quick reference guide.
Today's headlines are fraught with reports
of missing children, child custody disputes, and children's food
allergy dangers. These issues of safety and security aren't limited
to schools and neighborhoods -- they're also a very real concern
for church ministries.
Today's parents are on heightened alert,
and churches aren't exempt from predators or medical emergencies.
Because of today's uncertain and unsafe culture, families are
hesitant to leave their children in the care of others when they
don't feel the environment is safe and secure.
Your church can alleviate families' fears
and anxieties by using a check-in system that'll help you keep the
children in your care safe and secure. Whether your church is big
or small, it's imperative that you help the parents and children
you minister to feel safe and secure so they can concentrate on why
they're in your church -- to worship and learn about Jesus!
That may feel like a big assignment --
especially if you aren't that familiar with secure check-in systems
or don't know what to look for in one. Rest easy: We've created a
nuts-and-bolts guide to help you understand the components and
options available in most check-in systems today. Use this
information to help you assess your ministry's needs...and then
before you go shopping.
As you consider the many quality check-in
systems available, it's key to first assess the basic type of
system your ministry needs. Components are the core of each system,
and they'll likely influence your purchasing decision based on
whether they mesh with your ministry's specific needs.
• Web-Based-Some systems
are web-based, meaning all data and programs are maintained on
secure servers remote from your church. These systems can be
updated automatically and frequently (daily or weekly) via web
updates and may even offer access to parents at home.
• Software-Based-Other systems are
software-based, meaning you purchase software, install it on your
church or children's ministry computer system, and maintain it and
the data on your church computer system. You install updates as
they're available and released from the provider. Major updates
typically mean you'll need to buy a new "version" of the
• Tech/Service Support-Support is available at a
variety of levels. Some systems offer limited support (Monday
through Friday, 8 to 5), while others offer round-the-clock
support. Support can come in the form of connecting to a
troubleshooting specialist on the phone or going online via email
or links to troubleshoot common problems. It's important to
determine what level of support your ministry needs and to ensure
that you fully understand what each system offers. Additionally,
determine whether support serv-ices are included in the system
package price or if you'll pay each time you need support.
• Online/Video/In-Person Training-Most systems
offer some type of training on how to use the system. Most
purchasers agree that this training is indispensable and worth it
even if you have to pay extra for it. Determine what type of
training is offered at what price, and whether it includes training
for just you or for your team as well.