The following is a guest post from Don Corder of The Provisum Group, a friend in ministry that shares my heart for making church management and administration easier for pastors.
Figuring out how to capture names without seeming pushy is key. In 1936, Dale Carnegie wrote one of the best books ever written on forming relationships. The book How to Win Friends and Influence People birthed one of the largest and well known leadership consulting and publishing empires and is still thriving today. In the book, Carnegie wrote:
Using a person’s name is crucial, especially when meeting those we don’t see very often. Respect and acceptance stem from simple acts such as remembering a person’s name and using it whenever appropriate.”
This concept is still as true today as the day Carnegie wrote it over 80 years ago.
Relationships form differently today
For most of human history, virtually all relationships have begun with the exchange of names. This is still true today, but in the last 30 years, technology has changed the way names are exchanged, especially in the Church. For centuries, church affiliation began with someone proactively introducing themselves and sharing the virtues of “my church”. But technology has changed this, especially with unchurched and de-churched people.
Today, most church relationships begin with someone going to a website. People will search using terms like “churches in [my town]” or “churches near me”. And the most common first step taken toward affiliation is the giving of one’s personal contact information.
Capturing Contact Info is More Important than Taking an Offering
Could you imagine a worship service where an offering was not taken for fear someone would think the church was too greedy? Offerings are almost always taken. Most people expect the offering plates to be passed in a church worship service. Not everyone gives when the plates are passed, but no one is surprised. That’s what churches do. It is expected.
But how many churches don’t proactively ask for email addresses and cell phone numbers in a worship service for fear of seeming ‘too pushy’? Capturing contact information is fundamental to church affiliation. It is inevitable and as such should be done in every worship service, public gathering, and virtual gathering.
How to Capture Names in Every Service Without Seeming Pushy
- Change your assumptions. No one is offended when you pass the plates in worship. If they don’t want to give, they pass plate anyways. People who give you their contact info want you to contact them. They want to learn more about you and your church and are considering a closer affiliation. People who don’t, don’t give their contact info but they are not offended because you asked.
- Have your first 4 responses pre-produced and ready to go. Make sure the first things people receive from you highlight the best things about your church.
- Have a modern and robust website. You only get one chance to make a first impression and in the 21st century, a church website is that first impression for about 70% of people considering affiliation with your church.
Does This Sound Pushy?
What if at the end of every service someone always asked:
If you feel something stirring inside of you. If something is telling you to ‘take a step’, ‘to do something’ but you don’t know what to do, can I make this suggestion? Give us your email address or text XXXX to XXXXX. Let us start communicating with you. Let us start telling you what is going on around CHURCH NAME and let’s see what the Holy Spirit does with that.”
Asking for Contact info should be a non-negotiable. Every service. Always.