By Stephanie Martin
Though printed materials have been falling out of favor with churches in this digital age, a photo directory has never been more important.
Here are six reasons your congregation should create and regularly update this valuable resource:
1. A church directory helps people put names to faces.
No matter a congregation’s size, remembering who everyone is — and who “belongs” with whom — can be challenging. Seniors might know most of the other seniors, and youth might know most of their peers, but it’s unlikely that all members can identify one another.
2. New members and staff can get up to speed quickly.
A compilation of faces, names and contact information is especially useful for people who are new to the congregation, whether in the pews or in leadership. Learning lots of names is much easier when a current photo directory is handy.
3. A church directory encourages relationships.
Achieving a family-like feel and building community are important goals for most congregations. But personal connections can’t happen if people are strangers! A photo directory provides a sense of belonging and indicates that members are part of a special group.
4. Information is always at your fingertips.
Phones, email, and social media help 21st-century churchgoers stay in touch, yet contact information is often scattered or outdated. Thanks to a one-stop directory, everyone’s names, addresses and phone numbers are together.
5. A church directory can go beyond the “basics.”
Photos and contact information are just the beginning. Some congregations also include birthdays and anniversaries, Bible studies and small groups, volunteer opportunities, emergency information, and more.
6. Prayer chains and other phone trees are a breeze.
Keeping one another in prayer is a key part of church membership. With a directory, phone trees for prayer requests and other purposes can be organized easily.
The value of an up-to-date church photo directory is undeniable, now more than ever. And if your church doesn’t want to go through the hassle of using a photo directory company, don’t forget there are now other ways to produce a church photo directory yourself with the assistance of programs such as Instant Church Directory.
With Instant Church Directory, you can create a professional church photo directory yourself in just hours, not months. There’s never a contract to sign and you can cancel at any time. Visit www.InstantChurchDirectory.com for more information and to start your 30-day free trial today.
Stephanie Martin is Senior Editor of The Newsletter Newsletter, a publication from Communication Resources Inc. She’s spent her entire 27-year career in Christian publishing, writing and editing materials for congregations, youth groups, and church leaders.
At her Denver-area church, Stephanie has pitched in with everything from teaching Sunday school and organizing VBS to counting offerings and writing grant proposals.