Group Member of the Week

A group member of the week can be tracked for groups such as missionaries, college students, shut-ins, staff members, Sunday School teachers, etc.

First, create a group, such as “College Students”.

Add people to the group. If the group relates to a membership status, such as shut-ins or college students (absent members), search the directory to see the latest list of people in the group. Periodically the group should be checked to add/remove members as necessary.

Use the scheduling capability to track the group member of the week.

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Enter Attendance

Attendance can be tracked as a total count for a group, or by counting each person in the group individually.

To enter attendance, click the “Attendance” button in the Groups window. 

Select a group or collection from the drop down list, and then select a date from the calendar. 

If a collection is selected, the attendance form will list each group in the collection. 

If a group is selected, switch between counting each person and counting the entire group by clicking the corresponding radio button.

For counting entire groups or collections of groups, enter the attendance value(s), and then click the “Submit Changes” button.

For counting each person in a group, click the check boxes to indicate whether or not each person in the group was present, then click the “Submit Changes” button.

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Add/Edit Group

To edit a group name and other group details, find the group on the group list page, then click the group name to edit the group. To add a group, click the + link on the group list page.

On the group details page, change the group name, collection, next group (for promoting group members), includes children flag, and schedule reminders flag.

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Checkin

Checkin is a simple way to take attendance live with a single click. Checkin integrates attendance tracking with pager systems and child safety precautions.

Examples of opportunities to use checkin include:

  • Nursery – Touch screen or laptop at the nursery window allows parents or nursery workers to checkin a child, issue a pager or pickup number, add instructions (e.g. “feed at 11:30″). When the parent returns, the checkin screen can be used to confirm that the pager matches the issued pager number, in order to enforce child pickup policy. If the parent is needed during the service, the pager number on the checkin screen can be used to determine which pager should be called.
  • Sunday School – Upon arrival, each class member can be checked in to the class.  With centralized checkin (e.g. at the Church Welcome Center), a family can checkin for all classes.
  • Activities – Create a roster for any activity. Checkin each person who is registered for the activity, and use the instructions/comments field to capture details such as lane assignment for a bowling activity. With wireless internet service, checkin can be used for a remote activity such as bowling.

There are two checkin options: Quick Checkin and Full Checkin. Quick Checkin is a single click method to indicate that a person is present.  Full checkin allows additional details to be added, such as instructions/comments and a pager number (for integration with nursery paging systems).

To initiate checkin, click the checkin button in the Groups window.  Select the group. Click the “Quick Checkin” link to check a person in. Click the “Full Checkin” link to enter a pager number and instructions/comments while checking the person in. Click the “Undo Checkin” link to remove the person (e.g. if accidentally checked in).

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Background Checks

Background checks are recommended for any children’s ministry worker, whether paid staff or volunteer. For this reason, Shining Light Technologies software includes an enforcement policy to ensure that only approved people work with children. Any group that includes children, such as nursery and Sunday School, is marked as such. Any person over the age who is added to a group that includes children must first be added to the list of Approved Children’s Ministry Workers.

To initiate the background check process, give the candidate a Children’s Ministry Application, Child Protection Handbook, and Background Check Consent Form. When the forms are returned, treat them with the utmost confidentiality since the forms contain private data such as social security number.

The background check can be performed using any service, but we recommend Group Publishing’s Church Volunteer Central background check service through Lexis Nexis. The process is straightforward (using a web interface), the price is reasonable, the response is nearly immediate, and Lexis Nexis is a large and well-respected company. After signing up for Church Volunteer Central, Group will provide instructions for performing the background check through Lexis Nexis.

After submitting the background check request, use a permanent marker to make the person’s social security number illegible on the application.

If any issues are found during the Background Check process, discuss the situation with the senior pastor to determine the appropriate next step, but do not, under any circumstances, add the person to the approved list until a background check is successfully completed.

After the Background Check is complete, add the screened worker to the approved list. In the Groups window, click the Rosters button, select the Approved Children’s Ministry Workers group from the list, select “Add Person from Directory”, select the approved person from the list, and submit the change.

After the person is added to the approved list, the person can be added to the roster for groups that include children, such as nursery, Sunday School, etc.

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Add to Group

A roster is a list of people in a particular group.  To access rosters, click the “Rosters” link next to the Group name in the groups list, or click the Rosters link on the group details page.

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If the person is not listed in the drop down list, then the person must be added to the church directory. If partial information is known about the person to be added to the group, such as the first name only, search the directory based on the partial information (e.g. search by first name) to find the matching last name.

To change a person’s role in a group, select the person’s new role in the group from the drop down list in the first row of the table, then click the “Submit Changes” button.

To remove a person from a group, click the “Remove” link in the Options column next to the person.

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Activity Teams

When planning an activity that requires a team of people, such as a children’s activity, Web Church Manager provides the organization to make sure that you have the team prepared for the activity.

1. Create a group for the activity (e.g. Children’s Christmas Party)

2. Add team members to the group roster.

3. Send a broadcast email to the group requesting help for the activity, by clicking the “Email to Group” link in the Groups window.

4. As team members respond to confirm that they can help with the activity, add them to the schedule for the acitivity. A schedule reminder will be generated for each team member.

5. You can edit the role details for each team member (e.g. “Serve Pizza”).

6. You can send another broadcast email a few days before the activity, reminding team members that they have committed to help with the activity.

7. Next year, you can start with the team from this year and make changes to the roster as necessary.

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Giving Reports

Giving reports can be created for individual givers (e.g. end of year statement for tax purposes) or for the entire ministry.

Giving reports are only available to authorized users:

  • Users in the “Authorized for Giving Reports” group may summary giving reports (no personal giving records)
  • Users in both the “Authorized for Giving Reports” group and the “Authorized for Giving Records” group may view personal giving reports.

In order to create a giving report, select the “Giving Reports” link in the Giving window, then select the report type (Individual or Weekly by Category). Select the date range, and the report will be displayed. Each column represents a giving category, and each row represents a one week date range. For example, giving on Sunday and Wednesday would be combined into a single row. Regardless of the start and end dates selected, the rows will represent Sunday to Saturday as the range for each week.

In order to analyze (e.g. highs, lows, averages) or chart the data, copy the entire table when the report is created, and paste the table into a software program such as Microsoft Excel.

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Giving Categories

Each giving record is assigned a category, such as “General Fund”, “Missions”, “Building Fund”, etc. A basic set of giving categories is created by default. To edit the giving categories, select the “Giving Categories” link in the Giving window. Click the “Edit Giving Category” link next to a giving category to change the name of the category. Click the “Add Giving Category” to add a new giving category. The “General Fund” category cannot be deleted or modified since it is the default category.

Giving Categories may modified by anyone in the “Authorized for Giving Records” group.

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Website Migration

If your Shining Light Technologies software subscription includes website hosting, you can migrate your church website to the Shining Light Technologies website hosting plan. 

In order to perform the migration, you will need the FTP username and password for the hosting plan included with your Shining Light Technologies software subscription.

To transfer your domain name, you must provide the authorization code of your domain name from your current domain name registrar.  Your domain name registration information can be found by searching for your domain name at www.networksolutions.com/whois.  Contact your domain name registrar and ask for the authorization code.  Then send the authorization code to support@shininglighttech.com.  The transfer request will be submitted to your current domain registrar, and you will be required to confirm the transfer via the administrative contact email address of your domain name.

If you already have a registered domain name, and wish to keep the current domain registration, you will need to update your domain name registration to point to the following domain name servers:

Primary = ns1.theplanet.com

Secondary = ns2.theplanet.com

Once this is done, the domain name will take approximately 24-48 hours to propagate to the new domain name servers, at which point the content on the new hosting plan will load for your website instead of the content on your old hosting plan.  Once the migration is complete, you can cancel your old hosting plan.

Even though your website hosting has moved, you will still be responsible for renewing your domain name when it expires. If you are not sure who registered your domain name, where your domain name is pointing to currently, or when your domain name will expire, go to www.whois.com and enter your domain name.

For options on integrating your website with the dynamic content provided with the Shining Light Technologies software package, review the Website Integration help topic.

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