October Quarterly Software Webinar Recording

On Wednesday, October 18, we hosted our quarterly webinar with speaker Jeff Otero, leader of our Product Management team, who talked about recent developments in the software, what's currently being built, and where we're looking in the future. Check out the summary and watch the recording here.


Topics included:

  • (4:20) Recent Releases — Forms, iPad Check-In App, Mobile Preview
  • (9:15) The Merge
  • (14:30) Beta Testing & PEP Squad
  • (20:45) LEAD app
  • (30:30) LEAD app Beta — Process Queues, Find My Church
  • (35:55) Preferred Service Provider Integrations — Available Now: CCBChimp
    Coming Soon: Cool Solutions, Worshipplanning.com, Christian Background Checks
  • (41:30) Future Problems to Solve
  • (46:45) Q & A

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 hundreds 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?

It's hard to follow the webinar and keep track of all the Q&A.

  • We have heard that feedback from the last few webinars, so we're looking into ways to improve the Q&A experience so you can focus on the content of the webinar without worrying about missing the answers to your questions.


Where can I download the iPad Check-In App?

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.

What are the supported printers and devices for Check-In ?

  • You can find a complete list of supported hardware, including the new compatible AirPrint printers, in this Help article. For detailed instructions on setting up your printers or troubleshooting your printer setup, see this article. If you're shopping for an iPad, bear in mind that our iPad Check-In app supports the latest stable version of iOS and one whole number back, so be sure any older models of iPad work on iOS 10 or iOS 11.

Does Check-In work with QR codes?

  • 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.

What causes the Allergy information to print out on a Check-In label?

  • If you have any text listed in the 'Allergies' field, that text will print out on the label.

How can I use form confirmation codes for Check-In?

  • You can have people pre-register for an event using a form. Be sure the 'show confirmation code' setting is turned on for the form. Then, on the day of the event, go to the Event page > Attendance tab and choose 'Check-In Using Form Confirmation Codes'. This will launch a page very similar to our browser Check-In page, where you can scan the form's barcodes and check people into the event.

Feature Requests for Check-In

  • We received a lot of Feature Requests for Check-In, including requests to customize Check-In labels, allow people to check themselves in from their mobile devices, expand the iPad Check-In app to Android devices, and improved Check-In attendance reports. We don't have current plans for any of those requests, but we have passed all of those ideas along to our Product team for future consideration.


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.

Are you making any improvements for the printed directory?

  • We don't have any current plans for improving the directory, but we do know that is still a need for our churches, especially with populations that aren't as tech-savvy. We've passed those ideas along to our Product team.

Events & Calendar

Are you building a calendar view into the Mobile Preview or Lead app?

  • That is not currently on our roadmap for either of those spaces, but we have heard that request a lot, so our team is looking into it for future projects.

Feature Requests for Events and Calendars

  • We received a lot of Feature Requests for events, including improving the recurring event system, allowing multi-day events, making it easier to have an event belong to multiple groups, improved layout and custom styling of the calendar, improvements to the facilities workflow, etc. We don't have current plans for any of those requests, but we have passed all of those ideas along to our Product team for future consideration.


Are you going to build out a system for better organizing files, like folders?

  • We don't have any current plans for that, but we have passed the idea along to our Product team for future consideration.


Are the new mobile-friendly forms only built for phones?

  • With our new responsive forms, there are 2 different sizes available now: a narrower "phone-sized" form that fills the whole screen of a mobile device, and a wider view when filling out a form on a tablet or desktop. This wider view does not fill the whole screen of the tablet or desktop.

Feature Requests for Forms

  • We don't have any current plans for further iterations to our Forms feature, but we did receive a number of feature requests that were passed along to our Product team for future consideration. Some of those requests included: Conditional form logic, making it easier to print a blank form and form responses, having more fields that can update a profile, and providing tools to embed a form into your church's website.


Are you going to build giving into the Mobile Preview?

  • That is not currently on the roadmap, but we have heard that request a lot and are looking into it.

Will you give us the ability to have our givers include a note with their gift?

  • This is something we actually released to beta a few years ago, and it had some really mixed reviews. While some churches appreciated the ability to allow their givers to leave a custom note, many other churches did not like the added burden it gave their financial admins to review every note to evaluate if the transaction needed to be changed. Additionally, indicating that a financial gift goes to a specific person (like in the case of a mission trip fund), can actually jeopardize that gift's tax deductible status. So we decided not to release that feature to stable.

Feature Requests for Giving

  • Other feature requests related to giving included more customization of payment options, and allowing a giver to choose to pay for processing fees. We've passed both of those ideas along to our Product team.


How do you recommend keeping track of school grade for kids for group promotion?

  • The group promotion tool is great for moving all of your students up to the next grade at the end of the year. A lot of churches use a custom field for 'Graduation Year' to keep track of what age group each child is in, making it easy to search by that year and move all of those kids into the correct grade group. We have received the request to have a "school grade" year that dynamically updates each year, but we don't have current plans to build that out.

Feature Requests for Groups

  • Feature requests related to groups included "temporary" groups based on search criteria for messaging purposes, and the ability to have groups of groups. We've passed both of those ideas along to our Product team.


Where do I get more information about current integrations?

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 learn more about the new integrations coming?

  • Brian Ferris, who manages our PSP relationships, will be hosting a webinar on November 15 to talk more about the upcoming integrations with Worshipplaning.com and Christian Background Checks. 

Why did you integrate with Worshipplanning.com instead of PCO?

  • We don't initiate the integrations we provide. It is usually a 3rd party company that approaches us with the idea to build out the integration, and we give them what they need from an API perspective to get it up and running. Worshipplanning.com approached us with an integration to their service planning tool, which is why we partnered with them. We have not been approached with the same kind of integration request from PCO. That being said, there is a one-way sync of information from Church Community Builder to PCO available through our Preferred Service Provider, Ministry Vitals. That tool is called PCOWire.


How can I download the app?

What happened to Project M?

  • Project M was our beta test version, and it has been replaced by the LEAD app. This new app has also replaced our former Small Group Lead app. If you were previously testing Project M, you can delete that version and download the LEAD app from the app store. If you were previously using the Small Group Leader app, you just need to update your app to get LEAD.

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.

Feature Requests for LEAD app.

  • We received a number of feature requests related to the lead app, including: incorporating calendar, events, files, giving, and scheduling, improving attendance for larger events (search by name, allow multiple people to take attendance at once), and more functionality for groups and the ability to edit group settings. We don't have any future plans for the LEAD app beyond what we are currently beta testing, but our team is taking all of this feedback into account and making considerations for future development.

Mail Merges & Messages

Are you going to allow for better formatting options/ emojis / more fields etc. for Mail Merges and Messages?

  • We don't currently have plans for providing more formatting options, but it is on our radar. In the meantime, both Mail Merges and Messages allow you to use the 'source' view to enter in custom HTML for additional formatting beyond what is available in the toolbar.

Can I customize the text that goes out in automated messages?

  • We don't currently allow you to customize the text for any of the automated messages or reminders that go out through our system, but we've passed that idea along to our Product team.

Feature Requests for Messages

  • Other feature requests related to messaging included the ability to schedule messages to go out at a future date/time, allowing people to message each other through the system without being in a group together, and integration with Facebook messages. While none of those ideas are currently in the works, we've passed them along to our Product team.

Mobile Preview / The Merge

How do I access the Mobile Preview?

  • On your login screen, under the main login boxes, you'll see a small link that says "Mobile Preview". We've also put up a banner in your sites on the homepage, people pages, and groups pages that can take you to the Mobile Preview. If for some reason you've dismissed this banner, you can get it back by clearing your browser's cache and cookies.

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 hoping to release the Merge experience to our beta testers early 2018. We anticipate it will live in beta for a few months to make sure that everything is working the way we expect it to before sending it out to everyone.

Is the Mobile Preview showing everything that will be there in The Merge?

  • No, the Mobile Preview right now only includes people and groups. We plan to have people profiles fully built out in the new mobile responsive style before The Merge happens, but everything else will be changed over after the Merge. So don't be alarmed that things like the homepage and other pages aren't in the Mobile Preview yet. They will be present in the Merge, they just won't be redesigned and fully responsive yet.

Process Queues

Are you going to be making any changes to Process Queues when they're released to the LEAD app?

  • No, Process Queues will function the same in the LEAD app as they do in the current browser software.


What plans do you have for making reporting more robust?

  • We don't currently have any plans for making our reporting more robust, but the underlying architecture work we've been doing preparing for The Merge will make those kinds of changes easier in the future.
  • We received a number of other feature requests related to improving reports, largely around the ability to access more data through reports and further customize how it is displayed. We've passed those ideas along to our Product team.


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. This is why we need carrier information and why texting from our system is still only one-way. 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 this.

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 that 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 Oct 30, 2017 11:43:06 AM