Here’s a walk through on how to set up your church rosters through Jethro.
The steps don’t need to be followed in this precise order, but in this order it’s easiest to understand.
Rosters take a bit of work to set up initially, but it pays off when you can then maintain your ongoing rosters really easily.
1 Get your congregations ready
From the main menu, choose Admin > Congregations
Make sure the congregations for which you want to do rostering have a Code Name. If not, edit the congregation or add a new one.
2 Get some groups ready
Groups are used to record which people have volunteered for which roles.
2.1 Create a group category
It’s convenient to have all your roster groups in the same category.
From the main menu, choose Groups > Manage categories
Click “Add a new group category” and call the new category “Roster Volunteers” or similar.
You might like to create sub-categories for different congregations’ volunteers.
2.2 Create some groups
Groups are used to record which people are volunteers for which roles.
From the main menu, choose Groups > Add
Create a group for each roster role’s volunteers, for example “10am Bible Reader”, “10am Song leader”, “6pm Drummer”.
Add people to each group according to what they’ve volunteered to do.
3 Define some roster roles
From the main menu, choose Rosters > Define Roster Roles
Click the “Add roster role” link
Create roster roles for all the tasks to be performed for each congregation – eg “Bible Reader”, “Preacher”.
For each role, select the corresponding volunteer group that you created earlier. If you don’t select a group, Jethro will let you choose freely from any person in the system.
If more than one person will perform a role each week, eg if you have several morning-tea people each week, then set “assign multiple” to “Yes”.
The “details” field can be used to describe what needs to be done in this role – it’s visible on public rosters.
Note: Each role belongs to one congregation, so you will need to create “10am Bible Reader” and “6pm Bible Reader” as separate roles.
Advanced: You might like to create a role called “Away” which you can use to record who has reported themselves unavailable for a service, so you know not to allocate them to anything else.
4 Define some roster views
Roster views are like page layouts – they define a collection of roles etc which will be viewed together.
The powerful thing is that a given roster role can appear in many roster views. So you can have a “10am church” view, a “6pm church view”, and a “preachers” view which shows just the preacher for each service, and so on. This allows you to slice and dice the rostering in many ways – the senior pastor might fill in the preachers and service leaders, and somebody else come later to add the other roles for each congregation.
From the main menu, choose Rosters > Define Roster Views
Click the “Add view” link to add a new view.
For now, add one view for each congregation, containing the congregation’s roster roles.
Advanced: You might want to create a non-public roster which contains your “away” role, and a public roster which doesn’t.
5 Fill in the service program
In order to allocate people to roster roles, you first need to create some services.
From the main menu, choose Services > Edit Service Program
Enter some details for the upcoming weeks. To be able to do rostering you just need one detail for each service – even just a topic of “TBA” will do.
Jethro will choose Sundays by default, but other services (eg Good Friday) can be added by changing the dates.
The “format” field is useful for recording eg “Lord’s Supper 1st Order” or “Baptism Service”.
6 Assign people to roles for services
Finally, you’re ready to “do the roster”.
From the main menu, choose Rosters > Edit Roster Assignments
Select a roster view and a date range and click Go
Jethro will give you a page where, for each role and each service, you can use a dropdown box to choose one (or more) of the volunteers for that role.
Jethro will warn you with a red box if you put somebody on more than one role. That’s just a warning which you can ignore if necessary (it’s possible to be the Bible Reader and also the Money Counter, but not to be the Bassplayer and the Drummer).
If you didn’t choose a volunteer group for the role, there will be a box where you can search for and select any person from the system.
7 Let everyone know
There are various ways in which rosters can be distributed.
- Roster views that are set to “public” are visible on the Public Area of your Jethro system – eg http://mychurch.com/jethro/public. You can link to this page from your church’s public website.
- Members who log in to the Member Area of your Jethro system (http://mychurch.com/jethro/members) will be shown a list of their upcoming roster assignments.
- You can print a roster:
- From the main menu, choose Rosters > View Roster Assignments
- Choose a roster view and a date range and click Go
- Click the “show the print/email version” link
- A popup window will show the roster in a simple layout. Print this window, or copy and paste into a word processor to do more page layout.
- You can send a roster by email:
- Follow the steps above to view the print/email version of the roster
- In the print/email popup, select-all and copy, then close the popup
- In the view-roster-assignments page, click the “email all listed persons” link. A blank email will open in your email software.
- Paste in the roster content, add a covering note, then send.
- Alternatively, you can paste the roster into a word processor and attach that to the email.
Once you’ve got everything set up, you will have all the info you need at your fingertips for doing future rosters.
If you gain or lose volunteers, just add or remove them from the volunteer group and it will be reflected when you do the next roster.
If you need to swap people around, save your changes in Jethro and it will immediately be visible to all your other Jethro users and in the Public Area.
If you need to email all the volunteers for a particular service (eg to send them the run sheet), just click the link to email them all in one go.
To quickly have a look at the Bible passages for a service, just click on them and the text will open on the web.