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E-mail and Your Church

August 16, 2004 by

Do you maintain a list of e-mail addresses for everyone in your church? If not, consider some ways you could benefit from this fast, effective, and inexpensive form of communication:

  • Save money and time over snail mail
  • Notify/remind volunteers of their upcoming times to serve
  • Communiqué from the pastor (biblical insights, sermon notes, etc.)
  • Alert congregation to the sermon topic and invite someone who could use it
  • Send a regular newsletter
  • Notify congregation of service cancellations (i.e., snow storm)
  • Thank new visitors for coming and give contact info if they have questions

There are countless ways you can tap into the effectiveness of keeping a database of e-mail addresses for the people in your church, and there are several free and paid services available for maintaining it.


Before you even look into the various services available or invest in your own custom solution, it is a good idea to begin collecting e-mail addresses from the people in your church. If you don’t already include a space for people to write their e-mail address on everything you do (visitor cards, offering envelopes, sign-up sheets, etc.), now is a good time to start!

Perhaps you could even begin to organize your e-mail addresses into groups. Some suggestions include:

  • Parents
  • Men
  • Women
  • Youth
  • College
  • Staff
  • Volunteer

E-mail addresses can be put in multiple groups and categories.

Once you have your gathering process in order, you can start testing different services that may work for you. You might find in the beginning it is easier to keep your own Excel file and cut and paste from each group whenever you send an e-mail.

E-mail list services:

The big advantage to securing a service to do all the work is that you don’t have to worry about the maintenance of it. E-mail addresses change all the time and updating that can be quite a headache. Sending an e-mail becomes a breeze because you can login from anywhere in the world and send something to your list(s).

If you are going to use your lists as a way to promote or market the church, be careful in your approach, as junk mail has ruined even the noblest of efforts. The Email Doctor is loaded with helpful advice for e-mail marketing.

Bottom line: maintaining an e-mail list for your congregation is an excellent way to stay in touch with you congregation and save time and money in the process.

Post By:

Brad Abare


Brad Abare is the founder of the Center for Church Communication. He consults with companies and organizations, helping them figure out why in the world they exist, why anyone should care and what to do about it. He and his wife Jamaica live in Los Angeles with their daughter, Miró.
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4 Responses to “E-mail and Your Church”

  • Rhys Gerholdt
    March 23, 2006

    I’m trying to find a program that can handle membership information, groups, as well as easily send mass e-mails (unsubscribe, etc). But I also need something that can easily generate *printable* reports, such as church directories. Any suggestions? The church body is fairly small; less than 1000 members and we probably wouldn’t send more than 2,500 e-mails a month.


  • Rhys,
    Something that may be along the lines of what you are looking for is called PowerChurch Plus. We had purchased an older version a couple years back that enables you to print directories, enter birthdays and congregation info, etc. It also helps with accounting. I think they had a ‘component’ that also can be used for emails. The site is http://www.powerchurch.com – The price may be a little high, but if you can use all the features it may be worth it. If I think of anything else I’ll post it for ya :)


  • john
    December 31, 2009

    A quick way to build your email list at church, particularly during Sunday services and other major events (with lots of crowds), is to go with electronic handhelds from Sterizon. It’s a wireless device and the collected emails are saved into your email list with your ESP like Constant Contact, iContact or what have you.
    Something worth looking at.


  • Stacey
    June 27, 2012

    There are a lot of different services to help manage email lists but it’s also important to have other details about the contact as well. RDS Advantage has several tools that allows you to collect, save and email members of your church.



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