What an amazing beginning to the 2013 Ideas to Impact Conference.
After last nights luau on the beach with gorgeous weather — not to mention umbrella straws and coconut shrimp — we kicked off today singing some of our favorite worship songs with Austin Smith and his crew from CrossPointe Church in Orlando. After that, John Gilman from ACS Technologies shared heartfelt testimony about how much it means to us to serve churches, and then Pete Wilson gave a keynote that brought us through both laughter and tears.
In between talking to clients and hearing their stories, I managed to sneak into one of the classrooms, and was really inspired by what I found. At the Megachurch People Admin forum, Rebekah Music, Pattie White, and a group of about 20 megachurch administrators gathered together to swap battle stories and share tips.
When I joined the group, the discussion was centered on the topic of emails. What do you do if people or leaders on staff are sending emails they shouldn’t? One administrator shared the story of leaders who, rather than sending large emails through the preferred system, would simply send emails to groups of several dozen at a time via Outlook–which was a big problem for IT.
Some of the other admins chimed in to share their own struggles, including a church staff that wanted to send so many emails, the members were getting overwhelmed. Several churches were moving to an opt-in only approach, and a few were using preferred lists, which helps assure that people only receive emails that pertain to their interests. People can opt in for emails on missions, or on children’s ministry, or on emails for seniors.
“We found that some of our members over 60 don’t consider themselves seniors, and don’t want to get those emails!” said Teresa Springer of Asbury United Methodist Church in Tulsa, OK. “It has really cut down on people complaining about emails.”
Another topic that came up in the megachurch admin forum: How do we get our church to adopt Access ACS?
Saundra Powell of The Church at Battle Creek had a tip: They only make contributions statements available through Access ACS. “They’ll log in at least once a year.” And once people log in, they have a tendency to update their address, their preferences … “it takes on a life of its own,” she said.
Have you heard a great tip or learned from one of your peers so far at the Ideas to Impact Conference? Share your stories here in comments or on the ACS Technologies Facebook page.