When it comes to running small for me (or any ministry really) administration is key to making it run smoothly. unfortunately for me, administration is not my strong suit. I can come up with ideas and creative stuff for things not a problem, just actually doing the logistics for them is what slows me down. There are some great websites out there in which help me run things and they are extremely helpful. I thought I would dedicate this post to explaining some of them and how we use them and how they have helped.
Church Teams- Church teams is what we use to register all of our students in life groups. We have all of our students and leaders info in this site (dumped in from an excel sheet from jotform which I’ll talk about in a second). We are able to separate all the students into each group and have all the info for each small group ready and available (small group leaders, who is in the group, group info, where they meet, contacts for all students and parents info). It is just a really easy way to find info about a certain group or person right away. Also, this is how we keep track of students coming to group. Each week the group leaders get an email asking about their group, they check the ones who were not there and can right any notes about the group (anything they feel we need to know about a student etc.) and it gets sent to me so I can keep note of it. We also have the ability to run different reports of all of the groups to see an arrangement of different things that help us plan: group averages, by grade, attendance during certain times of the year, etc. It is a great tool.
JotForms– JotForms is a website where you can make an easy online form. If you go to HSMLifeGroups.com you can see the form we made for our small groups. It is really easy to walk through and then post on your website. Each form you can make exactly they way you want it with all of the info you want, with confirmation emails, drop downs, options and you even can set up a payment system on there. We use this for registering for small groups and summer camp. It’s incredible. All the info it collects exports nicely into an excel sheet or instant organization.
Highrise- Highrise for us is how our team keep track of our volunteers. It basically opens up like a Facebook page and all of the staff can see and record conversations they have had with volunteers so the rest of the team knows what is going on with them so if they were to run into them, they can ask about the group or certain situation. It allows us to be in the know of what’s happening in our leaders lives in a way they feel like we truly know and care for them as a team. So if Chip had a difficult situation in his group and we talked it through, I would write it in under Chip’s name, then rest of our team can see it, and then if they run into Chip at the grocery store, they can ask him how that student is in the group and care for him right then and there. If you don’t have the volunteer mass to do this, I know ministries who use this for students and all the leaders can do the same for it. It keeps track of who has not been contacted in a while, you can create tasks for people to do. It’s a great tool to keep tabs on a mass of people.
There you have it. These three sites help make my life a little easier. Maybe they can do the same for you.