E-mail Etiquette
    Your Church E-mail Address - Cord LaFond

About Canadian Church Directory

As the Internet community becomes more relevant to your church, your church e-mail address is becoming more important. A lot of churches have grasped the concept, but some are still thinking 'old school'. E-mail is no longer something that you can have on the back burner 'in case you ever need it'. It is the 21st Century equivalent to the telephone 60 years ago. Your church's e-mail address should appear everywhere your church name appears: your bulletins, your business cards, your telephone book listing, your church sign . . . everywhere.

We all hate spam, junk mail, and telemarketers but we cannot cut ourselves off from legitimate inquiries to spare ourselves from the inconvenience of intruders. With today's filters and available software, spam is not the problem it once was and for the ones that get through, there is still a little 'x' to click to eliminate it. This is a small price to pay for access to the legitimate hoi polloi. See the testimonial article to see how I almost lost a divine contact by avoiding what I thought was 'just another spammer'.

Your church e-mail address should belong to the church. Your personal e-mail is just that: personal. You don't have the church phone number listed under your personal name and your e-mail should be just as separate. This problem is not unique to the church but it certainly applies. I contact XYZ Company (or church) and get a response from bettybump@shaw.ca . Not only does it lack professionalism, but two weeks (or two months) later, I want to review what XYZ Company sent me and I can't find it because I don't associate Betty with the company. Or six months later, I follow up and Betty has moved on, along with her e-mail address. Or Betty has since switched to a new ISP and her e-mail address is obsolete.

I run into these exact problems every day in our directory, and if it is happening to me it is happening to all kinds of people who are trying to contact the church. The result is missed opportunities, and in our business the consequences of those misses could be eternal. The ultimate solution is for the church to register a domain name: www.XYZchurch.com to which you can add any number of ' position@XYZchurch.com ' e-mail addresses. Pastor@XYZchurch.com is a permanent fixture and even if God calls your pastor to a mission work in Africa, the e-mail address can be transferred to his successor. It is also more identifiable and more easily remembered than johnnydoe@hotmail.com. If your church isn't ready for a domain name, XYZchurch@gmail.com is a good second-best and easy enough to accomplish.

Most e-mail programs have an option for multiple 'accounts' to function in one inbox. By using this option, personal e-mail can be sent with your pastor's name in the 'from' line, and the church name in e-mails that are church related. This is more effective and a better representation of your church name. We will discuss this in more detail in a future article.

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