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Outreach activity can be tracked completely on the web, but typically a hard copy print out of a visit is desirable for the outreach team member making the visit. The printed visit contains all of the information needed for the outreach team member, including the address of the person to be visited, the reason for the visit, the person’s marital status and religious affiliation (if known), and the person’s age. A summary of any related previous visits and decisions is also provided. The visit print out also includes a map and directions from the church to the home of the person to be visited. If the visit is printed and distributed to the outreach team member (e.g. on a scheduled visitation night), the outreach team member can fill out and turn in the printed visit, and the outreach director or secretary can enter the visit result on behalf of the outreach team member.
A critical component of effective outreach is ensuring that visits are completed in a timely manner. Once a visit is assigned to a member of the outreach team, the team member should be able to see the visit and enter a visit result. To assign a visit, click the “assign” icon on the visit details page. Select a member of the outreach team to complete the assignment. Once a visit is assigned, the member of the outreach team can login and see the visit in the “My Visits” folder under Visits \ Not Done. The outreach team member can then open the visit and enter the visit result directly. The outreach team member can even enter the visit result from his mobile phone while on the way home from making the visit.
The outreach team is the group of people within the church who counsel people who respond to the invitation, who make visits, and who track prospects. The outreach team is comprised of volunteers as well as staff members. Anyone within the church can be added to the outreach team. Visits can be assigned to anyone on the outreach team. For each outreach team member, a set of quick links is provided to visits made and decisions counseled by the team member. In addition, a list of VIPs (very important people) can be set up for each member of the outreach team, and weekly status reports can be tracked for each member of the outreach team.
If the result of a visit is a salvation decision, then a salvation decision is automatically recorded. When the visit is displayed, a link to the related decision will be shown. Similarly, if a decision requires a follow-up visit, then a visit will be generated automatically, and a link to the related visit will be shown on the decision.
The visit details page is used to add or modify a visit. For a new visit, select a person to visit from the list of people in the database. The date of the visit and the visit reason must be provided. A built-in calendar simplifies the process of entering the date of the visit. For a new visit, enter the date when the visit will be made or was made (in the case of door-to-door visitation). If the visit actually is made on a different date, the date can be updated later. The visit result does not need to be set for a new visit. Visits can be assigned either by selecting a person making the visit from the list on the visit details page or by navigating to the visit assignment page. Detailed notes are optional (e.g. “witnessed and left tract”). If a follow-up visit is desired (e.g. result is “not home”), select the number of weeks in which to generate the follow-up visit.
Visits are arranged in a folder hierarchy, like files on your computer. This intuitive and familiar structure makes visits readily accessible. Expand or collapse folder levels to show groups of visits (e.g. all completed visits in the past month). Enter text to search for visits that were made to a particular person. Apply filters to show all visits assigned to a member of the outreach team, to show all visits with a particular reason (e.g. “New Move-in”), or to show all visits with a particular result (e.g. “Needs Follow Up”). Use the arrows at the top of the columns to sort the visits in ascending or descending order by a particular column (e.g. Date). Each visit is linked to a visit details page. Click the name of the person visited to access the visit details page.
As door-to-door visitation results accumulate, the status of each street and the visitation results for each house on the street will need to be tracked. This will allow the outreach director to determine which streets in a postal code have not been visited recently, which houses on a street were not home when the street was last visited, etc. Once the initial list of house numbers is entered from the first time the street was knocked, each house will be listed individually so that the status of each house can be modified independently. For any visits that result in prospects or salvation decisions, use the “Add Prospect/Convert” link to add the person’s contact information and then add a visit and/or decision if desired.
The resource component provides a database of sermons and other resources published by a church, which can be linked from the church website1. Links to resources on other websites may be included in the resource database as well. The resource database is available to visitors to the church website as well as logged-in users. Users can select a type of resource to find, and users can search for resources by keywords.
To add a new resource, login and select the add resource link2. Enter as much information about the resource as you know. A logged in administrative user can upload resources to your church website3
Key values entered for each resource include:
|Title||Short title for the resource||A Thankful People|
|Description||Short phrase describing the resource||Sunday Morning Message 11/27/08 – Pastor Ron Smith|
|Keywords||Words that a user might search for and locate the resource||thankful, content, thanksgiving, thanks, grateful, praise|
|Type||Classify the resource||Sermon|
1. Link example: http://www.shininglighttech.com/resources/list.asp?ResourceType=Sermons&ClientID=1000
2. In order to add/edit resources, you must be added to the corresponding authorization group by an administrative user.
3. In order to upload resources to your church website, a file upload software component must be installed on your church website in order to perform the upload. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for help installing the file upload software component.
If the person to be baptized is not already in the system, add the person to the Directory.
Give the person to be baptized the appropriate literature and a baptism application.
After the person fills out the baptism application, give the application to the appropriate staff member to review, then schedule the person for baptism.
After the person is baptized, add a baptism decision to the system. In the Outreach window, click the Decisions button, click the Add link, enter the details of the decision, select Baptism as the decision type.
Add the person to church membership.
Prepare a baptism certificate for the person.
The following steps will import prospects into the database in bulk, and generate visits automatically. This process also summarizes (keeps statistics) and deletes unproductive visits/prospects (e.g. not home) and unvisited prospects prior to importing the new prospects.
- BACKUP THE DATABASE before importing prospects.
- If the prospects are new move-ins received from a mailing list company, save the text file(s) from the mailing list company, acknowledge receipt to the mailing list company, open the text file in Excel (comma delimited), delete and rearrange columns so that columns are <Last Name><First Name><Street Address><City><State><Postal Code>.
- Add header row (“LastName”, “FirstName”, “StreetAddress”, “City”, “State”, “PostalCode”, “HomePhone”, ”CurrentChurch”, ”DateOfBirth”, ”Email”, ”OtherInfo”).
- If the prospects are new move-ins received from a mailing list company, sort by LastName and remove redundant records, sort by City and remove unwanted cities, remove records with post office boxes, remove records with empty fields (e.g. no zip code).
- Add a “-“ to any cells with missing information (e.g. DateOfBirth, OtherInfo).
- Save the Excel file on your computer (*.xls).
- Save Excel file again as a comma separated text file (*.csv).
- Open the comma separated text file (*.csv) in Notepad, highlight the entire file, and Copy from the Edit menu to copy the entire file to the Windows clipboard.
- Click the “Import Outreach Contacts” link.
- Select a Contact Source from the drop-down list.
- Click once in the input text box and select Paste from the Edit menu to paste the contents of the clipboard into the input text box.
- Click the “Import Contacts” button.
- Assign the new visits (optional).
- Print the new visits for distribution.