Get the Most from Your Church Directory Program
By: Karen Walters
For a long time now, a church directory has served the purpose of "putting a face with a name," which is quite an important purpose. However, don't stop there! Get the most from your directory program and seize the opportunities.
A partnership with a directory company gives you access to products and services that allow your congregation to stay connected, reach out to your community, grow your membership—and even raise funds for your ministries.
Connect. Reach Out. Grow. Raise Funds.
Plus, it enables you to generate revenue for your church. What church would say "no" to that opportunity?
Today, directory companies are tailoring programs based upon the ministry needs of the church. A directory company can provide unique outreach materials designed to help grow your ministries and membership.
You can get professionally designed materials provided at no cost to promote your church and your ministries and advertise your events. These items include brochures, postcards, greeting cards and more, making it easy to inform current members and reach out to inactive members.
You may even consider using a photography program as an effective outreach event. Many directory companies will encourage you to open up your program and invite members of the community to participate. Not a bad idea, right?
You might provide tours of your facility, give information about what you offer, and extend a personal invitation to attend a service or activity. The visitors receive a complimentary portrait, while the church receives the benefit of increased participation and, best of all, a unique opportunity to have people walk through your door that typically wouldn't have.
Fundraising programs are being offered today, as well. Partner with a directory company that provides a way for your church or a specific ministry to earn funds.
Photography Is Key
Furthermore, photography takes place at your church with convenient times for your families. Families are encouraged to bring in their pets and favorite items to complete their portraits and tell their unique story.
As a bonus, on-site viewing, new products and no-pressure sales add to the experience. You will find that most directory companies, as they have for decades, provide a free portrait to all participating families. It's a great way to give all your families the gift of capturing a moment in time.
With online scheduling, automated calling services, and faster turnaround times, directory companies are geared up to make your event hassle-free. It's a win/win for you! Fewer volunteers are needed to coordinate your event, and more families participate.
Interested in going paperless? Most companies these days will provide the family images to upload into your CMS system, or they'll provide you a free online directory complete with secure family profiles.
Additionally, with new design software and create-your-own options, the finished directories offer a new level of engagement. You'll enjoy pages that outline your church's ministries, activities and history, while showcasing your church to the community around you.
Thinking of Creating Your Own Directory?
In other words, churches are taking it upon themselves to photograph, promote, organize, layout, proof, print, distribute and update a book on their own using internal or local resources to get the job done. It means using valuable church resources, spending unnecessary budget dollars, and ending up with a product that doesn't really tell your story or save any money. Also, it sometimes means not finishing the project at all.
Consider the following option. Directory companies not only provide the directory for free, but they often include overruns of the book to use for new members and outreach activities.
Plus, they include outreach brochures, postcards and other printed pieces free of charge, as well. Why not select a company that will do all this and more?
Grab Hold of Opportunity
The Value of a Church Directory Program
Karen Walters is a marketing manager for Lifetouch Church Directories and Portraits, www.lifetouch.com.