Before you claim to be at the “good” level, let me set the standard.
The time I emailed Seth Godin
Before I launched this blog, I read a lot of Seth Godin’s posts about how to name a blog (I ended up using a tool he recommends: wordoid.com). After reading the posts, I still had a few questions, and noticed a link on his site that said, “Email me.”
So I emailed him my remaining questions, and resigned myself to keep an eye out for a response in the coming weeks.
How long would you expect to wait before a world famous, best-selling author and blogger – who you had never met before – returned your email?
A week? A few weeks? Never?
Godin emailed me back that afternoon.
That’s the standard. Now do you think you are good at following up?
I don’t even want to think about how many emails he gets per day. He doesn’t know me. He had nothing to gain by answering my email at all, let alone in a few hours.
What would compel Seth Godin to email a nobody like me back so fast?
Godin recently wrote an article about caring more. It’s worth your time, and I think you’ll see several applications to pastoral ministry.
How do I know Godin cares? The email he sent me. I’ll probably never have contact with him again, but I’ll never doubt that he cares about who reads his writing, not just his writing.
Do your people have legitimate reasons to question how much you care about them? How long does it take you to follow up with longtime members of your church? Do you make your hospital visits as short as possible? How long does it take you to email one of your members back?
Or do they know you care because the actions you take to comfort and shepherd them?
Don’t let a marketing guru beat you at caring for people
A family recently started coming to my church from another church not far away. They made the switch because they didn’t receive any pastoral contact when the wife’s dad passed away. There was no excuse for her to slip through the cracks.
That’s the kind of thing that we can’t let happen.
There are three kinds of pastors in the world
Let’s expand the opening sentence slightly. There are three kinds of pastors in the world: those who are good at following up, those that aren’t, and those who work to get better at it. Aim for good. At least be getting better. Don’t settle for being bad.
The growth and comfort of our people is on the line.