10 Innovative Uses For Tablets In Church

Thursday, February 27, 2014 6:50:00 AM Categories: Communication Ministry & Technology
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You love your iPad, Kindle Fire, Nook, Nexus, Galaxy Note, or whatever tablet you have.  It’s light, easy to carry around and gives you access to the whole world - right at your fingertips.  Tablets are rapidly becoming a part of our everyday lives.  So that begs the question:  What are some of the best ways to use tablets in church?

You probably have some ideas.  But, maybe you’re looking for others or maybe you’re wondering what software is out there to help make your ideas reality.  At Churchteams, we’ve been thinking about it too.  That’s why we’ve had lots of conversations with pastors and church admin types over the last couple of years regarding tablet use in church.  Below is a list of what we’ve come up with.  And by the way, you can do all of these right now with our cloud-based Churchteams church management software.

1.        Children’s security and check-in.  This is a biggie.  Imagine greeting families at the door or in the parking lot, calling them by name or asking their name.  Type in a few letters of their name and make sure everyone is going to their usual class.  Click to print and tell them their name tags will be ready for them by the time they walk to the check-in station.  

2.        Guest registration.  Have tablets at your guest information center.  Since it’s not materials or computer driven trade the desk out for a bistro table with some carpet under it.  When a guest comes up, greet them warmly then put their information directly into the database on your tablet and get them in the flow of the follow up system.

3.        Hospitality room responses.  I love this one.  When people join your church or make decisions that you need to follow up on after the service.  Have your volunteers use a tablet to capture that info.  Use the tablet camera to take a picture of the individual, couple or family on the spot and it automatically associates with their info in the database.

4.        Capture prayer requests.  Create a prayer request link to put on your website.  Then people meeting and praying for others can use their tablets to capture any prayer requests that need to be shared with the prayer team and pastors.

5.        Take attendance.  If you want, you can get rid of the records room.  Check-in will capture attendance for kids, but use our push out email to group leaders and your adults can click one link in an email and take attendance right on their smart phone or tablets.  In churches where people know each other well, you can do the same thing for worship services.  

6.        New member classes.  There are a couple of ways to use tablets for new member classes.  First, use the pushout email during the class session.  When people decide to join your church, send out the update info link to everyone right then.  Ask them to immediately respond using their phones or tablets.  They can even upload a picture of themselves that they have in their gallery.  Second, use tablets like you would in the hospitality room to connect people to next steps or groups.

7.        Find a group.  Back to the bistro table.  Have an area where people looking for groups can come alongside a host to learn how to use Churchteams to find and join a group.  The great thing about this feature is that they get a hands-on opportunity to see and use the functionality of your Churchteams website.

8.        Find ministry and mission opportunities.  This is pretty much the same as connecting with groups.  However, when people sign up for ministry, serving or mission opportunities, they are put into groups that are used as dashboards for follow up by staff and leadership responsible for recruiting in these areas.

9.        Event registration.  Like groups and serving opportunities, use tablets to sign people up for events.  Enable our online giving feature and you’ll be able to take payments on the spot that are automatically recorded on the event dashboard for easy event management.

10.     Give online.  Like many of the other features, this is just a link from your website that takes people to a giving portal where they enter their donation.  Our system saves credit card numbers so people can give in as little as 35 seconds.  And it automatically posts their donation to their giving record so you don’t have to input or import it.

How’s that for starters?  As you can see a lot of this is driven by the integration of your database into your website.  This will decentralize the communication, registration and giving opportunities for your people.  Using tablets will help you coach your people to use your website more effectively plus it will simplify and integrate many of your normal Sunday morning connections putting them directly in the flow of your follow up and disciple-making process.  And we didn’t even talk about using tablets for your Bible, note-taking, teaching presentations, keeping up with the score of the game, or bored-kid-entertainment!

Boyd Pelley. Is Co-founder and CEO of Churchteams.com. He served for 18 years as Discipleship Pastor, Church Administrator and Family Pastor for churches in New Mexico, Nebraska and Texas. He has a bent toward improving processes and a passion for making disciples. Married for 27 years, he and Pam have 2 grown children.