3. Activating My ChurchSuite

In this article

Introduction
Enabling My ChurchSuite access
Activating module-specific My ChurchSuite functionality
My ChurchSuite for children
Child age of consent

Introduction

My ChurchSuite is designed to help your members stay connected, and keep up to date with everything going on in the life of your church or organisation. Through My ChurchSuite members can update and manage their details and those of their children, sign-up for events, join small groups, stay on top of the rotas they serve on, and much much more!

Access to My ChurchSuite is by an invitation process initiated from the admin-facing ChurchSuite system, which means you can easily manage who has access. The My ChurchSuite functionality you offer members can be customised and styled to provide a familiar browsing user experience. My ChurchSuite is accessible from any web browser and through our free iOS or Android apps – app download links are embedded in the My ChurchSuite invitation email.

Each My ChurchSuite menu item shown above relates to an underlying module or integration in your admin-facing ChurchSuite system. In this article - and before sending My ChurchSuite invitations - we explore

  • how to enable My ChurchSuite access for your organisation's members
  • how to enable module-specific My ChurchSuite functionality for the Children (My Children), Calendar (My Events), Small Groups (My Groups), Rotas (My Rotas) and Giving modules (My Giving)
  • how to enable My ChurchSuite access for contacts and children

Enabling My ChurchSuite access

Head to the Profile section in the Administrator area of ChurchSuite. The My ChurchSuite tab has a range of settings to customise the member user experience when they access My ChurchSuite. Some of these settings are explored in greater detail in the related support articles.

The Settings control whether My ChurchSuite access is enabled. Members will be unable to log into My ChurchSuite and you will be unable to send My ChurchSuite invitations if My ChurchSuite access is disabled here. To enable My ChurchSuite access, click Edit and tick to Enable and Save the changes. Once enabled, members (both contacts and children) will be unable to access My ChurchSuite unless Allow My ChurchSuite access is set on their profile page in the Address Book or Children module.

Activating My ChurchSuite module features

Some of ChurchSuite's modules have My ChurchSuite Options that control the functionality available in My ChurchSuite as it relates to that module.

For example, here in the Children module's My ChurchSuite Options you can customise the parent and child user in My ChurchSuite. When My ChuchSuite access is enabled, parent contacts in the Address Book can access the My Children section of My ChurchSuite. Similarly, by setting an Age of Consent children over that age can be optionally invited to access My ChurchSuite too. The other My ChurchSuite Options are explained in further detail in the related support articles.

To activate the My ChurchSuite functionality for other modules - Children, Calendar, Small Groups, Rotas and Giving – navigate into the respective module's settings (via the cogwheel icon in the top right-hand corner of the module), and into the My ChurchSuite Options tab. To enable that module's My ChurchSuite functionality click Edit and Enable My ChurchSuite access – the example below is for the Calendar module.

Repeat this step for each module in turn, as appropriate - Children, Calendar, Small Groups, Rotas and Giving.

Top Tips! My ChurchSuite for children

Introduction

My ChurchSuite isn't just for grown-ups! Many churches encourage older children and young people to belong to small groups and serve on rotas. With this in mind, and perhaps with parental consent, you can also offer My ChurchSuite access to eligible children and young people in the Children module. Importantly, the same privacy, data protection and safeguarding afforded to invited adults is extended to invited children and young people, meaning that it's a safe place for older children to begin to experience some appropriate responsibility for managing their personal data. As for adult contacts, My ChurchSuite is a great way to increase the engagement of older children in their local church, enabling them to easily participate in events and courses, small groups and rotas, as well as keep their own details up to date.

As with Address Book contacts, you can only send My ChurchSuite invitations to children that have a Child Email address specified, which can be a parent email address if the child doesn't have their own. My ChurchSuite access is only permitted to invited children with Allow My ChurchSuite login enabled and who are over the online age of consent that you set in the module's settings (see next section).

A 'child' version of the My ChurchSuite invitation can be found in the Presets section of the Administrator area of ChurchSuite, which can be further customised if you wish. You may also wish to review your organisation's Privacy Notice (located in the Profile section of the Administrator area) and the Communication Options and Privacy Settings messages also found in the same place. Compliance with data protection legislation is best achieved if language and terminology are easily understandable by older children and when you clearly explain to children (and adults) how their personal details are used by your church.

Like Address Book contacts, children have their own privacy settings, which parents and children can self-manage within My ChurchSuite, choosing which basic contact details are visible to a child's fellow rota or small group members. Beyond these two contexts, no child details ever surface in My ChurchSuite to other church members. It may be helpful to remember that if a person's Name is not visible through their privacy settings they will be invisible on rotas and in their small group's member list. Rotas and small group ministry will function best when the members are visible in these contexts - you may therefore wish to have Name visible as a default privacy setting before inviting contacts and children to access My ChurchSuite.

Use of the My ChurchSuite Search for Others feature is possible by contacts and children. Many churches using this option currently choose to restrict access to just those in selected tags. With this in mind, you may wish to review your Search restrictions, should you wish to extend the use of the feature to invited older children, otherwise the feature, if enabled, will only be accessible to invited Address Book contacts. Note that the feature searches across the Address Book only - children and young people in the Children module never show in search results.

Similarly, features like event visibility and external links in My ChurchSuite can be optionally restricted by Tag. Where you do have events or external links currently restricted to those in Address Book tags, you may wish to extend their visibility to children in selected tags too. When restricting event and external link visibility in My ChurchSuite you have lots of granularity, enabling you to only show these things in My ChurchSuite to just the intended audience, whether that's adults, children or both.

Child age of consent

This setting determines the minimum age that invited children can access My ChurchSuite. Children below this age and those without a date of birth cannot be invited and will be unable to log in, and no children will be able to log in where the online age of consent has not been specified. The Age of Consent you set should consider the legal age of online consent as defined in law for your region and as determined by your organisation's safeguarding and data protection policies.

My ChurchSuite access by children is verified at each login to check

  • that the child's My ChurchSuite access is enabled
  • that the child's date of birth meets the minimum Age of Consent
  • that the child's email address and password combination are valid

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