We all have walked into church, been greeted and handed a bulletin, right? Well how much thought do you think goes into those? Each one of those pieces of paper tells you about what is going on in the church. We all have the thing we look for, but I’m different. I don’t care so much about what food you are serving at the fundraiser for your youth missions trip. No, I care about how you connect with me (your visitor & regular attendee). I have seen many good ones, bad ones, and everything in between. However, there are a few things that must be included on a communication card. DESIGN:
- Keep short. No one wants to spend more than a minute or two filling out the entire card.
- Contact Info.
- Provide place to indicate if they are a first time visitor, 2-5 times, or more than 5 times
- How did you hear about (insert name of church). This is often missed! Give them some common options to choose from and an “other” option they can write in. This will provide some great info for your leadership team as you seek to reach out to the community.
- Would you like more information about (name of church)?
- “Is there anything we can do for you?” It seems to me that the reason we even have communications cards is to, well, communicate with people, so that in return we can better serve those in our congregation better.
- Get them in the people’s hands. A great way to do this is simply, to include them in the bulletins that you hand them.
- Ask EVERYONE to fill out the card. As a visitor, there is nothing worse than being the only one who is doing something.
- Create a time during the service for people to fill out the card. A great time would be during announcements. This doesn’t single out anyone who may be filling out the card.
- Collect the cards. You will receive a far larger response if you collect them in the offering plates than if you ask them to drop them off in the box in the back at the end of service.
PROCESSING: This is the most important part we can do as a church! People have shared prayer requests, given their contact info, and we MUST handle this with respect and care.
- Know what to do with them. Have a written out procedure of what to do with the communication cards. This way the same thing can be done every time. Plus, it keeps everyone accountable. I recommend writing this out.
- What to do with the cards. Once you get them, what do you do with them? Who gets the cards concerning different things? Every piece of information is important.
- Who gets cards with prayer requests?
- Who gets cards requesting more information?
- Who gets cards with misc. comments and questions?
- What is the process, and who gets cards with updated contact info? What about first time visitors?
- Collect & Track data. This is the part that I love! I love seeing where people came from, and how a congregation has become what it is. If you ask people how they heard about (name of church) or what influenced their decision to visit today, you need to use that information. How will you track and collect this information every week? AND how will you report it?
I suggest compiling the data, and including it in your monthly report/newsletter. This would show the amount of 1st time visitors and how they found your church. You may even include the sources (such as banner, friend, website, Facebook Page, etc.). I’d keep a spreadsheet to keep track of this month to month. Not only will this inform your congregation, but it will also inform your pastor/s, board members, outreach team, and visitors.
- What will you do with them after your done. I recommend shredding them, after all, they do have people’s addresses, phone numbers, and prayer requests.