The lifespan of a connection card (genus cardus connectus ecclesiasticum) is typically 5 days. Sometimes it might be more, depending on variables like work schedules, three day weekends, or even the information needed to be gathered and disseminated.
Conception for the connection card begins, typically, on Wednesday of each week. I will begin an inter-office email with suggested next steps which stem from the sermon. To this might be added programmatic next steps as well as “information about”. A typical example is a next step for giving to missions or a box to check information about kids camp.
Connection cards are born on Thursday. This is the day our outstanding office administrator weaves the Sunday specific DNA into the card’s genetic structure. The cards are born on the copy machine in litters, three per litter. Then they are circumcised with the paper cutter into their individual form. Shortly after birth they are stuffed into the secure crib of a bulletin where they wait until Sunday.
The connection card remains dormant in its crib until Sunday morning. It is on Sunday morning that the connection card completes childhood, adolescent and eventually matures into a fully grown connection card all in the period of 70 minutes. The period of childhood happens when the first few steps of exploration occur and the card is taken out of the safe environs of the bulletin. Adolescence is a complicated and often confusing time in the life of the connection card. It is during adolescence that the connection card develops–particularly the important information on the front about contact and then on the back regarding spiritual growth. Every person at worship is supposed to help a connection card in its adolescence by filling out information.
Once adolescence is over, then maturity settles in. A connection card matures when a worshiper drops it into the offering bag. There are three subsequent stages of maturation.
- The sorting stage is when the counters bundle them and prepare them for me.
- The praying stage is what I do on Monday morning over every connection card.
- The action stage is when valuable information is processed–first time guests, second time guests, ministry follow-ups, prayer lists, change of contact information, and a variety of other vital data.
Having accomplished its purpose, the connection card completes its life and times with death. Death is quick, but certain, as I slide each processed connection card into the shredder. That usually takes place on Monday morning around 10 AM.