After writing an article for Christian Computing Magazine on ways to save money in your church communication programs, I got an email with a question that I know many churches struggle with. The question in shortened from was, "Is it OK to do away with our print newsletter? We'd save so much money if we just put it on the web." As I was putting together the answer, I realized that it is a topic that would be useful to share with all of you.
Though I can totally understand where the woman is coming from who wrote the question, as always, there is more to it than simply saving money, doing away with a print version and putting it all on the web. I'm working on a larger book that deals with this issue, but here is a helpful section from part of it:
Why keep printing some materials:
It is very difficult to take time to do a print postcard for the three people who don’t have internet access when fifty other people in the class are so easy to reach via email. Or to make a copy of the newsletter (in large print at that) and mail it out to the ten people who vow never to use a computer when everyone else in the congregation can get access to it on the church website.
Jesus left us a very clear example of what to do in these situations. He told the story of the shepherd who went after the one little sheep who wandered off.
Jesus isn’t nearly as concerned about the efficiency of our newsletter delivery as he is that we care for the wandering little sheep just as much as he does. That little sheepie was probably a naughty little sheepie and wandered off for no good reason. Jesus still went after him and carried him home lovingly.
Sometimes we might feel that some folks in the church make our communication tasks more difficult just because they are onery—and that might be true. But Jesus still expects us to love and serve them, just as much as the rest of the congregation.
No matter what the cost, people are always the most important consideration, no matter what the cost.