Church Health Made Easy – Ministry Management through Small Groups

Published on 04/25/2017

We have all heard how important Small Groups are to health and growth of the church. But using these groups to track the health of your members and reach new people has been a very difficult task for many Church leaders.

For example, Tim and Jenny have a small group of couples who study the Bible together and encourage each other on Tuesday nights. They are also part of a group of Nursery Volunteers and a group called Home School Families. Tim attends a once a month Men’s Breakfast and Jenny works as a mentor to Young Mothers.

They are very involved in the life of the church it would appear. However, are they really involved? Their couples small group has not met for over three months, the Home School Group is really falling apart and they have found a replacement for their Volunteer spot in the Nursery the last two months.

So what is happening with Tim and Jenny? Most churches have no real way of tracking how effective these groups are and if their members are really involved. Churches are ahead of the curve if they even have a list of who is in which group.

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A Massive List of Updates

Published on 10/22/2015

We’ve improved SimpleChurch more in the last year, than in any previous year! You can read about some of the changes below.

Group Finder

  • The SimpleChurch Group Finder is now available to churches. Go to Settings > Groups > Group Finder to enable and configure the Group Finder.
  • Zipcode is added as a searchable field in the Group Finder.

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Scheduled Messages and More Mass Contact Improvements

Published on 09/24/2014

We’ve long given you the ability to send email, voice, and SMS messages to your members and prospects. Today, we’re announcing quite a few helpful improvements to this feature.

Scheduled Messages

When you go to the Mass Contact Utility, you can create your message as usual, complete with groups, body, attachments, voice message, etc. But, at the bottom, you can now choose to schedule this message for later sending, and we’ll send it, just as you created it, on that date and time.

Should you wish to edit it, just select it from the select list of scheduled message on the right of the contact page and make your changes, and save it. Please note, this list only appears when you have scheduled messages that haven’t been sent you.

In-Browser Voice Recording

Also, for people using the most recent couple versions of Firefox and Google Chrome, they can now record voice messages right in the browser. When they click the “Launch Voice Recorder” link, instead of having to download a little app and run it, they’ll be able to record the message in their browser.

Lastly, you can now remove attachments from emails, when you’re creating your message.

Updates: Robust Duplicate Detection, Last Attended Search, and More

Published on 09/19/2014

Robust Duplicate Detection

When adding/editing a person, it used to be that we would alert you if there were another person who had the same name as the person you were adding/editing. This helped to prevent duplicates. But it relied on you having exactly the same name for the two people. So, a “Joe Marks” and “Joseph Marks” wouldn’t match as a duplicate, even if they had the same email address or physical address.

Now, our duplicate detection works with all of the following information: names (including preferred name), physical address (including full/abbreviated street suffixes i.e. “st” vs “street”), email addresses, and home and cell phone numbers.

However, we do not show you people with duplicate information if they are in the same family grouping, since many people share contact information in a family. If a duplicate is suspected, we show you a bright red bar at the bottom of the screen with links to the suspected duplicate records.

Last Attended On

Now, when viewing a person’s profile, you will see a “Last Attended On” date in the dates section. This pulls from the person’s attendance history and displays the most recent time they attended. Additionally, you can search for people using this and other criteria under Advanced Search.

New “Add/Edit Pictures” Permission

There is a new permission you can give your roles to allow users to add/edit pictures. So, if you don’t want people to be allowed to edit all of the information on a person, but you do want them to change pictures, you can do that now. An update of the iOS App has been submitted and should be out by October 1st with support for this. The web version already supports this.

Miscellaneous

  • There is now a “Submitted Electronically” checkbox on attendance roles for classes that submit attendance via the App, but still want to alert the attendance person that they didn’t forget.
  • When adding families through child check-in, you can now add children with different last names than their parent.
  • The Giving Entry page now has a running total at the bottom, even when not in batch mode.
  • The Aggregate Attendance Report can now be printed.

Child Check-in: Kiosk Mode, Add Families, and More

Published on 08/22/2014

In our continuing effort to make SimpleChurch the powerful tool that you need it to be, we’ve added quite a few improvements that have been requested.

Kiosk Mode

Now, under child check-in settings, you can choose to enable kiosk mode. This will let you launch child check-in in a way that there are no other menu options on the screen, and you can then set your browser to be full screen. This way, you can have unattended check-in stations – no workers required!

Another setting you can enable for use with Kiosk Mode is the on screen keyboard. This makes it so that you can use a touch screen computer with your unattended check-in station.

Add Families

Another often requested feature is the ability to add new families right from the check-in screen. Well, you can do this now! You can click the Add Family link to start the process. SimpleChurch will walk you through adding the primary member, adding the children with their badge notes, and getting them checked into their groups.

Under settings, you can enable this feature and choose which group newly created families are placed in for easy follow up. This also works seamlessly with kiosk mode.

Lookup & Contact

There’s a new option on the Child Check-in screen: Contact. You can now look up one or more groups and see which children are checked into each of them. And, right from there, you can SMS all of those children’s parents at once.

RFID Mode Changes

Before, you used to have to choose between using only labels, or only RFID cards. Now, under settings, you can configure this differently. You can choose to use RFID cards along side of labels. This will allow your members to quickly look up their families just by waving the card. But, visitors can also use the normal lookup method.

Additionally, you can still use the fully RFID method, where cards are required for checkout. This way, the system keeps track of which children were checked in with which card, and shows this to the child care worker.

We hope these new features make it easier for you to concentrate on people and ministry, and less on the small details. Your suggestions are invaluable in helping SimpleChurch continue to improve!

Thank you,
The SimpleChurch Team.

Child Check-in Improvements

Published on 04/01/2014

You can now set the number of labels you need printed when checking in a child. This is helpful for situations where the child and a diaper bag both need labels.

Additionally, you can now check a child into multiple groups at check-in time. Simply click all of the groups the child needs to be at, and they will be marked present for them. The first group you select will be the one that prints on the badge.

Giving Demographics Report and Deposit Slips

Published on 02/28/2014

We’ve added two new giving reports.

Giving Demographics

giving_demographics

You can now see giving broken down by age range for a given date range. Both the age and dates ranges are configurable by going to the Options Drop down and choosing “Filter”. This report will show you how much each range gave, what percent of the totals gifts they gave, and what percentage of the total giving people they represent.

Bank Deposit Slip

While you’re on the Reports > Giving Page, you can select “Print a Deposit Slip” form the Options Drop down. This will give you a pdf with all cash gifts consolidated to one line, and one check per line. The checks will be identified based on the contents of the notes field.

For a check with check number 10, here are the valid ways of writing it:

  • chk 10
  • check 10
  • 10
  • check #10

These are not case sensitive.

Better. Sleeker. Responsive

Published on 02/23/2014

The Same Simple, Yet Powerful Software. Now, Even Better.

We’re pleased to announce the newly designed SimpleChurch!

  • A much cleaner look, with more consistent interface organization.
  • Better use of space – If you have a large screen, we’ll use more of it. If you have a smaller screen, everything will reflow and fit nicely.
  • Better mobile support. While there is a native iOS app, and the mobile web version for Android/Windows Phone, these mobile devices can now have a much better experience using the normal SimpleChurch site in their browser.

SimpleChurch has been long overdue for a facelift, and we hope you enjoy using it as much as we enjoyed making it!

We have a few other major features in the queue: Check scanning, and funnels for automating the workflow of managing and assigning interactions and groups!

We value your feedback! If you have suggestions, please let us know by using the “Report a Problem/Suggestion” link at the Bottom of SimpleChurch.