Rules were made to be broken. Maybe.

Posted by Ben Reed on 6/21/16 7:55 AM

Every culture and organization has rules. Spoken and unspoken, these rules provide safety, security, and a roadmap through which everybody walks.

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Tags: Relationships

New Release: Check Scanning

Posted by Boyd Pelley on 6/20/16 3:05 PM

We just released a check scanning feature within the contribution batch data entry screen.  It is designed to work with a Magtek 22523009 scanner (pictured below).  This scanner has a USB keyboard interface so it plugs into a PC or Mac and acts just like a keyboard when you scan a check.  It requires no setup other than plugging in the scanner.  When you test it by scanning a check, you will see that it types for you.

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Tags: New Release

Release Notes: Check Scanning, Reports, Registrations, and more

Posted by Boyd Pelley on 6/20/16 8:04 AM
Here are a few new things we released the last couple of weeks.  We think you'll find these really helpful. Please share with admin assistant(s), financial admin, event registration, youth, children, and any others.
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Tags: New Release

Child and Nursery Check-in Equals Peace of Mind

Posted by Alan Danielson on 6/14/16 5:06 AM

How would you like your church to deal with a massive lawsuit over the security of children in your ministry?  You’d hate it, right?  Dumb questions?  Not really.

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Tags: Kids Ministry

What If a New “Leader” Doesn’t Meet Leadership Standards?

Posted by Mark Howell on 6/7/16 8:57 AM

I get questions. A lot of questions.  Sometimes they come in by email.  Other times as a comment on a blog post.  I try hard to answer them all. When it’s a question many are asking, I try to answer them here on the blog.  I bet I’ve answered today’s question about a hundred times a year for the last 10 years. No  joke.

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Tags: Small Groups

New Release: Built-in Email Marketing.

Posted by Boyd Pelley on 6/6/16 10:44 AM

You'll love this!

Last week we released some significant email upgrades you are going to love.  Be sure to forward this email to everyone else on staff who uses email to get the word out.  You'll see quick access to these under the Communicate button.  This email gives you a short overview of these features followed by the details.


______________________________________________________
 
Overview:
  1. Delivery stats.  Opens, bad email addresses, etc..
  2. Add attachments to CT email.
  3. Create and save email templates.
  4. Schedule when emails are sent.
  5. Send a preview/test email.
  6. Customize lists with granular unsubscribe.
  7. Editor upgrades.
  8. Images: auto upload pasted images, thumb nail preview of images, inline editing.
  9. Advance pasting from MS Word.
______________________________________________________

 
Details:
 
1. Delivery stats.  (Released in April)  Click Communicate then Email History. You will see your reputation, # of emails sent and overall deliverability rate.  Put an individual email address or a subject line in the search box and a date range to see delivered, failed, and opened emails.  Rejected emails include: bad addresses (hard-bounce), bad connection and system will re-try (soft-bounce), rejected as spam.  The system will discontinue sending emails to anyone who marks Churchteams as spam.  You will need to contact support to reverse this.
 
 
2. Attachments.  The new email editor has a blue "Attach File" button listed below the text box.  Use this to attach PDF, microsoft office documents (word, excel, powerpoint), CSV, RTF, and TXT.  Other types are not allowed for security reasons.  Automatic virus scans are done on the files before sending.
 
 
3. Email Templates.  Under the email subject line is a drop down list of saved templates.  Two template formats are provided for you to build on and save, others can be found using the link to free templates.  When you've created a template you like, click the "Save as Template" button for future use.  There is an "Email Templates" link under the communicate button for quick access to review, create and edit templates
 
4. Schedule sending emails Want your email to go out at a future date/time?  Schedule that by using the schedule feature found just above the "Attach File" button.
5. Send a preview/test email.  Use this blue button located just above the green "Send" button to send yourself a preview of the email to make sure it looks correct.  The "To" field defaults to the email address in the "From" field but can be edited on the popup that appears after you click to preview.
 
 
6. Email Lists / Unsubscribe options.  We created/added a new custom member attribute to manage newsletter and/or email lists. The default is just a single response: "Newsletter".  Edit and add responses to fit your church under settings / members / custom attributes.  You can use the "Email request for updated information" report to allow people to choose their response.  Previously, people who unsubscribed were removed from receiving any email sent through reports.  This option allows the person to unsubscribe just to specific lists.  
 
 
These lists conveniently show up as options any time you are sending an email using the reporting system:
 
 
If someone clicks the "Unsubscribe" link on your email (whether you filtered by the "Email lists" attribute or not), they will be taken to a page to choose which list(s) from which they wish to unsubscribe.  Choosing to "Unsubscribe from all lists" is the same response as the old universal unsubscribe.
 
 
7. Editor upgrades.  The new email editor has an updated user interface and easier options for inserting images directly (without using a link reference).  The new editor is available on the primary email page but also other areas of the system where HTML is composed such as the section for customizing and designing your Contribution email receipt and a number of other locations in the application.
 
 
 
8. Images.  You can now directly paste an image from the clipboard into the email and the system will auto upload it and enter the correct reference/url for the image.  Previously you had to upload the image then copy the reference/url and paste into the email.
 
 
Image upload with thumb nail preview of all images.  When you click the image icon on the email editor a box appears allowing you to enter a URL for an image or, click the "Source" icon to go to the image management box.  You can choose any image already uploaded from the thumbnail list or quickly upload a new one.  Sorting and searching are also a feature in this dialog box.
 
 
 
In editor image editing.  When you choose an image, you automatically have in-editor editing options to rotate, crop, re-size, change color/brightness, and more.  Both the newly edited image and the original one are automatically saved.  
 
 
 

 
 
9. Advanced pasting from a Microsoft Word.  If you create your email in MS Word, highlight the section you want to use, then use keyboard shortcuts to copy (control c) and then paste (control v) the image directly into the email editor. It will be converted with most formatting intact (although not exactly due to formatting limitations with email in general).  It will also include images in the word document if they are pasted in.
 
 
Final note / limitation:  
 
We did not include a mail merge/personalization feature in this release.  This would use variables such as in the email to add in names or other personal/custom information.  We plan on rolling that into a related feature that will allow you to create then automate sending of a series of emails based on whatever criteria you choose.  No date has been set for working on or releasing this yet.
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Tags: New Release

Why Google Could Lower Your Church On Search Results

Posted by Rich Birch on 5/31/16 11:02 AM

Your website is more important than the front door of your church. It serves as your ministry’s public face to the community you are attempting to reach and serve. Long gone are the days when your website was a “nice to have” frill for your ministry … it’s now a core part of outreach strategies. Consider these stats about church websites:

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Tags: Ministry & Technology

What Kind of Culture are You Curating?

Posted by Jenni Catron on 5/24/16 10:05 AM

Leaders are keepers of culture.  They know that great team cultures require deliberate effort. Teams will work better with one another, they’ll go above and beyond the call of duty, they’ll invest themselves personally, and they’ll own their wins and their losses more honestly when they are a part of a healthy environment.

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Tags: Relationships

2 Temptations Church Leaders Face When Visiting Other Churches

Posted by Rich Birch on 5/17/16 11:13 AM

Taking time to visit other churches in your area or across the country is a great way to grow in your leadership. I love seeing a church in action and I always come away with pages of notes about things I want to do differently or consider for my church. Whether it’s a small church or a “brand-name mega church,” many leaders use these visits as a chance to grow and learn.

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Tags: Relationships, Leadership

5 Reasons Churches Should Fear Online Giving

Posted by Alan Danielson on 5/10/16 7:47 AM

Editor's Note:  This entire article is satire.   The views here are not really the views of the author, nor are the the views of Churchteams.   This article is intended to educate by using irony and sarcasm in exposing and promoting the advantages of online giving in conjunction with traditional giving.  Please enjoy this fun article as no offense is intended.

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Tags: Online Giving

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