Groups at their most basic level allow you to create and manage different types of groups in your church. Groups can function as powerful tools for providing pastoral care, communicating between leaders and reporting on attendance. You could create groups for your small groups that meet during the week, hobby groups or ministry groups, for example.
What are groups?
Groups are people who meet together for reasons other than to have a service. Home groups, small groups, and leadership teams are all examples of things that should be Groups.
The BIG question: What’s the difference between Group, Departments & Demographics?
Departments are for volunteers; demographics are for collecting people together in areas such as age groups.
Groups are different from departments because they’re not about volunteering on services.
Demographics are different from groups because groups actually meet together, whereas demographics do not necessarily meet on a regular basis.
When deciding whether to make a group consider:
Is this supposed to be for rostering volunteers? If yes, you’ve got a department or sub-department. If no, then continue to step two.
Does this group have a leader? If yes, you’ve probably got a group. If no, you might have a demographic.
Does this group meet regularly? If yes, you’ve probably got a group. If no, you either have a demographic, or a People View.
Each group can have assigned leaders and assistant leaders. As a leader of a group, you’re able to create group events for the Events Calendar, view activity about what changes have been made to group information, and see when people are added. You can also edit group information and submit attendance reports.
All groups by default have a ‘leader’ and ‘assistant leader’ position, but you can also set up any additional positions in your group category. For example, an ‘Administrative Groups’ category might include the extra position of ‘Secretary’.
As discussed in the Access Permissions article earlier, it’s also possible to lock down leaders so they can only view the groups they lead.
On top of your leaders, you can set up category admins. Group leaders are normally accountable to category admins. Still, you should set this leadership structure up to best match the existing structure in your church.
Group reporting gives you numbers that will indicate how well your groups are functioning. Statistics about attendance are automatically required, but you can require extra statistics by adding more reporting fields in Settings.
Group categories work the same as the other categories in Elvanto. Collecting like groups into categories allows you to easily sort through them. However, group categories have extra features the other types of categories do not.
Notifying leaders and admins
Group categories can be set up to automatically notify leaders and/or admins whenever someone new joins the group, and whenever a group report is submitted. You can also automatically remind your group leaders to send in their reports at specified intervals after the end of a group meeting.
Group categories can function as a sort of template for your groups. Similar groups will want to report on similar statistics, so setting up a group category will mean that you don’t have to go and manually set up all your reporting for each group.
Groups can be enabled in the Member area, allowing group members to see which groups they’re a part of and who the other members are and who the leaders of the group are. This allows group members to communicate with each other directly.