The church connection card has been around for decades. They even predate churches using computers. Here’s a question – is your church connection card still asking the same questions as those old cards we used to grab from the back of the pew and fill out with the golf pencil?
Current generations are less trusting of institutions, and all of us are over-marketed. People just don’t fill out lengthy and invasive questionnaires with blind trust any more.
Fortunately, there are a few things we can leave off the church connection card:
This has been a staple of church connection cards since forever: some kind of first-time, second-time, regular attender designation. I was challenged by one of my planters recently that if you have to ask visitors to self-identify their visit number, then you already have a huge hole in your followup process.
And he’s totally right. If you’re doing a good job of inviting guests to fill out a church connection card and then getting those cards entered into your church management software right away, you already know who is a first-time vs. second-time guest, etc. Get your staff or volunteer to run a report as soon as they’re done with the data entry. Then they can initiate the followup process for each accordingly.
City and State
If you want to be really avant garde about it (or if you really need the space), you can simply ask for the guest’s street address and zip code. It is super-easy to convert zip codes to city and state, so there’s really no need to make your guest fill out both. It’s redundant.
Churches should absolutely be about getting to know people, making friends and building stronger relationships. This is more of a personal soapbox, but I just don’t think that asking their age or marital status on a card is the best way, or even right time, to get that info.
Church management software is a great way to compile what the various staff and key volunteers have learned about each person, a sort of storyboard. But some of the personal data points could be collected through a membership class or small group leader’s interactions, perhaps.
The briefer you can make the church connection card, the better. Leave the unnecessary things off. Gather basic contact information and use it as a springboard for the other, more relational things your church does.