Assigning roles within your small groups
Roles are a really useful way of organising the members of your small groups, making it easier to communicate with groupings of people by their role. Once you've created a role, it's then just as easy to assign that role to the relevant members of each of your groups. For each role you create, there are a number of optional functions that group members with that role can then perform - like attendance recording in My ChurchSuite. Let's take a closer look...
In this article
Creating and assigning roles
Navigate to Roles section of the Small Groups module and select the Add role.
On the Add role pop-up, enter the Name of the role - e.g. Leader, Worship Leader, Attendance Submitter, Prayer Coordinator, Flyer Contact, Co-Leader. Next, select which additional options are to be granted for group members who are assigned this role in their group. See the next section in this article for an explanation of each additional option and permission. Click to Save before closing the Add role pop-up.
Within the Roles section, helpful icons give you a visual indicator of the Options and My ChurchSuite permissions you have assigned for each role. Hover your cursor over an Option or My ChurchSuite permission to see what the option is. You can return to the Roles section at any time to make changes.
Clicking on the number in the Contacts column of the above Roles list will display a list of group members assigned with that role in your active small groups...
Note also how you can easily Order roles in the Roles list using the up/down icons - simply click and drag a role within the list, or click to open the Reorder modal and use the up/down icons to make changes as appropriate.
Having created a role, you now need to assign that role to specific group members in each of your small groups. To do this, navigate to Groups list within the Small Groups module and open each group's "View" page in turn.
Scroll down to the Members tab. To assign a role to a group member, select Edit from the action cog next to the member's name.
On the Edit member pop-up, assign roles as applicable - roles change from grey to blue when selected...
You can also assign roles to new group members when using the Add member option on a small group's page (the button is located at the top of the group Members list)...
Simply search for a person, select their Roles from the drop-down list, and Save the changes.
Group members with Edit Group Details role permissions (see next section) are also able to assign roles when adding group members or editing existing group members in the member-facing My ChurchSuite.
Additional options and permissions for those in roles
When adding or editing a Role you can choose whether additional options and permissions should be granted to group members assigned with that role. To grant additional role options and permissions simply ensure that the relevant option is ticked on the Add or Edit pop-up. Role permissions apply on a group by group basis, so a group member assigned with a role permission in one group doesn't have the same permission in their other groups unless they are assigned that role in their other groups - so, for example, someone can have attendance submission permissions for one of the small groups they belong to, but not for any other groups they might also belong to.
Each of these role options and permissions is explained below...
Flyer Contact Details
When enabled, group members with this role will have their contact phone number and email address displayed on the printed flyers for their Small Group. Note that only one person's details can appear on flyers, so make sure only one person per group has this role. To help with this, you may find it helpful to create a role called "Flyer Contacts" and then assign it to just one member in each small group. For guidance on how to print flyers for small groups, check out the related support article below.
If you simply want a mobile number on your flyers, you can go to the member's contact page in the Address Book and temporarily turn off their Email is visible for their privacy settings. You can then print the flyers with just the mobile number, and then return to the Address Book and revert their privacy settings. The same process works if you simply want an email address. Make sure you have a lawful basis for sharing a flyer contact's personal details in this way.
Notify of Sign-Ups
Small group members assigned with this role setting enabled will be notified when people sign-up to their group through My ChurchSuite or the Embed/Connect group pages. This can be a really useful, especially during a sign-up period, as it enables small group leaders to stay on top of who's signing up to join their groups, helping them be intentional about welcoming newcomers.
Be careful to only enable the Notify of Sign-Ups option on just one role, otherwise a group member assigned with multiple roles that each have Notify of Sign-Ups enabled will receive multiple instances of sign-up notifications, one for each role the option is enabled that they are assigned to!
Viewing sign-ups in My ChurchSuite before the group starts
Often churches will run a sign-up period that begins prior to the small group's start date. While group members with the Notify of Sign-Ups option enabled will receive email notifications of new sign-ups, they will only be able see the list of group members in My Groups if the Enable attendance submission option is checked in the Small Groups Module settings for My ChurchSuite. (Go to Small Groups > Module Settings > My ChurchSuite and "Enable attendance submission").
Visible in My ChurchSuite?
Enabling the Visible role option will show this role against the member's name in the My Groups Members list within My ChurchSuite. This will mean that all group members, and those that sign-up to that group through My ChurchSuite (if you have Show member list immediately selected within the Group's sign-up options) will be able to easily see the assigned roles of their fellow group members. This can be really useful for newcomers to identify the group leaders or group hosts. However, in some churches or groups, role invisibility may be more preferable; in which case, simply disable the "Visible" setting for the role.
Small group members assigned with this role permission can submit group attendance through My ChurchSuite. For this to function, attendance submission must be enabled globally in the Small Group module's My ChurchSuite options.
Attendance recorded through My ChurchSuite is added to the Attendance section within your Small Groups module. Attendance recording is helpful to both pastors and leaders as they monitor small group engagement, to see which groups have available capacity to direct newcomers to, to quickly spot pastoral issues where a member is seemingly withdrawing from small group life, but importantly where maintaining attendance registers are necessary for safeguarding purposes - e.g. if children or vulnerable adults at risk are present at the group.
Small group members with this role option enabled, will see an Add attendance button on their My Groups page within My ChurchSuite.
From there they can simply tick all of those who were present, or use the notes field to record any visitor information, or even record if the group didn't meet. Attendance submitters will also be able to see an 'Attendance' tab in My Groups, giving a simple summary of recent group attendance - really helpful for spotting who's not been for a while.
See our related support article on Small Group Attendance recording.
Edit Group Details
Small group members assigned with this role permission will be able to access an Edit [group] Details section in the My Groups section within My ChurchSuite.
Edit permissions allow role holders to manage the group's Members list, including being able to add/remove members from the group, assign roles, and set active (approve) 'pending status' group members.
The precise details of what group fields can be edited by these role holders is set in the small group module's settings, as this is global setting across all small groups. Go to "Small Groups" > Module options (by clicking on the admin cog in the top right hand corner of page). From there click on the "My ChurchSuite" options and scroll down to the Editable Fields section.
Once you have set the Editable Fields for those with Edit Group Details role permissions enabled, role holders will be able to click the Edit [group] button and make any necessary changes. All changes will be updated back to the group in your ChurchSuite Small Groups module.
Communicating with people by small group role
Whether it's issuing an invitation to small group leaders to attend an end of year party, sharing resources with small group junior leaders, or distributing chord music for this month's latest worship song to your small group worship leaders - "Roles" makes the task of directing those communications super easy. Here we outline two useful ways to communicate by role.
First, head to the Roles section of your Small Groups module. Click through to the Role "View" page that you wish to communicate with. Note the Group Status option to filter (and therefore communicate with) role holders of archived, active and future groups. Click Update to apply a filtered selection.
Click Communicate to send an email or SMS to all the small group members assigned with that role for groups with the selected group status.
Alternatively, within the Small Groups > Communication section, you have the option to communicate to All Members of a group(s), or By Role. Note that this method will only send to role holders of the selected active groups - not role holders of archived or future groups.
Deleting small group roles
Note: Deleting a small group role is irreversible and will un-assign every role holder from the deleted role in all groups - archived, active and future. Deleting a role does not the delete the role holders from ChurchSuite or remove the role holder from the groups to which they are members.
From the Roles section of the Small Groups module, select Delete from the cog actions menu in the list.