1. What is My ChurchSuite - overview
My ChurchSuite is ChurchSuite's member-facing platform and it's the ideal way to help your community to stay connected to one another and keep up to date with all that’s going on in the life of your church or organisation.
Within My ChurchSuite people are able to manage their own personal details and keep them up to date, sign-up for events, join small groups, keep on top of the rotas they’re serving on and much more! Parents can even manage their children's personal details.
Access to My ChurchSuite is via an invitation process initiated from the ChurchSuite Address Book so you can easily manage who is granted access.
In the remainder of this article we provide a brief overview of the functionality provided in each My ChurchSuite menu section.
The first part of My ChurchSuite that your members see after logging in is the Home page where a customisable welcome message greets them.
The Home page also shows the next three upcoming Featured Events from which they can click through to the event's page to see further information about the event and even sign-up (where event sign-up is enabled).
The Home page also contains a mini version of the My Communication section, which lists the most recent communications sent to a member through ChurchSuite. Essentially people can view all their communications in one place (as well as receiving them on their regular email application of course).
Clicking through to the My Details section members are able to manage and update their personal details (address, phone numbers, email, etc.) as well as a few other key pieces of information about themselves, providing a degree of ownership over their data while reducing your administrative burden – a win-win situation! Changes made by members are immediately updated to your organisation's admin-facing ChurchSuite modules.
Members can manage their Login password...
Members can also easily manage their Privacy settings too; to choose which pieces of contact information they are happy to be visible to other members within My ChurchSuite. They can share as much or as little as they feel comfortable. Note that the privacy settings only extend to a member's address, telephone, mobile and email – no other personal details are visible to others in My ChurchSuite, and no children's details are visible either. Members can click to view your Privacy Notice and they have the option to Delete account, if they wish.
The Communication tab is for managing their communication options – whether they wish to opt in or out of your organisation's various communication methods. ChurchSuite distinguishes rota reminders from all other communications, referred to as general communications. In this way a member can opt out of receiving rota reminders while remaining opted in to receiving all your other communications.
The My Communication page displays a list of all communications sent to that member through ChurchSuite – most often in the form of emails or SMS messages – to enable members to see all their communications in one place. My Communication displays communications for the last six months, with a maximum of 50 items (whichever is fewer). Selecting any communication will open the message to view.
Note: It's not possible to dismiss or hide 'read' communications – in this regard the My Communication section is not a mail folder. It's also not possible to reply to messages from within My ChurchSuite – members would still use their regular email applications to send replies.
The My Children section enables parents to manage their children's details. Only a parent can view their own [linked] children’s details.
During an active Child Check-In session a check-in QR code is shown on the My Children page that can be scanned using a QR code scanner at your child check-in point to help parents quickly locate all their children within the check-in system to check them in. Once checked in, the parent pick up badges are also shown on the My Children page – parents can even see if a child has already been checked out; perhaps if the child was collected by the other parent.
Clicking through into a child's Details page gives parents the option to manage that child's information, including contact details and important medical and special needs information.
The Communication tab is home to the child's communication options for opting in or out of your organisation's various communication methods. ChurchSuite distinguishes rota reminders from all other communications, referred to as general communications. In this way a child can be opted in or out of receiving rota reminders independent of being opted in or out of receiving all your other communications.
Finally, the Photo/Video Consent tab includes the settings for the child's photo/video consents for internal and external presentation.
The My Events section provides your members with a simple, searchable event calendar listing all your public-facing upcoming events, courses and meetings. Any events marked in the Calendar module as Visible in My ChurchSuite will show on the My Events calendar. Outstanding event Invitations and the next three upcoming Featured Events are also shown.
Clicking on any event takes you through to the event's information page showing the date, time, and location (as well as a handy embedded location map to help them find their way) and a short description of the event itself.
Events may optionally be set up to allow people to sign-up through My ChurchSuite making it easier than ever for members to engage and participate in your organisation's events. When a member clicks to sign-up through My ChurchSuite their contact details are even pre-populated into the sign-up form.
The My Events section is also great for your designated event overseers too! For each event they oversee they'll be able to view the Signups progress for the event – seeing who has signed up, their contact details, tickets and payments...
...and even click through to see the contact details of sign-ups, including the responses to any event questions completed at the point of signup.
Event overseers can also access ChurchSuite's event Check-In system to record attendance at the event.
The My Groups section has a number of features. Group members can see the contact details of their fellow small group members (subject to each member's privacy settings). Additionally, through "role" permissions e.g. leaders, role-holders are able to submit group attendance and manage the group's details and member list.
The My Groups section is great for those not yet in a small group too! You can easily display a list of groups that are open for Sign Up. Those looking for a small group to join can view the list, select a group that's right for them and sign-up in a single click – group leaders get a notification too!
We've made it really easy for small group members to communicate with one another using a simple Group email feature. Group emails are sent to all the active group members whose contacts are listed in that particular small group. The message author can even set whether message replies come back just to them, or get sent to all the members of that small group. This means an end to the perpetual round-robin of emails, replies and updates that occur when communicating with a group of people; now members just send out one group email and the replies can be visible to all parties automatically.
The My Rotas section enables members to quickly and easily view all their rotas and upcoming serving commitments in one place. As with our My Groups section, My Rotas gives members the ability to communicate with everyone on the rota using the rota Group email feature. Rota members are also able to arrange and process Swaps, add their Unavailability and Sign up to rota dates (for rotas where sign-up is enabled).
Rota overseers will also love the My Rotas section too! Overseers can create, publish, distribute and manage rotas all from within My ChurchSuite without needing access to your ChurchSuite Rotas module. Whether it's managing teams and roles, or emailing out a new rota, My Rotas helps everyone stay up to date with who's doing what and when. We've produced a separate My ChurchSuite support article for rota overseers.
The My Giving section makes it simple for your members to engage with their financial stewardship – placing the ability to manage their donations right at their fingertips. Through My Giving members are able to make one-off and recurring online donations using ChurchSuite's online giving platform called Donate, as well as reviewing the donations that they have made to your organisation by other donation methods. Members are able to make Gift Aid declarations (UK customers only), ensuring that you're able to claim Gift Aid for the donations they make to your organisation. Within the My Giving section members are also able to set up and manage fund Pledges and track pledge progress.
If your organisation records podcast messages you can make them available to your members directly through My ChurchSuite! This fantastic feature allows you to link to an existing XML/iTunes feed or SoundCloud ID and have any podcast episodes uploaded to My Podcasts. And if you upload video messages to either a Youtube or Vimeo account you can also include the video message alongside the audio message.
Search for Others
Search for Others is a member contact directory enabling members to look up contact details of other members without having to burden the office or use an out-of-date printed church directory. Members are only able to view information that people have chosen to be visible to other members through their privacy settings, and importantly no children's information is included in the directory. This feature, if enabled, can be either made available to all My ChurchSuite members or restricted to just those members in a particular Tag.
In addition to the standard My ChurchSuite menus outlined in this article you can also add your own custom menus for external links. These are great for linking to your website, social media pages, mission links, prayer chains, or secure file storage etc. You can even set custom menus to only be visible to members' particular tags – ideal for making resources available to certain groupings of people.
We're constantly looking for ways to improve My ChurchSuite, to provide members with the best system possible. More than anything else My ChurchSuite is geared towards helping your members to become more connected to your organisation's mission and vision; making it as simple as possible for them to take control and become involved in all that your community offers.