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Bob Pritchett | Forum Activity | Posted: Sat, Mar 31 2018 10:16 AM

I'm doing research on church operations.

Please help me by answering these short surveys.

Everyone who does, and enters their email address at the end, will be entered into a drawing for a $100 credit at Logos.com. (We'll have three winners, chosen in a week.)

Answering both surveys puts you in the drawing twice. They are short, one-page surveys.

Church Phone Systems: https://goo.gl/forms/UrAHxJq96qJSROVi1

Church Visitors and Attendance: https://goo.gl/forms/ZKPxXBfJr4Su35X53

You don't have to be the pastor -- most of you should be able to answer these questions about their church.

Feel free to reply with your thoughts and ideas here.

Background: Logos Bible Software continues to be Faithlife's flagship product and primary focus, but we're growing to serve churches in other ways, with products like Proclaim, Ministry Tracker, and the Faithlife Groups platform. We just want to better understand church's needs.

Our mission remains: to use technology to equip the Church to grow in the light of the Bible.

Your survey answers and feedback here is incredibly important and has a big impact on our planning. We are here to serve you.

Posts 171
Nick Highland | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Mar 31 2018 11:04 AM

I know the technology is probably cost prohibitive, but I am really looking forward to automated attendance tracking using facial recognition...  Just putting that out there ;)

Posts 5013
SineNomine | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Mar 31 2018 11:08 AM

Nick:
I know the technology is probably cost prohibitive, but I am really looking forward to automated attendance tracking using facial recognition...  Just putting that out there ;)

I'm really looking forward to that not happening. Wink

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Bruce Dunning | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Mar 31 2018 11:25 AM

Thanks for asking for our opinions.

Using adventure and community to challenge young people to continually say "yes" to God

Posts 171
Nick Highland | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Mar 31 2018 11:32 AM

SineNomine:

Nick:
I know the technology is probably cost prohibitive, but I am really looking forward to automated attendance tracking using facial recognition...  Just putting that out there ;)

I'm really looking forward to that not happening. Wink

As someone responsible for attendance tracking, I want it.  On the other hand, I admit that I don't desire to be tracked using my face.  Haha

Posts 1717
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Bob Pritchett | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Mar 31 2018 11:37 AM

Nick:
I know the technology is probably cost prohibitive, but I am really looking forward to automated attendance tracking using facial recognition...  Just putting that out there ;)

I've seen a system that does this, and have done some research on it out of curiosity... one way to do it isn't even to track specific people, but simply to record 'unique faces' and get a headcount. It could be done with a video camera aimed at the main entrance.

But, yes, it can feel a bit weird... and isn't something we're working on. I just thought it was an interesting technology problem.

Posts 4134
abondservant | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Mar 31 2018 11:40 AM

Nick:

I know the technology is probably cost prohibitive, but I am really looking forward to automated attendance tracking using facial recognition...  Just putting that out there ;)



IF this could be done discreetly, so that it didn't look like the inside of a prison (or whatever) then that would be interesting. But not really interested in having big ugly cameras in the worship space.

My church is small enough, that almost all of it is worship space.

In the retail sector wireless routers are being deployed to track customers by their cellphones. the idea being if 40% of the customers that come in, do so for our display of folgers coffee, then advertising a "sale" on folgers would likely bring in a lot of customers.

However, the same tech could be deployed at churches to give a decent count. Could likely even track new members.

My cousin has a company that does this and other things with wifi based out of louisville ky.

L2 lvl4 (...) WORDsearch, L9

Posts 1717
LogosEmployee
Bob Pritchett | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Mar 31 2018 12:10 PM

One assumption I have is that people would like to be 'freed from the land-line'... and that churches are in a weird middle-ground of needing 'a business phone system' (the ability to transfer calls to various people with different responsibilities) but, unless large, most of their team isn't on-site all the time, and they don't have the budget for a big system.

A useful product might be a single phone number, administered over the web, with the ability to set a message, and then either speak audio clips or forward to other phone numbers based on voice/number input. With all of these features controlled by time of day.

Here's an open Google document with some ideas... (feel free to add comments!)

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1XUYY-l95n3kSQxvQ4Ea1mjrl435HqVOnfeG8Lu3sfzE/edit?usp=sharing

I appreciate your feedback!

Posts 1104
EastTN | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Mar 31 2018 1:19 PM

SineNomine:

Nick:
I know the technology is probably cost prohibitive, but I am really looking forward to automated attendance tracking using facial recognition...  Just putting that out there ;)

I'm really looking forward to that not happening. Wink

I agree - waaaay too creepy for me.

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PetahChristian | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Mar 31 2018 3:36 PM

Bob Pritchett:
You don't have to be the pastor -- most of you should be able to answer these questions about their church

While one may be a member of the body of Christ, perhaps their place of worship isn’t called a church?

Would a Rabbi/Messianic Synagogue be part of this target audience?

Thanks to FL for including Carta and a Hebrew audio bible in Logos 9!

Posts 2315
GaoLu | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Mar 31 2018 4:35 PM

Nick:

I know the technology is probably cost prohibitive, but I am really looking forward to automated attendance tracking using facial recognition...  Just putting that out there ;)

I have been places where that is used already, in Asia.

Posts 510
Richard Villanueva | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Mar 31 2018 6:46 PM

Bob Pritchett:
One assumption I have is that people would like to be 'freed from the land-line'... and that churches are in a weird middle-ground of needing 'a business phone system' (the ability to transfer calls to various people with different responsibilities) but, unless large, most of their team isn't on-site all the time, and they don't have the budget for a big system.

this is interesting. I was just having a conversation about switching our phone systems, which are pretty old. But to upgrade wouldn’t make sense because many of us only use them, if at all for interoffice communication. So upgrading to a high-tech solution would be an great improvement to a system we just don’t use much... and a waste of church finance. 

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SineNomine | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Apr 2 2018 7:20 AM

Richard Villanueva:
So upgrading to a high-tech solution would be an great improvement to a system we just don’t use much... and a waste of church finance.

That depends a little on what you're presently paying every month vs. what you would be paying after the upgrade.

Posts 2297
David Thomas | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Apr 2 2018 7:47 AM

Richard Villanueva:
But to upgrade wouldn’t make sense because many of us only use them, if at all for interoffice communication. So upgrading to a high-tech solution would be an great improvement to a system we just don’t use much... and a waste of church finance. 

Unless a high-tech system would allow congregants & vendors to call the church and the system would allow a secretary (or a phone tree menu) to forward the call to your cell (without giving your cell number to people who may not respect your boundaries). Thereby making your staff more accessible during the workday (whether onsite or offsite) without jeopardizing your boundaries during times of Sabbath.

Making Disciples!  Logos Ecosystem = Logos8 on Microsoft Surface Pro 4 (Win10), Android app on tablet, FSB on iPhone, [deprecated] Windows App, Proclaim, Faithlife.com, FaithlifeTV via Connect subscription.

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Richard Villanueva | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Apr 2 2018 9:06 AM

David Thomas:
Unless a high-tech system would allow congregants & vendors to call the church and the system would allow a secretary (or a phone tree menu) to forward the call to your cell (without giving your cell number to people who may not respect your boundaries). Thereby making your staff more accessible during the workday (whether onsite or offsite) without jeopardizing your boundaries during times of Sabbath.
Agreed - and this is a functionality our current system has the capability to do. That is a great solution to have - distirbuting personal mobile phone numbers can become an overwhelming situation. It’s bad enough I’m consistently called by telemarketers to be in formed that solar panels, a free cruise, and the next charity fund needs my immediate attention. I love talking to and ministering to my congregants, but my kiddos needs some of my time as well. I’m definitely interested to see where this thread goes regarding church tech. It boggles my mind trying to think ahead towards what is next with communication tech.

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SineNomine | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Apr 2 2018 2:39 PM

I'm sure that there are probably a number of clergy who would appreciate a system that discriminates to some extent in terms of options offered, so that (for example) a local caller gets an emergency option that forwards to a cleric for hospital-related and similar emergencies, but the spammer from a foreign country doesn't get to wake up the pastor at 2:30 AM.

Posts 14
Alan Hart | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Apr 2 2018 10:44 PM

Please forgive me as I am sure to many my comments will seem harsh, but here goes...facial recognition software, among other toys in the church, it isn't that it is unbelievable that someone would conceive of this, it is just that we may need to get our eyes on something more important than another gimmick in the church, you know, like, the world is going to hell without the Gospel and the number of Christian missionaries is diminishing n a daily basis. I don't mean the short term trip that is more of a church sponsored vacation than missions. I mean men and women that give their lives to go to some corner of the world to pour out their lives in self sacrificing service. Where are the Judsons, the Taylors, etc. The sad truth is that many reading this won't even know these names. We don't need more gimmicks, we need more servants.

Posts 471
Stephen McCracken | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Apr 3 2018 12:57 AM

Alan Hart:
Please forgive me as I am sure to many my comments will seem harsh, but here goes...facial recognition software, among other toys in the church, it isn't that it is unbelievable that someone would conceive of this, it is just that we may need to get our eyes on something more important than another gimmick in the church, you know, like, the world is going to hell without the Gospel and the number of Christian missionaries is diminishing n a daily basis. I don't mean the short term trip that is more of a church sponsored vacation than missions. I mean men and women that give their lives to go to some corner of the world to pour out their lives in self sacrificing service. Where are the Judsons, the Taylors, etc. The sad truth is that many reading this won't even know these names. We don't need more gimmicks, we need more servants.

Alan, I am sure we all agree with this great need. But i think it is a question we are allowed to ask. Most churches in the world are under 250 families (and I pastor two churches) because that seems to be a healthy size to pastor effectively. Once you get over 250 then the admin part starts to grow within your role. Any the loss is in knowing people personally. So I wonder how larger churches can recognize who is missing, who is coming etc. so that the pastoral work can be picked up during the week. Therefore I don't have a problem with this question being asked. 

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Reuben Helmuth | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Apr 3 2018 1:23 AM

My church would never pay anything for attendance tracking, but we do have a conference line for every service that allows people to call in and listen to the service. Our current solution is free but is "cobbled" (a combination of Skype & FreeConferencing.com). A solution that would be tightly integrated with Proclaim would definitely add value. 

Posts 462
Paul | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Apr 3 2018 1:36 AM

StephenMcC:

 I am sure we all agree with this great need. But i think it is a question we are allowed to ask. 

Alan is right in his observations. Stephen McC is also right that it is a question that is allowed to be asked and worthy of discussion.  

My own approach is quite simple - the minute any church I attend uses facial recognition software or tries to use technology to surveils its members, then I will leave.  It would not matter how good the sermons are or how caring the pastoral team purports to be. It would not matter whether the people are the most loving and caring in the world.  The issue for me (and many others) is fundamentally whether I or anyone else as a church member or attendee is entitled to a degree of privacy in church that increasingly we are losing outside in the public space. 

Many people work (or have worked) in situations where their hours and attendance is micromanaged by their managers or bosses. Would they also welcome questions from a 'concerned' pastor as to why they were not there last Sunday?  I wondering whether the desire for technology in church is not simply about making administration easier, but about a level of personal intrusion that many people would find disturbing. Keep well Paul        

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