The Next Version of Church Tools Will Be Free And Open Source

Ryan Hayden • October 18, 2019

software updates announcements

Today I made two announcements on Twitter I'm really excited about:

  1. The next version of Church Tools Sermons should be available next week.
  2. Moving forward Church Tools are going to be 100% free and open source.

Let me get into those in more detail:

1. New Sermons Tool

I'm nearly done with a complete rewrite of the Sermon tool. I've rewritten this tool from the ground up with the following goals:

A. Make it SUPER stable.

I've learned a ton working on software over the last year and I really made the original Churchtools Sermons far too complicated and unstable. The new version of Sermons has so many improvements just made to make the thing work as expected all the time and break far, far, less.

B. Make it prettier.

The new version will have a new User Interface that just looks better. I even have a friend who is VERY GOOD at User Interface design working on further polishing this. Its going to look sweet.

C. Finish the features I never got around to before launch.

There were several things I promised but never pulled off. No one is using this tool until the following things are done and working:

2. Free and Open Source

This is something I've wanted to do for a long time and I'm just going to rip off the bandaid. Moving forward, ChurchTools will be 100% free and the code will be open source. Let me explain why and how it will work:

A. Why?

There are better reasons to make software than just the need for a paycheck and honestly, that was never my main motivation for churchtools. I wanted to make tools for churches like my own that would make a difference in their day to day church life.

I know traditional churches that focus on expository preaching and prayer aren't a hot demographic and don't have deep pockets and I don't want chasing 💰💰 to keep me from helping small churches.

In order for software to make money, you have to market it, which sometimes means pushing to a larger and larger group, who have larger and larger demands. What ends up happening is you meet the needs of big customers, because they have the money to pay. By making it free, all of these concerns go away.

And to be honest, I'm the only developer. I'm making plenty of money. The server costs are going down (especially for cloud file storage). I can do this now.

B. How will it work?

Your church will get free software. It's that simple.

You'll have to agree to a pretty basic statement of faith, because I don't want to pay to host sermons for heretics, but there really are no strings attached.

I may ask for a donation for a time to time but you are free to ignore them and keep using the software. I'm also not ruling out the possibility of paid sponsorships in the future, but they will never be public facing and your data will never be for sale.

I truly just want this project to be my gift to good churches. Maybe, just maybe, I'll be able to influence some churches to more scriptural ministry patterns because of the tools they use and have a small part in their gospel fruitfulness.