Friday, 9 October 2015
As with most arrivals of autumn I have increasingly noticed that I have to go looking for parishioners who are a bit, shall we say, slow to return to the church services and various ministries. So this past week has been filled with e-mails, telephone calls and follow-up. My parishioners have discovered that I can only be avoided for so long and eventually I show up at the door -- I'm a lot harder to avoid this way! And I have discovered that if I show up at the door, even if I have to leave a calling card, there is always a response.
I imagine that some of my colleagues may be less than impressed with my tactics but after more than twenty years in parish ministry it seems to continue to yield results and people do still appreciate the personal contact even if it is only to connect by telephone to make sure that everything continues to be fine. Relationships are built and slowly grow through contact and checking in. So, while it may well be slightly manipulative on my part, people do appreciate the personal touch that is basically pain free but indicates that they have not fallen among the forgotten.
So are you wondering if I have had success? Absolutely! I have secured a guitarist and vocalist to participate in a number of special events, had phone calls returned, booked visits, and had telephone conversations to touch base with others. It has been a good week "hunting" for those who have been off to a slow start to return to the congregations, reconnecting with those who have drifted away and having a number of elderly parishioners make time in their schedules for us to have a home visit. So hunting friends while you are limited to a quota of one beast to fell its been a bumper week here and I still have a few more to go!