Beta version

I’ve completed the first phase of a major rewrite of the church admin plugin that will allow a lot more powerful features!

It changes the way people are stored a lot so that they can have roles and be in different small groups etc.
Version 0.4.x makes that change – more powerful role and rota management will come soon.
You can migrate in to the address book current wordpress users.

An exciting feature is geolocation of addresses – so if you are doing an update, you will need to edit each address to store the geodata – easier than it sounds
If you want to show maps on the address list, please change the shortcodes

[church-admin type=address_list member_type_id=1 map=1] for member's list
[church-admin type=address_list member_type_id=1 map=0] for visitor's list

The address lists are split into member and visitor currently as before – soon you can add more levels of membership e.g. regular attender…

Sending bulk emails can goto small group members, people of various roles, everyone and chosen individuals

Could you test it for me and post in the forum how it works for you please?
The update is not on yet – still in beta!

Version 0.4.1 here

So, if you want to be a tester (backup your DB! first)

  1. Deactivate the church-admin plugin and delete it
  2. Download the beta version and upload it to using the Add new plugins.
  3. Post in the forum any problems in the BETA section! (the Directory page will have any activation errors on it for you to post – Not that there will be any!!!)

If it goes horribly wrong for you….

  1. Deactivate the plugin and delete it from teh plugins menu.
  2. Go into phpmyadmin of your host and find the right db for your wordpress installation. In teh SQL tab paste this little lot
    DROP TABLE wp_church_admin_people;
    DROP TABLE wp_church_admin_household;
    DROP TABLE wp_church_admin_visitors;
    RENAME TABLE wp_church_admin_visitors_old TO wp_church_admin_visitors ;
    RENAME TABLE wp_church_admin_directory_old TO wp_church_admin_directory ;
    DELETE FROM wp_options WHERE option_name="church_admin_version";

  3. Re install the current stable version from
  4. Voila! Back to normal

*IMPORTANT Changes coming to Church_Admin Plugin *

The next update for the Church Admin plugin will make an important change to the way people are stored.
Up to now each database row has contained a family, which limits the usefulness of the plugin as churches get larger (Perhaps husband and wife are in different small groups, or a teenager is in a different small group…)

So the next update will split the storage of households up under the hood, so that future updates can add useful functionality to the plugin.

How can you prepare?

  1. Use & to split up adults in the address Name field – I have always used the Address Name field to be something like “Andy & Janet” or “Bob & Sue” – so if you do the same the update will be automatic (it will spot “& “!)
  2. Use comma and space to split children in the children field – The children field will split with a comma and a space – eg “Rebecca, David, Katie”

The update will assume the first name adult in a family is male and the second is female and all children wil be assumed to be male! (Too many names for intelligent guessing!)
You may need to edit some entries after the next update.

What will under the hood database look like?

For the techies – this is the new table structure…
CREATE TABLE IF NOT EXISTS wp_church_admin_household (
address text,
lat varchar(50) DEFAULT NULL,
lng varchar(50) DEFAULT NULL,
phone varchar(15) DEFAULT NULL,
household_id int(11) NOT NULL AUTO_INCREMENT,
PRIMARY KEY (household_id)

The address field will be a serialized array and the address table will also store geolocation of address for map plotting etc.

CREATE TABLE IF NOT EXISTS wp_church_admin_people (
first_name varchar(100) DEFAULT NULL,
last_name varchar(100) DEFAULT NULL,
date_of_birth date DEFAULT NULL,
member_type_id int(11) DEFAULT NULL,
roles text,
sex int(1) DEFAULT NULL,
mobile varchar(15) DEFAULT NULL,
email text,
people_type_id int(11) DEFAULT NULL,
smallgroup_id int(11) DEFAULT NULL,
household_id int(11) DEFAULT NULL,
user_id int(11) DEFAULT NULL,
people_id int(11) NOT NULL AUTO_INCREMENT,
PRIMARY KEY (people_id)

people_type_id will be 1 for adult 2 for child
sex 1 male,0 female
roles will be a new feature – a serialized array that in future updates will allow for teams etc.
household_id will connect the people row to a hosuehold.
smallgroup_id is which small group
member_type_id will allow for membership level -visitor,member and adjustable levels between!

Email Cache changes

The lastest version of the Church Admin plugin moves the email caching directory out of the “church-admin” plugin directory to it’s own directory (church-admin-cache). Previous upgrades would have wiped cached emails – so this change prevents that happening.

The total re-write is also progressing well – watch this feed for beta-testing in the next few weeks, if you want to help the plugin’s development.

The year planner

Why is it that most calendar software doesn’t use or give that most powerful of Church planning tools – the year planner? The answer is because a year to view would mean the text is too small.
So I’ve added an A4 pdf year planner to my WordPress church_admin plugin. It uses colour to show different events. Max one event worthy of year planner a day!

Now to add some more things to the planner!