I recently bought a van. Not just any van, a Nissan NV 3500 V8 12-passenger tank to haul my five adorable, screaming, children around town. And as with any new vehicle purchase, I needed to update my insurance. I’m amazed at how some organizations connect with people. I called up my insurance guy to get a quote and within 15 minutes I’m downloading the app on my phone which will provide my proof of insurance cards, track my driving habits, and save me up to 20%. Not bad.
After this interaction, I began reflecting on how I’ve just provided a lot of information about myself. Intimate details like how often I drive, where I’m going and where I’ve been, not to mention all the demographic data that they received in my application. They know a lot about me, but I’m ok with it because I’m getting something out of it.
I’m happy to say that the Catholic Church is beginning to do some of this same type of data collection.
I recently had the opportunity to take my four oldest kids to a father/daughter dance hosted at my parish. It’s a fantastic event where they decorate the church hall with streamers and balloons, stock up on plenty of sweets, and bring in lights and bumping music. My kids LOVED it! For me, it was a good chance to have some quality time with them. As a general public service announcement, if you find yourself at one of these events, stay vigilant. There are many randomly flailing arms and legs out on the dance floor. I did end up leaving with a bit of a limp after all the tugging and spinning and kicking.
As we arrived at the dance, there was a registration table where I provided my full name, phone number, and email address. That was all that was needed for admittance to the event. I have no idea what they will do with that information, but I honestly hope to see an email follow-up.
This is a positive trend for the Catholic church. Recently, some of our Catholic United Parish Volunteer Teams have been doing the same. We’ve received some attendance sheets that were used at local events for us to update our database. What a great service and smart thinking on behalf of our volunteer leaders. It’s a great way to track who is coming so that you can develop a deeper relationship with those people. This is how to build community. If you’re not doing this already, start!