Dashboard:  More tweaks for fewer clicks

Posted by Boyd Pelley on 11/26/19 10:32 AM

We've found that no matter how detailed we get in the development stage, there are always things to sharpen when upgrades go into production.  This has been true of the Dashboard release we did at the end of October.  I already shared about the Search and Legal Name additions.  Here are a few more tweaks that we released just yesterday. Take some time to master them and you'll be more efficient with Churchteams than ever before.

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Tags: New Release

Trust In Groups:  Why It Matters & How To Measure It

Posted by Boyd Pelley on 11/19/19 9:30 AM

A friend of ours Damon Stoddard, a master black belt six sigma expert in Seattle, was volunteering to lead the groups ministry in his church about a decade ago when he called to ask me if I thought that TRUST would be a good way to measure the health of a small group.

 I was familiar with Patrick Lencioni's book on the Five Dysfunctions of A Team that identified Trust as the foundation upon which a team is built.  But,  had never heard anyone suggest applying trust to evaluating the health of small groups.  I thought it was a brilliant idea and told him that I thought it would be a great measure for group health.

He then pointed out to me that one of the leading indicators of trust in relationships is consistency and asked if we could measure the consistency of a group.  A few years earlier, we started calculating the average attendance per group whether they met once or five times that month1.  So, all we needed was another column to divide that number by the enrollment in the group.

Think about this for a moment.  If you are going to live out the "One Anothers" in your small group.  If you are going to do "life together" with someone else. You are going to have to TRUST yourself to them.  That's how discipleship works.  Spiritual transformation is only going to happen if you trust those helping you achieve it.

Who are you going to trust? Friends that are consistently there for you. Faithful people who you are going to entrust your life message to (2 Timothy 2:2). Though just showing up isn't the full equation to measure trust, it is a very measurable indicator.  

Damon's next question helped us sharpen the measure, "at what consistency rate would you say a group is healthy and unhealthy?"  I had been leading small groups in churches for 18 years at that point and quickly responded. 2

80 to 100% Consistency = Healthy

Under 50% Consistency = Unhealthy

We sent him the data for his church.  He did the analytics and discovered that 5/12 groups were above 80%, 4 were between 50 and 80%, and 3 were below 50%.  So, he got his pastor and went to the 3 groups and discovered that all 3 of them had issues they needed help with.

Within a few months we created our Monthly Small Group Health report that we email to our clients who want it for their church.  It's an Excel spreadsheet that adds a new sheet each month with a summary of group health within a ministry area.

Groups are organized by consistency rate, not alphabetically.  Blue zone groups average 80% and above.  These people love their group.  They even plan their vacation around group times. These are your leadership development groups.  

Yellow zone groups are your average groups.  Nothing outstanding generally, but also nothing to necessarily worry about.  The Red zone groups are your focus groups for the next month.  If the small group pastor / director and coaches don't do anything else this month, they need to know what's up with these groups.

Of course the output of the data is only as good as the input.  But through trial and error with hundreds of churches we've developed a system to get 100% response from group leaders each week.  It combines technology people are already committed to with a system of accountability appropriate to each leadership level.  Join me for a Small Group Webinar to learn more.     


1  Small groups that meet in homes don't necessarily meet every week like traditional adult Sunday School classes do.  This skews monthly attendance.  To solve this we developed a metric that uses the sum of the average attendance (blue) instead of the average of the weekly summed attendance (red).  This is a far better way to compare tradition Adult Sunday School numbers to small group numbers.  

2 For larger groups that typically meet in classroom like Adult Sunday School we generally lower the percentage rate for health by 20 points.  i.e. for "Small" Groups of 20 or more:

60 to 100% Consistency = Healthy

Under 30% Consistency = Unhealthy

So a typical Adult Sunday School of 30 is still considered in the Blue Zone with an average of 18 and in the Red Zone when it averages 9 or les.


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Tags: Small Groups

Church Event Registration ... Click, Click, Done!

Posted by Boyd Pelley on 11/12/19 8:45 AM

You are likely familiar with form building tools like Wufoo, Formstack, Google Forms, Jotforms and many others.  Or maybe even dedicated event registration applications like Eventbrite, Cvent, EventU or others.  They are great at what they do.

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Tags: Church Management Software, Registration

Dashboard:  Search & Legal First Name

Posted by Boyd Pelley on 11/5/19 8:45 AM

The release of the new Dashboard went amazingly well last week.  We got a lot of great comments from you guys and there's a lot of excitement about it. 

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Tags: New Release

The Dashboard - Biggest Release Of 2019

Posted by Boyd Pelley on 10/29/19 8:45 AM

Every year there seems to be a feature that stands out both in terms of our development effort and value to our friends.  Usually we look back on a year to determine that, but last night's release of The Dashboard is so significant that it's obviously the winner for 2019.  It's a big deal.

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Tags: New Release

Six Recent Updates

Posted by Boyd Pelley on 10/22/19 10:09 AM


Thanks again to many of you, our friends, who constantly use the software and give us your feedback and thoughts on improvement.  Most of these six updates came from our conversations and were released in the last few months.  In fact, you've likely seen them already.  Software development is a continuous thing.  Not unlike spiritual development as I think about it.

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Tags: New Release

ALL CHECK:  The Best Way To Take Worship Attendance?

Posted by Boyd Pelley on 10/15/19 8:30 AM


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Tags: Check-in & Family, Text-To-Church, Best Practices

New Release:  Check-in UI and All Check

Posted by Boyd Pelley on 10/8/19 12:45 PM


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Tags: Check-in & Family, New Release

Aim Small:  Metrics for 3 Levels of Leadership

Posted by Boyd Pelley on 10/1/19 9:27 AM

When I was on church staff, at the end of every month I would put together a small group summary for our leadership team to review.  I would run the "Attendance by Group" report in Churchteams and paste the numbers into an Excel spreadsheet.  Then I would copy and edit the formulas to complete the report.  It took most of a day.

After a couple of years doing this every month and many conversations with other small group pastors, we automated this report so that it is delivered to your inbox every month.  In developing it, we realized that every church needs feedback from their database for 3 different levels of leadership.  All of these are included in this Monthly Small Group Report.

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Tags: Small Groups

Aim Small:  Groups Pastor

Posted by Boyd Pelley on 9/24/19 9:26 AM

We are working our way up the small group organizational chart to learn how Churchteams can be used to serve the pastoral care and leadership development needs at each level.  This post focuses on the Small Groups Pastor and their relationship to their coaches. 

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Tags: Small Groups

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