In Luke 5, Jesus was being crowded by the people as he was teaching. He stepped into the boat of Simon Peter and asked him to set out just a little from shore. Jesus used Peter’s boat as a tool to teach the people. He also used it as a tool to move Peter from casual bystander to personally involved. Today, we have a multitude of tools available to us at a moment’s notice. These tools help us teach the people, but they should also be used to help us move people from casual listener to involved follower of Jesus. One of the most powerful tools for accomplishing this is your Church Management System. Your ChMS does so much more than just keep personal information about church members. It is not just a digital church directory. It is an effective tool for discipleship and evangelism.
Your church likely already has a strategy for this process of moving people from visitor to member. It is a healthy part of any church and needs to be intentional. I don’t advocate building a strategy around your ChMS; rather, figure out how a flexible tool like a ChMS can help you accomplish that strategy. If you don’t have a strategy, or if yours doesn’t utilize the power of your ChMS, it is definitely something you want to carve out some time to think about soon.
Almost all ChMS programs have the ability to categorize names. It’s one of their most basic features. This feature, though, can really be used to identify those most ready to move from interested to invested. Having clearly defined groups for one-time visitors, repeat visitors, out-of-town visitors, church attenders, membership prospects and members is a good start. Using these lists, you can more quickly identify where different people are in the process. Having clearly defined groups helps everyone on your team do a better job of reaching those that need it most.
Give It Away
Your church is already creating content each and every week. While the quality and accessibility of that content varies greatly from church to church, you are creating something. Using your ChMS, you can put that content into the hands of the people who need it most. While members and faithful attenders probably don’t need to be reminded that your sermons are available to watch, listen or live stream online, a visitor might love to have that information. This way, they can more fully engage with your content before they make a commitment. This might be especially important for a visitor that hasn’t attended a regular service, but has only attended a special event.
There is much more to say on this topic, so check back next week for part two of how you can use your ChMS to move people from visitor to member.