So, if you use Fellowship One, you know that there were significant issues with Check In today. Even if you don’t use F1, you might have seen the traffic on twitter about the issues. I know that for some churches, the slow-down was crippling. Most of the morning, I was watching the twitter stream and saw all kinds of tweets. Most were encouraging, some were certainly frustrated. I thought that it was interesting that today happened the way that it did because I’m in the process of finalizing my outline for a workshop I’m leading at the Kidmin Conference in Chicago and the subject of the workshop ties into what happened today.

Here at Gateway, check in was as fast as it always is… maybe even faster. It actually didn’t really matter than Fellowship One was down because we had a backup plan. About 2 years ago we bought those over-priced church nursery, two-part stickers to use in the event of an internet outage or issues on F1’s end. In the three years I’ve been at Gateway, this is the first time we’ve not been able to use electronic check-in. Being that this was the first, everything went pretty flawless? Why, because many years ago we put a system in place to anticipate what would happen with a check-in failure and today we put the system in process.

I’m sure there are people who are really upset with Fellowship One right now. I bet they’ve already gotten some mean-spirited phone calls and even a dirty email or two.

Was Fellowship One at fault? For not being able to provide electronic check-in… absolutely!

Were they at fault for churches having a bad check-in experience today? Absolutely not! I’m pretty sure that in documentation and training, they clearly communicate how important it is to have a back-up plan. If churches had a horrible check-in experience because there was no back-up plan or the back-up plan was poorly designed, that’s no one’s fault but the leadership over that church’s check-in.

This is the beauty of systems. Anticipate what is or is likely to happen and put a plan in place. When you become aware of the systems your organization needs, ministry becomes more efficient, effective and immune to road bumps like F1 users experienced today.