Small group attendance
In this article
Overview of small group attendance functionality
Included in ChurchSuite's Small Groups module functionality is the ability to record and track attendance for your small groups. Attendance data can be added by a user through the Small Groups module and also by leaders in the member-facing My ChurchSuite, reducing administrative burden on the church office.
Attendance recording for members with a pending status
It is not possible to add group attendance for group members with a pending group member status. Pending status group members must be first set active - either by a Small Groups module User, or by a group member with Edit Group Details role permissions (such as a leader). Once group member status is set active it cannot be set pending again.
This means that for small group members added to the group through Small Group Embed, who are deliberately added to the Pending section of the Address Book, it is still possible to add group member attendance for those people as long as their group member status in their group is active. If their member status is pending, it is not possible to add their attendance. This is helpful because your admin team may be slower at setting pending status contacts active in the Address Book, but group leaders can still record their small group attendance for all group members that have an active status.
Adding attendance through ChurchSuite
In the Small Groups module, navigate into the Attendance section and click Add attendance.
On the Add attendance pop-up, begin by searching for a Group.
Having selected a Group, enter or select the attendance Date. While you can edit previously added attendance, you can only add attendance for a date that hasn't already been added. You'll get an error message when saving if there's an existing attendance entry.
You can now either tick the Didn't Meet? option, or you can begin ticking Attendees. As you tick or untick names, the No. Attendees auto-updates.
You can optionally add a note of any group visitors in the Notes field. If you wish to include visitors in the attendance count you'll also need to manually adjust the No. Attendees accordingly.
Click Save when you are finished. The group attendance is added and a summary page is displayed in respect of the attendance just added. You can return here at any time should you need to Edit the attendance to make a change.
You'll find all previously-entered small group attendance entries in the Attendance section of the Small Groups module. This section has a helpful Advanced Search option to make it easier to locate historic attendance dates for particular groups. Note also the options to View, Edit or Delete attendance entries on the cog actions menu on the right-hand side.
Editing previously-entered attendance opens a similar Edit attendance pop-up modal.
A Changes log is maintained at the bottom of the attendance page, under the group's Attendance graph.
You can also Add attendance from the Attendance tab on a group's "View" page. The Recent Attendance of the group's members is also listed and can be further filtered. You can navigate directly to the attendance for a date by clicking on a date heading - ideal if you need to make a correction.
Adding attendance through My ChurchSuite
You can also enable small group leaders to add their group's attendance data directly through the My Groups section of My ChurchSuite, reducing an administrative burden on your church.
To use this functionality you must first assign attendance submission permissions to a small group role, typically a leader role, and then assign that role to at least one group member. Begin by navigating through to Roles section of the Small Groups module in ChurchSuite, and click Add role (or Edit an existing role).
Give the role a Name, such as "Leader" or "Attendance Submitter" and make sure that the Attendance Submission option is enabled for the role. See the related support article for further explanation of the other role permissions.
While attendance submission is often delegated to those with a "Leader" role in many churches/groups, you can assign attendance submission permissions to any or multiple roles if you wish - so if you want to allow leaders and hosts to record attendance, just enable attendance submission for both roles; or maybe even create a role specifically for attendance submission - ideal for the group leader that prefer to delegate!
Click Save to add the new role. Back in the Roles section, the new role is added to the bottom of the list. You can re-order roles if you wish.
Having added or edited a role with Submit Attendance permissions, all that remains is for the role to be assigned to the relevant group member(s) in each of your small groups. Navigate into the Groups section of the module. For each group in turn click on the group Name, or select View from the action cog menu on the right-hand side of the group list.
On the group page, scroll down to the Members section - there are three tabs - Members, Attendance and Map.
On the Members tab you will see a list of the group members and any role(s) they currently have. It's not necessary for every member to have a role! A member may have more than one role. You can add members to the group using the Add member button at the top of the member list.
To assign a role to a group member, select Edit from the action cog menu next to their name.
On the Edit member pop-up, assign roles as appropriate - selected roles turn blue. Click Edit to save the changes...
Repeat the above steps for assigning an Attendance Submission permission role to at least one member of each of your small groups.
Those group members are now able to begin recording attendance for their group using My ChurchSuite. Here's how...
From the My ChurchSuite home page, click on the My Groups menu option. If you are a member of multiple groups you'll see a list of groups to choose from, otherwise you'll be redirected into your group page. Click the Attendance button in the top right hand corner of the group page.
On the group's Add attendance page, set the Date of the attendance. If the group didn't meet, ticking Didn't Meet? will keep your attendance statistics accurate and prevent the group showing on the Missing Attendance report. Select each group member present by ticking names, add any optional Notes (e.g. visitors/guests), and click Save Changes when you are done.
As with adding attendance directly into the Small Groups module, you cannot submit group attendance for a date that has already added, however you can easily edit an existing attendance entry, perhaps to correct a mistake or to add notes or group member changes. To do this, instead of using the Add attendance button described above, scroll down the group page instead to the Members tab and click on the Attendance tab (shown below).
Clicking on any of the Date headings in the first row of the Attendance table will open that date's attendance page for editing, enabling you to make changes before saving again.
Small group attendance reporting
Of course Attendance reports are only helpful if your attendance has been actually recorded on the system! The Missing Attendance report in the Small Groups module's Reports section enables you to filter a list of groups that haven't submitted their attendance for a specified number of weeks or months, and then easily download or print the report. Good leaders are often busy, so they'll appreciate your timely reminders to help them stay organised before the attendance slips their mind!
There are a number of other attendance-related reports in the Small Groups module's Reports section.
Attendance Averages report
This report displays the attendance averages of individual members of small groups in your Church. This report can be filtered to show just those in groups in certain Clusters or Group Tags, or those belonging to specific Groups, making it an ideal tool to identify people who are beginning to slip away from a particular small group.
Attendance Notes report
This report displays a list of notes that have been submitted as part of group attendance reporting. Filter the notes within a range of attendance dates, and optionally drill down into the attendance notes of specific Groups, or those groups within certain Clusters or Group Tags. Remember to click Generate to apply the selected filters.
Attendance Summary report
The Attendance Summary shows attendance inline for each group member within a given range based on Number of weeks and an Ending on date. Using the same presentation of attendance information found on the group pages, this report shows you who was present or absent on each date filtered. You can further filter to view one, multiple or all Groups, or by your Group Tags; either including or excluding members with zero attendance.
Exceptional Groups report
This report allows you to set Low attendance and High attendance criteria that you might consider 'exceptional', for better or worse. ChurchSuite will then display all instances of groups with attendance matching those criteria, allowing you to easily see whether a small group has a trend which might be a cause for concern, or one which may require further logistical planning, or one which might be cause for celebration! The results are displayed in red or green, making it easy to distinguish the attendance health of your groups.
Notice also the option for further filtering to only see exceptional groups within certain Clusters or Group Tags.
Monthly Breakdown report
This report allows you to visually see the long term attendance trends within your Small Groups. The information displays clearly on the graph but is only summarised in a snapshot beneath, in which the highest and lowest attendance figures are displayed alongside the numerical average and total number of logged attendance records from that month or week. Hover your cursor over points of the graph to reveal the numbers.
This report can be further filtered to View attendance data by Weeks or Months, and for certain Groups, Clusters or Group Tags, making it easy to see the growth patterns of particular small groups.
Scrolling down the report under the graph is a summary of the supporting statistics...
If the Show group breakdown report filter option is selected, the supporting statistics show a group-by-group breakdown - scroll the statistics table left and right to view all the filtered group statistics.
This report allows you to visualise the number of unique contacts, children and visitors that are recorded as attending small groups each month. Although the Monthly Breakdown report is useful for showing the total number of attendees each month, that number only tells half the story. The monthly Engagement report seeks to show what proportion of that number is made up by regular contacts and children, and what proportion is made up by people who attend infrequently as visitors.
The Calculations information on the right hand side of the report explains how each metric is calculated. The report can be further filtered by Group Tags, so you can see how a particular type of groups are doing with engaging with new people!