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The 'Give' function of The Bridge App records giving by household, and within that household by date and cause.  This information is confidential, and only accessible to the individual who has been authorized as the 'treasurer'.  I suspect that most if not all church management systems (as per Bob's comment above) would offer similar information, but only accessible to those in a treasurer role.  A treasurer could report to Council regarding any trends, while keeping specific information confidential.

Through CRCNA Canadian Ministries and The Bridge App, we have worked closely with 100+ churches.  One common piece of feedback is that churches need solutions that fit within their staff and volunteer capacity.  The solution for a large church with multiple staff is quite different than that of a medium sized church with limited staff, which is very different from a church with part-time administrative staff or a church that largely relies on volunteers.  So whatever solution you consider, be sure to get input from those who will be responsible for making things happen on a regular basis (office admin, treasurer, bookkeeper - whether they are staff or volunteers).  Look for the 'right size' solution.  Don't opt for something you will soon out-grow, nor become bogged down or burn people out with something that requires a disproportionate amount of input vs. return/output.
The church office can easily become overwhelmed, or too many app functions can become dependent on one key person.
For that reason, we designed The Bridge App so that specific areas of responsibility can be easily delegated to a deacon, a treasurer, a prayer champion, etc.  Posting a prayer or announcement is as easy as sending an email.  A treasurer can add all the offering causes for a given month within a matter of minutes, using 'start' and 'expiry' dates.  Plus, The Bridge App is one of the few digital giving tools that can support ACH transactions - directly from the donor's bank account.  For CRCs in Canada, this also means no fees to the donor nor the recipient church.
Before making any commitment to a service provider, it may be advisable to apply the actual number of transactions and dollar value for a previous 2-3 month period, and verify what your true fees/costs would be.
If you would like more information about The Bridge App, please contact [email protected]

Thank you for sharing this information, Shirley.

The Bridge App, which is now available for CRCs in Canada, has placed the very highest priority on data security for its Give function.  Secure giving via credit card is currently available for churches that have activited the Give function, and the capability for debit giving and recurring transactions will soon be available.

Hi Fred.  FYI, the problem originated with the feed from Today.  One of the links contained within their feed was being refused by Google, and as a result the entire feed was being blocked. Once we were made aware of the issue, our developers found a work-around.  The problem should have only impacted those using Android devices. Should you ever have questions or ideas relating to The Bridge App, please feel free to email Dorothy or myself at [email protected]

Some interesting questions and ideas you have raised here, Rachael.  BTW, thank you for what you and your congregation are doing to utilize The Bridge App, as one of the US churches that have asked to use the app.

In terms of print vs. electronic directories, this is a bit of a transitional time for many congregations; some members still prefer and want to have a print directory of photos and contact info.  Other members enjoy the convenience of having instant access to that info wherever they may be.  And church leadership is acutely aware of privacy/confidential laws and that a physical/print directory can easily become a major leak of info, whereas an electronic directory (like the one in The Bridge App) is only accessible to verified members.

Tim paints a great picture (sorry, no pun intended) of how a church can facilitate the gathering of photos.  In some cases, the quality of a directory may be fine if you choose the route of exporting photos and text from a ChMS.  But don't rule out using a volunteer who is familiar with InDesign or some other high quality publishing program to assemble a customized directory that could also contain a bit of additional info about the congregation -- an opportunity to build 'community' through the directory.  For someone familiar with InDesign, assembling a directory would not be a major undertaking once the raw content is ready (photos, names).

But once you have the photos, it only makes sense to also upload those to the app directory.  An electronic/app directory is a great way to stay current with photos of new members, and families welcoming new children, not to mention the ability for families to upload a fresh photo after their child has gone through the recent growth spurt.  I know you are aware of this Rachael, but just so others know also, any user photo uploaded to The Bridge App directory needs to be approved by an administrator, and I presume most if not all other directory apps have a similar requirement.

The Bridge App, which is currently in use by about 2/3 of Canadian CRCs, and is being tested by several CRCs in the US, enables a local church to accept giving for the church budget and other causes, as well as recurring giving.  Bridge App users can add a credit card to their account.  This will soon be expanded to include debit cards.  Each month, the church treasurer receives a summary report of donations made through the app.

The Bridge App was developed as a philanthropic initiative by a technology firm owned by a CRC member, and one of the objectives of the GIVE function is to provide churches with a low-cost solution in comparison to many other similar products.

The Bridge App, which is available to all CRCs in Canada, has a 'GIVE' function that allows members to donate to the budget and other causes designated by the local church.  While giving can currently only happen through credit cards, we expect that before the end of August (2019) the Give function will also allow for recurring giving and debit transactions.  A number of Canadian CRCs are already using the Give function, and have processed a considerable amount of donations.

Several CRCs in the US have also expressed interest in The Bridge App and have requested a trial once the Give function is fully operational in a few weeks.

In addition to the Give function, The Bridge App allows the local church to post announcements, prayers, events calendar, recorded or live streamed worship services, membership directory (with or without photos), as well as the Bible in various versions, the Today devotional, plus news and posts from CRC News, The Banner and The Network.

If you would like additional information, please feel free to contact us at [email protected]

Phishing, spoofing, and bulk emails sent without hiding the email addresses pose some of the highest risks for the theft of a church email list.  Another high risk is a paper version of the directory or email list.  Those looking to steal email addresses usually hunt for a bulk of addresses.  If a political party sent a solicitation email, it was almost certainly the result of being made available by someone who was privy to that information -- not a hack or theft.

As for the directory function within The Bridge App, the admin manual contains a detailed description of the extensive security that is in place.  The Bridge App security is the same as that used by large corporations looking to protect highly sensitive information.

The directory on The Bridge is ONLY accessible to verified members of that particular congregation. Additionally, individuals can opt out of the directory, and the church admin can disable the directory.

So, perhaps the safest, most secure way for storing member information is to ONLY have it available on The Bridge, and not in any print or electronic means that can be easily hacked or shared.

There are a number of giving/donation apps that are specifically designed for churches.  Tithely is one that a number of churches are using, although I do not have any personal experience with it.

I am part of the team that is working on The Bridge App, which as Rachael said in her comment, is available to CRCs in Canada, and we are accommodating some US churches that have specifically asked to use the app even though it has not yet been customized for the US.

We are currently waiting for a version update of The Bridge App to be released in the App Store (should happen within days), and there are major enhancements to the Give function to allow for credit or debit giving, and one time or recurring donations. The Bridge App allows churches to add causes for their budget, and second offering or local causes with start and expiry dates.  Churches also have options on how the receipting is handled.  And the Give function is packaged with other Bridge App features such as announcements, prayers, events and membership directory, devotions and Bible, so users are not jumping around between multiple apps.

The Bridge App, which the CRCNA is currently being rolled out by Canadian Ministries to congregations in Canada is a smartphone app (Apple and Android) that includes a directory component.

You can find out more about The Bridge at


Hi Kory.

Here is a link to a page on the ServiceLink site with some additional info on background checks, and there is a link to ScreeningOne, which processes online background checks in the US.

I would echo Libby's comment about emphasizing the integrity of the ministry and the doing a background check is a very small 'self sacrifice' toward our covenantal commitment to children and those with special needs.

There may be things you can do to accommodate and make it more convenient for people to go through the background check procedure.  The soccer association I coach with arranged for the local police dept. attend the coaches' registration day, ands the first phase of our background checks could happen there.  If there is a cost involved, you could consider covering or subsidizing that cost (typically under $50).

If you haven't done so already, contact your local police department and maybe one or two of the larger local minor sports organizations in your community.  While this may be new for you, there are others in your community who are likely already requiring these background checks, and they may be able to offer some helpful advice on how things work in your community and with your local police force.

And bravo to your congregation for taking this initiative.  It is not as intimidating as it first appears, and it demonstrates how much you value your ministry to children and those who are vulnerable.

Hi Leon -- toward the bottom of this page:

there is a downloadable Ministry Evaluation form that a CRC congregation has shared with us.  You can also use this document as a template and modify to suit your congregation's needs/circumstances,

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