Why is this important?
The directory is all about making connections for members and visitors. Members will be able to put a name with a face. Often visitors considering your church are given a directory to help them plug-in and make connections. It could be one of a visitor’s first detailed-impressions of your church. A good directory will be a tool to help them want to get involved and stay.
Keep reading for some of our favorite tips on how to make your directory fun and unique.
Start with the Cover Photo
Some churches have their own sanctuaries and some churches meet in homes. But each church needs a great cover photo. This image is displayed on the app and printed directories. Be bold with the cover shot. Instead of using the traditional image of the entire church, take a close-up of the front door, or stained-glass window, or steeple. If your church does not have its own building, consider taking a close-up of the pulpit, a pulpit with a Bible, or even the street sign or house numbers from the address. Other ideas include hand drawn sketches of the church and church logos.
Photo Backgrounds Set the Stage
Use more than one background. Your church may have a wall that makes a great backdrop, however, when every family uses that same wall with the same pose, the directory can look stuffy. Shoot some photos inside, some outside and use a variety of backgrounds. Think outside the box. Church playgrounds can become great background props (even for adults-think a husband pushing his wife on a swing). Photograph members where they serve and where they are relaxed.
About the Photo-Make Them Genuine
Some of my favorite church directories use non-traditional, informal poses. These can be ‘staged,’ like having the family members stand back to back or in other fun poses. Or have some families sit together on the ground (picnic style) instead of the traditional ‘sit in a chair’ pose. I’ve even seen families pose ‘pyramid-style.’ The great thing about the non-traditional poses is that it allows for the member’s personalities come out. These aren’t perfect photos, but you can easily see the genuine smiles on member’s faces.
Keep it Fresh
With the advent of online directories, updating the directory is a breeze! Change your members pictures often. Be sure and celebrate family additions. And yes, an occasional ‘silly’ picture of the pastor or youth pastor is allowed.
Update the cover picture with the seasons. The church Christmas tree or wreath is a beautiful cover for Christmas season as are tulips for the Easter season. Use your imagination and have fun!
And, Finally …
Many times, when assisting customers and looking at their directories, I think ‘that is a church that I would like to visit if I was in that town.’ Keep this thought in mind while creating your directory. You are not looking for a professionally created directory. Instead, build your directory as if you were looking for a church and accentuate those positives – the one-of-a-kind characteristics that give your church a unique personality.