Connection cards play an integral role at your church. Whether you have returning members or you're welcoming first-time visitors, connection cards help you engage your congregation and better understand their needs. They enable you to collect valuable data about who is coming to church each service and what you can do to better service them.
Of course, connection cards will only benefit your church if you carefully design them. Ask for too much information and no one will take the time to fill them out. Likewise, have too many cards or one that covers too much and people will easily get confused about who is supposed to fill them in or what you want to know about their experience. Here's a look at 10 connection cards that will guide your design.
#1 A Warm and Simple Welcome to Newcomers
This example from Engage City Church asks for the bare minimum–just a name, email, and phone number so that the church can follow up with first-time visitors after the service. The front of the card also keeps a clean and modern design that reflects the church's branding. The fun, bold wording “Welcome Home” makes it clear that the card is welcoming new visitors, too.
#2 Engagement Opportunities for New and Old Visitors
This example is from the same church as above and elegantly showcases how the multi-card approach helps to prevent overwhelm and cluttered designs. When a visitor sits down at Engage City Church, they will see the welcome card (above), this engagement/participation card, and the following volunteer card.
This card, which features the bold text: “I Have Decided to Follow Jesus” on the front, instantly calls attention to itself. The back, again, asks for very little information and offers two simple options: To Follow Jesus or To Take Growth Track.
Of course, this example also illustrates how your church's wording and the concept of “connection cards” in general can be foreign to a new visitor. What is the growth track and what does joining it mean? In your connection cards, you should make sure that the wording is clear to everyone–even (and especially) if it's their first time at your church.
Instead of naming the two options, you could improve upon this design by offering a sentence for each choice, keeping the choices to less than three. For example:
- I would like to learn more about the Bible and the work of the church
- I would like to participate in other activities with the church and in the community
Either response allows you to tailor a personalized follow-up that will help you engage the visitor after the service.
#3 A Simple Signup for Volunteer Participation
The third card that Engage City Church features in the seatback is titled, “Sign Me Up!” The wording gets your attention, although it may be more clear to include the terms “Volunteer” or “Participate” so that you can really grab the eyes of people who want to get more involved with the church's work.
The back of the card asks for basic information and gives them the option to join as a host or participate on one of the church's teams, including the coffee cart, kids, sound, visual, lights, video, music, hospitality, or prayer groups.
The second question collects another piece of vital information, asking the person how often they would like to serve. This question in and of itself can help get more responses, especially if you have the option for a “one time” signup so the volunteer can get a feel for what it's like before agreeing to a full-on commitment of monthly or weekly participation.
#4 Friendly Wording to Engage Attendees
This connection card helps to engage attendees in a different way. Similar to the volunteer card found at Engage City Church, AnchorYoungAdults has a connection card that simply asks for the person's name and number and then has them tick a box next to what they are interested in helping with.
What makes this card stand out is the fun wording and colorful design. “Put Me In, Coach” helps to grab the attention of anyone sitting down to service and does an excellent job of getting the point across that this card features the ability to participate in the church's work.
#5 Foster A Connection With The Ministry
A lot of people work to bring the service together each week, so asking for volunteer assistance is a must-do. This is yet another connection card that helps you do just that in a simple way, but the wording on the front of this card is certainly the most straightforward.
With Epicentre West LA writing: “Connect With Our Ministry Teams” on top of a bright orange background, visitors instantly know what this card is all about and what it will enable them to do. That can help foster engagement and get you more responses for your volunteer positions.
#6 Say “Thank You” for Joining The Service
Another friendly way to welcome any visitor is with a “Thank You” connection card, like this one from Epicentre West LA. This design is particularly great because the wording makes it clear that it's for everybody. While the “Welcome Home” design is also likely to grab the attention of a visitor, this one is very inclusive and inviting to read while also allowing your church to express your sincere gratitude for each person who comes through the doors.
Of course, this connection card asks for an extra piece of information with the question, “Where are you from?” Avoid asking for too much more than that as it can overwhelm a person considering filling out the card.
#7 Tell-All In A Multi-Purpose Connection Packet
Pro Church Media shared the approach of Embrace Church, which turns the standard connection card into an engaging packet. The folder itself asks, “First time here?” and quickly explains to new guests what the packet is all about. The connection card can be found within along with two pieces titled “Upcoming Events” and “Message Notes”.
The flap to the left also offers another welcoming message along with some info on participating in the church and joining the church's community. All in all, this packet does a fantastic job of cleanly displaying and explaining everything the visitor is looking at, which is important for engaging new and old visitors alike.
#8 Ask for Donations Using A Clean Template
While we have covered the best designs for welcoming new visitors and encouraging volunteer work and participation amongst people in your congregation, yet another purpose of a connection card is collecting donations.
This card from Elevation Church does that in a very simple way. The bold word “Give” on the front of the card makes its purpose clear. The back covers information for giving online or through their phone, however, the card itself may request a little too much info. Ask if you really need the address of a donor and, if you do, do you really need to ask for the city, state, and zip code? Most likely, they are local and–even if they aren't–a zip code alone should suffice.
#9 Keep Cash Gifting Simple With An Offering Envelope
Ekko Church takes an even more simplistic and modern approach to the donation request envelope. The envelope itself allows for a traditional cash donation while the front of the card collects the basic information, asking for just the donor's name. The date field could actually be eliminated entirely for an even simpler approach.
This card also includes an important option, allowing the donor to say whether the donation is intended as a tithe or special offering, in which case they can describe the reason for it. However, there is no real need to select cash or check and the amount box could also be left out to make donating even quicker.
If you want to minimize paper, you can combine the offering envelope with other elements of your connection cards. For instance, you can include boxes to signup for volunteer work or give them a space to include their contact information if they wish to connect further.
#10 Make Prayer Requests Private and Painless
Many times, when a visitor is requesting a prayer, they are at an extremely vulnerable place. So, the best prayer cards won't ask for personal information, although this one leaves plenty of space for the person to sign their name if they so wish.
This prayer card does things well because it keeps everything open-ended. The person has plenty of space to share what they are comfortable sharing, like who and what the prayer request is for. Yet, the design remains clean and modern so it matches your church.
Foster Connection and Engagement At Your Church
Reaching out to your ministry and building a real connection can be tough. With the right connection cards, you can keep people engaged with your church and encourage gifting, volunteering, and participation at every level.
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