An Overview of GoDoChurch
The purpose of this help file is to give you a big-picture overview of GoDoChurch.
Note: If you are helping your church with their admin but feel a bit overwhelmed by online technology then we have written a help file for you, covering the very basics of things like: "what is cloud-based software? Do I need to download anything? Where is my database? etc.." We recommend reading it and then coming back and reading this help file. Click here to read "A beginner's guide to online software".
What is GoDoChurch?
GoDoChurch is cloud-based church administration software made up of three parts: an online Church administration system, a mobile app that syncs with your database, and a comprehensive help site to train your staff.
Because it is cloud-based it means the software runs from your browser. Once your church has signed up for a database you can access that database anytime, on any computer or tablet, by visiting www.godochurch.com and clicking the Log In tab on the top right corner of the website.
Can multiple staff use the admin system?
Yes. Each person who uses GoDoChurch gets their own account and they log into GoDoChurch with that account. Unlike other church software, we do not charge extra per staff member who uses the system. This means you can have your entire ministry team and select congregants use the system.
Can we restrict access to our database?
Yes. GoDoChurch comes with six permission levels that restrict access to different parts of the system. Church administrators get a permission level of Admin and they have the ability to set other people's permission levels.
How is the database organised?
The fundamental building block of GoDoChurch is the profile. A profile is a collection of information about a person. Ideally, you would create a profile for each person in your congregation. A person's profile can contain a huge amount of info about them - everything from contact info, birthday and anniversary, their involvement in church, pastoral notes, family info, etc. The more information you add into a profile the more powerful the searches you can run in your database.
Once you have added these profiles into your database you can then organise them in various ways. GoDoChurch provides churches with four ways to organise a database: Ministries, Groups, Roles, and Lists. Let's look briefly at each of these.
A ministry is a group of profiles that have a leader. These are usually the team s leading or serving as the different ministries. An example of this might be the Prayer Ministry. You can create as many ministries as you want, and add as many people to these ministries as you need.
Some churches call them cell groups, others call them life groups. To simplify things we simply call them 'Groups'. A group is a small gathering of people, with a leader, who tend to meet at a set location, at a set time every week. In GoDoChurch, the term 'groups' always refers to small groups.
A role is a position in a church that is not a ministry. This is for the organisation part of a church. For example, 'pastor', 'board-member', 'admin staff', 'leaders' – none of these are ministries, but you still need a way to keep track of them in your database. Church Roles allows you to do this. A role can be filled by one or more people.
Lists are a way of grouping profiles in customizable ways. If you ever need to store a list of people, but that list of people is not really a ministry, a group, or a church role, then lists is the tool to use. An example might be a list of people who volunteered for an event.
How does the database work?
GoDoChurch is made up of modules, each of which is designed to help churches with one specific area of their ministry. You can access these modules from the main menu in your database.
Each module is customisable, allowing you to set up GoDoChurch in a way that works for your context.
Once you have set up a module you can begin to add information into it. The great thing about GoDoChurch is that all the modules are connected to one another. This means if a change is made in one place, that change shows across the system. For example, all the modules use profiles. If a person's email address is changed in their profile, that info is also updated in every module to which that person has been added. This ensures every ministry in your church – be it the Prayer Ministry, or the Kids Church ministry – are all working from the same, up-to-date info.
How much set-up is required to use our database?
There is very little set-up required to use your database. Each database comes ready to send SMS's and emails without having to set-up complicated email servers and connect to third-party SMS vendors. We have taken care of all that for you. That being said, we designed GoDoChurch so you could customise it to suit your church's needs. To help with customising your database read How to Setup a New GoDoChurch Database.
What features does GoDoChurch have?
Below is a brief summary of all the features in GoDoChurch.
You can link two profiles together into what we call a family. You can then add kids to that family. Once you have done that this information becomes available in the Kids Church module, so Kids Church workers know which family a child belongs to. The family module is accessed from the 'Family' tab in a profile.
Robust permission levels
GoDoChurch comes with 5 different permission levels:
These permission levels give you a way to restrict viewing and editing rights to different parts of the system, which in turn means it is entirely possible (and safe) to give all of your staff, group leaders, and ministry leaders access to your database.
GoDoChurch comes with the built-in ability to send SMSes and emails to your congregation. SMSes can be purchased in bundles directly from within your database – no set up is required. Emails can be sent either from the church email address or from the email of the person using the system. And again, no set up is required. It's all plug-and-play.
The great thing about the Messaging module is that it is connected to every other module in the system. So if you have the Groups module open and want to send an SMS to all the members of a group you can do so easily. Same applies to Ministries, Lists, Events, Follow Up, etc. And if someone replies to an SMS, the response goes to the sender's email address.
For our more advanced users, we have also added an integration with MailChimp, meaning you can design beautiful branded emails in MailChimp but send them from your GoDoChurch database. Why is this important? It's important because it allows churches to send communication for invitations to events, welcome-to-church emails, and these sorts of things.
The News module allows you to keep your congregation up-to-date with relevant news. You can create multiple news channels around different topics – prayer, missions, church announcements - and then your congregants can subscribe to the channels that interest them. News posts are published via email or to the mobile app's news feed.
The News module also syncs with MailChimp, saving you from having to manage multiple news lists, but still allowing you to utilise the powerful design features in MailChimp.
Lastly, you can set a channel as your default news channel so that if anyone is added to your database they are automatically subscribed to that channel. You might want to do that for your 'Church announcements' channel.
Member and Church Growth Path module
Most churches have a set of activities that they recommend their congregants participate in for their own personal growth. Here is a simple example of a three-step growth path: 1) born again, 2) attend new members course 3) biblical foundations course.
The Growth Path module allows you to craft a growth path specific to your church's needs and then keep track of how individuals in your church are progressing. You can access and edit this information either from the Growth Path tab in a profile or from the Growth Path module.
Need to see all the people whose birthday it is this month? Or how about a list of all the men in your church so you can invite them to a Men's event? Not a problem. The Search module allows you to do that.
You can also search your database using Google Maps to get a list of everyone who lives in a particular area of your city.
NOTE: We would like to make special mention of the Advanced Search facility. This module allows you to search for people by using a combination of criteria. Read through the help file on the Advanced Search module - we're certain you will love this facility!
The Events module is easily one of the biggest time savers for churches. The module allows you to create events, manage registrations, payments, ticketing, and communication. If your church is not very tech-savvy, you can register people for events manually into the system. Or, if your congregation is more comfortable with online registration, you can have your congregants sign up for events online.
The Follow-up module allows you to capture information about first-time visitors, new salvations, or people who need prayer, and then 1) assign those people to leaders for follow-up, and 2) track their progress through the follow-up process.
Every year hundreds of people visit churches for the first time but fall through the cracks because churches do not have an effective system to follow them up. The Follow-up module solves this problem!
Another benefit of the Follow-up module is the very useful statistics it provides about your Sunday services: for e.g. how many first-time visitors, and how many salvations in a given time period.
Kids Church module
The Kids Church module allows you to create classes for your Kids Church ministry, and track attendance. We also have a secure check-in feature when dropping your kids off at Kids Church, adding an extra level of security to this important ministry.
Sunday Service module
Use the Sunday Service module to record 1) the number of people who attend a Sunday service, 2) the tithe that was taken in, and 3) who the speaker was.
The GoDoChurch mobile app (iOS and Android) has the capacity to transform how your church functions administratively. It is designed for your congregation and includes some of the following features: 1) profile view – allowing a church member to update their personal info, their involvement in church and progress on the Growth path, 2) a news feed that syncs with the News module in GoDoChurch, allowing them to keep up-to-date with the latest church news; 3) a sermon feed allowing them to listen to sermons you have added via the admin system, 4) Events module allowing congregants to register and pay for events your church is hosting.
As we move forward we have every intention of adding features that will allow your congregants to manage their groups, as well as update the status of any follow-up records that have been assigned to them.
The amazing thing about the app is that the moment someone updates their info, that info is also updated in your GoDoChurch database. This ensures you have accurate contact information at all times.
The app is extremely customisable. The only thing that isn't customisable is the app icon. The app is set up from within the GoDoChurch admin system and downloaded from Android or Apple app stores. When a person downloads the GoDoChurch app they are asked to create an account and then choose a church to sign into. From then onwards, each time they open the app it will open into your very own church app, customised to your needs, and fully in sync with your GoDoChurch admin system.
Note: your church does not need to use the app in order to use GoDoChurch. The admin system works perfectly without the app. In fact, we highly recommend churches don't out-roll the app until their database is up-and-running smoothly.
The Staff module adds an extra tab to a profile where you can capture staff specific info such as marriage license expiration dates, life insurance info, and a host of other staff-specific info.
Now that you have a birds-eye-view of GoDoChurch, its time to put it to work!
If you are an administrator and are setting up GoDoChurch for the first time then you'll want to read How to Setup a New GoDoChurch Database.
If you are part of the admin team, your database is already set-up, and you are wanting to learn how to use GoDoChurch, then we recommend reading Which Module Should I Learn First?