Managing My Rotas in My ChurchSuite

Designated Overseers can have the ability to publish and manage rotas in My Rotas within My ChurchSuite. While team members can view their upcoming serving commitments and organise swaps (if option enabled) in My Rotas, Overseers have the full functionality of rota management in My ChurchSuite; meaning that they don't have to be set up as Users in ChurchSuite if you wish. Here's a helpful feature overview video to get you started.

In this article

First Steps: Enabling My Rotas functionality in ChurchSuite
Assigning an Overseer to your Ministry
Adding a new Rota
Adding teams and members, ordering and removing teams
Allowing members to sign-up for rota dates
Publishing a draft rota
Switching between name/role view
Adding new members directly to a rota
Children on rotas
Assigning or changing roles
Duplicating a Team from an existing date
Swapping Teams between two dates
Removing members from the rota
Adding Notes to highlight special dates
Adding dates to your rota
Removing dates from your rota
Using the rota group email
Renaming your rota or changing the rota time
FAQs

Enabling My Rotas functionality in ChurchSuite

Before Ministry Overseers can use My Rotas to create and manage rotas, there are some Rotas module and Ministry settings that first need to be set. Head to the Rotas module option, accessed via the cogwheels in the top-right corner of the module (you'll need Administrator or Manage module permission to be able to access this). Select the My ChurchSuite 'Options'.

Begin by ticking to 'Enable My ChurchSuite access' - this setting enables (or disables) the My Rotas functionality in My ChurchSuite. Only Ministry Overseers and those Ministry teams members on an active rota will be able to see the My Rotas menu option in My ChurchSuite.

Optionally tick to 'Enable All Rotas access' if you would like those with My Rotas access to also be able to see the "All Rotas" page. 'All Rotas' is rota overview of all serving teams for a given date.

Next, if you wish to disable My ChurchSuite's 'swap' functionality, tick to 'Disable Swaps'. Doing so prevents serving team members from recording swaps with others. Note that this is a 'global' setting across all Ministries, meaning that serving team members would need to contact a Ministry Overseer for swaps to be amended on a rota if 'swaps' are disabled. Enabling 'Swaps' allows your serving team members to process swaps in My Rotas (for which Ministry overseers would receive an email notification of the swap).

Every rota in My Rotas will have it's own unique Group Email which team members can use to organise swaps, circulate prayer requests and circulate important information. Choose 'who' group emails should be distributed to - either Ministry members or Rota members (recommended).

Assigning an Overseer to your Ministry

In this article we assume that you have already setup your Ministry - including configuring any Rota reminders (Email and/or SMS) and Ministry description. For further information on how to create a new Ministry, see the related article How to create a rota.

Only Address Book contacts designated as Overseers of a Ministry are able to create and manage rotas within My ChurchSuite. Begin by selecting your Ministry (From Rotas > Ministries), and click "Edit Ministry". Use the 'Search for contact...' box to add one or more Overseers. Overseers will receive email notifications of swaps; they will also have Manage Rota permission in My Rotas within My ChurchSuite. Save any changes made to your Ministry before closing the page. Repeat this for each of your Ministries.

Important

To manage My Rotas, remember that Overseers need to have 'Allow My ChurchSuite login' enabled in their Address Book profile and have been invited to My ChurchSuite to set up their password.

The remainder of this article explores the features and functionality available to Overseers in My ChurchSuite.

Adding a new Rota

Overseers can add new rotas set with a "Draft" status while they are being set up; after which they can be set as active by changing their status to "Published", and then distributed. Draft rotas can only be seen by Overseers; Published rotas can be seen by all rota team members.

To add a new rota for a Ministry, select "+Rota" on the My Rotas page (located under the 'Next Serving' section).

Next, select the Ministry, the Start and End Dates the rota will run from and to, the Day(s) that the rota runs on, and the Times in which team members will serve. You can minimise rota 'clash' occurrences by setting accurate times that reflect when your teams are actually serving - for example, it's entirely possible for people to serve in more than Ministry in a Sunday service and for there not to be a rota clash - as long as the rota serving times are set accordingly.

Now set the 'Team Rotation'. Note that "Teams to Rotate" and "Start Team" will only visible depending on the Team Rotation selected.

Which Team Rotation?
  • Ad Hoc. If your Ministry does not follow a specific serving pattern, e.g. once per month on the first Sunday, select AdHoc. When you add a new rota, you'll be able to manually assign individuals or teams to each date.
  • Simple Rotation. Create any number of teams and have them follow a simple rotation pattern. For example, if a team serves every 3 weeks, create three teams; if a team serves every 6 weeks, create six teams. With 'Simple Rotation', specify which 'Teams to Rotate' and the 'Start Team' for the rotation.
  • Serve 13. Four teams serve once per month, e.g. Team 1 on the first week, Team 2 on the second week, etc. On months with five weeks, the extra week will be covered once per year by each team in rotation. During a year, each team will typically serve 13 times. You must have 4 teams to be able to select Serve 13.

Scrolling down the 'Add Rota' page further will show the Ministry's teams, members and their roles within their team; if teams have already been set up.

Refer to support article sections below for more detailed guidance on editing teams (adding members, setting their role and renaming a team), adding new teams, deleting and re-ordering teams; and editing roles or removing team members.

Saving your changes will now create your Draft rota (with the teams, members and roles you have set). Once a rota is created, it is not possible to change the rotation; however you can still make ad hoc changes to your rota e.g. adding additional team members, amending roles etc.

Adding teams and members, ordering and removing teams

Select a rota from the list in My Rotas. Click "Members" to view any pre-existing teams, members and roles. For a new Ministry it may be that no teams have been added yet. You can do that now. To add a new team, select "+ Team" at the top of the Members page.

Enter a team name e.g. Week 1, Week 2, Team A, Team B, Reserves, John's Team.

You can also add new members to your team here, if you wish, using the "Search for a new member" option. Only contacts whose personal visibility settings have their name set as 'visible' can be searched. The search results will auto-complete as you type. Select a contact from the list to add as a member. Depending on the roles that may already exist for the Ministry, you can also assign a role to your new team member.

Continue adding further members to the team, if you wish. When you are finished, click 'Save Changes'.

You can also add members to a team by clicking "+ Member".

As before, simply search for a contact to add as a team member, select the contact and assign a role as required (if roles have already been set up for your Ministry). Note, also, that you can choose to "Add members to all future dates" on draft or published rotas for this ministry.

Helpfully, if a Ministry has multiple teams, you can change the team order by clicking the "Order" button on the Members page.

Use the 'up' and 'down' arrows to set the team order. The team order is used when adding a new rota with Simple Rotation or Serve 13. Save your changes when finished.

At any time you can edit a team (perhaps to change a team name). Click "Edit" and make your changes. Remember to save your changes.

You can also delete an entire team if you wish. Click "Delete" and confirm your request.

Allowing team members to 'sign-up' for rota dates

One of the great features of My Rotas for Ministry Overseers is the ability to create and publish rotas that have available dates that serving team members can choose to sign-up for. 'Sign-up' can be enabled on a rota-by-rota basis, giving Overseers flexibility to choose the rota-recruitment method that suits a ministry best. It's incredibly versatile and can be useful in lots of different scenarios, e.g.

  • To publish an empty future rota and then invite team members to sign-up for the future date(s) they're available and can serve.
  • To publish an incomplete rota and ask team members to sign-up to those future dates where there is still need.

Helpfully, rotas with 'Sign-up' enabled show with a "tick" symbol before the rota name in My Rotas.

When ministry members login to My ChurchSuite and view the rota, they'll see "+ Sign up for this date" on those rota dates where there are still team places to be filled.

Signing up displays a confirmation. Importantly, Overseers can instantly see new 'sign-ups' on the rota in their My ChurchSuite.

How to enable 'sign-up'

To enable rota 'sign-up' functionality (and having first created a rota for a ministry), click "Edit rota" at the top of the rota page.

First, tick "Allow members to sign up to future dates?" to enable 'sign-up' for that rota; and then specify the maximum sign-ups per date. If you want to recruit 3 members for each date on the rota and already have 2 members on the rota, you would set the maximum sign-ups to 5. Note that this 'maximum' is a global quantity that is applied to all dates on the rota.

Having set a global 'maximum sign-up' quantity, you can also set a different maximum on a 'per date' basis; allowing you to set custom sign-up quantities when needed. To do this, select "Edit date" on the rota.

Enter the revised 'maximum sign-ups' for that date.

Publishing a draft rota

Whenever you're working with a Draft rota, an information message is displayed at the top of the rota page.

Click "Publish now to allow others to see it". Add content to the email body if you wish. The rota and contact details of team members is appended to the email automatically - click 'preview' to see what that will look like. Note that only those contact details of team members whose visibility settings permit are included - if any team member has chosen not to make their contact details visible, they won't show in the distributed rota. Click "Send Email" to send your rota and set your rota as "Published".

Switching between Name view and Role view

When viewing Dates on a rota, you can switch between Name view (alphabetical order) and Role view. Using Role view for example, can be helpful for quickly identifying whether you have sufficient serving team members covering each of the roles on a given rota date. It is not possible to change the order that roles are displayed in.

Name view example

Role view example

To change the rota view, select the "Edit Rota" button in the top-right corner of the rota page.

There, select the desired view from the "Order by" drop-down menu and save your changes.

Adding new members directly to a rota

Once your rota is up and running and published, it's often necessary to make changes. You can add new members directly to your rota quickly and easily. Begin by clicking "+ Add to date".

Either select from the list of Ministry members displayed, or use 'Search for person...' to find a contact who is not in the Ministry. Search results can include contacts from your Address Book or Children module. Children module contacts are designated with a 'child' avatar next to their name (see Becca Adams below).

If a rota member has a role/s it'll auto-select the role/s when you add them to a date. If a rota member has different roles on different teams within a ministry you you will get the option to choose which role/s you want to assign on that date.

Toggling the search from Ministry "People" to "Teams", you have the option to add an entire team to your rota date. For example you might use your reserve team.

Children on rotas

You can add children to your rotas (perhaps members of your youth). This is done in exactly the same was as adding an adults. Simply search for the child's name and add them as described above. Children are designated by a 'child avatar' next to their name on the People list (see below) or in the Members page. Child avatars don't display on the rota when viewing Dates.

Assigning or changing roles

When you first publish a rota for a Ministry, team members are assigned any role(s) specified in the underlying teams. These can be overridden, deleted or added to in a rota without affecting the underlying teams - this allows you to make custom changes to suit your ministry's particular needs on any given rota data. Importantly, rota members can be assigned multiple roles - this means that in Role View, a team member may show more than once - they'll show under each role they are assigned.

To add or edit rota member's role, click the 'edit' button on the right of their name on the rota. For members without a role, you can select "Add role".

For members who already have a role, you can select "Edit role".

In both instances you can now select one or more roles (or deselect roles) from the list of roles available to the Ministry. Click "Save" once you've made your role selection.

Top Tip!

In Role View, you get a visual numeric indicator or the number of team members in a role. If you hover the cursor over a role, the "Add" to role button appears. Any team members added using this "Add" button will be assigned with that role automatically. This is therefore a much quicker method of adding people straight into roles on your rota, compared to the "Add to date" method explained above.

Duplicating a team from an existing date

In addition to adding members to a rota date individually, you can also duplicate the members from another rota date. Within the rota date you're wanting to add people to, select "Duplicate from date".

Select the date from the drop down menu and optionally choose whether to also overwrite the team name and date notes on your target date. Click "Duplicate From Date" to confirm.

Swapping two teams

You swap an entire list of serving team members (including their assigned roles) between two dates. Working within one of the dates on your rota, click "Swap date".

Choose a date to swap with, from the drop-down menu. The people on that target date as then listed with their roles. Confirm the swap by clicking "Swap Date".

Removing members from the rota

To remove a member from a date on a rota, select "Remove member" from the menu option next to a contact's name.

In addition to being able to remove them from that single rota date, you can optionally choose to remove the team member from all future dates on the same rota, and to additionally remove them from the underlying linked Ministry entirely (which will remove them from all teams).

Adding Notes to highlight special dates on your rota

Those special occasions, like Baptism services, that can often catch us out on rotas - extra visitors, so we might need more serving team members that week. Rota notes are rota-specific and allow you to add custom messages to a rota date as a reminder to rota members and overseers - like, " Baptism Service-more chairs needed" for your set-up team rota.

To add a Note, select "Edit Date".

Type you note in the Notes field. You can add multi-line notes and even include short URL links if you wish. Click 'Save Changes' when finished.

The note is added to that rota date under the team name.

Adding dates to your rota

You can easily add additional dates to a published rota. You can even add another occurrence of an existing date but at a different time - ideal for those three identical Christmas carol services you've got back to back! To add a date click the "Add date" button at the top of the rota page.

Enter the date and time and any optional notes. Click "Add Date"

A new, empty date (and time) is added to your rota, ready for you to add team members to - perhaps by duplicating from a date (see earlier support article section).

Removing dates from your rota

You have two options here. You can either "clear down" the date (removing all team members from the date) but leave the date in place on the rota with empty roles in tact (perhaps to be added to another time); or you can remove the date entirely. Neither of these changes make any changes to your underlying Ministry teams and team members.

To clear down the team members for a given date, select "Clear date". You'll be asked to confirm.

To delete all team members from a date, select "Delete date". You'll be asked to confirm.

Using the rota group email

Each rota has it's own unique Rota email address. Rota group emails are "closed group" emails. Only rota or ministry members will receive emails or be able to send emails to the other group members. Rota group email is ideal for circulating prayer requests or organising swaps.

New emails are sent to all rota team members. Note that you can set whether replies are sent just to the originator of the message (default), or to all members. Note that closed group emails are not logged in ChurchSuite, but are logged in the My Communications section for all recipients and the author.

When ministry overseers use the rota group email, they have an additional option that enables them to append the rota to the email. In this way, just like when publishing a draft rota, you can include the rota in your message - perhaps to let the rota members know about significant changes to the rota.

Renaming your rota or changing the rota start time

In most instances your rota will have the name and start time assigned when it was first published. To change the rota Name or Start Time, select "Edit" at the top of the rota page.

Now you can edit your rota Name and/or Start time. Remember to save your changes.

When changing the rota start time, bear in mind that the duration of the rota date slot remains the same. So if the rota is created to run from 10:30am to 12 noon (1.5 hours), adjusting a rota start time to 11am will run the serving time slots for 1.5 hours from 11am, i.e. the rota dates end at 12.30pm instead of noon.

FAQs

  • Q. Can I create a new Ministry in My Rotas?
  • A. No. Creating a new Ministry remains an admin function that needs to be done in ChurchSuite by a User with 'Manage' or 'Administrator' permission for the Rotas module. Overseers do not have the ability to do this within My Rotas.
  • Q. Can I change the rota rotation once a rota is published?
  • A. Whilst you can make lots of changes to rotas once they're published, it is not possible to change the rotation, as the rota inherits the rotation at the point it is generated. Therefore, to publish a rota with a different rotation add a new rota with the new rotation. You can then remove the old rota.
  • Q. What's to stop anyone from signing up to be the preacher or a leader!?
  • A. Only members of the underlying Ministry can sign-up to rota dates in My Rotas. Additionally, 'sign-ups' can only choose from those roles already assigned to them in the underlying Ministry. This can be helpful for your worship team for example - you could use Roles in the Ministry to reflect all the instruments that people can play, and then, at the point of signing up, they can select which role they are signing up for. Churches may, however, prefer to only designate very specific roles to team members based on their training or skills - only those designated roles would be displayed to the member at the point of signing up to a rota date.
  • Q. Do overseers receive a notification of sign-up?
  • A. No. Imagine a large church publishing an empty rota with a sign-up capacity of 40 members for a 6-month rota - the overseer would receive 1040 sign-up notifications! Many of those sign-ups would also reply to the sign-up request email - potentially a further 1040 emails! We don't think this is helpful to the overseer. Instead, overseers can view their status of their previously empty rota in My Rotas. A visual sign-up indicator bar shows sign-up progress on a date-by-date basis.
  • Q. What clash notifications are provided?
  • A. When overseers add members to a rota date and they're already serving on another rota on the same date and time, a clash notification is displayed for the overseer - the overseer can then choose to proceed and accept the clash, or cancel. Similarly, if a team member attempt to sign-up on a date/time when they are already serving on another rota, a clash notification is displayed and the sign-up is not permitted. We're also working on even more enhanced clash detection functionality in My Rotas and providing a clash reporting.
  • Q. Can I set or modify rota reminders in My Rotas?
  • A. No, this is not currently possible. Rota reminders are part of the underlying Ministry of a rota and can only be set or modified in ChurchSuite.

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