Best Connection Methods With Those Attending Your Church

Gone are the days of the paper church newsletter.  You know…the kind that actually had a stamp on it.  We walked to our mailbox, opposed to clicking on our inbox.

As a Campus Pastor, I’m learning the massive importance of 2-way communication with those in our church.  One tool I’ve absolutely fallen in love with is MailChimp. We use this service to send weekly eBulletins to our church attendees.  It has helped us tremendously.  (Here’s an example of ours)

HOWEVER!

It’s only helpful if you have a name and an ACCURATE email address.  This is where traditional ‘paper’ Communication Cards fall short.

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It can be quite frustrating…having a communication card from a 1st time guest and not being able to read their email address. Maybe the ink was smeared, or they simply write like a doctor (no offense).  Have you had this happen? This new guest visits your church, takes time to give you their info and drop the card in a box hoping for some sort of correspondence. And the worst instance is when this happens and they did not include a phone or snail-mail address. Now you’re at a dead end. The only thing to do here is pray that they return so we can follow up.

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All that leads me to say this. Churches must develop ways for those attending their worship services to submit Communication Card information via their mobile devices from their seats or in their vehicles on their way home. This will not only improve the accuracy issues mentioned above, it will also increase connections.

Here are a few key connection practices.

  • Convenience | Place communication cards in the seats. Don’t ask people to stop by somewhere else to pick one up…they won’t! Also, keep the card as simple as possible. Fewer specifics and clutter are less overwhelming.
  • 2-Way | People in your church should always have a way to respond or answer a question. For an eBulletin, take advantage of hyperlinks. These can connect them from there to social media, staff emails, event registration forms, and helpful resources.
  • Follow up | This is HUGE  for people who just visited your church. First-time guests at our church receive a welcome letter (mailed with a stamp) mailed on Monday, followed by a brief email. This email encourages them to connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, our website, and by signing up for our eBulletin.
  • Centralized | For us, we want everyone to receive our weekly eBulletin. They can get everything they need in one ‘centralized’ location.

Rich Birch offers some solid tips on following up with guests who visit your church in this UNSEMINARY post. You will want to check it out.

What does your church do? What areas of connection do you struggle with? Would you add any thoughts on the topic?

Please leave a comment. 

 

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4 Ways To ‘Be’ The Church Outside Of Sunday

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There are 4 tangible action steps (probably more) to be mindful of that will help give us a Kingdom mindset.  After receiving some positive feedback on a recent message, I thought I’d post a brief summary of the acronym used in my 4 points.

Message title:  Be R.E.A.L.

Relational in every opportunity | Constantly looking for opportunities to connect with others while we go about our daily lives.  Look, and be attentive of those around us and be sensitive to what they are going through.  The body of Christ is the Church’s best evangelism plan.

Excited about the things of God | When we take notice of all the incredible ways God is moving in our lives, it should show.  And when excitement shows in us, others will often enquire as to what it is.  Bingo….there’s an open door to talk about how awesome Jesus has been to you.

Active in and out of the church | Two parts here: 1. Do something to support your church home.  Get involved, serve, give, lead.  2. Do something with a Kingdom mindset outside of your church.  This helps to keep us from being an inwardly focused church and looking at the bigger picture of God’s Church around us.

Love for the lost | Pray for God to give you a deep, heart-felt compassion for the lost and for their needs.  Why?  Because compassion drives action.

You can actually listen to the full message from October 26, 2014 HERE.

Is there anything you would add?  Or, which of these I’ve listed tends to be the most difficult?

Please leave your comments below.

Photo credit: http://www.wallpapervortex.com 

3 Things Every Church Leader Should Produce

Is there anything ‘good’ in what you and I produce as church leaders that God would consider honorable?  This passage struck me this morning.  Check it out.

Honor the Lord with your wealth and with the best part of everything you produce.  Proverbs 3:9 (NLT)

Photo credit: christianityworks.com
Photo credit: christianityworks.com

Granted, this is mainly addressing our income…what we earn for our work.  But the Lord also challenged me in the second half of this verse.  What am I responsible for producing?

Here are what I would consider to be 3 main things every church leader should be producing.

1.  Disciples | This includes everyone in our churches, as well as our own kids and spouse.  I don’t know about you, but there have been many times when I have put more effort into discipling church folks more than my own family.  Ouch!  That’s not easy to put out there, but recognizing it helps to bring forth change.

2.  A strong marriage | For those of us who are married, we owe it to Jesus, ourselves, our kids, and everyone we influence to authentically model a healthy marriage relationship. Not perfect…..just healthy.  If our spouse can’t respect us in our home, how can we expect anyone else to respect us in the church or in our community?

3.  Personal integrity | As ministers and church leaders, are we being intensional about staying connected to Christ in His Word and through prayer?  Are we taking the initiative to build accountability into our lives.  Is the person others witness at church on the weekend the same person our family lives with during the rest of the week?  Difficult questions, but left unasked we will most likely not notice.

Is there anything you would add to this list?

The bigger question I am wrestling with is, “Am I truly honoring God in what I’m producing in these areas?”

Please join the discussion and leave a comment below.

Top 5 Recent Leadership Posts

feedbackBelow are my most popular posts on leadership.  I’m sharing these with you for one key reason.  I am looking to making a few small adjustments with my approach to my blog and I really need your input.  Take a look.

1) Manage your life, or your life will manage you

2) Your worship style is not working

3) We’re going to skin our knee on ministry work

4) 5 tips to having a good day of rest

5) Taking the Church’s Biblical pulse

Now tell me…which of these post did you like the most and why?

What aspects of the content did you find most helpful, and what material do I need to change or completely get rid of?  Are there leadership topics/issues that I am missing?

I’d love your input.  Either comment below or email me at brent@ccclive.org

(photo credit: www.jeffbullas.com)

God of ‘WOW’

God of ‘WOW’

When was the last time God ‘Wowed’ you?

I don’t know about you, but when God amazes me in larger than normal ways it usually includes a bit of humility.  Recently, I had one of those moments.  God stepped in and reminded me that He was still in charge of the situation….NOT me! 

This was a healthy piece of humble pie.  You see, the week leading up to our first ‘soft’ launch of our new Satellite church campus was packed full of endless task lists, technical disappointments, exhausting work days, and personal family struggles.  

The problem:

   – There was too much left to do before Sunday.

   – Contractors informed me we would not have internet, video teaching or projection capabilities. 

   – I was struggling emotionally to maneuver through and balance leading a new church launch and a family crisis at the same time.  And my college studies had come to a screeching halt.   

The result:

   – Our core church family showed up, cleaned up, donated and constructed in a HUGE way.  God deployed His Church body and the work got done.  

   – Video streaming capabilities, projection, and high-speed internet…..were ALL in place by Friday evening.   

   – We had an unexpected breakthrough in our family situation which gave my wife and I hope that we didn’t have before.

God showed up in a big way.  He blessed me with peace of mind and comfort that He was definitely in control.  Then, I was reminded of God’s reply to Job in chapter 38.

“Who is this that darkens counsel by words without knowledge?
 Dress for action like a man;
I will question you, and you make it known to me.

Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth?

    Tell me, if you have understanding.”  v.2-4

More humble pie.

I was relying on my own knowledge and control of these details.  I was allowing myself to become anxious about things that God was already at work in.  And the purpose in all of this became crystal clear.  God gets the credit for all of it….NOT ME.

As for our first worship service together, everything was perfect.  God’s Spirit was there.  We worshipped, learned, and fellowshipped together.  There was a shared energy and hope for families and individuals in our new community.  

How about you?  Has God ‘Wowed’ you recently….and what did you learn from it?  Please comment below and share this post with others who might need it.  

Yesterday’s tools: Ineffective!

Wow…1891 to 2007  is represented in this picture.  Roughly 116 years between these two phones and the primary function remains the same…..communication.  The rotary phone could make single phone calls.  That’s it!  It couldn’t take messages, offer call-waiting or conference calls, or utilize a contacts list for speed-dialing.  The iPhone, however, can do all these…plus countless additional methods to send and receive information.  Here’s the problem with the rotary phone today.  It can’t be used with today’s technology!  It has become obsolete.   The need for making phone calls, however, still remains a need today.

Question…

How would you personally react to a friend of yours if they were insistent on keeping their rotary phone and refusing to move forward with technology?  One might think they are ignorant, irrelevant, and/or disconnected from society.  Ironically, many of our churches are like this person.  Figuratively speaking, they are attempting to Tweet, Blog, and Facebook the vision of their church and the love of Jesus…using a rotary phone!  These churches are becoming ‘ignorant, irrelevant, and/or disconnected from society.’  Now, can they still ‘DO‘ good works for the Kingdom?  Absolutely!  Many times, however, the topic turns to audience.  Who and how many do you want to reach with the Gospel message?

I don’t recall who actually coined this statement, but I remember it from a conference a few years ago.  Referring to the Gospel they said, “Its necessary to constantly change HOW we spread God’s Word, so long as the Word itself doesn’t change.”  Jesus modeled this for us.  He taught outside in public gatherings.  He also used parables.  He realized that if He only taught in the synagogues His audience would be limited.

In what ways is your church using Social Media to advance the Kingdom?  Or…if you have been resistant to, what have been your reasons?