Last year we were faced with a new problem, the whole world was faced with a new problem. It was called Covid 19, and seemingly overnight our lives changed. Almost everything changed in our daily lives, from how we shop, work and interact with others.
And our local God’s Closet ministry was not free from these effects.
First, the church board voted to postpone the next event. And we all began asking the question, will there ever be a God’s Closet event again?
But the Lord will always give us a way to do His work, in His time, if we submit to His plan.
One of the biggest issues we had to overcome was the restrictions on public, indoor gatherings. Normally we had lined large groups of people up for God’s Closet and snaked them through our church, giving them an opportunity to receive health checks, learn about other ministries and check their little ones into a childcare room. But with Covid, none of this would be possible.
We even considered doing a drive thru event. But this avenue seemed to raise its own issues of how will we ever execute it with any level or success.
Online Registrations. I know other chapters that did online registrations, but it had several benefits to the system we had been doing before.
We signed up for an online registration software call Sign-Up Genius. This allowed us to have potential shoppers register online for a specific time slot. We set the number of attendees for each slot, and then registrants could choose from what was available. This allowed us to observe indoor gathering restrictions, without dealing with lines and kept it all very simple.
What we didn’t expect was the added benefits using this service would have.
An easier to manage event without all of the needed setup and volunteering to run all the booths and tables we had been doing. Event setup became much quicker and easier for each event. Registration had been completed ahead of time meaning that process was smoother and faster than ever before.
Information gathering. Part of the registration process is entering your name and email to reserve your slot. These names and emails are automatically stored in a list. As a marketing professional, I know gathering a list of the right people is half the battle in marketing a business. Having a list of event attendees, allows us to continue communication with them at ease. We can email them about future events, God’s Closet and other things that may happen at the church. It also becomes an avenue to continue the relationship that began with a shopping event.
More Prayer Requests. We all know it is easier to share something from the comfort of your own device in private over a digital medium than to do so verbally in public. By simply asking for prayer requests on the online registration form, the amount received doubled at a minimum. We were now about to share in specific prayers for those attending our events.
While all of the things that have come about because of Covid have not been good. People have been isolated, sick and suffering financially. Even through all of that the Lord has helped us find a way to continue His work of meeting needs. This one tactic is one we think we will use long after Covid passes as it has had many added benefits.
You can find out more information about Sign Up Genius here.
And you can view the online course module about setting up your Sign Up Genius here.
Written by: Nicki Williams
Nicki is the director of the Gods Closet ministry in Kernersville, NC. She is a mother of 4, and spends her days juggling chasing her youngest child and running a successful small business marketing business. She also is a co-founder of Living Remnant, a non-profit ministry dedicated to offering digital marketing and organizational support to other ministries.