This past weekend on 20-21 May, the Secretariat and Treasury departments at the British Union Conference (BUC) collaborated in an exciting training event at Kents Hill Park Conference Centre near Milton Keynes. The event brought together 60 treasurers and church clerks from various local churches across the South England Conference, North England Conference, Irish, Scottish and Welsh Missions.
The event aimed to introduce the participants to the seamless integration of the new 7me app and Treasury feature of the Adventist Church Management System (ACMS). As a membership management software, ACMS is now used in 10 of the 13 world Divisions, covering over 15 million members. The BUC has been using ACMS since 2017. The 7me app has already been used for several years by over 300,000 people across more than 15 countries. Developed by experts at the Institute of Adventist Technology (IATec) in the South American Division, the app is designed to support financial management within local churches and provide community to church members using the app. Attendees were blessed to be trained by Tiago Moises and Flavio Zanella from the IATec team.
The app's highlight is its potential to promote cashless donations (long-awaited in the UK and Ireland!), allow for easier reporting and auditing of church accounts, manage membership transfers and facilitate sharing vital resources with just a few taps on a screen.
When it comes to church members, the app is highly user-friendly and intuitive, intending to eventually be a central point for helpful resources such as Sabbath School lessons, BUC news and other Adventist literature at the touch of a button. It will also allow members to interact with other members and view their personal giving history without having to go through the lengthy process of requesting it from treasurers or rummaging through paper receipts while adhering to the highest privacy protocols. These are just some of the app's powerful features.
The introduction of the 7me app is currently in its testing phase, with just the churches represented at the training using the app to gauge its effectiveness. This trial period allows for feedback and fine-tuning before it is rolled out to all churches later this year. While the ACMS reporting side of the app is only available to the churches at the training, the 7me app is available to download and use immediately by the North England Conference, Irish Mission, Scottish Mission and Welsh Mission members.
The South England Conference is keen to present its members with the app once the initial testing phase has been refined.
Ann Swaby, SEC Treasurer, reported:
"Two of the South England Conference churches have already been trialling 7me. The feedback is that tithe is already increasing through the accessibility of the 7me app. 80% of the membership of one of the churches is already using the app. The potential benefits of using 7me are invaluable. It will help the organisation to realise one of its key strategic financial goals in terms of annual accounts consolidation in the future."
The app has created a positive buzz among the trainees, who are optimistic about the future impact of the app as well as its ability to resonate with younger generations who are au fait with other similar digital platforms.
Lynn Retallick from the Scottish Mission said:
"Great to have the team of treasurers together here. 7me is bringing us into the 21st Century. It's the start of the journey for treasurers and members. I hope our members will embrace the use of the 7me app."
Cameron & Crystal Knight from the Welsh Mission expressed:
"We have already seen the advantages for church clerks. For treasurers, it provides a familiar interface. It is new, with a large variety of training information. While there will be some teething issues, having the General Conference and South America Division 7me specialists training us and answering questions is good. This new system will transform how the youth and members, who enjoy using apps, give their tithes and offering."
As the training event drew to a close, Wederly Aguiar, BUC Treasurer, summarised the enthusiasm and eagerness expressed by the rest of the attendees by concluding:
"What an incredible opportunity for everybody to discover the extraordinary potential of the 7me app for a deeper, more open and more transparent connection with our Church community."
In conclusion, the training proved to be instrumental in launching this much-needed technology that will revolutionise and streamline the Church's financial and management capabilities. We will provide further information on the implementation progress, so watch this space!