Is there a ChurchSuite instruction manual?

Whilst we have made every effort to develop an intuitive system that pre-empts the needs and expectations of our customers, we still inevitably get asked this great question from time to time - where's the instruction book?

The short answer is that there isn't a printed instruction manual for ChurchSuite.

Let me explain why, and then I'll give you a workaround suggestion if you really do need a manual (if you can't wait for the workaround, click here!)

Things change visually

Due to the ongoing nature of development of ChurchSuite and the other parts of the ChurchSuite ecosystem (My ChurchSuite, Apps, Connect, Donate etc) it is simply not possible to produce a definitive instruction manual. In addition to the new features we release, we're constantly refining and enhancing existing functionality too. This often results in changes to the visual interface, which would quickly render screen shot images outdated.

Things change functionally

Sometimes, in response to our customer suggestions and our own development schedule, even the original intended functionality can evolve and change too. Consequently any printed commentary would equally become outdated.

Browsers and operating systems change

Like ChurchSuite, browsers and operating systems change; sometimes in response to bug or security fixes; but certainly as service providers pursue improvement in order to compete with other systems. An example of such a change was the move to only allow responsive enabled web sites to show in Google's search engine results. This forced a massive re-write of code throughout ChurchSuite and many things had to change visually.

Platforms change

With every new Android, Apple, and Windows operating system release and new device, this inevitably results in changes in ChurchSuite.

Church changes

Yes, resist as we may, sometimes churches change too! New ministries, new ideas, new strategies and priorities. ChurchSuite exists to help serve churches in meeting the demands of these changes. A good example is the introduction of multi-site functionality. This feature caused radical changes through every part of ChurchSuite and any printed instruction manual that pre-existed multi-site would now be largely useless, or at best misleading. It's like the church member that clings to their 20 year old printed church contact directory - most of the people have long since changed their contact details, move home or church, or died!

The workaround...

Instead of a printed instruction manual, we have focussed on a more effective and efficient method of managing and communicating how to use ChurchSuite, producing online Support Articles. Support Article can easily be produced in response to a new feature and existing articles can be updated simply in response to enhancements, fixes, and changes in functionality.

Support articles are always available from every page within your ChurchSuite account - they fully searchable and context-suggested, which means depending on what you're doing, relevant articles will be suggested right where you're working.

Therefore, if you do need a printed manual our suggestion is to use the "print" option (using the printer icon at the top of every support article) to print into a PDF file of just those articles you want in your manual. You can save these PDF-printed files locally on your hard drive and then compile them into an instruction manual (e.g. using a PDF tool such as Adobe Acrobat Pro). You can even annotate the articles by adding your own bespoke notes to them. Your compiled PDF manual can then be circulated electronically - we don't encourage printing hard copies as the paper usage will be huge!

We hope this suggestion is helpful.

All the best,

The ChurchSuite Team

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