Managing small group oversight with clusters
In this article
Overview of clusters
It easy to group together small groups using Clusters. Clusters are essentially all about small group oversight. Cluster overseers can view the member lists and recent attendance of the groups in their care from within the My Groups section of My ChurchSuite. And within ChurchSuite, when communicating to your small groups, Users can optionally filter or direct communications by cluster. Clusters can also be used as a criteria for filtering many of the Small Groups module's reports. Note that a group can only be assigned to one cluster.
Clusters is an optional feature - before you can use it you'll need to make sure the feature is enabled in the Small Groups module's settings. Here's how...
Enabling Cluster oversight
With Manage module or Administrator access to the Small Groups module, click the cog-wheel module settings in the top-right corner of the module. On the Module Options page check the box to Show Clusters section.
This will enable the Clusters section in the Small Groups module so that you can begin to add and manage clusters.
Navigate to the Clusters section within the Small Groups module. Click Add cluster.
On the Add cluster pop up, give your cluster an appropriate Name and optionally search for and add Overseers. You can add multiple overseers for each cluster if you wish. Click Save when you are finished.
Once saved you can now begin to add groups to the cluster - click Add group.
On the Add group pop up click to Search groups. You can either scroll through and select active or future groups from the list...
...or you can type to search within long group lists to locate a particular group...
Repeat the above Add group process to continue adding all the cluster's groups.
For future reference, note that when adding new small groups, you can specify the group's cluster - it's not necessary to return to the Clusters section to do this.
You can add active or future groups to a cluster, but note that a group can only be assigned to one cluster - adding a group to a cluster will remove the group from any existing cluster it belongs to. You can return to the cluster page at any time in the future to Add group or Remove groups, or to edit or even delete the cluster. Note also the View option, to switch between viewing Past, Active, Active & Future and Future groups in the cluster.
As explained above, cluster overseers can be assigned when creating a cluster; however, it is also possible to manage cluster overseers from the Cluster "View" page. When viewing a Cluster, notice the Overseers section at the top of the page, and the option to Add overseer.
The Clusters list can be viewed at any time.
You can easily identify groups not currently assigned to a cluster using the Advanced Search options on the Groups list. Use the Cluster search filter to view groups in a particular cluster or No cluster.
Communicating with groups in a cluster
One of the great features of Clusters is the ability to direct your small group communications based on cluster if you wish. From the module's Communication section, not the drop-down selector to swicth between Groups, Clusters and group Tags. Selecting Clusters lists all your clusters to select from.
Communicating with cluster overseers
Following on from the previous section, when communicating with clusters, you can either communicate with All Members...
...or By Role. Note the role option for -- Cluster Overseer --. Click Add to select the role...
Finally, you can then choose how you want to communicate - perhaps by SMS or Email, or to sent them a My ChurchSuite invitation.
Cluster oversight in My ChurchSuite
Back in the Small Groups module options, click into the My ChurchSuite Options tab. Notice the option to Enable cluster oversight. If you wish to empower designated cluster overseers to see the group member lists and recent attendance of the groups in their care in My ChurchSuite, you'll need to make sure this My ChurchSuite Option is also enabled.
Ordinarily, cluster overseers are only be able to access the member list and recent attendance of active groups - i.e. groups whose start date has passed. A further My ChurchSuite Option can we used to Show active and future groups - i.e. groups whose start date is in the future. Cluster overseers are unable to access details of past groups - i.e. groups whose end date has passed.
In the My Groups section of My ChurchSuite, in addition to the small groups they are a member of, overseers will also see a Cluster section, showing all the groups in their cluster.
Overseers can easily click through into a group's details and view the Members list and Attendance information for a group. While overseers can view this information, it is not intended that they can edit it. Similarly, they cannot add or remove group members or record attendance for the group - these are role functions that can only be assigned to group members, typically the group leader.