6 Rock Plugins We Can't Live Without

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6 Rock Plugins We Can't Live Without

Aug, 3 2020

As customizable as Rock is, eventually, you will come across a task that you want to do that Rock either doesn't do or you would need to use it in unorthodox ways to make it work. If you develop for Rock for very long, you will eventually think to yourself, "If I combine 5 pages, lava JavaScript, a financial transaction memo field, a transaction type, dynamic data blocks, and 2 workflows, I could …..". Before you go down that path, make sure you take a look at the Rock Shop for a plugin. Plugins are used to make rock do something it doesn't do out of the box or would be too complex to do with the tools readily available.

There are many terrific plugins available in the Rock Shop that help with administration, communication, and automation, but knowing where to start can be tough. We surveyed our team and here is a list of the plugins we install right away.

1. Lava Tester from Central Christian Church (AZ)

One of the things that makes Rock unique is the ability to combine data in your database and communications in email, text, and on your website. Lava is the language that makes this possible, among many other things. It takes time to figure out Lava, but once you do, its staggering what you can do. The Lava Tester plugin is the first plugin we install because it gives you a place to write and test your lava before you put it on a page, in an email, or in a workflow. Since you can use lava in so many places, the plugin allows you to pick a person, a group, a workflow, or an event registration to make sure your lava has the expected data.

2. Room Management 2.0 from BEMA Information Technologies (originally developed by Central Christian Church AZ)

The Room Management plug-In is a full featured system for requesting and approving room usage. It allows custom approval processes for specific rooms or resources and custom questions that can asked during the request process.  It has customizable views and reports (using Rock’s lava language) and supports a wide variety of filters to search by ministry, campus, resources usage, etc.  Room layouts can be uploaded for people to choose how the room needs to be configured.  It offers advanced features to integrate with HVAC systems to indicate when rooms are occupied to control costs. This plug-in has been in use for several years at larger churches and can handle managing sizable facilities with active schedules.

3. MailChimp Integration from BEMA Information Technologies

Many churches use MailChimp for emails and communications.  This plug-in offers a bidirectional sync between MailChimp and groups in Rock.  This allows communication lists to be updated in Rock and automatically sync’d to MailChimp.  Updates to subscribe or unsubscribe can be done in Rock or in MailChimp and the system will stay in sync so that communications can be send on either platform.  It can also be used as a data migration tool to migrate groups out of MailChimp and into Rock.

4. Open Connections Digest from BEMA Information Technologies

You are leveraging Connection Requests to make sure that people don't fall through the cracks. You have them set up for when someone prays to accept Christ, volunteers to serve or you are making use of the new Connection Campaign feature to coordinate communication between staff and volunteers and church members. You are creating the right connection requests, but your staff and volunteers are not following up as quickly as you like. If that is the case, the Open Connections Digest is a helpful tool to send a summary email to people who have open connection requests assigned to them helping to ensure that the processes you have planned and built are carried out.

5. Pastoral Care from BEMA Information Technologies

One of the primary functions of the church is to care for and tend the people God has placed within the church. People get sick, go to the hospital, get transferred to Rehab centers, and maybe end up homebound. Making sure that people end up on the right list to receive the right care can be difficult, especially as you have more contact points letting your church know what is going on and how things are changing. The pastoral care plugin can help. Because there are different ways of doing ministry and a variety of pastoral care concerns you may want to track, you have the ability to create the care types (e.g., Hospitalization, Rehabilitation, Nursing Home, Home Bound, Communion Delivery, etc.). The plugin comes with various reports and views to make sure that when someone from your church is providing care, they can take notes, record the care, and see who they may still need to contact.

6. Acme Certificate From Blue Box Moon

The Acme Certificate plug-in make managing SSL certificates on your Rock server a breeze.  It sets up the certificate on the server automatically from within Rock and handles renewals as well.  It’s a quick, easy and cost effective way to keep the Rock server SSL up-to-date.

These are just a sample of the plugins we use regularly when helping churches accomplish their mission in their context. There are so many other plugins we could mention, so we invite you to keep watch out for future articles where we review other plugins in-depth or list plugins themed by ministry areas.