Should You Throw Away Your Connection Card?
Many churches use a response card of some type as a communication and connection tool. We are in churches of all sizes and types and have seen many variations. There is the bulletin insert, the attendance card in the back of the pew (one side for members, one side for non-members), and the simple program tear-out.
Fewer churches have a great system to respond to the “connections,” but then again, some do. We were recently Installing a GrowthPlan in a church with a great, volunteer-driven response system. They had the steps mapped out, responsibility assigned, and tracked every response.
But something wasn’t right. Lots and lots of new people came through the door each week, but few truly got engaged. The church simply wasn’t growing and hasn’t grown in while. But what was wrong?
The system seemed rock-solid:
- Properly highlight and promote the Connection Card (check)
- Achieve a high level of response (check)
- Follow up with a phone call or text message within 24 hours (check)
- Send a postcard within 7 days (check)
- A personal touch and follow up again within the next month (check)
But still, the church couldn’t close the “back door.” What was going on?
As we worked through our GrowthPlan with the leadership team, they self-discovered a simple but powerful reality. The team was ignoring the power of a real, relational touch. The process worked like a well-oiled machine. But the process lacked the human connection that most people are truly seeking – to know and be known.
The solution was simple for this team. They needed to lower the importance of the connection card and build a more available human connection each and every weekend. As I write, the team is working through solutions. Here are some of the ideas they are kicking around:
- A warm and friendly spot in the lobby for people to hang out and have initial conversations
- An onsite prayer and care ministry available each week during and after services
- A more regular connection event of some type that occurs right after or during services
- Pastoral training for the call team to teach them to listen and connect better
I can’t wait to see what they figure out!!