You did the research, downloaded the templates, and watched multiple videos from the experts on how to make the best connect card.
Yet despite all your hard work, you barely get any responses from guests and attendees. You ask yourself…
Why is nobody filling out our connect cards?
The answer: Your connect card is NOT for them. It’s for you.
Capturing information and developing follow-up processes are a vital part of engaging with people in church. It’s impossible to reach them if we have zero information to start with. But it’s also easy to fall into the trap of using connection cards as a tool for physical growth in numbers, NOT discipleship.
That’s a problem.
Thankfully, this is a problem that can easily be fixed! We can shift our connect cards from being a self-serving tool that’s about growing our church, to a catalyst of discipleship that serves God’s people. The natural result is more connection cards that actually get filled out.
Here’s how to do it:
Have you ever been invited by a friend to go to a party, only to realize that the party was a sneaky attempt for them to sell you some overpriced nutrition drink, subscribe to organic cosmetics, or join another multi-level marketing company?
It’s the worst!
Unfortunately, many churches present their connect cards in this way without even knowing it.
They want to offer connection with community, but their offer comes across as just a feeble attempt to build their network or grow their brand.
Connection starts with presentation, and we present our connection cards in a variety of ways. This can be on a bulletin handout, a pre-service slide, a QR code, a website button, an announcement within the service, and more.
Question: Do you present value?
That value can be in the form of many things. This could be prayer requests, coffee with the pastor, a free bible, and other tangibles that show each attendee that you want to connect with them; NOT the other way around.
People like value, and will be more likely to respond if you present it to them in an honest way that’s not self-serving.
What’s the #1 way to make guests feel awkward and never want to come back to your church?
Just ask them for money!
Most churches don’t make this fatal mistake. However, many churches lump in their time of tithes and offerings with an announcement of connection. Your church may even encourage guests to fill out the connect card and place it in the offering plate as it goes by.
You’re just killing two birds with one stone right?
This approach can confuse your desire for connection with an expectation to give something, even if it’s just a filled-out card. Instead of appearing that you want to serve them with zero expectation, the relationship comes across as transactional.
Some additional ideas:
• If you have a dedicated time for tithes and offerings, make it obvious that there is ZERO expectation for guests to give.
• Have different times in your service for both the connection and the tithes and offerings.
• Encourage guests to fill out a digital connection card, or place physical cards in a designated box separate from donations.
There’s no way to get around it, you need information from guests to actually connect and follow up with them. It’s hard to text somebody if you don’t actually have a phone number!
When it comes to getting guests to fill out a digital or physical connection card, many ministries fall into the trap of asking for too much information.
Don’t. Less is best.
Connection cards are forms. When it comes to form design, marketing leader HubSpot says that the #1 way to increase your form responses is to be simple and straightforward and avoid asking for too much information.
I know, I know… this goes against everything you want in your church’s database. The world is fixated on having mountains of data from people. If you’re like me, you want to know things like:
• Where do they live?
• What is their age?
• Do they have a spouse or kids?
• How long have they been attending?
This is great information to have… but the goal is NOT to have a perfectly manicured church database filled with detailed people info. The priority is connecting directly with that individual person or family to disciple them.
Ask basic things to start a connection:
• Who they are?
• How to contact them?
• Why they are connecting?
• Do they need prayer?
The fewer steps you make them have to take, the more likely they’ll provide you with that info and trust that you actually care about them.
Every church needs to connect with guests and attendees, and the connection card is one of the biggest tools that we use to do this. We just have to remember that Christianity isn’t about number growth, it’s about discipleship that leads to spiritual growth.
Jesus gave us the perfect example of this discipleship in how he connected with others.
He presented the gospel.
He offered grace and expected nothing in return.
And the information about the people he discipled naturally followed.
As for the church… it grew exponentially!
Connection Cards are just one small part of church communication and management. Did you know that the average church leader is using 7 different applications to connect with their people and manage their church?
They’re using applications for things like a people database, online giving, website, texting, child check-in, worship, accounting, and more. This gets confusing and expensive!
ChurchTrac is an All-In-One software that has all the tools you need built-in, so you can simplify your ministry and save money.
Learn more at www.churchcommunications.com/churchtrac.