Prayer Request Names and Numbers
Sometimes we receive feedback from a few church members who are concerned that seeing the number and names of people praying on a prayer request might lead to potential “hurt feelings” if one person receives fewer prayers than another. We wanted to take a moment to address that concern in this post.
Our users have been somewhat divided on whether tracking prayer names and numbers are helpful or not. On one hand is the concern that someone might possibly be offended if their number was lower than another person’s. Although we’re not aware of that having happened (usually when it’s brought up to us it’s brought up by someone who is worried that it MAY happen, not that it DID happen) that’s a fair concern. On the other hand, we’ve had several users call or email us (sometimes in tears) letting us know how much it meant to them to see the number and the names of all the people praying in their community. In many cases they suggested that they had never felt closer to their church than in those moments. We’ve heard considerable feedback from both sides.
Prayer requests are the most popular feature in Church Updates. As our product has grown to service more congregations, and more denominations, the number of prayer commitments made each week has skyrocketed. People really love being able to let others know that they’re praying and to be reminded of those commitments each week. When considering how to address the question of prayer names and numbers we wanted to make sure that we didn’t mess with a feature that is hugely important for the majority of the users.
We are sensitive to the needs of different types of churches. Each denomination, and each congregation, approaches prayer requests a little bit differently. So, in the best interest of serving all of our customers, here’s what we’re planning to do:
Soon we will be starting production on a new version of Church Updates. That version has already been in the planning stages for quite some time and it takes the feedback we’ve received from our users into consideration. This next version (Church Updates 2.0) will involve several new features as well as some tweaks to existing features. Among those tweaks will be the ability for each church administrator to decide for themselves how they want to handle prayer requests. The proposed options will include:
- Show both names and numbers of people praying
- Show neither names nor numbers of people praying
- Show names of people praying, but not numbers
- Show number of people praying, but not names
This new preference will allow each church to make the decision for themselves - based on what is best for them.
While there is not an exact timeframe for this new version - it is a huge priority for us and we hope to begin work on it soon.