“He Knows My Name!” A Defense of Church Member Directories

Compiling church member names and contact information into a directory is useful for a number of reasons: it helps members connect, it reminds pastors of the souls they are accountable for, and as Mark Dever stresses, it encourages pastors and members to pray for one another.

Church directories may be full-color and printed with family pictures, or text-based and photocopied into a booklet, or, more commonly today, posted online in the members’ section of a website. The work required to manage and update the information is no small task, but often it pales in comparison to the task of motivating a whole church to get their pictures taken.

For all its uses and challenges, there’s one fundamental premise behind member directories, and that is the point of Pastor John’s brief article from 1983: “He Knows My Name! He Knows My Name!

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Tony Reinke (@tonyreinke) is a content strategist at Desiring God, blogger, the author of Lit! A Christian Guide to Reading Books (2011) and John Newton on the Christian Life: To Live Is Christ (2015), and hosts the Ask Pastor John and Authors on the Line podcasts. He lives in the Twin Cities with his wife, Karalee, and their three children.