Does your Database Feel Like This?
Follow our Tips to Organize Groups & Streamline Ministry Management.
Groups are the fundamental tool for segmenting individuals in your ChMS database. They are collections of individuals who have something in common, like their relationship to the church, their participation in a service cohort, and so forth.
Groups are vital to an organized database, serving as sources for creating reports, taking attendance, and mass communication, to name only three.
So, what are the most useful categories of Groups to set up in your database?
Here are a few recommendations based on years of best-practice experience by our Success Coaches, including some examples of good naming conventions to help organize your Groups list.
Status - Describes the relationship of an individual to the church.
- Status-Regular Attender
Pro-Tip: Use UNIQUE and CONSISTENT naming conventions for EVERY "Group Type" to make finding & reporting on groups easy.
Ex: Simply type the word "Status" in the Group Search to see just groups with "Status" in their name.
Ministry Team - Groups of people who serve together with a focus on a particular ministry. These could be staff, volunteers, or a combination of the two.
- MT-Offering Counters
- MT-Office Support
- MT-Children’s Ministry
Pro-Tip: We often recommend using abbreviations to keep your group names concise. Ex: Ministry Team = "MT"
Small-Group - These are usually groups of adults or teens that focus on spiritual growth in a relational, nurturing setting. They are usually long-lived groups, with people moving in and out of membership in the group. They are known by a lot of different names such as Small Groups, Life Groups, Care Groups, and so on.
- SG-Allen (SG = Small Group)
- CG-Smith (CG = Care Group)
- LG-Jones (LG = Life Group)
Pro-Tip: You're not locked into a pre-defined set of names!
Customize your naming conventions using your Ministry's unique vernacular!
Class - Classes are groups of people usually meeting for a defined period of time with a specific purpose, such as a topical Bible study, life skills, membership, etc.
- Class-Insights into Genesis
- Class-Contagious Christianity
Event - Collections of people who, for example, came to an event last year and to whom we want to promote the event this year.
- Event-Global Leadership Summit
- Event-Anytown Ministerial Association
Mailing List - The previously mentioned Groups are often used for mailing lists. However, there are sometimes advantages to creating specific mailing lists.
- ML-Area Church Leaders
Attendance – Very important Groups used to capture attendance data for individuals or group totals (HeadCount).
- The specific type of attendance is determined in Group Settings
- Check “Track Individual Attendance” for detailed attendance by person
- Uncheck “Track Individual Attendance” to record HeadCount attendance
YES, EVERYONE :) Here's Why...
- It's much easier to track ministry growth AND how people are progressing along your ministry's discipleship process.
- You can easily search for people NOT in a "Status" group so you can...
- Ensure People (and ministry opportunities) aren't missed.
- Find new people records created by Giving, Forms, or Check-in that might be duplicates - keeping your data clean.
- Status Groups make it more manageable to keep your people records up-to-date.