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Tips for Building a Photo Directory for a Larger Church

December 12, 2022 jill Blog
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Need tips for building a photo directory for a larger church? Then you’ve come to the right place! A large church is an ideal candidate for a membership directory filled with photos of church members, their contact information, and other helpful details about the congregation and its day-to-day work.

By creating an online directory and posting it to your church website, you help the entire faith family feel more connected. This is especially important in a large church, where numbers can make it more challenging for people to get acquainted with one another.

Plus, with an up-to-date membership directory, you save church staff and families valuable time and resources. Church communications becomes much easier when key information is readily available through an online directory.

Read on to discover important tips for building a photo directory for a larger church. (Note: Many of these guidelines apply no matter the size of your congregation, from small to megachurch. But they’re especially relevant for bigger churches.)

8 Pro Tips for Building a Photo Directory for a Larger Church

Thanks to an instant church directory, your large church can avoid the many hassles, inconveniences and expenses associated with a traditional print directory. Discover how you can put technology to use for your congregation with these directory tips:

  1. Go virtual to save money.

Traditional printed directories are trending downward for several reasons. Perhaps most importantly, they’re pricey — for congregations as well as for families, who often feel pressured into buying portrait packages. Many church members have come to dread the professional photo sessions and heavy-handed sales tactics of church directory companies.

Plus, some major players in traditional church directories have recently pulled out of the market. So, the industry itself realizes that virtual is now the way to go. Why pay companies and professional photographers when most people are skilled at using high-quality cameras built into their smartphones and devices?

  1. Go virtual to save time and frustration.

At a larger church, more members are likely to participate with a pictorial directory when it’s streamlined and convenient. Instead of scheduling days or weeks of portrait sittings with a corporate photographer, churches can simply encourage families and individual members to submit their own pictures. Then a small directory team of church staff or volunteers can upload photos and format the directory.

Or your church can recruit a photographer from within the congregation to be available on weekends. He or she can take snapshots for the directory before and after worship services and Bible studies. After all, people are already at the church then—and are usually looking their best!

New technology has led to vast improvements in many areas of church life, including church communications and photo directory production.  By choosing a directory program that includes an app that works on mobile phones and syncs immediately with changes and updates you make, church members and staff can have guaranteed quick access to the current photo directory.

  1. Go virtual to grow closer as a church body.

In a large church, getting to know everyone and staying current can be tough. Regular visitors and new members may have an especially hard time learning names and putting names to faces. Simplify that process — and help congregants build connections — with an instant church directory.

A bigger church tends to have more membership changes, with many people coming and going throughout the year. Print directories quickly become outdated, especially in a large church. Creating a new directory every time the membership roster changes would be impractical (and extremely costly). But with an online directory, you can make regular updates easily and cheaply, keeping everyone in the loop for church communication purposes.

  1. Go virtual for the sake of church staff and leadership.

A larger church means a larger staff and more lay leaders. As a result, members and guests need to learn more names and roles. Using an online directory with sharp-looking photos helps introduce church members to all these pastors, administrators, and congregational leaders. Plus, it prevents staff members from having to field calls that really should be directed elsewhere.

As with membership, leadership lineups tend to change more frequently at larger churches. That’s another reason an online directory makes sense as your congregation grows.

  1. Go virtual for the sake of church groups and ministries.

If your large church is like most bigger faith families, it offers a wide range of Bible study and fellowship groups, educational opportunities, community events, and outreach ministries. With a program that provides a handy directory groups feature, it’s easy to share information about group meeting times, contact people, and membership for a wide range of specific ministries.

  1. Go virtual for safety’s sake.

With larger congregations, you are responsible for safeguarding more people’s private information. That’s another reason an online church directory is valuable for large churches.

By putting a password-protected directory on the church website, you add an extra layer of security for members’ names, photos, and data. Follow best practices by respecting the privacy of church members and staff — and by keeping important personal details out of the wrong hands.

During the rollout of your instant church directory, you can guide members through the process of setting up accounts, using the app and safeguarding one another’s data.

  1. Go virtual to avoid messing with software.

Some churches use all-inclusive management software, which can be expensive and quite complicated. Plus, church management software doesn’t come with or integrate with free apps. By contrast, Instant Church Directory is a separate app. It provides large churches with all the benefits of an online membership directory without the hassles and high, ongoing costs of intricate programs.

  1. Go virtual for extras such as high-quality templates.

Because larger churches will have larger photo directories, they’ll especially appreciate the easy-to-use, professional-looking templates that come with online directory programs. From roster displays to birthday and anniversary pages, let our ready-made templates lead the way.

All you do is choose a template style and enter members’ information. Then the system completes each layout for you. No matter your level of design know-how or experience, you can create high-quality directory displays that church members will cherish.

Enjoy all these benefits and shortcuts that an online membership directory offers for your larger church!

This information is provided courtesy of Instant Church Directory, a small team of dedicated folks working to build a simple tool for connecting church members. Learn more and view a sample directory at