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Back to School: What Church Check-in Should Look Like

Type: Blog Post
By: acoppedge on 7.20.11 in Activity Management

With summer coming to an end, parents are getting ready for their kids to go back to school. Parents focus on preparing their kids with school supplies, new clothes and new bed times. At the same time, churches are busy shoring up volunteers and updating their church management software for the influx of families.

For churches with Fellowship One’s Check-in, most of the prep work has been done for them. Any kids already in the system will be automatically assigned into their classrooms and new kids can be quickly added. However, to make sure that Check-in is as effective and efficient as possible, we’ve come up with some great tips to help.

First floor dual check-in at Gateway Church, Southlake, TX - photo courtesy of WorldsOfWow.comLOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION

It’s as true with Check-in as it is in real estate: it’s all about location! Take some time to think through your check-in kiosk location options:

  • Place kiosks near entrances to the preschool/kids area. When possible, create traffic control by using one entrance and a separate exit. This really helps when you have back-to-back services.
  • For optimal traffic control, lock down non-critical kids area exterior entrances during service. This both boosts security and allows for easier routing for Check-in.
  • If you have a visitor center, add a “first time guest Check-in” assisted station nearby (or at the visitor center).


Signage matters - photo courtesy of Room sign with age range - photo courtesy of

Have you looked at your signage with fresh eyes? From the parking lot to the kids rooms, try to follow your own navigation and see how easily you can read it from your entrances. Remember, first time visitors won’t know where to park or go.

  • Create signs pointing towards parking for Parents of Preschoolers and/or Parents of K-5 Kids.
  • In addition to waypoint signage, use kid-friendly signage (fun colors and fonts), at their eye-level.
  • Make sure you have extra large signage for first time visitors so they know exactly where to go.
  • Clever ministry names make things fun, but make sure to include the age range associated with "Kids Kingdom" so visitors not only know where to go but also don't feel left out of the inside lingo of your church.

Check-in kiosks - photo courtesy of WoldsOfWow.comCHECK-IN KIOSKS

With Fellowship One, there are two kinds of Check-in options: Assisted and Self Check-in. These are some quick tips for both:

Assisted Check-in

  • For first time visitors, get just the basic information to speed up their check-in. Try to limit this to 5-6 fields of information (Name, Address, Phone and Email are most vital).
  • For members, ask for the last four digits of their phone number. This is far less prone to error due to typos and is faster to key in.
  • When adding a new family/person and create a new barcode keychain tag for them right on the spot. This makes Self Check-in available for them on their next visit.

1st time Check-in - photo courtesy of WorldsOfWow.comSelf Check-in

  • Make the investment in Self Check-in kiosks. On average, about 100 individuals can check-in within 15 minutes per Self Check-in kiosk. The investment for more self-service kiosks almost never goes unappreciated!
  • Place a volunteer strategically between two self Check-in kiosks. In this way, the family can be greeted personally and the volunteer can engage the kids. One volunteer can easily handle two Self Check-in lines since the members are scanning themselves in.
  • Self Check-in is up to 500% faster than Assisted Check-in!

With school starting up again soon, now is the time to review your Check-in processes and ensure that the surge in attendance is met with short, fast lines, plenty of smiling faces and great experiences!


We have several free resources available for download about Check-in from our Dynamic Church Trends archive:

  • Webinar: Secrets of Successful Check-in
  • Sample First-Time Visitor Card: Microsoft Publisher or Adobe Acrobat file
  • White Paper: Secrets of Successful Check-in for Children, Events & Rapid Follow-Up
  • Quick Guide: Tips and Tricks for Check-in

Thanks to our friends at Worlds of Wow! for the use of their photos!

F1 Staff
33 posts

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