By Les Christie
There are many ways to make the telephone work for your ministry promotion. These ideas can save you time and energy – and dramatically boost your promotional ministry’s effectiveness.
Answering Machine Hotline
You can buy a telephone answering machine for as little as $20. Each week, record a new, creative message on the answering machine that highlights upcoming events and activities. Or, choose a wise saying from the book of Proverbs and record a parody of a popular TV program or commercial to communicate the proverb’s message.
For example, you could record a parody of Robin Leach introducing “Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous” using Proverbs 23:4-5. At the end of your message, read the proverb and challenge callers to choose one way to help the poor this week.
Publish a Bible trivia question in your church newsletter. The first group member to call you or your answering machine with the correct answer wins a prize. Great prizes are contemporary Christian music cassettes or CDs, posters, T-shirts, food coupons, or even cash. This idea really works; just ask the disc jockeys at your local rock stations. To generate even more involvement and interest, move your Bible trivia question around in each newsletter.
Make your answering machine into a Fun Fone. Offer contests of all kinds over the line. Get different people to read your message and ask people to “name the voice” for prizes.
Use random call-in awards. Whenever you change your message, invite the first caller to leave his or her name to receive a special prize. This keeps people calling to see if they can get a chance to win. For example, offer a prize for the call closest to 11:00 a.m. on Wednesday. You’ll have people calling repeatedly, using their kids’ names. It’s fun, and everyone gets the message about an upcoming event.
Some phones have voice-mail systems that allow you to do broadcast dialing. Set up your phone lists and program them into a computer through a touch-tone phone. Record a message and let the computer call everyone in your church group with an invitation to Sunday night’s event. It’s a quick way to make 30 or 300 calls in less than two minutes!
Sind “Happy Birthday” Over the Phone
If you have a computer at home or work, keep an up-to-date birthday list of all your members on it. At the beginning of each day, check your list and treat your birthday people to your best rendition of “Happy Birthday” over the phone. Your members will know that you care about them as individuals, not just as members of the group.
This idea is far from new, but it works. It is simply a way to organize getting the word out to as many people as possible.
Step 1: Collect the names and phone numbers of as many people as possible – anyone who is eligible to attend your special meetings.
Step 2: Appoint or elect a telephone chairperson. Choose someone who is a real go-getter and can motivate people. He or she is in charge of every telephone blitz. You’ll also need to appoint or elect a transportation chairperson (see Step 6).
Step 3: The telephone chairperson recruits callers who are responsible for calling up to ten people the evening before the meeting you’re pushing. (If you have a list of one hundred people to call, you’ll need ten callers.) The chairperson should give each caller his or her list of people to call at least two or three days in advance.
Step 4: On the day of the telephone blitz (usually the day before the special meeting), the telephone chairperson calls his or her callers and reminds them to get going. The callers then call their ten people and invite them to tomorrow’s meeting. Each caller should know the details of the meeting, such as time, place, what the program will be, and so on. If someone says he or she would like to come to the meeting, but doesn’t have a ride, the caller should inform the person to be ready at a specific time and someone will come by and pick him or her up. Each caller should be prepared to answer questions.
Step 5: After the callers have called all of the people on their lists, they report to the chairperson how many people are coming, not coming, not available, need rides, etc.
Step 6: The telephone chairperson then calls the transportation chairperson who has lined up drivers to pick up people. The two chairpersons work out a plan for picking up people. The transportation chairperson then calls the available drivers and assigns them people who need rides.
Article “Telephone Ideas” excerpted from “Great Promotion and Publicity Ideas for Ministry”. Written by Les Christie.
“This article may not be written by an Apostolic author, but it contains many excellent principles and concepts that can be adapted to most churches. As the old saying goes, “Eat the meat. Throw away the bones.”