Like many features in Elvanto, you’ll get the most out of Services if you set them up well. Before using Services, you’ll probably need to set up a Youth Department, and a new Service Type.
Unless you’re going to be using exactly the same people to run worship at your Youth Ministry as any other service in your church, you’re going to need a new Youth Department. For a refresher on what Departments are, and how they work, check out this link.
When building your Youth Department, having all the necessary positions available is important so that you can roster all your volunteers appropriately. Positions are the actual roles that people take on during the service. Remember: you can change how many people can be rostered on to a position in the Service Type. Categorize these positions into sub-departments in a way that makes sense to you.
For example, if your Youth Ministry has live worship, then you’ll want a ‘Worship’ sub-department. You may also want a ‘Hosting’ sub-department for volunteers who welcome Youth and sign them in, and an ‘Activities’ sub-department for those who are responsible for planning the different games you run during the service.
Ultimately, though, your sub-departments will probably be dictated by the size of your team of volunteers. For example, if you run a small Youth Ministry with eight leaders, you might have a ‘Worship’ sub-department, and a ‘Facilitators’ sub-department. ‘Worship’ is for the live band, and ‘Facilitators’ is for all the other positions.
Making sure you’ve got all your positions covered
The easiest way to make sure you’ve got all your positions up-to-date in Elvanto is to check against your old rosters.
Again, unless your Youth Service runs exactly the same as another Service and uses the same volunteer base, you’re going to want to create a new Service Type. And, depending on how you run your Youth Ministry, you may even want to set up multiple Service Types. In case you haven’t already, you can get a quick overview of setting up Service Types at this link.
What is the way you normally run your Youth Ministry? Service Types are templates that help you replicate the format of your service without having to add all the details into your service plan every time.
When do you need people to show up? Starting time is often obvious, but before most services, a large amount of preparation or practice is needed. Set other times (as opposed to the starting time) for volunteers to show up in the Service Type.
Which (and how many) volunteer positions do you need? Each Service Type allows you to use different departments and positions. For most Youth Services (especially if your Youth Ministry is on a weeknight), you’ll probably want to hide all the departments not related to the Youth Ministry, because those volunteers are going to be unavailable. Then, you can just manage the numbers for each position in the Youth Department.
Would you use multiple Service Types? If you regularly use a different format (for example, a Youth Ministry that has theme nights might run each of them the same, but still differently to a normal night), that is more-or-less the same each time but still different to the normal format, we recommend using a second Service Type for those services.
You’ll benefit most from setting up a second Service Type when the structure of the service (especially starting time) changes and the volunteer positions change.