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This post was written by Jess Rainer and originally appeared here.

At my church, we call it a Connect Card.

I’ve heard it called many other names: Connection Card, Visitor Card, Information Card, Guest Card, and Next Steps Card.

Some churches have gone completely digital with their card. I’ve seen barcodes on the back of chairs that bring a church attender to a digital connect card. I’ve seen tablets passed down rows during the service for people to fill out (at least in our pre-covid world). Other churches, like mine, use both digital and physical cards.

But whatever name you use and whatever method you use, the purpose is the same. The goal of the Connect Card is to gather information from guests and members in order to connect with them. The Connect Card is vital for follow up with first-time guests and for regular attenders to communicate with you.

Here’s the challenge we all face: how do you actually get someone to fill out the card?

Most of my conversations around overcoming the challenge of actually getting people to fill out the Connect Card are around methodology. The concern is more about “how” people fill out the card rather than “why” they fill out the card. On Sundays at my church, we give 3 reasons during the service to fill out our Connect Card.

Reason 1: We Give Away Money

For every Connect Card that is turned in in-person or submitted online, we donate $5 back to local charities and non-profits that our church partners with. During our welcome, we let everyone in the church know that if they don’t fill out the card, then we don’t give money to the local food pantry. It’s a great way to not only highlight our mission partners, but also to give people a big reason to fill out the card.

Reason 2: We Want to Pray

During our prayer time in worship service, we ask people to write their prayer requests on their Connect Card. We commit to praying for those prayer requests on Monday.

Reason 3: To Stay in Touch

At the end of the worship service, we ask people to make sure we have their most recent information on the Connect Card. That way, we can stay in touch with them.

Every Sunday, we communicate these three reasons throughout the service and it works well. We have a high percentage of our adults actually filling out the Connect Card each week. For our regular attenders, it may just be their name only on the card. For others, we are connecting and praying for them. But for all, we are giving back to our community and seeing our church’s vision carried out.

If you don’t already, I encourage you to give them at least one reason to fill out the Connect Card. If you can, give them more than one reason.

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