What's new?


Shepherd's Staff  8.8

Currently, Shepherd’s Staff is going through an interface redesign, module by module. Towards the end of 2018, a redesigned Attendance module was released with Shepherd's Staff 8.7 and with Shepherd's Staff 8.8 a redesigned Membership Module has been released. The software conventions seen in last year’s Attendance module release will be seen in this year’s Membership module release.

Notable conventions:

  • Subgroups, common reports, and the Task Manager now have a home in the toolbar a the top of the window. 
  • Similar record grids have been converted into sub-tabs with similar sub-tabs being grouped together underneath main tabs. 
  • All reports are grouped together under a Reports tab.
  • There is a Tools/Setting tab to group all Module Tools and Settings together in one place.
8.8 Shepherd's Staff Version 20191016 (Released October 30, 2019)

New features and improvements:

  • Completely redesigned Membership module Graphical user interface (GUI). 
  • Membership record grids moved to sub-tabs and grouped together under primary tabs.  
  • Search and filter boxes added to the majority of the Membership module views. 
  • Membership views can be sorted by columns. Sorting is available on columns titled with a bold font.  
  • Added the ability to save Membership views, Membership reports, and actions for future use.
  • Any view can be made into a report by using filters and searches.
  • Combined People grid, Household grid, and Household Tree into a single household and people view.
  • Find Birthdays, Baptisms, Confirmations, Weddings, etc... in the new Anniversaries view.
  • Added a redesigned Church Register view.
  • Added a Parents Search view which allows for easy creation of reports and mailing labels for the parents of children
  • Added Combine Duplicate Person Utility.
  • Organize, schedule and keep track of contact your church has with your congregation with the new Touchpoints feature.
  • Find people who are best suited for positions at your church with the new Volunteer Search view.
  • Archive and purge unwanted person records from the Membership module.
  • Added redesigned Church Dashboard for the Membership and Attendance module.
  • Redesigned Database structure. 
8.7 Feature Pack 1 Version 20190315 (Released March 22, 2019)

New features and improvements:

  • Attendance
    • Updated Advanced Batch Entry and Basic Batch Entry default Who option to Everyone
    • Added ability to add Head count by clicking the Visitor button in Advanced Batch Entry
    • Added a separate Who option for deceased members in batch entry views
    • Improved the logic that is used to predict event dates when entering an attendance batch
    • Added Group by Household option to Attendance Behavior Report
    • Added ability to sort Attendance Behavior Report by Ministry Group and Person Assigned by last date attended
    • Added ability to print a generic Attendance Roster that includes everyone
    • Added the ability to filter by event for enrollees
  • Contributions
    • Updated to support TLS version 1.2, making records transferred over the internet more secure. This change was put in place by Vanco. All older versions of Shepherd's Staff will no longer automatically download records. 
  • General
    • Converted Month-at-a-Glance window to .NET. This window is currently visible only in the Attendance module but will be visible in other modules as Shepherd's Staff is rewritten.
  • Subgroups
    • Converted subgroup reports to .NET

Bug fixes:

  • Attendance
    • Sorted Households in both Advanced and Basic Batch Entry by sequence and then age
    • Fixed a bug in which users were unable to scroll up in data grids without first scrolling down
    • Scaled module appropriately on a Windows Surface tablet and other 4k resolution notebooks
    • Fixed "Did not attend" Attendance Behavior Report not sorting by last date attended
    • Fixed "Missed more than" Attendance Behavior Report to include people with no attendance in the selected time frame
    • Fixed a rare instance in which the Attendance Behavior report wouldn't show the correct last attended information
    • Fixed saved Attendance rosters to now save the Who drop-down
  • Finance
    • Fixed an error creating incorrect totals in the Account Tree for Income and Expense accounts
    • Fixed an error that occurred when restoring Finance only after a new report has been created
  • General
    • Removed Restore Finance Only from the Audit Log
  • Membership
    • Fixed an issue in which the LCMS annual report was double counting confirmed adults
8.7 Shepherd's Staff Version 20180926 (Released September 27, 2018)

New features and improvements:

  • A complete redesign with all data presented in a single view with tabs, sections, and a new user interface.
  • Smart searches and filters on each view.
  • New way to customize Attendance including the ability to rearrange columns in each view.
  • All columns can be sorted.
  • Added the ability to save any view, report, or action for future use.
  • Redesign of batch entry including an all-new basic batch entry.
  • Any view can be made into a report by using filters and searches.
  • Refined, smaller list of special reports that pull data from multiple views.
  • Worship patterns and ability to analyze them.
  • New print preview with the ability to drill down into the data.
  • Improved keyboard navigation and shortcuts.
  • Several back-end changes to make Shepherd’s Staff more efficient.


Features removed or replaced in Attendance include:

  • Church Dashboard
  • I want to . . .
  • To-do list
  • Month at a Glance
  • Batch numbers
  • Various option in batch entry
  • Replaced find button with new search field in every view
  • “Fast Facts” from all views
  • Can no longer add, edit, or remove attendance summaries. They are now view only and are maintained behind the scenes.
  • Report descriptions
  • Selecting print in any view will always display a preview first.
  • Attendance History report
  • Mailing Labels (temporarily removed)
  • Report Writer (temporarily removed)
  • Attendance Behavior report replaces Absentees, Attendance Follow-up, and Perfect/Missed Attendance reports
  • Event Enrollees report (printed directly from enrollees view)
  • Sunday School/Church Class Roster replaced with Attendance Roster report
  • Ability to import and export subgroups
0 out of 0 found this helpful


  • How am I suppose to post an event summary? I do not have all the names of people who attended, I have a number of people. This is the information that I need to be able to input and it looks as if that option has been removed.

    Comment actions Permalink
  • If you are visiting this page to find out how to enter attendance, let me share a couple of things to make it easier since the manual is missing.

    Yes you have to click the unlabeled search box upper right.  After you type the first name and use the arrows to select the family, hit return to select it, the name will appear at the top of your list - most of the time. Hit the space bar to select the family members. But WAIT - you can just start typing the next families name and repeat the process for the next family.

    The only time you have to click the search box is the first time you are on the page OR after you click add in the center of the page. 

    What about the late attendance cards? Select Detail, then the add button to start to add the people. You can select Add Multiple which lets you add several people under the same event and date. When you are done, click the Cancel button - no not the done button, because there is not done button. In this case Cancel does not cancel the names you put in ONLY the process of putting in.  But WAIT..

    You will not be able to see the names you just put in until you do the following: In the side bar click Batches, then Detail. Now they show up.

    I will share things as I discover them. Add you own helps here also.

    Comment actions Permalink
  • OK, so to add attendance for people who turned their card it the old way was to click on the big A on the top.

    Now we select Detail and click the add button. Great. Even an option to add multiple. I enter a person, click save, enter the next name, save until the end. Then what?

    No done button. Clicking cancel cancelled all 5 names. Great. Back to entering them again. Start to enter them again and it says he is already in there. Have to click back to Batch and then back to Detail and he shows up. Missed that in the instructions book. 

    Comment actions Permalink
  • Why do you add extra steps to enter attendance? Before, I type part of the name, spacebar to select or up/down arrows. Now I type the name and then hit return.Yes it's only one step, times 90 families.
    Why are deceased showing up in attendance? They do not appear in Membership unless you check the box.
    Even when I got in rhythm of adding names it takes longer to do attendance. Not what I need.
    Hope you get the mailing labels back in before the next newsletter run...

    Comment actions Permalink
  • why is report writer temporarily removed ? not sure how to generate my attendance reports anymore?

    Comment actions Permalink
  • We didn't do the 8.7 update and have now done both the update and upgrade today so EVERYTHING in membership is different/has moved. I'm not thrilled with the new membership interface. Don't really have the time to struggle and search and try to make sense of someone else's way of organizing the module. Can't even figure out how to print labels from a subgroup currently. I keep getting an error that I need to call support. No time for that right now! Not impressed so far. Wish we would have waited with the update that was just released yesterday and let the bugs get worked out first. May end up removing the upgrade and waiting a few months to try again.

    Comment actions Permalink
  • Also sending out emails with a group from membership, something has changed as the majority of the emails were kicked back through gmail. Worked just fine for years prior. So no weekly announcements for our parishioners with this update! Extremely Frustrated.

    Comment actions Permalink

Please sign in to leave a comment.