By Bruce Chesser
President, Tennessee Baptist Convention
For years our church had placed our guest registration card in our morning bulletin. It was always on the edge of the page with a neat little perforation so that a person could fill in the blanks, tear off the column and place it in the offering plate. But when we stopped meeting in March, we stopped producing a bulletin.
We are going to resume with an online bulletin the first of October, but we have not resumed printing a hard copy of the bulletin. So, we needed some guest registration cards!
One of our employees went to an old storage closet and found some old guest registration cards and placed them in the card racks on the back of all the pews. We had not done it that way in years, but the old ways would certainly work again.
And, we were learning that guests are, indeed, coming to our services. Life is about relationships and as people were inviting friends and neighbors, we are actually having newcomers attend.
A few weeks ago, one of our ladies handed me one of those old guest registration cards that we were using. She had an amused look on her face and said, “Look at the section that says ‘How Did You Find Out About Us?’ ” So, I read the options that were listed for a person to mark: A friend. The church sign. The newspaper. Then I saw what she was talking about. It said, “The Yellow Pages.”
Really? When was the last time you saw the yellow pages? Do Millennials even know what the yellow pages were? So, we decided it was time to bring our guest registration card into the 21st century.
My point is this: look around your facility.
Actually READ what you are putting out there for other people to read that will give them an impression of your church. Try to see your campus, your worship center, your lobby, your restrooms, your children’s area and every other area of your church from the eyes of a newcomer. What will they see? Never forget, you only get one opportunity to make a good first impression.
Stop focusing on what you cannot do and focus on what you can do.
It is time for all of us to begin the process of rebuilding the body of Christ! Pandemic or not, Jesus is still Lord!