Churches with Insight: Leeds Vineyard Leeds
Our featured Insight church this month is Leeds Vineyard in Leeds. David Wallace, the leader responsible for communications, told us how bringing everything into one place has eased their admin and communication.
"No one gets left out of emails … diary clashes can be seen immediately." Leeds Vineyard.
The church has about 300 people. Our main activities are worship, teaching, equipping leaders, a place to know and be known in housegroups, faith expression for all ages, and reach out activities.
I did a 30-day trial of Insight and was very impressed with the speed to get something up and running. I did also have a long list of features I wanted that were not available, but after discussion with Endis, found workarounds for enough of them to go for it and make the transition. We now have over 900 active pages and all our admin records on the system.
A single system of records in one place simplifies and eases church administration and reduces the hassles around miscommunication. We have one list of people, so no one gets left out of emails - we used to have a separate email list management system that was always getting out of sync. We have one web diary, so diary clashes can be seen immediately.
We use the system to create a news email every week which almost entirely replaces the notices and notice sheets in conventional churches. We are now much clearer and up to date on who is part of the fellowship. All the effort now goes into the content of the communication not the technical mechanism.
It has allowed us to become more decentralised, empowering leaders to communicate and reducing any sense of central control by the office.
The bottleneck has gone. Distributing the authorship to the leaders of the many ministries has removed the previous bottleneck where one volunteer (me) was spending unreasonable amounts of time preparing web pages using Microsoft Frontpage and hand-coded php. Now lots of people write pages for the web site.
In Publisher, everything becomes a news item. Other favourite features are Forums - very popular, with prayers being typed online for current needs, ‘offers and needs’ (with a record of 9 minutes for meeting a need!), and lots of chat that adds another dimension to our community; Mailing distribution - every week; Membership Management - including things like child protection admin.
Almost every visitor has delved into the web site already (and we get lots every week). They are intrigued, they feel that they know what they are coming to.
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