By Donna Hammond
So, you’ve been assigned the job of “directory administrator.” It can feel daunting and overwhelming, especially if all the responsibility lies on your shoulders.
But, you don’t have to go it alone. To make this project fun and uniting — not isolating — organize a directory team.
There are just a few simple questions to consider as you gather a team to fit your mission.
Consider people who are passionate and excited about the reality of a new photo directory, and who see its importance. Look for those who realize the value of creating a photo directory and who believe it can be a useful tool in the life of the church. Also, seek out individuals who have various talents — organizational skills, communication skills and computer knowledge.
Of course, you’ll want to find individuals you can work with and who are willing to form a team. (Avoid having “too many cooks in the kitchen.”) Gather team members who don’t mind getting in the trenches while bringing and sharing their strengths for the common good.
You might wonder, What would my team do? Well, that’s up to you — but think about how you’ll want to announce, create, update and share the directory with church members.
“Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.” — Helen Keller
One practical tip is to assign team members to specific roles and responsibilities — for example, the role of taking and submitting photos. This will ensure that photos have a uniform look and quality. Delegate another team member to be responsible for gathering family information that will appear in the directory. Give another member the task of entering family information into the directory. And don’t forget to delegate team members to share the responsibility of updating family information and photos throughout the year.
Consider the aspects of starting up a directory that might overwhelm you as the administrator; these stressors might be the perfect responsibilities to share with other team members. For example, recruit someone for the team who has computer skills and would excel as a liaison or coordinator to help members access their directory online. This is especially helpful if troubleshooting problems or educating members is likely to overburden you in your role.
Once you’ve reflected on the process and have decided the various roles of responsibility, start reaching out to your congregation. Having a top-level plan in your mind about what you want to achieve will help create a vision about the team’s mission.
Take time to meet collectively; then, individually fine-tune your approaches. Make sure team members understand their roles. Relay your expectations of their responsibilities so that everyone is on the same page. Make certain your directory program has the necessary tools and resources to get underway and that your team has access to them — from family information sheets to log-in instructions.
Bottom line: Make this project fun and engaging. Get a plan, declare responsibilities, express expectations, and use your team members’ strengths and ideas. The reward is a church directory that can bring your church community together.
Donna Hammond is marketing manager at Instant Church Directory. The company provides easy-to follow tools, tutorials, an extensive FAQ section, and guidance through the process, from building the directory to distributing it to your congregation. A 30-day free trial is available at InstantChurchDirectory.com.