My name is Jess; I have worked here at Planning Center for the last three years, and recently transitioned into the position of Product Manager for Groups! Our goal is for every Planning Center application to have the devoted time and attention of its own product manager. Giving now has the full attention of Jeremy, who managed both Giving and Groups, and Groups has mine.
Today I am excited to announce a brand new feature, one we know you have been wanting for a while: Attendance Reports!
Now, you can track attendance of individual members for every group event and equip your church with the information needed to learn how to better connect and build relationships with people in your church and community.
This Attendance Report is a great tool to use alongside whatever tools or method you use to keep track of how group dynamics, study content, and event schedules might be impacting participation in your group.
Ready to get started? You can find the Attendance Report by selecting any group in your account and choosing it from the sidebar.
Once you select the date range, you can view group attendance based on that timeframe. If an individual attended an event, then a green checkmark will be in their row under the event column; if they did not attend, the box will be empty.
- Percentage Column: This column will tell you what percent of events the individual attended within the date range you selected.
- Removed Members: If you remove the member from the group, a note will show under the individual’s name with the date they were removed (see the note under Andrew Haystead in the screenshot).
- Visitors: If a visitor attends a group event, then the word Visitor will appear beneath the green checkmark until you make them an official member of the group.
We think this will be useful to group leaders as they make sure no one falls through the cracks. If a member has not attended in a few weeks, maybe it’s time to check in with her and see how she is doing, ask if the group is meeting her needs, or if she needs help. If a visitor attends more than once, the group leader can reach out and see if he would like to get even more involved!
In order to evaluate how your group is doing overall, it is helpful to compare what you know about your individual group attendance with what total group attendance looks like event to event. The Attendance Totals row of the report includes a breakdown of how many of the total number of attendees were visitors and how many were members. If the event columns are empty, this row includes an explanation for why: either Attendance not taken or Event canceled.
You are not the only one tracking your group’s attendance. Pastors and ministry leaders want a big picture view of group and class participation. For this reason, we’ve made two sharable formats for this Attendance Report—Print View and CSV.
More to Come
Many Groups feature requests are tied to a desire for group leaders to have more administrative power in the Groups application, and we understand why! Group leaders understand the needs, dynamics, and attendance patterns of their group members, and are best suited to accomplish some of the administrative tasks related to leading a group.
Our first step is allowing group leaders to log into Planning Center to manage their group instead of making changes through Church Center! We have already completed all the backend work for this to happen. Leaders can log into Planning Center right now and we are working on a way to easily transition your leaders from Church Center to Planning Center.
To prepare for this transition, you can give your group leaders access to the administrative side of Groups by instructing them to create a password. Once logged in, they will have full access to the Attendance Report! If your leaders already have access to log into another Planning Center application, like Services, they will not need to set a password. Once they are logged into their existing account, they can use the app switcher on the top left and select Groups.
Let us know what you think of this new feature! We would love to hear how you use it in your church, and we always value your feedback on how we can make it better. Again, this is just the beginning of some exciting new things coming to Groups, so stay tuned!
~ Team Groups
(Jess, Dan, Brian, Dustin, and Steve)