From the Trenches - Check-in Suite

MinistryPlatform is flexible, and there are several different ways to approach a topic. Here are examples of how some churches in our community handle this topic. Adapt MinistryPlatform's functionality and these ideas to fit your ministry context.

Using a Zebra Printer/Cutter with Windows 10

In Windows 10, use the Print Management Console to access and edit printer/cutter settings rather than the Settings > Devices > Printers and Scanners panel. The Devices folder does not open with Administrative privileges by default, even if the user account is a member of Administrators.

Reducing Print Delay

Selecting the “Room" or “Enable Default Printer” options in the Kiosk Print Settings rather than “Specific Printer" has been found to shorten the delay in print time when printing labels. You do not have to be utilizing a remote printer in order to use these options; either enable the default printer or map the desired printer to the appropriate room.

Tips for Troubleshooting Zebra Printer Set-Up

  • Print Settings: Ensure the “Use Printer Settings” option is selected in the device’s print settings
    • For details, see step #5 in section D - Additional Steps for Zebra Printers on the Configure Printer page.
  • Cutter: In Check-In Suite, select the appropriate Cutter or No Cutter option for your Label Sets depending on your printer setup.
    • You can also send a test page from the device’s control panel to ensure the printer is recognizing the cutter.
    • For more information on working with label sets, see Label Sets (Name Tags).
  • Print to Room: Select the Enable Default Printer option in Kiosk Settings to speed up print time. 

Using Barcode Scanners with Check-In

Tags: For the physical barcode, a popular option is to use key tags like the ones used in grocery stores.

Email with Barcode: If you have a Twilio account integrated with MinistryPlatform it is possible (with extensive custom development) to have families text in a code, which will then trigger a bounce-back email with their barcode.

Using Fingerprint Scanners with Check-In

While fingerprint scanners aren't common, it is possible to use them with the assistance of a third party application.

Software and Hardware: One church is utilizing M2SYS as their fingerprint software, and the M2Sys Easyscan Fingerprint Readers. For more information, visit their website at

System Overview: A Bio-Plugin Server runs a small database on a VM where the fingerprint information is stored. A Bio-SnapOn client runs on the station that is used to register the users, and passes the fingerprint information to the server. The client also pulls in the ID Card number and passes it to the MinistryPlatform Check-In application.

Check-In Process: Check-In kiosks are set to unattended mode, searching by ID. When the individual scans their finger, it is passed to the Bio server where it returns their associated ID number. That ID number is automatically entered into the search field of Check-In, the contact is found, and they are checked in.

Adding a New Fingerprint: The SnapOn software is used to register the fingerprint in the database, and an ID number is associated with the fingerprint. That same number is then entered into the ID Card field for the Contact in MP. 

Migration from FellowshipOne: Barcode numbers can be migrated from FellowshipOne to the ID card field in MinistryPlatform, meaning existing barcodes will continue to function and no re-issuing is necessary.

Authorized Pickup

If a child is involved in a custody situation, an authorized pickup note can help staff and volunteers ensure the child's safety during check-out. A code phrase on the child's name tag can alert classroom staff and volunteers to exercise extra caution during check-out. For instance, "AP [Parent's Name]," meaning Authorized Pickup by the parent listed. This ensures the child is picked up only by the parent listed on the tag regardless of another family member's relationship to the child in MinistryPlatform. If having the parent's name visible on the name tag is not necessary, a specified icon could be used in place of a code phrase. The authorized pickup note or icon is added as an Attribute in the child's Contact record. For more information on Attributes, see Label Design.

Security Summary Label

One church created a Security Summary Label, which has two pickup codes so parents can tear it in half and each have a pickup tag.

An example of HTML code that can be used to create this type of label can be seen below.

Maintaining Kiosk Clock Settings

Print Service won't verify if the kiosk clock is too far in the past or future. If you experience an issue with printing failing (especially on a machine that was previously working) check it's clock settings! Reset the kiosk to your domain time if needed. Other churches have also used NTP Pool as a way to keep their kiosk clocks in sync.