In case, you didn’t know everything.church is a business. We do two main things. We help churches get their employees individualized and tailored one-on-one training for their job positions. We do this for when they just need a refresher and of course if they are a recent hire.
We also consult with churches predominantly through the lens of what we like to call micro-consulting where we help churches get the real answers, information, or solutions they need. We get people together in a “think tank” environment and meet until there’s a breakthrough.
now you know
So, if you weren’t clear before, now you know, we are a business! Better yet, we are a business to churches and just like any business we are constantly trying to get the attention of our target audience. That means we are trying to get in contact with churches. Most likely if you’re reading this, we might even have tried to get in touch with you.
We are what I would consider “professional get in touch with church” people. Now, obviously there are some differences when a business would want to interact with a church compared to a first-time guest or a regular attendee, but not many.
first things first
The first thing any reasonable person would do upon deciding they wanted to contact a church is go to their website. Then they would want to easily be able to navigate the website to find your contact number, location, and whose on your staff.
I cannot tell you the amount of websites I’ve been to where even after spending several minutes online I can only find three things.
- A phone number (that leads to a long and convoluted answering machine and not a real person)
- A generic email, such as [email protected]
- A picture and short bio of the lead or senior pastor (and possibly their spouse), and nothing more
not bad but not great
Now, all three of those things can serve a purpose, and I definitely think there should be detailed information and a photo about your lead pastor and their spouse. However, let me pose a scenario of sorts to you.
I’m a mom that allowed my middle schooler to go to youth camp with their best friend and I don’t know anyone on staff. My child gave me the papers to reach the student pastor if I needed, but I can’t find them anywhere, and I need to get in touch with somebody.
If I write emergency in the title of my email or leave voice messages for every person in the church, I know someone will get back to me. That seems a little crazy because we are talking about a church, an establishment that was created for the people.
Church was established to be a place that people could come to for help, assistance, grace and peace. Ministry is the service industry, it exists to serve people.
Imagine if your favorite company had no way to be reached, or had no website or no phone number. The thought is absurd. In 2014, I bought a few things from a small business online. It was in November before Christmas and the week before Christmas I hadn’t received my items. I emailed them and I didn’t hear back until after Christmas.
Of course, one of my products was a Christmas present. Which was now a late Christmas present, but it was a present nonetheless. Worse than that one of the items I received was wrong. When you are the person that is making the contact, you are at the mercy of the individual you are trying to reach.
However, even though I was at their mercy for a response, guess what I am no longer doing? I’m no longer purchasing from them. So, yes they might have been too busy to respond to me in a timely fashion, but I am now too busy to buy from them.
on the flip side
So, let’s flip this to churches. Most churches, unless you are a megachurch whose at max capacity, have the desire to continue adding people to their flock and congregation each weekend. The reason is because we believe Jesus commanded us to do so.
If a person reached out to your church and you didn’t get back to them right away, or their email got lost in the shuffle, in that moment, they were at your mercy for how accessible you were. However, they might also not come back to your next weekend experience. If they don’t have relationships that are binding them there, why would they stay?
so the question posed today is, how accessible should your pastors and staff be?
#1 be as accessible as you’re willing to be
Relationships grow organizations faster than systems. Systems make things tidy and orderly, and they will help things grow, but not faster than relationships. Church growth will come rapidly from having a very accessible staff and pastor.
The reason people are in church is for relationships. It’s not like God’s forgiveness and grace is only available for people attending church at the proper attendance rate. That’s absurd. People attend your church to know you and to be inspired by you. People can watch any pastor online and email their info or prayer line. Be accessible.
#2 have a system that allows people to get in touch with a person
The most frustrating thing about any organization, even companies, is not being able to get in contact with someone, a real live person.
Phone number: (In the podcast below we talk about utilizing Google Voice if you can’t afford a traditional phone number or system). In addition to that, some real life person should be answering your phone. No one wants to talk to an answering machine or systemized operator. This an excellent serve opportunity or background task for support staff.
Emails: All the emails of your staff should be online. This also means, all the names of your staff should be online to complete that process.
Lead Pastors: If they don’t want to be available have an assistant or a contact who is. The illusion of being available is powerful enough. A pastor should not become inaccessible to the public until it is necessary based on the size and demands of the church.
We think the mantra, “as long as you can, you should” is fitting here. There is not a perfect number (such as 1,500 or 3,000, or 4,500) that suddenly make pastors become less accessible. Every pastor is different and was created to meet different needs. Every ministry leader has different giftings and different tolerances.
Churches are in the service industry, so as long as you can, you should. Your staff should always be available at some level or at the very least have people on their teams that are available. This is ministry, you signed up for ministry, the root of that word is to minister, which literally means, “to attend to the needs of”.
Don’t forget what it means to minister. When you’re bogged down or maxed out, remember you attend to needs, so “as long as you can, you should”. If you feel like you no longer can, then bring some people around to help you, so you can keep going.
Check out the podcast below for even more detailed, practical advice on managing your accessibility.
Our world is a very connected place. Pastors and their staffs that have dedicated their lives to serving people want a little privacy. The question is: “how accessible should your staff and pastors actually be?”
Some churches hide their pastor and staff so far in the background that no one could get connected with them if they wanted to while some pastors put their cell phone number on their church website.
In this episode, TK and Stacia talk about the requirements of availability, and just how accessible a church’s pastor and staff should be. In this episode, they talk about your website, your weekend, and the hundreds of people beating down the door to get your attention.
This may seem like a simple topic, but we drop some bombs in this episode that could single-handedly double the size of your church.
Chief Creative Officer
Stacia has over a decade of ministry experience, with the majority of that time leading next generation change. She has experience leading almost one hundred volunteers, and developing curriculum for kids and students. Stacia has a B.S. in Church Ministries and Biblical Studies, as well as experience educating in an elementary public school environment. She is also immensely creative and accomplished in teaching children about the wonder of God.