Many church organizations print and distribute a church member directory, which contains contact information with at least names, addresses and phone numbers of members of your church congregation. Most of these directories also include photos, making this the go-to place to find church member information.
In our previous blog article, 6 Reasons to Create a Church Directory we discussed the importance of creating and maintaining this valuable church management resource. However, for a small church, allotting the budget and resources for a professional church membership directory every year simply is not an option.
Here are some key benefits of why an online church directory may be perfect for a small-church directory.
Ease the burden on church staff & leadership for being the go-to resource.
It is no secret that church staff and leadership wear a variety of hats within the church family. But if your church is only able to afford to update your directory every couple of years, it quickly becomes outdated and is therefore no longer trusted. Members know the Jones family had another kid and they moved into a different house three years ago. However, they are not as close to the Smith family, so they are not sure if that’s their latest address. The result? Send a quick text or email to a staff member asking them for the information.
With a church software online directory, members can trust that the information is always up-to-date and accurate. Members learn to turn to their app or log in with online access rather than reaching out to the church office. This is one less text or email that frees up time for your staff or leadership to focus on other ministries in the church.
Online directory programs help spread the workload of management.
Online church directory programs often allow for more than one editor or administrator to update or manage the church directory. This allows you to create a directory team for your small church, rather than the burden falling on just the church administrator or pastor.
One member can oversee maintaining photos (perhaps a photographer in your congregation or a trusted older member of your youth ministry), another can oversee updating addresses or phone numbers, while a third can be in charge of maintaining new families, new births, new members and members that have passed away or moved away. This divide-and-conquer approach makes the task less daunting, especially for a small-church directory.
Online directory memberships help lower the cost.
An advantage to online directory programs is that you can pay monthly, or choose yearly billing at a discount. These costs are much cheaper than any traditional company would charge. For just $10 or $20 a month, you can have access to an online directory with a printed church directory feature for a fraction of the cost. Plus, monthly payment plans help spread the cost over the year and fit into your budget more easily than one large sum.
Your church may not have a secure website.
For a small-church directory, funds can be limited in hiring a media or technical assistant full-time. So in some instances, members graciously volunteer to help build or maintain the church website to establish your church in the online world, but the site is not regularly updated.
And that’s okay!
Unfortunately, that means your website may not be up to the latest security standards and therefore is not a safe place to post your church’s directory.
For a directory with online access, you do not have to worry about trying to password protect, secure, and manage a directory on your churchs website. You can be confident that you are not exposing your contact information to online scams or threats, nor have the burden fall on one person who is helping the church in their spare time.
In these new times, church budgets are spread thinner and thinner. Rather than forgoing the updating of your church directory this year, using online directory software may be the solution. An online directory option for a small church helps keep line items in check while also allowing everyone to stay up to date with the latest church member information — which is so important for staying connected with one another.
Try Instant Church Directory
We offer an affordable program that allows you to create and maintain your small church directory. It’s easy to create your directory roster, photo pages and more in just a few hours.
Create a PDF directory for print or digital distribution. And provide simple and secure access for your church members via our free online website and free mobile apps for Apple and Android smart phones. Membership is just $9.99 a month, no matter your church size or how often you update it.
Our mission from the very beginning has been to create an affordable church directory program that is, well … instant. We believe keeping you connected to your members is a critical part of your ministry — along with keeping your members connected to one another. To learn more, visit us at www.InstantChurchDirectory.com to try it free for 30 days OR view a sample directory.
Learn more about what we have to offer at www.InstantChurchDirectory.com and get started today!