One major challenge of technology is that it can really overwhelm you. Take an example of one Church in Ladysmith.
After presenting to him the Pastoral Care system, the Pastor was excited. The system had everything he needed, but where could he start.
“I have people who come to Church for a few Sundays, then disappear”, he said. “It takes us a few weeks to realise they aren’t active anymore. Unfortunately we don’t even have their contact details to find out what happened,” he continued.
Despite this realisation, he was still far from ready to start using the system. These are some of the initial problems.
To start with, he had no record of members at all. Together we worked on a form and plan to collect data from his members over a few Sundays. After a number of phone calls, he had a nice blue file with about 90 completed forms.
Then his laptop wasn’t reliably going onto the internet, plus he had no time and no one to capture the forms. We organised a data capturer for him to do all the capturing.
Once the data was captured, I was excited to start. “No wait! Who is going to be operating the system?” he asked me. After a month or more of searching, he came up with 5 people who needed training on the system.
Luckily I could physically go there to train. When I got there, there was only the problematic laptop and 5 people. That one which could not even go onto the internet. Luckily I was reasonably prepared with projector and laptop.
The issue of one problematic laptop was not gone after the training. Only one person was excited about the system plus the Pastor. She had her own tablet, thank God.
After a lot of encouragement, the “tablet lady” slowly started capturing member finances on the system Thereafter she started sending SMSes to members from the system.
Finally, now they think the system is valuable.
I’m telling you this story to demonstrate this reality; nothing important usually happens easily. You have to take dedicated action. Usually it looks scary before you start. Or another challenge, you don’t see much value in having a system for your Church.
To make the Church integral to the people of God, it needs to cut through the noise and compete for a member’s attention. Your members are continually distracted, and spiritual messages need to cut through the clutter. Unless you are comfortable with Sunday only Christians.
As of today Wednesday, one Church has started sending an SMS to its members at 5 am in the morning, everyday for the next 9 days. These are exhortations and reflections during their 9 day fast.
Will this help keep the 9-day-fast top of mind. Most definitely!
The examples are just numerous. What are you doing with technology to make pastoral care for members effective?
PS: You can get a full one-month trial for the Pastoral Care system. Gratis! Mahala! Only when you are happy with it do you subscribe. In fact, you pay an affordable subscription every month based on the number of members. Click here and complete a form to request a FREE Trial