How to Successfully Run an Electronic Member Registration Campaign

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The basis of the Electronic Member Registration Campaign stems from the simple fact that as good shepherds churches need to have a complete and accurate database of their members. Without the accurate and complete tracking of members it is impossible to know the true state of the flock. Unfortunately, some church leaders are comfortable working with estimates or averages as far as membership information is concerned. If the shepherd in the parable of the lost sheep was the averaging type he would not have gone after the single lost sheep because 99 is a very good estimate of 100.

Where people’s lives are concerned approximations, estimates, guesses or averages will not work. This narrative is especially true when we are facing challenges like the COVID-19 crisis that is plaguing our world. Once church leadership fails to give an accurate total number of their members it is impossible to understand critical details of the flock e.g. number of widows, unemployed, elderly etc.

The primary purpose of the Electronic Member Registration Campaign is to make sure that as church leaders you have access to complete and accurate information about your members during this crisis. Without this information your ability to execute your duties is massively diminished and by the time you find out there are problems with some of your church members it might be too late. This document outlines 10 steps to conducting a successful Electronic Member Registration Campaign. This type of campaign requires your church to work as a team to ensure success of the process.

Step One : Team Selection

The first step to succeeding in this Electronic Member Registration Campaign is to ensure that you have selected an effective team to lead the campaign. The highest level of leadership should put its weight behind this campaign otherwise it will not succeed. The campaign should not be seen as a departmental issue but rather a church wide issue, because when it’s done correctly the whole church will benefit. The Pastors should be seen as the main advocate of the campaign, they can also choose a few other leaders who will also champion the cause with them throughout the course of the campaign.

Who Should Be in The Team?

If you have gone through our standard implementation program then one of the two options below would apply to your church.

Option 1: Membership Management Function.

Only use this option if you have Membership Management Functional Leader plus Support Team Members for this Function. If the Functional Leader does not have Support Team Members, use Option 2 instead.

Option 2: All Functional Leaders.

In this option All four Functional Leaders are responsible for driving the success of the Electronic Member Registration Campaign. This is because the Member Management Function is not fully resourced.

What if You Do Not Have Membership Management Function?

If you do not have a Membership Management Function as prescribed in our standard implementation plan, we recommend this team to be at least 5 people including the Pastor.

You can choose the rest of team members from the groups listed below:-

-Pastoral Team member other than the Pastor –
-Youth Group
– Media Team
– Church Board
– Hospitality Department

Once you have selected the team, share this document with them. Create a WhatsApp Group with the team members to manage the communication during this campaign.

Step Two : Team Orientation

Once the team has been assembled, the next step is orientation. The orientation process involves introducing the selected team members to the different technologies and platforms involved in the Electronic Member Registration Campaign.

Below is a list of the key platforms involved in the campaign:

Gather Mobile App: This is a mobile app that every church member will download for free and use to capture their member information. Once they have saved their information the details are saved into a central database on DiscipleSoft Web.

This mobile app is a replacement of a physical registration form that your members would ordinarily use to register their information. The app has other features like a communication feed, live broadcasting and an inbox, however these features are not to be focused on in this campaign. The app is available for both Android and Apple devices.

DiscipleSoft Web: As your members register their information on Gather this information is assembled into a database within DiscipleSoft Web. DiscipleSoft Web has a number of modules but for the purpose of this campaign we will focus on Membership Management. It is from this platform that you will be able to track the progress that you are making with the registration campaign.

The Membership Management module has extensive features to help you manage your member database, these features include:
• Member Reports
• Advanced Search
• Send SMS and Emails
• Book Appointments
• Add Testimonies

Access to DiscipleSoft will be given to a few members as selected by the leaders who are leading this campaign. Every member of the campaign team can request to have access to DiscipleSoft Web through our Free Trial program.

Pulse Mobile: This is a mobile app that works hand in hand with DiscipleSoft Web. On Pulse you are able to do just about everything you can do on DiscipleSoft Web. The major benefit of Pulse is its accessibility; even people without computers are able to have access to extensive Member Management tools. The app is available for both Android and Apple devices.

Every member of the campaign team can request to have access to Pulse Mobile App through our Free Trial program.

Step Three: Set-up On DiscipleSoft

Cell Group Set-Up: One of our central beliefs is that successful churches are able to harness the power of cell groups. We believe that every church should have a strong small group strategy. This strategy is even more important as churches are facing limits to large group meetings. During the set-up process you have to capture into DiscipleSoft a list of all the cell groups in your church so that when members are registering, they can select the cell groups they belong to.

There will be an option to select ‘None’ for those members who are not part of a cell group. We understand that different churches might use different names for cell groups, such as home groups, family units or sections, this won’t matter, the principles are the same.

Other Set-Ups: Other than Cell Groups there are other elements of DiscipleSoft that you are able to customise according to your church needs. There is a total of 3 more options you should set up during this step.

Here are the 3 options:

1. Groups: This options covers the different demographic groupings in your church. By default the system will have the following groups, Men, Women, Youth and Sunday School. If your church does not have any special names for these groups you can leave then as is.

However, some churches have special names for these groups. If you have special names, during this step, you edit the names that are already there with the special names. Please note that the instruction is for you to edit not add new ones, this will confuse your members during registration. Those members who do not belong to a group can always choose None. 2.

Departments: The system will come prepopulated by good number of departments; we have tried to anticipate departments in most churches. However, if there are some departments not listed, you can add them as an option.

You can also edit available options to better reflect the language. Those members who do not belong to a department can always choose None.

3. Positions: The system will come pre-populated with leadership positions for your members to choose from. You can also add more or edit available options to reflect the needs of your church. Those members who do not have a leadership position can always choose None.

Step Four : Target Setting Including Launch Date

Once you are done with the set-up, the next step is target setting. Having targets will help you to determine the progress that you are making with the campaign.

Your targets should focus on the following 3 areas:

1. How many members do you target to register during this campaign

This target number should be guided by your estimated church size. Aim to target between 80% and 90% registrations during this Electronic Registration Campaign. If you estimate that you have 200 members you should target to register at least 180 members during the campaign.

2. The next target you need to set is, how long the campaign is going to run for.

Our recommendation is that you run the campaign for at least 4 weeks. We believe 4 weeks will give you enough time to get the word out to all your members to participate in the campaign. 3. The last target you need to set is the launch date for the campaign. Once you have made all the preparations for the campaign you have to decide a launch date. Even if it’s a Digital Campaign you should have a launch date.

Step Five Optimise Communication Channels

Because this is a Digital Campaign you should ensure that all your digital communication platforms are ready for the campaign. We believe that every church should have multiple official digital communication channels.

The importance of official digital communication is becoming more crucial in this crisis where churches have to depend on digital means of communication. As part of your preparation for this campaign, we would like you to audit these digital channels and make sure they are ready.

Your digital communication channels should be able to address the broad spectrum of your church. WhatsApp is quite effective because the majority of your members will be on WhatsApp; other social media platforms are more popular with younger people.

You want to ensure that the word about the campaign gets out to most of your members. Some of the key channels to look at are as follows:
1. Various WhatsApp Groups in your church
2. Official Facebook Page
3. Official Twitter Page
4. Website

Step Six : Campaign Dissemination

Once you have made all the preparations recommended in Step 1 to Step 5 including setting up a launch date. On the launch date call to action messages will be disseminated on the official channels outlined in Step 5.

Your contact at DiscipleSoft will provide you with professionally designed material to the following channels:
1. WhatsApp
2. Facebook
3. Twitter
4. Website

Step Seven : Nurturing

Once you have started disseminating the campaign information you have to maintain the momentum by regularly sending nurturing messages to encourage people to participate.

The selected leaders should be the key advocates of this campaign and they should be on the forefront in encouraging people to participate. When people see the pastor and other leaders pushing for action they will be more willing to participate.

You should make sure these nurturing messages are shared on all the platforms, WhatsApp, Twitter and Facebook.

Step Eight : Progress Tracking

You should nominate someone from the team who is responsible for tracking the progress being made with the campaign. Progress tracking involves regularly checking on DiscipleSoft Web or Pulse how the member database is being populated.

Using the WhatsApp group you have created of all the team members the progress should be posted on a daily basis. This progress tracking process should help the leaders evaluate how well things are going and determine whether corrective action need to be taken early on in the campaign.

Step Nine : Final Outcome Evaluation

At the end of the allotted time period for the campaign the team should evaluate the progress made versus the set targets. The individual nominated to track progress presents the number to the team. If you have hit your target, congratulations!

However, if you are off the mark, we recommend that you run the campaign for a few more weeks. Within the additional weeks we recommend that you put more energy to ensure the target is met.

Step Ten : Verification

Once the campaign has been completed the last step is the verification process. Verification allows you to go through the new registrations with the intention of weeding out any mistakes or duplicates.

The registration process has an inbuilt automated system that will identify potential duplicates, these will be highlighted during the verification process. By adding a human element to the verification process puts an extra layer of control. We have a comprehensive guide on how verification is conducted.

Electronic Member : Registration Checklist

Please use the checklist below to help evaluate your preparedness for the campaign before and during the campaign. This campaign is an important undertaking that will require considerable effort from everyone involved. We believe that if it is well executed, it will immensely help your church for years to come.

Item 1: Have you selected the campaign team?

Item 2: Have you created a WhatsApp Group for the campaign team?

Item 3: Have the team members been given access to Gather Mobile App demo?

Item 4: Have the team members been given access to DiscipleSoft Web?

Item 5: Have the team members been given access to Pulse?

Item 6: Have you done system setup on to DiscipleSoft Web for Cell Groups, Groups, Departments and Positions?

Item 7: Have you set a target for the number of registrations during the campaign?

Item 8: Have you decided how long the campaign is going to run for?

Item 9: Have you decided the official launch date for the campaign?

Item 10: Have you received professionally designed campaign material from DiscipleSoft?

Item 11: Have you made a list of all your official WhatsApp Groups?

Item 12: Have you inspected the church’s social media pages (Facebook and Twitter)?

Item 13: Has the campaign been officially launched?

Item 14: Are nurturing messages being sent to the communication channels?

Item 15: Are weekly progress tracking reports being sent?

Item 16: Has the final outcome of the campaign been evaluated?

Item 17: Has the verification process been completed?

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