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New Product Awards 2018 – Churchteams Text-To-Me (Media & Communications, Website or Related Online Services)

  • Churchteams Text-To-Me.
Text-to-Me is part of the Churchteams Text-to-Church TM suite of products. A church gets a local 10 digit number that is used as a direct interface to relevant information in the Churchteams church management database. Text to give has been around for awhile as a service provided by stand alone vendors. We built the functionality into our database and realized not only can churches use the technology for people to give, but they can also use it to register for anything, check-in and give people access to everything about them in the database. Text-to-Check-in was recognized as a WFX new product of 2017 award winner. We have expanded the functionality.

When a church volunteer, leader or staff person texts the word ME, they receive a link that logs them onto a page where they can see:

  1. Any notes about people they’ve been assigned to follow-up like guests, pastoral care, or mentoring;
  2. Their volunteer schedule;
  3. Events or meetings they’ve RSVPed to;
  4. Church directory (optional);
  5. Links to anything staff wants to direct them to;
  6. Groups they lead;
  7. Update their information;
  8. Manage text notifications;
  9. Login to full database.

Providing database access by texting at this level is unique to Churchteams and the Text-to-Me feature is a leap forward in church guest, member, volunteer, leader, and staff user experience. Churchteams is optimized for mobile, one of only a couple of ChMS full platforms that have made that switch to date, which means it is a mobile app. However, texting provides users an experience that does not require them to download anything which must be updated, nor does it require creating a login and password. The phone number itself establishes the person’s identity and security in using the software. This successfully deals with today’s major concerns about security while at the same time making the application much more accessible and easy to use.

Our experience in the church market is that a church will have 20 to 50% of their most faithful members who will download and use an app. The church must then spend an incredible amount of marketing effort to reach the rest of the congregation. But, like email, everyone uses texting. So, we’ve developed a system to give people the information they want and need in a format or application with which they are already familiar and already use everyday. There’s nothing new to learn.

Shortly after being recognized for the Text-to-Check-in feature last year, we released Text-to-Me. Several months later, I was talking with an XP in Chicago. He demonstrated in 2017 that text-to-give kept them from a summer giving slump. Within three months of implementing text-to-check-in, more than 50 percent of their check-in sessions were coming by texting, and young couples loved it. But the real power of the system is in the complete functionality suite working as one.

One of the problems with companies bringing new products to the church market that require people data / information is linking multiple databases together. So, the trend has definitely been to build church management solutions that no longer require connecting the primary database to secondary applications. This makes the experience for church staff and members seamless and not only simplifies backend management but makes data management much cleaner and more effective. We’ve seen this trend for years and realized the Texting interface (not just the ability to push out texts to people, but for people themselves to text keywords for access to the database) was sure to be one of those. So, we jumped out in the front and continue to push the boundaries for using technology in ministry.

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