Fellowship One Reporting Offers The Village Church Exceptional Member Care

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Background

The Village Church in Flower Mound, Texas started out as a plant of the Lakeland Baptist Church in 1977. It remained small until 2002, when Pastor Matt Chandler was hired and everything from the name to the governance structure was changed. By 2006, they had planted two churches in the Dallas area and by 2009, had launched two additional cam- puses in Denton and Dallas, with a fourth campus in the works for Fort Worth. All together, The Village has a membership of nearly 10,000.

With the launch of the third campus, it became obvious to The Village’s administrative staff, and especially to executive assistant Brittany Garringer, that the church management software (ChMS) they were using could no longer handle the volume of the church’s database. They knew it was time for a web-based solution that could keep up with their growth.

Here’s how Fellowship One reporting feature helps The Village staff manage their database and offer exceptional member care with:

  • Web-based,rather than file-based database management to enable powerful, fast, crash-free reporting
  • Choice of simple People Queries, Customizable Reports and Core Reports
  • Summary data in attractive, easy-to use, malleable format, including directory photos
  • Individual or mass emails directly from reports and queries
  • Education, training and personal report building assistance

The Challenge

Brittany Garringer has been on staff at The Village for over five years in a variety of posi- tions. She is a Fellowship One "Champion," an individual familiar with and responsible for encouraging and enabling Fellowship One usage at the church. In 2009, they were using Shelby. "It just could not keep up," she said. "I think it’s probably a good product for small churches, but not being web-based, it worked very slowly and tended to crash if you put too much information in it. What should have taken 5 minutes took 20; with 10,000 names, you just can’t afford that kind of time.

"We knew we needed a web-based solution to keep up with our growth."Brittany Garringer, The Village Church

"Shelby's reporting feature was very limiting. It didn't offer very many fields in which to gather information. Also the members were listed by family. If you wanted individual information, you'd have to run a report of families and then manually count the individuals on the list. There were a lot of reports that involved manual tabulation or formatting. The reporting feature also required a good working knowledge of "if-then" statements," Brit- tany said. "If you got confused building your statements, you wouldn’t get the results you were looking for."

Brittany was motivated to get everything into Fellowship One to make her job easier. As the director of Recovery groups, she could see how easy it would be to manage the groups in Fellowship One. In each session of the 12-step "Step Studies," she runs a simple a report to track who is attending and instantly emails (from within the software) those who have missed several classes. Not only does this allow her to investigate those who aren't coming regularly, but also it enables her to keep her database accurate.

"We love being able to report across families or individuals, across all our campuses or for campus-specific data. It’s just so easy to find what we need with Fellowship One reports."Brittany Garringer, The Village Church

“Shelby’s reporting feature was very limiting. It didn’t offer very many fields in which to gather information. Also the members were listed by family. If you wanted individual information, you’d have to run a report of families and then manually count the individuals on the list. There were a lot of reports that involved manual tabulation or formatting. The reporting feature also required a good working knowledge of “if-then” statements,” Brittany said. “If you got confused building your statements, you wouldn’t get the results you were looking for.”

Brittany was motivated to get everything into Fellowship One to make her job easier. As the director of Recovery groups, she could see how easy it would be to manage the groups in Fellowship One. In each session of the 12-step “Step Studies,” she runs a simple a report to track who is attending and instantly emails (from within the software) those who have missed several classes. Not only does this allow her to investigate those who aren’t coming regularly, but also it enables her to keep her database accurate.

"We love being able to report across families or individuals, across all our campuses or for campus-specific data. It’s just so easy to find what we need with Fellowship One reports."Brittany Garringer, The Village Church

Success Stories

  • The church’s new Home Groups Pastor asked for a directory report of all the home group members, with photos and ages. Brittany had never done a directory report before, but she clicked on the FT Report tab, scrolled through the index and quickly found a report. In just a short time, she printed out a beautifully formatted directory for the pastor. She said that with their previous ChMS, she would have had to manually import and format the data from the report into a Word document.
  • The children’s minister wondered how many children to expect at a soft launch of a new campus, where covenant members only were invited. Brittany had no trouble running a report on the expected members and getting an automatic tally of their children.
  • The children’s minister can pull a report of parents with children of certain ages, then quickly email (from with the report) a summary of the lesson covered in Sunday School that week and suggestions of fun activities to reinforce the message.

Biggest Data Surprise

Brittany said the biggest surprise their data ever showed them revolved around Covenant Renewal. "We ran a report of those who didn't renew and sent emails to those people. The majority didn't reply to the email, so the ministry staff called each one. Many had moved on, but some were having struggles with the spiritual disciplines and, with personal encouragement, went on to renew their covenant. We considered it to be an important op- portunity to administer care -- with a secondary benefit of updating our database."

Recommendations

Gathering Information: "Anytime you ask for information, include as many fields as you want for your records. They may not give you everything you ask for, but the more you get, the more you can do with the data."

Having such comprehensive possibilities in Fellowship One’s reporting feature influences the kind of information Brittany requests from people. "I think about what I might want to get a report on later. You never know when you’ll create an event—say, an outreach event at a college, and find it very helpful to know that Joe Smith is not only at that college, but also lives in a certain dorm, and might be the perfect person to help you promote the event."

Choosing Reports: Brittany says, “75% of the time, a simple People Query will give me the names and whatever details I need. I use reports when I’m tracking across different events and looking for patterns, like in a 16-week Step Study or home group leader- ship Round Table classes. My favorite report is M6023!"

Experiment, Educate, Ask: “Don’t be afraid to get in there and play around,” Brittany encourages. If you’re nervous about doing damage, education and training can alleviate those concerns. Fellowship One also offers personalized assistance with building custom reports.

Data is a church’s most valuable ministry resource, the heartbeat of its people. The only way to maximize data is with a single-source database and superior reporting analytics. Dynamic Churches know their people, study their data, and grow their congregation. Dynamic Churches have Fellowship One!

Downloads

  • How The Village Church Is Using Member Data To Change The Game

    How The Village Church Is Using Member Data To Change The Game Cover
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