Like most churches, you’ve probably adopted a check-in system to simplify the check-in process. But just because you’ve upgraded from paper to digital doesn’t mean it’s doing everything you need it to do. If your church check-in system matches this description, it might actually be holding you back.
1) It doesn’t allow mobile check-in
Does your church check-in station get congested on Sunday mornings when everyone is crowded around waiting to check in? The mad dash to check 500 in kids in before the next service starts in 8 minutes can become overwhelming.
Find a system that allows people to begin the check-in process on the way to church from within a mobile app. Once they arrive, they can scan a confirmation code if they need nametags printed.
Some mobile check-in systems can also work in administrative mode, so you can station volunteers at the entrance to take attendance on tablets as people walk in the door.
You’ll find a more efficient check-in process and a need for fewer kiosks.
2) It can’t work offline
If your check-in system is dependent upon a WiFi connection, you run the risk of returning to a pen and notepad each week. Unpredictable weather, patchy internet access, and high traffic volume could bring an end to your smooth check-in process.
That’s why some check-in systems are web-based but can also work locally on a desktop or kiosk when offline. Once you connect to the internet, the records will sync with your database. You’ll avoid downtime, and your information will always be available.
This feature is especially important to portable churches and those that host outdoor or offsite events. You shouldn’t have to move a ministry just to find a solid WiFi connection.
3) It doesn’t provide secure options
The primary reason churches employ check-in systems is to keep kids safe. But how safe is it if anyone can easily access another person’s account?
Look for a system with secure access methods—fingerprint, unique barcode, or pin number. Most systems will allow you to enable only the options you want to be available.
Parents or guardians should also be able to include allergy and medical information on nametags printed for their kids and receive a security receipt.
4) It’s slow
Whether you’ve developed an inefficient process or the check-in system itself is slow, speed things up!
Find a system that allows an entire family to use an express check-in option, listing only the classes each person is eligible to check into. A four-year-old girl isn’t going to check into the men’s Sunday school class, after all.
Or opt for quick access options like a fingerprint scanner that locates records in seconds.
5) It isn’t integrated with your ChMS
If your check-in system and ChMS aren’t integrated, you might spend a lot of time entering attendance records into your database—but it could happen automatically if they’re connected. You’ve got more to do than spend time on data entry!
Integrating these systems will also make it easier for your church to send out follow-up communications to people that attend your events and track volunteer involvement.
So what can you do?
First make sure that you’re taking advantage of all the available features of your current check-in system—or you could be holding yourself back. So many churches only scrape the surface of what these tools can do and let valuable features go to waste.
If your check-in system still doesn’t make the cut, it might be time to upgrade to one that will help you move forward.