Last month’s CALLED Ministerial Convention in Austin, TX was absolutely wonderful. It was a blessing to meet so many pastors and hear how they use eAdventist and what they would like eAdventist to do for them. We had an opportunity to share many of the new things we’re doing in eAdventist Membership to help churches and pastors such as member and family photos, church directories, mailing lists, tags, pastor’s notes and attendance among others. We heard requests to track weekly attendance on a person-by-person level, either with a lobby self check-in process or by letting someone check names off a list on an iPad. We also talked to pastors about setting reminders and exporting them to a calendar on their phone. A number of pastors would like a mobile app of eAdventist so they could look up or map their members while out visiting. All fantastic ideas that are on the eAdventist ToDo list!
One goal for eAdventist is to have it serve as a “Toyota Camry” of Church Management Software for churches. Towards this goal we have added the features listed above as well as others such as member logins so they can check/update their information as well as access church information like the directory that is not publicly available. We will never be a Cadillac or Ferrari, but if we can meet the major needs, and eliminate the need to maintain a separate software, it would greatly benefit the local churches.
One theme we picked up on as we talked to many pastors was the desire to get more involved in using eAdventist Membership to track members and other church activities, but a number of pastors feel they are kept at arm’s length because they cannot make any changes. If they are visiting a family they can’t even update a simple phone number, email address or marital status. We also had the opportunity to talk to a number of administrators from around the NAD at both the conference and union levels. The sentiment was unanimous that we want to give pastors the power to use eAdventist Membership as a Church Management tool. To achieve this we are making a change so that pastor’s can enter information in eAdventist. This will be just the basic information, all statistics and transfers still need to be entered by the clerk, but it will increase the value to everyone as the data becomes more complete and accurate and churches are able to use eAdventist for more of their church needs.