church directory

Church Directory: 6 Reasons to Print a Stellar Directory

Salmaan Ahmad

Salmaan Ahmad

May 18, 2023

How should you use a church directory printing project? Many things in our lives have moved to a digital format, but just because it can doesn’t mean it should. And this saying is even more true when it comes to the way that churches keep their members in contact with one another through a church directory.

A church directory used to be the only way for members to call or send a note to each other. Even though some congregations have reduced the number of directories they print or even eliminated them altogether, church directory printing is more valuable now than ever before. Looking back over past church directory photos can bring back a flood of memories of beloved members who have changed congregations or moved away, but as valuable as a printed directory may be for reminiscing, that’s not all it can do.

Printing a hard copy of your membership in a directory can make membership in the congregation more meaningful, help build stronger relationships, and improve the staff’s connections with the members in six concrete ways.

1. A church directory can help new members assimilate quickly.

Joining a congregation of any size can be intimidating. Not all churches provide or encourage nametag-wearing, so new members can become overwhelmed quickly when meeting new people week after week.

Providing a printed directory can help new members learn the names and faces of their new church home. And new members often are seeking out connections with others within their new church home so having a resource with family photos, for example, can help young families connect with other members who also have little ones at home or teenagers who might also be attending youth activities with their own kids.

Addresses, phone numbers, and other basic identifying information can be helpful for new members who may be joining a small group, too, since the directory can help them find and meet other members that they might connect with or who have similarly structured family units.

2. Members won’t have to struggle to put a name to a face.

There’s nothing more embarrassing than forgetting someone’s name when you have seen them at weekly services many times. Whether your membership skews older with many seniors in attendance or your church is bursting with young families with growing children who may be hard to recognize year after year, church directory printing can help members connect names with faces outside of the church.

A printed directory is an excellent resource for members who are just learning new names but also for those who want to make those personal connections without feeling embarrassed about asking again.

3. Directories can include more than just contact information.

The beauty of a printed directory is that churches can include all kinds of information in the book outside of basic contact information. Essentially, anything that would help members in an ongoing way can be included in the book. Some typical inclusions are:

  • Church History: Members love to learn about or be reminded of how their congregation got started. Historical photographs can be preserved alongside the text, helping the story of the church come alive for future generations.
  • Church Beliefs: A directory offers a convenient location to confirm your congregation’s beliefs or tenets for all members to see and remember.
  • Important Dates: For frequently printed directories, the dates for activities the church or its membership participates in can be included in the directory. For churches that print directories less frequently, yearly events can be mentioned without including dates so that newer or less involved members can learn about and anticipate them in the upcoming days or months.
  • Ministries: Congregations may choose to include a list of ministries within their church as well as the supervising members or contact details for those running the ministry.
  • Small Group Details: Churches that utilize small groups for study or fellowship may include a listing of the groups, group member names, meeting days, and meeting locations. This resource is key for new members as well as those members who have yet to join a small group.
  • Staff or Ministry Spotlights: A printed directory is the perfect place to introduce those who work for and with the church. A photo, short bio, and even family information may be helpful for members of the congregation to get to know those who serve their church.
  • Youth Group Information: Youth activities, current photos, and leadership spotlights all have a place in a church directory. A quick reference list of names and phone numbers of the youth leaders or addresses of frequent youth activity locations can be included in the directory to make it an even more valuable book for families with children.

4. Church directory printing simplifies communication.

Phone trees, youth or children’s ministry calls, meal lists for the sick or new babies, prayer chains, and other church communication are eased with a church directory that members hold in their hands. No other lists of names and numbers or contacts have to be distributed when a member can make notes on their own directory copy.

5. Directories help members build community.

One of the biggest benefits of attending a church is building relationships with other like-minded people. A directory can foster stronger relationships with those in your congregation by providing an easily accessible tool to help members get to know each other in a convenient format.

A directory that is filled with names, photos, contact information as well as a variety of other information that helps members connect with each other can become a treasured resource to turn to for just about every aspect of being part of the larger church community.

6. Information will always be accessible with church directory printing.

Let’s face it, for all the good that technology does for our lives, it is not foolproof. Digital directories and other online tools may be convenient for some, but they don’t always work for some members. Technology can fail, passwords are lost or forgotten, and connectivity is not always guaranteed for members who want to access the important information included in a church directory.

But with a printed directory, tech problems won’t get in the way of connecting with your church family. And for members who are less tech-savvy, church directory printing can be a lifesaver.

Church Directory Printing

Churches developing a printed directory can bring their directory to life quickly with the use of free templates, member-contributed photos, and on-demand printing from Publishing Xpress.

Whether every member is given or purchases a directory, or a church wants to print a minimum number of directories initially to reduce the number of copies potentially left unclaimed, Publishing Xpress can help you print your directory in the quantity that you need as well as provide the opportunity for your church to reorder the directory when you need more copies.

An experienced printer like Publishing Xpress can help you by offering the best materials for your congregation’s directory. For smaller churches, a Saddle Stitch bound book may be just the right size and price point while still providing a well-made directory for members.

For larger congregations, Perfect bound directories look professional and will help you keep your members in touch with each other in a beautifully bound book that will last for years. Highly durable bindings like Wire-O may be an ideal choice for directories that also include other information that members will be accessing frequently.

And the expert cover designers at Publishing Xpress can assist your congregation in putting a memorable and meaningful graphic or photo element on your directory so members will be able to recognize the book at a glance.

Putting Your Members First

Church directory printing is an important way to keep your members connected to each other and to the church. Directories offer congregations a simple way to strengthen the bonds between the people inside of the church, one page at a time.

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