Overview of rota types

In the ChurchSuite church rota module there are three types of rotas you can set up at a "Ministry" level. These can be further customised at the point of creating your rota.

Customising rotations beyond the three basic rota types

In most cases, one of the three Rota Types will suit your Ministry. However, to cater for those ministry rotas that have bespoke rotations and teams, we've provided additional functionality at the point of creating your rota that allows you to override the default rota type, or customise the rota to suit your team structure.

When you add a rota for a Ministry, you can customise the following:

  • You can use the same Ministry and teams for multiple Days
  • You can override the default Team rotation for a Ministry, allowing you to use the same Ministry for create multiple rotas, each with different rotation.
  • You can select which Teams to include in a Simple rotation; excluding teams if you wish (e.g. exclude your 'reserve' team from the normal rotation.
  • You can choose which Team to start your rotation with - ideal when you rota starts part way through a month.
  • After you've created your rota you can add additional dates or times to the rota - ideal for one-off dates when you have multiple services happening. You can also remove a date from a rota.
  • You can add entire Teams to an AdHoc rota after the rota has been generated - ideal where there is no rotation pattern.
  • You can add or remove individuals from a Team or Date within the rota, without affecting the underlying Ministry.

Serve 13

The serve 13 is a rota that happens weekly and is ideally suited to Sunday serving teams. The main benefits of the rota are that team members can easily know when it's their turn throughout the year, without having to even look at the rota.

For a serve 13 rota, you need to create 4 teams. Team 1 always handles the first week, i.e. the first Sunday in the month. Team 2 handles the second Sunday, and so on.

The reason it is called "serve 13" though is because each team serves once per month for 12 months and one additional, thirteenth, time to cover one of four "fifth Sundays" during a year. Essentially, Team one covers the first fifth Sunday of the year, Team 2 covers the second fifth Sunday, Team 3 covers the third fifth Sunday and Team 4 covers the fourth fifth Sunday.

It's an elegant solution to the "fifth Sunday" problem that we often face, and many churches find this solution works very well in practice.

...but I have a "fifth Sunday" team!

If you have a designated team in your ministry for fifth Sundays, the best way to create your rota is to select "AdHoc". This will generate all the dates for the rota period. You can now go into that empty rota and quickly add entire Teams to each date on the rota; adding your Week 1 Team to the first date in a month, your Week 2 Team to the second date, and so. In those months with a fifth Sunday you can simply add your Week 5/Reserve Team. And of course, you can still 'tweak' your rota by adding or removing individuals to serving dates in your rota without affecting the underlying ministry. This is ideal where you might need extra bodies for a special service like a Baptism or Christmas service.

An alternative is to use Serve 13 and create a rota that uses 5 teams in rotation. Serve 13 will add each team to the correct week of the month and ensure your week 5 team is added to rota dates where there is a fifth Sunday.

Simple rotation

The simple rotation rota type is a rota which rotates your teams week after week. So, if your ministry is set up with 10 teams on a simple rotation, each team will be called upon every 10 weeks. If you have 4 teams, they will be called upon every 4 weeks, and so on.

You can set the simple rotation up in different ways - weekly, fortnightly, or four weekly. So, for a four-weekly event (i.e., an event that happens every four weeks), a simple rotation with 2 teams would mean that every team would be called upon every 8 weeks.

With simple rotation you can create multiple Teams in your Ministry, but then "cherry pick" only those teams you want to use on the rota. So if you have a reserve team, you can choose not to include that team in the normal rotation. You can also designate which Team to begin the rotation with and the serving pattern of each team (i.e. the number of consecutive dates each team will serve before the next rotation).


AdHoc Rotas let you set up rotas that don't follow any repeating serving pattern. It lets you simply assign individuals or teams to each date on the rota. AdHoc Rotas are the simplest form of rota, but also the most work - other rotas automate a lot of the work once set up, but with AdHoc rotas you have to assign people or teams manually for each and every rota date for the duration of the rota.

Still need help? Contact ChurchSuite Contact ChurchSuite