It’s as basic as the pencils

Steve Kryger

At my church and at many others, we have response cards. We invite newcomers to let us know they've visited, and how they'd like to connect with us. We encourage newcomers and regulars to share prayer points, and the cards are also used as a sign-up form for events announced during the service.

I recently chatted with a newcomer who thought that the cards were a great idea, but he couldn't fill one out because he didn't have a pen or a pencil. We provide pencils in the pews, but it's not uncommon for these to be blunt, broken or missing. All the hard work that goes into encouraging people to fill out a slip will be wasted, if people have nothing to write with. A process is only as good as the individual steps in the process. The cards only work if they:

  • exist,
  • are available,
  • are promoted,
  • are able to be completed (time to complete, and a pencil to fill out),
  • are collected, and
  • are followed up post-service.

That's a lot of steps. A lot of opportunity for things to go wrong. 

The small details matter, and where these breakdown, the whole process fails.

Now, to think about how to make sure the pencils are provided in working order each week!