Don’t Return To The Stone Age: Offline Church Check-In
By The Elexio Team - August 26, 2014
When you’re accustomed to an intuitive check-in system, scrambling for a pen and paper because the internet’s down can feel like you’re returning to the Stone Age.
After scanning your fingerprint on a touchscreen kiosk, you might as well be clocking out from the Slate Rock and Gravel Company with a slab of stone like Fred Flintstone.
But not all church check-in systems require an active internet connection to function. Some offer both online and offline function so you’re never left stranded.
Why you might need it
Whether you’re meeting at a small building in the country or a megachurch in the heart of a major city, the internet connection is not always reliable. You can invest in the best technology and a seamless set-up, but weather can be spotty—and so can your connection.
Storms, provider issues, limited internet access, and a high traffic volume could all bring your smooth check-in process to a screeching halt.
But if you can check people in offline, there’s no panic when the Wi-Fi fails–at least not for your kid’s ministry volunteers.
What it means
You don’t need to be dependent on a fickle internet connection. Rather than relocate your kid’s ministry to be central to a router, you could station your computer or check-in system in an obscure hallway and the software would still do its job.
You might not even dream of running check-in kiosks offsite or at outdoor events with no internet access. But your church can still track attendance when you function offline.
Portable churches face unique challenges. Connectivity can be an issue when you don’t have a permanent home. So no matter where you meet, checking people in with a system that will work anywhere is a great convenience.
Most new visitors are impressed by a sleek check-in system—it means the church is current and their kids are safe. But when you’re switching from a barcode scanner one week to a tablet the next week, people might not get the best perception of your church.
If you’re using a check-in system that can only operate online, you’ll be stuck finding another way to track attendance and monitor kids when you lose your internet connection—scribbling down names, throwing improvised duct tape nametags on kids, and organizing that information. You’ll have to enter all those records into your database later, once your internet problems are resolved. But functioning offline means you don’t need to waste time manually entering data.
How it works
A check-in system like Elexio’s is web-based, but can also work locally on a desktop or kiosk when offline. Once you have an active internet connection again, the information will sync and update your database. So your information is always available and you’ll avoid downtime even if you can’t get online.
You can’t anticipate every hiccup in ministry, but you can be prepared with the right technology so you don’t revert to the Stone Age.
Organizing your church doesn’t have to be painful! To match the great work you’re already doing in your church, you need a great ChMS that can keep up with and allow your team to fully express who you are as a church community.