Ten Tools for Communication during Deputation
“Does it not stir up our hearts, to go forth and help them, does it not make us long to leave our luxury, our exceeding abundant light, and go to them that sit in darkness?” – Amy Carmichael
We’ve been in a church service every night since Wednesday. God has been good to our family and given us the strength and energy for each day. It is encouraging to see the light at the end of the tunnel as we prepare to leave for England in about nine months! We are currently seeking support for the remainder 30% of our funds. Please pray we will be wise with our time and resources as we partner with churches and prepare for our move.
We were able to teach at an Awana club on Wednesday evening. It’s always fun to show the children the flags of the United Kingdom. After we teach about the flags we get to play the game “Name that Flag”!
Anna was able to share a challenge with the teenagers on Sunday. She encouraged them to use the abilities God has given them to share the gospel.
Kevin shared our ministry on Thursday evening and Sunday morning and said, “Among all denominations in the UK 6% attend a church weekly, 2% attend a bible-based church weekly. There is a desperate need for churches to be restored in the United Kingdom…”
Anna recently wrote the following article for a blog.
We thought we would share it with you too.
Communication is key during deputation. Kevin, my husband, is the first line of communication for our family and ministry. He spends countless hours contacting churches, scheduling meetings, confirming meetings, arranging lodging, and organizing the details even before we walk into a church to present our ministry.
Communicating effectively and often is essential as we build our prayer and financial support system! I am not a phone person, in fact I avoid talking on the phone as much as possible. So out of necessity I have found ways to communicate without talking on the phone. Here is our typical “cycle” of communication and it has worked well for us. I hope you will find it helpful and maybe you can add to it!
Before we ever open the church doors to share our ministry we try to make ourselves known. We locate the church on FB and write a brief note including a link to our website. This is a great way for people to get acquainted with our family. It also serves as a reminder to the congregation that there is a missionary family coming! We also try to keep our Facebook Page updated regularly with pictures, links, etc.
There are probably many sites similar to Mailchimp, but that is what we use. Kevin is great about organizing our contacts into sub-categories (i.e. church member, supporting pastor, non-supporting pastor, supporting church, non-supporting church, missionary, etc.). We try to send out a welcome email within the first day or two of visiting a church. The email includes a thank you and links to our blog and FB page.
3. Write Thank You Cards – kids too!
I go through thank you cards like I do coffee and chocolate! Kevin writes to the pastor and church and I do everything else. I often write a thank you to the pastor’s wife, the hostess, the ladies of the missionary circle, and occasionally even the church secretary. Sometimes I have Noah color a thank you to those who play with him or get him a little gift. Gratitude is big deal – show appreciation!
4. Texting Pastor’s Wives
So like I’ve said previously I’m not a phone person, but I do text! This is by far the best tool I have started during deputation. It began small, but now it’s getting to be quite a long list. This keeps me connected with the pastor’s family and their church on a weekly basis.
5. Weekly Updates
Once a week we write a brief update on our blog and email it to our Mailchimp subscribers. We send our update on Tuesdays just because it gives me time to recover from Sunday and churches can have it before their mid-week prayer meeting.
6. Send Hand Written Notes
One of my New Year’s resolutions was to write two hand-written letters a week. I filled a basket on my desk with cards with names already addressed. That way if I get 5 minutes I can take a card out and jot a quick note of encouragement.
7. Don’t Forget Special Times
Just recently the mother of one of our supporting pastors died and another pastor was admitted to the hospital. Kevin wrote cards to them to let them know we were praying for them. Another idea is to send an email or postcard during Pastor Appreciation month to all the supporting pastors.
My brother, Andrew, introduced me to Postagram. With just a few clicks I can have a postcard sent to someones mailbox directly from my phone! This is VERY convenient and it cuts out so many steps. I just select a picture, write a note, and BAM – it sends it to my recipient! Simple. No stamps. No envelopes. We can knock out dozens of thank you cards right from the car.
We currently don’t update our Instagram too often. It seems many teenagers who don’t use Facebook tend to use Instagram. We’ve talked about generating a system to update our Instagram specifically targeted for teens.
10. Thoughtful Gestures
This isn’t necessarily communication, yet it makes a big impression. There are so many things you can do, but I basically am stuck in a rut with these two things. 1) I stock up on Bath and Body Works hand soaps. This is my staple gift because they don’t melt in the car and hey, who doesn’t need soap! I hand them to our hostess, I leave them in our guest room with the thank you card, and sometimes I just give them to someone who looks like they need a treat (I get this from my mom). 2) I’ve really slacked off on this, but when I had the enthusiasm and time I made little treat bags for the nursery workers. I have a HUGE appreciation for those who keep my children during church! Even if it’s just a little baggy with some candy and a tag that simply says “Thank You” it can bring a smile and I like to see smiles.
Well, I hope that was somewhat interesting. It’s nothing new or fancy, but I hope you found it helpful. What good ideas do you have? Please let me know what has helped you effectively communicate.