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Last Updated: 3/8/15

Small Groups

The Groups link is the place to administrate your small groups (and/or Sunday School classes).  You can enter new groups or potential groups that you’d like to offer at some point in the future.  Of course you may also mark groups as inactive and thus preserve a historical record of your past groups.

For information on how Database handles Small Groups as opposed to Classes, Ministries, or Services, see Defining Classes, Small Groups, Ministries, Services, Mailing Lists, and Events.

There are several sample groups already entered for you.  These are provided just to give an idea of what kind of information can be stored.  You are encouraged to delete or edit these groups.  

To add a new group, click on Common Tasks in the upper left corner and select Add New Small Group.  To view an existing Group, click on it in the list to the left.  A list of Group Members will appear in the column to the right (if they are tagged appropriately).  Each name on the list is linked to that individual's profile, simply click on their name and you will jump to the People screen.

Name:  Enter a name for the small group.  Decide on a consistent way to name the groups particularly if they are generic small groups.  For example, if the group is a mixed group open to anyone, you might name it "Mixed Group - Leader’s Last Name."

Description:  Enter a brief description of the group.  By design this field is limited to 255 characters so that you can print quick summaries of the group for publicity purposes.  You may want to include information about how long the group lasts, what costs are involved for materials, expectations for involvement, and the topic of discussion.

Topic:  You can enter the name of the curriculum in this box or a phrase that describes what the group’s focus of discussion is.

Publish Online and Hide Group Members Online apply to what information will appear in Portal, your online portal.  

  • The Publish Online box must be checked if you want this particular group to be included in the Group Finder in Portal.
  • If Hide Group Members Online is checked the list of members will only show for leaders of the group. If it is unchecked, then anyone with an involvement as "active" in the group will be able to see the members of the group in Portal.

Meeting Day:  Select a day of the week from the list.

Frequency: Enter how often the group meets

Start Time / End Time:  Enter the time the group meets. (e.g., "7 to 9 pm")

Original Start:  Enter the date the group launched.

Restart Date: Enter the date the group will start again and be open to new members or start a new curriculum.  This box is used on some publicity reports to encourage new people to join the group so that it looks "fresh."

Date Ended: Enter the date the group stopped meeting.

Open to New People:  If the group is open to receiving new people, this box should be checked.  This means that the group will show up on publicity reports advertising available groups.  Uncheck this box if the group is closed and not accepting new members.

Status:  Groups can be Potential, Active, in Recess or Inactive.  This list may be customized.  From the Administration screen, click on the Look Up Codes link and enter the type of Small Group Status.

  • If you want to keep track of requests that people make for certain types of groups, you can create a new group and give it a status of Potential.  Add the person who requested it to the group.  When you get enough people interested in the group you can launch it and change its status to Active. 

  • An Active status means the group continues to meet on a regular basis. 

  • The Recess status means the group is taking a break from regular meetings but will resume at a later date (many groups do this for the summer). 

  • Inactive means that the group is no longer meeting and does not exist anymore. 

Group Gender:  Is this a men’s group or a women’s group, or can either gender attend (mixed)?

Marital Status: Is there a certain marital status required for this group such as singles, divorced or married?

Age Category:  Are there age limitations for this group such as people in their twenty’s, senior citizens, or 30-somethings?

Type/Level:  This field allows you to categorize the major purpose of the group.  For example, the group might be a seeker group designed for pre-Christians.  Or the group may be a curriculum driven group focused more on maturity and spiritual growth.  This list may be customized.  Click on the Codes link of the Administration screen and select the type of code called Small Groups Types/Levels to make changes to this list.

Childcare:  Enter how the group deals with childcare in this space.  If the group does not offer childcare, enter "No".

Location:  Use this field to name the place where the group meets. (e.g., "Smith’s House," or "Perkins Restaurant" or "Rotating Host-Call first")

Online Group Links: Add links to web pages that are pertinent to one specific or all small groups. For example, here you could add a link to the church's small group policy. Check the "Common to all small groups" box to have link appear in the links for each small group.

Directions:  Enter directions on how to get to the meeting place.  For consistency, you might want to give directions beginning at the church.

Comments:  This is a free-form text box where you may enter an unlimited amount of information.  It is recommended that you use it as a log to keep track of group dynamics, growth, issues, leadership development needs, etc.  Enter comments about the group from the group leader or coach.

Deleting a Small Group:  Under Common Tasks Button on the left side of your screen, click on the Delete this Small Group link.  Keep in mind that you will lose all your ministry team history of each individual if you delete the small group.  Consider changing the Small Group Status so you can keep the information.

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