I will probably end up with cusotm made script. Most I seen are a type od shout box/guestbook. What I had in mind was more of a mailing list type of script.
Volunteers sign up for the prayer chain and made part of the send out list.
A person needing a prayer they submit a prayer.
The request is held for a admin to approve the request.
(We do not want any spam or nasty emails sent to a list of church members)
Once approved the request is sent out to the mail list.
Posting in guestbook or shoutbox style at this point might be good idea.
Hmm.. I thought by now a premade solution would be available.
That sounds very easy, actually. Store a few values in a database (name, request), an admin is notified by email when a new request comes in, logs in and either accepts or denies the request.
Upon accepting, the request is publicly displayed on a page newest request first, and an email is sent out to anyone who is subscribed to the prayer request application. The page has a spot for people to subscribe or remove their email from the database. Everything is automated, and because no messages are sent without admin approval, injection won't be an issue (or at least it will be mitigated).
I can't see this taking terribly long to put together. Would you like some recommendations on programmers who can do this? PHP, ASP, ColdFusion or another language?
Having the emails send directly though maybe needed. Our church now has a voice prayer chain. If you have a prayer request you contact the leader. That person contacts the rest of the chain. Sometimes prayer is need now, not later. Maybe have delivery date as an option?
Odd Fact, I've also been looking for something similar for my church's website. They too have a prayer chain via phone but there have been many requests for email.
The first thing that came to mind for me was a moderated mailing list like you said. They didn't like the idea of a guestbook or shoutbox because it would be too public. The only concern with the moderated email list is that requests won't get out to everyone quick enough
Make one of the options Public Prayer or Private Prayer, and let the requestor choose which one. Public gets posted publicly, private gets a quick "please make a small prayer of good will for [First name] [Last initial]." You get the idea.
If the system automatically sends an email to a church admin, he or she should get it and approve it within a day's time, no? Have a mailbox set up just for requests, and give a hadful of people access. Anyone who receives a request can OK it. It's not too difficult to pull this off.
I found this one that uses a rss feed. I will download and look at it. Altough I think the ideas in this thread will work better.
The public or private option is good. Getting the prayers approved should not take too long. Some off hours (overnight or Sundays) may take longer. I think that an 8-10 hour window at the most is workable.
So I am not as happy with some scripts due to messy output. This may turn into a good project.
It sounds like a moderated Yahoo egroup would work for that. Restrict the membership to people in your group and have all posts (prayer requests) approved before they go out to the list. You could have the approved requests appear in the egroup to members only or not appear at all. Members would have the option to receive individual posts or daily digests or to just view the posts in the egroup.
- It's free.
- It's easy to use.
- You can set it up in a few minutes.
- It has lots of options.
- Ads appear at the end of every post.
- Some people don't want to sign up for Yahoo egroups.
Other mailing lists may work just as well, including mailing list scripts.
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I started off thinking of a mailing list. But then wanted to add some of the other features and automate the process. I could setup a mail list for volunteers to join the prayer chain. On the same page could be a form that emails a request to the person in charge. If approved the could send out a mailing.
I will look a little longer and then try having one coded.
Yes monaghan the elders and other members can be shy of technology. However if you make the interface user friendly you can win the members over. Personal experience with older people has shown me they are willing to embrace the technology if it is easy to use. Many of the seniors I work with grown to love email and internet use.
MarkSNET this looks like it will turn into a project.
Our elders seemed more concerned with the security aspects rather than the use of technologly. The actual user interface seemed OK to them. Guess if I bought a cheap SSL so they got the padlock, then all would be happy
I'd addressed various issues like the fact that people rarely sent a follow up message so we knew whether the prayer request had been answered, no point in continuing to pray if the issue is resolved
I guess I'll dig out the code and finish it off as it may be of interest to someone.
I could try to write something like this for you. Please post if you still need this. I am learning php, and will do my best All I would ask is a link saying it was donated by [my hosting companies link]. As I said, I am learning, but I'll do my best to make it