They May Just Be a Phone Call Away – By Rick McCollum

They May Just Be a Phone Call Away

Working with  everything from postal mail to email, communication has become both a science  and an art form in the 21st century.  While it is true that we have taken communication to an extremely modern  level with forms like email, I still love the phone.  This quick form of communication brings with  it, the ability to discern the true feelings of the one of the other line.  For example, with email, people are more  likely to say “no” or not respond at all than with the power of the phone  call.  On a phone, you can speak with  inflections that tell your true intentions and the importance or urgency of the  situation.  You can hear how the other  person is reacting and can steer the conversation one way or another quicker  and with more confidence than with other forms of communication.  That is why I make sure I use the phone when  searching for prospects for our worship/music ministries.

One of the primary  reasons for using the phone is to introduce myself or my ministry to worship  guests or to new members.  I let them  know who I am and how much I would love to get them involved in our music/worship  ministries.  A question that I use (and  now it is used by nearly everyone in our music/worship ministries when  encountering someone new) is “do you sing or play an instrument?”  I quickly find out if they are a prospect.

Every person on  our church roll has received at least one phone call from me asking that  question or their interest in our music/worship ministries.  I hear all kinds of responses.  One may say “Well, I used to sing soprano  when I was younger.”  Another may say “Can’t  sing a lick, but I love to play (piano) for myself.”  While some may discount both of these as  potential candidates for music/worship ministries, I would place them on my  potential calling list because I know they both have some sort of musical  background that can be encouraged and groomed for the kingdom.

Every person who  visits or is a worship guest at our church gets a phone call from me on Sunday afternoon of their visit.  I thank them  for worshiping with us, ask them if I can provide any information that they  might need and ask them if they or anyone in their family might be interested  in our music or worship ministry.  More  importantly I pose the question “Do you sing or play an instrument?”  If they say “no” but I can tell something is  there, I might try another one (that totally surprises them coming from a  Baptist church) “Do you dance or do drama?”  I’m not sure I would ask those questions in an email, but on the phone,  I can tell if they are ready for the next line of questioning.

Once I have a list  of names that I consider prospective names for our music/worship ministries, I  begin making phone calls.  I have taken  that list of prospects and worked it like an old-time insurance salesman,  making calls and making notes to myself at the conclusion of each call.  I might make a note that indicates a personal concern in their life (prayer request) or something to ask them about next time I call. If they say “not now,” I ask them “when can I call again?” One may say “next year” hoping that I will forget about them.  Guess what? The next year, they get a call.

Some prospects  join the choir on the Wednesday after they visit on a Sunday.  Some prospects make it to the choir loft or orchestra rehearsal after years and years of regular phone calls.  Some inactive members have returned because  of the persistent calling and patient ministry efforts. The power of the  phone in activating prospective musicians cannot be understated.  Activating a person who has it in their being  to be used by God in the arts brings wholeness and happiness to that  person.  I am glad wholeness and  happiness in the kingdom may just be a phone call away.


~ by Rick McCollum on July 7, 2011.

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