Church Membership Process

Membership Profile Automation

TouchPoint has a simple automated system to help you manage your church membership process. This is a real time-saver and keeps you from forgetting a step in the process.

The business rules for the automation are built around the following 2 requirements:

  • New Member Class attendance - Required for all decision types.
  • Baptism - Required by those making a POF or Statement Requiring Baptism.

The appropriate statuses are set based on which Decision Type you select. These Members Statuses and Decision Types are described below.

Click here to see section below regarding the New Member Class.

Steps in a Nutshell

After each step save your changes and let the system handle any changes to Member Status, Join Type (how joined), and so forth.

Step 1
Select Decision Type and Decision Date
Step 2
Schedule Baptism if required
Step 3
Record Baptism Completed
Step 4
Record New Member Class Attended

See below for more information about what happens at each of these steps

Videos

We have a series of very short videos that show you how the automated process works and how to record a membership decision, schedule a baptism, record a completed baptism, record a New Member Class attended, and more.

Click below to start viewing the Membership playlist. Or you can view them individually in the sections below.

User Roles re Membership

Edit Member Tab
To record any membership changes on the Member Profile and to upload (or delete) Membership Documents, a user must have the role Membership.
View Membership Documents

To view Membership Documents attached to a record, assign the role MemberDocs (without Membership role) and that user can view, but not upload or delete, the documents. Nor can he edit anything on the Member Profile tab.

Member Status and Decision Types

Member Status

TouchPoint has very basic Member Statuses.

  • Not Member
  • Member
  • Pending Member
  • Previous Member

These status are automatically set based on the start of and completion of the membership process or when the person is dropped from membership. Simply record the person’s Decision Type first and the system sets the appropriate Member Status and Join Type (at the completion of the requirements).

We recommend that you keep the Member Statuses solely relating to the person’s membership and not add more statues based on attendance or family makeup. These have to be maintained manually. TouchPoint uses Search Builder and Status Flags to identify people based on their current status without having to use Member Status to do so.

Just Added Status

This is a pseudo Member Status assigned to all new records, and it is designed to be temporary. The New People Manager will change Just Added to Not Member after vetting the new record.

Decision Types

These are the dropdown selections representing how a person is joining your church. When recording a Decision, select the appropriate Decision Type and a date. When you save the changes the business rules will set the appropriate statuses. This is always the first item you select when someone joins your church.

These are the standard types. See below for the triggers associated with each Decision Type.

  • POF (profession of faith) for Membership
  • POF not for Membership
  • Letter
  • Statement (having been baptized)
  • Statement Requiring Baptism

Record a Decision

Step 1
Go to the Profile > Member tab on the person’s record, and select the Decision type from the list in the dropdown menu.
Step 2
Select the Decision Date. This would be the date the person speaks with a counselor/pastor and completes a Decision Information Form.
Step 3
Press Save Changes

Tip

If you want to record the person’s previous church at this time you will do so on that tab. This is also a good time to set the person’s Statement and Envelope Options.

See note below regarding Statements and Envelopes

Decision Type Triggers

Here are the definitions of the Decision Types and what happens when you select that type.

POF for Membership Decision Type

Joining the church by Profession of Faith and requires Baptism and New Member Class Attendance.

  • Member Status changes to Pending Member
  • Baptism Type changes to Original or Biological
  • Baptism Status changes to Not Specified
  • New Member Class Status changes to Pending
  • How Joined remains Unknown
  • After completion of the requirements - Member Status becomes Member - How Joined becomes POF by Baptism - Join Date is the date the last requirement was completed.

See also

Membership - Misc Notes for definition of Biological

Click below to view the video “Record a Profession of Faith for Membership Decision”

POF not for Membership Decision Type

Profession of Faith, but not joining the church. This Decision Type requires only Baptism.

  • Baptism Type changes to Non-Member
  • Baptism Status remains Not Specified
  • Member Status remains Not Member
  • New Member Class Status remains Not Specified
  • How Joined remains Unknown even after the person is baptized
  • After completion of the requirement - Baptism Status changes to Completed and there are no other changes

Click below to view the video “Record a Profession of Faith Not for Membership Decision

Letter Decision Type

Joining from a church of the same denomination. This assumes that the previous church will verify the person’s membership with a letter and requires only the New Member Class.

  • Member Status changes to Pending Member
  • New Member Class Status changes to Pending
  • Baptism Type remains Not Specified
  • Baptism Status remains Not Specified
  • How Joined remains Unknown
  • After completion of the requirements - Member Status becomes Member - How Joined becomes Letter - Join Date is the date they attend the New Member Class

Click below to view the video “Record Letter Decision and New Member Class”

Click below to view the video “Track Letter Requests to Previous Churches”

Statement Decision Type

Joining from a church of a different denomination, having had believer’s baptism requires only the New Member Class.

  • Member Status changes to Pending Member
  • New Member Class Status changes to Pending
  • Baptism Type remains Not Specified
  • Baptism Status remains Not Specified
  • Join Type remains Unknown
  • After completion of the requirements - Member Status becomes Member - How Joined becomes Statement - Join Date is the date they attend the New Member Class

Click below to view the video “Record Statement Decision and New Member Class Attendance”

Statement Requiring Baptism Decision Type

Joining from a church of a different denomination, and never having had believer’s baptism requires both Baptism and New Member Class.

  • Member Status changes to Pending Member
  • Baptism Type changes to Required
  • Baptism Status changes to Not Scheduled
  • New Member Class Status changes to Pending
  • Join Type remains Unknown
  • After completion of the requirements - Member Status becomes Member - How Joined becomes Baptism SRB - Join Date is the date the last requirement was completed.

Click below to view the video “Record Statement Requiring Baptism”

Cancelled
This Decision Type is used if you have already posted a decision and the person requests that you cancel it. Select Cancelled as the Decision Type, and enter the Decision Date. This will remove all the Pending statuses.
Unknown
You should only use this if you know a person is a Member, but do not know how they joined. You will need to manually set all the other settings.

Completing the Membership Process

After you have recorded the Decision, the next step is to schedule and mark complete any requirements - Baptism and/or New Member Class. Once these requirements have been recorded as completed, the system will make the appropriate changes to the person’s Member Status, Join Type and Join Date. See below for how to Schedule and Complete Baptisms and New Member Class.

For most of these processes, you will use Search Builder to find those that fit each category - that is, those who need their baptism scheduled, those that need to attend the new member class - so you can communicate with them regarding the next step in their membership process.

Tip

Set the Welcome Header toggle to open person in new tab and you can work directly from your search and move easily from the search results to an individual and back to the search to move to the next person without losing your search. When following the instructions below, just click the first person in the search results list, make the changes on his record, return to the tab with your search and select the next person.

See also

Welcome Header

Baptism - Scheduled, Completed

Find those Needing Baptism Scheduled

Use the following search Conditions:

  • Member Status Equals Pending Member
  • Baptism Type One Of POF for Membership, POF Not for Membership, Statement Requiring Baptism
  • Baptism Status Not One Of Scheduled, Completed, or Cancelled

Using the search results send an email or make a phone call to find out when the person want to schedule his baptism. Then follow the instructions below to record that his baptism is scheduled.

Record Baptism as Scheduled

See the Toggle Tip above.

  • Click Edit on the person’s Profile > Member tab.
  • Change the Baptism Status to Scheduled.
  • Select the Scheduled Date
  • Click Save Changes.
  • This does not trigger any other changes on the Member tab.

Caution

Be sure to select the Scheduled Date and not the other Date Field. The other date is to be used for the date they are actually baptized.

Click below to view the video “Record Scheduled Baptism”

Find those that Were Baptized
You will need to get a report from whoever handles the actual baptisms in order to know who to mark as Completed. So, for this process, you will work from an outside document or list.
Record a Completed Baptism
  • Click Edit on the person’s Profile > Member tab.
  • Change the Baptism Status to Completed.
  • Select the Date the person was actually baptized.
  • Remove the Scheduled date. You no longer need this once they have been baptized. However, if you prefer to leave the scheduled date you can.
  • Click Save Changes.

Click below to view the video “Record Completed Baptism”

New Member Class

See note below regarding New Member Class and Requirements.

Find those Needing to Attend the Class

We recommend that you create an organization for your New Member Class so that you can invite people to the class and to record attendance.

Use the following search to find those to invite to the New Member Class.

  • Member Status Equals Pending Member
  • New Member Class Status Not Equal Attended

The search will find those that are Pending Members and whose New Member Class Status is not Attended. This will keep from including those that have Admin Approval, Grandfathered, or Exempted Child. Those are statuses that, when selected, will function the same as Attended.

From the Search Builder results, just send an email with an RSVP Link inviting them to attend the upcoming class. If you have multiple classes scheduled you can include multiple RSVP Links and the person can choose the one they want to attend.

Note

If you want, you can record the date they expect to attend the class in the New Member Class Date field on the person’s Member tab, just be sure to leave the Status as Pending. After people have responded to the RSVP you can use Convert to Search > Registered Attending from the meeting. Then you can add the future date to each person’s record.

Find those that Attended the New Member Class

We recommend that you create an organization for your New Member Class and record attendance. If you have multiple classes that are required, find those that have attended the last one in the series and record them as Attended at that point.

Instead of using a saved search to find those that attended, you can do the following:

  • Go to the meeting for the most recent class.
  • Select the gear on the blue Toolbar and then select Convert to Search > Attendees.
Record Attendees of New Member Class

See the Toggle Tip above.

  • Click Edit on the person’s Profile > Member tab.
  • Change the New Member Class Status to Attended.
  • Select the Date of the class.
  • Click Save Changes.

Click below to view the video “Record New Member Class Attended”

Click the video below to see how to find those that attended and record attendance when you have multiple attendees.

Business Rule Options

Turn Off Rules

If you choose to turn off the business rules, your System Admin will set UseMemberProfileAutomation to false in the Settings.

Deceased Rules

If you do not use the full Membership Automation, you can use the automated process as it relates to marking someone deceased. Using this part of the automation you only need to record a Deceased Date and a number of other fields change automatically and the person’s enrollments are dropped. See the article below for how to use this portion of the automation process.

New Member Class(es) Required or Not Required

Not Required
If you do not have a required New Member Class at your church you can set the New Member Class Status to Admin Approval or Exempt at the time you record the person’s Decision. Each of those settings has the same effect as having recorded them as Attended.
Multiple Required Classes
If your church has multiple New Member Classes and all are required, just recorded them as Attended on the Member tab after they attended the last class. You will track each class by using an organization and recording attendance, but you may also want to track them (and make that information more visible) by using a Checkboxes type of Standard Extra Value. When someone completes one of the classes you select that checkbox in the Extra Value. You can also create a Status Flag search for each of those and add them as badges on the person’s record.

Statement and Envelope Options

Every record will by default will have both of these set as Not Specified. These are on both the Profile > Member Tab as well as on the Giving > Statements tab. These items can be edited by either the person with Membership role, Finance role, or by the person himself, if he has at least a My Data account.

While these are not specifically membership decisions, they are typically settings for church members. That is why, when you record a Decision is a great time to set these options. Some churches mail envelope sets to church members, or give them boxed sets, so that is why these options are included with the membership process.

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