Chat’s up!

Translations: Deutsch (Deutschland)

The work situation has changed considerably in recent months. This applies to both companies and churches. More and more communication is taking place via digital channels and even if church services may be held as usual again, the challenge remains to stay in touch with both full-time and volunteer staff.

To make this possible we have developed the ChurchTools Chat!
This makes group communication easier, church service staff (events) can react faster to changes and in all other cases a familiar personal chat is available.

Where do we come from?

The last few years have been very exciting for us and our customers. But one idea kept coming up: “A chat in ChurchTools, that would be great!” This suggestion is understandable, because after all the people involved are already stored in ChurchTools, everyone uses the tool to decline or accept services and to organize their daily church life. Furthermore, data protection has become more and more important in recent years. This has gone so far that churches (associations) have completely banned individual apps such as WhatsApp or Dropbox.

Whenever ChurchTools offers a chat, it must be closely integrated with ChurchTools.

Out of this need to find a simple and at the same time data protection-compliant alternative, the wish was brought to us again and again. But such a chat is not simply installed and ready. It requires some preparation and security measures. Besides we did not want to accept “only” programming a chat. Whenever ChurchTools offers a chat, it must be closely integrated with ChurchTools. That is how we started our work.

In February 2020 we were able to show a first demo of how the chat is developing at the Willow Creek Leaders Congress 2020 in Karlsruhe. At that time there were still many open issues, but many customers who visited us at our booth were very impressed. And then just that congress was cancelled. Corona made us shift our priorities and within a few weeks we threw everything into the ring again to help churches.

Almost 400 people (representing their churches) have so far signed up as beta testers for the chat and have given us valuable feedback. This has motivated us enormously and helped us to make the chat more stable. We thank all beta testers who helped us! Without you the chat would not be so far now!

We thank all beta testers who helped us!

Making communication easier

The chat can now be used by any church that uses ChurchTools. To do so, it only needs to be activated in the admin settings. After that you can start chatting in the app immediately. Three chat types are offered: Person chats, group chats and event chats.

Person Chat

Those who know other chat apps will immediately feel at home here. You can open a chat with any person you can find via the app and who has installed the app him or herself. If they don’t have the app installed yet, you can invite them and let them know that you want to chat with them in the ChurchTools chat.

Group Chat

Church work does not take place alone. We are organized in groups and this is reflected in ChurchTools. In other words, the groups are already there and from now on every ChurchTools group can open its own chat. The advantage is obvious: Whoever is in the group is also in the chat. If new participants join or leave the group, they will automatically join or leave the chat.

Event Chat

Events and church services are an important pillar of church work. This is also reflected in the chat. Because every event can be a chat group of its own.

All those on duty are thus in an event chat and arrangements for the coming Sunday are easily done.

ChurchTools chat users will no longer have to maintain annoying chat groups by keeping each group individually up to date. No more tiresome asking who now has the phone number so you can add Max to the group. Everything happens conveniently through ChurchTools.

Because the leader can easily manage and start the chat group himself/herself in the app or via the web. So it is up to everyone to start a chat for their own connect or small group without asking the administrator first.

With the new chat we offer a simple solution to get in contact and to strengthen the inner-church communication without having to ignore security and privacy issues. Because all information is hosted on German servers, as usual with ChurchTools!

We are very happy that the chat is now live for everyone. This is an important milestone for ChurchTools and for the digital church!