We’ve just had a quick review of the card we use for newcomers and regular members to communicate with the church staff on Sundays; we keep it on the Welcome desk, and anyone in the church family can use it. We have pens, naturally, and a clearly marked box to put the cards in. We’ve tidied it up, and made the whole thing a touch more intentional. There are four areas:
1. Information you’re willing to share. That’s obviously name, address, email and suchlike – which gets entered into our database. There’s a tick box to indicate that these are details being updated, to prevent a duplicate record happening. We use the email list sparingly, so that we don’t get dumped in people’s junk folders.
2. Information you’ve requested. There’s a load going on at any church, of course, but there are a few, common areas that we actively invite people to find out about: evangelistic courses, small groups, children’s and youth work, men’s and women’s ministry, counsel and support, giving, and then some common activities: music and the arts.
3. Prayer request you’re sharing – we’re going to take these to staff prayers, unless it’s marked ‘Confidential to the clergy’. There’s space for other questions or comments too.
And this is the most strategic…
4. The place to record key spiritual decisions and commitments, with tick boxes for the most frequent: joining an Enquirers group, becoming a Christian, wanting to be baptised, recommitting your life to Christ, and the three key seminars we want everyone to take part in: Joining St James, Growing Spiritually (on good spiritual disciplines) and SHAPE (on gifts and serving in St James).
Why is that the most strategic priority? Because helping people to identify those critical commitments helps them and us take their conversion and maturity seriously.
The final part of our review was to make sure that we were clear who received and acted on the information at each point.
We haven’t printed it off yet – we still have some of the previous version which is nearly the same bar some typos. So before we do, what do you think? It’s A6.
3 comments on “CONTACT! The four priorities for the card our newcomers fill in”
Hey up Chris,
I’m interested in what you mean about using email ‘sparingly’. How sparingly? I’ve just started a weekly church email using MailChimp, and it’s been very well received. We’ve got a few rules about content to try to keep people reading it (nothing appears for more than two weeks, only things that are relevant to the majority of church family), but after almost a year we’re still getting <70% reads on our stats.
It's also helping to expand our fringe – there's a sign-up on our website, and I've noticed people signing up on the mailing list and then getting in touch a couple of weeks later with a wedding or baptism query.
How sparingly do you do email?
Once a week. That’s all.