Tagging just got easier

tags

Tags give you a flexible way to identify groups of people in your church or conference. However, tagging people in eAdventist to create those groups has been a bit tedious. You could only tag one … person … at … a … time. The waiting is over and you can now add people to tags (and committees) so easily you’ll probably want to do it just for fun.

On Person Search and Advanced Search, the results list has checkboxes beside the names. As soon as you check one of them (1), a tool bar will appear (2) with the option to choose a tag or committee for the selected people.

Person Search

Choose a tag 

Select a tag

… and it’s done. eAdventist lets you know what happened with each selected person. Green = “added”. Yellow = “already added before”. Red = “couldn’t add”. Hover over any of the indicators to see an explanation.

Tagging results

If You’re A Pastor…

pastor

 

You probably thought that eAdventist was just for clerks. That is where we started but we’ve been growing eAdventist to help pastors and churches, too. Here’s a quick summary of several new tools designed specifically to help you.

Tags

Create “tags” to track small groups, spiritual gifts, Bible study requests, visitation lists and other groups in a way that’s fast and flexible. Use your tags to select people, create mailing labels, or send email messages.

Photos

Membership records come to life when you add photos of individual members and entire families. Use family photos to create a pictorial church directory.

Church Directory

In addition to the family pictures, eAdventist makes it easy to print a current, up-to-date directory whenever you need one. Include mobile phone numbers and email addresses for the adults, if you choose to.

Attendance

Capture a valuable indicator of church health and growth by recording attendance. eAdventist makes it easy to start by recording attendance counts for each service or event.

Mailing Lists

Create a church mailing list (email, that is) and use it to send your church newsletter, pastor’s letter, small group invitations, church calendar or announcements. Get your message out quickly and avoid spam folders.

Member Maps

We just added “People Map” (in the Explore section) to help you create a map of members. Use it to plan visitation, outreach events and more.

Graphs

The Explore section (under Reports) offers charts and graphs of members and baptism – by gender, by age. Explore the makeup of your church now and through time.

Pastor Notes

Now you can use eAdventist to record pastoral notes that are available to the pastoral staff – and only the pastoral staff – in your church. Track visits, needs and background that will help you serve your members safely and confidentially.

If you would like to know more about any of these features, we’ll be happy to help. Email us at help@eadventist.net.

 

Getting Pastors Involved With eAdventist Membership

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.

God bless,

eAdventist Team

Mailing Lists

NOTE: Updated June 23, 2015. Add people to your Mailing List quicker — “invite” has been changed to “add”.

Is your church ready to use email for keeping in touch with members? Are you already using ConstantContact, MailChimp or Listbox but finding it challenging to manage the list as members come and go? eAdventist’s new Mailing Lists combine your membership data and Mandrill (MailChimp’s email engine) to give you high “deliverability” and easy list management.

Still need postal mail to stay in touch with members that don’t use email? Mailing Lists lets you create mailing labels for them without maintaining separate lists.

Try it out

If you have an eAdventist account with the “church clerk” or “pastor” role, you can try Mailing Lists. You’ll find “mailing lists” in the Reports menu section. Click the “New list” button. Fill in the “name”, “description”, “from name” and “from email” and use the defaults values for the other settings.

Save the new List and you’re ready to add some Subscribers.

Add your church and “Add subscribers” will show you the number of members (and nonmembers) that currently have email addresses.

For testing, let’s click on the “Add subscribers” link and add a few select people (e.g. yourself, your pastor) to the list.

Now you’ve got email subscribers and it’s time to create your first message. Let’s send it to the “entire list”.

New_Message

In case you haven’t run into this before, it’s important to create 2 versions of your message — “HTML” and “plain-text”. You can make the “HTML” version look spiffy by use bold, italics, links, colors, font sizes, bullet lists, images, etc. Be sure to try out the “Merge fields” that let you personalize the message for each recipient.

 

 

 

Edit_Message

The “plain-text” version looks like you wrote it on a typewriter. Why bother? Some of your subscribers may have chosen to reduce the risk of email attacks (e.g. phishing) by refusing HTML email. Your message will “bounce” and never reach them unless you include a “plain-text” version. You can use the “Merge fields”  in it, too.

Plain_Text_Message

That’s it! Save the message and you’re ready to send.

Send_Message

eAdventist has already established a good reputation (very important for mass email), so you message will usually be on it’s way in minutes. The Mandrill service that we use helps to ensure that it will be delivered as “mail” rather than blocked as “spam”. Check back on your message in a day or two to see if any of the email addresses had problems (e.g. bad address, rejected) and how many have already been opened.

Messages

Recipients

There’s more

Send a message to just a segment of your list using tags – great way to communicate with “growth groups”. You can also include photos in messages if they are hosted in a public location (e.g. Flickr). In the near future, you will be able to host them in eAdventist.

Conferences can also use Mailing Lists to stay in touch with their members, pastors or church officers. Contact our team if you would like more information about using Mailing Lists.

New mail/phone/email options for Officers

We’ve just updated Officers to provide more options for church officers, conference and school workers who prefer to have a different address, phone or email for their “office” than their home address, phone or email. Choose the options on the Officer screen.

Edit Officer screen

These settings are used everywhere that the officer’s information is displayed — the Officer Info popup, Officer LabelsConference Directory, the “Contact” tab of the Organization screen and the “Offices” tab of the Person screen.

officer_info

person_offices

New “Conference Clerk” office title

We have added “Conference clerk” as an office title. Strangely, it hasn’t really been needed until now. This new office is used on the “Contact” tab of each conference’s Organization page. It will also be used to send email announcements specifically for conference clerks.

Merry Christmas from our team.

Attendance in eAdventist

You can now record attendance for your Church Service(s), Sabbath School and any other regularly occurring meeting such as vespers, prayer meetings etc, right in eAdventist!

UPDATE: Attendance has been added to the Pastor and Church Secretary roles in eAdventist.

Here’s how:

Set up Meetings (Note: “Weekly Church Service” and “Weekly Sabbath School” meetings have already been created for most churches to help get you started)

Attendance-Meetings links

1. Click the “Attendance” option under the Organizations heading on the menu

2. Click the “Meetings” link to view the list of meetings

create meeting

3. Click the “Add a meeting” button

4. Select the meeting type (Church Service, Sabbath School, Other). This allows you to enter each church services or Sabbath School class individually, but then summarize them all together as one number for each type in the report to the conference (coming soon!).

5. Enter the meeting description (Divine Worship, Early Service, 11am Service, SS – Earliteen, SS – Cradle Roll, SS – Balcony, Vespers etc)

6. Select the organization, for most users this will be your church

7. Click “Save”

When finished setting up each of the meetings you wish to track, click “Attendance” at the top of the Meetings page or in the menu on the left to go back to the Attendance page.

Record Attendance

create attendance

1. Click the “Add attendance” button

2. Select the meeting you are recording attendance for

3. Enter the date the meeting occurred on

4. Enter the head count for the meeting

5. OPTIONAL: Enter the internet count for the meeting (those watching the sermon online etc)

6. Click “Save”

Attendance Report

attendance report

First, notice that the quarter and year have automatically been assigned to each attendance entry based on the date of the meeting. It has also suggested that we add the Sabbath number for each attendance entry, which is something we’ll look into doing.

To view your attendance on a graph click the “Attendance Report” link on the Attendance screen.

attendance report 2

Select the meetings you wish to appear on the graph, enter the start and stop dates (if desired) and click “Show” to view the graph. In this scenario we’re comparing the Early Service with the Late Service for June. Looks like more people are getting up early!

Our hope is that this will be a useful tool for the local church and not just an easier way of reporting to the conference. We’ve had several pastors tell us, “Who wouldn’t want to know what’s happening in their church every week?” The goal of this attendance feature is to make it easy it easy for the church to track these numbers and view them in a meaningful way on a graph.

God bless,

eAdventist Team

help@eAdventist.net

Streamlined family changes

Young Family Having Fun In Park

 

The “Change Family” screen has been a challenge — particularly for new clerks — because it combined several different types of changes on a single screen. If it has ever tripped you up, you will appreciate the way it has just been streamlined to make it faster and more intuitive.

Choosing a new Primary Contact is now a single, separate step. Just click on the new “Change” button beside the Primary Contact’s name on the “Person” screen (below).

"Person" screen with new "Change" button for Primary Contact.

“Person” screen with new “Change” button for Primary Contact.

This is what you will see when you click the “Change” button. Choosing a new Primary Contact is now faster and clearer.

Choose a Primary Contact.

Choose a Primary Contact.

The “Change Family” button is now exclusively for moving the person to a different family — a new one or an existing one. If the person you are trying to move is the Primary Contact, eAdventist will let you know if you need to choose a new one first.

primary_contact_alert

Here is the new, streamlined “Change Family” page. Enjoy.

change_family