RemindCare is a new church mobile app on the market for pastors and ministry leaders. We recently sat down with Senior Pastor Wayne Alloway of St. Mark’s United Methodist Church, who was instrumental in the creation of RemindCare, to find out what went into the founding of this helpful ministry app.
1-Who came up with the idea for RemindCare and how does it work?
I sat in my office on a cold, rainy March morning physically, mentally and emotionally exhausted. As I sat there my mood and general sense of wellbeing were starting to match the weather. I’d just finished working on a funeral sermon – my sixth in four weeks – and, according to my “to do” list, I needed to call on a church member who had just been admitted to hospice, which meant I would be adding at least one more funeral sermon to my already overbooked schedule.
I was in the middle of a building fund campaign, teaching a Lenten Bible study and preparing an upcoming sermon series – all while calling on church members, meeting with various committees, and dealing with the phone calls, emails, appointments and interruptions that are part of a pastor’s daily life. Bottom line: I was overwhelmed and, despite my best intentions, I was dropping the ball.
I did a pretty good job of keeping up with my sermons and studies and committee meetings (by necessity), but the pastoral care needs of many of my church members were going unmet. I realized that I’d failed to make follow up contacts with the widows, widowers, and families who had lost loved ones in the previous weeks. In light of the numerous studies by church consultants that note one of the main reasons people leave their church is because they feel unloved, unappreciated and neglected, I realized the “back door” of my church was wide open, and I needed to find a way to close it.
This is how RemindCare was born. I searched for hours, scanning the internet for a solution created to help pastors remember the major events in their congregations’ lives. Nothing. No one had created the software I needed to be a more effective pastor. That’s when I realized if I wanted a solution, I would have to help create it. So I found a local company to create a product that helps me make sure that no one falls through the cracks.
RemindCare is a mobile-friendly web app that a pastor will upload their database into. The pastors can then create life events (funerals, birthdays, hospital visits, etc.) that will set up a series of reminders designed to help you connect with the individual at key moments.
2-What are some of the features of RemindCare and how will these features make life easier for pastors and ministry leaders?
I’ve been using RemindCare for several months now and, I’ve got it say, it’s made a world of difference in both my personal and professional life. My stress level has been reduced in direct proportion to the increase in my efficacy as a pastor and, best of all, the needs of my church and its members are far better met and managed. No one is falling through the proverbial cracks, and the “back door” of my church is rapidly closing.
Here are a couple of my favorite features:
A Mobile Database: I cannot overstate how important it is to be able to access my database directly from my phone. Whether I’m just leaving a meeting and I need to follow up with someone across town, or I’ve just heard about an emergency, having my church database in my pocket allows to reach out immediately.
The Easy Interface: Once I choose an event to follow up with, an interface pops up that allows me to call, text, email, or pull up directions to their home. I can follow up with someone almost instantaneously. This small feature has changed the way I do ministry.
The Reminders: This is the main functionality of the app and it works well. A rolling schedule of reminders are custom created whenever you assign an event to an individual. This allows you to reach out to them when they’ll need pastoral care most. This takes the pressure off of your planner and will remove the fear of missing those vital connection points that make sure your congregation feels cared for.
Also, I think this tool can be uniquely helpful for someone just entering the ministry. When you first step foot in the door of a church as a pastor. It’s intimidating. You have a lot to learn and a lot of expectations to live up to. The congregation you’re taking over had a relationship with whoever stepped down before you and you need to be able to show this body of believers that you care about them sooner rather than later.
With RemindCare, you’ll have all of their information on your phone already and you can start building life events around them immediately. It will remind you when their birthdays and anniversaries are. It will help you follow up and offer care and comfort within your first months. This tool, when used well, can be invaluable to you.
3- How will this web app work in tandem with a church’s management software solution?
While I believe that RemindCare is a capable stand-alone product. The process for getting your church’s database uploaded is quick and easy, allowing you to start using RemindCare right away.
The team is also looking to some of the bigger church management software products to see what it would take to become a value add down the road.
4-Who is using RemindCare so far and what are some of the benefits they are experiencing?
There are several pastors currently on RemindCare. Here’s what they’re saying:
- Overall I love the website – it represents a gap in ministry connections that I think will serve you and those using it well.
- The email function is nice that the text has already been populated. That is a great selling point.
- The phone call function is great. Where I just click on call and it does it.
We’ve discovered that once you make a habit of using RemindCare to keep track of your pastoral care, their potential for ministry is magnified. Instead of spending time tracking down calendars, sticky notes and directories, it’s all there in one interface. You have more time to reach out to more people and you can do it wherever you are.
5-What is the cost to churches and why is this a good investment?
I personally believe that at $5.99/month RemindCare is an incredible value. And if your church has multiple pastors on staff, it’s just $2.99 a month for each additional user.
So if you’re interested in “closing the back door” to your church or just want to improve your pastoral care to make sure no one falls through the cracks, RemindCare is an incredibly affordable solution.
If your church and pastoral staff thinks it might benefit from being able to connect with members and better facilitate pastoral care using a mobile app, it might be time to check out RemindCare.