Seraphim: The next generation of church management and congregational engagementSoftware, TECHNOLOGY Monday, August 4th, 2014
When you think about a church management system, what comes to mind?
- Is it back office personnel madly typing endless notes into complicated profiles that only they understand?
- Is it trying to get the right incantation to extract the right data into a report while the pastor’s breathing down your neck?
- Is it recording tithe batches and going blind on endless rosters for Sunday school to record attendance from this past weekend?
What should church management be? Isn’t this already handled by software that’s been in the market for 20 years?
Perhaps a better question to ask is this: If church management software is essentially the people, the activities and events the church offers (and people’s involvement in the church), how much have the events and the congregation changed in the last 20 years — or even the last three years?
The simple answer: profoundly.
We believe the change to people’s expectations about how to interact with any organization and how they receive communication and reach out to one another has changed forever. Seraphim is a company and a product that was designed to leverage the very pervasive technologies we use every day and apply them to church management and congregational engagement.
Seraphim is a comprehensive environment for providing solutions and services, managing resources and being more closely tied to your volunteers, regular attenders and members as it pertains to ministry. It does much of this for you, so you can concentrate on the mission of your church.
Seraphim is like an Operating System for your church. A computer operating system takes things like printers, files, cameras and file folders and makes them usable to the average user. Likewise, Seraphim enables groups of people, facilities, resources and events to work together in a profoundly new way.
Seraphim is designed to maximize your outreach and create intimacy between members, regular attenders and visitors. Sharing between your ministry leadership team, church congregation and visitors becomes not just easy, but fun, rewarding and valuable.
Let’s face it — ministry is complicated
There are dozens of ways to contact people, various events to register for all vying for the same scarce resources, whether they’re rooms or A/V equipment. Volunteers and staff rotate roles in complicated fashion, and a growing demographic demands technological and self-service capability from their churches. Building these features yourself or integrating different packages is prohibitively expensive and makes your church less nimble. Going with point solutions that don’t share the same core database of people is a black hole with endless updates to multiple databases dealing with people’s profiles.
Seraphim connects the back office to the front door and gives you superior control over your information from any location. Seraphim is cloud-based, so you don’t need expensive servers or special skills to install it and take care of it. (That’s our job.)
There’s no limit to how many people can use the valuable information and the powerful tools that Seraphim delivers. Work from home, the office, the road — anywhere there’s an internet connection.
Seraphim is also mobile, allowing you access to the information about the people in your congregation and giving you the ability to reach out to them in multiple ways. It’s always connected through the cloud, so there are no more outdated lists.
Modern look and feel. Seraphim is designed with the simplified and minimalistic look that pervades software apps today on Windows and Apple products. We’ve taken every function and focused on making it super-fast, super-flexible and easy to use. As many designers would tell you, simple isn’t easy to arrive at quickly; the look and speed of Seraphim is unique — especially for a web application. The design, colors and layout are bold and beautiful. We want our user’s to enjoy being in the environment as they work.
Administration and the back office. We start with a church management system that supports individuals, families and organizations. Group your people in any way you want, and use those groups for attendance, safe check-in and reporting and mapping. Use unlimited custom fields and tags to adapt to new situations. You can use our outreach tools to schedule visits and manage the lifecycle of getting to know visitors in a more rapid manner where no one falls through the cracks. Use our attendance features to record attendance rapidly, or have your ministry leaders use their smart phones and tablets to record attendance at the time of the event. Your leadership team will appreciate knowing the attendance numbers faster than they do now.
Intelligence and visualization to help you make the best decisions possible. One of the biggest complaints of church management systems is that it’s very difficult to get data and intelligence out of them. At Seraphim, we’ve worked hard to make information very easy to get to using brilliant dashboards that show everything from the composition of your membership and visitors, to the financial health of the church.
Our generosity dashboard shows last week’s giving, where giving stands year-to-date, tithing to funds and by method, trends of giving, and even the affluence of your church family in the form of a spatial map.
Our reports are simple to use and yet flexible in their many forms.
Choose a group, a detail of individuals or families, and a report you want to run, and then specify how you want it to look. Do you want a list or a directory?
You can even specify mailing labels or name tags with attendance bar codes that work with safe check-in. Change the headers as you want, sort by any field, and toggle the fields you want to include in the report.
Geographic and spatial information about your congregation is super important. You need this information to decide where to put that new branch of your church or where to add a community group, or even how to modify your bus routes to get to more visitors.
Unlike many other systems, Seraphim has mapping built directly into the application. You can overlay bus routes and tactics for how to get to people that need the message you’re called to deliver. We even include turn-by-turn directions to help your ministry teams focus on their mission.
Safe check-in and check-out. Use staffed or self-check-in stations to check children into classes in five seconds or less. We support Barcodes, PINs and Smart Phones with QR Codes. Or, you can skip the scanner altogether and match up six-letter unique security codes.
Facial recognition and other biometric authentications are coming in 2014. Check In automatically marks attendance for you, as well. We also support lanyards, pagers and track allergy information. You can customize labels to include a QR Code or a security code along with header and footer information. Parents’ names and allergy information is also available on the tags. Parents can see where their children are on their smart phones during the service.
One of the most common things we hear from customers and prospects alike is how beautiful, simple and logical our check-in station is. We’ve worked hard to achieve this simplicity, and we can’t wait to see how it transforms your children’s ministry.
Communities and social networks. It’s more than just Facebook; create unlimited communities to match the complexity of your congregation.
Need a teen group? Need an addiction ministry? No problem — just create a community in about a minute. Your members can Instant Message in a secure, closed environment and share photos, files, web links and even take informal polls. Each member gets a profile page to share their basic information (synched with the directory), employment, educational and ministry skills. You’ll also find unlimited discussion groups, a powerful prayer list, a care center and tools for sharing what God is doing in you and your friend’s lives.
A semantic Bible like no other. At the heart of Seraphim is a digital bible based on semantics. View the scripture by verse, structure, geography, chronologically and topically. Share and encourage one another in bible reading. Memorize verses in a new way. Search for anything in the Bible, and understand it faster and more comprehensively.
Today’s digital generation is unlikely to read a Matthew Henry commentary; but, seeing the books of the Bible as a “Periodic Table” helps them understand the collections of the bible using a modern approach.
We use visualizations everywhere for better comprehension and navigation.
For example, we use “tag clouds” to help people find concentrations of verses based on a topic.
Use the various prisms of Seraphim to see the Bible in new ways that are authentically digital and bring new insights to timeless words. At left is an example of our Prophecy Arc tool showing verses that predicted Jesus’ birth and where each verse was fulfilled.
While you’re reading the Bible, Seraphim implicitly runs searches in the background and brings information to your attention politely. See the places you’re reading about on a digital map. Understand objects in the Bible as they relate to the modern things in our lives. For example, did you know Noah’s Ark was the length of two 747 jumbo jets lined up nose-to-nose?
Security and delegation. You’re in control! Use our security to control who’s an administrator or a moderator. You can specify who can see Tithe and Contributions and who can delegate authority to others.
We support your church model and size, now and in the future. Seraphim supports Life / Stage, Community / Small Groups and Family Integrated ministry models. We support everything from church plants to mega churches with multiple sites. Seraphim is a cloud-based software company. That means we provide the software and all its features worldwide, 24×7, on our hardware using any internet or wireless connection. You pay for what you use.
Think of us like a utility for information. You can add other services as you go (immediately) — no roll-outs, no servers to buy; just call us. We add the service and you log into that newly provisioned service a minute later.
Church management is the core of Seraphim, but it’s not the end of the solution — we provide kiosk and digital signage solutions, as well, all integrated into one platform.
We’re excited to be a part of the technology community that enables your mission and can’t wait to introduce you and your ministry team to Seraphim. Learn more at our website or send us email to schedule a demonstration.