Church Directories

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by Salty, Dec 5, 2007.

  1. Salty

    Salty
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    What are your thoughts on church directories? Are they a waste of money? Can they be beneficial in the ministry of your church. Who should be included? Who should NOT be included?
    and the rest of the who, what, when, where and why...


    and let the disscussion begin ( ps no more than 99 pages:sleeping_2: )
     
  2. Joseph M. Smith

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    I certainly find the pictorial directory useful at the church I am serving as interim pastor. Makes the learning of names much easier.

    Directories need not cost the church anything at all. Directory companies contract with churches to do the printing and delivery of a limited number of copies free. They make their money off of members purchasing portraits.

    My wife and I just went through photography last week at the church where we are members (not the same one I am interim pastor for). No pressure whatsoever to purchase anything. I sometimes wonder how these companies DO make any money!
     
  3. annsni

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    Well, it depends on what kind of directory you mean. We have 2 directories. One is the one that is updated every April (just happens that way) that is a print version of just names, addresses and children's names. I have a large one at home and a small version in my car. It's the ONLY way to have everyone's phone numbers.

    Then there's the pictorial directory. We did one about 4 years ago and it's nice to have to look back on. It WAS helpful to know some people who I knew faces but not names or names and not faces. We do these about once every 10 years or so because of the time to organize everything with 600+ members. but it's still fun to have!
     
  4. Tom Bryant

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    With computers, digital cameras and the like a smaller church can do a picture directory for just the printing costs and you can do that yourself.
     
  5. mcdirector

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    We had our last picture directory done when Joe was in the 8th grade. He's been married almost two years now.

    I like the picture directories in a church our size especially . . .
     
  6. blackbird

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    Directories are fine and dandy---and handy for a new preacher who wants to put faces to names during the week where he won't feel like a "Dufus" on Sunday as much as he ordinarily does anyway not knowing people's names.

    I got a call just yesterday from a directory salesperson---told him we had a directory made about a year ago and for him to call back in about a year

    Olan Mills----we've used them a lot for directories in the past----here's what they do to make their money

    They set up time and date----you get the church people lined up in the time slots---they set up a couple of cameras and junk and two or three sales booths

    Family pictures are taken and then the family is ushered in to the other sales room and given opportunity to review camera shots and then given opportunity to purchase shots as a "Family package" deal---thats how Olan Mills makes their money---they hardly make "didily" on the pictoral---its the individual family shots they like best!!!

    They'll say somethin' like

    You get 3 8x10's----5 3x5's and plus all of these wallet size shots and plus your free 8x10 for $499.99

    all the way down to

    You get 1 8x10 and 1 3x5 plus your free 8x10 for $39.99

    My wife always falls for the $39.99 "package" because she wants her free 8x10!!!!!
     
    #6 blackbird, Dec 6, 2007
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 6, 2007
  7. PJ

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    Church Directories are a great resource for me personally. If I have to ask around for an address or phone number, it's not likely I'll get around to sending that card or visiting that family. I stash a copy at home, in my car and at work.

    Our church has never done a pictorial directory but our directory includes parents & children's names, addresses, phone numbers and email addresses.

    Our folks are divided on whether or not to include non-members in the Church Directory. As church clerk in years past, I published the directory and did include attendees. Our new clerk doesn't think we should, which is fine, but probably 20% or more of our folks are not members. It's doubtful they'll receive as many cards, calls and visits as the rest. Where functionality is the ticket, it just feels right to add attendees in the directory. Just my 2 cents ...
     
  8. Virginia ORB

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    Including non-members in a church directory is not such a good idea in my opinion. Adding them to a church directory gives the impression that their part of the church already and that they don’t need to do anything else. Instead of being baptized and joining the church, they are comfortable where they are. I have heard them referred to as “dry-land Baptists”.
     
  9. PJ

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    Dry-land Baptists ~ I like it. :laugh:
    It's true, they feel far too comfortable.

    As to the functionality of the directory, to have the information at your fingertips to send cards and make visits at a moment's notice, one must decide whether or not that's more important than the member/non-member sorting process.

    Perhaps this would only be questioned in a small to mid-sized church. We run 100ish in a Sunday morning worship service, so we fall into this bracket.
     
    #9 PJ, Dec 6, 2007
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 6, 2007
  10. EdSutton

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    Our church does ours, "in house". We have three ladies, who are involved in this, two of whom are exceptionally good on the Cameras, etc. (with my bride being one of those) and all three are exceptional with the computer format. They can set up the backdrop in a matter of minutes, and can and do photos about any time, so we can update anytime, and print the entire directory as needed. Real updates used to occur about once a decade, as a 'pro outfit', such as Olan Mills, would come in and do this. Now it basically stays up to date, at least every few months, as we have it, inexpensively in 'looseleaf', in a nice binder.

    And if one wishes, one can get any pictures, including the 8X10, :laugh:
    at far less cost than from the 'pro' outfits.

    Some do ask for a 'package', and Judy merely send that off, and it's back the next week, or so.

    Ed
     
  11. EdSutton

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    I found the "dry-land Baptists" humorous, as well. :laugh: :laugh:

    Ed
     
  12. preachinjesus

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    This is a good thread and one I hope stays on task...obviously (from the other thread) I think church directories, particularly pictorial directories, are a waste of resources and time for my context. Great if you have one and use it, I grew up with them and benefitted from them in that model, they mean nothing for my contemproary context.

    Basic underlying reasoning for this position is as follows:
    1. Methodological - creates an insiders/outsiders club. My context is one which we are trying to reach unchurched and dechurched people and create opportunities for them to feel as much at home as possible. The idea of a church directory isn't cohesive with our strategy.

    2. Better, other options - in our current context we are a large church, lots of movement in and out. We have pushed our ministry level into our groups model and that is where people get connected. Through this we have an internet portal that allows them to interact with members of the group and be genuinely engaged with other people at a similiar stage of life. The use of proper internet models and options alleviates the carbon footprint of a church directory.

    3. Privacy issues - uh, this is silly I know...but where we are we have a number of families that are very well to do and don't want their info srayed around. Also, in the community where we live we need to sensitive about getting info about others. Really it is a big deal, and just not worth the extra issues.

    4. Covenant membership issues - does everyone get in, or just the covenant members? We currently have about 850 covenant members and a weekly attendance of 1800 people...who get in? who stays out? who gets the directory? Honest questions.

    5. High volume of movement - we have many people moving in and out of the church because we are in a transitional area. It is very hard to keep up with them, we even have a designated database person, and the directory would have to change every quarter to reflect those new and removed.

    Just honestly, some things off the top of my head why we don't do membership directories. We have a great database system and can keep up, the effort it would take to get into a routine of putting out a directory isn't an effective stewardship of our resources. Again I grew up with one and it was useful for that setting, in my current context I can't see justifying putting out a directory. :)
     
  13. Alcott

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    Our church had pictorial directories years ago, but I hadn't seen one, or even thought about them, for a long time now. And it's been at least 10 years since I had my pic included in one. Though I don't know for sure, it could well be the rapid growth, constant changes, and privacy concerns that have cooled the idea.

    I do know the reasons our various Single Adult departments stopped having directories (non-pictorial) after a few different attempts, and that is because before long they were "misused" by someone(s). Misuse is the offical word, but it stands to reason that some were using the names and numbers for other than church-related, or even just 'friendly', purposes. One time there was a man who lacked a little in the head started calling the women listed, and his impeded way of speaking gave him away quickly; but that's as much as should (because of the relevance here) be said about that incident. And a few others have used either the church directory or department directories to send business cards or solicitations.
     
  14. EdSutton

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    Coupla' comments here.
    The only "info" we have in our directory, aside from some pictures of the physical plant, and a brief history of our own church, over the last 225 years, is pictures and the names, birthdays, and addresses of the individuals pictured, and some various group pictures of such things as the choir singing, our pastor preaching, and some various activities. Aside from the birthdays, one can find most of the information in any local phone book, aside from the name of additional family members, such as children, usually. One does not give the phone number and address, if they do not want to (or even have their picture taken), and a few choose not to do this. Anyone whether a member or not, can have a copy, and as I said before, it is done in "looseleaf", with an occasional update and additions made periodically.

    Second, as to who is or is not "well to do", there is not one thing in our directory to indicate any such info. While I am fairly certain that my bride and I are certainly neither the "most well to do" or the least "well to do" in our church body, there is not one particle of information about such in our directory, about anyone, at all.

    Third, not everyone is as adept as some, at using the internet, including yours truly. Our church does have a website, and I have never even been to it, FWIW, but some of our older members don't have any computer savvy, or even a computer, so do not use this mode. Should they be excluded from consideration, here??

    Finally, what does the phrase "carbon footprint" have to do with any of this, aside from making a current "politically correct" statement? We print more bulletins every week now, than we ever did, say a couple of years ago, simply to have them for the expected attendees present during a given week. If we run short consistently, we will increase it by 20-30 or so, and see how that runs. If we consistently have 30-40 left over, we will cut it by the same 20-30 figure, and see how that runs for a while. It's not exactly "rocket science", but neither is it "total ignorance" as to how many we can realistically use, and that is what we try and achieve, generally speaking.

    Ed
     
  15. Dr. Bob

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    In our new church work, we now have 12 families. Digital pix updated each January. List names, phone, mail, email. ONE 8.5x11 does it for everything, and pin it on the wall in each home.

    Cost is pennies (one color ink cartridge) and an hour or so time by one of our men.

    Priceless.
     
  16. Salty

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    I didn't even know there were 12 families in WY!:laugh: :1_grouphug:
     
  17. Dr. Bob

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    LOL myself. We worked with a group starting a church in Bill, Wyoming. Population 4. Bar/post office, one room school, one house, Dry Creek town hall (no running water, etc). Running 30-40 on Sundays now.

    When we talk about it people in WYOMING laugh and say THEY didn't think there were that many people in the whole county!!

    So you're not alone. We have more sheep, cattle, antelope, rattle snakes, and tumbleweed in Wyoming than we have people.

    AND WE LIKE IT!!

    Don't want to clutter up our scenery with people or trees . . :laugh:
     

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