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eDisciples debuts video-conferencing service for churches

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Video-conferencing-as-a- service company eDisciples has introduced an online church management service to help churches conduct virtual services and simplify administration tasks.

The service, available via its Web site, provides church leaders with everything they need to digitise their meetings, including member and events management, integrated communications, online tithing, service planning and financial management, among others.

The impact of COVID-19 has resulted in an urgent need for remote interactions, as people across the globe have been forced to substitute their in-person meetings and events with virtual networking sessions, from corporate meetings to music concerts, funerals, weddings and spiritual gatherings, to ensure social distancing, while minimising the spread of the deadly virus.

Video software providers such as Microsoft, Cisco, UberConference, Google and Zoom Video Communications have reported a dramatic surge in demand for their work-from-home services, as the impact of COVID-19 has resulted in increased competition in the global video-conferencing market.

eDisciples says it provides a central, secure dashboard to help pastors and admin staff oversee all aspects of their church with a suite of administration features such as follow-up communication tools, rosters, an online calendar, attendance register and built-in communication tools such as group chat.

Churches can also maintain remote connections with their members through online content such as retrospective sermon playlists and a branded digital presence that works on all devices.

Additionally, the platform allows administrators to manage service attendance by setting a limit on available physical seats, in line with SA’s public gathering regulations, allowing churchgoers to pre-book their seats via the platform.

“As people adapt to new ways of life, solutions that enable us to gather, interact and worship virtually are essential,” says Nick Duncan, founder of eDisciples.com, who is also a church leader, bible teacher and entrepreneur.

“Limitations on public gatherings are one of the biggest challenges churches face in 2020. Our goal is to help churches across SA transition effortlessly while reducing friction in day-to-day management of activities by unifying congregants digitally and updating them in real-time.

Duncan also heads up CodeCabin, a Johannesburg-based software development firm focused on building innovative digital products that help organisations achieve increased revenue and efficiency.

eDisciples soft launched in October 2019, and officially launched publicly last month, registering more than 1 200 churches since last year.

While most features are available free of charge for congregations of up to 150 members, the optional monthly premium subscription service starts at R150 per month. It provides additional tools such as advanced reporting, technical support and the complete suite of advanced features.

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