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!