Part 4 – Pastoral Care

Pastoral Care is often key to Youth Ministries maintaining numbers – if teens don’t feel cared for, they’re unlikely to return.

Using Groups to structure your pastoral care

Groups in Elvanto are useful for separating the youth in your ministry into smaller, more manageable groups, allowing for more personalized and more efficient pastoral care. If your youth ministry uses small groups during their gatherings, this can be a particularly powerful tool for everything from marking attendance, to reporting, to managing People Flows – all while making sure no volunteer is overwhelmed by a huge backlog of follow up. Otherwise, whether or not you decide to use Groups is really just a matter of personal preference.

Group Categories

Group Categories are the best way to set up groups in your youth ministry. Using a single group category (e.g. ‘Youth Small Groups’) allows one person to oversee all the groups, while also keeping the groups inaccessible to those outside the ministry – if the access permissions have been set according.

Using a single Group Category also allows you to keep your groups fairly uniform, with identical positions between them.

Using Reports to strengthen your youth ministry

Elvanto reports can serve a variety of purposes in youth ministries. Whether it’s developing statistics to see if youth are engaged with what you’re doing, or keeping track of any youth who have stopped coming, or just making sure that you don’t miss anyone’s birthday, reports are a great way to make your ministry better and your life as a ministry leader easier.

Built-in Check-in Reports

Built-in Check-in Reports give you valuable feedback with very little effort. All you need to do is select the rooms that you want information about. Sometimes, it will be best to go through room by room. Other times (such as an Absentees Report), it will be best to look at all of the rooms together.

Overall Check-in Attendance Report

This shows a report of overall check-ins over a specific timeframe. It lists rooms, how many check-ins, average check-ins and room load. While this report is particularly good for showing growth/decline in numbers, checking this report regularly will make sure that you don’t outgrow the capacity of a room.

Room Attendance Report

A Room Attendance Report shows people who were checked in over a specific timeframe. It lists rooms and the names of people checked into that room, and can allow you to contact all of their parents in one action.

Absentees Report

An Absentees Report shows people who have not checked in during a specific date range. Like the Room Attendance Report, this allows you to contact the parents of the youth who were absent.

Custom Standard Reports

Unlike Built-in Reports, Custom Standard Reports need to be set up the first time they are used. For more information on setting up and using Custom Standard Reports in youth ministries, have a look at this link.

Reporting on Youth’s Birthdays

We all love to have our birthdays celebrated – and youth love it even more! We recommend scheduling this report monthly, so that no birthdays are missed.

Reporting on Allergies or Special Needs

Reporting on Custom Fields, such as Allergies or Special Needs, is particularly useful when planning activities. It ensures that no youth has to miss out because of their individual requirements.

Following up youth and their families

Contacting the parents of youth

The easiest way to contact the parents of youth is to do an ‘advanced search’ under the ‘people’ widget. You can search for all parents of youth, or just the parents of youth that are a certain age or at a certain location.

Working with parents who are not in the church

Parents who are not in the church can still be added as contacts. And while they are contacts, they do not contribute to billing. But they can be contacted just like any other parents of youth.

Using People Flows to follow up new families

People Flows is a handy tool that can automatically remind you to do things. For example, if a youth comes to their first service or event, People Flows can remind you to send their parents an email, SMS or call them.

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