Getting Started in 5 Easy Steps
You have just started a membership to Instant Church Directory and have logged into the website and are thinking, "They said this would be easy, but I don't know where to begin!"
Don't worry — we are with you every step of the way. That's why this quick start-up guide will have you creating your directory in no time.
In this article:
- Add a family or families as an administrator or editor
- Add your church staff
- Update your directory cover page
- Prepare your directory for sharing
- Share your directory
You can go through each step and add just one or two members at a time or sit down and add all your members in just a few hours — the choice is yours!
1. Add a family or families as an administrator or editor
There are two ways to enter family information.
The first approach is to add existing contact information from your church database software by importing that data. To do this, click on the directory import wizard link you'll find in the Import .CSV File section on the Dashboard after you have logged in.
Or you can enter each family individually. On the home page, click on the Families link to begin.
Click on the Add Family button to begin a family entry.
Next, enter the family's last name, address and anniversary on this page. (You'll enter emails and phone numbers later unless there is only 1 email or phone for the entire family). Once you've completed your entry, click SAVE.
To add adults to the family record, click Add Adult/Parent and include all their information — including phone numbers and email addresses. Then click SAVE.
Click Add Child to add children to the family. Be sure to click SAVE after every entry that is included with the family.
To add a photo for any family, click the EDIT FAMILY button by each family.
If you don't have a photo for a particular family, click the Request a photo message link. The members can upload pictures themselves that will go into a holding folder for you to approve before being displayed in the directory.
Click here to learn how your members can submit updates of their directory information for administrator approval.
2. Add Your Church Staff
Staff contact information is very important for a directory. It gives members and visitors a point of reference. Instant Church Directory allows fields for contact information and a photo. You can add church board members here, rearrange the entries and separate the pages with a page break. Be sure to get good photos of these members. This section is usually what visitors will see first.
Adding staff members is easy — it is much like adding family members. Simply go to Staff and click on the Add Staff Members button.
3. Update Your Directory Cover Page
A cover page is essential for your directory. The cover page is a defining point for your church directory. It doesn’t matter if your church meets in Westminster Abbey or in a local school gym, a good cover is essential. A quality cover will have the church’s address as well as a good photo. The photo can be the outside of your church or a close-up shot of the pulpit, sign, Bible opened to a special passage or hymnal opened to a favorite hymn. To update your cover page, click on the Cover Page link and then click the Edit Cover Page button.
4. Prepare Your Directory for Sharing
Under Share Member Apps, you can:
- Enable your mobile device access to members.
- Share links to download the member apps.
- Share support documents for getting your members to the directory.
- Turn on Optional Two-Factor Authentication.
- Review troubleshooting documents for when your members have trouble getting online via their mobile devices or online access.
Check the status of a member's email.
Under Share PDF, you can:
- Password-protect your directory — this is a must!
- Set Your PDF Options:
- Determine the page order of your directory.
- Add custom pages to your Directory PDF such as a special activity pages, budget pages, announcements or advertisements.
- Choose the fonts, print color and image quality of your PDF.
- IMPORTANT: If you make any changes to your PDF settings, always be sure to click Save Changes!
Generate your Directory and Group Sub-Directories to create PDFs for sharing — to print or share via email or your church website.
5. Share your directory with Members
Congratulations! All your work is about to pay off as you share the directory with your congregation. There are four ways to share the directory:
The directory provides free mobile apps for iPhone and Android devices. Simply tell members to go to the App Store or Google Play and search for "Instant Church Directory" and download. We also provide step-by-step instructions for logging into the apps the first time. Go to the Instant Church Directory website, click the Resources link and then select Tools from the dropdown menu. Scroll down the page to the "Available resources for your members to access the directory section." Click on the link for your device and follow the instructions to set up a login. Once you create a password, it can be used with the mobile app and online access.
Here is an entire help site dedicated to supporting your members who use the directory.
Online Member Access
Members can access the directory through the member website using a browser from any internet-connected device. Go to members.instantchurchdiretory.com and click on the First time signing in? Create Login button and follow the instructions. Once you create a password, it can be used with the mobile app and online access.
Once a member is logged into the mobile app or member website, they can view Families, Groups, and Staff in the directory, plus the birthday and anniversary lists.
Members can also submit updates to their information under Edit My Family. All updates will alert the Admin and Editors to view and approve them before going "live." Member Submit Their Own Updates
Add a URL to your church's website
Instant Church Directory provides hyperlinks to your directory that can be included in emails or on your church's website. This view is the traditional printed directory view. The directory is generated as a PDF. The PDF hyperlinks are located in Share PDF. Choose the directory or booklet PDF that you wish to share and click Generate PDF (if it's the first time) or Update PDF to get the most up-to-date information in your PDF. Then click the blue Share PDF button. Now click Copy URL to Share to get a link that you can add to your website or email to members.
IMPORTANT: If you choose to publish your directory on your website, we strongly urge you to password-protect the PDF using a very strong password or make it accessible only in a portion of your website that is behind a member login to ensure the privacy of your members. If your PDF is posted to your website and is not password-protected with a secure password, we no longer guarantee that your directory is safe and secure from others. You can set your password in Share PDF.
The Printed Directory
The generated PDF is the document you'll use to print your directory either yourself or by a third-party printer.
Go to Share PDF to download the full directory, any sub-directory or booklet. Simply locate the directory you wish and click the Download link to download to your computer. Email (or take via flash drive) to the printer of your choice OR print it yourself.
Note: your directory must first be generated before you can download it! If it hasn't yet been generated, you won't see the Download link.
But that’s not all!
Of course, the Instant Church Directory provides lots of extra features. You can add a Pastor's letter, Activity Page(s) or send a mass email communication to your congregation using our Broadcast News Feature.
Check out the Instant Church Directory website or other Help documents for even more features such as how to generate a PDF directory, add groups, print booklets, and publish an addendum.