As previously announced, Christian Standard Media is working to make available a searchable database of up to 10,000 Christian churches and organizations to readers of Christian Standard and The Lookout.
And while that remains the goal, some factors have changed, but the end result should be an improved final product.
After announcing in February our plan to develop a directory using the Christian Church Today database, we learned the Center for Church Leadership has been working in a similar fashion to develop a directory from other sources. Jerry Harris, publisher of CSM, and Tim Wallingford, director of CCL, came together and decided to share directory data to create the most complete and up-to-date directory possible. That process is ongoing.
As CSM workers labor over the Christian Church Today database of about 10,000 entries from a list that is approximately 15 years old, we have discovered an attrition rate of about 20 percent (that is, about 1 in 5 of the churches and organizations from the original listing no longer have a website, email, or working phone number).
In the end, CSM anticipates it will contribute about 8,000 entries to the new database, which will be compared with and augmented by the entries CCL is compiling.
“Our hope was to have this directory available beginning in July, but the opportunity to partner with CCL for the most comprehensive one is going to be far better in the long run,” Harris said. “We’re excited about this partnership and how it leads to more partnerships in the future as we continue to leverage the power that comes from our unity.”
The desire is to provide a manipulatable digital network to promote unity and strength through resources, communication, and best practices.
“The database will serve to help network all those churches and organizations that identify with independent Christian churches and churches of Christ,” Harris said.
The final product will be available on both Christian Standard Media and Center for Church Leadership platforms.