I knew Connection Cards were great to use as a tool to reach out to visitors and to pastor your people, but one church uses them in a great way to get people involved in the various ministries of the church. A wonderful church communicator sent me this story and I wanted to share it with you.
I must tell you how valuable your sight has been to me. Keep up the good work!
Plainfield United Methodist Church has been relying on Connection Cards for about a year. What a wonderful opportunity to connect people with other people, new ministries, service opportunities as well as learn what’s on people’s minds! They provide a wonderful way to share prayer concerns of our congregation with our prayer chain. We keep addresses, emails, phone numbers updated through this media. Of course attendance is registered by using these cards.
When we first began using these cards, pastors provided time during the service and we all completed the cards at the same time. Our thinking was that if the pastor set the example and provided the time, we could encourage everyone present to complete a card. By having our regular attendees continue to complete their cards each Sunday, it serves as an encouragement to guests to complete one. Therefore, we have the names of our guests along with their contact information. Most of the time, they will tell us if they are new to the community or just passing through.
The key to making the cards work is to keep the requested information current. For instance, we have just completed a series entitled “Come Hungry”. We asked the congregation if they were willing to reflect and share what they learned about themselves through this series. They could write their comments on the card or they could email a pastor. Most chose to write their comments on the card, but some indicated they would contact one of the pastors. We also recruited teachers for our upcoming VBS through these cards. There is plenty of room for people to make prayer requests.
On Mondays I enter all this information in a table and share that table with the pastors. The table contains the name of the person making the comment or request, their contact information and the information that is to be shared. Some of the information is for specific groups such as our prayer chain, our music department, some is for seeking certain information. It just becomes a matter of copying and pasting the information into an email addressed to the appropriate person or group of people. We are very careful to be sensitive to confidential information. Follow-up to requests is essential – after all, we requested the information, assured them we would be sensitive to how it is used – so follow-up is important.
I will attach two of the two-sided cards to this email for you to see. They were created in Publisher. Perhaps they will show better how we update them each week. We print them here at our church on 81/2 x 11 cardstock that has been perforated in thirds by a local printer. Having them perforated certainly saves us a lot of time when it comes to inserting one card inside each Sunday worship folder.
Again, thanks so much for all you do to guide our communication in serving.
A second email from Sue (came a week or so later)
I just found out that the Communication Card that we’ve been using originated from a book entitled Fusion: Turning First-Time Guests into Fully-Engaged Members of Your Church by Nelson Searcy with Jennifer Dykes Henson. I didn’t realize that the card is pretty much what is on page 168 of the book; however, we have personalized it for our purposes. I thought that you would need to give credit where credit is due.
I LOVE getting stories of how church communications have worked for you. Please send your stories and samples, along with permission for me to use them to: firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks so much!