For the past few months we have been covering the main features of a ChMS (Church Management Software). We started with financials, followed up with membership, and now we look at one of my favorite features: check-in.
This is an essential piece in the ChMS puzzle and is usually included in many of the top church management software systems. As in previous posts, we’ll be using By the Book as a case example as we talk about the finer points of a ChMS check-in system.
“Check-in” is commonly referred to as child check-in, but the truth of the matter is, a ChMS check-in system is for the entire family.
Here are a few different ways you can use a church management software check-in in your church:
- youth group
- special events
- Sunday school
- church nursery
- church meetings
You can clearly see that a check-in system can be used in a number of different ways; however, the number one reason most churches use a check-in function is for kids ministry.
Nothing says, “we care about children” than having a kids ministry check-in system. It not only provides a solid layer of security in your kids ministry, but also gives parents a chance to communicate to the staff about their child.
- What does your kids ministry look like to guests?
- Do they feel safe leaving their children with your teachers?
These are just a few questions to consider. This subject alone could fill-up a blog post.
Imagine if your church was using the By the Book Child Check-in…
A new family approaches the Roll Call check-in kiosk to sign-in to Sunday school and the church nursery (or maybe you’ve opted to use the mobile version and there are volunteers helping check people in with their iPads). At this point, families check-in to the appropriate class with a bar code scan, finger print scan, or search by name or family number.
Once the information is found or entered-in (Mom remembers to note that her 3-year old has a peanut allergy), a child name tag and parent tag are printed out. It’s your churches policy that a child can only be released to someone with the matching parent tag, so dad safely puts the parent tag in his pocket while mom sticks name tags on the rest of kids – we see the 3-year old’s tag includes the peanut allergy note.
Mom and dad divide and conquer, drop each child off at the right class, and join each other afterwards.
You can see how the rest plays out when it’s time to pick the children up as parent and child tags are matched before releasing the children.
With the rise of allergies and the complications that can arise in divorce and custody battles, it isn’t “stranger danger” that should always be our number one cause of concern. Implementing a child check-in is essential even for the smallest of churches.
[Video via YouTube]
Follow Up & Updates
I’ve outlined the most popular use cases of a check-in system, but a check-in system can be used for many different church events and activities.
The beauty of having your check-in system tied into your ChMS, is that all the data is one place. Financial data, membership data, it’s all resides in the same database. If a family gets a new phone number or address, the first time they check-in to a church event or a Sunday school, they can quickly and easily update their information.
And how about those visitors to your church? Is this their first time? Or did they attended that concert the month before?
By the Book (or other ChMS) can tell you that.
ChMS Check-in: Level Up Your Kid Ministry!
The ChMS check-in brings a great layer of security for any kids ministry, providing numerous benefits to both church members and guests.
And with a ChMS like By the Book, there are many options on how you setup and configure your check-in – making it easier to implement and fit your church’s unique layout, schedule, and needs.