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BETA08: Five Options Better than the Connection Card



It’s the most difficult part of Church Online. You’ll have hundreds, maybe thousands of viewers online. But who are these people? How can your church serve them spiritually? Church is more than that one-hour on Sunday. How can we get these people engaged in the rest of your church? The Connection Card can do it. You beg for those connection cards to get filled out... and unfortunately no matter what you do, people just don’t fill these online forms out. THERE ARE BETTER OPTIONS! Just in time for those Christmas Services, join us as we discuss five better options than the connection card.

Like the BETA SHOW? Check out more episodes here.

Answering Your Questions: THE BETA SHOW

We've launched a new show over here at THECHURCH.DIGITAL. But we need your help. Text your questions to 4THECHURCH (484/324-8724) and we'll answer them here on THE BETA SHOW. Seriously. Grab the phone. Text 484/324-8724 and tell us your questions. Where you're stuck. What questions you're asking of leadership. What questions leadership is asking of you... and let TCD help your church take some practical next steps, and give you some advice on how to BETA the situation at your church.

If you're enjoying BETA, subscribe for free using your favorite podcast app below:

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Co-Host: Rey DeArmas
Christ Fellowship Miami Online
Twitter // Facebook // Instagram

Host: Jeff Reed
Twitter // Facebook // Instagram // LinkedIn


  • The What & Why of Connection Card.
  • Why Connection Cards Don't Work (and How to Fix It).
    • Connection Card requests too much information.
    • Users don't trust you with their personal information.
    • Connection Card not easily accessible on all platforms.
  • The answer we may not want to hear.
    • Barna (2020): 70% of Non-Christians not interested in Online Church Services.
    • Barna (2020): 90% of Non-Christians (after having a conversation about faith with a Christian in past year) reported the "conversation went well".
  • Five Things Better than Connection Card.
    • Text "Connect" to ######.
    • Facebook Group: within the Facebook Group continually build relationships with people.
    • Follow up (1 on 1) on anyone who likes, comments, or shares your Social Media Post/Online Service.
    • Sign up for the Next Step Event (and offer that event "regularly").
    • Shareable content, and train people to personally follow up on the digital invite.
  • Text your Digital/Phygital Church questions to 4THECHURCH - 484/324-8724


We know these conversations are out there are hard. Even the best of churches haven't figured out... If this podcast is helping you and your church work through what Church Online is, then help us impact other churches! Take a moment and leave us a brief review!

By leaving a positive ranking and review of THECHURCH.DIGITAL PODCAST & THE BETA SHOW on iTunes, you're helping to get this podcast in front of new people who are most likely asking the same questions you are. Head over to that Ratings & Review section on iTunes and drop a good word for us!

Feedback on the podcast is vital as well. Leave comments on the podcast, or comment on this post! I'd love to know your thoughts and how we can serve your church better.

Love you all! Praying for your Churches and your Ministry Online.

Jeff Reed

THE BETA SHOW Transcript

Jeff Reed (00:01):
Hey, welcome to The Beta Show. Episode eight here. I'm Jeff with The Church Digital Podcast and Stadia Church Planting. I'm normally introducing Rey DeArmas, Digital Pastor of Christ Fellowship Miami. For whatever reason, he's not going to join us today. Let's just pretend that he is fa la laing at la la la. So it's going to be me. It's going to be solo and it's gonna be awesome. Hey, so we normally do these on Wednesday. we actually had, I wanted to take a break from, doing the beta show. I just got so excited on this topic. It's like, let's, let's do a broadcast anyway, just me, but tomorrow, Wednesday, we're doing The Cray Show. We're gonna have some fun, you know, kind of like trying to offer some levity in this holiday season tomorrow, Wednesday, we're doing the top five unofficial top five ranking of geek Christmas movies.

Jeff Reed (00:49):
So yeah, it's, it's the holidays. I'm having fun. We can do it tomorrow, Wednesday, but I was so motivated by this topic. I had so many questions in such a short amount of time dealing on this one topic. It's like, Hey, we got to do a special episode just for this. Let me clear my calendar. It's crazy. Yeah, it's the holidays. Yeah. There's so many other things to do. Yeah, but we've got to talk about this beta episode eight here. Here's the challenge. Top five options, better than the connection card. Top five options better than the connection card. Alright. Let's, let's drill in some detail here. Let me make sure we're talking about the same thing. the what and the why of the connection card. When I'm literally talking about the connection card in physical space, it's usually it's that form that's in the worship folder or it's in the chair backs where your visitors are filling out things like their name, their email address.

Jeff Reed (01:38):
They're signing up for, you know, a service option or signing up for a small group. They're given a prayer request. It's that point of engagement and physical space where you are trying to get people information physically to get them engaged into your engagement pathway, discipleship process, anything other than the one hour on Sunday. So that's what a connection card is. And it's brutally important. It is so important because church is more than the one hour on Sunday, right? We know that I don't need, I don't need to beat that up, but we want to do more ministry than just that one hour on Sunday. The goal, the great commission is to go and make disciples. And that disciple-making process is more than just the one hour on Sunday. So we know what the connection card is. We're, we're looking at it right here. Let's talk about why it doesn't work.

Jeff Reed (02:26):
And maybe if you're interested, what, what do we do to, to fix it? Okay. So here we go. Let's look at number one here, the first point of why it doesn't work, and simply put it's, you're asking way too much personal information. Okay. Look, I'm cold to the church. I'm cold to your organization. I'm cold to Christ. I see some random video pop up on my Facebook feed and I'm engaging in and I'm watching this video. I do not want to give you my cell phone number. I do not want to give you my email address. I don't want to get spam emails from you. I don't want you to blow up my inbox and I don't want calls. I don't like talking to people. I don't like getting texts from people. I don't know. And so all of these personal information that you're trying to engage you, the church, you're trying to engage with people that are cold to Christ.

Jeff Reed (03:16):
Well, frankly, put there, they're not interested in connecting with you in those platforms because they don't know what you're going to do with the information. How much are you going to spam them to blow them up? How much of a harassment is going to be personal information like the cell phone and like the email address while it's very popular for you, easy for you, the church to engage with it. It's not going to work well for people who are called to Christ. And that's different. I would suggest that than physical because at physical people trust you enough to go to your property. Pre COVID even mid COVID. I think there's a trust level with physical people. You're reaching a broader reach of people digitally. And so some of that personal information, yeah, you want to give it for the database, but it's not going to connect well with the people.

Jeff Reed (04:02):
Don't want to give it to you. In addition to that, oftentimes the connection cards requesting too much information. I swear I clicked on that and it didn't go, too much information, too soon. I don't want to give you I person cold to Christ, cold to church, cold to your organization. I don't want to give you all my kids' birthdays. I don't want to give you my anniversary. I'm not interested in all of this information. So often churches use that connection card tied into like the database for the church. And here are the 47 fields that have to be filled out in order to effectively create a database record in the church management system. Okay, look, online's different. You're going to reach a lot of people and those lots of people aren't interested in giving you 47 records of data to put into the system.

Jeff Reed (04:51):
You may need to consider doing another strategy here. And the third part, the connection card is not easily accessible on all platforms. How do you connect to the connection card on Facebook, on, on Instagram, live on, on YouTube? Where is that information, available? It's oftentimes it's not connection card strongly featured in church, online platform, but a lot of these other areas it's difficult to get to. You've got to read through the comments on Facebook to find the appropriate time to go to it. And so just for whatever reason, you're not seeing a lot of engagement when it comes to the connection card. Like if you're honest, look at yourself and evaluate for your church, you're probably not feeling it now. Let's keep pulling that honesty thread. And this honestly may not be the answer that we want to hear. Online services are struggling in context of reaching people called to Christ.

Jeff Reed (05:46):
Now there is reach towards it, but is it effective in engaging in getting those connection cards? And some of that, honestly, there's, there's a movement here where we're discovering, looking at data. That's coming back in that the online services overall may not be as effective in reaching people digitally as, as we had hoped just even this week, Barna has released a, a digital evangelism report partnering with, alpha. And so digital evangelism, what does it look like interviewing 13, 1500 Americans today, Christians non-Christians some of the stuff that's come out of it. 70% of non-Christians are not interested in online church services. Like that's a fat American, non-Christians are not 70%. Okay. 30% is 70%. The majority is not, they're not interested in online church services. This is a fascinating stat to me. This is also in that same Barnet digital evangelism report here.

Jeff Reed (06:45):
90% of non-Christians after having a conversation about faith with a Christian within the past year. So I talked about faith, last person, cold to Christ had a conversation with a Christian physically or digitally 90% of the non-Christians reported that the conversation went well. I think sometimes we, as Christians were afraid of, you know, the wrath of the Twittersphere and saying something and offending and, and 90% have reported that the conversation went well. So the fear that we have in, in not sharing our faith online, honestly, from the non-Christian perspective, we're learning from Barna. They're not feeling it. So, Hey, maybe there is a better opportunity for us to not do the services for evangelism, but to do something different and start to take personal relationships. And through those relationships connect people to Christ. So that's a whole other conversation, by the way, if you want to read that Barna report, it's on

Jeff Reed (07:48):
There's a short link at And so you can get, Barnas a report there towards hybrid church that they did with stadia the alpha it's at Barna, the alpha evangelism, both reports are phenomenal, super exciting to see real life stats coming in real time. Well, Hey, I've stalled a lot here. Let's get to the meat of it. Five things that we can do better than the connection card, five things that work better than the connection card. All right, look, here we go. Number one, text connect to whatever the reason this is better is if I'm on Facebook, if I'm on YouTube, if I'm on all these platforms, the connection cards not easily accessible. And now if I'm on Facebook on a, on a mobile phone, it's full screen, and I've got to scroll around to try to find the connection card I made like disconnect from the video entirely because iOS, the video goes full screen and you can't connect with it always and firmware and blah, blah, blah.

Jeff Reed (08:47):
Look. Sometimes it's just easier to have a completely separate option. So the text connect to whatever, or here's the, the church, make it easily accessible for people to get to the connection card, regardless of whatever platform you're on. Now, it's an interesting challenge. Even here with the text to connect. Look, I just said, I don't want to give you my cell phone number. And now you want me to use my cell phone number to text you what, what I want. And so people are going to be hesitant to call people to Christ. You're going to be hesitant to go this route. Maybe it's worth doing, but there's going to be some hesitancy towards it. So, so know that that going in Facebook groups, to me, this is a huge win organizationally because while I person called the Christ, I don't want to give you my cell phone because I don't want you constantly harassing me.

Jeff Reed (09:43):
And there's really no way easy way for me to block you. And I don't want to give you my email address because you're going to constantly harass me with things that I'm not interested in. And you, you may or may not unsubscribed correctly. It, when I, when I click on subscribe to the email, Facebook gives me person called the Christ user. It gives me complete power to say, I never want to hear from you again, couple simple mouse clicks can block. So for a situation of dialoguing with somebody doing this via a Facebook group, doing it via the Facebook platform is incredibly easy. So even things like, Hey, you know what? Jumping in this Facebook group, and when they jump in the Facebook group, you get the handle automatically on Facebook. Similarly, dialoguing on the Facebook platform right now, some churches have reported 40%, engagement response using Facebook messenger.

Jeff Reed (10:37):
So in other words, a person called the Christ. I reach out to them directly via Facebook messenger. Churches are reporting back as high as 40% of those response of those requests of those dialogues come back. 40% of the time, the person, your Facebook messaging is going to reply back to you. That is an incredibly high response. If you look at email, you're lucky. If you get 40% of opens, much less 40% of responses, try, try calling people and see if you get 40% of of responses back. Facebook messenger is very high. I've actually had industry standard. Tell me outside of the church, as high as 80% of people are responding to Facebook messenger. And so getting that Facebook address and then dialoguing with them getting their Facebook profile and dialoguing them through the groups through the messenger is a big way to build relationships. If you get people fed into a group, now you have access to that group to continually build relationships, create content that gets engagement that gets them warm to the idea of Christ or warm to the idea of who you are.

Jeff Reed (11:45):
And through those relationships continually funnel them up. Here's another one talking about Facebook and social media follow up individually. Like one-on-one on anyone who likes comments or shares your social media post or online service. Once again, utilizing that Facebook messenger method or Instagram direct service, do whatever you've got to do to engage with those people, directly. So if they like it, that gives you permission to reach out, ask questions like, Hey, how can I serve you? How can I pray for you? What can I do for you in ministry? How can I, how can I care for you? How can I help you spiritually start to really dialogue through these things and give them an option, give them an opportunity to engage in and follow up. Don't be afraid just because they like something that gives you permission to reach out. They don't like you.

Jeff Reed (12:35):
They won't reply. They don't like you they'll block you. But the fact that they liked what you said means that they're already a little bit warmer because they, they, they digested a smaller piece of content, which is giving you an opportunity to move forward. I've had a couple of churches tell this one to me. I I'm, I'm intrigued by it. And so I would suggest maybe some of you guys experiment with this rather than, you know, filling out a connection card. That means now I have to pick up the phone, email, follow up with that person directly. And which means like there's nothing accountable towards it. They can just ignore. I've had a couple churches tell me they've had rapport, success with this. Instead of just filling out a form that goes to some email lists that, you know, they may or may not have replied to have them fill out the form, which plugs them in immediately into a next steps class and to learn about the church into a one-on-one where there's like immediate application towards it.

Jeff Reed (13:32):
So they're not just filling out the card to do nothing. They're filling out the card to sign up for something. And the flip side of this, which I could see this working as a one-two punch. If you're going to sign up for something, you need to do it frequently and regularly enough that there's a payoff towards it. Instead of doing that membership once a month, maybe you do it, not membership that next steps class, instead of doing that once a month, maybe you're doing it every week for the, for the month of January and just regularly offering those, those steps. So as people in this Christmas season are getting maybe watching services, getting connected. There's an immediate step to get them to sign up for these, these new next steps, new member type classes on line, where they're engaging with it in immediate time, I've had, I've had churches tell me they've had a huge signal.

Jeff Reed (14:22):
Listen, there's an opportunity here for the people, just like they're going to blow off that email. They're going to blow off that next steps class. You will have a percentage I had at a church, tell me, Hey, 80%, blew us off. And another church that 60% of people signed up blew us off. The, the, the fact though there is okay, but you got 20% that showed up. You got 40% that, that actually followed through correctly with it. Would you have gotten that 40%? If you tried to reach them via email, build the relationships it's, it's kind of the microwave approach. You kind of skipping a couple steps to get it in. It's not going to work for everybody. but it's, I think it's better than just getting, asking a whole bunch of information and then not being able to follow up. Let me give you number five here.

Jeff Reed (15:08):
Now we're flying through this, right? I missed the follow-up comments from you, man. I could really use a drink of water, but let me get to number five here. Number five, shareable content with the asterisk of, Oh, by the way, train people to personally follow up on the digital invite. So as a church and we see this also with, with the Barnard report, I don't have the exact number in my head, but I think it was 50 50% of people are looking to be trained, to share their faith. And they're looking for 50% of Christians are looking for the church to equip them with tools, to, share their faith and digital tools, to share about the church. They want resources given to them. Barna, look at it. the state it's got the link they're looking for resources, give them resources, give them graphics, give them video clips, let them share this stuff on social media.

Jeff Reed (16:03):
52% of people said in that same Barna report, 52% of people said it is important for them in their faith to share information about their faith on their social media channels. And they see value in that. And for us, it's funny. I say that I don't want to give out my cell phone number. I just got a spam call on my cell phone number while I'm doing this 52% of people want to share their faith digitally church, give them assets that, that look good, that are effective in connecting the people that are seeing them to, to your church, to your services online. But what's interesting at the same time, let's train people. Let's train the people who have these digital assets, the follow up. Hey, you had 10 people who liked that social media graphic about your Christmas church service coming up personally, invite them to watch one of the online services with you.

Jeff Reed (17:01):
People are cold to the idea of church services, largely because they don't like the church. They don't like what the institution has come. Some of the stances. And I don't want to get into the political things, but at the end of this, I don't know that people are really called to Christ as much as maybe they're turned off by what they perceive the church is, you know, gone. The actually said this, I love Jesus. It's the Christians that I don't like. They're so unlike Christ. And so sometimes, unfortunately in this season, I think we're seeing that people are perceiving some negativity towards the church. When in fact, the church maybe has an opportunity to recover from that. And how we recover from that is through individuals. So Susie sharing a graphic, a Christmas service is one thing that's awesome. People will see it. Susie.

Jeff Reed (17:53):
Then following up with everybody who engaged on that social media post, or Susie using that, not to put it just on social media, but to text that directly to 10 of her, of her friends, within her circle of influence, and then personally invite via text, Hey, come be part of a church service with me. Well, those people who are called to Christ and cold to your organization are suddenly warming up because they like Susie. They're not telling your, your organization who they don't know. No they're telling their friends, Susie, no, by the way, we talked earlier through this, that 90% of unsaved people have lost people. People who are called to Christ, aren't offended in these conversations with people like Susie. If we want to win in this season, the future of the church is one where we're equipping people. We're equipping Susie and we're releasing Susie digitally to engage with her people and point them to Christ.

Jeff Reed (18:49):
And so as effective as it is for the connection cards to possibly engage people to our organization, things like this, honestly are another step towards how we should be empowering the Susie's of our church, the 99, the people who are already engaged into our church and getting them connected to the church to Christ. So, Hey, this has been great. So we're going to post all this on, on YouTube. We're going to post it over at The Church Digital obviously. Look in this Christmas season. We want to see, we, Stadia Church Planting. We, The Church Digital. Me. We want to see churches thrive. We want to see disciples made. We want to see people take a step closer to a greater understanding of Christ and all of those steps work through relationships. So whether the connection card works, whether it doesn't, whether some of these other things that we talk about, work or don't. These next steps for your church for it to be effective 2021 and beyond all center around building these relationships. So we'll listen, we are, we're going to wrap here. This has been a great time. Thank you for this. Hey, we're going to be back tomorrow with The Cray Show, goofing off with Rey, special guest host, Tyler Sansom from Church Anywhere talking about, listen, how bad is this segway? Literally going from like relational evangelism to the top five, unofficial geeky, Christmas movies, but Hey, you know what? It's 2020. We're just living a crazy life. So if we're going to wrap, thanks everybody. Y'all have a good day.

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About Author

Jeff Reed
Jeff Reed

With about 20 years experience serving the church in the digital/technological realm, Jeff loves working with churches. As passionate about Discipleship as he is Technology, Jeff uses his passion to help Churches develop technology systems to bring people far from God closer to him. Oh, and he loves Digital Church & Church Online.

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