Deacon Jerry Crall
Q: What are some of the obstacles you face in evangelizing and forming disciples?
We had become an Alpha Hub church and had run several Alphas. We were just beginning to concentrate on identifying post-Alpha activities to encourage Alpha alumni to get involved in when the pandemic hit. With our campus closed such activities were no longer available.
Up to that point, we had been using Mission Pathways’ Mission Suite to handle the administration of our Alpha courses – from registration, attendance, and event management to coordinating with volunteers and tracking participants. We now had a data repository with the history of current and past experiences of all our Alpha alumni. This data source allowed us to maintain contact with alumni to transition from in-person to online Alphas.
Q: What features of Mission Pathways’ software are the most beneficial to you?
With Mission Suite, once someone has registered for any activity with the parish, they are in the database. Now we not only have the basic information about the individual but also the faith journey of all current and past activities. For each activity, the database records the role played in each activity.
From an Alpha perspective, we can see involvement in multiple Alphas along with data showing increasing levels of involvement. The first Alpha they were a guest. The second Alpha they served as a helper on the team. They were then a Table Host for their next Alpha.
With the Mission Suite, we can track a person’s involvement in the life of the parish over time.
Q: What are you most excited about with the Mission Suite?
We are hoping to expand our use of Mission Suite to all ministries in the parish and not just Alpha. We are also looking to integrate Mission Suite with our parish database. This will allow Mission Suite to identify who is currently involved, who has been involved and is no longer involved, and who has never been involved.
If you are looking for someone with a particular skill set for a ministerial purpose, again, that information is tracked in the Mission Suite. The database provides a single source to query and see what is happening with people in the parish.
Q: What advantages does Mission Suite have over how you did things before?
From my perspective, when we claim Alpha is enabling our parish to grow in terms of missionary discipleship, what information do we have to assess whether we are successful at doing that or not? Mission Suite allows the identification of parish strategies and linking of activities to those strategies. Parish database systems typically track who is registered and what do parishioners financially contribute. Such data does not answer the question of whether strategic parish goals are being met. Mission Suite is capturing the necessary data to determine what parish activities are contributing to the achievement of parish goals. This allows for the management of limited parish resources in the most successful manner for achieving desired results.
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