Enabling/disabling rota swap functionality

Lots of churches love the My ChurchSuite functionality that allows rota members to organise and record their own swaps when they can't make their serving commitment for any reason. It's a great feature to encourage team members to take responsibility for arranging cover and updating the rota, rather than bouncing it back to the church office or ministry overseer. However, we recognise that some churches don't want to allow rota swapping. Here's how to enable or disable this functionality.

This article assumes you've already made rotas visible in My ChurchSuite to your church members. Further articles are available on this subject.

Enabling or disabling rota swap

Go to the Rotas module settings - the cog-wheels in the right-hand corner of the module. To access this feature you will need Manage module or Administrator permissions. Within the module settings, select the "My ChurchSuite" module option menu.

Here you can now tick to disable swaps, or un-tick to enable swap functionality.

How does the My ChurchSuite swap functionality work?

Different churches will have their own in-house processes that they wish their serving team members to follow; but essentially the ChurchSuite swap functionality works on a trust basis. It's not intended to be used to "inflict" a swap on someone unsuspecting(!), and neither is it an 'approvals' system where an overseer or another team member "accepts" or "declines" a swap request.

Typically, a serving team member who needs to organise a swap will have first contacted other team members on the rota to see if anyone is available to swap. They'll of course only contact those in the ministry whose roles are compatible for a swap. Within My ChurchSuite's features are a couple of useful ways to help with this...

1) First, serving team members are able to view the rota "Members" tab within a rota. Clicking on any member will display a popup contact details box (subject to that person's privacy settings). The rota members tab is only visible to rota members. Rota members will only show in the list if their privacy settings have "Name is visible" enabled.

2) A further option is to use the rota Group Email button (top right corner) to send a rota group email to everyone on that rota enquiring if someone is available to swap.

Once a swap has been agreed, it can now be recorded really easily within My ChurchSuite. Here's how:

When a rota member views one of their rotas in My ChurchSuite, for each rota date they are scheduled to serve, there is a member "menu" button next to their name (a circle with three dots in it - see Gavin Courtney in the example below).

Click the member menu button on the relevant rota date where the swap is needed and select "Organise swap".

The "Organise swap" page is opened. Select the name of the person you are swapping with. The "Return swap" will populate with a list of all the swappee's future serving dates for all active and future rotas for that ministry (and show roles for those dates). Select as appropriate from the list.

Click save changes. Any clash notifications will be displayed, or a success message shown.

When a swap (and return swap) is successfully recorded, email notifications will be sent to the swapper, any return swappee and the ministry overseer(s) to acknowledge the rota change has been made.

Rota swap - intended functionality

When a swap and a return swap are recorded, only the rota members move, their roles do not. This means that the "swap with" person will inherit the role(s) of the person making the swap, and they in turn will inherit the roles of the return swapper. Of course ministry overseers can still make role changes on rota dates if necessary. ChurchSuite assumes that swaps are organised with team members who have suitable roles - we don't expect your Sunday preacher to swap with a worship band drummer!

Rota members can only record their own swaps, not anyone else's. Typically it is the person who is unable to serve that would make the rota swap; however, if a return swap is being made, that return swapper can make the rota swap change.

Return swaps can only be added for future rota dates (i.e. future dates from today, not from the date of the swap). It is not possible to swap with others on the same rota date, or as a mechanism for swapping roles within a rota date - a clash notification will prevent a rota swap being recorded - the swapper will not be able to proceed.

It is not possible to swap with rota members who have added unavailability for a rota date. The 'return swap' list excludes unavailable rota members.

A clash notification will arise if the "return swapper" if already serving on that rota on that date at the same time,...

...or if they are serving on other rotas at the same date/time as the swap.

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