Managing small group oversight with clusters
In this article
Overview of cluster functionality
While Labels can be used to categorise your small groups, the module's Cluster functionality is all about grouping groups for oversight and pastoral care. A group can only be assigned to one cluster. Designated cluster overseers with My ChurchSuite access can view the member list and recent attendance of the groups in their cluster.
Clusters are 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 functionality
Head into the Small Groups module setting via the cogwheels icon in the top-right corner of the module and click on the Module Options tab. Click to Edit and Enable Clusters.
Navigating away from the module settings the Clusters section is added to the Small Groups module. Click Add cluster.
On the Add cluster pop-up, enter an appropriate cluster Name and click Save.
The cluster "View" page is shown. From here you can assign one or more cluster overseers by clicking Add overseer.
You can add multiple overseers if you wish. Note also the option to Remove an overseer. Having added overseers you can now assign groups to the cluster - click Add group.
On the Add group pop-up, search and select a Group - the list of matching active groups filters as you type. Select the group and click Save. Note that adding a group to a cluster will remove it from any other cluster it is currently linked to.
Continue adding groups, searching and selecting, as appropriate. Note that you can Remove groups from a cluster. Removing a group from a cluster or deleting a cluster simply unassigns groups from that cluster - the groups are not themselves deleted. Note also that the cluster "View" shows Active & Future groups by default, but you can switch to view Past groups assigned to the cluster.
In addition to the method of adding groups to a cluster shown above, you can also assign a group to a cluster when adding a small group, or when editing an existing group's details. On the Add group or Edit group pop-up select the appropriate Cluster to assign the group to. This method can also be used to Edit and assign Past groups to a cluster if you wish.
Finally in this section, you can easily identify groups not currently assigned to any cluster using the Advanced Search in the Groups section of the module. Use the Cluster search to filter the list of groups that have No cluster.
You can then work through the list of groups and Edit and assign each group to the appropriate cluster.
Communicating with groups in a cluster
One of the great features of Clusters is the ability to direct small group communications based on clusters if you wish. From the Small Groups module's Communication section, note the drop-down selector to switch between Groups, Clusters and group Tags. Selecting Clusters lists all your clusters to select from.
Communicating with cluster overseers
Continuing from the last section communicating with clusters, you can either communicate with All Members of groups in the selected clusters...
...or By Role. Note the role option for -- Cluster Overseer --. Select the role in the box on the left and click Add to move the role to the selected roles box on the right...
Finally, choose how you want to communicate - perhaps by SMS or Email.
Cluster oversight in My ChurchSuite
With cluster functionality enabled in the Module Options for module users, the My ChurchSuite Options tab has the option to Enable cluster oversight - click Edit to make changes. Overseers will be unable to manage their cluster groups in My ChurchSuite unless this option is enabled.
Ordinarily, cluster overseers are only able to access the member list and recent attendance of Active groups. A further My ChurchSuite Option - Show Groups - can be set to Show Active & Future groups. Click Edit to make changes. Note that cluster overseers are unable to access details of past groups.
In the My Groups section of My ChurchSuite, in addition to the small groups they may belong to, overseers see a Clusters tab through which they can view the list of groups in their cluster. Only groups set to Show in My ChurchSuite are shown.
Overseers clicking through to a group's View page can access the group's Members list, recent Attendance and group Details (shown read-only).