As long as I can remember we have used club cards. Those are the pieces of paper that you give to new kids at club, often during announcements or some type of introduction time, then they fill them out and give them back to leaders. These cards have a long history, all the way back to the first days of Young Life when the national office in Texas would keep them on file, like many “clubs”, to keep track of their members.
Over the years I’ve taken countless hours to type these into spreadsheets. Usually these include information like:
- First name
- Last name
- Home phone
- Cell phone
- Zip code
- Parents names
- Favorite movie
- Year in school
- Who invited you
Let’s just be honest… that is a lot of information to type! So I’ve, or a helper or two for me, have spent a lot of time while typing thinking… do we really need all this info? So over time I would type in less and less.
On the other hand, these can also be a good physical reminder if you put them somewhere where you see them, from time to time it is good to look through them and be reminded of kids who have come to Christ and think of their first day at club, and others who may have come once and never come back. Other than using them for a database they have been a great tool for prayer, it is well worth it to spend a little time going through them one by one.
In all honesty, in the last year or so, our clubs have been bigger than normal and I know kids have slipped through the cracks. And I have not done a good job with the club cards. Even if I had done a better job, I’m not sure if our team would have time, or the diligence to keep checking in an online document.
So, as this semester starts up I want to experiment with some new ideas for club cards. One of the clubs in my area uses a text message system. At club the kids text a number to join a list and then get an update each week about club on their phones. That works well for them, but I’m trying to think of other options too. At the moment I have this really high tech idea of a club card with way less questions. Maybe just: Name, Cell, Year. I think I could type that in each week. Then I also have a card for prayer and as a reminder. But I’m still trying to think through a streamlined way to keep leaders in the loop of our accumulated list of kids (other than a Googledoc, though we may end up using that).
I’d love to hear your input. What works? What doesn’t work?