Stay on top of your church member key dates

All of your members have important dates and milestones resulting from their interactions with your church or organisation, some of which you will want to be able to stay on top of. These may include baptisms, weddings, first visit, bereavements, confirmation - or maybe you want to maintain a record of the dates of certain discipleship milestones, such as participation in your certain events or courses; or administration milestones, such as membership or training. Fortunately, ChurchSuite makes this really easy...

In this article

Introduction to key dates
Assigning key dates to an individual
Bulk-assigning key dates to multiple people
Making changes to key dates
Merging key dates
Key date reporting
Identifying people with missing key dates
Celebrating key date anniversaries
Overview of your key dates
Automatically assigning key dates to new people
Viewing the key date journey of archived people

Introduction to key dates

Key Dates can be created in both the Address Book and Children modules. Each module has its own Key Dates section. There's no limit to the number of Key Dates you can create. Deleting a Key Date will remove all instances of that key date instances from all people in the module. Key Date conditions can be referenced in Smart Tags using the Has Key Date or In Key Date range of dates. Key Dates are only visible to module Users in ChurchSuite - they are not visible to members in the member-facing My ChurchSuite. You can also optionally restrict the visibility of certain key dates if you wish. To create a new Key Date or to remove a Key Date from a person you will need at least Manage module permissions. Any user can assign existing key date to a person.

Assigning key dates to an individual

To add a Key Date to an individual person heading to a person's profile page within the Address Book or Children module. If the person doesn't yet have any Key Dates, the Key Dates section will not be visible on their profile. Begin by selecting Add to Key Date from the Add drop-down button.

On the Add to key date pop-up, begin typing a key date Name. As you type, ChurchSuite will auto-suggest from your existing Key Date names or you can type a new Key Date name and press <Enter> to create it.

Set the Date of the Key Date to be assigned and optionally type a Description. Note also the option to Search by person/tag, perhaps to assign that same Key Date to others. Click Save to complete the process and add the Key Date for the selected person(s).

Having added a first key date the Key Dates section becomes visible on the person's profile page. This list of key dates will grow as further key dates are added in the future. You can also use the Add key date button to add further key dates. Notice that in addition to the key dates list, a timeline representing the person's key date journey is shown. Hovering your cursor over the timeline will pop-up a note of the key date.

As a person's Key Date history grows over time, helpful filters enable you to filter particular Key Dates or those within a given timeframe.

In addition to the Key Dates your Users may assign - as explained above - ChurchSuite automatically add the following "system" Key Dates against people in relation to Ministries and Small Groups: -

  • Joined ministry - date and ministry name
  • Left ministry - date and ministry name
  • Joined small group - date and small group name
  • Left small group - date and small group name

You can also Edit or Delete a person's existing key dates using the cog action menu on the right hand side of each Key Date in the list. Deleting a key date here will remove this one date instance from this one individual - the key date is not removed from all people.

Bulk-assigning key dates to multiple people

As seen in the previous section it is possible to assign a Key Date to multiple people using the Search for person/tag option on the Add to Key Date pop-up. You can also quickly add a Key Date to multiple people in other ways too depending on where you are working. Throughout ChurchSuite you'll see the Add to key date option - just like we saw on a person's profile page in the previous section - for example, here at the top of a Tag's "View" page.

Another example is the Add to key date action found here on an Event's "View" page on the Invites, Sign-Ups and Check-Ins tabs.

You can also assign key dates to people within Flows, from report pages and even using the batch Actions when viewing people in the Contacts and Children sections of the respective module.

As demonstrated in the previous section, whenever you use the Add to Key Date option you'll have the same Add to key date options to enter a Key Date Name, Date and Description. The pop-up is pre-filled with the selected people, but you can also manually add or remove people if you wish.

A final method of adding Key Dates to multiple people is when creating a new Key Date in the module's Key Dates section - click Add key date.

On the Add key date page, type a suitable Name, optionally assign a Colour, specify the Date to be assigned to people, add an optional Description and set the key date's Visibility. Next, use the Search by name/tag. Note that this method will assign the same key date to all the selected people. You can also bulk-assign an existing key date - as you type in the Name field, simply select an existing key date from the auto-suggest list.

Note that when adding a new Key Date, if an existing Key Date by that name already exists, the two Key Dates will be merged and the selected contacts for the new Key Date "date" will be merged in to the existing Key Date (the Colour and Visible to will not override those of the existing Key Date). If you wish to change the colour and visibility of the existing Key Date you will need to Edit that Key Date and make the changes. In this way it won't be possible for a restricted visibility Key Date to be made visible to "All Users" when a duplicate Key Date name is added.

Making changes to key dates

You can easily change a key date's Name, Colour and Visibility settings. Working from the Key Dates section of the module, select Edit from the cog actions menu on the right-hand side of a key date in the list.

On the Edit key date page make your changes as necessary and click Save to apply them.

Note that key dates cannot be removed from people from the Edit page - this can only be done from a person's profile page in the Address Book or Children module.

Merging key dates

You can easily merge two key dates - perhaps where the same key date has been created by different users with slightly different names.

Working within the Key Dates section select Merge from the cog action menu of the key date you wish to retain. In this example we have two similar 'newcomer dinner' key dates; we'll merge the 'supper' key date into the 'dinner' key date to retain the 'dinner' key date.

On the Merge key date pop-up, select the key date that you want to merge and click Merge to complete the process.

All key date instances for the 'newcomer supper' are merged into the 'newcomer dinner' key date, and the 'supper' key date is deleted.

Note: It is not possible to merge Key Dates that result in any of the 'system' key dates being removed. So while you can merge your own key dates into 'system' ones, you can't merge 'system' ones into your own. 'System' key dates are:

  • Joined group and Left group
  • Joined ministry and Left ministry
  • Ongoing Consent
  • Delete [account] Requested
  • Unsubscribe general email/SMS
  • Unsubscribe rota reminder email/SMS
  • Unsubscribe phone calls and Unsubscribe post

Key date reporting

Within the Address Book and Children module's Reports section is a helpful Key Dates report that produces lists of people with selected Key dates fields within an optionally defined date range. Click Generate to apply filter changes. The list of matching results can also be further-filtered to show just those in selected Tags.

Note that the Key Dates report only draws from people who have at least one Key Date on their record. If you need to identify people who do not have a particular Key Date you should use the Key Dates Missing report - explained in the next section - which looks at all contacts when generating the results.

The report's Key dates drop-down menu is "multi-select" and enables you to select or contrast multiple key dates, and even invert a selection of a Key Date to match people who do have at least one key date but who do not have another. In this next example, we are looking for a list of people who, within in a range of dates, have an 'Attended New Believer Course' key date within the selected range AND who do not also have an 'Attended Newcomer Dinner' key date in the same range. Essentially each Key Date is matched using an AND statement - i.e. Has "Attended New Believer Course" AND Has NOT "Attended Newcomer Dinner" in the selected date range.

Having filtered to see a list of matching people with the selected key date(s), it's then really easy to Communicate direct from the report results page.

Let consider some use cases. For instance, some churches will add a Key Date to people for "Married" or "Wedding". Using the Key Dates report you could identify everyone who got married in the last two years and then send them an email letting them know about a marriage enrichment event that your church is running. Or what about reporting a list of people that have a "First Connected" key date in the last 6 months but who don't have an "Attended newcomer supper" in that same period - perhaps that's you next newcomer supper guest list!

Identifying people with missing key dates

Sometimes it's just as useful to see what Key Dates those in your database don't have. For example, you want to see who in your Address book has not joined a ministry or small group yet, or which youth have not been baptised.

Within the Address Book and Children module's Reports section is a helpful Key Dates Missing report that produces lists of people without selected Key dates fields. As with the Key Dates report you have the option to refine or filter your search by Tag(s) and relevant dates to find the information that you need.

In the following example the report returns children do not have a "Baptised" key date AND who also do not have a "Dedicated" key date.

Celebrating key date anniversaries

The Anniversaries report in the Address Book module's Reports section is ideal for viewing lists of contacts who have a matching Key Date anniversary within a given month or selection of months. In the following example the report has been filtered to identify a list of contacts who have a one year "Married" key date anniversary in September - now we can send them a card or note of congratulations.

Overview of your key dates

Working with the Key Dates section of a module you can see a list of all the key dates in that module. The list gives an 'at a glance' view of the number of Dates instances of each key date and the Visibility settings.

Clicking on a Key Date in the list opens that key date's "View" page to see the list of people with that Key Date. The list can be further filtered for a range of Key dates and those in selected Tags. You can Communicate directly with the filtered contacts listed, and even add them to a Tag, Group or Flow.

The list of contacts includes basic contact information and each occurrence of the Key Date are show in the coloured shaded box.

Automatically assigning key dates to new people

Within ChurchSuite's module settings you can set key dates that are to be assigned when new people are added to the Address Book or Children modules. Remember, new people can be added by module Users, but they can also be added at your Information Point through the My Details form in Connect, and also via your website using the Address Book Embed. Let's look at the module settings for each of these three areas.

Auto-assigning key dates to new people added by module Users

Working within the Address Book module's settings, click into the Module Options tab.

Scroll down to the Tags/Key Dates settings. Here you can select the key dates that are to be assigned to new contacts added to the Address Book by a User.

The same Module Options are also available for the Children module's settings to select the key dates that are to assigned to new children added to the Children module by a User.

Auto-assigning key dates to new people added via the Connect My Details form

Newcomers are able to submit their contact details and areas of interest via the My Details form running on a laptop or tablet at your Information Point. The My Details form is part of ChurchSuite Connect - see the related support article for further information on managing newcomers through Connect.

Working within the Address Book module's settings click into the Connect Options tab.

Scroll down to the Tags/Key Dates/Flows settings. Here you can select the key dates that are to be assigned to new contacts added to the Address Book via the My Details form.

The same Connect Options are also available in the Children module's settings to select the key dates that are to assigned to new children added to the Children module via the My Details form.

Scroll down to the Children module's Connect Options tab to the My Details Options section (after the Child Check In Options)...

...and locate the Tags/Key Dates/Flows settings. Here you can select the key dates that are to be assigned to new children added to the Children module via the My Details form.

Auto-assigning key dates to new people added via the Address Book Embed form

Newcomers are also able to submit their contact details and areas of interest via the Address Book Embed form on your website - see the related support article for further information on managing newcomers through Address Book Embed.

Working within the Address Book module's settings click into the Embed Options tab.

Scroll down to the Tags/Key Dates/Flows settings. Here you can select the key dates that are to be assigned to new contacts added to the Address Book via the Address Book Embed.

The same Embed Options are also available in the Children module's settings to select the key dates that are to assigned to new children added to the Children module via the Address Book Embed.

Scroll down to the Tags/Key Dates/Flows settings. Here you can select the key dates that are to be assigned to new children added to the Children module via the Address Book Embed.

Viewing the key date journey of archived contacts

When you archive a person in the Address Book or Children module their Key Date history is retained. Viewing an archived person's profile page will continue to show their historic Key Date journey. You can use the Archived Contacts report in the Address Book module's Reports section (and Archived Children report in the Children module Reports section) to filter the list within a range of archiving dates and/or by those people who have certain key dates within an optional key date range.

In this example the report is matching contacts archived within a range of dates that have a "Deceased" key date for any date.

The report's Key Dates filter can be used to select multiple key dates; perhaps to identify archived contacts who have left the church that didn't complete your membership process (i.e. has a 'Left church" key date but does not have a "Membership" key date")

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