Skip to main content
All CollectionsUsing the Gloo PlatformMessagingExplorer-Specific FAQs and Troubleshooting
I'm receiving Explorers from too far away or that aren't a good fit
I'm receiving Explorers from too far away or that aren't a good fit

Learn more about how Explorers are matched to churches and why you may be receiving Explorers who are not local

Updated over a week ago

If you are signed up to receive Explorers through a Gloo Premium subscription, then it makes sense that you'd want to receive people that you can help! Some Explorers are just looking for a listening ear and a good conversation, which can be done through texting and calling. Some Explorers are looking for a nearby community to get plugged into. Others may want to meet up with someone in person. There may be still other Explorers that you could serve in a very tangible way like help with food or a ride to work.

Because there are so many ways for you to serve Explorers, it can get a little tricky when you receive Explorers who are not very close to your church. Let's talk about how we match Explorers with churches, what settings you can adjust, and what to do when an Explorer is matched to your account that is too far away for you to serve.

How Explorers are matched

Whenever an Explorer reaches out, they are required to submit a zip code. Our system will then look at the zip code and search for the nearest participating organization. It starts with a radius of 1 mile from the zip code, then moves out to 5 miles, 10 miles, 20 miles, all the way out to 50 miles, looking for organizations along the way and choosing the closest one.

This means that the maximum distance you could receive an Explorer from is a 50 mile radius of your location. If the system still cannot find an active organization at the 50 mile mark, that Explorer will be matched with a nationwide partner, which we'll talk about in the next section.

The system will also try to spread Explorers evenly so that one church doesn't get 50 Explorers a week while another church a mile away only gets 5. However, this does not have a large impact on the average distance of an Explorer match since the system prioritizes closer matches.

As the Gloo platform grows, one priority is to balance the number and locations of participating organizations with the number and locations of Explorers. Larger cities and metropolitan areas likely have both more Explorers and more participating churches, which means churches in these areas can expect their Explorer matches to be closer. Rural areas, on the other hand, have fewer participating churches, meaning the average Explorer distance will be further. As the Gloo platform grows, one of our key goals is to decrease the average distance as much as possible.

At this time, we are not able to only send specific types of Explorers to specific organizations. For example, if you run a women's ministry, you will receive both male and female Explorers. If you specialize in mental health, you will certainly receive Explorers dealing with those topics- but you will also receive Explorers wanting to have other conversations. When you sign up for a Gloo account, you are committing to respond to all Explorers and not just ones that fit a very specific profile.

What settings can be adjusted

There are a few settings in your account that you can adjust to impact the average distance of the Explorers you'll receive. By default, accounts are set up to receive Explorers from a radius of up to 50 miles from their location. You can adjust this distance by going to your Explorer Settings and adjusting the Proximity to Explorers setting.

But what if an Explorer submits a message and there is no participating organization within 50 miles of their zip code? At that point we match those Explorers with our nationwide partners.

Maybe you are comfortable texting with people from a few states away and helping them virtually. Maybe your church has a thriving online community and virtual services you'd like to invite people into. Maybe you are a counselor who offers virtual appointments. All of these things would make you a good candidate to receive Explorers from anywhere in the country, and not just within 50 miles of you. If you'd like to adjust your nationwide settings, just go to your Explorer Settings and adjust the Accept Nationwide setting.

What to do when an Explorer is too far away/not a good fit

In general, we ask that you respond to any Explorer that is matched with your organization. However, there are special cases where Explorers may be too far away, or they may just not be a good match for your organization. A few examples of this are:

  • An Explorer has accidentally submitted the wrong zip code

  • An Explorer is right on the edge of that 50 mile radius and is asking for physical help or a community that you cannot provide due to the distance

  • An Explorer has submitted a message that appears to be fake/spam

  • An Explorer is dealing with suicidal ideation or something that you are not equipped to handle.

If any of these cases apply to you, there are a few things you can do:

  1. If an Explorer is matched with your organization and they are obviously not a good fit, or are too far away, please email or use the chat bubble in the bottom right corner of your screen to get in touch and explain the situation. One of our support specialists can help get that Explorer rematched to a church that will be a better fit.

  2. If you are consistently receiving Explorers from very far away and it is hindering your ability to serve them the way you would like to, please contact our Success Team at They can work with you and add a note to your account to help decrease that average match distance.

Pro tip: If you prefer to continue supporting your Explorer in finding the assistance they need, you can access location-based resources at

Did this answer your question?