The values of business cards for churches and ministries is simply a reflection of their value in the world outside the church. Contrary to the opinions of some, social media and exchanging information via cell phone are not the most effective ways to reach out or connect.
This isn't simply my opinion, though I did feel a measure of irritation when I asked a potential business resource for their contact information and had to wait while she rummaged through a huge purse, found her phone and tapped her information to me.
Later, I couldn't find it as my recent calls had several numbers I didn't recognize and no idea which one was from her. How much easier it would have been to connect if she had given me a business card.
My bad attitude aside, following are excerpts from business sources of the continuing value of business cards. To make it relate to your work in the church I have some comments interspersed in the articles surrounded by [brackets like this] and I have some concluding comments at the end of the excerpts, plus links to FREE TEMPLATES for you to modify for your own church and ministry invitation cards.
Business cards put a face to business….business cards never have downtime, are always accessible, never have dead zones or Internet outages
Business cards still matter because our memory is bad, [I took out a harsher word] How many times have you met someone, spent most of the conversation thinking of what to say so you don't sound stupid, then promptly forget their name when it's all over?......A business card is a road map to opportunity [because it helps you remember what you weren't listening to because you were thinking about yourself. We do this in the best of situations.]
Shaun Caldwell explains on his LinkedIn blog that cards have certain perks:
Business cards never have downtime. They're always accessible, and never have dead zones or Internet outages. Your business card can be viewed no matter where you are located, and even times when cell phones and other devices must be turned off, such as on an airplane ride or in a hospital. Your business card is always working for you.
Writer Sarah Brooks at Successful Blog explains that it gives them something physical to refer to later should they decide they want your product or service:
Business cards put a face to a business – When meeting someone new, handing them your business card (preferably with your photo on it) will help keep your business in the back of their minds. Though they may not need your product or services today, there may come a time when they do, and hopefully they will be able to pull out your business card and call versus trying to remember your company name and searching.
Business cares are the first tangible impression and the fastest, most accurate way to exchange information
While digital media platforms have made networking much easier, a well-crafted business card can be a powerful tool in person-to-person marketing and networking [and in outreach and inviting to your church]. Business cards are still the fastest, most accurate way to exchange information and the physical interaction of exchanging them adds significant value when establishing a connection with another person. . . . .[and a connection can always be made with a card, even if someone doesn’t have a phone with them]. In this article, we explore why business cards still hold great importance even as the business world continues to evolve digitally.
Real Connection at Point of Contact
A business card is the first tangible impression of your business [church] and remains a standard in business networking. The exchange of business cards is still powerful and more professional than exchanging information via smartphones. According to Kristopher Jones, CEO of LSEO.com, sending an email is not too informal, but business cards are far more professional to bring along to a face-to-face meeting.
Emails can get lost in spam, forgotten, or unintentionally deleted. Business cards are concrete and tactile – they leave in the hands, purse, pocket, or wallet of a new contact. Business cards remain the quickest and most efficient way to exchange information and are acceptable in almost every business setting, eliminating the possibility of an unprofessional appearance.
From: The Importance of Business Cards in Today’s Digital World, from the ocreative.com blog
A Forbes Magazine article , Is the Business Card Dead? asked heads of ad agencies their opinion about business cards and here are two of the answers:
For In-Person Networking, Cards Are More Professional And Last Longer
Business cards can still make a powerful impression on prospective clients. I don't believe email is too informal, but business cards are far more professional to bring to a face-to-face meeting. An email can be lost in a sea of spam and contact folders; a business card will remain in a client's wallet for years. - Kristopher Jones, LSEO.com
Cards Reinforce A Connection Through Redundancy
Redundancy is how humans communicate. We use multiple physical "media" (e.g., hands, eyes, facial expressions, words, volume) to make our point, which is why there is real value in the physical act of connection through exchanging cards - - Benny Thomas, Barrie D'Rozario DiLorenzo
An added benefit, the anonymous nature of a business card
We use business cards to make personal, professional connections, but there are times we want people to connect with a ministry or church and we don't always need or want a personal connection with it.
Our cards for outreach and people searching spiritually and our cards for difficult situations (referrals for help with pornography or abuse) are cards that can be left in places like church and public restrooms and people can privately pick them up and contact the information on them without being embarrassed.
An abused woman most likely will not go up to an usher at the church and ask for domestic violence resources, but she may discretely pocket an information card in the ladies restroom that might literally save her life.
A person searching spiritually may not respond to a church invitation after meeting someone standing in line at the local coffee shop, but he or she might take the business card your church member gave them, go home and check out the websites and social media of your church and links to more information about the Christian faith.
Unlike business cards used in the professional world, the most important connections we can make with our cards is to connect people with our Lord. Sometimes a person and a cell phone would get in the way (not always, these can of course be very useful tools), but sometimes that tiny piece of information, left without expectation and lot's of prayer might be just what's needed to change a life.
Templates, tips, and training to create your own
Effective Church Communications has dozens of FREE templates of church business and invitation cards, in a variety of styles and sizes for you to download, modify if you want and print for your church. Below are a few examples of the dozens available: