By Lonnie Wilkey
Gloo is a digital business platform that has been utilized by several Southern Baptist ministries such as the North American
Mission Board and the Southern Baptist Conference of Associational Leaders. Gloo is also in conversations with LifeWay Christian Resources to determine ways to assist LifeWay’s ministries to local Southern Baptist churches.
“The TBMB partners with creative ministries like Gloo as a tool to serve our churches with excellence,” said Randy C. Davis, president and executive director of the TBMB.
“We have great confidence that churches will find the pertinent and timely information provided by Gloo extremely useful,” he noted.
“Our hope is that Gloo can offer peace of mind as churches navigate new ways to connect with their people and make decisions on how to be available to serve their community,” added Nicki Brooks, marketing specialist for the TBMB.
Steele Billings, director of networks for Gloo, described the company as “a network of individuals and organization aiming to revolutionize personal and spiritual growth through technology, data science, and analytics that serve organizations dedicated to strengthening people and communities.
Billings added that Gloo “wants to be the platform that powers spiritual growth.” Gloo’s platforms provide a place for ministry leaders to access the data, insights, applications and partners to help them thrive, he noted.
“These allow church leaders to gain valuable insights on how their congregations are doing in their health, relationships, jobs, finances and faith right now,” she observed. Leaders will be able to see the results in an interactive dashboard so they can respond with timely sermons, resources or other avenues of ministry and outreach, she added.
Gloo also offers a weekly pastor poll, which allows church leaders to lend their voice to a nationwide conversation on a variety of topics, Billings said, adding that questions change from week to week. For instance, after the pandemic struck in March, questions centered around how churches were dealing with the issue and were responding to COVID-19. He noted that an upcoming question will poll pastors on race relations.
Most of the apps (including the check-in surveys and pastor polls) in the Gloo platform are provided free to churches by premium offerings from companies such as Barna Research, the American Bible Society and others, Billings said. Other premium offerings are available for a cost from Gloo.
Billings, who is a member of Bellevue Baptist Church, Cordova, related that as of May 31, 158 Tennessee Baptist churches had signed up for the Gloo platform. Among those congregations is First Baptist Church, Lexington.
“When considering the reopening of our church we were able to employ a Gloo survey,” said pastor Clay Hallmark. He noted that the process was “very simple and the survey helped us get the information that we needed from our members as to how they felt about reopening and regathering as a church family. We also found it to be a very helpful tool in helping us plan what our members expected by way of cleaning and social distancing.
“We found this to be a very helpful tool,” he said.
Woodmont Baptist Church in Nashville has used Gloo’s free congregational assessment tool.
“We e-mailed our members and included a link to the survey,” said Woodmont senior pastor Nathan Parker. The main point of the survey was to simply check in with our people and see how they were doing emotionally, spiritually, and physically during the quarantine, Parker noted.
“Questions about personal finances, anxiety and social connection were especially insightful to our ministry staff. I was also able to add a custom question about if and how our congregation was accessing our Sunday morning broadcast, which proved helpful in assessing the reach of our TV and streaming services,” he added.
Steve Meadows, pastor of Dixie Lee Baptist Church, Lenoir City, said the “ready-made surveys gave us the opportunity to quickly and efficiently maintain contact with a larger segment of our membership while also giving us a rather rapid response window.
“Our leadership team relied on one-on-one contact with members, but having extra, specific data through a simple survey tool was invaluable,” Meadows said.
Meadows added that what he found to be most helpful, especially as the church has transitioned from online-only worship services to in-person worship, was the ability to customize questions. “We were able to quickly know what many of our members were thinking and feeling as we began to return to campus,” he said.
“We are actually using another survey this week with customized questions to help us open up more of our ministry programming and consider what we can do regarding Vacation Bible School,” he added.
Heather Hahn, ministry assistant for Faith Baptist Church, Arlington, observed that “Gloo has helped us immensely in staying in touch with our members and has let us get a sense of how everyone is since we cannot meet face to face.
“We have used the custom survey and could not be happier with the results. My pastors have loved being able to ‘check the temperature,’ ” so to speak, of our church family,” Hahn added.
Brooks provided the following suggestions for how churches can get started:
• Register your church by clicking this link: https://www.mypeoplecheckin.com/tbmb/.
• Determine which Check-In (survey) to deploy, such as “Returning to Church Check-In” or “Check-In
• Take the weekly pastor poll.
• View and compare your check-in results and national pastor poll results on an interactive dashboard.
• Browse the other free tools available in the platform that can help you know and engage those you serve.
If you still have questions about how these tools can transform the way you do ministry, please click the video link: https://vimeo.com/402724664. B&R