Newton Cowan, Transitional Director of Pastoral Care

Part of my role is to be staff support for the Discipleship Committee.  I will say this committee is on fire with the Holy Spirit to welcome visitors and guest as well as facilitate ways to engage everyone.

In our meeting last week, Matt Logan, who is still working part-time with Discipleship, spoke about the information we gather from the QR code and I thought this was an important time to share some of that information.

I do realize that some of you would like to see the return of the Welcome pads.  Please understand that I am not trying to dismiss your feelings, but I do encourage you to read on.

When we had the Welcome pads, each Sunday the faithful ushers would go through each pad, pull the paper if they were filled out (and that was not always the case), and collect them.  Then some time between Monday and Wednesday, a staff person would go through each sheet and enter the data into the computer.  By Wednesday we might have an idea of who visited and where we could reach out, and occasionally a prayer request.  This took a tremendous amount of time and longer for us to respond to visitors.

With the QR code, we get a report on Monday morning showing visitors, prayer requests and where folks have seen the spirit at work.

  • First, with visitors.  On Monday, Will Edwards reaches out to each visitor with a greeting and appreciation for their visit and to offer some helpful information.  We gather far more information from visitors with QR codes than we did in the Welcome pads.
  • Secondly, prayer requests.  We are gathering far more prayer requests and are able to reach and follow up sooner.  We have learned about more situations, that need our attention, from the QR code than ever before.  We pray for these as a team each Wednesday.
  • Thirdly, responses to, “this week I felt the spirit of God while…” We have received the most amazing responses and almost 100% of the time folks that have lifted a prayer request have also lifted a praise.  We share these praises each week during Wednesday prayer time.

With the QR code, folks watching online can enter their attendance and offer a prayer or praise.  Attendance in person still gets counted, because our ushers take a count.  But it is still important for us to use the QR code each week.

Now I know one of the things that people miss about the Welcome pads is being able to identify who is sitting on your row.  I get it, I really do, I often forget names.  I encourage everyone to wear your name tag.  But remember the Welcome pads were only for your pew, what about the visitor sitting behind you, or in front of you?  Even a simple greeting can go so very far.  Be bold and say, “hey, my name is Newton,” (you can pretend to me) “glad to see this morning.“

The move to the QR code was not taken lightly.  The Discipleship Committee, the Green Team and Worship Committee all weighed in and we are reaping the benefits of information and responsiveness to the whole congregation. So, give it a try.  Not just to scan and fill out the QR code each week, but also to be bold and to speak to those around you.