Most churches today want to attract and support younger members and one way to do this is for your church to offer church services and tools that are familiar to the audience you want to reach. Today this means having digital versions and access points to the ministries of your church. Previously I wrote about many ways to do this in: Want to attract young families to your church, these communication tips may help, and here I want to pass on an additional one: a Digital or Online Church Directory.
Before continuing, I want to remind you that Effective Church Communications takes no advertising, nor do we take part in any affiliate programs—never have, never will. This is a membership site and though many templates and e-books are some of the benefits to members only, one of the less tangible benefits of being a member is that you support honest evaluations of products and services for everyone.
That being said, following I want to share with you an article from the Katy Dunigan, the marketing director for Online Church Directory. I asked her to write this article. I did that for two reasons:
One, I know all things digital and online are preferred resources for many in the church today, not just the younger audience the church wants to attract. I am far from that demographic, but I live much of my life online today and with my phone. A digital, phone-accessible church directory would be a dream come true.
Two, I detest (along with no advertising, come my personal opinions for better or for worse) the standard church photo shoots and glossy printed directories. They are an almost medieval trial of pain for churches (our church recently did this, so I speak of current experience). The church staff and volunteers for worked for months to get people to sign up; the picture-taking process was a time-consuming chore for staff and volunteers; church members were subjected to a heavy-handed sales pitch of outrageous prices; it’s been months and we still have no directories.
There has to be a better way.
This site gets lots of searches for information on church directories and I trust the following article will be useful.
PLEASE do comment following it if you have ideas, systems that have worked for you or other resources.
Here is Kathy Dunigan’s article. Her contact information is at the end if you have questions:
Today’s Technology Trend—Online Member Directories
An up-to-date member directory is an important element to a well-connected and vital community of faith believers. It tells the story of your church, its mission, ministry and members, building community by creating and maintaining connections in many ways.
As churches embrace today’s digital technology, an increasing number of church member directories are being hosted online. An online church member directory brings new life and new benefits to the traditional printed directory.
Important Online Member Directory Features
Security - Online church member directories that offer multiple login and security options help ensure member information remains private. Look for an online member directory that uses encrypted Secure Socket Layer, (SSL) a security feature utilized by banks and retail stores. At Online Church Directory, we prioritize your privacy and use the best security services available.
Free Mobile App - A directory mobile app allows church members to carry the directory in their purse or pocket, wherever they go. Our online member directory mobile app offers mapping, calling and texting features, making connecting with church family and friends quick and easy. It’s also password protected, private and secure.
Cost - In today’s economy, cost is always a concern. We align our mission with your success. Online Church Directory offers a 30-day free trial, free data imports, unlimited customer support and a discounted annual subscription rate, all value added services making our service directory a valuable choice.
Print Options - In keeping with tradition, an online church member directory should offer a full array of print options, including all or part of the directory, specific groups, and staff listings. Print options enable churches to serve members who do not utilize digital technology. We offer multiple print options…from print your own to designing and printing it for you.
Edit Options - No longer stuck with old, outdated photos or old contact information, digital directories allow members to update their profiles and edit or upload new photos as often as they choose, from their desktop computer or mobile device. Online Church Directory allows churches to customize their photo edit options. It’s your directory and we believe you should have it your way.
Multiple Listing Options - Members, families, staff and church groups are all important elements of a church. Why not include all of them in a church member directory? We offer multiple listing and labeling options.
Social Media Friendly - An online member directory should be social media friendly, allowing members to list their email addresses, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter or Pinterest profiles. Our directory allows members to add detailed custom information in the member and family profiles.
Custom Designed - Want your online member directory to match the look and feel of your church website? Online Church Directory offers customization features to ensure your directory looks and feels like your church website.
Digital Photos - Today’s photo technology allows churches to create their own professional photo directory. With Online Church Directory, churches are no longer dependent on a photography company to produce directory photos. A church’s directory administrators can upload member photos. Another option is inviting church members to upload their individual photos and change them as often as they choose.
A church photo booth is always a fun way to get people involved in your directory set-up!
One Time Set-Up with Lifetime Benefits - Once your online member directory is created, it’s available to you for as long as you choose to utilize the directory service. Directory committees, photo sessions, and high-pressure sales meetings can be a “pain of the past!”
The power of an up-to-date church photo directory is undeniable. As a connectional tool, relationship builder, a ministry tool and ministry resource, an online member directory offers the perfect solution for today’s fast-paced and ever-changing world.
Please contact us to learn more about our product and services and to start your 30-day free trial!
Katy Dunigan is the marketing director for Online Church Directory. www.onlinechurchdirectory.com 1-855-759-5161