So you pastor a large church and you only have so much time to get it all done. Or, you pastor a smaller church and work a full time job and only have so much time to get it all done. Whichever pastor you are, you are busy and desire to be as effective as possible with the same 24/7 as the next guy right? You keep hearing about all the latest tools and sometimes it gets a little crazy trying to discern what you have time to learn in order to save money and time.
I want to suggest 4 tools to use for consideration for effective touches with less than 3 hours a week. These digital touch tools you likely already own and use. Those tools are your phone, a text, the mailbox and video email.
Regardless if you have 100 or 2000 people in your church those people would so appreciate a personal touch by their senior pastor at least once a year. We all realize that in this post modern culture that the door to door personal visit is almost gone. However, there still does exist those personal visits for the hospital call, tragic situation, counseling and the random builder generation visits. The surprise visits or random drop in calls are quickly becoming a thing of days past.
So how does the contemporary pastor touch every member in a year regardless of the size of the ministry up to 2000 people? Some folks can be personally touched in different ways and feel just as loved and touched as the next person with a different method or tool. So instead of breaking people into groups I will break tools into groups and you can place the people you have under those respective touches that they would identify and appreciate most. Start touching once a week or on special days and see the blessing you will become to strengthening the body of Christ. Birthday and Anniversaries can be your back up to assure you touch everyone once a year.
The Phone : Call those people in your church who have a special birthday or anniversary with a quick 15 second greeting and a brief prayer. Put those days in your phone or calendar to remind you and many of those you can do between appointments. If they are talkers and you don???t have time to get caught then use one of the next 3 tools.
Text Message : It???s easy to have a standard prayer or Happy something with their name in it under 160 characters. Send a text message and it might hit them at just the right moment in the day. For them to know their pastor had them on his or her mind at that special time is hugh. It???s easy and quick and depending on the age and how often they use text it is just as effective as hearing your voice and for some more so.
Card in the Mail: For years I used them until the advent of email and then got away from it. But with technology there are some great tools. My favorite time saver is now SOC. I have sent out over 1500 pieces in the last 3-4 years. I can blast the same card to lists at special holidays too. I can do many personal typed cards months in advance and have it programmed to send a card, postcard or even include gifts with cards with my signature just in time for that special day in the mailbox. For under a $1.05 per greeting card ( stamp included) it is a pastor's gift to send a real card without having to leave your desk top. Last of all but not necessarily least is the email but with a personal touch beyond the common.
Video Mail: ComF5 offers a great tool for sending emails with audio and/or video or both imbedded in your email message. I started using that over 5 years ago and I have had amazing comments over the years. This allows your voice or face or both in front of theirs in a very personal way while you still control the time factor.
Schedule your time accordingly once a week and look at your people and who would appreciate which touch the best along with which touch saves you the most time and you will keep the touch of ministry balanced within the digital age without losing your mind.
Peter Migner is a pastor in Florida who also does personal digital consulting for churches and pastors. You can reach him and review his blogs at www.petermigner.com