Best Practices for Absence Settings

As a ministry leader, you care deeply about making sure people don’t “fall through the cracks”. That's what Attendance is all about. Here’s how the program makes that easier with Absence Settings.  

  1. Record Absences when it counts.
    1. For a smaller class or adult small group, absence records are a helpful flag when you have a strong expectation someone will be present and they aren’t.  


  1. Don’t record more Absences than you need to. 
    1. For larger groups (especially worship services), recording a whole lot of people “absent” just adds clutter to your timelines, reports, and to your system overall. Consider: How often do we ‘clean up’ the groups and remove visitors who haven’t returned in a while? Do I really need to see the absences, or do I only need to see the people attending? 


  1. Use Timelines, Reports, Last Attended Date search, and Workflows to your advantage.
    1. These are the primary places where you leverage attendance records. On the Individual Attendance report, for example, you can see patterns of “Present” attendance. 


  1. When recording Attendance, use the option to “View Recent Attenders” to get a regular look at who has attended recently but may not be a member of the group. 

So, what Absence settings should you use for a group? On the Group “Recording Absences” settings, you can select one of these options: 


  • Optional Absences: “Don’t mark “Absent” by default”  
    • This is the most flexible option and lets you mark just the absences you want to specify. 
  • ​​Enforced Absences: “Mark all group members who aren’t present as ‘Absent.’” 
    • Use this when you’re tracking a small group or class and want to take special note of absences. It’s especially helpful when you have group leaders involved in recording attendance and you want to make sure the absences stand out.
    • (Planned soon) Groups with over 100 people will be automatically switched to the Optional Absences. If necessary, you can still use “Mark All” to record absences for every group member that didn’t attend.  
  • No Absences: “Disable ability to mark absent”. 
    • This makes the best sense for a large group or worship service, where you don’t want absence records being recorded at all. It’s especially helpful when you have many people involved in recording attendance and they may be quick on the “Absent” button. 








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