Creating Child Check-In Stations for VBS

In part one of this series we talked about the advantage of using barcode badges for VBS child check in. Now, we will move onto how to get your check-in stations ready for operation. The best place to start is in the Child Check In/Out Setup assistant.

The first step in getting your stations ready is to create a check in user.  How you define that check in user will determine how your stations will work.  Here are the steps for creating a check in user in Roll Call.  These settings are the ones we recommend for VBS.

  1. Click on Check-in/out on left side of page while logged in as director or administrator.
  2. If you haven’t set up user security yet, you will be prompted to do that first by giving Director a password.
  3. Click on the plus sign to set up your check-in user.
  4. Next, select Checkin User (client) and give a username, such as ‘’registration’’ and password (if you wish)
  5. Within your check in user you can select different options. For VBS stations using badges, choose:
    1. Return by individual (each child will swipe their own badge to check in).
    2. Rapid check in (this will immediately check them into class).

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VBS is Around the Corner – Start Getting Ready Now

Vacation Bible School is such a huge and important ministry in many congregations. It’s one of those times during the year that many churches find themselves with many visitors, specifically children. There’s no better way to assure the parents of their children’s safety than using a check in system.  Not only will Roll Call track the child’s attendance, allergies and custody issues you can also use it to follow up with your visitors.

In the next couple of weeks, we will show you a few different options for child check in for you to look into, as well as discuss how to keep in touch with those visitors through Roll Call.

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Roll Call Easter Checklist

Here’s a checklist of items that should be addressed by your ministry teams, so that Roll Call will run smoothly for your Easter services.

Child Check-in

  1. Will you be adding additional service times for Easter?  If so, remember to add those as new sessions for all your groups that you check people into.  Here’s how:
    1. Go to Groups>Search on the left side menu
    2. Double click on the specific group you need to change
    3. Click on Sessions tab
    4. Click the plus sign to add your new session(s)
  2. Do you record worship service atttendance or perform check in for Services?  If you are adding additional services for Holy Week, make sure to add those into Roll Call.  Here’s how:
    1. Go to Service>Add a Service
    2. Give the service a name
    3. Change the meeting day to reflect the correct day
    4. Move the applicable associations to the SELECTED column.
  3. Do you have enough of a Roll Call capacity license to handle your increase in visitors? You can double check by looking at your license under File>Enter License, then checking how many people you currently have in the database by going to People>Search Profiles. There is a number in the upper right that shows how many people are in your database (ie. 100/100)
  4. Do you have enough label stock to accomodate all your visitors?  You can order more here.

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An Alternative to Membership Plus

We are hearing from many churches looking for an alternative to Membership Plus for a variety of reasons: 1) It is no longer a supported application, 2) they don’t want web based software and the recurring fees and 3) they want a simple, easy to use church management software package.

Here are some ways you can benefit from hopping on board with us here at By the Book:

Great Customer Support

Our company has been around since 1992 and is currently operated by David and Kim Conley who have owned the business since 2004. They love their work, their staff and especially their customers! We have phenomenal tech support Monday thru Friday, and recently added Sunday support as well.  Just check out our reviews here. We at By the Book are constantly in the process of improving and upgrading our software to give churches the best solutions for managing their congregations as well as advancing the Kingdom. Check out our list of features.  We are always on the lookout for new features to our software and take requests from our customers. Who better to tell us what they need in church management software than those who use it? We promise to strive to meet those needs whenever possible. Here is a list of new features we are working toward for 2016 and beyond:  Roll Call Accounting, increased flexibility and customization of reports, online directory, and Event Registration.

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The Value of Biometric Identification for Church Security

M2Sys Finger vein scanner

Verifying the identity of students and parents is a very important task that churches havefinger-print to perform each week. Manual identification checks using registry books or even using member ID cards is fast becoming a thing of the past due to several reasons that include:

  • Data processing inefficiencies
  • Swapping, sharing, or stealing identification credentials
  • Lack of a concrete audit trail

For these reasons, biometric identification in the children’s department is fast becoming the go-to solution for churches.

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How to find the Best Church Management Software for your Church

Get input from all ministry areas

As you start the process of looking for the best church management software for your church, you must consider the needs of all your ministry areas.  Each ministry will have their own set of requirements.  By involving them from the beginning you’ll have a better chance of getting their buy-in.  If you are indeed looking for a “whole church” solution you’ll want everyone invested and excited about the new software.

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A Christmas “Thank You”

During the Christmas season, we open up our hearts and homes to family, friends and sometimes complete strangers and share what Christmas means to us as Christians.  Christmas is a season of giving.  God the Father gave his only Son to us – the ultimate gift!  Jesus gave up His heavenly seat to dwell among us – the ultimate sacrifice!

As Christians, we are called to be generous with our time, talents and treasure – not just during the Christmas season, but all year long.  We are children of a Heavenly Father who has given so generously to us and has commanded us to give generously to others.

I write this to you who have given your time and talents generously throughout the year. Some of you have been in the foreground working tirelessly to advance your ministries as you have been led.  Many of you are in the background, working quietly behind the scenes, making a real difference in your church.  In this age of consumerism, people don’t think about the effort it takes to run a ministry.  Many times you don’t receive any acknowledgment or recognition for your efforts.  Many of you have spent long hours away from family sometimes wondering if it is worth it.  Does anyone care?  Does it matter?  Is it making a difference?  Some of you receive immediate feedback that your efforts are having an impact.  Others might not know for years to come.  Others won’t know this side of Heaven.

To all of you I want to say “Thank You”.  Thank you on behalf of the whole body of Christ.  Your hard work and sacrifices are truly appreciated.  Remember, nothing we do on this earth goes unnoticed in Heaven.

May you have a blessed Christmas.

David Conley
President, By The Book, Inc.

Roll Call as Youth Ministry Software – Part 3 (Attendance and Follow-up)

Roll Call as Youth Ministry Software

So, you‘ve taken up the call to youth ministry!  I’m sure you’d agree that an important part of being able an effective youth minister is to track the youth attendance and follow up with them. Roll Call can help you do this by taking attendance at all your youth functions. You can see whose coming and who’s going. Track not only them but also the friends they bring. You can easily keep in touch with texts, emails, and mailings. Roll Call is here for you every step of the way!

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Roll Call as Youth Ministry Software – Part 2 (Reporting)

Roll Call as Youth Ministry Software

In part 1 we learned about groups and all the custom fields we can use from Roll Call to easily track all the different facets of our youth ministry. We had a specific example of a segment of our youth that would soon be travelling to Mexico for a mission trip. Let’s say now you’re about ready to embark on that mission trip… but you first need to get those t shirts ordered and you also need a list of all those fundraisers and who raised what.

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