Appointment Kits and Pastor Packets

Do you want to set yourself apart from the crowd? (Shake your head and say yeeeesss) One great way to stand out is by creating quality appointment kits and pastor packets.

What’s the difference between the two? Let me explain briefly. Typically appointment kits are given out to an individual during a face to face appointment, though the use of them is not limited to that. The kit should be designed to give that financial partner what they need to start giving and further information on your ministry. Pastor’s packets are great for meetings with pastors, mailing prior to contacting a pastor/church, dropping off to a pastor/church, or made available for events and gatherings.

For the most part appointment kits and pastor packets have the same materials in them with a few exceptions (see below). Quality should be what you shoot for when creating the packets, whether those materials are made by professionals, yourself, or someone with a design background that wants to help.

During more normal, non-pandemic support raising times, having a great appointment kit and pastor packet is helpful in standing out and looking uber professional. During a pandemic I would almost call it crucial. Why? Well, several reasons, but particularly many in-person meetings and gatherings are being taken away as opportunities to connect with pastors and individuals. Situations pre-pandemic in which a worker would connect with pastors now may be happening virtually only or not happening at all. Pre-pandemic, a worker may have met with individuals at a church small group, and now that small group is happens virtually. Thus we need to be creative creating opportunities to share our stories.

For instance, take a denominational district gathering that happen virtually. What if you mailed out pastor packets to all of the pastors who “attended” the virtual gathering or sent it to a portion of the pastors whom you really enjoyed interacting with (depending on protocol within your organization for reaching out of course)? And the church small group that is now virtual: what if you mailed appointment kits out after (or prior) to meeting virtually? 

serban packet

PASTOR PACKETS

So let’s start with pastor packets — here are some items I recommend to have in yours:

  1. A nice envelope / folder to put everything into – something like these or these are just some examples
  2. Case Document
  3. Prayer Card
  4. Pastor Recommendation letter (see below)
  5. Any ministry pamphlets or print materials that are helpful from your specific organization / ministry
  6. Your organization’s commitment or pledge / commitment forms (may not be needed in all circumstances)
  7. **connect cards, Special note — you probably would not put these physically in the envelope / folder, but have ready to show the pastor if you plan on asking him/her if connect cards would be appropriate to use in his/her congregation
  8. ***videos of 1, 2, or 3 minute windows available for pastors who are doing online services only due to COVID-19, maybe on a thumb drive or not included in the actual packet — but given prior to giving pastor packet. here’s a link to further explanation see point #3b

serban packet 2

APPOINTMENT KITS

For appointment kits, I recommend gathering some of the following components:

  1. A nice envelope / folder to put everything into – something like these or these are just some examples
  2. Case Document (***special note, it’s helpful to create a version of this for individuals that DOES NOT outline your specific budget numbers but provides percentages reached instead — yes you’ll have to update them regularly – here’s why not to include budget details to individuals)
  3. Prayer Card
  4. Any ministry pamphlets or print materials that are helpful from your specific organization / ministry
  5. Giving Instructions: easily understood step by step instructions on how to give within your organization
  6. Your organization’s commitment or pledge / commitment forms
  7. Optional: Some type of visual/infographic on how much support you need to get to 100% – I call these LOG (Levels of Giving) charts (ie. 50 people at 50$, 15 people at 100$, 10 people at $150, 5 people at $200, etc.) Make it pretty!
  8. Optional but nice: A small gift or token for those who commit to support and/or pray
  9. Optional: fridge magnet so they can remember to pray for you.

Did you notice there are some items in the appointment kit that are not included in the pastor packet? Some reasoning for that is my preference for giving pastors less to sift through due to the lack of time they have. That being said, you may have something additional in your pastors packet because you’re likely brilliant and have thought of something genius I haven’t (if so tell me in the comments! I’m here for it!) — and I believe in most circumstances that is fine.

I hope this helps! If you have questions comment below. Lastly, see below for a pastor recommendation letter template to help create your own. You all are awesome! Keep going. – JF

Pastor Recommendation Letter:

Theis recommendation letter

 

Partnership Development and the Coronavirus Part 3

Part 3: Thoughts After 5 Months of Support Raising During a Pandemic

It’s July and we have been in the midst of this pandemic for 5 months now. Whew! Guys, I know we’ve been through a lot already! It still remains that 1. YOU’VE GOT THIS and 2. God is still on the throne and knows the times and the seasons.

I wrote a post back in April on 7 Things I Am Learning About Support Raising During A Pandemic, and wanted to write some more recent thoughts now that we’ve been getting adjusted to our temporary-who-knows-how-long normal. Here we go:

  1. MINSTER. It still remains a go-to in your to-do-list to continually check in with existing members of your partnership team, people that are in your life (whether or not they are on your support team), and churches. Ask them how they are doing and how you can be praying. Many church communities and individuals are in the midst of spikes in their area and may be experiencing stress and need some additional prayers! Text. DM. Send a postcard. Send kid artwork (if you have kids). Call them. Email. Etc. – you get the idea – say hi! Being a minister starts now, not once you get into your assignment.
  2. ADAPT. Zoom appointments and outside social distance appointments still count! If you are in a community experiencing high exposure, it’s possible you will need to adapt (meaning meet outside instead of inside, mask up, meet via Zoom, etc.) to meet with some on your list. That’s okay, still go for it. Remember that not everyone’s level of comfortability is the same so be willing to meet people where they are at. If you have to meet outside in the heat, try to pick a place in the shade or someplace with fans and/or copious amounts of ice water. It may no be 100% ideal but don’t let it stop you from making progress!
  3. CHURCHES. Churches are still sort of a mixed bag. Some churches are back to regular meetings. Some churches were back to regular meetings, but are now meeting online only again. Some churches have only been meeting online for a long time now. It’s likely that whatever the case, most pastors are met with new normals that have them on their toes. When reaching out to pastors for services stay sensitive and begin conversations by asking the pastor how they are doing in the midst of the pandemic (see #3 in the link). If now is not a good time for that pastor, ask if you can circle back with them in a couple of months (throw that in your calendar with notes on the conversation and stay organized). Here’s a couple of more thoughts on churches:
    1. Here’s a link for overall tips on contacting pastors. Check it out if your wanting to brush up on connecting with churches.
    2. Consider creating videos that share your presentation in a 2, 3, and 5 minute version. You can send that video to the pastor in advance of reaching out, and if that pastor has taken things online only he/she can use the video time segment that works for that pastor for online services. Make sure the video is well done and your communication is clear. Take care to explain how God called you, what you will be doing during your assignment, and what your strategy is for reaching the lost. **More information on a good 3 minute presentation outline can be found in the FPD Workbook. **Videos / streaming can potentially work for workers that are going to sensitive countries. Simply talk about the area or region you are going to during the video instead of specific placement, do not share proper nouns within your ministry, no last names, and consider being masked for the video (with explanation – perhaps with humor – as to why).
  4. KEEP GOING: A STORY. Recently a couple I coach reached 80% fully funded, and they started raising their support IN MARCH (that’s right the beginning of this pandemic thing. Glup). On the phone last week I asked what their secret sauce was, and they said to me “We just kept going as if the pandemic wasn’t going to effect our support raising.” They had Zoom appointments during shelter in place and kept their focus on reaching out for appointments, and now on the heels of August are close to 100% fully funded. Morale of the story is KEEP GOING! I believe that if we are confident during this season others will be confident in us. The need in our world is great right now, and the Great Commission isn’t waiting. The truth is if you are raising your support during this season, God called you to ministry during this season. He knew you would be raising support during a pandemic. Let that encourage your heart and don’t let the pandemic stop you from what God has called you to do now!
  5. IF YOUR CLOSE AND IT’S CLOSED: COMMUNICATE. Many people are asking what happens if they are heading overseas and the country they are going to is closed due to travel restrictions. The answer is of course varied, and if you find yourself in that position you should connect with your mentor about what that scenario looks like. Whatever the case though, keep in mind that most supporters are going to be very understanding if you reach 100% and have to be delayed in your travels due to the virus, particularly if it’s only a span of several months. In most cases you need not worry if you will loose support or find your supporters angry with you for things beyond your control. If you do find yourself in the situation of being at or close to 100% and you cannot travel, I would simply take care to communicate that you will be going as soon as it is safe and the travel restrictions lift. Also, let them know what you will be doing in the meantime to stay active (depending on your situation). It doesn’t have to have every detail or possible scenario (and in fact sometimes too many details are not helpful) to communicate that you are still committed and going as soon as you can.
  6. PERSPECTIVE. Overall, I’m seeing workers continually add to their partnership bases during this season and am actually overwhelmingly encouraged by progress. In so many ways, I think this season has a way of lending itself to perspective. It’s typical to look for reasons why not to work on raising support — and a pandemic is a really good excuse — I get it. But what I’m seeing is for those who continually work on it even though conditions haven’t been ideal — they have been met with regular increases in their budgets and their efforts have not been wasted. It really is what you make it, and it always has been when it comes to raising support. It’s likely there will always be something inconvenient about raising support, and likely there will be something “more important” to work on or a reason not to do it. My point is to check any reasons you are giving yourself permission to coast when it comes to raising support, and if you find yourself making the pandemic an excuse… fight to snap out of that (see #4). Stay the course. God called you now. Let’s do this!

I hope you find this helpful. 2020 is not at all what we expected, that’s to be sure, but praying in the midst of this season God fills your heart with strength and purpose. – JF

For this reason I bow my knees to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, from whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named, that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might through His Spirit in the inner man, that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height— to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God. Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen.

Ephesians 3:14-21

Case Documents

Okay everyone, let’s learn about a tool that can be very helpful in communicating your ministry assignment. Enter: the wonderful Case Document! There are a variety of situations in which creating your own Case Document can come in handy as you raise your support, so below I’ll describe what a Case Document is, situations in which Case Documents can be helpful, and provide you with some awesome examples. Let’s get to it.

What is a Case Document?

Think of Case Documents as a 1 to 2 page resume. It is a paper snapshot of you and your ministry. Case Documents should include:

  • A short introduction of who you are and your desire / passion to serve in your ministry. Consider sharing your calling to ministry.
  • A brief statement about where you are going and facts about the place you are serving.
  • What you’ll be doing and your ministry goals. Include your organization of course!
  • What your financial need is / budget information.
    • *It may be a good idea to have two versions of the Case Document. One version has your budget information and is good for pastors and churches. Having budget information for pastors is a good idea. Then create another version and take off the budget information. That one is better for individuals that may not need to know your exact budget information.
    • *For the version without budget details, include instead percentages of how far along you are percentage wise raising your budget and update it frequently.
  • Explain how the reader can help financially and pray (and even go if interested)! Include needed account numbers and contact information for anyone interested in giving.
  • Consider including an endorsement from prominent people in your ministry. (team leaders, pastors, etc.)

Case Documents should also include these vital elements:

  • A high quality photo (include family if married)
  • First and last name(s)
  • Needed logo(s) and branding from organization
  • Contact information
  • Giving information
  • Recommended: social media links
  • Recommended: your tagline
  • Recommended: photos of country or population / people in country or population you’ll be serving
  • Recommended: printed on quality paper!

How Can Case Documents Be Helpful?

Case Documents can be helpful for churches, district and sectional councils (pastor or ministry organization network events), emails or snail mail to pastors, back display tables at events or churches, fundraisers, events, etc. Think of them as a great way to show a level of professionalism, to share a quick summary of your ministry, and to provide a way for you to stand out among the crowd.

You may consider mailing out Case Documents or emailing them before contacting a pastor / church for a potential service or appeal. You can also carry them around with you for anyone you meet interested in hearing more about your ministry or use them as a information sheet on a back table of an event.

You can create your own Case Document using programs such as Pages or Publisher. If you have the room in your budget, consider getting them professionally made. I highly recommend that route if you don’t know your way around design. The better they look, the more you stand out! Some places I like to send people for case documents:

BHDesign

Commission Creative

5DCreative

Faith House Design Group

Examples of Case Documents

(all examples have had names, contact info, and location taken out for security purposes – so read between the lines!)

War case document the one copy

Walker case document theone PAG 2 copy 2

 

Ken Case Document copy

KKeen Case Document copy 2

 

Dieu Case Document copy

Dieu Case Document copy 2

 

Sul Case doc copy

Suli Case doc pg 2

Mill Case Document copyMil Case Document copy 2

 

Connect Cards are Awesome.

Have you ever spoken at your home church, small group, or fundraising event and gotten stuck at your back table talking to a particularly chatty individual? All the other people scurry to lunch before your conversation ends and you feel the wave of missed opportunities that just passed?  Whomp.

Insert a wonderful tool to help combat: connect cards!

What’s a connect card you ask? It’s a stack of cards you put on your display table, chairs of an event, and/or attach to Sunday morning’s bulletin. Connect cards give you the ability to follow up with interested people after a service or event is over, and is an effective tool all about facilitating more face-to-face appointments and building relationships with the body of Christ. Below there are some examples of connect cards from various workers I coach. (thanks guys!)

Now, don’t go off quite yet and make your own. I want to explain something important first – here we go – pay attention: keep in mind that connect cards are only appropriate in certain circumstances.

“Connect cards are only meant for events, services, and small groups where you have gotten permission to connect personally with individuals about giving.”

Connect cards should only be used when they fall in accordance with a pastor / leader’s protocol in giving. So don’t assume that these cards can be placed on chairs of a congregation without communication or sneakily stuck into bulletins on a Sunday morning. Connect cards are only meant for events, services, and small groups where you have gotten permission to connect personally with individuals about giving.

Why is this so important? Well, a lot of churches do their missions / ministry giving by collecting offerings and disbursing where the church leadership collectively decides. That means if you were to come into that congregation and ask all the people inside to give to you personally, it may mess up what the pastor, board, and leadership of the congregation has decided to give to. You DO NOT want to be that person. #boo

Thus, connect cards are preferably only when you ask the pastor / leader “how does your congregation do missions / ministry giving?” If they say you may connect with individuals inside of the congregation on your own, ONLY THEN do connect cards come into play.

Connect cards are ideal when speaking to your home church (after you’ve figured out the protocol with your pastor on giving), small groups, fundraising events, and the like. If you do use connect cards, make sure to explain them from the platform in which you are speaking from – letting everyone know how to fill them out and what they are for.

I hope these help you as you seek to build out new relationships as you interact with the body of Christ! See the examples below and have fun building yours!

Connection Form PDF copypostcard-3.5inx5.5in-h-front

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How to Contact Pastors for Financial Support

Do you ever wonder what is the best way to ask a pastor for financial support? Perhaps you are like a lot of christian workers I know, trying to figure out how to get started. This video goes into some of the basics – I hope you find it helpful. – JF

Side note – I created this video using PowToon. PowToon is a great site that has numerous templates for video or slideshows. Think about creating your own video for newsletters, social media posts, or anything else that you need to add some dynamic. Videos add a lot to whatever you are trying to convey. Right? Right. Do you have any video sites you like to use? 

6 Practical Tips For Connecting With Pastors

If you aren’t used to it, contacting a pastor to ask for financial partnership can be confusing and scary. When I began calling pastors I would break out in a cold sweats and “umm’ed” a lot the moment I got a pastor on the phone.

However scary it can be, pastors / local church congregations are a great source of financial and prayer support. Thus I’ve put together a short list of tips to help calm those jitters and give some good starting places for those of you who share the same cold sweats and umm’s as I once did. I hope these help!

1.Start your journey by speaking with your home church pastor. 

Connecting with your home church pastor is one of the first things you should do when you begin raising up your support team. Start by setting up a meeting with your home church pastor. When you meet explain your ministry and share the specifics of your financial need. Ask if there is any protocol or advice your pastor has as it relates to financial partnership development. If you would like to get a monthly commitment from your home church, now is the time to ask. If you would like to get members from your church on your financial partnership team, ask your pastor for permission to invite them into partnership. He/She will appreciate you filling them in on your plans, and probably will be able to give you helpful tips and hints. The more communication you have with your home church pastor, the better.

2. Remember each church and pastor is different so accommodate accordingly. 

There are numerous ways to try and connect with pastors. Unfortunately the process is not cut-and-dry and can depend pastor to pastor. Try a variety of ways based off of their style, church feel (is it more modern or classic?), and what you know about the pastor / church. Do your homework before contacting a pastor and find out what programs their church has, what type of feel the service is, etc. As the process of connecting with a pastor may not be the same every time, here are some good ideas of what it should look like:

Your contact process should look something like:

Email or snail mail with pastors packet → phone call pastor → meeting with pastor → church service

Facebook message to pastor → get response from pastor → meeting with pastor → church service

Phone call to pastor → get response from pastor (may have to call numerous times before pastor answers) → meeting with pastor → church service

Whatever you think is the best way to contact, make it creative and memorable. Seek creative ways for pastors to remember you and the ministry you represent. When you do speak at a service or visit a church your goal is to make a dynamic and lasting impression on the pastor and the congregation. Whenever possible present with a another medium besides your words – use video, testimony, display tables, etc.

Talking-on-the-phone-GIF
3. Communicate clearly. Have a phone script handy if it helps. 

When you get a pastor on the phone or have a face-to-face meeting with a pastor, here are some helpful topics to clarify:

  1. Would they like you to share at a service?
  2. If so:
    1. How long would he/she like you to speak?
    2. What is the order of service?
    3. What is the dress protocol?
    4. What are the service times?
    5. Is there a prayer meeting or Sunday school you can attend before service? (definitely do this!)
  3. How does their missions giving work? Is there any protocol that exists?
  4. Would the church be interested in giving a monthly commitment?
  5. Are there any opportunities for you to engage with the congregation / serve the congregation outside of regular church service?
  6. If the church does commit monthly, what would the best way to update the congregation be as you are in your field of service? Paper newsletter? Emailed newsletter? Video update?

If you think you’ll miss an important question on the phone due to nervousness or just because it is hard to remember everything – create a simple phone script to use when calling. Include some or all of the above questions and write out what you want to say. Use that phone script at least until you become comfortable talking to pastors on the phone.

4. Consider reaching some pastors via Facebook if you have a preexisting relationship with them.youve-got-mail-gif-tom-hanks-send

Some recent statistics I have seen within my organization have shown that pastors are checking their Facebook messages faster than they are their office phones. Be careful which pastors you ask over Facebook as Facebook often is a pastor’s personal space. For those pastors you already have relationship with, I wouldn’t hesitate to reach out via Facebook if you are having a hard time reaching them on the phone.

5. Make a Pastor’s Packet

Pastor’s packet are for churches, events, small groups, and great for emails and snail mail to pastors. They include information on yourself and the ministry you are working with. By the use of simple graphics and a good looking template, the Pastor’s Packet can show a level of professionalism that you want to have and that pastors will be looking for. Write it almost like a colorful resume. Here’s a simple outline:

Outline of a Pastor’s Packet:

Page 1: Color photo (include family if married) and our calling to ministry and your spiritual testimony

Page 2-3: Ministry experience, education, and training

Page 2-3: Description of ministry target and problems you ministry attempts to solve

Page 3-4: Your ministry strategy and outcomes

Page 3-4: Financial explanation/appeal 

6. Don’t give up and don’t get discouraged!

Don’t give up in calling or seeking out pastors. It’s true, they are busy people and can sometimes be hard to get ahold of. Give them the benefit of the doubt though, generally their busyness is for a good reason. Be kind and gracious with pastors and never start to feel a sense of entitlement for their congregation’s commitment or for the pastor to even call you back. Always put the ball in your court when it comes to contacting a pastor, and always be kind.

Typically it may take upwards of 10-15 phone calls before you are able to reach a pastor. That’s okay, just stick with it and don’t give up.

Treat your time with churches and pastors as ministry, not as merely support raising. Seek ways to bring messages of hope, healing, and blessing to the church today. Ask the Holy Spirit for a special word for the pastor and congregation. Be ready to pray for anyone the Lord brings your way. Be the first to arrive and the last to leave.

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Remember in all of this: you are following God in your calling in a radical and dedicated way, and you are also ALREADY a minister in the body of Christ. Just by EXISTING you are inspiring and provoking (in a good way!). In this season you have the opportunity to inspire others in the body of Christ to follow the path God has called them to, whatever that looks like for them. Use the platform / coolness God has given you to inspire! And don’t forget to communicate your needs clearly and in an honoring way to the pastor and the body of Christ. Have fun out there, it’s a great experience to challenge and call the body of Christ to join in the Great Commission!