When I was younger, receiving a new printed church directory was not unlike the annual school yearbook. I’d spend time rifling through it, looking for my friends or trying to pick out familiar faces. But ultimately, after a few weeks, the directory ended up in a drawer or positioned squarely and neatly on our bookcase only to make the scene again when we needed it. Eventually, it was replaced by the next directory and the cycle continued on.As an adult, I still have access to a directory, but it’s different now. It feels less like a yearbook from my childhood and more like a ministry tool. As technology has advanced over the years, many churches are beginning to move away from the printed church directory. A few reasons for that:
- printed directories are costly for the church and time-consuming to create
- it’s a single snapshot in time, so new members or other changes aren’t current
- they’re only valuable at home – not during worship services, events, or other gatherings
Instead, churches are making the most of their family directory by using an online directory in Realm church management. The Realm online directory displays all the information your congregants need such as the name, phone number, email address, and a picture. They also offer similar benefits as printed directories and none of the limitations:
- Realm’s online directory has no added costs and exist when you launch Realm
- they are updated automatically to include anyone
- the Realm online directory is accessable anywhere, anytime on any device
Plus, your congregation will be able to access your directory at any time from the Realm Connect mobile app. They can browse your entire church directory or simply type in a name. Either way, they’ll have access to everyone in your church whenever they need it.
For pastoral staff, they’ll have access to the Realm Shepherd mobile app which is built specifically for their needs. They’ll be able to easily find anyone in your church, connect a face to a name, and so much more.
If your church is still dead-set on printing a family directory, that’s ok; Realm still offers a detailed, customizable printed family directory as well as the online directory. The printed directory allows for includes:
- customization over the photo size (or no photo at all)
- the ability to choose if contact info, birthdate, or member status are included
- portrait or landscape layout and more
You can even use both of them at the same time, printing a directory to keep at home and an online version when your congregation is on the go.
Whether your church prefers the traditional, tactile feel of a printed directory or love the freedom and ease of an online directory, Realm has you covered. Find out more about how Realm Church Management can help your church family stay connected to each other.