I love hanging out with pastors. A week ago today I spent several hours with a local pastor here in southern California who planted a church four years ago in Orange County. Our time together had no big agenda other than to connect and learn more about each other’s lives, passions, families, ministries and everything else those subjects bring out. Although our acquaintance was made familiar through mutual friends and circles, I was honored to spend time with this guy. His heart is huge. His mind is brilliant. And his love for people is deep.
Among the many topics we covered, of which I’ll work into more entries later, one of particular interest was the idea of having church membership cards. I should stop now and say if you think this brings us one step closer to the “mark of the beast,” you might as well stop reading and take your apocalypse phobia somewhere else.
Picture it: every regular attender (members) of your church would get a credit card size church membership card. It includes a barcode or magnet strip that works with card reader software/hardware. When the person shows up to church, they swipe their card and continue on in. For visitors or people who don’t want the cards, no problem!
The card also serves as a promo piece because people carry it in their wallet and the card has the church logo, address, service times, etc.
The most important component of this concept is that you’re gathering demographic information from the people who makeup your church. The pastor I met with actually has his congregation fill out a form EVERY week that asks all the demographic questions. He bases his questions around the same info that the city his church is in uses to measure the demographics of the city/county. This way he can make sure his church lines up with the city they are serving. Hello!
If you are not capturing demographic info from your church members already, you should be. Many churches do this in conjunction with their offering envelopes. The point is to understand who it is that makes up your church every week (not once a year).
Once you get in the habit of capturing data, the membership card will make much more sense (if it doesn’t already).