Today we sit down for a chat with Amanda Faase from Bayside Community Church, who have been using infoodle for a year and a half now, and we wanted to know more about their experience.
Please tell us a little about yourself, Amanda.
For the past 9 years I’ve been responsible for church administration and communications – whatever you can think of, I did. But that meant a lot of organisational knowledge rested with one person which is not actually a good space to be in.
How did you end up joining infoodle?
I had investigated CRM systems other churches had been using, but for a small church the cost was prohibitive and I continued with Excel spreadsheets and memory.
My initial need was simple – a photo directory of our congregation! It’s amazing what an important connection tool a directory can be. I was using Publisher and Word to design something. Then a Pastor friend at Mt Albert Baptist Church in Auckland showed me how they were using infoodle. I lived in NZ for 7 years and love the Kiwi ingenuity so started to investigate.
I explored infoodle using the online videos and notes to get a sense of what could be possible (and got excited), and then registered for the introductory webinar. I was convinced this was the way to go, and infoodle was happy to have an online chat and demo with me and the pastors who would also be using the system to address their questions and any concerns.
How did you find the transition from spreadsheets to using infoodle and learning a new system?
I was able to teach myself from the online resources – it is definitely a big time commitment to come to grips with a new system – but the resources are very good and makes it easy to work out what to do. And because the infoodle staff are genuinely interested in supporting their clients they encouraged contact by phone or email when there was something I needed to clarify.
When did you contact infoodle for help and support, and how did you find the service?
The exceptional level of service is the standout quality of infoodle for me. Responses to my questions are often received within 24 hours. The team is always open to suggestions for improvements or things you’d like to be able to do. What can be done will be done straight away, others will be put into the development process. So you also get a good feeling of contributing to the wider infoodle community to make a good system even better.
What was your initial experience like using infoodle?
Regardless of the size of your church we have to do many of the same things, but the resources can be limited in a smaller church. Although there is a significant time commitment to set up infoodle the way you want to use it, once done it becomes a time-saver for all staff as it becomes their one-stop-shop for information about all sorts of things – an individual, key documents like church policies and procedures, access to a database of people who have attended a church event, people needing pastoral care to name a few. It’s a very flexible system and we have only touched the surface of what we can do with it. It’s a great tool to share information with others without duplication of effort and ensured everyone is accessing the same information.
You are using the infoodle App. How does this fall into the picture?
The availability of the infoodle app is another game changer. We started using infoodle via the Ezychurch app system and it’s a great way to make information like the directory and bible talks and newsletters (digital and pdf) available in a way people are already familiar with via their devices. It’s another important way to help the congregation engage with what’s going on at church and to connect with each other.
What are some examples of how using infoodle makes your admin life easier?
By including important information like the status of Working With Children checks and Allergies in an individual’s profile, ministry leaders and event organisers can generate an up-to-date report within seconds.
We recently hosted a kids holiday event which was a great opportunity to learn how to create an online registration form and process applications. Again I could make use of the online resources to teach myself how to do it and had great support from infoodle to get the form working the way I wanted it to. Importantly we now have a database of people who attended the event and who we could invite to another event that is accessible to ministry leaders. Previously this information would have been collected in an excel spreadsheet filed in one person’s computer.
We’ve been regularly using infoodle on a mobile phone to capture attendance at our services. This has become an important pastoral care tool as it’s easy to see at a glance who might need to be followed up.
The Library feature has been used to store and make available key church documents like policies and procedures, Working With Children check registrations, attendance at training courses, newsletter archive and such.
Images and text featured in this post have been kindly provided by Bayside Community Church.
Bayside Community Church
is a Baptist church around the Sydney Olympic Park area. They exist to love God and love people, encouraging everyone to grow into passionately committed followers of Jesus.
You can learn more about them on their website.