Getting started with the Small Groups module

Introduction to the Small Groups 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're able to create groups, optionally gather your groups using Clusters, categorise your groups using Labels, 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 simple 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.

Next Steps

Review the module's settings: Head into the module settings via the cogwheel icon in the top right-hand corner. Review the settings, including the module name (you may call your small groups "Life Groups" or "Connect Groups" for example) and custom fields.
Add Labels: This Support Article talks you through what you'll need to do to create labels for your groups.
Add Groups: Check out this Support Article for more information.
Add Attendance: Add some attendance for one or more groups.
Group sign-up: Consider how you want people to be able to sign up for groups. Check out our Support Articles on Enabling group sign-up through your website and My ChurchSuite group sign up.

Check out our short training videos...


Here's a list of terms you may see across the ChurchSuite modules and in our support articles:

  • Attendance is the way you can track who attended a group and when - many organisations/churches find this key for supporting the pastoral care of their members.
  • Clusters are all about grouping groups for oversight and pastoral care. A group can only be assigned to one cluster.
  • Labels help you to categorise your groups. These labels then help your members select the group they feel is most appropriate for them, and enable you to generate embeddable lists and maps based on certain group types.
  • Members are the people who are part of a group. Both contacts and children can be members of these groups.
  • Roles can be optionally assigned to group members, such as "Leader" or "Host". Some roles come with additional permissions, such as the ability to enter group attendance within My ChurchSuite.
  • Small Groups typically refer to your church's mid-week discipleship groups. You might call them life groups, connect/community groups, hubs, pastorates, cell/growth groups or house/home groups, for example. These groups will likely meet with various frequencies on various dates and in various venues. You may (or may not) record attendance for these groups.

Small Groups module features at a glance

  • Easily add, import 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, in the Connect 'Group List' and in 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

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!

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