Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Is email really that essential for contemporary church based ministries?

Is email really that essential for contemporary church based ministries?

Decided to try a personal experiment. Sunday after dinner I decided not to check my emails till Tuesday morning. So pout away my i-touch as well. Usually when at home my it-touch is within easy access so I can just casually check my mail (and FB too) whenever I feel like it.

I figured that after Sunday dinner was a reasonable time (as it is after church service, meeting people, a special meeting and caroling practice) and Monday was after all my day off.

Quick observations:

On my 3 email accounts (all gmail), I had a total of 79 emails meaning some are conversations (emails on the same subject)

From one email address (my low priority email) I had 15 are news items (various lists) of which most are pretty easy to choose to delete (all from one mail address). Basically If I have time I may scan or even read ... (news, ministry lists). Takes a couple of minutes

ONE email I will have to respond to (but at my leisure as it is a video sent to me on a subject I am interested in).

My (generally) middle priority email address:  It's also an email address I use as it is much easier for people to remember. I had 26 emails.
Many are specific ministry based emails - some lists and some actual emails. Half of them I treat the same way as my low priority email address emails and many are advertisements (the kind you get sent when you register a product / purchase online), book clubs etc.

Noted FIVE that required reading or a response:

1.  One from a church member on a personal matter
2. One from "Chalk Illustrated" - latest pdf magazine attached
3. Two from my library letting me know some books are ready for pickup
4. One on a possible local resource that might be worth a closer look

On my usual / primary email address: 39 emails

Of which needs reading and most a response / action: ELEVEN emails that require my attention and response

1. Two different conversations on our building project
2. One on missionary news
3. One from my electricity supplier (managed to get them to give me a $50 credit) :-)
4. One on the Sunday School Christmas drama script
5. One from a ministry email list that has also been forwarded to me by a certain friend (which indicates I need to read it)
6. Two different email conversations on our church worship ministry
7. One on our upcoming church BBQ
8. One on details and needs of a local early childhood centre using our church next month for their graduation (in which I am involved in)
9. One from a former (associate) church member on a personal matter

* There were also two others related to our local church ministry (which I answered before dinner)

Total is SEVENTEEN emails so My unscientific conclusion .... one can't run away from emails! At least not me :-)


  1. I tend to agree with your conclusion Paul.

  2. haha, the trouble with taking a break from email is that you still have to go through them when you come back!!!!!! i take weekends off from work email just in case i read something that will ruin my weekend.....