Church check-in has evolved significantly in just the last decade. We have moved from simple paper rosters and sheets of blank nametags with Sharpie markers in the nursery to check-in systems where adult worship service attendance is tracked electronically and automatically fed into a database.
Recently, Bay Life Church in Brandon, Florida reached out to let us know how they are experiencing ministry success with checking in all adults to each weekend service. They gave us permission to share their processes in hopes of helping other churches.
Determining Guidelines for Worship Check-in
The church is not trying to be big brother – check-in is totally voluntary – it’s used as a tool that helps attenders get to know one another better, and helps staff care for people. This was communicated by senior leaders prior to roll-out. We also issued key tags for several weeks before the launch and included information on our Connect Cards.
As a church with 2000-2500 in attendance each weekend, we established six self check-in, and two assisted check-in stations. Our goals include keeping lines short and the check-in process as painless as possible. This also includes allowing parents to check-in at the Children’s Ministry.
We also staff the check-in areas with volunteers who are equipped to greet, resupply, and troubleshoot. Their smiles and great attitudes go a long way to help people feel comfortable adjusting to the new process.
The Bay Life Church team took time to develop their check-in process to best suit their ministry. They also made sure their follow-up process was updated and adapted to the new attendance data they would be capturing each week. That process includes several new reports:
2 Weeks Without Check-in
After it is determined that an individual or family has been missing from church for two consecutive weeks (no check-in, giving, children’s check-in), each pastor or director sends cards to those in their ministry, and/or others assigned. These cards communicate that we are praying for you, missed you at church, let us know if we can help.
4 Weeks Without Check-in
After four weeks of absence, an email from the Pastor (sent by a proxy) is sent towards the end of the week. This contains a few links for the person to click updating the church on their status such as:
“We haven’t been able to attend. Here’s how you can pray for me…”
“I’m there, I’m just not checking in.”
“I’m no longer attending.”
These links can be set up to perform action items in your database, whether it’s taking them off lists entirely or updating their status. It’s up to you and your church’s workflow to determine how you want to best approach this.
6 Weeks Without Check-in
Receive a phone call from the Connections office. Pastors and Directors scrub the lists at weekly staff meeting. If you know why they haven’t been able to attend, contact them directly to check in and see if there is anything the church can do to pray for or assist them.
Bay Life Church will be hosting an Assimilation Metro in May 2018 to bring together Connections Pastors to work through best practices. Contact the church directly for more details.
Check-in software is why FellowshipOne was invented. Helping churches connect to their members and visitors is at the heart of our mission. To learn more about all the check-in tools available, click here.