Getting started with the Small Groups module
Purpose of the module
Welcome to ChurchSuite's Small Groups module! This module enables you to manage all the aspects of your small group ministry. In this module you can easily create groups, optionally group your groups using Labels and Clusters, manage group member lists and roles, and record small group attendance. The module includes optional group sign-up functionality, helping you to more easily engage prospective group members by promoting the groups you run and, where sign-up is open, to make it super-easy for people to join. Sign-up confirmations and group leader notifications keep everyone in the loop. The module also includes a wide range of reports to help you better understand small group engagement and how your small group ministry is growing over time.
We encourage you to read this article in full to familiarise yourself with the module's key features and customisation options available and to acquaint yourself with some of the basic concepts and terminology you'll see within the module and our other Small Groups module support articles.
Small Groups module features at a glance
- easily add or duplicate groups that meet online or physically
- optionally create custom fields to record additional group-related details for each group
- manage each group's visibility in My ChurchSuite, the Connect 'Group List' and the 'Group Map' and 'Group List' Embed
- group your groups together using Labels to categorise different types of groups and enhance the filtering of reports and group lists
- use Clusters to group groups and provide oversight by designated cluster overseers
- easily produce small group promotional flyers to share by email or via social media
- maintain group attendance for safeguarding and strategic reporting purposes
- quickly integrate newcomers into groups through group sign-up - prospective sign-ups can view a 'menu' of groups open for sign-up and then join the group by submitting a few basic contact details - sign-up confirmations and leader notifications keep everyone in the loop
- multi-site support - create 'site-specific' or 'all sites' groups
- comprehensive reporting to help you better understand your small group ministry and easily identify those not yet engaging in your groups
- in-built communication section to communicate with group members or just those in specific roles
- empower group leaders to manage their group member list and group attendance from within My ChurchSuite, without needing Small Groups module access
- scaleable and flexible functionality for churches and organisations of any size - there's no limit to the number or types of groups you can use the module for
To explore many of the Small Groups module's features and functionality, you'll need to add some data. While not intended to be an exhaustive list, working through some of the following tasks will help you get your Small Groups module up and running - see the related support articles listed at the end of this article for detailed 'step-by-step' instructions.
- Review the module's settings
- Add your groups, setting the visibility and sign-up settings as required for each group
- Take time to write helpful group descriptions that prospective sign-ups and group members will see and even upload an image for each group - perhaps of the group's leaders looking beautiful!
- Optionally add Clusters, designate cluster overseers and assign groups to each cluster
- Optionally add group Tags, set each tag's visibility and assign groups to your tags
- Create roles and set each role's permissions
- Populate each group's member list and assign roles - perhaps from existing Address Book tags or manually searching and adding people. You could even add just the leaders and then have them populate their group's member list using My ChurchSuite
- Decide whether you wish to collect group attendance and your internal process for doing that; or encourage group leaders to submit attendance via My ChurchSuite
- Where sign-up is enabled and open, review the My Groups 'Sign Up' section in My ChurchSuite to ensure all the groups are listed as expected with all the correct details
- Review the "Groups List" application in Connect to ensure all the groups are correctly listed as expected and that the list, map and filter options are as you would like
- Optionally generate the small group map/list embed codes and have those added to the source code or 'embed block' section of the appropriate page on your website. Review the embed in your website to ensure groups are listed as expected and that group pages and sign-up are operational (if enabled)
Got a question?
You’ll find the answers to most questions in our support articles - they're all available through the Support beacon located in the bottom-right corner of each page in the Small Groups module - just search by topic, phrase or keyword. You can also access the Support Article library on our website. And if you still can't find something you're looking for, click to get in touch with one of the ChurchSuite team - we’re happy to help!