Thought I'd post after all in case others are interested. We're a church in Bristol UK with around 1300 adults and hundreds of children. We transitioned to Civi in June to integrate with our new Drupal 7 website www.woodlandschurch.net
We chose Civi after looking at a number of church-specific software options, most of which are pretty costly month by month and all have limitations of one sort or another... but you can't generally tweak those as they're off-the-shelf.
We're enjoying the flexibility that Civi offers and the ability to customise it for our purposes, but this is heavily dependent on the fact that we have a very talented Drupal man who attends our church and is doing much of the work for us. As far as church use goes, there are some things that Civi doesn't do intuitively that we're trying to work around or develop ourselves. The hope is that we can develop some things which we can then put out there for other churches to use (who maybe don't have the tech skills or resources that we happen to have). The main limitations we're currently working on include:
- recurring events (ie weekly children's groups, courses etc) and the ability to record and report on attendance easily over weeks/months. I plan to blog about this soon as it seems to be a requirement many organisations have and it'd be good if we can take it forward, if there's support for it, in core Civi functionality.
- groups - we have over 100 small groups and we're aiming to have our small group leaders updating their membership but need to use Drupal Organic Groups as there is website functionality linked in with this which we need. We're working on developing reporting for groups (the sort of thing that Civimember can do) so we can monitor growth and decline. The ability to hierarchy groups within Civi is helpful as we have a hierarchy of congregation-mid size community-small group and Civi allows us to reflect that.
As well as Civi's core elements, we're using Civievent for online event registration, Civimail for mass mailings and Civireport. In future we will probably use Civimember for core membership info, Civicase for our newcomers' process and Civicontribute. Do message me if you want to ask more or arrange to chat.