Jethro Pastoral Ministry Manager
Jethro Pastoral Ministry Manager is a web-based tool which helps churches keep track of people, families, groups, attendance, pastoral tasks, church services, rosters and documents. Jethro doesn't force you to work in a particular way but gives you flexible, lightweight tools to support your own style of ministry.
The Jethro software is free and open source (GPL) and runs on a standard LAMP web server. Jethro's real advantages come to the fore when it's running on a proper web server, but it can also be run on a single PC using XAMPP.
Download and install
Download the latest version of Jethro from the releases page
System requirements are:
- MySQL 5.1 or above
- PHP 5.3.0 or above
- Some web server (apache suggested)
The steps to install are:
- Unzip the files into a web-accessible folder on your web server
- Create a mysql database and database user for your jethro system to use
- Edit Jethro's configuration file conf.php and fill in the essential details (system name, URL, database details). Further explanation can be found inside the file.
- Open the jethro system URL in your web browser
- If you encounter an error about MDB2.php not being found, you need to install the MDB2 PEAR library. If you have command line access this can be done by running
pear install MDB2 pear install MDB2_Driver_mysqlIf you don't have command line access you can unzip this ZIP file into your Jethro folder.
- In your web browser, the Jethro installer will start automatically and will prompt you for details to create the initial user account. When the installer completes, it will prompt you to log into the installed system.
Some documentation articles are hosted by Easy Jethro
- Mailchimp Setup Guide provided by Jeff Turner
Support and Discussion
If you're having trouble with Jethro and think you might have found a bug, please open an issue on github.
General questions about Jethro and how to use it can also be done in github issues, but the better place to do it is on our facebook wall
(Historical discussions can be seen at our older Sourceforge forums)
The Jethro developers try to respond to issues in a timely manner, but for real-time support you may need to sign up for a hosting service such as Easy Jethro.
The following is a high-level overview of the objects in Jethro and how they relate.
- A person has a name and various other properties.
- Every person belongs to exactly one family. A family is a collection of persons who live at the same address and are in some way related.
- Every person belongs to exactly one congregation - the main grouping within a church. (One exception to this is persons with status 'contact', who can be congregation-less).
- A person can belong to various groups which can represent many things such as bible studies, volunteers for some role, people who are undergoing a welcoming process, people who have completed some particular training course, etc etc.
- A person's attendance at their congregation or a certain group can be recorded week by week
- Notes can be added to persons or families. These may simply record extra free-form information about the person, or may be assigned to a Jethro user for action (eg "call Mr Smith").
- A report can show persons who match certain rules regarding their personal details, group memberships etc etc.
- A service is when a congregation meets together on a certain date, and has various details such as the topic and what bible passages are to be used.
- A service's run sheet can contain several service components such as songs, prayers, etc, selected from the congregation's repertoire.
- A roster role is some role to be played in a service, eg reading the bible
- A roster view is a collection of roster roles which are viewed or edited together (eg all the roles for the evening service, or the 'preacher' roles for all services)
- A roster assignment is when a person is assigned to a certain roster role for a particular service.
An extensive list of Jethro's capabilities is available on the Easy Jethro site
Jethro is designed to facilitate and encourage good team ministry, so its name comes from Exodus 18:13-23 where Moses is introduced by his father in law to the important skill of delegation. His father in law was named Jethro.
Jethro development has been sponsored or contributed to by several churches worldwide:
- Christ Church Inner West Anglican Community, Sydney, Australia (founding sponsor)
- Redlands Presbyterian Church, Queensland, Australia (sponsor of service planning features)
- St Peter's Woolton, Liverpool, UK (sponsor of date field and photo features)
- Coast Evangelical Church, Forster, Australia (sponsor of group-membership statuses, attendance enhancements and more)
- St George North Anglican Church, Sydney, Australia (contributor of vCard export)
- Macquarie Anglican Church, Sydney, Australia (contributor of note-search and SMS-family feature)
- Dalby Presbyterian Church, Queensland, Australia (sponsor of edit/delete note features and family photos)
- Professional Standards Unit, Anglican Diocese of Sydney (sponsor of custom fields etc) There are also several github contributors whose input is invaluable.