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Getting Started with Realm

An online and printable getting started guide for Realm administrators.

With a little planning and strategy, Realm can become the central source of information about your ministry. It's an indispensable tool for getting a look across all of your data; communicating with staff, volunteers, and congregants; tracking progress on complex projects, spiritual growth, and discipleship pathways; managing events; launching giving campaigns; and accessing the reporting you need for understanding the health and vitality of your ministry.

Before you begin customizing your Realm site, we recommend you take the Realm Essentials course located in MinistrySmart Academy. In Realm, click the MinistrySmart Academy icon, then click the Getting Started menu. After you and your ministry team decide what kind of data will be useful to track, this guide can help you identify and locate the most common setup options, such as:

  • People Profiles - Your church community and mission field is filled with people. The information you track is important for communicating with them, ministering to them and their families, putting together teams of volunteers, and identifying the right skills in the church when urgently needed. Each person's profile includes the most common information, such as contact information and communication preferences. But you can also create custom fields to track information that's important to your church.

  • Family Connections - In addition to keeping information about individuals, managing family relationships is key to making connections. While we pre-load the most common family positions such as head of household, spouse, or child, you can add additional relationships (grandparent, aunt, foster mom, and so on).

  • Event Locations - Add your most common meeting locations, such as "Creekside Fellowship Hall", "Room 1A", or "Preschool Pod" to make scheduling easier and event communication consistent.

  • Ministry Areas - For reporting purposes, Realm organizes groups under ministry areas, which are categories that are usually defined in your church. Examples of ministry areas are Worship, Adult Education, or Cradle to College Ministry.

  • Group Types - Depending on the number of groups you manage, you may want to create a predefined list of "group types" that can be applied to each group. For example, a team to serve inner-city breakfast every Saturday, the Haiti Relief team, and the high school summer mission trip may share a group type of "Missions".

  • Sacraments/Ordinances - Customize your language and descriptions for sacred rites, ceremonial significance, or other milestones to reflect your polity or doctrine.

  • Content in Automated Emails - Realm sends out a number emails automatically, like when you invite someone to sign up or cancel a group event. You can edit many of these to include your own messages.

  • Tags - Create labels you can use to filter notes, events, and pathways, making them easier to find.

  • Links & QR Codes - Customize your website to help people find Realm. Add a sign-in or sign-up link to your website, and learn how to add a search box to your website so people can search your online directory.