3 Productivity Tools to Help Keep People as the Mission

May 23, 2017

Around the Summit we say that people are the mission. It’s our desire as a church to be disciple-making disciples, and we believe that discipleship happens in relationship. Often times, our greatest impediment to discipleship is lack of intentionality.

Over the years, I’ve found several business productivity tools that have helped me more intentionally pursue people. If used correctly, the productivity tools listed below can help you not only improve your intentionality but ultimately your effectiveness in making disciples.

  1. Customer Relationship Management (“CRM”). Remembering important details about a person is one of the easiest ways to show them you care. Savvy businesses understand this and often utilize a CRM to help keep track of their client’s important information, schedule follow-ups, organize their network, and so much more.

    CRMs are no longer just for businesses. There are a wide range of CRMs you can utilize for personal use ranging from something as simple as
    Google Contacts (free) to more robust paid solutions.

    As a pastor, there is no better investment than a good CRM to help manage relationships. For the past several years I’ve been using Contactually to help me care better for our church. I love how easy it is to group my contacts based on interests or involvement, get reminded of birthdays or other important dates to follow up on, send personalized emails to groups of people, and easily send template emails and introductions. I’m a huge fan!  If price is of utmost concern, I’ve also heard good things about Insightly.

  2. Google Calendar. This may seem obvious, but one of the most effective ways to be intentional in a relationship is to schedule time to connect. Organizing your work, personal, and family life in a calendar provides the visibility you need to effectively steward your time.

    Using a tool like Google Calendar (free) allows you to easily manage your schedule, add recurring events (like your weekly small group meeting and church), and invite someone to meetup (for coffee, lunch, etc.). If you are married, creating a shared family calendar is a game changer. Not only will you both be able to have complete visibility into upcoming family activities, but any changes to the schedule are updated real-time. If you are not already doing this, BEWARE implementing this idea could change your life.

  3. Digital Scheduling Assistant. One of the biggest frustrations I’ve encountered with trying to schedule meetings is the back and forth email ping-pong in trying to find a date that works. Recent technology has made this much easier with free solutions like Boomerang Calendar or low-cost solutions like ScheduleOnce and Calendly. There is even emerging technology utilizing artificial intelligence to help schedule meetings.

The bottom line is that making disciples requires intentionality and technology can help. Spend a few minutes now to decide which (if not all) of the tools listed above you are going to start using this week.

Have you found another productivity tool that helps you make disciples? We’d love to know about it.

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Written by Blair Graham, Pastor of Stewardship and Generosity at The Summit Church.