Gateway Church in suburban Dallas/Fort Worth is a rapidly growing non-denominational, evangelical church. Part of its draw comes from its multimedia services, and dozens of interest and age-based groups, from junior high kids to young couples. They host a variety of events from scrapbooking to prayer groups.
Location: Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas, USA
Size: 50-200 employees/volunteers
In total, the church hosts about 150 events every month between its two worship locations in Southlake and North Richland Hills, Texas. That’s an average of five events every day. Weekend services alone draw 11,000 to 13,000 attendees across both churches.
Pulling off that many events smoothly requires the Technical Arts department alone to manage a pool of more than 180 staff and volunteers. Technical Arts handles all events requiring, at a minimum, a microphone. Larger events call for more advanced audio, video and lighting.
In the past, the department managed staff and volunteer shift schedules with an open source calendar. Though all staff and employees could view the schedule online, they had to scroll through every day to find their assigned shifts.
“If someone didn’t look at every date on the calendar, they would fail to show up for a shift where they were supposed to volunteer,” said David Leuschner, Director of Technical Arts. “It costs a lot of money to hire a qualified contractor to cover a slot.”
Gateway looked at half a dozen different scheduling options, including Celayix. For Gateway, Celayix provided the right combination of functionality and affordability in a hosted solution. That would free Gateway’s IT staff from having to manage it on their servers and perform upgrades.
Several members of Leuschner’s staff use Celayix to create staff and volunteer schedules each month. They easily match shifts with qualified people.
Faster schedule creation and easily communicable schedules
Before, filling open slots with volunteers with specific qualifications – manually – was often too time-consuming to complete correctly. As a result, sometimes the scheduled volunteer was not optimal for the job.
Instead, Celayix maintains information about volunteers’ skills, allowing staff to schedule the best people for each event. Scheduling for the entire month takes less than one day, and maybe an hour or two each week as availability changes.
When staff and volunteer schedules are complete, the department creates a quick report and emails the link to all staff and volunteers to review online on Celayix. Each day, they can do the same in order to remind people about their upcoming shifts. Each person then views only his or her schedule.
“With Celayix, we have all these checks and balances in place to make sure that we schedule staff and volunteers correctly and that people know when they are working,” Leuschner said. “Every single person, from 11-year-old kids to seniors, operates the system with ease and shows up when they’re supposed to work.”
Cost savings and reduced absenteeism
At once, Celayix simplifies the scheduling experience for the Technical Arts team and all employees and volunteers. Everyone knows exactly when they are scheduled, which improves attendance.
“We went from 85 percent attendance to 99 percent showing up now,” Leuschner said. “The bottom line is, the software saves me thousands of dollars because we don’t have to hire as many outside contractors.”
As a result, events go much more smoothly, enhancing the Gateway experience for all members and guests.