Over the past few weeks, I’ve been reminded why I have a personal Yahoo! email account. Over the past few weeks, I’ve wished I had a Yahoo! email account for church business.
Why? Junk email! Every company that we (the church) have bought something from in the past couple of years (or if we even visited their website and looked at something), are sending holiday emails to tell us about specials on the things we looked at...and in some instances bought from them, in other instances we bought it elsewhere.
And don’t tell me to hit the unsubscribe button...all that does is unsubscribe you from one email list and subscribe you to 123 others!
But still, even as I gripe about getting the emails, a part of me is envious of their record keeping. Yes, I inquired about a particular product 18 months ago, but we decided against it and have no plans to revisit that decision in the near future...so their response is we’ll check back with you in six months.
And do you know why they are so persistent? Their livelihood depends on it. They have to keep following up so that if we ever do decide to purchase their product (or an accessory or something similar or anything else that they sell), we will buy from them.
So when we have visitors, why don’t we follow up with them? “Well, that’s your job, preacher!” Actually studies have shown that the most effective follow up is done by “ordinary members.”
The study showed that if the preacher did the follow up, the visitor felt he was just doing his job. But if someone else followed up with them, well, it was because they really cared.
It doesn't take much time or energy to write a quick note thanking them for spending time with us and inviting them back (check with the office for their address).
My friends, the livelihood of our congregation depends on us following up with those who show an interest in our congregation.