January 2018 Software Webinar Recording

On Wednesday, January 24, we hosted our quarterly webinar with speaker Jeff Otero, leader of Product Management at Church Community Builder. He introduced us to the Product Management team, talked us through changes coming to the browser software through The Merge, highlighted some new features coming to the Lead app, and even found time to answer some of your questions. You can watch the recording here:


Topics included:

  • (2:00) Highlight Reel — Process Queues in the Lead App, a new way to Submit a Support Ticket, Preferred Number, eSpace by Cool Solutions Group
  • (9:45) Product Management 101— Meet the PM team and learn how they decide what to build next
  • (15:30) Beta Testing & PEP Squad
  • (21:00) Under Construction: The Merge — New navigation and profiles
  • (36:00) Under Construction: Lead App — Schedules & Calendar
  • (46:10) Sneak Peek — Congregants and Scheduling
  • (50:00) Q & A
  • (62:20) Production Babies

Key Resources

Here are some of the links and resources we mentioned during the webinar:

Frequently Asked Questions

We answered a number of questions live during the webinar, but dozens more were submitted through the Q&A chat area. Here are some of the most commonly asked questions from the webinar:

General Webinar Questions

When is the next webinar?

  • Our next Quarterly Software Webinar will be sometime in April. We've heard from some people that this day/time is hard for them to get to, so we're exploring alternative times that are more accommodating.

How do I stay up to date on all of the changes in the software?

Is there a way to stay connected with other users, to ask questions and share best practices?

  • Yes! We offer User Groups, separated by leadership role, to give you a place to dialogue with other Church Community Builder users about tips, tricks, and questions related to the software. Sign Up Here.

Beta Testing

I have more questions about beta testing: Is it right for my church? How stable is it? What is the risk?

  • We've built a beta testing FAQ page to give you a better picture of what it means to be a beta tester for our Browser software.

How do I sign up to beta test the Lead app?

  • Unlike our browser software, an individual can beta test our Lead app without everyone in your church becoming a beta tester, and you don't need to be a part of our Browser Software beta testing program to join. At this time, we are not accepting any more iOS beta testers for the Lead app, however, we are looking for more Android testers. If you are an Android user interested in being a Lead App beta tester, sign up here.

Have you considered providing a way to beta test the Browser Software without requiring the whole site to switch over?

  • Currently, it is not technically possible to allow only a few users to beta test new features using your church's data, because the program requires us to move you to a different code branch, which has to be done to your entire site. In the past, we had a beta "sandbox" environment where a tester could explore the new features without committing their whole church to that experience. Because it was dummy data rather than your real systems and processes, we found engagement and feedback from that site was pretty low. However, we would be open to exploring that option again in the future if that is something you would use. Please email us at beta@churchcommunitybuilder.com to tell us more about how that would benefit your church.


Are there any updates coming for Check-In?

  • We don't currently have any plans for improving the browser Check-In experience, however we are regularly making minor improvements to the iPad Check-In app. You can download the app from the iTunes App Store.

Who can use the iPad Check-In App?

  • This app is available for use on an iPad for churches in the US and Canada. You must have the Deluxe version of the Church Community Builder software to use the app. The iPad Check-In app relies on Saved Check-In Setups, which is a Deluxe-only feature.

Does Check-In work with QR code or fingerprint scanners?

  • If your barcode scanner is able to read QR codes, then they can be used with Check-In. You just need a barcode/ QR code that will return an alphanumeric string. Similarly, fingerprint scanning will work as long as the fingerprint gets stored and sent to the input field as an alphanumeric string. This help article provides more details about setting up a Biometric Check-In station.

Are there any plans to allow people to check themselves in to events?

  • We have heard that request a lot and definitely recognize the value of such a feature. We don't currently have any plans to build this feature, but that may change in the future.


Are you building an app for congregants / basic users?

  • As Jeff mentioned in the webinar, finding a solution for allowing your congregants to get the information and connection they need is on our radar. We don't know exactly what that solution will look like yet, but it is a problem we know we want to solve this year, and we know that whatever the solution, it needs to work well on a phone, because that's where your people are.

How do we get our congregants to use the software?

  • We think our congregant solution coming later this year will greatly increase the engagement of your congregation through greater accessibility to the tools they need. In the meantime, this article provides some guidance on how to roll out the software to various populations in your church. There have also been great conversations in our User Groups about unique ways churches have gotten their people to use the software.


Will conditional logic ever be built into forms?

  • This is one of our most requested forms feature and it is definitely on our radar. We don't know specifically when we will do work on this feature, but it is under consideration.

What about multiple registrations on a form?

  • That is also a forms experience that we know we want to improve in the future, but don't yet have a timeline for when we will work on it.

Can forms accept partial payments?

  • Our team has created a guide for setting up a partial payment system for forms. You can read about it on this help article. But we know this is just a workaround. Our goal is to eventually build out a more elegant solutions in our Forms feature to accommodate partial payments, or deposits and balance due on form payments. We don't have a timeline for when this feature will be worked on.


Where do I get more information about current integrations?

Can I get more details about the eSpace by Cool Solutions integration?

  • You can get an overview of this offering and what parts of the Church Community Builder software it integrates with on this blog post.

Will you be integrating with {insert company here}?

  • We are slowing down our onboarding of new Preferred Service Providers, so it is unlikely you will see a lot of new integrations in the next year. That being said, if a company approaches us with an integration that we believe would provide value to our churches, we would look into supporting that full integration.


How can I download the app?

What churches can use the LEAD app?

  • The LEAD app is a free app available with your Church Community Builder subscription. As long as you are a current Church Community Builder customer, your church can use the app. It is available to all versions of the software (Essential, Standard, and Deluxe), and is accessible to churches in any country.

Who in my church can use the app?

  • LEAD is designed for people in leadership in your church to have access to the tools and information they need to lead their people. So, you must have an active username and password in your Church Community Builder site, and some additional access in your site, like an Admin Privilege, Leadership Role, or an additional area of responsibility like being a Group Leader, Event Organizer, etc. You can see a complete list of permissions for access on this Help article.

How do permissions work in the LEAD app?

  • What you can see in the app is entirely governed by your privileges in your main Church Community Builder site. For example, if you can't see unlisted people in your main site, you won't see those profiles in the LEAD app. The giving information in the connection dots is only visible to the Master Administrator or people with Full Financial privileges.

When are you going to make the LEAD app available to congregants?

  • This app is not intended for congregants, and we will not be expanding it out to be used for that purpose. We are aware of the need for similar mobile-friendly functionality for congregants, and we are exploring different solutions for that problem.

I want more information about how to use the LEAD app.

What's next for the Leap app?

  • Once we finish building out Schedules and Calendars in Lead, we don't have any other major plans on the horizon for this app. If there is something else that you would find valuable to enhance your experience as a leader through the app, let our team know through the 'Send Feedback' button on the settings page of the app.

Mobile Preview / The Merge

How do I access the Mobile Preview?

  • On the login screen for your Church Community Builder site, under the main login boxes, you'll see a small link that says "Mobile Preview". Your login information for the Mobile Preview is the same as it is to get into your current site.

What is the difference between the Mobile Preview and the Merge?

  • The Merge is the future look and feel of the Church Community Builder software, which will look and work well on mobile devices as well as desktop computers. The Merge will replace our current desktop software experience. The Mobile Preview is a sneak peek at what that new interface will be like, so you can start to get familiar with the new navigation and design before it comes out (check it out on both a desktop and a mobile device to see how it will behave in both sizes). Once The Merge happens, the Mobile Preview and the old Desktop versions will go away and be replaced with this one new responsive experience.

What does it mean that it's responsive?

  • A "responsive" interface is a webpage that displays information differently depending on what size device you're on. So, on a desktop or laptop, the content will be more spread out, and on a phone or tablet, the content will be rearranged so it fits on that screen size without having to pinch and zoom. When The Merge happens, all of the Church Community Builder software will be in this responsive wrapper, and then we will be slowly switching over individual pages to be fully responsive in that wrapper too.

When is The Merge happening?

  • We are planning to release the Merge experience to our beta testers in the next few weeks. We anticipate it will live in beta for a least a couple of months to make sure that everything is working the way we expect it to before sending it out to everyone. We will not release it to all churches until after Easter, so it does not disrupt your workflow during this busy season for your church.

How are you going to help prepare us for The Merge?

  • We know that The Merge presents some major changes to your current Church Community Builder experience, and we want you to be able to hit the ground running when it comes out. We will be providing a preview webinar the week before it's released to give you a heads up, a series of training webinars after it goes out so you can follow along at home, extensive help articles, videos, and blog posts, and guides within the software to help get you oriented. If you have other specific ideas about what would be most helpful to your church in preparing for this change, let me know at productmarketing@churchcommunitybuilder.com

What are the permissions around who can see things on the tiles and timeline on the Involvement tab?

  • The new involvement tab on profiles is still governed by all of the existing privileges in the Church Community Builder software. We're just taking the information that already exists on the profile and displaying it in a way that is much more accessible and actionable. So, for example, you won't see the Giving tile or Giving events on the timeline unless you have Full Financial privileges.

What are the next experiences you are going to make responsive in The Merge?

  • When we release The Merge, you will also get to experience our brand new and improved Profile experience. Most other pages, however, will still be the way you're used to, but wrapped in the new navigation. At that point, we will reevaluate the software and consider the next most important experience to overhaul to make more mobile-friendly. Some of the ideas we are already exploring are groups, advanced people search, and schedules.

Preferred Number

How do I access the data service to get Contact Number filled in as the Preferred Number?

  • If you are your church's Master Administrator or Support Contact, you can submit a ticket to our support team to request this free data service.

Can I get more information about how this data service will work?

  • Unlike some of our other data services, this one is completely free to you! If requested, our team will look at the number that used to be set as a person's Contact Number (back in February of 2017). If they have that same number set in another phone field on their profile, we will set that phone field as their 'Preferred' number. (For example, if 555-4321 was my Contact Number and 555-4321 is the number in my 'Home' field, then 'Home' will be set as my preferred number.) Our team will only apply changes to profiles that do not have any preferred number set; we will not override any existing preferred number.

Where do I set a preferred number?

  • When editing a person's profile, by the phone number fields, you will now see a place to set which number is their preferred number. In the browser software this field is labeled 'Preferred Number'. In the Mobile Preview, it is indicated by a star icon. You can read more about it in this blog post


Why do we still need to get carrier information for texting?

  • Our software currently uses an email-to-SMS gateway for text messaging, which means the message actually sends out as an email from our system to each carrier, and then they convert that into an SMS (text message) to send along to the right user. Email-to-sms requires that carrier information to know who to send that email to. Our team has been exploring options to incorporate a true texting service into our software, but we have run into some technical hurdles as well as some challenges with cost. We are still actively looking into the best way to support this kind of feature and a fair way to price it.

Would these changes to texting allow us to get replies to texts?

  • Yes. The email-to-SMS gateway only allows one-way communication, but a true texting service would allow two-way text messaging.

How does texting work in the LEAD app?

  • There are two different ways to send out a text message through the LEAD app. The first is from someone's profile. If they have a mobile number entered, you can hit the text message icon and it will launch your phone's native text messaging tool, and you can send and receive text messages for the person that way. The second way is using the Group Text function through a group. This is going to send out a text message to anyone with a mobile number and carrier information in their profile, as long as they have their communication settings turned on to receive texts from that group. This works the same way as Twexting in the browser software, where it is a one-way text message that cannot be replied to.

Topics: This entry was posted in Software News, This entry was posted in Webinars, This entry was posted in Lead App

Posted by Church Community Builder on Jan 30, 2018 4:04:08 PM