Churches are having to navigate without much guidance in uncertain times around the country. Many churches, businesses and social gatherings are either closed or limited in capacity. Churches are asking how to keep their members as safe as possible, while still practicing their faith. Of course precautions like washing hands and social distancing are helping but are there other ways? Let’s go over an area that isn’t talked about much – church attendance software.
How can church software help during COVID-19 or any other uncertain times? We are going to discuss specifically how IconCMO can help when the church is the most vulnerable – Sunday Service. After all, this is when the majority of church members come out of their houses and are exposed to other members. It’s exactly at this time when the virus spreads more easily.
How can church attendance help with COVID-19? By properly tracking attendance in IconCMO, the church can maintain an accurate list of members that attended each service. How does this list help? If a member tests positive for COVID-19, and wants to alert those who may have been exposed, the church now has a complete list that can be provided to the contact tracing team or proper authorities.
You may have heard the term ‘contact tracing’. Contact tracing in this instance, involves identifying people who have been exposed to an individual that has tested positive for COVID-19. By having this information, these individuals then follow the proper guidelines for their geographical area. Taking church attendance assures members that authorities will be able to contact them if exposure and testing becomes necessary.
Taking Attendance For Contact Tracing Reasons
In IconCMO church attendance can be taken two different ways – by head count or by individual. It is the second method that is the most helpful for contact tracing reasons. The initial set up for church attendance on IconCMO consist of folders and events. On the main attendance page, click on the ‘Add/Edit Events’ link on the main page. Then fill out the screen similar to what you see below, substituting the time slots for your meeting. Make sure to check the box titled ‘Track Times’.
Now that the folder is created, we need to create the repeating events under the newly created folder. To do this click on the ‘Add/Edit Events’ tab. You will select the folder in the first drop down list and then fill out the rest of the screen as you see below. Ensure you have the right start and end dates before clicking the save button. In most instances they should be the first and last Sunday of the year. You can name the Event Name the same as the Folder Name if you like. After clicking save, you can click close to return to the main screen.
After returning to the main screen you should see some thing like this below. You should see columns with the different times that you entered, along with the names of each person.
IconCMO church attendance helpful hints
On this screen there are several things the user can do to customize the view for themselves. Here’s a brief list.
- Users can filter the records to only look at the ‘Active’ individuals.
- Add or remove columns that you aren’t using. For example, maybe you don’t need to see ‘Relationship’ when taking attendance.
- Maybe you’re only concerned about people that are 18 years or older. The list can accommodate that as well using the filters under the three dot icon in the upper right corner.
- You can search for anything you like in the search box, last name or first name are good examples. The resulting list will show all records that fit that criteria.
- And finally the user can change the date that they want to take attendance for by using the drop down box called ‘Event Date’.
Why Can’t The Head Count Method Work For Church Attendance?
The reason the head count method will not work for contact tracing is there are no individuals checked off. The user only inputs a number of how many people attended the event. While this is great to get attendance numbers for churches, it’s simply not enough information about who attended. The head count is entered like the following.
As you can see there is no way to get names from the numbers above as the church doesn’t know which 50 people attended the 9:00 AM service or which 90 attended the 10:00 AM service.
Can I switch From Head Count To The Individual Method?
Absolutely! All you have to do is instead of putting numbers in for head counts, mark off the individuals via the check boxes that attended in the appropriate time slots. IconCMO is flexible.
What Happens If I Don’t Have Time Slots Set Up?
Easy! Click the ‘Add/Edit Events’ link on the main attendance screen and ensure you are on the ‘Add/Edit Folders’ tab. Then check mark the ‘Track Times’ checkbox. Next, enter your times into the various slots and click save and close. On the main screen you should now see the various time slots.