How to use the Attendance module
The ChurchSuite Attendance Module is the core repository for recording attendance metrics for your church. Optionally you can choose to track contact attendance, but at its most basic level it serves to simply record key metrics about your church attendance numbers.
In this article
Note that the Attendance module works independently of the attendance tracking functionality for children's groups in the Children module and small groups in the Small Group module. That said, you can optionally copy attendance totals for your groups in these respective modules and paste them into your Attendance module metrics if you wish.
At the heart of the Attendance module are Categories - these are the headings under which your attendance numbers are grouped and from which Attendance module reports are generated.
Attendance dates must be unique - you can only record one attendance entry for a date (Multi-site enabled churches can enter one attendance entry for a date for each Site). Create categories for each and every metric you wish to record for any given date.
Adding a new attendance category
Go to "Attendance" > "Categories" and click "Add category". Give your category a name, and for multi-site enabled churches, specify the Site (you will create categories for each of your sites for which you wish to record attendance).
Note that you can use colour-coding to distinguish between your various categories. Now add the Group(s) within your category, specifying whether the Group is to be included in the Category totalling. For example, you might have a Group for "Visitors" which is not included in the total if visitors are already included in another Group's totals.
You must enter at least one Group.
Save your changes.
Over time, as your attendance history builds, viewing a Category page will display a summary of recent attendance for that category.
Recording attendance data
Go to "Attendance" > "Dates" and click "Add service data". Enter the attendance date and then enter each of your group metrics and any optional notes.
Under "Attendance" > "Reports" there are two attendance metric reports. Within each report there is the option to filter, group and sort your attendance data, specifying a range of dates to report and whether to exclude dates with zero attendance.
Within the Graph Generator, you can filter your Categories, perhaps isolating a particular Group or Groups within a Category; and then plotting those attendance results.
Tracking the weekly attendance of your church members
We introduce this section with a reminder of the vision for ChurchSuite: to provide useful tools that help churches in their respective ministries. While words like "tracking" and "monitoring" sound overbearing or controlling, the simple level of functionality offered in the Attendance module is also intended to be part of mission; to help make disciples and care for people better as they interact with churches. Of course we know it's not about 'numbers', and yet in so many helpful situations, attendance recording is extremely helpful, and sometimes even essential.
Certainly when churches are smaller, this level of individual attendance recording is easier to achieve and can be very useful. If you're a new church and people are coming, are they coming regularly, or are they slipping away for some reason? Whether it's to satisfy trustee or board enquiries, charity commission or funding eligibility "stat" requests, or simply to quickly identify that family or individual who may be slipping away from fellowship and needs reaching out to; the weekly member attendance record may be useful.
How to turn the weekly attendance record on or off
You can turn off the weekly attendance record feature at any time, which has the effect of hiding the "Average Attendance" section from the meta-summary section on each contact's profile page, and also hiding the contact "tick box" section you would ordinarily see when adding attendance data.
To enable or disable the weekly attendance record, head into the Attendance module's settings, accessed via the cog-wheels in the top-right corner of the module - you'll need Manage module or Administrator permissions to access this.
Once there you can simply toggle on or off a single module setting to manage the visibility of the weekly attendance record. Save any changes you make before closing.
Weekly attendance recording is only possible for your Address Book contacts. It is not possible to record child attendance in this way. Instead, ChurchSuite's Child Check-In system is designed to record children attendance for their Groups within Gatherings. There is also separate attendance record functionality in the Small Groups module for your mid-week group activity.
Enabling weekly attendance recording, will display a list of your active Address Book contacts in the "Add week data" page. Here you can simply "tick" each contact in attendance on that date. You can optionally filter the list of contacts by Tag(s).
The data from this Attendance Tracking "weekly attendance record" pulls through to each contact's profile page in your Address Book, allowing you to view a contact's recent attendance on their profile page.