New! Family based child and worship check-in. Info card follow-up. Texting.

Thursday, September 9, 2010 11:00:00 AM Categories: New Features
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Hi Everyone,

I pray your labor day was a blessing and that you are ready for the fall. Mark has been busy the last month or so. Check out these recent releases.

Children’s Check-in By Family
That’s right. Besides options to check kids in on paper and electronically by class; you now have the option to check them in electronically by family! A family comes to any station or computer, either an attendant or the family themselves type a few letters of any family member’s first or last name and click enter. The family’s normal attendance pattern is shown. If no changes, one click and name tags for the kids and one tag for parents are immediately printed. Use your check-in login to play around with it and learn more! I’ll have a new video walking you through the tool on that page within a week.

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Worship (or any event) Check-in
This same feature can be used to check anyone in to any event including worship. You create groups for these events, but you don’t have to populate them! Everyone in the database is a potential candidate for attendance in any group with the following checked on that group’s group information page. This option is only viewable at the Administrative Assistant level and higher.

I’ll put together a video on worship / event check-in and make it available on the info/training pages for both the small group and membership admin.

Follow-up Work Flow – Better Communication Between Staff
Many of you have learned to use Churchteams groups to track follow up for everyone from first time guests to those interested in new members class to those ready to serve. If not, check out the videos on assimilation (#9) under the videos-info and training link on the SGA main menu. These groups are most commonly used by staff. The tool can now be set to automatically notify the leader/contact person for one of these groups when someone new is entered.

Here is how this works:
A person marks on an info card they are interested in becoming a new member (or anything else). A support staff person puts them in a group designated for follow up for this response. The ministry staff in charge of new members automatically gets an emailed notification including contact information. The ministry staff notes the results of the contact using a group view that includes contacts until the person becomes a member.

On the add/update: group info page (AA level and higher), here is that option:

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Follow-up Work Flow – Put Someone In a Group From Their Member Info Page
Using the same or similar scenario as above, support staff add or update member information on a person and now have the ability to put them in a group right from that page. This saves many steps to browse and find the right group to put someone in. Just do it from the member info page:

Contacts, Hyperlinks and Group View – ex. Prayer View
If you’re not sure what this is, it might be helpful to review the release notes on Group View. Now you can track up to 3 different types of contacts from a group view. We recently developed this to serve a large prayer ministry. You can probably come up with lots of ways to use this feature. To customize contacts: click customization features, customize groupfinder, then contact types. We also added a new customizable member attribute field that allows you to track hyperlinks for individuals. In this example, you’ll see a link to a testimony (could go to a blog post, YouTube, Vimeo or anywhere else). Here’s what it looks like:

Texting Upgrade
Go to reports and communication, then select either member or group reports and the texting output option. Click to run and you’ll have an option to send the text through Groupfinder. It looks like this:

Our Commitment To You
This fall marks 10 full years of learning and growing as part of the small group and ministry technology movements. We have learned a lot and continue pushing the ball forward to serve churches in every area of ministry. Thank you for your insights, encouragement and support. I have an idea that what we’re doing is laying the foundation for a revolution in pastoral and discipleship effectiveness. Thanks for making that possible.