Communications Corner: Community Connection Cards
In this season of celebration, churches typically have more guests coming through their doors. It’s a prime opportunity to build connections and to invite guests to return. Leave a lasting impression by greeting them with a warm smile and handshake, introducing them to your friends and family, and sending a personal note of welcome.
Some churches use community connection cards to collect member and visitor contact information and to help guests and members connect as a community of faith. Connection cards can take on a variety of shapes and styles, but with one purpose in mind – to get connected.
A few dos and don’ts:
Keep it simple: Don’t crowd your card with a lot of information or a lot of blanks to fill out. Aim for a 2-minute time to read and complete the card.
First things first: Between herding the kids, finding a seat, greeting others, and everything else going on as worship is starting, your guests may run out of time. Put the most important information first (names and contact information). It’s a sufficient start, even if the rest is blank.
Include your info: Print basic information about your church such as mission/vision, office hours, worship times, address, phone, email, website, etc. Later, your guests will know how to learn more.
Tell them what you’re going to do with it. When you ask for information, it is basic manners to say why you want it. Tell guests what will happen with their information. Tell them you want to pray for them, to help them determine whether your church is right for them, help them connect with a small group, or whatever you will do. Be clear and direct.
Include space for their questions and comments. Your guests may have questions about your church, and some questions may get in the way of increased participation. Encourage them to use the connection card to ask questions, and you have a way to connect them directly with a church leader. That connection may help them take that next step toward greater participation or membership.
Add value to their lives in exchange. Thank them with a coupon for the nearby restaurant, a worship recording, or a devotional by your pastor.
Promote it as part of the church culture. Connection card return rates increase when everyone fills out the card. Guests may feel conspicuous when they are the only person in their row filling out a card.
Above all, use the connection cards to connect, not simply to take attendance. Respond to all guests with a personal note and invitation to return. Anyone can do this, and such responses are more effective when they come from someone other than church staff, especially the first time.
Check out these samples: