Making the Most of Every Ministry Contact: Part 1

Our blog today comes from Matt McMaster, our Senior Professional Services Manager who has been with FellowshipOne since 2004. As one of FellowshipOne’s most experienced team members, he’s an expert on how churches can maximize their ministry with our software. Today is part one of a three part series from Matt.

In anticipation of Easter weekend, I will be sharing a short 3-part series on the processes that accompany the various contact points in the church. A contact could be a first-time visitor card, a prayer request card, a communication card, or even a phone call. Each of these contacts needs to be handled, but they may need to be handled differently.

Let’s start with a couple of definitions:

Contact:  We’ve established that a contact could be either a card or phone call, but we also need to be aware that a single contact may contain multiple “contact items” requiring follow up.

Contact Item:  A contact item is any information provided on a Contact that requires a response from the church staff. For example, a communication card might indicate first time visitor, age group is 18-25, and an interest in volunteering… that’s three responses.

One thing churches often struggle with is the proper way to handle the processing of contact items. Many churches that I work with have what they consider to be a “tried and true” process. They make as many copies of the contact as necessary to distribute to all of the ministers who will be working the contact items. Here is an example of the list of ministries responsible for the contact items as well as what they are expected to do with the card:

  • First Time Visitor (Member Services – Send Form Letter)
  • First Time Visitor (Member Services – Update Database)
  • First Time Visitor (Executive Pastor – First Time Visitor Phone Call)
  • First Time Visitor (Welcome Ministry – Deliver Bread to Visitor’s Home)
  • My age Group is 18 – 25 (College Ministry – no process defined)
  • I would like to know more about Volunteering (Children’s Ministry – Phone Call)

Note:  in the above example one contact item has initiated FOUR actions!

Now most churches that I visit say that they are performing all of the above tasks to the best of their knowledge. The problem is that they have no way to be sure.

My challenge to you is to start thinking about the current process(es) your church is using when it comes to Contacts and Contact Items. If possible, write out a list like the example provided. The first step to improving any process is documenting each step. Stay tuned for what comes next!