COTW Best Practices

In order to ensure you and your fellow church members enjoy the best experience while serving at Love INC Sacramento’s Church Of The Week (COTW), we have compiled a list of suggestions based on our observations, which we hope you will find helpful.

 

PROMOTION

 

  • Promote the COTW per the Timeline included in this packet.  We have found that congregations who prepare and promote the COTW the same way they would for their other major events and outreach missions, have a better volunteer turn out.

 

  • We encourage you to play our COTW video for your congregation, and perhaps have someone who has served in the past give a brief testimonial.

 

SIGNING UP

 

  • Stress the ease of signing up through the online website.  Volunteers can now access the sign-up schedule on line and simply choose the day and time that is most convenient for them.  The online schedule is accessible directly through Love INC’s website at www.loveinc.us.  Volunteers will click on “COTW Sign Up” from the top menu of the web page and follow the link to their church’s schedule, which will then be located on the left hand side of the newly opened page.

 

  • Some individuals may not have access to the internet, or e-mail, thus, you may wish to sign up on their behalf.  You are certainly welcome to do so, but please ensure you list their respective names and telephone numbers. An e-mail address is required to secure their online sign-up spot, so you will need to input either your, or another’s valid e-mail address.

NOTENames will not appear on the schedule until they have been confirmed through the email link sent to attendee upon registration.

Kiosk Mode:  If you will be entering multiple sign ups or allowing participants to sign up live you may wish to use Kiosk Mode which will allow registration without needing email verification.  The enable Kiosk Mode, select it from the upper right hand corner.  The password is love.

 

  • Even though the volunteers will sign up online, you should still give them a hard copy paper confirmation sheet, which is included in your e-mail packet.  This hard copy also has a current map of our warehouse location on it and will save the volunteer time in trying to print out a map later on.  Encourage members to arrive five (5) to ten (10) minutes before their shift begins.  The map and directions can also be viewed during the online sign up.
  • All deliveries are scheduled according to the sign up confirmations, which is why we need your final schedule the Tuesday before your Church Of The Week starts.  If people stated their desire to participate but you have not seen their name on the online schedule, please follow up with them and confirm their desired shift availability as soon as possible.

 

 

  • Volunteers may sign up until 12:00 p.m. noon the weekday PRIOR to the day they wish to serve.  Keep in mind that we do need time to contact each recipient and schedule their deliveries, which is why we need to know as early as possible how many volunteers and how many vehicles/trucks there will be per each shift.  The sooner this is confirmed with us, the more streamlined the scheduling process becomes for everyone involved.

 

RENTAL TRUCK OPTIONS

 

  • Determine if a rental truck is an option for your congregation.  Love INC has a relationship with Paul Ernst at Enterprise Truck Rental, who can be reached at 916-373-1234.

 

  • Your congregations’ ability to rent a truck for the week, combined with the amount of volunteers who have pick up trucks available, will increase the number of families ministered to during the week.

 

  • Love INC does not provide insurance coverage for any vehicles used, personal or rental.  We highly encourage you to obtain zero deductible insurance coverage when renting a truck.

 

  • Love INC does not have the budget to reimburse for any fuel charges; they are the sole responsibility of participants.

 

CHURCH & VOLUNTEER DONATIONS PRIOR TO YOUR COTW

 

  • Determine the method of collecting and delivering the bed, food, and furniture donations for drop off to Love INC’s warehouse before your COTW begins, per the Saturday date listed on the back page of your COTW bulletin insert.  This is usually three to four weeks before your scheduled COTW.  Please coordinate with our office if you will require any additional drop off dates and times.

 

FINANCIAL NEEDS

  • Determine missions / benevolence amount for financial needs during your COTW outreach.

 

  • Contact the Executive Director prior to your COTW start date to discuss current needs.

 

LITERATURE

 

  • Interacting with families during the COTW is a fantastic opportunity to minister to them spiritually.  Determine what type of spiritual literature you wish to use.  We have found that meaningful spiritual conversations are greatly increased if participants are equipped with some type of spiritual literature.  We also encourage you to provide information about your church since this may be the only invitation the recipient receives.

 

FOOD & BEVERAGES FOR VOLUNTEERS

 

  • Determine food/snack preparation for the volunteers, if applicable.  We do have a refrigerator and freezer available for your use in the warehouse.

 

  • If you wish to provide a meals, please coordinate with the Executive Director to assure we have the appropriate table space to accommodate you.  We do ask that you provide all plates, napkins and cutlery needed as Love INC does not have those items.

 

  • Although you may choose not to provide food or snacks, it is good to at least provide bottled water for your volunteers.

 

MEDIA RELATIONS

 

  • Identify photographers and videographers for the week/or each team.  Congregations who prepare a highlights video or presentation build a foundation for future participation.  Capturing the outreach on video and still shots provides a level of validation and feedback that is becoming a standard part of communication and can also be used to promote future outreach opportunities.

 

Church Of The Week Timeline

 

2-3 Months Out

 Announce date in church bulletin, website, newsletter, etc.

 Start to assemble a core leadership team

 

1-2 Months Out

 Announce date in church bulletin, Power Point

 Determine method of collecting donations (Beds, furniture, food etc.)

 Determine missions/benevolence amount for financial needs during outreach

 Determine food preparation for volunteers

 Determine if rental truck is a needed option

 Determine what type of spiritual literature will be used (for teams & outreach)

 Determine need for training (participants, day team leaders, evangelism etc.)

 Identify photographer(s) and videographer(s)

 

5 Weeks Out

 Distribute bulletin insert

 Finalize core leadership team

 

4 Weeks Out

 Show video highlights/testimonies

 Distribute sign up forms/provide online sign up through Love INC website

 

3 Weeks Out

 Distribute sign up forms/provide online sign up through Love INC website

 Show video highlights/testimonies

 Inform Love INC if Day Team Leader and/or Shift Leader training is needed

 

2 Weeks Out

 Distribute sign up forms

 Show video highlights/testimonies

 

1 Week Out

 Confirm online participant list (by Tuesday prior to COTW)

 Mail reminder post card to participants or phone/email reminder to participants

 

Week of Church of the Week

 Call participants the night before they’re scheduled to serve

 Get video footage to video editor at end of week

 Show Church Of The Week highlight video/power point at service (if available)

 

1 Week After

 Show Church Of The Week highlights video at service

 Send thank you letters to participants

 Schedule debriefing meeting

 Schedule date for next year’s Church Of The Week

 Pastor(s) writes testimony of Church Of The Week and emails to Love INC