Face it... COVID-19 is making all of us find new ways to do church. If you are like us, you are used to people being on your campus almost every day, meeting, interacting, and focusing on Him together. As we journey though this, many of us have struggled to find a way to make doing life together seamless for everyone.

We were approached by Kingdom First Solutions to partner with them in developing a rush project to use a Jitsi online meeting platform to accomplish this. Accepting their offer was the easy part… They wanted to do it for free. Next we had to figure out how to get this technology into the hands of our group leaders and participants effectively and easily. So with a little help from KFS we built a workflow, integrated our attendance emails, and delivered a truly seamless way to deliver this tech to our leaders in a way they were already used to using.

The User Experience

  1. Group Attendance Email arrives in the group leader's mailbox. If the group is marked with "Allow to Meet Virtually?" set to Yes, they have a link in their attendance email that says "Meet Virtually".
  2. Leader clicks that link where they land on a Rock page. This page shows them the name of the group, the meeting short link, and a button that says "Send to Group".
  3. Upon pressing the button, it redirects the group leader to their Jitsi meeting and sends an email and SMS to all group members to join the meeting in progress.
  4. They click the link in the email or SMS and join their leader for their group.

Making it Work

Step 1 - The Workflow

I've attached the JSON to this recipe to make your life a little easier.

  1. Import the workflow
  2. Change the MeetingURL attribue to the Jitsi server you wish to use. Include the / at the end.
  3. Choose a "Site" in Start > Shorten Meeting Link to generate the short link
  4. Fill a "From Email Address" in Send Link > Send Email to Participants
  5. Fill a "From" phone number in Send Link > Send SMS to Participants. Note: If you do not have SMS enabled in Rock, you can delete this action.

Step 2 - Create a Page

You need a page to direct leaders to. Follow these steps to place your workflow on a page.

  1. Go to Admin Tools > CMS Configutaion
  2. Choose Pages
  3. Create a new page in the place of your choosing
  4. Give it a Name, Title, etc. based on how you manage pages in Rock
  5. Add the block "Workflow Entry" to your page
  6. Choose the Setting on the block and choose the workflow you just imported
  7. Press Save

Step 3 - Group Attribute

We didn't want every attendance email to contain a Meet Virtually link, so we created a group attribute that only sends a link to the groups we specify. If you want all attendance emails to contain the link, you can skip to step 4.

  1. Go to Admin Tools > General Settings
  2. Choose Group Types
  3. Navigate to the Group Type you wish to send this to
  4. Expand Group Attributes
  5. Create a New Attribute
    1. Name: Allow to Meet Virtually?
    2. Description: Define whether or not this group should be permitted to meet virtually using Jitsi.
    3. Key: MeetVirtually
    4. Field Type: Boolean
    5. True Text: Yes
    6. False Text: No
    7. Control Type: Toggle
    8. Default Value: No
  6. Click Save on the Attribute
  7. Click Save on the Group Type Detail

Repeat these steps for all group types you wish to have this ability.

Step 4 - Alter the Attendance Emails

We chose the attendance emails because its something our leaders already get and are used to.

  1. Go to Admin Tools > Communications
  2. Choose System Emails
  3. Edit the "Group Attendance Reminder" in the Groups section
  4. The following code needs to be added:

In the top header of the email, add this under your existing attendance link capture:

{% capture meetingLink %}{{ 'Global' | Attribute:'PublicApplicationRoot' }}page/737?{{ Person.ImpersonationParameter }}&GroupId={{ Group.Id }}{% endcapture %}

Be sure to change page/737 to match the page ID you made in Step 2.

We added this to the text body of the email:

{% if Group.MeetVirtually == "Yes" %}<p>If you are planning to meet virtually, please click the "Meet Virtually" button below.</p>{% endif %}

Then add this button under your attendanceLink button

{% if Group.MeetVirtually == "Yes" %}<a href="{{ meetingLink }}" style="background-color:#1461aa;border:1px solid #1461aa;color:#ffffff;display:inline-block;font-family:sans-serif;font-size:13px;font-weight:normal;line-height:38px;text-align:center;text-decoration:none;width:175px;-webkit-text-size-adjust:none;">Meet Virtually</a><br />{% endif %}

Be sure to remove the if statements from those last two snippets if you are not filtering which groups get this link.

Step 5 - Assign Groups to Meet Virtually

If you aren't filtering, you should be all set. Otherwise, you need to follow the steps below to enable a group to get the Meet Virtually link.

  1. Go to People > Group Viewer
  2. Find and select your group
  3. Click Edit
  4. Expand Group Attribute Values
  5. Mark "Allow to Meet Virtually?" as Yes
  6. Save


It's my hope that this helps you better connect with your church body during this time. Additionally, consider using this technology in the future to allow groups to meet even when life gets in the way.