follow up

Using Feedback Forms To Stay Focused On Your Vision

Step 1. Have a vision. 

Step 2. Have a plan.

Step 3. Realize that a plan never goes as planned as soon as it’s put into action. 

Managing a team isn’t just about barking orders. We know that. It’s about supporting a team. It’s about helping the team accomplish it’s collective goal. And in order to effectively do this week-in and week-out we need some sort of feedback loop. 

Being the new guy in any organization can be daunting. It seems like everyone else knows what’s expected and all you can do is wander around until you walk “out of bounds”. When I first became a campus pastor I started to realize that not only was I the new guy in town, I was also hiring and recruiting new leaders who would have the same conundrum as me. We would all be wandering around until we got our hand slapped. We had to come up with some kind of solution that would ensure that team leaders stay focused on the important things, as well as to have a place to share what was and wasn’t working. 

And so the feedback form was born. 

Our feedback form helped to maintain a basic level of focus for any given Sunday and was quick enough to do on your phone before you went home. 

And because it was a simple step before closing up shop, it helped to maintain our consistency without requiring a weekly 1:1 meeting between every team lead and their supervisor. 

Each feedback form was a variation of the following (you can see a sample from here ). 

When creating a feedback form for a team the following two types of questions should be included: 

1. Standard objectives

What minimum expectations do you have for each weekend experience or event? Do you want volunteer teams to pray every week? Do you want them to be ready for guests by a certain time? What standard elements should be present week in and week out. Ask specific yes or no questions related to each of those elements.

2. Free Form

Leave some open ended questions to allow your team to share what went well that weekend and what needs to be addressed in the future.

(Pro Tip: include a spot for each team leader to list what they are going to focus on fixing for the next weekend. This helps to ensure this form is a focusing form and not a complaint outlet, hoping someone else will address the problems.)

 

Then close the loop. Share with the entire team an overview of the weekend’s feedback and the top objectives for the coming week. In fact you may even start sending a more formal email every week to help motivate and focus your team (see "How To Write Emails Your Volunteers Will Actually Read")

Have a vision, have a plan, and give your team the tools to help adjust the plan as it meets reality.  

3 Ways To Level Up Your Preaching

We take our jobs seriously. We know that if we want to have a greater impact we need to constantly be improving. If we are going to lead our church to the next level we need to take our skills to the next level and nothing gets stage time like preaching.

It’s time to level up your preaching.

  1. Address the group’s specific need.
    Think of Paul, why did he write his letters? He wasn’t their pen pal, he was addressing what they were dealing with. Know what your church needs to learn in order to take their next step. Know what they (as a whole) are dealing with….then address that.
     
  2. Step up your follow up.
    How are you engaging your audience on Wednesday? Reach out to them by email, social media or any other appropriate channel you use and encourage them. Help them remember what you talked about that weekend. What was your message application? Send them some helpful tips or further study on the topic.
     
  3. Make it a spiritual experience.
    It’s church. It’s already a spiritual experience, right? Help your church expect God’s movement. Tell them that you’ve been praying and prepping for this message. Tell them God has them here because he loves them. Tell them He wants to know them more. Tell them God is moving, even if it’s a still small voice. Because he is, it’s church after all.

Add any one of these to your workflow and you have successfully leveled up your preaching. Congrats. Your church is worth it.

One Simple Way to Find Stories In Your Church

As communicators we are always looking for great stories to help highlight the lives being changed in your audience. Real stories highlight show your audience that there are people just like them in your church. They “reward” people for living out their faith and they are far more compelling then statistics or generic stories you found online. But where do you find them? 

You just have to know how to ask. 

stories

1. Call to Action

Finding great stories starts with a call to action. At the conclusion to each sermon great communicators help their audience identify their next step. They help them apply what they’ve been teaching to the lives of their audience. If you’re really thinking ahead, you ask them to commit to taking that next step and to tell you that they are doing so. Many churches use some form of follow up card to have their audience indicate how they are going to put the lesson into action. 

2. Follow Up

If your audience has indicated they are taking a next step, follow up mid week with some additional tools or encouragement to follow through on their next step. 

3. Go Back and Ask

If you’ve been tracking those next steps, go back and ask the list of people who committed to take a specific next step how it went. Invite them to share their story. 

The stories are there, you just have to know who to ask. 

The stories are there, you just have to know who to ask.

Not only is sharing a community members story powerful, it’s rewarding, for you, your audience and your “sharer”. Look for opportunities to collect those stories. File them away (in Evernote) and look for the perfect opportunity to share them.  

Question of the day: What’s the "close to home" life change story you’ve yet to share with your audience?