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, their linked children's details, sign up for events, join small groups, stay on top of the rotas they serve on and 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.

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Each My ChurchSuite menu item 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

As an Administrator, navigate to the Profile section of your Account Settings, which is accessed via your User menu. My ChurchSuite Options has a range of settings to customise the user experience when your members access My ChurchSuite, which is explored in greater detail in the related support articles.

The Settings control whether My ChurchSuite access is enabled. Your members will be unable to access My ChurchSuite, and you will be unable to send My ChurchSuite invitations if My ChurchSuite access is disabled. Click Edit to Enable. Once enabled, your member contacts and children can only access My ChurchSuite if Allow My ChurchSuite access is enabled on their profile in the Address Book or Children module.

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Additionally, some modules have their own My ChurchSuite Options that control the functionality available in My ChurchSuite for that module. For example, in the Children module My ChurchSuite Options, you can customise the user experience for parents/carers and children with My ChurchSuite access. When My ChuchSuite access is enabled for the module, parent/carer contacts in the Address Book can access the My Children section in My ChurchSuite to self-manage their linked children. Similarly, by setting an Age of Consent, children over that age can be optionally invited to access My ChurchSuite. Each module's My ChurchSuite Options are explained in the related support articles.

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Activating module-specific My ChurchSuite functionality

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

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

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 with parental consent, you can offer My ChurchSuite access to eligible children and young people. Importantly, the same privacy, data protection and safeguarding afforded to invited adults is extended to invited children, meaning that My ChurchSuite is a safe place for older children to begin to experience some appropriate responsibility for managing their personal data, and it's a great way to increase 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 details up to date.

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

A 'child' version of the My ChurchSuite invitation can be found in the Presets section, 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 your Account Settings) and the Communication Options and Privacy Settings messages 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 privacy settings, which parents/carers 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 function best when the members are visible in these contexts - therefore, you may wish to set Name visible as a default privacy setting before inviting contacts and children to access My ChurchSuite.

The use of the Search for Others feature is possible by contacts and children. Many churches using this option choose to restrict use to just those in selected tags. With this in mind, you may wish to review your Search restrictions, should you wish to extend usage to invited older children. Note that the feature searches the Address Book only - children 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. If you have events or external links currently restricted to those in Address Book tags, you can extend the visibility to those in selected Children tags - you have lots of granularity available to show 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 at which 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. 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.

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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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