A Pastor's Perspective 09-26-2023

If you’ve been around Snyder for any amount of time, it’s quite likely you’ve sung, “There’s a Sweet…Spirit in this place…it’s the presence of the Lord,” a hymn whose strains are baked into our DNA and which expresses itself in warmth and connection. It’s the buzz of conversation and laughter around a table on Wednesday night or before worship. It’s Snyder’s open-armed posture toward our community and our world. It’s the hard work of ministers, staff and laypersons alike to engage new folks and new families in a way that is personal and sincere. And for many of our first time and returning guests - they’ve watched a worship service online; scrolled through our social media; and they take a deep breath and join us in-person one Sunday morning for worship, eventually trusting us with their name, quite often their email and sometimes even their phone number and physical address. We don’t take this information lightly. It engages our pastor, our ministers and staff and our deacons, and lets us follow-up on the personal welcome and greeting we’ve already extended in worship.
This coming Sunday we are introducing a new system to collect this information. On a pew card in the late service and on a chair-back sticker in the early service (see example on front page), guests, at any point before or during our worship - and even other events such as weddings, meals, and recitals - will be able to conveniently scan a QR Code with their phone camera and go to a form on our website where the information they share there will be a starting point for future conversations and connection. We believe this system will help us gather more accurate and more complete information, will allow us to make quicker contact and will increase our chances to make a personal connection with a first-time guest.
You may be familiar with a ministry axiom that goes something like this: The methods of how we share and present the Good News of Jesus can change, but the message remains the same. In similar fashion, the method of how we gather crucial information from guests will be changing from use of the Friendship Pads to the QR Code system described above, but the message of connection remains at the heart of it. And of course, data - whether gathered on a sheet of paper or a form on a website - will never replace the warmth and feeling of a personal greeting and welcome in the name of Jesus.
See you Sunday!
Blake Benge, Richard Suggs and Giles Blankenship
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