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You may wonder if using a check-in station is the right call for your church. It may seem like it’s just a fancy new piece of technology that is nice, but is it really necessary?

The truth is that the purpose of using a check-in station is not just about technology; it’s actually to make it easier to reach and serve your community, and easier to manage the day-to-day life of your church.

Check-in stations have a number of benefits that provide connection, organization, and safety, and help you stay prepared to make a connection with the people you are called to serve. From checking kids in to your children’s ministry all the way to tracking attendance at special events or classes, here are five benefits a check-in station offers your church:

Benefit #1: Keep Your Children’s Ministry Secure

Whether the child care you are offering is for a special event or as a part of your regular Sunday morning service, there is no other place in your church where security matters more. With easy check-in, you’ll know who the child’s guardian is, the child’s name, and any dietary restrictions all on one label! This ensures that only an authorized adult can pick up the child.

If you ever need to look back at a full attendance roster for a service, or past attendance for a specific child, the system makes it really easy to track that information down.

Benefit #2: Track Attendance

Some churches use a check-in station to track attendance for their Sunday services, and some use it only for special events and classes. Either way, this is a huge benefit to a check-in station that allows people to check-in as they come in.

For special events, if you utilize a pre-registration, tracking the event attendance using a check-in station will allow you to compare the number of people that registered versus those who came to the event. Having attendees check-in at the event will also allow you to send follow-up emails and helpful resources only to the people who that information would apply to, and automatically print labels or name tags necessary for that event.

Benefit #3: Helps Identify New Guests

Church can be a busy place, especially if you have kids running about or are busy keeping a big event organized. With an event check-in station, you’ll know exactly who came to your event and be able to narrow down who wasn’t part of your regular attenders. So in the case you aren’t able to make a personal connection at the event, you can still send them a special follow-up afterward.

Benefit #4: Advance Registration for Events

One of the toughest parts of planning for an event is knowing how many people to plan for. With advance registration, you can collect an accurate number of how many people to expect, as well as compare that number with the number from your event check-in. If you have any conferences or events where there is a fee to attend, you are able to easily add that into the advanced registration.

Benefit #5: Provides Valuable Data

Coordinating events is more than just getting them scheduled in the calendar. You also need to know how many kids to expect (if you are offering childcare), how many volunteers you’ll need to watch the children, and how to set up your space for the amount of attendees expected. If you have a weekly event, a check-in station provides valuable data to tell you how many people are regularly attending, and the average number of children, so that you can properly prepare and adjust for the next event.

These are just a few of the benefits that come with having a check-in station at your church! The goal of utilizing a tool like this is to improve the experience for guests at your church, make organization easier for you and your team to manage, and allow you to connect more easily with the people in your church.

Interested in how One Church Software’s check-in station integration and all-in-one church management software could support your ministry? Learn how it works.

The world seems to be moving at lightning speed. The days of passing an offering plate to collect cash and paper checks are pretty much obsolete. With this shift to more convenient ways to tithe like text-to-give, online giving, and in-app donations, the security of user information has to be top-of-mind.

But how do you know what is truly “secure” and why is prioritizing security a key part of stewarding your church’s resources?

Safe Giving Options

47% of Americans experienced financial identity theft in 2020 and among the top five kinds of theft were online shopping and payment account fraud. Protecting your identity and credit card information has become a necessity for everyone. The last place anyone should be remotely worried about their data being stolen is at church.

Nonprofits and churches alike are (and should be) characterized by trustworthiness. The members of your church don’t just tithe because God tells them to do so, they also give because they trust you to steward their resources well. And part of good stewardship is protecting their data.

Just like in the days when you made sure there were always multiple ushers tallying up the weekly tithes, it’s wise to do your homework to make sure the giving option you offer is secure.

How to Know if Giving Software is Secure

You don’t have to be an expert in online security or know all the lingo and latest vulnerabilities in fraud, but an easy way to confirm security is to check to make sure the system you have is a PCI-Compliant Service Provider (like One Church Software). PCI stands for Payment Card Industry and they represent the highest set of security standards in the industry.

You should also check into the level of encryption any giving software offers. In short, encryptions are when your data is changed to a code that can only be read when you have the “key.” The higher the number of bits, the tougher it is to crack the key to get access to the data. Back when encryptions were first introduced, it was common to see 56-bit encryption. To compare, One Church Software uses 256-bit encryption, the strongest form of protection you can find in the industry today.

Additionally, here are some security measures we take pride in prioritizing:

  • Data is backed up every night to servers across the globe and redundantly stored securely. We store up to 6 months worth of back-ups.
  • We run server scans and perform penetration tests regularly.
  • User passwords are one-way hashed and salted so no one but the user knows what it is (not even we know what it is).
  • All access to the system is controlled via a robust and flexible permissions system so users can only see and edit data they are allowed to.

When it comes to your church’s giving, it’s important to pick a ChMS (Church Management Software) that takes security and stewardship just as seriously as you do. It’s an investment to protect personal, credit card, and bank information; however, when it comes to giving faithfully, secure solutions also provide the confidence and assurance of safety to each one of your members.

We know taking the step to start using a church management software can feel like a big one. Our team has worked with hundreds of churches and church leaders to help make the switch. If you aren’t sure if your church’s giving is currently secure or would like to find out how One Church Software would support your ministry, give us a call at 855.932.2060 or watch a software demo at your own pace.

A typical problem churches face is maintaining a consistent stream of funds to support ministry operations. The work of the local church, whether discipling teenagers or providing meals for the homeless, costs money, and if a church struggles to maintain a consistent stream of giving from its members, the work of ministry can be hindered.

How can churches encourage consistent giving from their church members without breaking trust or sounding “greedy,” a common fear of church leaders? Here are a few basic ways to promote consistent giving in the local church:

1. Talk about money outside of giving campaigns.

One of the biggest mistakes churches make is neglecting any talk about generosity, giving, or money outside of specialized fundraising campaigns for new facilities, new ministry opportunities, or other such projects.

A common line churches use is, “This is not about a building…it’s about cultivating generosity in your heart.” Unfortunately, if the only time you’re talking like that on a Sunday morning or in your small groups is when you’re trying to add a new facility, people are probably going to roll their eyes! And more importantly, you’re going to lose trust.

One of the best ways you can cultivate a culture of generosity and consistent giving in your church is to talk about money and generosity regularly so that finances aren’t as taboo a topic as they too often are. God cares about our money and how we spend, invest, or give it, and church leaders should be talking about our relationship with money as a regular part of the discipleship process, whether there’s a fundraising campaign or not.

Make conversations about finances a regular part of your discipleship efforts. You will not only cultivate generous hearts that are more like Christ, but you’ll also see more consistent giving from your church members.

2. Encourage regular service within the local church.

This is an essential but often overlooked point. In general, even outside of the church walls, people are more likely to personally invest in projects or efforts with which they are actively involved in some way. Sure, plenty of generous donors give to nonprofits or philanthropic causes with whom they have little personal connection. Still, most small and medium-sized givers will be most faithful and consistent if they have a vested interest and participatory relationship with the recipient of their giving.

A really simple, underrated way to encourage consistent giving in your church is to encourage your church members to serve regularly. The more involved they are through serving in the children’s ministry or taking meals to new parents throughout the week, the more likely they will be willing to open their wallets and give.

Two of the resources about which people are most stingy are their time and money. If you can get your church members to loosen their grip on their time and be generous on that front, you are more likely to successfully loosen their grip on their money and encourage them to be generous with it.

Encourage service and watch giving become more consistent.

3. Prioritize electronic giving and monitor it.

More and more people are paying their bills through automatic electronic withdrawals from their bank accounts. The number of people who write checks to pay their bills will only continue to decrease moving into the future. The same is true with church giving. Though church demographics tend to skew older than the average age of a community’s population, the digital financial revolution will hit your church soon if it hasn’t already.

If you hope to encourage regular, consistent giving in your church, reliable electronic giving needs to be a top priority. There are seemingly dozens of options available for churches to make electronic giving available to their church members. Whichever option you choose, make sure that user experience is important in your decision-making process. Electronic giving that is difficult to use creates unnecessary friction and could even erode trust in your church members, which will only hinder consistent financial giving.

An extra bonus if the solution you choose makes communication easy with your donors, allows members to give via text, and makes it simple for you to monitor it all!

Consistent financial giving is important in the life of the local church because we should always be growing in generosity as we strive to become more like Christ, and those funds fuel the important ministry in your community and around the world.

Looking for an easy giving solution for your church? Look no further than One Church Giving, Our safe, secure, and fully integrated giving solution. Learn more here.

Want to read more?
– 5 Ways We Should Talk About Money at Church
– 5 Reasons to Consider Text Giving for Your Ministry
3 Ways to Encourage Young Families to Give to Your Church

The generous financial gifts of a local church congregation are the backbone of sustaining a local church. Money and giving are twin topics that are often taboo in a local church, and this can obviously inhibit giving and cripple the financial situation of a ministry. It isn’t very fun to think about, but doing ministry does cost money, and the generous giving of church members is needed if the church is to serve their community in tangible ways.

One of the greatest giving pain points in local churches is encouraging giving among young adults. Research shows young people trust churches and church leaders less than their parents or grandparents did at their age. This lack of trust can often lead to a lack of giving. Then, their lack of giving can hobble the ministry of the local church.

How does a local church encourage young families to give? Here are three practical steps:

1. Make recurring giving simple.

Very practically, churches must make recurring giving as simple as possible. Once upon a time, churches could count on members remembering to bring their tithes via check or cash every week, or perhaps once per month. With the digital revolution and the relatively recent phenomenon of electronic bill paying, few young people (including people well into their 30s and even 40s) carry cash or checks with any regularity. If your church only has physical giving options available, with no opportunity to automate giving electronically, you’re missing out on a lot of potential to make giving easy for this generation.

Young people are much more likely to regularly and generously give to the local church if they have a way to do so electronically. This obviously has nothing to do with the discipline of generosity that should be important to all believers. Not having an opportunity to give to a church through the internet is no excuse for not giving at all. But local church leaders should recognize that friction can be reduced for young people who want to give by providing plenty of opportunity to set up recurring giving via an app or other kind of payment service. This will ensure regular giving from young people.

But how do these people begin to give generously, rather than just consistently? See steps two and three.

2. Make your values, not your programs, the focus of giving.

Church culture changes over time. This is only natural and has happened generationally for hundreds of years. Worship styles change. How people prefer to gather changes. Preaching styles shift. The Word of God and the message of the Gospel stay the same, but all of the contextual pieces around “how to do church” are pretty fluid.

One way these changes have been manifested in our current context is in how young people view church. Evangelical churches in the late-20th and even early 21st centuries were built on programs. Many young families around the turn of the millennium flocked to churches with the coolest children’s programming, the nicest facilities, or the most fun youth ministry. Do many people still choose churches and generously give to churches for these reasons? Most definitely. But the tides are turning away from programs and more toward values and community.

Plenty of statistics abound about how young people make more decisions based on values than generations who have come before. Young people today are more likely to give to your church because of your values than they are because of your programs. Quality church programming became such an integral part of local church ministry that it was almost commoditized—quality church programming could be found anywhere. Now, with a generation of young Christians who have seen some of their most beloved Christian leaders fall out of ministry because of moral failure or even criminal behavior, they are more likely to give generously to a church with whom their values align and who they can trust than a church with the coolest children’s ministry programs or facilities.

That last point, focused on trust, is our third and final step:

3. Make your church finances and budget transparent.

There is absolutely no reason that church finances and budgets should not be transparent to church members. This doesn’t mean church staff need to project their salaries up on the big screen once a month, but it does mean that church members should have a breakdown on where finances go, so they can make an educated and confident decision as they give.

Church leaders who provide no transparency into how church money is used or how budgets are made have no leg to stand on when it comes to wondering why church members aren’t giving. Young people are more skeptical of church leaders and their authority than any generation in modern history. Church leaders today need to earn the trust and respect of young church members, and when it comes to money, trust and respect is earned with transparency.

Young families will give generously when they realize their values align with the church’s values and when they are assured that the people collecting and spending their money are trustworthy and of Christlike character. Then, churches can encourage frictionless, consistent giving by providing young families with electronic means to set up recurring giving.

Want to read more?
5 Ways We Should Talk About Money at Church
5 Reasons to Consider Text Giving for Your Ministry

Looking for an easy giving solution for your church? Look no further than One Church Giving, Our safe, secure, and fully integrated giving solution. Learn more here.