For years, churches have relied on outdated print-based member directories to track members. Unfortunately, printed documents are bulky, difficult to update and store. A modern digital membership directory is the perfect way to usher your church into the current era.
With a digital membership directory, you can improve access to church member details, boost interactivity among church members, and maintain an accurate and updated record of members.
Reunacy helps you create an online church directory that increases the depth of your content. With Reunacy, you can add photographs, engage group members online, and plan activities together.
What Are the Benefits of Online Member Directories?
Printed vs. Online Directory?
Printed directories may have been reliable for centuries, but not anymore. Online directories have several benefits over printed directories, hence the switch by most churches.
An online directory improves access to church member information and enhances interactivity. In a digital directory:
- Church members can share interactive information such as video stories to update others about their lives. The bio and profile photo also help other members access updated information straight from the source.
- Church members can add other participants to their lists for follow-up and easy connection.
- Church members can create groups and plan activities together. On the Reunacy online directory, church members can share links to Zoom meetings, create discussion boards, create tickets, and manage attendance.
- Easier to maintain
Digital directories are easy to store online and require minimum space and maintenance. Thanks to cloud storage, as long as you have a Reunacy account, you can access your member directory all you need is a smartphone or computer and an internet connection. However, with a printed directory, you are stuck with the same information until the next available copy.
- Easier to Update
Church members frequently change contact information such as phone numbers, home addresses, work addresses, and email addresses. Unfortunately, a printed directory does not reflect the changes immediately. For example, if a member changes their home address, you have to publish a new directory, which is time-wasting and costly.
With a digital membership directory, you can quickly update the member’s contact details. The changes also reflect immediately, for all to see.
- Available On Your Members’ Devices
People today rarely use printed directories to search for contact information. Instead, they use their phones or computers to access information. Moving to an online member directory helps your church members access contact information through their devices too. In addition, digital directories are faster to search than phone books.
- Cost Savings
Online directories provide member details at minimum cost. For example, you can add colored photos to your online directory without the expense of color printing. Also, the cost of creating and maintaining an online directory is significantly lower than a printed one since most members participate and update information voluntarily.
What Are Some Things to Consider When Creating a Church Directory?
A church directory is a tool to help members access contact information conveniently. As such, it should satisfy the needs of various members. Here are several questions to ask when creating a church member directory.
- Who needs the church directory and why? This helps you determine the details to include in your directory.
- Who needs to approve the church directory? Confirm the approval process in the church before switching to a digital directory. If the approving members have questions, address them first so that you can forge on with their go-ahead. It’s best to create a sample for the church leaders to prove the benefits of an online member directory.
- Is there a budget for the online church directory? If there are no funds available, how can you request funding? More importantly, how can you prove the use of the funds?
- Do members know how to use the online directory? Fortunately, online directories are easy to use and maintain, primarily because they rely on everyday technology such as smartphones and computers.
What Features Should You Have in an Online Church Directory?
If you’re planning to build an online church directory, it’s important to include essential features.
- Comprehensive profiles
It’s best to use a platform that helps you create comprehensive member profiles. There’s a full breakdown of information that your directory should cover in the next section.
- Event creation and sharing
It’s best to create a member directory that allows you to create events, add them to a calendar and share them with other members. The event sharing should also allow easy access to links and re-direction to virtual events and other online church resources such as websites and social media accounts.
- Privacy and security
It’s critical to ensure the security and privacy of the group you’re creating. Only approved members should have access to member details. Passwords and verification are vital to prevent unauthorized access. It’s also best to avoid sharing personal information in the public directory to avoid invading church members’ privacy.
- Easy Updates
It’s best to have an online directory that’s easy for members to update. For example, make it easy for church members to update their contact details so that the staff doesn’t have to follow up on such details.
- How To Guide
Since churches often have new members, it’s best to have a link to a “How to Use The Church Directory.” The comprehensive guide should explain the importance of the church directory, how to create a new profile, update and delete information, ensure security, and access church resources from the directory. The goal is to make it easy for church members to use the online directory without direct guidance from staff members.
- Mobile compatibility
Nowadays, almost every able child and adult owns a smartphone. Therefore, your online directory should be easy to access through mobile. Church members should easily log in, update their profiles, and browse through contacts on their mobile devices.
What Member Details Should You Include in a Church Directory?
- Names: The directory should include at least two categories for the first name and surname.
- Profile photos: Many members may share names and addresses. Having a colored profile picture is an excellent way to distinguish between church members.
- Title: This category is great for leaders in the church, such as pastors, senior members, heads of groups, and organizers during events.
- Groups/categories: Churches often have different groups such as women’s groups, men’s groups, and youth and children groups. Other groups may include ushering committees, choirs, finance departments, and cleaning and maintenance. This category helps members identify with specific groups in the church.
- About me: This extra feature helps church members provide fun descriptions about themselves and their affiliation to the church. Members can also share details about their motivations, bible verses, and links to businesses. It’s an excellent way to encourage church members to build each other outside the church grounds.
- Phone numbers: It’s best to include several categories for phone numbers, such as work and home, to help members distinguish between phone numbers.
- Email addresses: The email category should include options to add several email addresses such as family and individual email addresses.
- Birthdays: This can be an optional category. However, it’s a great way to ensure that all church members celebrate their birthdays and receive birthday wishes at the right time.
- Anniversaries: Encourage church members to include details about their wedding, baptism, or membership anniversaries for celebration.
Reunacy Is a Fresh and Fun Approach to Member Directories and Can Help Bring Your Congregation Closer
Reunacy helps you create online directories where members can easily find contact details. With a Reunacy church directory, you can:
- Easily access church leaders’ contact details from the comfort of your location. As long as you have a phone signal or an internet connection, member details are available.
- Match faces and names: Sometimes, it’s challenging to recall the names and faces of church members. However, you can easily match the correct name to the correct face and avoid embarrassing mistakes with details such as names and photos.
- Create custom questions for church members to find out more about them.
- Easily organize events, share details and ask church members to sign up.
- Locate people through their home addresses. You can also identify where people live relative to the church branches they visit if you have several branches.
- Contact specific church members when you need to. With accurate contact information, your staff will have an easy time sharing messages for events and sending mail.
- Enable church members to contact other members without exchanging details in person easily. This is especially useful for helping members make business connections.
- Learn more about your congregation, their motivations, businesses, and interests.
Reunacy can help break the ice between people coming together for the first time, making your congregation happy and connected!
Out With the Old! In With the New!
Printed directories are outdated, costly, and challenging to maintain and access. With an online directory, your staff and church members have an easier time contacting each other, building connections, and achieving church goals. You also have an easier time understanding your congregation and tracking your members.
Your church is only as strong as its members. As such, strengthening relationships and forming a community is the best way to enhance the church’s foundation. Reunacy is here to help you bring your church members together. Start a group on Reunacy! Reunacy is here to help you create your next church directory!