Matthew R. Perry

The Effectiveness of an Answering Machine Message

In Church Life, Evangelism on February 14, 2008 at 9:33 pm

Kevin and Julie joined our church this past Sunday — praise God!  Whenever someone joins our church, I always enjoy hearing how they came across us.  They were members of a rather large church in town, but wanted a smaller church where they could know everyone and be involved with a close knit Christian family.  For months they were searching — and almost joined a church — when they finally decided to check out a couple more. 

After hours, they called our church.  Most other churches’ answering machine messages would simply say, “You’ve reached ________________ Church.  Our offices are closed.  Please leave a message and we’ll get back to you.”  I tend to be wordy and have been told on occasion that my answering machine messages are a bit verbose.  But in this instance, they felt that this church was friendly, cared about them, and truly wanted them to join them for worship.  Here is the message we leave:

You’ve reached the Boone’s Creek Baptist Church at 859-263-5466.  We are located at 185 N. Cleveland Road in the Village of Athens and we hope that one Sunday you will join us for one of our worship services.  If you’d like to reach our pastor, Matthew Perry; our Minister of Music and Youth, Ronnie Chaffins, or our secretary, Jennifer Hamilton, please leave your name and a brief message and one of us will get back to you.  If you would like more information about our website, you can log on at  May God richly bless you.  Hope to see you Sunday.  *Beep!*

Anything magical about that? Absolutely not. And granted, this is a 30 second message — so for every one person who likes this, there may be five who think, “Man, does this message ever end?” But my point is this: even with an answering machine message, this may be the first encounter someone may have with your church, so err on the side of being informative and friendly. Act like your church is worth coming to!

What think ye?

  1. Include your service time in the message! I find many people call Saturday evenings or early Sunday mornings and often they are looking to find out what time church starts.

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