Late last year we announced that we had started a ground-up redesign of Church Social. In addition to a brand new look for the app, we promised some exciting new features including a powerful new report builder, a new groups feature, improved document and sermon archives, a new bulletin board and more. We are thrilled with how this is all coming together. And while we don't have an official launch date set, the plan is to release it before the summer is out!
This redesign has been a great exercise for us. It's pushed us to take a step back and ask some tough questions. For example, in what areas could Church Social be serving congregations better? One area we discovered that needed some attention was the emailer. While this is easily our most popular feature, it has some problems. Members can easily get email message overload, especially in larger congregations. There is also no way to have group discussions. Messages are very much one-way only. Further, if email delivery ever fails (which it does from time to time), those messages are lost forever. We wanted to do better!
In the new Church Social the emailer has been renamed to "messages". All messages will be saved within the app, meaning members experiencing issues with email delivery can always find a copy by logging into Church Social. From within the app members can also reply to group messages, making discussions within committees or clubs super simple. And most importantly, members can reduce the amount of messages they receive by subscribing only the groups that interest them. In fact, members can completely disable email notifications and still read all their messages within the app. There is even a daily digest email, summarizing all unread messages from that day.
We've always been extremely hesitant about introducing yet another messaging app to our users. For this reason the new messages feature will continue to work great via email. This is especially important for those members who enjoy receiving email communications but don't log into the app frequently.