Are you looking to update your church directory? Are you wondering if there is any software you need to take advantage of?
Online directories can make it easy for your congregants to connect with each other outside of church hours. This is especially important during a time when some church members may prefer to attend church remotely. Those in your church will find it easier to volunteer, ask for help, or make meaningful connections with an updated online church directory.
Yet what should you know about creating a directory? Do you need things like an updated website, or a church directory app? What should you be looking for?
Let’s take a look.
1. Collect Lots of Information
Your church members will find it much easier to communicate their prayer requests or help those in need with a complete directory. Therefore, ask your members for a lot of information so you’ll be able to easily keep in touch with them.
Your church members might have cell phones, work numbers, and emails that can make it simple for you to contact them whenever necessary. You can also ask for emergency contacts, children’s names and ages, and any church groups they might be interested in.
This can really help you to have a broad reach when you’re making plans. For example, if you’re having an event for sixth through eighth graders, you can contact the parents of every church member who has children in that age group through email. The right church software can make this kind of communication easy.
You can also get an idea of the kinds of volunteer work those in your congregation might be interested in by asking about their interests. And you can get info like birthdays so you can have group leaders contact members and their families on special occasions.
With a detailed directory, you can let all of your church members know when big announcements are going to be made. And members can contact one another with prayer requests or immediate needs as soon as possible.
2. Maintain Privacy
Many software options include lock-down features that will allow certain information to only get shown to members or those in the same groups. You can select which demographics you want to be shown to the whole church population and which ones you would like to be kept more private.
Some churches only have members in their directory, and others have a separate members-only directory. It’s important to know your congregation and their regular needs before selecting a privacy setting.
Requiring a member to sign in before someone can view the directory is another simple way to keep your congregants’ information private. You can also have them sign a commitment form agreeing not to share other members’ personal information with anyone else.
3. Back It Up
Whether you’re using a spreadsheet, management software, or a simple document, you’ll want to save it in more than one place. Make sure you have it saved on both a hard drive and more than one cloud.
Finding all your regular attendees and collecting their information can be quite time-consuming. You won’t want to be in a position where you need to do this twice! Make sure all of your information is backed up.
4. Take Some Photos
Some regular attendees may find it a lot easier to contact church members if they can see photos. It can help to have regular “photo Sundays” and offer several time slots where folks can have pictures taken with their families. You can suggest ideas for dress, such as having entire families dress in certain color schemes.
It’s also possible to create an easy way for members to submit photos. You can even have active members of your church take photos in members’ homes if they are housebound.
5. Link to Social Media
Directories are a great way to get folks’ emails, which you can use to contact them on social media. This is also a nice way to inform them about upcoming events and get them interacting with other members of your congregation in a less intimidating forum.
It can also connect you with their friends and bring new folks into your sphere of influence.
Church Directory Software
Many church leaders find that software specifically designed for church directories makes keeping their information organized a cinch. You can connect the personal information you have about individuals with their donor statements and special events. This can make sending a communication to appropriate members as easy as a few clicks of a button.
Some software can help you to track visitors, list spiritual gifts, and remember special occasions. It can also help you to send text messages and take attendance.
Your directory software can even help you keep track of attendance on Sundays. You can use it to help you check guests in, keep track of who is in children’s classes, and check photo IDs. Your software can also help you to automate finances, such as payroll and fiscal year information.
If you’re looking for a way to keep all of your information in one place so it’s easy to import, church directory software could be the solution you’re looking for.
Maintaining a Church Directory
Your church directory is the best way to keep track of members’ information. With a little creativity and organization, you could have a reliable directory in no time. And church management software can help you to streamline all of your congregation’s information in one handy place!
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