Passion_benjamin_zander_1 Passion is a tremendously powerful thing! I love this picture of conductor Benjamin Zander – a tremendously passionate person.  His talk at a WillowCreek Leadership Summit a few years back was passionate and stirring!

I was reminded again of the power of passion in a very memorable way at a recent campus pastors meeting.  We were looking at our newcomer follow-up process because that is an area we need to improve at every CCC campus…every campus but one.  The one CCC campus that seemed to be excelling at newcomer follow-up was our Romeoville location.  At CCC-Romeoville 35% of all the people who identify themseleves as
newcomers come to Connecting Point.  And of those newcomers that come
to Connecting Point 95% of them either get connected to a small group or start contributing through a ministry team.  Those are very impressive stats and we wanted to know why it was different at CCC-Romeoville.

We invited Kari Berg who oversees the follow-up process at CCC-Romeoville to come and tell us how they were getting it done.  She explained how they collected names of newcomers from a variety of places – good, but nothing new.  She explained how they had contacted people within 24 hours of coming to CCC for the first time – good stuff, but I’ve heard that one.  She even wrapped up her presentation with a five step process – great, but nothing brand new.

But what came next I had never seen before.  Kari held up a newcomer form that a brand new attender had recently filled out.  She explained, “This card represents a person who is searching…they are searching for something.”  She held that card like it was a winning lottery ticket and went on, “So, before I call each of these people I pray and ask God to guide my conversation with them.”   She looked at the card now with tears in her eyes and said, “Each of these people have a story that has brought them to us…and each of
these people are someone that I get to help find thier way back to God.”
  I had never seen anyone become emotional over newcomers cards.  I usually just thought of the card as a name, phone number and e-mail address that should be on a data base.  Kari didn’t even call them newcomer cards, she called them “the golden ticket”.  Because of Kari’s passion for newcomers I wanted to call people.  I wanted to help with follow-up.  What I saw in Kari was someone who was absolutely passionate about follow-up.  It reminded me that passion is a very powerful thing!

What is it that makes passion so powerful?

1. PASSION IS CONTAGIOUS

We all have unique gifts given to us by God.  We all have a particular personality that was given to us starting at birth.  God also places into each of our hearts a passion.  Of the three:  gifts, personality and passion; passion is transferable.  Passion is the one I can give to someone else.  Passion is contagious.

2. PASSION IS EXPERIENTIAL.

I could literally feel Kari’s passion as she talked about the importance and process of following up on new people.  I didn’t just learn how to do it.  Through her I felt what it was like to feel passionately about a calling.  Hearing Kari talk about follow-up was not just informative, it was an experience.

3. PASSION IS ENROLLING.

When the meeting started I wanted each of our CCC Campus Pastors to find a leader and a reproducible process for following up on newcomers.  After spending time with Kari I wanted to DO follow-up myself.  Because of her passion I wanted to be a part of her cause!

4. PASSION MAKES A MEASURABLE DIFFERENCE.

Why did CCC-Romeoville have statistically better numbers in regards to follow-up than any of the other seven CCC locations?  Yes, I think they do a better job of getting names of newcomers.  Yes, I believe their 5-step process is good.  But the reason for the statistical difference is mostly about the passion of one leader!

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