Switching to a church check-in system would cost more than the pen and notepad you’re using right now. You also have to account for the hardware to use these programs. So is it really worth the cost from your church budget? What does a check-in system really have to offer?
Probably the greatest reason for implementing a check-in system at your church is to keep kids safe and accounted for. Even in this typically secure environment, a slight risk always exists. Someone could slip in the back door and try to lure children out of the nursery. Parents in the midst of a custody battle could discreetly pick up children when there’s no system for recognizing authorized guardians. But a poor check-in process—or none at all—should never be an excuse for child abduction. You can’t put a price tag on kids.
Children should also be safe from any medical concerns when they’re in the hands of your kid’s ministry volunteers. About 8% of children have a food allergy. With snacks being passed around, your church needs an effective way to monitor which kids are at risk of developing a serious reaction should they get their hands on one of these treats. Allergies, medications, and health conditions can easily be documented and monitored with an effective check-in system.
If a child is hurt or abducted while in your care, the church could be held legally responsible. Without a check-in system in place to drastically reduce the chances of an emergency situation, your church could be left financially devastated. The reputation of your ministry is also at stake—visitors should feel confident leaving their children in the hands of your staff and volunteers. To keep them coming back, show them you value the safety of their children.
Whether you see 15 kids each Sunday or 1,500, a check-in system can lead to better organization for your church. Writing names on masking tape and sticking them on the backs of active toddlers is a quick way to lose track of children. Lists and clipboards leave a messy paper trail and even more work for your volunteers. But a touchscreen kiosk? That leaves volunteers to interact with the kids—not office supplies.
Not just for the kids
When most churches search for a check-in system, they have kid’s ministry in mind. But check-in can help streamline processes throughout your entire church.
Rather than passing attendance forms down the aisles and distracting from worship, utilize check-in stations to track attendance for weekly classes, small groups, and special events. Utilize a label printer to provide nametags for participants at a conference and simplify the entire process.
Have your volunteers check in when they arrive for duty at the nursery or welcome center. Track their service so you know who’s showing up and what areas of ministry fit each person’s unique gifts. Utilize this information to thank volunteers and reach out when your church has a need for help.
Speed up the process by allowing entire families to check into multiple classes in a matter of seconds. You can control which events and classes are available to each person based on age, gender, or other criteria. So if mom is checking in for the family, she’ll be reminded of the ladies’ brunch—but this wouldn’t be an option for her husband or kids.
Get the most out of your check-in system
- Integrate your check-in system with your ChMS to eliminate repeat data entry—your records will be automatically updated
- Custom brand your check-in stations with images, colors, and logos unique to your church and its various ministries
- Take advantage of the multiple secure access methods—fingerprint, barcode, pin number—so people have quick options for checking in
- Utilize a label printer to print nametags for children—including medical information—and security receipts for guardians
- Track attendance and volunteer participation to help you gauge the discipleship of your church community
- Send out follow-up communications based on attendance at events and services
- Allow check-in offline when you don’t have access to an internet connection or lose power and your database will update once you reconnect
- Train your volunteers and staff to effectively use this resource
Want to learn more about how a check-in system can help your ministry? Get started!
Image Credits: istockphoto