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    Church Attendance Tracking



      Church Attendance Tracking


      I've been reading the threads and I'm completely confused. Many of the answers are far beyond my understanding of databases (filemaker 12).

      I'm a missionary church planter and I'm trying to track weekly attendance (among other things).

      I have a database with all the basic information (Name, Phone, Address, some other information in regards to whether the person is married, has kids, is a visitor etc.)

      Every week attendees write their name in a book and I manually keep track of who's come and who hasn't. I'd like the automate this with the database. Weekly I'd like a report with the following info.:

      - Everyone at the church service:
      - People who have come for the first time:
      - People who have come for the second time:
      - People who have come for the third time:
      - People who missed two weeks:
      - People who missed four weeks:

      My vocabulary in Database speak is limited, I'm trying to learn.

        • 1. Re: Church Attendance Tracking

          Attendees Table                                      Attendence Join Table                   Service Table
          Attendee ID Serial #  - - - - - - - - - - - - <Attendee ID Foreign Key
          NameLast                                               Service ID Foreign Key > - - - - - - Service ID Serial #
          NameFirst                                               Visit Number (1, 2, 3, etc)              Service Date
          Address01                                              Missed Number                             Serice Location

          • 2. Re: Church Attendance Tracking

            I really do appreciate your answer but could you break that down in to steps I need to do. I'm very new to this database stuff.

            • 3. Re: Church Attendance Tracking

              Hey Bennie, I saw your questi a little while ago but didn't really respond. Now I just made a little demo for attendance tracking.

              I don't know if you are still looking for something like that, but if you want you can have a look here:


              It's extremely basic and needs a lot of extra functionality. But it's really basic to learn the idea.

              • 4. Re: Church Attendance Tracking

                Hey Bennie, I think something went wrong because your comment didn't show up.

                • 5. Re: Church Attendance Tracking

                  Thank you for your help.

                  I'm looking at it and how you tied the tables together. I have over 150 people to enter weekly, is there a way to type the beginning of the persons name, push enter and have that register as some one who was present. And automatically generate another field to keep adding names until all attendees are present?

                  I don't mean to be pushy, I'm understanding better, through your example, how the tables need to work.

                  I currently have a table - Contacts, the second one is - Attendance

                  In Contacts I have lots of infor, on Attendance I have virtually nothing. The idea I had was to create a record for each "event" people are attending. Will that work? How do I form the "relationships"? How do I create reports assuming I can do what I'm asking?

                  Thanks again.

                  • 6. Re: Church Attendance Tracking

                    What you are looking for sounds a lot like a dwindling value list. Where you start adding people and the people that have alreade been added get removed from the dropdown list.

                    With dropdown lists you can start typing a name and hit enter to select that person.

                    If you only have one field in the portal you can automatically add person after person because after picking a person from the dropdown you automatically arrive in the next record with the dropdown open.

                    I made a new "Attendance" demo file that might be a little closer to your needs.

                    Check it out:


                    • 7. Re: Church Attendance Tracking

                      Thank you, this looks like it should work. I'm working on it now, I'm using yours as an example to change mine.

                      • 8. Re: Church Attendance Tracking

                        Would you be willing to look at my current database, I'm so sorry but I've been trying to understand what you did. Would you look at my current database, add a table or do whatever you'd like to it, it's in Spanish (I'm in Ecuador).

                        I can't begin to tell you how much I appreciate it.

                        • 9. Re: Church Attendance Tracking

                          Sure I'll look at it, I sent you a PM with my email adress.

                          • 10. Re: Church Attendance Tracking

                            I'm looking at your file. First thing I noticed:

                            Your Eventos tables doesn't have it's own ID.

                            As a rule of thumb, give EVERY table an ID field that's a number field with an auto enter serial value.

                            I added a join table to join events and Contacts.

                            And I set up the dwindling value list.

                            • 11. Re: Church Attendance Tracking

                              I'm flabergasted! You are so helpful!

                              • 12. Re: Church Attendance Tracking

                                I have been a FM user for years, but only as a beginner.  I am volunteering to help a church Sabbath School track attendance for over 100 ten-year-old kids.  I have spent three days trying to learn FM programing.  I need help with the following:

                                I know how to create TABLE 1 for SSstudents that has lots of information.  I need TABLE 2 to store the weekly date and event.  I need TABLE 3 to assign a teacher to groups of 5 or 6 students.  I also need to keep track of personal information (did the student bring their Bible, study their lesson, memorize their memory verse, etc). 

                                I would like to print name badges for each student with a QR code that students could pick up each week when entering the classroom and scan their code for taking attendance (or they could start to type their name and they select their full name when it shows up in the list).  

                                I will also store in a container, a photo of each student and print it along with the QR code on their name badge.  Teachers will need rosters of their students (also with photos).  I am OK with layouts. 

                                I don’t know how to properly set up the initial Tables, and how to auto enter the date for attendance.  I think I should be starting with the following:


                                SSstudents  [TABLE 1]








                                JoinSSstudentsWithLessonStudy  [TABLE 2]



                                DateOfVisit (enter date somehow)

                                EventOfVisit (describes what happened on above date)


                                LessonStudy  [TABLE 3]



                                AssignedToTeacher (1-8)





                                I got really excited three days ago, but I have not been able to pull this together.  I need your help!

                                • 13. Re: Church Attendance Tracking

                                  Hey Mr. Benson.

                                  Sorry I haven't replied sooner but I had gotten really busy.

                                  Sounds like quite a project you have going on.

                                  Are you using Filemaker 12?

                                  Let's see if we can get to a good structure.

                                  It looks like you need:

                                  A table for students

                                  A table for teachers.

                                  A join table to connect students with either a teacher or a lesson (weekly event).With probably a couple of detail fields.

                                  Then you have weekly events. How do these work? Do you have multiple teachers giving lessons to different classes at the same time?

                                  Do students usually always go to the same teacher?

                                  How will teachers work with this database? Will they enter an event date (or this can be auto entered on the moment of creation)

                                  Like you said a student will note his / her own attendance by scanning their badge.

                                  But the teacher will need to enter details like

                                  - did the student bring their Bible?

                                  This is just a Yes / No situation, no problem here.

                                  - did the student study their lesson?

                                  Is this a simple yes / no question? Or do you need to specify which lesson?Or give a score based on how well he / she studied their lesson.

                                  - did the student memorize their memory verse?

                                  Again, a Yes / No question? Or do you need to be able to enter more? Is there a gradation? Like the student attempted but failed, or memerised it partly but missed a few lines....


                                  It's important to get the structure right in the beginning so you don't get stuck later on.

                                  • 14. Re: Church Attendance Tracking

                                    Hi Mr. DeSaint,

                                    I truly appreciate your response to me.  I am using FileMaker 11, but will be happy to upgrade if that will help.  Ultimately, I would like this project to be on a server and the checkin of students handled by an iPad or smart devices.  I have waited to upgrade until I know what I really need to make this project successful.

                                    OK:  a table for students, a table for teachers, and a join table.  We typically only meet with the students once per week, however, there are some added social events scattered throughout the year.  I would like to have the events auto entered when a student checks in.  It would be nice to specify the event, but that could also be an administrative option.

                                    There are 8 table with about three teachers who are in charge of that table group of students.  Students need to be assigned to one of the eight tables.  A roster with contact information and a photo of each student for that table helps the teachers learn the student names.  There may be times during the year when a student is moved to another class, however, this does not occur much, so a student will typically have the same group of approximately three teachers for their assigned table.

                                    We are using the honor system where the students will self checkin and report by a YES or NO to all of the questions:  1.  Did you bring your Bible?  2.  Did you study your lesson?  3.  Did you memorize your memory verse?   At the end of the quarter, there is an award of $15 given to students who can say (on the day of examination) all 13 memory verses.

                                    Teachers will primarily use the data base to contact students and monitor their attendance, so easily read weekly reports will be handy.


                                    I started this project by opening a new file within FileMaker Pro 11 with the help of the FileMaker Starter Solution.  I have modified it alot on my way to getting what I want to accomplish.  So far, everything works great with Contact Details, Name Tag (layout only), Map, Address, Related Contacts, Notes, & Emergency Info.  I have added a container field to hold the QR Code (a serial number) but I don't have it working yet.  I cannot insert the code into the blank space.  It keeps wanting to place the QR code where the Picture is.

                                    HOWEVER, I do not even have a way to track attendance yet.  So, I have a long way to go to complete this project where students can scan their ID badge to check in.

                                    I have working file to show you what I am trying to do.  This should help you understand my vision.  I showed our church committee a sample of what I am trying to do and they are VERY excited.  They definitely want to see this server based so the teachers and leaders can access (through password) the data.


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