The Phone's For You

To plant a new church, you must get the word out. People need to know who you are, what your church will be like, where you are meeting, and when you will have your first service. There are many ways to get the word out - like door knocking, literature distribution, newspaper and yellow-page advertising, word of mouth testimony, radio bulletin boards, fliers placed on cars in shopping centers, your church web site, and a $1.5 million 30-second TV commercial during the Super Bowl. I have personally used most of these methods. However, the most effective tool I have used is the telephone.

The "Phone's For You" is a church plant (start-up) tool that gets the word out. Written by Norm Whan of Brea, California, this method has been used to start over 35,000 churches all over the world. Norm Whan has taught the program to over 25,000 pastors on six continents and fifty-two countries. It is estimated that every Sunday there are over one million people in church as a result of "Phones For You."

The "Phone's" program is not a calling machine. Live phone callers make thousand of calls in one month from a central calling room. The numbers to call are found in the Criss-Cross (also called Reverse) directory. This Directory is available in hard copy or CD Rom, and costs from $250-$1250, depending on the number of listings in your calling area. To find a company in your area, Google Criss-Cross or Reverse Directory.

Seven telephones are installed in a call center, like the pastor's house, a neighboring church, or a rented office. Callers meet to make calls Sunday - Thursday, 5:00 -8:30 p.m. and 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday. No calls are made on Friday.

The purpose of calling is to find unchurched and weak-churched people who will allow you to send them information about the new church. Here is a sample of the caller Word Track (the phone script).

"Hi! This is Dave, calling for the new Lifepoint Baptist Church that will be opening in Apple Valley in April. Before we do, we're calling some of the new neighbors to see if we can ask two quick question that would help us. Would that be okay?"

The first question is: "Are you actively involved in one of the local churches at this time?"
(If they answer "YES") "Ok! We are NOT trying to take anyone out of a good church. But what we are doing is . .  we're mailing out some information to the people in our community. . . to tell them about some of the programs that we have available for all age groups. Could we send it to you, just to keep you updated on our progress?"

(If they answer "NO" to the first question) "One of the things that we would like to do, if it would be okay . . .we're mailing out some information to the people in our community. . . to tell them about some of the programs that we have available for all age groups. Could we send it to you, just to keep you updated on our progress?"

When someone says they want to get the mail, enter their address into your database Mail List and send them a thank-you letter. After four weeks of calling and making from 20,000 to 30,000 calls, you should have about 1200-1500 folks on your list. The next four weeks are spent sending four mail pieces to your Mail List, telling folks who you are and the time and location of your Grand Opening service.

After four weeks of calling and four weeks of mailing,you get back on the phones and call back each person on the Mail List. This final call is a reminder of and invitation to your Grand Opening service.

Here is a summary of the program:

Weeks 1-4     Thousands of phone calls to find any who will let you send them mail. Mail a first class "thank-you" letter to each household that requests mail.

Weeks 5-8     Four weekly mail pieces inviting folks to your Grand Opening Service

Week 9          Final phone call-backs to invite folks to the Grand Opening Service

Grand Opening first service of your new church

Do you win people to Christ on the phone?

This is not a soul-winning program. It is a survey to find the unchurched and add them to a mailing list. The soul-winning comes later as you follow up those who actually come to church.

How much does this cost?

My "How to Use the Phone's For You" DVD ($30) is over one hour of explanation and instruction. Necessary forms and templates are also found on this website.

Next, add the cost of phone installation, printing, and postage. There are variables, but you will probably need from $5000 to $8000 for the full-blown phones outreach.

What about the Federal Do-Not-Call list?

The CD allows you choose if you want to call them. A non-profit can legally call them, so we do. It is estimated that 40% of homes in America are on the Do Not Call list. If you do not call them, you will miss many. We have not had problems calling those on Do Not Call list.

Do you follow-up folks on the Mail List who do not attend the first service?

Yes! You have already "touched" each person on the list seven times (two phone calls and five pieces of mail). Now you can knock on their door and usually find a receptive person who at least knows the name of your church.

NOTE: If you have 1200 on the Mail List and 100 come to the Grand Opening service, you now have an 1100 name visitation list of people you have "touched" seven times. A church planting pastor can spend the next year visiting these folks, or send mail to them to advertise, start a church newsletter, etc.

On my "Phone's for You" instructional DVD, I explain and demonstrate how use the phones to: 
                      1. Plant a new church from scratch.
                      2. Revitatlize an existing church (an outreach effort that produces many new prospects)
                      3. Continuously survey the community for new prospects (useful in any church, but especially suitable for a small church in rural community).

I have personally seen the Phone's For You program work many times. If it is done exactly as suggested, you will have a good crowd at your first service. Of course, it does nothing to get folks to return. That is up to you as you faithfully preach the Word, follow-up the visitors, and ask God to do His work in your new church. From experience, we typically see about 50% of the number at the first service still attending after six months of services.

Phone On!

The following are available through Revival Sounds. 
CLICK HERE to visit the revival sounds website and complete your order.

The Phone's For You DVD - $30 
Includes free shipping to the US 

Video chapters
Chapter 1 -Introductions
Chapter 2 -Phone's for You Definitions
Chapter 3 -Planning Your Program 
Purchasing Your Call List
Chapter 4 -Finding the Callers 
Installing the Phones 
Finding a Mailing Service
Chapter 5 -Designing Your Mail-outs
Chapter 6 -Setting Up the Phone Room
Chapter 7 -Filling Out the Forms
Chapter 8 -Calling Demonstration
Chapter 9 -Helpful Hints
Chapter 10 -Grand Opening Sunday & Follow-up
Chapter 11 -Using Phones in an Existing Church
Chapter 12 -Ongoing People Prospecting with Phones
Chapter 13 -Common Mistakes

Faithful is he that calleth you, who also will do it.

1Thessalonians 5:24

I was 9 years old when I discovered my Dad's Kodak Duex camera in his bedroom closet. Capable of taking 16 pictures on size 620 film, it was a "miniature camera that makes album-size pictures." I shot a roll of film and had it developed at the corner drugstore. I was hooked. Though I enrolled in college to become a cinematographer, God changed my direction (and my heart). God's goodness has allowed me to remain a camera bug during all my years of ministry . . . so I will occasionally post a photo or two here for your perusal. Enjoy . . . and reflect on the Maker of all things.
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