What’s the best way to take your existing church membership directory and put it online?
Traditional church directories are unable to keep pace with the modern world. Leaders require instant information about members and events. With the continued pandemic, that’s more important than ever.
The solution is to put the church directory online. That’s why we’ve written this article which looks at how to make the perfect online church directory.
Read on to discover why putting your members’ details online is the right choice for your congregation.
What Is an Online Church Directory?
According to a survey by Pew Research Center, 69% of people in the US attend church. Not all are members of a congregation but those who are normally get recorded in a church directory.
The directory is a database of information like names, addresses, and contact details. More efficient directories also hold details like attendance and donations.
They are usually stored in either a hard-copy format or a spreadsheet. Those files are often kept on-site which means they’re mostly unavailable.
An online church directory takes that data and stores it securely on the Internet.
Authorized leaders or members can then access and query the information whenever they wish. No one needs to have physical access which is essential during the COVID-19 era.
If you’re considering modernizing your church’s directory we have 5 tips to help.
- Gather Content
The more information you add to the online system the more you can get out of it.
Gather as much contact data as possible to put on your new directory. Essential details like emergency phone numbers and parent names for children are a great place to start.
Don’t limit yourself to contact details either.
Members’ favorite activities, past ministries, etc. can help match skillsets for future work. Public prayer requests can be added on an on-going basis too.
- Organize Members Into Groups
Categorization helps organization.
The right church directory app allows the addition of multiple categories. You can segment your congregation by demographics like age. In that way, those with a greater need for assistance are easy to identify.
Extended families are easy to add to an online system. That’s important if there’s an emergency and the first point of contact is unavailable.
- Handling Vistors and Attendance
The CDC has issued guidelines to churches to support them through the COVID-19 threat.
They advise leaders to record any instances of sickness or absenteeism. This helps track who has been in contact with someone infected by the disease.
You can use your online church directory to record this data. Members are then aware of any issues and can self-isolate if appropriate.
- Communication Is Key
The best church directory apps encourage communication.
Dedicated church software companies like Icon Systems (https://www.iconcmo.com/) let you send unlimited emails. Every member with an Internet-enabled device will receive urgent prayer requests. You can also send text messages straight to their phones.
Keep everyone informed and manage communication through one simple online app.
- Member Edits
Managing a large congregation is difficult. People change their contact details such as mobile numbers and emails regularly.
To help, the best applications allow members to log in and edit their own details. They can also fill in missing information and be in charge of their own data.
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This article has outlined the benefits of an online church directory.
We’ve shared some great tips on how the right church directory app can make management easy. The secret is to find the best software for the job.
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