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Posts 1717
Bob Pritchett | Forum Activity | Posted: Thu, Jun 20 2019 2:24 PM

We're preparing tools for church directory management as part of Faithlife.

Do you still print your church directory? If so, in what format? 8.5" x 11" (or A4), or in a folding booklet?

Faithlife's church directory support will include the ability to host (and search) it on a members-only page of a church website, or via the Faithlife mobile app, and will offer per-person field-by-field support for including names, addresses, gender, email, phone, membership status, anniversary and birthday.

Is there anything else it needs?

Do people still use paper directories at your church? Do you use an online directory? Do members ever call the church to get each other's contact info?

Posts 1133
Tom Reynolds | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Jun 20 2019 3:58 PM

We have a simple printed 8.5x11 phone and address list for anyone who wants and a photo directory for members which includes everything you mentioned and other things as well: hobbies, employment and grandchildren. It is printed on 5x7 photo paper in a three ring binder so it can be easily updated.

We don't use an online directory. Members do not call the church office to get info.

Would your envisioned online directory include a specific privacy release to comply with Canadian law? Currently everyone must sign a statement allowing their details to be included in either of our two directories.

Posts 4768
Fred Chapman | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Jun 20 2019 4:03 PM

Hi Bob

Yes, we still print Church directories. Typically they are 8.5 x 11. The member / Family information we typically provide in our directory is consistent  with what you listed in your original post.

Bob Pritchett:
Do people still use paper directories at your church? Do you use an online directory? Do members ever call the church to get each other's contact info?

Yes, our church members rely almost completely on paper directories. Though we maintain a church database using Excel, we do not provide access to that for members. Occasionally, someone will call the office or another member for information about other members; but that is not common.


Posts 2786
Jan Krohn | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Jun 20 2019 4:34 PM

Bob Pritchett:
Is there anything else it needs?

GDPR compliance - something which I fear many churches neglect, and can result in heavy fines if ignored.

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Posts 698
Brad | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Jun 20 2019 8:32 PM

Hello Bob, we haven't used a printed directory for several years.  The current format is an Excel spreadsheet.

Posts 19216
Rosie Perera | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Jun 20 2019 8:53 PM

Bob Pritchett:
Do you still print your church directory? If so, in what format? 8.5" x 11" (or A4), or in a folding booklet?

Yes. 8.5 x 11" -- single sheet, double-sided (we're a small church)

Bob Pritchett:
Is there anything else it needs?

We list both home and cell phone numbers. And we list couples together, with the names and ages of their children together with them. For a family group, you'd have one home phone listed and a place for each family member's cell phone number.

It would probably be good to have a family/couple email address field as well as each individual's email address.

We would want the chance to opt *out* of even showing some of those fields. Gender is either obvious or shouldn't be listed. If someone has an ambiguous gender, they probably want it that way and don't want to be identified by their gender. (Not that we have any trans people that I know of in our church, but we just do not make a big deal of people's gender since all are equal in what they can do in the church, regardless of gender.) And in our church we don't make a big deal of people's membership status. Yes, we do have formal membership if people want to make that commitment, but we don't divide people based on that status, and printing it in the directory for all to see would be a dividing thing which we wouldn't want.

Photo would be nice. I've been wanting to do a photo directory for some time. Would probably want to do it as a 1/2 letter sized folding booklet, with 1-2 entries per page, large print for the elderly folks in our church to be able to read it easily.

Occupation would be nice. Some other church directory software offers that field.

Some church directory software also includes fields for the types of skills (or "spiritual gifts") or volunteer activities or groups people are members of in in the church (e.g., Choir, etc.), and we might use that if it were available. Here's how I set up the "Spiritual Gift" options in My Directory for use in our congregation when I was testing it out.

Bob Pritchett:
Do people still use paper directories at your church?

Yes, most of us use the paper version.

Bob Pritchett:
Do you use an online directory?

We have a PDF version of the same document as well, which is on the hidden members-only section of our website for people to download if they prefer a digital version. I'm guessing, based on our demographics, that less than half of the church uses the PDF version.

Bob Pritchett:
Do members ever call the church to get each other's contact info?

No, everyone has a copy of the church directory. And our church doesn't have a manned phone number anyway.

Members in our church contact each other outside of Sundays A LOT, so having a church directory is really important to us. It's been working fine for us to do it in Word and update it only twice a year. But I would certainly be interested in seeing what Faithlife might come up with for church directory software, as I have explored a couple of other alternatives. Spent some time entering all our people into My Congregation (from My Directory Maker), but it was never quite good enough. And it has been retired anyway.

Posts 13417
Mark Barnes | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Jun 21 2019 1:27 AM

We do a printed church directory, with name, address, email, phones, membership status and a photo. We group by households. It's an A5 booklet.

The booklet is sorted in surname order, but we also have an index in the front by first name, as we found a lot of people didn't know other people's surnames, and therefore couldn't find then.

Posts 10
Joel Knudsen | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Jul 16 2019 11:48 AM

Yes, we print directories for our Seniors. Names, addresses, and their pictures.

Posts 824
GregW | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Jul 16 2019 3:08 PM

Not any more. We use ChurchSuite which allows each individual member to set their visibility and communication preferences for other users for phone numbers, addresses, and email address, and to search for others. We don't make birthdays, anniversaries, etc publicly available, but do store them and are able to run reports so that we can mark special anniversaries and birthdays. Having had problems with people getting spammed when we produced printed directories we stopped them some years ago after one fell into the wrong hands. In the UK GDPR compliance has become a significant consideration (although some churches have rather over-egged this particular pudding in my view). We've gone with ChurchSuite because our Board of Trustees weren't happy with anything other than a UK-based product, to ensure we are able to comply with GDPR, Gift Aid requirements and all other British and (up until now) EU legislation. Gift Aid in the UK is the mechanism by which we are able to reclaim tax on donations where a person pays enough tax and has completed a declaration. 

With GDPR there are issues over giving out people's contact details over the phone, so we have stopped our church office from doing so and only share them online via ChurchSuite (which also has a very helpful phone app to enable people to look up details quickly). This has given us a challenge with our older members, but we now have everybody except a few working online, although we had to get through a pain barrier of grumbling to get to that point. Given that insecurely-held data of this sort is fuel for identity thieves and scammers, the security arrangements of the provider are also a key consideration for us nowadays. 

In the current political climate some people are also insistent that their data is not hosted on overseas-based servers, which was another reason for going for a UK-based product.

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