By Kristen Coy
Let’s face it: most printed directories are out of date by the time congregations receives them.
And really, with newer generations moving into a more technological world, churches need viable, simple ways to do the same.
Enter: an online church directory.
Here are the ins and outs you’ll want to know about this valuable, next-generation connectivity tool.
When a church puts its directory online, members can stay up to date — and, just as important, it ensures your church has easy access to the directory (and thus, its members).
Ease of updating. With an online directory, it’s easy for your church to import and update members’ information. Between phone numbers, email addresses, activity groups, anniversaries, birthdays and more, you can add as much or as little as you like about your members. You can also make changes to existing family members, or add new families at any time.
And with no limit as to how many people you can have in your directory, everyone can be included.
A personal touch — simply. The administrator of the online directory can upload photos for the families. Or, church members can even upload their own ‘selfies’!
This is actually a fun outreach opportunity: recruit some volunteers with digital cameras. Have them and stand by the doors for a few Sundays and snap some head-shots of families as they arrive or leave. You can also make photo-taking even more fun and unique by creating a Selfie Station — something they’ll look forward to (not dread).
Of course, there will always be members who prefer to use their own photos. If a member already has a photo he or she would like to use, simply request a photo through the online directory. Once that person uploads the image, you can match it to the correct family. Done, and done.
Always current. Always. Since any change you make to the directory is immediately synced with the Online Member Directory and the Member App, church members are always receiving the latest information.
They can even sync your church directory directly to their iPhones, iPads, Android devices and Kindle Fires, or view it on the Web at members.InstantChurchDirectory.com by setting up their own username and password. They can call, text or email other members of the congregation straight from the app as well. No more being out of touch when staying connected is at their fingertips!
Free = a very good price. Did we mention that all of this is available to members at no cost? Church members never have to pay a dime for access to the directory.
Kristen Coy is Creative Director at Communication™ Resources Incorporated and Instant Church Directory™ Online in Beaufort, SC.