Usage Guide

Why the Crossroads template is useful for churches

Based on a number of discussions with different churches I have concluded that the most important aspects for a church website are;

  1. A place for new members to learn more about your church in order to decide to join your community. Also, your service times and where to find you.
  2. A place where current members and deciding members can watch sermons in an organised and accessible way.
  3. A place where your congregation can view upcoming events, find out more about your ministries and stay up to date with important announcements.
  4. And a place where your church can post projects and missions to showcase what you and your community have done as well as allow people to sign up for upcoming projects.

The Crossroads template does all of the above and more. I have tried to build the template in a way, so that any church can instantly start posting and organizing sermons, events and bring communities closer together.

How to get started

I recommend adding content to the template in the following order. Starting in this order will ensure a smooth user experience.

1 ) Add your leadership

In this stage you will work with two CMS collections Church Leader Job Title and Church Leaders.

  1. Add Church Leader Job Titles - make a list of all the leaders (the people who operate the church) and think of their roles within the church. Add these Job Titles first, leaders can share the same Job Title, avoid making duplicates.
  2. Add Church Leaders - now that you have Job Titles you can add Leaders and complete their profiles.

2) Edit static pages

The following pages are static; About, Contact, Prayer Request, Baptism, Give

I populated these pages with generic content and will not be true for your church, edit the content on these pages to reflect your church.

3) Add ministries

Add as many ministries as your church has. Each ministry has an associated leader (optional), choose a leader from the Church Leaders you created in step 1.

4) Add sermons

All sermons should be connected to a sermon series.

  1. Add Sermon Series - think of this collection as categories for sermons. Before you can post Sermons you need a Sermon Series for each to be organized under. What if there is a sermon that was once-off and doesn't belong to any series? In this case, create a Sermon Series and name it "Guest Sermons" or "Special Messages". Now any sermon that doesn't belong to a series can be organized under this one.
  2. Add Sermons - once you have a list of appropriate Sermon Series, you can start posting Sermons.

5) Add events

  1. Add Event Tags - tags are a great way to organize your events. For instance, if you create "Wedding" as a tag, users can view all upcoming weddings. Think of tags as a filter for your events.
  2. Add Events - sometimes a ministry will organize an event. If you added ministries in step 3 first, you can associate an event with a ministry. When users view a ministry, they will see all the events hosted/organized by that ministry.

6) Add projects

Projects are a great way to show how your church can help others. This will in turn attract others to volunteer and get involved. I have structured this page so that you can add pictures to a gallery. Sometimes a picture can say a thousand words.

7) Post on the blog (Announcements, Devotionals, Stories)

The Crossroads Template blog is different to most blogs in that, it is divided into different categories of information through the use of Category Tags. After speaking to churches most didn't care for a conventional blog, instead they wanted to post announcements, daily devotionals and stories. That is exactly how I structured the blog.

Note that this structure is not fixed and can easily be changed with the Categories you create and use.

  1. Add Blog Categories - to keep posts organized, create categories.
  2. Add Blog posts

How the home page works

Section One

The very first section displayed is a featured sermon. In a sermon collection item, you can switch Featured? to "On" this will change the first section on the home page to the sermon you selected. Note: There can only be one featured sermon.

Section Two

The second section displays the next event on the left and the latest sermons on the right. What is displayed here is determined by the closest date to the current date and the last posted respectively.