User Specific Navigation

Last Updated: Apr 13, 2020 @ 9:41 pm

PocketPlatform apps include two navigation menus, one static navigation that directs users to the main features of the app and a second user specific navigation.  The User Specific Navigation is accessible from the upper right corner of the app and is available for both logged out and logged in users.

Guest Users

A user that is not logged into the app will see links to:

  • Login (the app’s primary login screen with options to login with phone number, email or password)
  • Settings (the screen where a user can toggle notifications and analytics on/off)
  • Privacy Policy
  • Terms of Service

Logged In Users

Logged in users will see, at minimum, links to the following:

  • Manage My Profile (the screen where a user can update their profile photo, username, password, et al.)
  • Settings (the screen where a user can toggle notifications and analytics on/off)
  • Privacy Policy
  • Terms of Service

In addition, users can be presented with other links as determined by a customizable stored procedure running on your MinistryPlatform server.  By default, the stored procedure is configured to conditionally show users links to the following:

  • My Favorite Sermons (list of sermons where the user has clicked the favorite icon ♥)
  • My Groups (list of Groups for which the user is a member and the Group has been enabled for Group Management)
  • My Badges (list of Gamified Journeys and Milestone Badges earned by the user)
  • My Group Chat (list of Groups for which the user is a member and the Group has been enabled for the Group Chat Tool)


TIP: You can customize the User Specific Navigation by editing the api_PocketPlatform_getRightNav Stored Procedure.  Use your own custom logic to determine what links are shown to your users based on the data available about the user in MinistryPlatform.  Reference the App Links KB Article for ideas on what screens can be loaded.

PocketPlatform Analytics

Last Updated: Aug 19, 2020 @ 8:39 am

The Analytics features of PocketPlatform allow you to quickly see how users are engaging with your app, right in MinistryPlatform! The full capabilities of MP are available to you as well, from charting to reports, so you can see user engagement, on your terms, without logging into other systems or relying on third-party toolsets.

How Analytics works:

The PocketPlatform Analytics track screen views and other selected actions (such as event registrations) so when your users interact with your app, you’ll be able to identify where your users spend most of their time.

Reviewing analytics data in MinistryPlatform

Each analytics record in MinistryPlatform is broken up into two main sections, each of which has several columns of information

Core Analytics Information:

  1. Analytics GUID: A unique identifier that ensures that this analytics event is unique.
  2. Device ID: The device identifier for the user’s phone or tablet.
  3. User: The UserID for the event. This value may be empty if no one was logged into the app at the time of the event
  4. Event Type: A text field that indicates what the user did in the app; e.g. “Screen Load” and “Event Registration”
  5. Previous Screen: A text field that indicates what screen the user came from to get to the current screen; not always tracked
  6. Screen Name: A text field that indicates what the user did in the app; e.g. “Screen Load” and “Event Registration”
  7. Analytics Data: Raw analytics information for the event; primarily used for reference and troubleshooting
  8. Timestamp: Date and time of the event
  9. Platform: The device type the user was on at the time of the event, iOS or Android
  10. Screen Size: The physical dimensions of the device
  11. OS Version: The operating system version
  12. Language: UN standard two letter code indicating the user’s language.

Related Records:
When available or necessary, we also keep track of specific items in MinistryPlatform that have been loaded.


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A unique identifier that ensures that this analytics event is unique.

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The device identifier for the user’s phone or tablet.

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The UserID for the event. This value may be empty if no one was logged into the app at the time of the event

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A text field that indicates what the user did in the app; e.g. “Screen Load” and “Event Registration”

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A text field that indicates what screen the user came from to get to the current screen; not always tracked

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A text field that indicates what the user did in the app

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Raw analytics information for the event; primarily used for reference and troubleshooting

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Date and time of the event

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The device type the user was on at the time of the event, iOS or Android

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The physical dimensions of the device

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The operating system version

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UN standard two letter code indicating the user’s language.

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When available or necessary, specific records in MinistryPlatform that were loaded in the App are recorded here


Help!  I can’t delete this (event, opportunity, something else)!

PocketPlatform Analytics uses Foreign Keys in SQL to help make sense of the data that it collects and presents to you.  Depending on your security roles in MinistryPlatform, you may only have “read” rights (or none at all) to records in PocketPlatform Analytics, which could throw an error indicating that records can not be moved when you try to delete an item in MP that has been viewed or interacted with by your app’s users.

A great example of this would look something like:

Your church has decided to cancel an event that you’ve already publicized and put on the dashboard of your app. Many users have viewed that event, adding new records to the Analytics Table. You go to the event to delete it in MP and are informed that you cannot.

To rectify this solution, add a Role to the user that needs Analytics deletion rights that grants enough access to delete records.  Please note that deleting analytics records deletes all reference to that analytics event and this data cannot be recovered. We also do not recommend moving analytics records to another event, opportunity, etc, as this would make your analytics data very inaccurate.

PocketPlatform Connection Card

Last Updated: Jul 8, 2020 @ 11:25 pm

Basics

The Connection Card allows you to promote and highlight different engagement data points for a user at the same time. This is most commonly used to replace a paper bulletin with a digital format that is immediately actionable.

Through the Connection Card, one individual can:

  • view unlimited active Opportunities (for example: visitor, first impressions, service opportunities)
  • view unlimited active Events
  • submit a Prayer Request or other Feedback Entry with a Note

Configuration

In order for options to show up on the Connection Card, the following needs to be setup:

  • Create or update desired Opportunity records, and set the On Connection Card field to YES.The Opportunity must also be current – either no date specified or a future date in the Opportunity Date field.
  • Create or update desired Event records, and setup the On Connection Card field to YES.
  • Create or update desired Feedback Types in Lookup Values > Feedback Types (for example: Comment, Prayer Request).
  • Edit the Configuration Setting with Application Code “POCKETPLATFORM” and Key Name “ConnectCardIntro”


PRO TIP:

Information logged in MinistryPlatform via the Connection Card Tool can be used with MP Processes to automatically contact the individual the information is logged for, or to cue a staff person or volunteer to follow-up with the individual


Ideas for Using the Connection Card

Dashboard Recipes

Create a Dashboard Recipe that appears during your worship services times and encourage your members to connect with their church.  An articulate call to action will stimulate users to click the button and follow the steps.  If the Connection Card can be announced from the stage or included in on-screen announcements, users will be even more likely to engage.

User Navigation

Add the Connection Card link to your User Specific Navigation so that users have a convenient way to access the Connection Card from anywhere in the App.

PocketPlatform Push Notifications

Global Push Notification Tool Overview

Last Updated: Mar 19, 2020 @ 11:53 am

Want to send a push notification to your users? Good news – you can do that! The Global Push Notification tool for PocketPlatform lets you send notifications to all devices with your app installed, right from MinistryPlatform!

PocketPlatform Push Notifications

Sending a Push Notification to a selection of users

  1. In the MinistryPlatform Nouns, navigate to Administration > Users
  2. Open the Tools Menu, and select “Global Push Notifications”
  3. Fill out the fields in the window that appears
  4. Click “Send Message”

Please Note: You may also have a Tool titled “Targeted Push Notifications”.  This tool can be used to send a push notification to a selection of your PocketPlatform users.  For more info, see the KB Article.

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Administration > Users in the MinistryPlatform Nouns

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Choosing “Targeted Push Notifications”


Sending a push notification.

PocketPlatform Group Management

Last Updated: Sep 1, 2020 @ 8:58 pm

Your church members use PocketPlatform to sign up for Events, engage in serving Opportunities, and take Sermon Notes.  With PocketPlatform’s Group Management tools, your Group Leaders and Group Members can use PocketPlatform to engage foster community, communicate with the group, and dive deeper in their spiritual journey.

Groups List with Graphics

Group Member Features


  • View Members

    View Name, Photo, Email Address, Phone Number for other Group Members.  Email and Phone links available for quickly contacting another group member.

  • Contact Leader

    Send an email directly to your Group Leader with a simple form within the App.

  • Group Calendar

    View a calendar of upcoming Group Meetings with date, time, and location / address.

  • Manage Privacy

    Manage the information you are comfortable sharing with including Email, Phone, Full Name / First Name only, and Photo.

  • Group Communication

    Communicate directly with your Group by chatting inside the App.

Group Leader Features


  • View Members

    View Name, Photo, Email Address, Phone Number for other Group Members.  Email and Phone links available for quickly contacting another group member.

    Leaders can also edit group member’s info, upload a photo, or change the Group member’s role / remove them from the Group.

  • Add Group Member

    Group Leaders can add new members to the Group quickly and easily.

  • Contact Leaders / Members

    Group Leaders can select one or more Group Members / Leaders and send an email to all of them using a single form.

  • Manage Inquiries

    Group Leaders can view Inquiries for their Group, contact inquirers via email, and optionally add inquirers directly to their Group.

  • Group Calendar

    Group Leaders can manage their Group’s calendar of Group Meetings with feature for adding, editing or cancelling meetings.

  • Take Attendance

    Group Leaders can quickly and easily take attendance for a Group Meeting.

  • Group Curriculum

    Group Leaders can access Group Curriculum delivered through MinistryPlatform.  Curriculum includes group leader / facilitator instructions and links to videos, audio files, PDFs, scripture, et al.

  • Manage Privacy

    Manage the information you are comfortable sharing with including Email, Phone, Full Name / First Name only, and Photo.

  • Group Communication

    Communicate directly with your Group by chatting inside the App.


Setting up Groups

Setting up your Groups is essentially the same as configuring groups for use in the Think Ministry Portal.  Once your Group is configured in MinistryPlatform, you can set the Available On App to Yes for it to be available in your App.

For more information on setting up Group Curriculum, reference the Group Curriculum KB article.

Adding Sermon Notes Presentation

Adding Notes to a Sermon

Last Updated: Jul 18, 2019 @ 9:37 am

Did you know that your users can take sermon notes – right in the PocketPlatform app?  Using the powerful Custom Forms available from MinistryPlatform you have a simple and effective way to help your users remember the important parts of a sermon or other message.

Prerequisites:

In order to complete this task, you should have

  • A basic understanding of Custom Forms in Ministry Platform
  • A completed PocketPlatform Sermon
Adding Sermon Notes Presentation

Assigning a Form to a Sermon

Creating a new form

  1. In the MinistryPlatform Nouns, select “Custom Forms”
  2. Click “Forms”
  3. Click the button for “New”
  4. Create the form as you would any other form – you may use the form designer, or create fields manually

You may use basic HTML in the Alternate Field Label box when creating your fields.  Any HTML that you use that is not supported will be stripped by PocketPlatform.

Creating a new Custom Form

It is recommended that you use terms relevant to the sermon you are attaching it to.

For example, if your Sermon Series is called “Church Matters,” the Sermon is called “The Purpose of the Church” and the Sermon date is 21 July 2019, you could use something similar to one of the following as the Form Name:

  • Church Matters: The Purpose of the Church
  • Notes: The Purpose of the Church
  • Sermon Notes for 21 July 2019
  • Notes 21/07/2019

Ultimately, though, the decision is yours and what works best for your organization.


Linking the Sermon Notes to the Sermon

Now that you have created a new Custom Form for your Sermon Notes, it’s time to assign that form to the Sermon so it will appear on your app!

  1. In the MinistryPlatform Nouns, click “PocketPlatform”
  2. Select “Sermons”
  3. Click the Sermon Record to which you would like to attach this form
  4. Click “Edit”
  5. Use the dropdown menu to select the form you would like to use
  6. Click Save

Selecting a sermon for Notes


Sermon Notes Form Selection

Adding a sermon to a sermon series

So – you’ve created a Sermon Series, and now you need to add some sermons to it. Well, rest easy, because with your MinistryPlatform know how and the PocketPlatform app, this is one skill you’ll have mastered before your coffee gets cold!

Please note: In order to add a Sermon to a Sermon Series, you must have already created at least one PocketPlatform Service Type, one Sermon Speaker, and one Sermon Series. If you have not done these, please refer to the appropriate articles before continuing!


Creating a New Sermon

Creating a new record

  1. First, open the PocketPlatform folder in the MinistryPlatform Nouns
  2. Next, click “Sermons”
  3. Finally, create a new record.
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Create a New Sermon
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PocketPlatform

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Sermons

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Create New Record

Required Information

The following fields are available when creating a new sermon.  Names in red are required.

  1. Series – The sermon series {link} this sermon belongs to
  2. Congregation – The congregation this sermon originated from.
  3. PocketPlatform Service Type – The type of service this was.  Most churches only have one.  For more information, see this KB article {link}
  4. Title – The title of the sermon
  5. Subtitle – The subtitle of the sermon
  6. Description – A detailed description of the sermon
  7. Sermon Date – The date the sermon was originally preached
  8. Sermon Speaker – The individual who gave the sermon. For more information about sermon speakers, please see this KB article {link}
  9. Scripture Links – The relevant scripture for the sermon.
  10. Position – The display order of the sermon
  11. Use for Podcast – this field is deprecated and has no effect
  12. Status – “Draft”, “Hidden”, or “Published” – the status of this sermon.
  13. Notes Form – a link to a custom form in MP for this sermon to be used as interactive sermon notes.

Be sure to save your new sermon after you have filled out all fields!

PocketPlatform | The Fields of the Create New Sermon Screen

Adding a Sermon Image

Once you have saved your new sermon, you can easily add an image. This image will be used throughout the PocketPlatform application as a visual indicator of this sermon.

  1. If the Sermon you want to add an image to is not already open, open it by opening the PocketPlatform folder in the MinistryPlatform Nouns, selecting “Sermons” and clicking the name of the Sermon you would like to use.
  2. Once the record is open, click the button “Attach a file”
  3. Select an image file from your computer to use for the sermon series using the MinistryPlatform dialog that appears.

PocketPlatform has been designed to be compatible with a wide range of image dimensions, however for best results please use an image with the following dimensions:

  • 1920 x 1080
  • 72 dpi
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Attach an Image to a sermon
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Attaching a file

Adding a Service Type

Last Updated: Jul 17, 2019 @ 2:16 pm

PocketPlatform Service Types help you to organize your sermons and messages.  In many cases, only one service type will be needed – something like “Sunday Morning Worship” – but adding additional service types allows you to segment out other services as well, such as Nights of Worship or Special Events.  PocketPlatform generally requires at least one Service Type before you can create a Sermon Series


Creating a new Service Type

Creating a new record

  1. First, open the PocketPlatform folder in the MinistryPlatform Nouns
  2. Next, click “PocketPlatform Service Types”
  3. Finally, create a new record.

Adding a new Service Type record


Required information

The following fields are available when creating a new Service Type.  Names in red are required.

  1. Service Type – The Name of the Service Type, such as “Sunday Morning Worship” or “Saturday Contemporary”

Be sure to save your new Service Type after you have filled out all fields!

Create New Service Type
Sermon Links Example

Adding Sermon Links to a Sermon

Last Updated: Jul 17, 2019 @ 2:15 pm

Now that you’ve added a Sermon to your Sermon Series it’s time to add some media resources! Adding Sermon Links to your Sermons is how you add video and audio playback to the PocketPlatform app, so we’ve made it super simple and accessible – especially for you since you’re already familiar with MinistryPlatform!

Sermon Links Example

Adding Sermon Links

Opening the Sermon Record

If the sermon record you want to add links to is not already open, simply:

  1. In the MinistryPlatform Nouns, open the PocketPlatform Folder
  2. Click “Sermons”
  3. Click the Sermon to which you would like to add a Sermon Link

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Opening A Sermon Record
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Sermons

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Creating a New Sermon Link

To create a new Sermon Link once you have opened the Sermon, simply click the button for “Create New Record” on the Sermon Page.

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Creating a new sermon link
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Create New



Sermon Link Details

There are generally two types of Sermon Links, though some PocketPlatform installations, upon request, can include additional types.  By default you should have available to you:

  • Audio – This is the audio-only version of a message.
  • Video – This is a video version of the message

Both of the above media types allow your PocketPlatform app to play back sermons so your congregation – and others! – can enjoy your messages again and again.  Please be aware that you cannot upload audio and video media to MinistryPlatform for playback in your PocketPlatform app, and must use an externally hosted file.  The PocketPlatform Media Manager provides an excellent solution for this, however!

Currently, we support the following media types:

Audio: MP3

Video: MP4, M3U8 playlists, M4V


Required information

The following fields are available when creating a new Sermon Link.  Names in red are required.

  1. Link Type – The Type of Sermon Link.  Generally this will be “Listen” or “Watch”
  2. Link URL – The URL of the Sermon Link. Where does the media pull from?
  3. Podcast Description – This field is deprecated and currently has no effect
  4. Status – “Hidden” “Draft” or “Published”
  5. Use in Audio Podcast – This field is deprecated and currently has no effect
  6. Use in Video Podcast – This field is deprecated and currently has no effect
  7. File Size – The file size of the Sermon Link
  8. File Units – This field currently has no effect
  9. File Duration – The duration of the Sermon Link
  10. Position – The order the sermon series displays in on the app.

Be sure to save your new Sermon Link after you have filled out all fields!

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Creating a new sermon link
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Create New



Additional Information About Media Files

You have many options for hosting your video and audio files for your PocketPlatform app, and sometimes it can be a bit difficult to know what will work well, and what won’t.  Here, we’ve gathered a list of some of your options, and how well they work.

Not Recommended


“Shared” services such as Dropbox, Google Drive, weTransfer and others. 

While all of these types of services will generally allow you to access the raw file, their terms of service explicitly deny you the right to use their service as a media hosting service.  In many cases, especially with Dropbox, they will block your playback after a certain number of plays and may remove your account completely.

YouTube and other “non-pro” video hosting providers, such as Vimeo Free/Plus

While you can use these services to host video, you do not have the ability to access the file directly, and therefore cannot play it outside of their environment, either in a proprietary app or a specific video player.

Recommended


“Professional” video hosting solutions, such as Vimeo Pro or Enterprise

Professional video hosting solutions are designed to give the content creator as much freedom as possible with regards to their media, and therefore allow direct access to the raw audio/video media for playback anywhere and in any player.

CDN/Cloud systems, such as AWS, Azure, Comcast CDN, Rackspace, etc

CDN systems help to ensure that your content will always be available by distributing it around the country – and sometimes the world. Configuration of these systems requires advanced technical skills and maintenance.

PocketPlatform’s Media Manager:

PocketPlatform’s own Media Manager gives you the power of a CDN with the convenience of automatically converting your media into the proper formats for use in both your PocketPlatform Application as well as many other options, like Roku channels or AppleTV apps.

Adding New Sermon Series

Adding a Sermon Series

Last Updated: Jul 17, 2019 @ 2:15 pm

Every week, your senior pastor is preaching God’s Word, and now you need to get it into the hands of your congregation.  Fortunately, with PocketPlatform, this couldn’t be easier! Follow the instructions below to add a new sermon series, and then head on over to “Adding a sermon” to add a sermon!

Adding New Sermon Series

Creating a new Sermon Series

Creating a new record

  1. First, open the PocketPlatform folder in the MinistryPlatform Nouns
  2. Next, click “Sermon Series”
  3. Finally, create a new record.

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Sermon Series - Add New
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Open PocketPlatform

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Select “Sermon Series”

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Create a new record


Required information

The following fields are available when creating a new sermon series.  Names in red are required.

  1. Title – The title of the sermon series
  2. Display Title – If you would like the displayed name to be different than the title.
  3. Subtitle – Additional descriptive text about the sermon series
  4. Status – “Hidden” “Draft” or “Published”
  5. Position – The order the sermon series displays in on the app.

Be sure to save your new sermon series after you have filled out all fields!

Please note that your screen may be slightly different than what is shown here. You may have, for example, a “Series Start Date” field. You may fill these additional fields out as necessary.

Sermon Series Filled out

Adding a Series Image

Once you have saved your new series, you can easily add an image. This image will be used throughout the PocketPlatform application as a visual indicator of this series.

  1. If the Sermon Series you want to add an image to is not already open, open it by opening the PocketPlatform folder in the MinistryPlatform Nouns, selecting “Sermon Series” and clicking the name of the Series you would like to use.
  2. Once the record is open, click the button “Attach a file”
  3. Select an image file from your computer to use for the sermon series using the MinistryPlatform dialog that appears.

PocketPlatform has been designed to be compatible with a wide range of image dimensions, however for best results please use an image with the following dimensions:

  • 1920 x 1080
  • 72 dpi

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Attach a file