River Oaks Community Church

River Oaks Community Church

How the launch of three Armodilo Floor kiosks gave River Oaks Community Church a friendly, secure, visible and long-lasting children’s check-in solution.

The responsible incorporation of technology

Goshen, IN - Hosting over 1,200 community members every Sunday and growing steadily, River Oaks Community church attributes its success to its responsible incorporation of technology. In recent years, River Oaks has updated its operations steadily, from improved member databases, to new computers, professional lighting, and IMAX screens in the sanctuary to make sure that nobody feels left out. These changes are driven by the Church’s key value of stewardship – investing only in long-lasting, innovative, and relevant infrastructure projects to help fulfill their mission.

One of the key factors of the growth of the River Oaks Community Church has been its focus on children’s ministries. From the KidsWorld care and learning center to the Ignite alternate Sunday Morning Worship program for middle-school and high school students, River Oaks takes special care to foster faith and compassion in all of its members.

Growth can lead to logistics problems

With all these changes in technology helping River Oaks grow as a community leader, there have also been parts of the experience that have needed improvement. “One of the things that we started to realize, and especially as we grow,” said Tim Blaum, Technology Director, “is where our children’s ministry is. We were finding that it’s very congested, and that congestion then led to longer wait times, and it can get you even more bogged down the more visitors that come and need to fill out paperwork, so that's all slowing the process down. That's a good problem to have, but oftentimes then that ends up resulting in people being late into the service because they were still waiting in line.”

With so much growth and increasing engagement, the old system of checking in to the Children’s ministry with the help of volunteers was making it difficult even for regular attendees to make it to the service on time. After a great deal of brainstorming about how to relieve the congestion and which guests would find their solution most appealing, Blaum made a key decision to help the volunteers. “We started by saying that we are really going to target our volunteers who were serving that morning who had kids,” Blaum said, “we want to get them checked-in as fast as possible, so that they could get to their areas and serve.”

Technology, when implemented properly can alleviate many bottlenecks

Blaum soon realized that many of the congestion problems at the Children’s Center were affecting younger parents who are comfortable with technology. “A kind of person who probably feels a little bit more self-sustained, and doesn't necessarily need to rely on a volunteer to help them get through that process,” said Blaum, “they’re going to know their way around an iPad, and they're going to be able to hit the right buttons, and get to what they need quickly, and move along.”

After realizing that tablets would provide an effective and elegant check-in solution for tech-savvy parents, Blaum decided to work with an iPad-powered kiosk solution for check in, including two Armodilo Floor tablet kiosks for his check-in kiosks, with modifications to include a barcode reader and an acrylic shelf for a label printer to keep parents comfortable in their children’s security.

“I definitely did look at some other things,” said Blaum “but I think once I got to Armodilo, I didn't look at anything else that closely. I didn't want to see the power cable on the outside of the device or the stand. I wanted something with cable management built in. I wanted something that was going to give me the flexibility to mount either portrait or landscape. Ultimately, I think one of the reasons why I did go with Armodilo was because of the shelf component that was available.” 

Check in stations for every classroom

Thanks to Armodilo, Blaum is confident that the check-in system has been improved, and it’s been just as important that the check-in space retains a personal touch, with volunteers at hand to help new guests and answer questions. Blaum is happy to report that the lines are much shorter and that many families are going straight to the Armodilo kiosks to sign in.  The physical limitations of the space, however, mean that the congestion hasn’t been removed entirely. “I would be pretty surprised if we don't add more in the future,” said Blaum, “we have ten classrooms that kids are check in to, and there’s a possibility of putting a check-in station at every classroom.”

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