Who Uses This Software?

Churches that would like a customized church management solution and has dedicated staff to manage this robust solution.


Average Ratings

25 Reviews
  • 4 / 5
    Overall
  • 3.5 / 5
    Ease of Use
  • 4 / 5
    Customer Service

Product Details

  • Starting Price
    Not provided by vendor
  • Deployment
    Cloud, SaaS, Web
    Installed - Windows
  • Training
    Documentation
    Webinars
    Live Online
    In Person
  • Support
    Online
    Business Hours

Vendor Details

  • Shelby Arena
  • www.shelbysystems.com/solutions/church-management/?tab=arena
  • United States

About Arena

Shelby Arena is a full church management system for medium to large churches with powerful, ministry-oriented tools and complete compatibility with Shelby Financials and ShelbyNext Giving. Arena can help you extend outreach in new ways to both current and potential new members.


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Arena Features

  • Accounting Integration
  • Attendance Tracking
  • Built-in Accounting
  • Child Check-in
  • Event Management
  • Member Directory
  • Member Portal
  • Multi-Site Management
  • Online Giving
  • Pledge Management
  • Small Group Management
  • Volunteer Management

Arena Reviews Recently Reviewed!


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

Jun 19, 2018
5/5
Overall
4 / 5
Ease of Use
4 / 5
Features & Functionality
5 / 5
Customer Support
5 / 5
Value for Money
Likelihood to Recommend: 9.0/10 Not
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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.

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

User for 3 years, Arena is user friendly

Jun 02, 2018
5/5
Overall
5 / 5
Ease of Use
5 / 5
Features & Functionality
5 / 5
Customer Support
5 / 5
Value for Money

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

Very robust software, but Shelby needs to realize users are not all IT and computer programmers.

May 30, 2018
4/5
Overall
3 / 5
Ease of Use
5 / 5
Features & Functionality
4 / 5
Customer Support
3 / 5
Value for Money

Pros: It's ability to import into Shelby Next Financials and receive imports from Shelby Next Giving and Teller. Ability to give certain users access to certain features and tabs.

Cons: Everything is not setup on your account. You have to call support for every new feature to be utilized.

Arena is part of my every day life!

May 25, 2018
5/5
Overall
4 / 5
Ease of Use
5 / 5
Features & Functionality
5 / 5
Customer Support
4 / 5
Value for Money
Likelihood to Recommend: 10.0/10 Not
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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.

Overall: very easy to use

As the DBA, Arena is powerful, versatile and helps us know our church is growing. We love it!

May 25, 2018
5/5
Overall
5 / 5
Ease of Use
5 / 5
Features & Functionality
5 / 5
Customer Support
5 / 5
Value for Money

Pros: I can customize the data, reporting and screen presentation to meet user needs. Security setup is outstanding. We find new functionality every week.

Cons: I'm not thrilled that the Person ID is changed when records are merged. I would prefer the oldest number be kept.

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

May 24, 2018
5/5
Overall
5 / 5
Ease of Use
4 / 5
Features & Functionality
4 / 5
Customer Support
4 / 5
Value for Money
Likelihood to Recommend: 10.0/10 Not
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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.

Overall: 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.

This software has great potential but we have been unable to get the functions to sync with ministry

May 24, 2018
3/5
Overall
1 / 5
Ease of Use
2 / 5
Features & Functionality
5 / 5
Customer Support
2 / 5
Value for Money
Likelihood to Recommend: 3.0/10 Not
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Pros: We enjoy using the Membership module which includes profile pages, list, search and report functions.

Cons: Many of the volunteer tracking, webview calendar option and shelbyweb functions have been difficult to understand and implement. Staff of all ages and abilities seems to struggle in becoming self-sufficient and random errors happen more than we would like.

Overall: We have enjoyed many of the membership options but are going to need to move to a new software soon if staff continue to struggle with the ease of use.

Does provide information I need

May 24, 2018
4/5
Overall
4 / 5
Ease of Use
3 / 5
Features & Functionality
4 / 5
Customer Support
3 / 5
Value for Money
Likelihood to Recommend: 7.0/10 Not
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Pros: Opening donor page is good for most information I need. Can sort out easy and adjust parameters to obtain information

Cons: Find it difficult to use all the features. Some I may want to use, but learning curve is time consuming.

Capterra-loader

We have used Arena for over six years. We have been very pleased with the ease of use & updates.

May 24, 2018
4/5
Overall
4 / 5
Ease of Use
5 / 5
Features & Functionality
5 / 5
Customer Support
5 / 5
Value for Money
Likelihood to Recommend: 9.0/10 Not
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Pros: Ease of use and functionality. While there is a learning curve, there is a lot of help and training available to become a good user of the software.

Cons: Communication is a big issue in today's modern church world. I wish Arena had more communication and feedback features built in. I know the Arena development team is working on some of this.

We transitioned away from using Arena because it was too difficult for our staff team to use.

May 23, 2018
2/5
Overall
1 / 5
Ease of Use
2 / 5
Features & Functionality
2 / 5
Customer Support
1 / 5
Value for Money

Pros: It tracks lots of different kinds of data and is customizable if you have the knowledge required to do so.

Cons: It is very difficult to use and many of its features were either very hard to implement or didn't work correctly. For being highly customizable, it's not very flexible with certain things. It requires lots of centralized management to use and is antiquated.

Capterra-loader

Friendly User

May 22, 2018
5/5
Overall
5 / 5
Ease of Use
5 / 5
Features & Functionality
5 / 5
Customer Support
5 / 5
Value for Money
Likelihood to Recommend: 10.0/10 Not
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Pros: I am able to have church members information and create a group and communicate easily with members whenever necessary. I can send contribution a statement via emails.

Cons: So far I don't have a complaint since it meets my needs. I wish if something is corrected in giving is corrected automatically in membership.

Overall: Be able to connect with our church member and sent accurate statements.

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

May 22, 2018
4/5
Overall
3 / 5
Ease of Use
5 / 5
Features & Functionality
4 / 5
Customer Support
3 / 5
Value for Money
Likelihood to Recommend: 6.0/10 Not
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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.

Overall: 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.

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

May 22, 2018
5/5
Overall
4 / 5
Ease of Use
4 / 5
Features & Functionality
5 / 5
Customer Support
5 / 5
Value for Money
Likelihood to Recommend: 10.0/10 Not
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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.

Overall: 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.

Arena is pretty user friendly and if you have problems you can call customer service.

May 22, 2018
5/5
Overall
4 / 5
Ease of Use
5 / 5
Features & Functionality
5 / 5
Customer Support
5 / 5
Value for Money
Likelihood to Recommend: 10.0/10 Not
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Pros: User friendly and very easy to navigate. Easy to send out member statements at the end of the year.

Cons: I have not found anything that I don't like so far. It is very easy to use. The only major problem we have is when the internet goes down.

Overall: Easier to post payments to members. Easy to navigate.

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

May 22, 2018
5/5
Overall
4 / 5
Ease of Use
5 / 5
Features & Functionality
5 / 5
Customer Support
4 / 5
Value for Money
Likelihood to Recommend: 8.0/10 Not
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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.

Capterra-loader

They definitely need more customer service reps.

May 22, 2018
4/5
Overall
4 / 5
Ease of Use
4 / 5
Features & Functionality
3 / 5
Customer Support
4 / 5
Value for Money
Likelihood to Recommend: 7.0/10 Not
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Pros: It is pretty well all inclusive. Offerings are rather easy to process and to look up information on persons in the system. It is rather easy to enter new people and I do like the fact that it is an online system. That makes it a lot easier.

Cons: Customer service is a very long wait. Way too long in my opinion. I also wish the check reading system, ie, Shelby Teller was also an online system.

Overall: It integrates well with Shelby Financial. That makes things a lot easier. It's nice to have everything under one roof so to speak.

I use Arena every day to keep up with membership information, bulk mailing, and bulk emails.

May 22, 2018
5/5
Overall
4 / 5
Ease of Use
4 / 5
Features & Functionality
5 / 5
Customer Support
4 / 5
Value for Money
Likelihood to Recommend: 10.0/10 Not
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Pros: Easy to navigate, for the most part. Customer service is always friendly and solves my problem the day it occurs.

Cons: When there are issues due to updates or changes to my computer, I cannot fix it without calling customer support which can be time consuming.

Overall: The appearance and structure of data is much better on Arena than V5.

Excellent. We have already received a great deal of benefit from the software.

May 22, 2018
4/5
Overall
5 / 5
Ease of Use
5 / 5
Features & Functionality
5 / 5
Customer Support
5 / 5
Value for Money
Likelihood to Recommend: 9.0/10 Not
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Pros: The fact that ARENA is cloud-based is a tremendous benefit. The staff portal is also beneficial when staff is out of the office. The application is easy to use and very user friendly.

Cons: Lack of interface with major software applications, reporting functionality, export capability. As a hosted client, the automated mailing interface is a real disappointment. We have to export the names and address and then import them into the old application software.

Overall decent church database program

May 22, 2018
3/5
Overall
2 / 5
Ease of Use
2 / 5
Features & Functionality
2 / 5
Customer Support
3 / 5
Value for Money

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.

Arena check-in system for kids church

May 07, 2018
4/5
Overall
2 / 5
Ease of Use
2 / 5
Features & Functionality
2 / 5
Customer Support
3 / 5
Value for Money
Likelihood to Recommend: 5.0/10 Not
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Pros: End user (parent) is easy to use. Parents are able to check in simply entering the last four digits of their phone number.

Cons: Very difficult to set up to fit our large programs. Managing classes is not as easy as we would like. It doesn¿t allow as much customizing as we would like.

Wonderful tool for streamlining back end church work

Mar 31, 2018
5/5
Overall
5 / 5
Ease of Use
5 / 5
Features & Functionality
Likelihood to Recommend: 10.0/10 Not
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Pros: Our church had been doing things the old way (reams of paper) for years and years. We switched over to Shelby in order to generate some online presence and make it easier for people to donate. It's been wonderful!

Cons: very expensive, so make sure you have enough generous parishioners before committing to it. It'll save you a lot of time though!

Incredibly Thorough and Excellent Support

Jan 16, 2018
4/5
Overall
3 / 5
Ease of Use
4 / 5
Features & Functionality
5 / 5
Customer Support
4 / 5
Value for Money
Likelihood to Recommend: 8.0/10 Not
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Comments: They run the business like a family and are very helpful and very friendly.

Pros: There are many features to this software including multiple ways to track members and prospective members. The accounting portion is robust with an understanding of tax law for churches. Since there are so many features, it is important to get the support needed to pull off the many different searches and actions. Fortunately they provide really helpful, friendly support people. In fact, all the support seems to be in close contact with the programmers, which makes it easier to get answers whenever there is an issue or possible bug.

Cons: When there is an update, there are sometimes issues. They usually correct them right away, but it can be a pain. The software is easy to use once you know how to do it, and training is required to get the most out of it.

Does the job. UI design is out dated and difficult.

Apr 18, 2017
3/5
Overall
3 / 5
Ease of Use
3 / 5
Features & Functionality
5 / 5
Customer Support
3 / 5
Value for Money
Likelihood to Recommend: 6.0/10 Not
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Pros: Customer service has been responsive and well trained in their problem solving. Information can be captured but will require a bit of creativity.

Cons: The learning curve is steep. This is not an I Phone and easily usable out of the box. You will need training and after care services.

Not a tool for Ministers

Sep 12, 2015
1/5
Overall
1 / 5
Ease of Use
1 / 5
Features & Functionality
1 / 5
Customer Support
Likelihood to Recommend: 1.0/10 Not
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Pros: I can view basic member data base information from my mobile devices.

Cons: From our experiences with Shelby V.5 to our conversion to Arena, we have had nothing but headaches. We are ministers not tech wizards and computer code writers. This puts us at a great disadvantage with this system. Several key features that we had become dependant on in V.5, although promised, we're not available to us in Arena. Shelby systems indirectly acknowledges these inadequacies in the creation of a new "user friendly" program Shelby Next.

Recommendations to other buyers: Know your abilities and limitations. Do your homework and talk to users other than the ones they reccomend.

Review of Shelby Arena

Mar 26, 2015
4/5
Overall
2.5 / 5
Ease of Use
4.5 / 5
Features & Functionality
5 / 5
Customer Support
Likelihood to Recommend: 10.0/10 Not
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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.

Recommendations to other buyers: Service and responsiveness is key. You and the staff using it will not understand all the things they will need. Being able to get timely answers is very important. Can you modify and customize its use? They all say yes but often you are very very limited as to what and how you can do things.