Over the last couple of years, we've seen a rapid increase in the number of churches who now run their small groups on a termly basis. Today, we're delighted to let you know about a new feature in the Small Groups that we think will be a significant help if your mid-week groups use this system.
Previously you’ve been able to embed a small group list and map into your church website. These dynamically pull active group details from your ChurchApp account, saving you having to keep small group lists up to date in two places. Today we've added a significant enhancement called "Sign-Up Embed", bringing sign-up functionality to those web-embedded small groups lists and maps.
You may be familiar with Nelson Searcy’s small group model called “Activate”, which demonstrates how greater small group participation can be achieved when the sign-up process is more accessible. Whether you’re following Nelson's "Activate" model closely, or simply wanting to be more effective at helping people get into the right small groups quickly and easily; the new small group sign-up embed feature affords you lots of functionality that can help.
We’ve made significant enhancements to the embed code generator, allowing you to create much more customised and styled lists and maps to suit your church’s needs, and then present them in a way that blends elegantly with your existing styled web content. We've added in filters to just show a specific tag of groups, to allow your website visitors to filter down the visible groups by day of the week or filters and there's even the ability to include custom messages when a visitor is signing up to a group.
You might even get creative and embed a specific list/map of groups on the newcomer section of your website and a separate list/map on the youth page. When enabled, the day and tags filters help your visitors quickly narrow their search down to the groups that are most appropriate for them:
Sign-Up Embed allows anyone to sign up to a group - you don't need to have everyone in your Address Book before they can sign up. For people whose details match with those already in ChurchApp, they'll be added to the group immediately just as they would had they signed up through My ChurchApp.
For newcomers whose details aren't yet in ChurchApp, they're added to the group and also added to the new Pending section of the Address Book. Once their details have been reviewed, they can be "Set active", another helpful way of keeping on top of looking after those you're reaching as a church community.
Whenever someone signs up to a group, both a key date and a note are added to their records, allowing you to use our powerful reports to see who, when and how people are signing up.
We've provided a wide range of sign-up notifications, including a sign-up “success confirmation” email that can be sent to each and every sign-up extending them a "welcome". Alongside this, there's an optional notification to a small group ministry overseer and your group leaders so that they can be kept in the loop when someone signs up to their group.
We’ve created a couple of great Support Articles that explain the intended functionality of this feature in greater detail: embedding a list/map in your website and enabling sign-up through your website.
One more thing... On each small group's page in the Small Group module, there's now a "Print flyers" option to print stylised small group flyers for your groups.
We really hope Small Group Sign-Up Embed is a helpful feature addition for your church. As always, if you have any questions or suggestions we would love to hear from you - just click the Support Beacon to Ask a Question to search the support articles, or click 'Send a Message'.
Paul Nation, ChurchSuite