My last post shared a few thoughts about systems of care which allow us to serve large numbers of people with great intentionality. At the encouragement of a fellow pastor I want to share some uber practical next steps of follow up that work hand in hand with a good system of care.
A good system of care will produce names of people for you to reach out to in order to connect. They might come from a number of sources, here are a few typical sources in a local church:
- They filled out a Contact Card or Response Card in your church service
- They filled out a form online expressing interest in Serving
- They indicated an interest in knowing more about Baptism, Small Groups, Growing in their faith, etc.…
- They came forward to receive Christ
People come across our radar in a number of different ways. Our intentionality to follow up with them is key if we want to serve them well. When someone expresses interest, or takes a next step they are inviting you as a leader to partner with them in their journey.
Below are a few of the practices that should be employed to help people continue taking next steps.
- Call or Text within 48 hours – when a person expresses interest in something they have put themselves out there. We do not want to leave them out there on their own, so it is our responsibility to reach out! Do it quickly – remember the speed at which we respond to them communicates the value we place on them as an individual.
- Follow up with Email – people connect with information differently, for some text or the phone is the best method of connection. For many their email box helps them keep track and stay up to date on the most important things in their world.
- Be Consistent – have a plan to follow up more than once. People are not a task list item to be checked off, they are a person on a journey who needs to your help and encouragement to get to their next step.
Our commitment to these simple practices must be 100% if you want to offer the best possible follow up for those you serve. Here are a few thoughts about how you do this well:
- Don’t drop them unless they ask – I’ve yet to have someone tell me, “please stop emailing me an invite to _______”. What I do hear often is, “thank you for keeping up with me, I keep wanting to ___________ but just haven’t had the chance yet…please keep inviting me.”
- Assume the best if people do not follow through – so you invited someone to attend an event, begin serving or join your group. When the time came they didn’t show up. Assume their intention was good, follow up with them and invite for the next opportunity. Do not assume they are flakey or blowing you off – assume they want to take a next step and still need your help.
- Continue the conversation – be wise with the opportunity you have to influence that person in their faith. If you were trying to get them to take a next step and they did it – consider what ways you could continue to reach out, encourage and support them in their journey.