You may have heard about some changes in the way we are taking attendance in LifeGroups using an app, but did you know that this is just one way that our new software is useful? First, let us help you understand a little more about the new software.
The name of the software to which we are converting is called Planning Center. Planning Center is a set of software tools that helps us organize information, coordinate events, and communicate with our church members. It also allows our church members to stay connected with one another. Within Planning Center are several products we can use to accomplish these goals. Some of these products are already being used while others will roll out in the near future.
- SERVICES is a product we have already been using through the Music Ministry to plan worship services and to schedule volunteers.
- GROUPS allows us to manage groups of people like LifeGroups and Bible study groups. It allows leaders to plan events within a group and for group members to communicate with one another. We have already begun keeping attendance records through Groups. Once fully functional, people will be able to find a LifeGroup or other group that suits them and they can request to join through Groups on the app or the internet.
- REGISTRATIONS will help us organize events, manage details for events, and will allow people to sign up and pay for events online or through an app.
- CALENDAR is the place where we can manage a master event schedule and track rooms and resources. It will help us avoid scheduling conflicts and is how people will reserve rooms and resources, such as tables and chairs and even our buses. Through Calendar we can publish event calendars on the website, in the app, and throughout our building.
- GIVING is the system used to process donations and track donor history, no matter how people give (card, bank account, cash, or check) or where they give (in person, on a desktop, tablet, or phone, or in an offering plate).
What does all this mean to you and how can you use the new software? Your access to explore, engage, and get involved is through Church Center. Church Center is the public face of Planning Center and is an app you can access on your phone, tablet, or on the internet. You can download the app on your smart phone or tablet, or you can goto eastmont.churchcenter.com to get to the web version of the app.
One of the most valuable and user-friendly parts of Church Center is Directory and will be our next big roll out. Directory is a digital version of paper directories that we are used to. It’s all the things we like about a paper directory (access to contact information and pictures of church members) while avoiding things we don’t like about paper directories (outdated before they’re printed, new people are missing, addresses or phone numbers change, and pressure to buy expensive pictures we really don’t like or want). If you are a church member and want access to the directory, call the church office to make sure we have your correct email address.
Stay tuned! We will share more information as we continue to expand our use of Planning Center and Church Center.