Parishes have been registering people the same way since, well, forever.
But the people over at Aggie Catholic have stumbled on a 21st century solution to a 1st century problem: how to keep track of everyone.
Take a look:
As is the case with every church/parish, we all try to have those who attend church with us register as parishioners. Most parishes will put out cards and some even have on-line registration. Many people don’t register, because they don’t want to go through the trouble. This is especially true of college students who have never registered growing up, because their parents did it. Additionally, we have a problem that is much bigger than most parishes registration problems. We have hundereds of students coming and going throughout the year. So, keeping track of their data is very difficult, esp. when it changes. Our registration has never gone well. So, we decided to wipe the board clean and start over.
We told everyone (last weekend) to bring their phones to mass this weekend, but we didn’t tell them why. The intrigue is half the fun. After the homily, the priests have everyone pull out their phones and turn them on – the first time a priest has ever done this, to be sure. The priests then talk about how everyone at Mass is joined together in the Universal Chursh as well as in this parish, and we want to know who they are so that we can serve them better. Furthermore, everyone is invited to register with us by texting us their names, email, and phone #. We then download their information into a database. Later this week Fr. David will send them an email and ask them to go to our website to finish the registration process (check out our newly designed page). If they didn’t have a cell phone we have them register the “old-fashioned” way with pen and paper.
Check out more at the link. They may be on to something.