Yes, I update my own data base.  There are several reasons why.  First, for more than 8 years, I worked in a church office as a secretary.  I found that I often knew far more about the congregation than the pastors did.  The reason was that I kept and updated the data base and they did not.  At that point, I determined that no matter what my position in a ministry was, if possible, I would always keep the data base within the reach of my fingertips.

Second, we can’t afford a secretary or typist; and I’m the one person who does almost everything.

Because we work with many churches across all denominations, I especially try to keep my church data information current.  However, with the constraints of time, this has been hard.  In the past, I’ve called the church office and explained that we were updating our information and would like to verify that our information was correct.  This was good policy because I would have personal contact with the person who actually ran the church–the secretary.  However, the drawback was that these calls were extremely time consuming.

The last time I updated this data base of more than 200 churches I was able to do it in less than three hours.  How did I do this?  I did all my updates from the Internet.  I hadn’t planned to update every church, only those that seemed hardest to find.  I found that every church had a website that was current with the names of their pastors.  Interestingly, I found that almost none of the phone numbers had changed.  Even churches which had moved their locations have kept their phone numbers.  Email addresses were on almost all of the church sites.  In today’s world, this is a valuable resource.

If you find that updating your church data base has become a concern, perhaps you may want to look at drawing your information from the Internet.  If you’ve found that your time is better spent doing other things and you have delegated this job to another person, you may want to suggest that s/he do updates from the Internet.

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