Churches usually meet every Sunday and Wednesday, but what about the other days of the week?

Members sometimes stay in touch with each other, but not always. That’s why, pretty much as long as the Internet has been around, Churches have put online member directories on their websites (with password protection).

However, while member directories are a great way to accomplish part of what you’re wanting to accomplish, they leave an incomplete picture of what can be done.

Online communities are becoming more and more popular (and we’re talking about something beyond Facebook groups). Online communities may have a forum-like interaction, but more than that, they also usually feature some sort of a member directory where either members can contact each other or learn more about each other.

One such community builder is called  (for which we are an affiliate, but we’d recommend it anyway). Heartbeat includes an option to use your own domain name (as a subdomain) rather than their own branding. While it does also use some of their own branding, as they’re not fully , their branding isn’t overly prominent within the community itself, making their community essentially your own.

As a Church, you should consider looking into starting your own online community. It can be open to guests as well, or just for your Church’s members (or, as with , you could actually have member-only sections and allow your Church’s guests to join part of the community — they wouldn’t even have to know that they’re not fully in your own community, until they join your Church). The link () also gives you access to a 20% discount for the first 3 months, if you don’t already have an account, so why not give it a try?

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