We built the GoDoChurch app so your church could have its own customisable app. There simply is no better way of connecting with your congregation and streamlining your admin than with a church app! Read our help file Why Your Church Needs a Mobile App to learn how the app can serve your church and about all its features. This help file focuses on how to set the app up.
Here are the basics that you need to know:
The app is designed for your congregation, while the admin system is designed for your staff and leaders. They have different functions but work hand in hand.
The app syncs automatically with your database. Changes you make to the admin system are shown on the app, and changes users make on their profiles in the app show automatically on the database.
You activate and populate the app from your admin system.
The app is highly customisable. You can add your own branding in the app, and all the ministries, lists, etc. are editable by you from the admin system. The only thing not customisable is the app icon and the primary colour of the app.
To use the app, congregants need to download it, log in, and search for your church. They only need to log in once: after that, the app will open directly into your church’s own app.
We want the app! What next?
Here is a summary of what you need to do to set up the app. More detail on each of the steps follows below.
Activate the app on the admin system - ask support.
Make sure your admin system’s ministries, roles, lists, and news channels are set up on the admin system.
Make sure you have added your vision, values, mission statement, and church images on the admin system.
Add your service times to the Sunday Service module.
Create a plan to out-roll the app for your church.
Let’s look at each of the above steps in more detail.
1) Activate the app on the admin system.
Contact Support to activate the app on your GoDoChurch account.
2) Make sure your admin system’s Ministries, Roles, Growth path, Lists, and News channels are set up.
The app is populated with the content of your admin system, so you want to make sure these modules have at least some info in them so the app looks great when you launch it.
We have help files that deal with each of these modules, but when it comes to setting up these modules for the app the main thing you need to know is this:
Each of these modules allows you to be very specific about 1) what you want to display on the app, and 2) who can edit the information.
An example explains it best, when adding a new Ministry to the admin system there is a tick box that says ‘Expose to/Show on mobile’. If you tick it, that ministry will show on the app. If you don’t want the ministry to show on the app, don’t tick that box. Secondly, you can choose who can join this ministry (based on permission levels). If anyone can join this ministry from the app, then set it to Public. If however you only want leaders to join, you can set the permission level higher. The app will show a little lock sign next to the ministry if the person does not have a high enough permission level to join.
Here is another example: Many churches have ‘Become a church member’ as one of their growth path activities. Usually, you want people to see this activity but would prefer to have a church administrator mark them as a member. To do this, simply tick 'Expose to mobile' and set the editing permissions to be 'Administrator'. This way people can see the activity, but not mark it complete themselves.
The Lists, Growth Path and Ministries modules all have setting options for 'expose to mobile' and 'editing permissions'.
3) Make sure you have added your vision, values, mission statement, and church images
The app has a dedicated space for your vision and values. To set your vision and values go to Settings >> Database Settings >> Vision/Images on the admin system.
Fill in all the relevant text boxes.
Upload x 2 images. The image on the left should be a banner image, max size 2MB, with recommended dimensions of 16x9. This banner image is displayed in the app above your church name.
The image on the right must be square, and should not exceed 2MB. We use this image as your church icon, in the News module, and other places in the app.
4) Add your service times to the Sunday Service module
The app has a dedicated space to display congregation and service times. You add all this info in the Sunday Services module.
5) Create a plan to out-roll the app for your church
It is vital that you create a plan to out-roll the app. Merely making a single announcement at church will not suffice. For the app to succeed it really needs to become part of your church culture, and that takes hard work. Here is a suggested plan:
- Start by assigning someone to be the point person for the app. This person’s role is to ‘make the app a success’.
- At your next leaders' meeting, have all your leaders download the app and log in.
- Have all your small group leaders do the same, and ask them to make an announcement in their small groups.
- Make 3 announcements on three successive Sundays, explaining the vision behind the app and how it can help your congregation.
- Create a PowerPoint slide promoting the app and where to get it and show it at church during announcements on a regular basis.
- Create a poster advertising the app, along with instructions, to be displayed at church in a prominent place.
- We have created some resources to help you with this process. You can download the files here.
If you have a church newsletter, consider adding a dedicated space at the bottom of the letter encouraging your church to download the app. Tip: use the News Module to publish your newsletter.
Each time you run an event, set it up first in the admin system, and when announcing it at church encourage people to register via the app. It's super easy and convenient.
Host yearly ‘app drives’ to ensure the culture stays in place.
Hold your leaders accountable as to whether they are using the app. If your leaders use it, so will the congregation.
Ensure you are posting News items regularly, uploading Sunday sermons, posting videos - anything to make the app useful for your congregation.
Check your database regularly for duplicate profiles created from the app, and delete/merge where necessary.
How to avoid creating duplicate profiles for your members in the admin system
When a church member creates an account via the app, it is important they use the same last name and email address stored in the admin system. By doing so, GoDoChurch can intelligently map the account they are creating via the app with the profile that already exists on the admin system. If a member creates an account via the app but uses different info than those stored in the admin system, you will end up with two profiles in your admin system for one member.
Duplicates are difficult to avoid, but they are the enemy of a useful database. There are two things you can do to avoid duplicates:
When advertising the app, encourage members to check with the church administrator to find out what details are stored for them on the admin system, and then use that info when signing in/creating an account on the app.
Regularly check your database for duplicates, and if you find one, remove it. We have written this dedicated help file on how to manage duplicates.
Populating your database using the app
If you are setting up a new GoDoChurch database one of the first things you will want to do is populate your database with a profile for each church member. Rather than adding this info manually (or importing it), you could have your members add themselves to your database using the mobile app. Here is how it works:
Tell your congregation to download the app, and click the Signup button. The app will then prompt them to create a GoDoChurch account.
Once they have done that, they need to search for your church, and sign in.
As soon as they do that they will be added to your church database.
Users can then populate their profile in the app, and all this info will sync with your database.
TIP: Ask your members to add a profile picture. This gives you a quick visual of who still needs to update their profile via the app.
Q: When searching for our church on the app why can’t we see our church on the list?
A: There are two possible reasons: 1) you have not yet activated the app on your admin system, 2) they have not clicked on View all churches.
Q: When trying to create an account via the app it says “This email address is already in use”. Why?
A: This is probably because the user has already created a GoDoChurch account using that email address. They should try signing in using that email address, and if they have forgotten their password they can use the password recovery link which is displayed on the login screen.
Q: Why do some members already have accounts but others do not?
A: There is a difference between a profile and an account. A profile is created in the admin system and is simply a record of a member's info. An account allows users to sign in to the admin system or the app. A profile need not have an account associated with it, but all accounts are linked to a profile.
Accounts are created in two ways: either an administrator sets up an account for a profile via the admin system (giving that person access to the admin system), or a person creates an account via the app. If someone tries to sign into the app and finds they already have an account set up for them, it means the administrator (or someone with the correct permission level) has already created an account for them via the admin system in order to give them access to the admin system. You can find more about accounts and profiles here.
Q: Can anyone sign into our church via the app?
A: Yes. We have done this deliberately. We wanted to make it as easy as possible for your congregation and visitors to sign into your app. We could have placed restrictions on signing in (using special codes, etc.), but this would have added an extra layer of complexity. It is important that you understand that when a person signs into your church and they are not yet part of your church database, they will automatically be added to your database. They are added with a Public permission level, meaning they can only edit their own account and view the info that you have made public on the admin system. This is like someone walking up to your church's digital info desk.
Remember you can always remove them from your database if they signed up unwanted.
Q: Can we still use GoDoChurch if we don’t use the app?
A: Absolutely. The system works perfectly without the app; but the app will greatly improve communication, discipleship, and all sorts of admin processes in your church.
Q: Do we need everyone to use the app for it to work?
A: Not really. But the more people who use it the better. The goal is to make it part of your church culture. Start with your leaders.
We are working hard to make GoDoChurch the best app it can be, and we would really appreciate any feedback you have for us.
Please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org with your thoughts!