Customer Spotlight: Bent Tree Bible Fellowship
Customer Spotlight: Bent Tree Bible Fellowship
Meet Jason Johnston
Jason has been on staff with Bent Tree Bible Fellowship since 2015 and was hired on right around the time that the church made the switch to MinistryPlatform for their Church Management System.
When he isn’t managing the mega-church’s database, he passionately serves in the Student Ministry and has led Student Mission Trips every year since 2012.
Last year, Jason won the SPoC of the Year Award at MPUG. With MPUG 2018 coming up, we thought we’d check in with our award-winning SPoC and see how he has put MinistryPlatform to use at Bent Tree Bible.
MP: What features of MinistryPlatform has Bent Tree Bible used the most?
Jason: We created our own custom Portal that really changed the way we do church. People can log in and see their donations, find a volunteer opportunity, or find a group easily.
The first year I had to send out donor statements, I literally had two cases of documents to mail out. We have a lot of outside donors because of the way we do missions. We do a lot of mission trips and we have to send out a contribution statement if a donor gives a dollar or more. Now, we can email a lot of it. We still have to mail out quite a few statements, but it is nowhere near the number it was, and we want to keep reducing that number. The Portal has been huge in that aspect.
MP: Missions is a big focus for Bent Tree Bible. How many mission trips are you guys doing each year?
Jason: Bent Tree is a very mission-minded church. We’re funding projects throughout the world. This year alone, we’re sending twenty-two student mission trips. Those will all be over the summer. We will also send out about a dozen adult trips that are a little smaller and more intimate. On top of that, we send funding to over two hundred missionaries around the world.
A lot of our missionaries are in closed countries, so we can’t list them on the website for safety reasons. But if you look at our website, we list about 60% of the missionaries we support around the globe. For those missionaries, we ask that our congregation give to our Faith Promise Fund which we then distribute.
MP: And people can give to the Short-Term Mission Trips right from the Portal?
Jason: Right. A lot of our donors don’t even attend church at Bent Tree, so they can give straight from the website using the MinistryPlatform Portal.
MP: So, you manage the database. What do you like about MinistryPlatform from that perspective?
Jason: The great thing about MinistryPlatform is that it allows us to keep really clean data. With our old ChMS system, we had literally thousands of duplicate contacts. There just wasn’t a good way to find that stuff and weed it out.
MinistryPlatform has a duplicate finder that finds all the duplicates, and every entry is reviewed by humans (also known as… me). You would think that would take a long time, but I spend about five minutes each morning looking over the new entries and that helps us maintain a clean database. Do duplicates get entered into MinistryPlatform? Sure – daily. Do they get cleaned up and merged? Sure – daily.
With our old database, we had one person who did all the data entries manually. I don’t have to do that; I just review the information that the rest of the staff and volunteers key in. With the old system there was no real way to see if a name had already been entered. If the contact information had a typo, it would register as a new entry. The old ChMS system couldn’t find that.
And it took forever to pull the correct data. So, for example, say I want to know how many students came to church last year. With our old system it could take days to get the data we needed from a report.
Jason: Sure. It’s because of how it was structured. With MinistryPlatform, I can pull the same data in about five minutes. It shows you the data you’re looking for really quickly.
With MinistryPlatform, I can pull the same data in about five minutes."
That data is important because it shows us how our ministries are growing, or if they aren’t growing, we can look into why that is. MinistryPlatform allows us to get the data we need.
MP: Are you coming to MPUG this year at Harvest Church in California?
Jason: Definitely! We will be there.
Bent Tree Bible Fellowship will be hosting Dallas' MinistryPlatform on the Move event in April. Whether we've been partnering with your church for years, or you are just looking to kick the tires, we invite you to come and learn more about MinistryPlatform, hang out, and enjoy lunch with our enthusiastic community.
Click the image below to register and select your lunch options.