At the Roundtable we had an extensive discussion of approaches to automate worship attendance. Today Kevin McCord weighs in on the same subject. He thinks printing out a nametag will be enough incentive to get many/most worship attendees to stop at a kiosk and check in.
I was going to comment at Kevin’s blog but just found out I can’t. My previous church did this although not that high tech. We walked in and there was a wall full of all the members nametags, we just went in and found ours and that was that. If you were a first timer, you checked in at the visitor table and your nametag was hand written, which made it obvious who the visitors were and it was easy to make them feel welcome.I like Kevin’s idea of just having everyone (who’s willing) check in and print their name tag. It seems to take away the question of ‘do I know you?’, it helps you to learn people’s names better too.I think it would be hard to change the mindset within a church to start doing this. My old church started this from day 1 and it was always just what you did. I’ll be visiting this church this coming Sunday, first time in several years. It will be interesting to see if they still do this.
I sort of want to look at this from both sides. I’m not at all convinced that people will jump at the chance to check in and get name tags, but *some* will, and that will have value. If we can more readily determne that 50% of our people are attending regularly, then we can focus on the other 50%. Perfect? no. Helpful? Absolutely!
We’ve been working toward a system whereby everyone who walks in the worship center can step up to a kiosk, punch in their phone number and select their name (or scan their thumb) which will print out their own custom bulletin (completely personalized based on their online portal settings) on high-speed printers. We can also record their personal attendance.