for a technical blog post?
But aside from posts about playing tennis or delivering sermons, this is probably the activity on which I have spent the most time. Because we take our guests seriously at Good Shepherd, and we do what we can to ensure they come.
Here's our process:
1. Obtain Connection Cards
1 -- These days, getting people to fill out a Connection Card and then drop it in the Giving Basket is not as easy as it sounds. So I've taken to letting people know there's a gift we want to get to them -- promising an iPad or flat screen TV seems to work well -- and we need their information in order to get it to them.
That's right. All our first time guests (at least the ones who fill out the card) get mugged
. As in a Good Shepherd coffee mug delivered to their door on Sunday afternoon by church volunteers. Back in the day, we'd send our volunteers out with maps. These days, of course, all people need as an address and they're off. We instruct muggers: 1) to leave their car door open so the muggees will know it's a brief visit; 2) not to enter the house; 3) to tell people thanks for coming to Good Shepherd & we hope you'll come back; and 4) if no one is at home, leave the mug at the front door.
3. Hand Written Note
. This is how I spend my Sunday evenings. It might seem like a drag after a day of preaching and LifeGroup leading, but I love it
. How can I not? An opportunity to connect with new people and to do so in the lost medium of hand written communication? The great thing is that Chris Thayer does the same for our Zoar Road guests and Sammy Gonzalez for our Spanish speaking community.
4. Pray Over The Note
. Yep. I place my palms on the note before placing the note in the envelope and pray the recipient really will feel God's love through the communication.
5. Saturday Evening Phone Calls
. All note recipients get a phone call at about 6 p.m. the next Saturday evening. I generally make the calls. It's an opportunity for me to find out more about our guests and for them to do the same with me. And I frequently receive some life-giving feedback like the guy who told me recently that coming to Moss Road made him "feel whole for the first time in awhile."