Writing notes or letters by hand is fast becoming a lost art form. Almost a relic, like, well, like this letter signed by Abraham Lincoln.
Except I do what I can to make sure that in our church culture at least, hand written notes become a recovered art form.
That’s why I send a hand written note to every first time guest at Good Shepherd. The notes usually say pretty much the same thing — including a line about how “we’d love to have you worship at Good Shepherd again this next Sunday” — but I write them all out by hand, including the address on the enveloope. I typically write between five and ten such notes each Sunday night.
It’s time consuming. It’s labor intensive. My hand even gets tired. I’ve had I’ve had other pastors tell me that I should delegate that ministry to others.
No, no, no. That misses the point entirely.
In sending hand written notes to our guests, we are saying that our large church can in fact feel small. We are communicating that what appears to be impersonal is actually quite personal. And I hope and pray such notes tell the people of Good Shepherd that I as a pastor am approachable and available.
If I were to give new pastors a “tool kit” of things they need to start out in ministry — well, a box of blank notes would be at the top of the list.
How do I know it’s worth it?
When a Good Shepherd friend of mine told me that he still has the note I sent him after his first visit . . . and that was over five years ago.