everything platform agnostic so it would easier to use on tablets and phones, then they'd be halfway there. They're just so far behind and still not catching up that I would really recommend against putting your church management needs in their hands, because if you do you'll be stuck there.

Pros

If you're using arena, it's probably because you used Shelby - they'll port your info from your old Shelby account making it easier to move from one system to the other. It is web based and it generally functions as a decent database.

Cons

If Shelby classic was stuck in the 1990s Arena is stuck in the early 2000's - Shelby is at least ten years behind with everything they do. The small groups search function isn't really useful and doesn't look good when integrated into a well-designed website. All the interfaces are archaic and difficult to use. It isn't intuitive or forward thinking in its interface. It seems stuck in the 80s and 90s when it comes to its way of thinking. It has no worship planning component, no event planning component, no options for creating calendars that are accessible or visible to the public. (though if it did have those features I have no doubt they would be difficult to use and unattractive.) Anyone who is knowledgeable about modern church management software will hate everything Shelby produces.

June 2018

Barbara from First Baptist Church Pasadena

Company Size: 51-200 employees

Review Source: Capterra


Ease-of-use

4.0

Value for money

5.0

Customer support

5.0

Functionality

4.0

June 2018

We use reports for our weekly attendance and Arena has updated and enhanced our reports.

It helps with keeping the different type list organized and available at a moments notice.

Pros

Versatility with reports. We use reports to keep up with weekly connection group attendance, we use reports to add our new members weekly, and keep up with all the groups with in the church like Deacons, Ushers, Finance Committee and several other leadership type roles.

Cons

That it doesn't have financials so we still use Shelby and the 2 programs don't coordinate or update well together. As far as contributions go if someone changes a name or address somewhere in Arena we have to manually change it in Shelby to match.

March 2015

Jim from River Valley Church


Ease-of-use

2.5

Customer support

5.0

Functionality

4.5

March 2015

Review of Shelby Arena

Pros

Have been a customer of Shelby Service products for over 20 years. Service and responsiveness is the cornerstone of what Shelby offers when it comes to operational use and implementations. No calling to get Ticket number and waiting for a response, no frustration in the CSR not understanding what you are asking and having someone else call you back after another waiting period. Willing to hand hold admin people on the phone and using webconnect to solve the issue or train the worker. Offering a web based Prodsuct (Arena) that allows us to virtually do what we need to do in and present it in a way that our church expects to see it and identify it.

Cons

Sometimes the bug fixes take longer to get fixed than they should.

May 2018

Susan from Word of Life Christian Center

Company Size: 11-50 employees

Review Source: Capterra


Ease-of-use

5.0

Value for money

4.0

Customer support

4.0

Functionality

4.0

May 2018

We have yet to tap into all areas of this software and continue to open new areas of information.

The ability to access our data base from several different devices. We are still developing some aspects of the software and are looking forward to implementing these areas.

Pros

It is user friendly and can be customized to fit individual company needs. This software can accomplish various aspects of daily business relieving the need for several different softwares.

Cons

Although it is customizable it does take quite the effort to make it happen. There are areas of the software that cannot not be utilized for any purpose other than what it was created for.

April 2019