More about Execution

  • One Secret of Highly Productive Teams

    Leaders must learn how to make the future in the midst of volatility, uncertainty, complexity, and ambiguity. It is hard to even think about the future if you are overwhelmed by the present, but that is exactly the time when foresight can be most practical.

  • 4 Critical Questions to Make Great Decisions

    Decision-making is an essential skill for effective leadership. It’s non-negotiable for making progress in a healthy organization.

  • The Biblical Call for Hospitality

    How should Christians stand out in a society increasingly fragmented and polarized, isolated and lonely, embittered and embattled? Too often, the temptation is for the church to allow these forces to overwhelm us until we retreat to the safety of a fortress that shuts the door to doubters. But despite its façade of faithfulness, this option is worldly.

  • The Exceptional Guest Experience, Part 3: PEOPLE

    At Auxano, we've walked with more than 500 churches through a process called the Guest Perspective Evaluation. And when they're done, they all ask, "What's next?" Amazingly, most church leaders don't actually have a plan they can use to improve their Guest Experience! Ask them about their strategy and you'll discover it boils down to this: We’ll be friendlier.

  • Consider This Method for Getting Guest Information

    We are routinely asked about the most effective ways to get guests to fill out communication cards or to turn them in. What if your church could get information on guests before they even set foot on campus? With an online registration form on your website, you can.

  • Startling New Findings on How Churches Welcome Guests

    Every church sends a message through how they welcome and treat guests. Those with no strategy send the loudest message: “What we believe has not impacted how we treat you.

  • This Matters to Every Guest You See

    There are a lot of reasons a church might grow. Sometimes people come because of the preaching.

  • These Few Keys Create Great First Impressions

    The first ten seconds matter, and in the first ten minutes decisions are being made. For example, when I walk into a hotel, a concert venue, or a retail store, within seconds the first things I encounter have made an impression on me.

  • What a Professional Chef Can Cook-Up for Your Guest Experience

    The dining experience at a four-star restaurant provides excellent lessons for hospitality in the church. With one son who is the general manager of a restaurant that is part of a national restaurant chain and another who is the food services manager for a conference center, I have a serious interest in all things food.

  • The Timeless Call of Guest Engagement

    Epiphany at the Gas Pump In a recent conversation with a friend, I was asked the question, “Where does your passion for Guest Experiences come from?” Regular readers of this website know of my borderline fanaticism in the area of Guest Experiences related to ChurchWorld, and how much we can learn from the world of “Customer Experience. ” Some leaders cringe at those words, but the fact is people who come to church are consumers, and leaders in ChurchWorld can learn a lot from good customer experience practices wherever they find them – even in a 1946 training manual for Gulf Dealers.

  • 20 Traits of Great Guest Experience Leaders

    Editor's Note: During our August focus on Guest Experiences, we are honored to have some of the best voices in the world of Customer Experience provide guest posts for the Vision Room. As you read the content below, simply think "Guest" in terms of the "customer" the author is talking about - and you will benefit from the knowledge and expertise of some great minds.

  • Gauge Your Guest Focus With This Simple Test

    Editor's Note: During our August focus on Guest Experiences, we are honored to have some of the best voices in the world of Customer Experience provide guest posts for the Vision Room. As you read the content below, simply think "Guest" in terms of the "customer" the author is talking about - and you will benefit from the knowledge and expertise of some great minds.

  • Three Signs of a Toxic Guest Culture

    Poison is a funny thing. We’re not talking about the late 80’s hair band, here, although they were very funny.

  • This Concept is Tanking Your Guest Experience

    I was in a well-known retail store recently and overheard a customer say to her friend, “I am not coming back in this store again. It is always cookie cutter service…the same ‘how may I help you,’ the same, ‘credit or debit,’ and the same boring ‘thank you for shopping at Acme’ spoken with the enthusiasm of a blooming rock!” Her friend agreed.

  • The Exceptional Guest Experience, Part 2: PROCESS

    At Auxano, we've walked with more than 500 churches through a process called the Guest Perspective Evaluation. And when they're done, they all ask, "What's next?" Amazingly, most church leaders don't actually have a plan they can use to improve their Guest Experience! Ask them about their strategy and you'll discover it boils down to this: We’ll be friendlier.

  • These Four Things Develop Great Teams

    Editor's Note: During our August focus on Guest Experiences, we are honored to have some of the best voices in the world of Customer Experience provide guest posts for the Vision Room. As you read the content below, simply think "Guest" in terms of the "customer" the author is talking about - and you will benefit from the knowledge and expertise of some great minds.

  • Your Guests Need Presence, Not Just Proximity

    Listening to Donald Miller’s podcast, I heard a comment from Bob Goff that literally stopped me in my tracks while on my daily podcast walk: Don’t mistake proximity for presence. My mind jumped to Amy Cuddy’s book, Presence, and this statement: Listening is crucial to presence.

  • Ten Better Practices for Effective Guest Response

    The most-asked questions at each Auxano Guest Experience Boot Camp consistently revolve around recognizing, and hopefully eliciting, some kind of response from First Time Guests. After serving more than 100 churches and campuses while curating Guest Perspective Evaluations, I have observed various styles of church Welcome Team best practices in this arena.

  • The New Trojan Horse

    Editors Note: During our August focus on Guest Experiences, we are honored to have some of the best voices in the world of Customer Experience provide guest posts for the Vision Room. As you read the content below, simply think "Guest" in terms of the "customer" the author is talking about - and you will benefit from the knowledge and expertise of some great minds.

  • How Great Can Your Guest Experience Really Be?

    Editors Note: During our August focus on Guest Experiences, we are honored to have some of the best voices in the world of Customer Experience provide guest posts for the Vision Room. As you read the content below, simply think "Guest" in terms of the "customer" the author is talking about - and you will benefit from the knowledge and expertise of some great minds.

  • What Mis-en-Place Means to Your Guest Experience

    Despite how it may feel, competition for the spiritual attention and Sunday attendance of today’s family is not with the growing church down the road. Church leadership must redirect energy from being “bigger and better” than other churches, and instead see those places that provide “WOW! Experiences” as the real points of comparison among first time guests.

  • How to Change Your Guest Culture – Fast!

    You don’t need to lay out a five year plan. You don’t need to bring in an outside consultant.

  • Guests Need This One Connection

    Editors Note: During our August focus on Guest Experiences, we are honored to have some of the best voices in the world of Customer Experience provide guest posts for the Vision Room. As you read the content below, simply think "Guest" in terms of the "customer" the author is talking about - and you will benefit from the knowledge and expertise of some great minds.

  • Three Marks of a Consistent Guest Experience

    Editors Note: During our August focus on Guest Experiences, we are honored to have some of the best voices in the world of Customer Experience provide guest posts for the Vision Room. As you read the content below, simply think "Guest" in terms of the "customer" the author is talking about - and you will benefit from the knowledge and expertise of some great minds.

  • The Exceptional Guest Experience, Part 1: PLACE

    At Auxano, we've walked with more than 500 churches through a process called the Guest Perspective Evaluation. And when they're done, they all ask, "What's next?" Amazingly, most church leaders don't actually have a plan they can use to improve their Guest Experience! Ask them about their strategy and you'll discover it boils down to this: We’ll be friendlier.

  • Better Than Gold: The Value of the Platinum Rule

    Editors Note: During our August focus on Guest Experiences, we are honored to have some of the best voices in the world of Customer Experience provide guest posts for the Vision Room. As you read the content below, simply think "Guest" in terms of the "customer" the author is talking about - and you will benefit from the knowledge and expertise of some great minds.

  • Phrases That Welcome – And Repel – First Time Guests

    Every new guest is a sign that you are doing something right, and an opportunity to change a life. Each new guest represents an opportunity to influence their life toward Jesus, and by His power, they can be transformed.

  • The Single Greatest Sacrifice You Can Make for a Guest

    August kicks off "Guest Experience Month" on Auxano's content platforms, and there's no better way to get an early start than with a guest post from Jason Young, Director of Guest Experience at Buckhead Church and Northpoint Ministries.   A single mother came into our services looking for a seat.

  • How to DESIGN a Powerful Experience for First Time GUESTS

    Did you know that a first time guest will decide to come back in the first 11 minutes of visiting your church? And yet, we spend very little time thinking about how to shape those first few minutes in a powerful way, much less the rest of their time with us. The fact of the matter is that defining moments shape our lives, but we don’t have to wait for them to happen.

  • 5 Tips for Making Meetings Actually Work

    Stop and think about how much of your time is spent in meeting in an average week at your church. Now, do some quick math to calculate that across your team.

  • Getting Help for Your Thinking Problem

    In our hectic world of go, Go, GO!… It seems difficult to simply find time to sit down and think. In my own life, I feel the pressure of being a pastor, being a good husband to Angie, being a good father (sherpa/guide/mentor/friend) to my sons Andrew and Chris, serving on ministry boards, travel schedule, and writing projects.

  • DiscipleShift Part 2: The Hope for Creators & Cultivators

    Last week, I wrote an article about our free time and the choices we have: to consume, to cultivate, or to create. Today, I want to extend that idea beyond the choices we make in our leisure time to our responsibility as churchgoers and disciple-makers.

  • The Breakthrough Thinking Required in Growing Your Church

    The world needs the influence of the church more than ever before. And, at least in Western culture, the church faces many significant struggles as it seeks to influence its surrounding culture.

  • How to Select the Right Mission Partner for Your Church

    If you’re a ministry leader, you likely get the request often. It’s an understandable—and often legitimate—request.

  • DiscipleShift Part 1: The Choice to Consume, Create, or Cultivate

    I recently sat down with a 20-something who asked for some advice on how to become more productive in serving the Lord. He wanted to think more deeply and live more fully, and he wondered what he could start doing to cultivate the kind of life that would bear fruit for God’s kingdom in future decades.

  • Don’t Settle for a “Lesser Than” Vision

    I was talking to our church staff recently about a counterintuitive idea. At least, it's counterintuitive to many: the higher the standards, the stronger the team.

  • 3 Ways Your Team Struggles with Execution

    According to Donald Sull, Charles Sull, and Rebecca Homkes in their Harvard Business Review article titled “Why Strategy Execution Unravels,” execution suffers because people fail to collaborate horizontally. After interviewing and researching thousands of employees, researchers found that execution suffers not because teams are not aligned vertically but because they fail to work together horizontally.

  • The Real Reasons Your Search Process is Taking Too Long

    I wish I had objective data on the length of time between pastors. I can say anecdotally the time is much longer than it used to be.

  • Ministry Leaders: Do You Recruit People for the Task or Reproduce Leaders for the Mission?

    As leaders, we are in the business of replacing ourselves. It would be easy to make the case that if you are not preparing someone else to take your place and/or outpace your abilities, then you are not truly leading people.

  • The Art of Leadership and Time Management – Part 1

    Do you spend more time fighting fires than making disciples? Do you find yourself constantly running from one issue to the next without any margin in your life? Do you feel like you are over-committed to such a degree that the truly important things have been slipping a little? Do you wish for a reset button and dream of starting over someplace new, just like you did last time? (How did that work out for you?) Many times we neglect the lasting work of ministry for the instant gratification of solving a problem or being the hero. The thing is, nobody wins when church activity replaces people development.

  • These Kinds of Slow Growth are Actually Healthier

    Every church has a pace built into the culture of its people. Some churches move more slowly.

  • Key Learnings from a Massively Multisite Church

    In the early 2000s, I started on my multisite journey.  In those days, we were just trying to solve a space problem at our growing church.

  • Learn to Navigate Conflict from this Biblical Character

    In Nehemiah 5, the Israelites faced conflict for one of the same reasons we do today: selfishness.  So, what can we learn from Nehemiah about handling conflict? 1.

  • Making Great Decisions, Part 2: This One Step Changes Everything

    Does your lack of organizational focus keeps everyone too busy, especially you? Do you feel like most days you are running on a ministry treadmill? You know the feeling – it’s when the busyness of ministry creates a progressively irreversible hurriedness in your life as a leader. The sheer immediacy of each next event or ministry demand prevents you from taking the time to look to the future horizon – and sometimes even today’s calendar – until it crashes in on you.

  • It Takes This to Truly Be a Church for the Unchurched

    When people hear that Mecklenburg Community Church (Meck) experiences more than 70% of its growth from the unchurched, their mouths drop open. They want to know what we do to achieve such a ridiculously high percentage.

  • Three Perspectives of Using Data in the Church

    Leaders have never been able to access so much data and have never been encouraged so strongly to let the data direct them. In recent years there has been an avalanche of books, articles, and conferences on leveraging big data.

  • Your Attendance is Declining: Here is One Big Idea to Keep in Mind

    If you track attendance at your church (and who doesn’t), the vast majority of church leaders are tracking numbers that probably bother them. That can lead into a death spiral of trying to drive greater attendance, only to discover more disappointment down the road.

  • These Seven Things Are Keeping Your Church from Growing

    The number one topic in the local church over the last 30 plus years addresses the question, “How do I grow my church?” How can we break through to reach more people for Jesus? The words change, but the issue remains the same. Years ago, we called them growth barriers, and now the question sounds more like “How do I get unstuck? How can we get unstuck to reach more people? There was about a decade when we switched from church growth to church health, but it always comes back to growth.

  • How Effective is Your Assimilation Process?

    While many churches implement a number of systems to help them manage the metrics that help them carry out their mission, assimilation often gets lost in the shuffle. But assimilation, the process through which we forge interpersonal connections, plays a critical role in creating disciples.

  • Making Great Decisions Part 1: This One Perspective Changes Everything

    Is your lack of organizational focus keeping everyone too busy - especially you? Do you feel like most days you are running on a ministry treadmill? You know the feeling – it’s when the busyness of ministry creates a progressively irreversible hurriedness in your life as a leader. The sheer immediacy of each next event or ministry demand prevents you from taking the time to look to the future horizon – and sometimes even today’s calendar – until it crashes in on you.

  • 10 Better Practices for Effective Guest Response

    The most-asked questions at each Auxano Guest Experience Boot Camp consistently revolve around recognizing, and hopefully eliciting, some kind of response from First Time Guests. After serving more than 100 churches and campuses while curating Guest Perspective Evaluations, I have observed various styles of church Welcome Team best practices in this arena.

  • 6 Yellow Flags of Using Too Much Data

    Data can be a leader’s friend as it is wise for leaders to leverage data in their decision-making. While it is foolish for leaders to ignore data, it is equally unhealthy for leaders to obsess over it.

  • How Can I Lead My Team to Believe “Less is More” in a “More is More” World?

    Every day, ministry leaders spend too much time, managing too much church “stuff,” for too little life-change. It is safe to say that the church in North America is over-programming her calendar and under-discipling her people.

  • 20 of the Most Important Things You Should Know About Your Church

    Below you will find what I believe to be 20 very important, if not the most important things you should know about your church. Keep in mind these are things to measure about your church as an organization.

  • The Most Important Decision to Lead By: Ministry Means or Ministry Ends

    If you aren’t clear on your ministry ends you will always measure your ministry means. Think about it.

  • Five Setbacks to Lasting Change

    It is one of the most common questions I am asked. Essentially, the question, in one form or another, deals with organizational change.

  • How to Build for Team Alignment, not Individual Achievement

    Does your church have a vague or undefined strategy, and therefore your leaders are inventing their own? Auxano Founder Will Mancini believes that over 90% of churches in North America are not functioning with strategic clarity. Many churches have some kind of expression for mission and values, but not for strategy.

  • The Eight Costs of the Pastoral Succession Crisis: Part 1 – Personal Costs

    The challenge of pastoral succession is a topic of increasing interest for good reason. In the next decade we will see an unprecedented number of pastors hitting retirement age.

  • Check-Up Time: 8 Questions to Ask Every Year

    It’s easy to get so busy doing ministry that you don’t take the time to evaluate your ministry. But evaluation is how you get better.

  • 10 Solutions to Consider When Your Church Isn’t Growing

    It's one of the most pressing questions pastors and church leaders ask themselves: "Why aren't we growing?" To be sure, not every mission's soil will yield the same fruit. We're not talking about overall size, but rather the idea that biblically, we can assume that God wants every church that honors His name and proclaims His message in Christ to grow and that He is willing to empower it to that end.

  • Simple Steps to Social Media Success

    I recently came across the infographic below at Entrepreneur. com in an article related to the customer service woes of Cracker Barrel and United Airlines that I mentioned on the blog.

  • 9 Secrets to a Great Guest Experience

    It’s time for the second session of the summer term of the 2016 GsD program, and just as in previous summer terms, we are conducting a reading survey course. Over the next few weeks, I will be listing a broad overview of some of the best literature in the field of customer service – and you will quickly see how it connects to Guest Experiences! It’s only an introduction to whet your appetite – the application to the world of Guest Experiences for churches will come in the second summer term! 2016 GsD Summer Term 1 Survey of Customer Experience Literature 201 Text: Sprinkles: Creating Awesome Experiences Through Innovative Service Author: Chip Bell Synopsis: Chip Bell has written a delicious book that will make your mouth water! As you might guess from the title, Bell uses language and examples from the culinary world to focus on providing “that surprise that takes service from great to awesome.

  • Five People Who Volunteer in Every Church Parking Lot

    He is the face of your weekly welcome. He is the first human interaction every Guest will experience.

  • Creating a Distinctive Guest Experience Requires Action

    Editors Note: During our August focus on Guest Experiences, we are honored to have some of the best voices in the world of Customer Experience provide guest posts for the Vision Room. As you read the content below, simply think "Guest" in terms of the target the author is talking about - and you will benefit from the knowledge and expertise of some great minds.

  • Making Your First Impression a Lasting Impression

    A common picture at many churches this weekend would look something like this: a couple of people – maybe even a literal couple – stand outside the church’s main entrance. Depending on the weather, they may actually be inside the doors.

  • Stop Confusing Your First Time Guests

    One of the reasons people are hesitant to try attending a church for the first time is that they’re not sure what to expect. In fact, they probably expect it to be a little bit awkward and uncomfortable.

  • 6 Actions for Calling First Time Guests

    Phone calls are an important connection point with church guests. Not all guests will give you their phone numbers.

  • The Alignment Factor. Creating a Great Guest Culture

    Editors Note: During our August focus on Guest Experiences, we are honored to have some of the best voices in the world of Customer Experience provide guest posts for the Vision Room. As you read the content below, simply think "Guest" where you see the word "customer" - and you will benefit from the knowledge and expertise of some great minds.

  • Excellent & Efficient: What the Church Can Learn from Chick-Fil-A

    My oldest son and his wife recently gave birth to our fourth grandchild. On our way to the hospital, while his wife was still in labor, our son asked us to pick up some breakfast.

  • Does Your Church Expect Guests, or Just Accommodate Visitors?

    When it comes to churches, more often than not we accommodate visitors rather than truly expect Guests. It may be a little thing to you, seeming like mere wordplay, but there is actually a powerful first impression that needs to change if your approach is to accommodate visitors on Sunday rather than to expect to have Guests at your church.

  • 7 Ways to Make Sure Your Guests Have the Best Experience Possible

    Would you like every guest who attends your church to become an active and fruitful member? I know. Dumb question.

  • Don’t Put Your Guests First at Your Organization – Part 1

    Editor's Note: During our August focus on Guest Experiences, we are honored to have some of the best voices in the world of Customer Experience provide guest posts for the Vision Room. As you read the content below, simply think "Guest" where you see the word "customer" - and you will benefit from the knowledge and expertise of some great minds.

  • Welcome All Your Guests, But Focus on the One

    As guest services practitioners, it’s time for us to admit something. The ministry of serving guests is relatively easy, in the grand scheme of things: design a system.

  • 4 Simple Steps for Exponentially Better Guest Experience

    What would it look like if this coming Sunday morning, your church’s entire Guest Services Ministry Team didn’t show? Imagine no neon-vested minions directing traffic or over-caffeinated greeters guiding guests. I wonder if the scene might border on apocalyptic, with panicked pastors pacing the hallways, pandemonium in the parking lot and zombie-eyed parents with kids in tow left to fend for themselves? What if you were forced to rely solely upon your facility’s design to guide each guest? Think about it: could every visitor flawlessly navigate an entire Sunday morning experience intuitively or would the self-guided experience result in a blundered debacle? And what happens to those people, often first-timers, who want to navigate your building on their own and manage to skillfully evade your welcome team each week? You know it happens.

  • Create a Compelling Culture of Hospitality

    Do your greeters truly welcome, or do they simply open doors and hand out bulletins? A common picture at many churches this weekend would look something like this: a couple of people – maybe even a literal couple – stand outside the church’s main entrance. Depending on the weather, they may actually be inside the doors.

  • Making Engagement Contagious

    Are you happy to have “satisfied” Guests? The better question should be, “Are your Guests ‘engaged'”? Guest engagement may be a goal of your hospitality ministry, but there’s another type of engagement you must first address: team engagement. On a recent Guest Experience field trip to Walt Disney World, I spent 3 days observing Cast Members, talking with them, and photo-documenting their interactions with Guests.

  • Engage First Time Guests with One Simple Action

    Email is one of the easiest ways to initiate a connection with first-time guests to your church. However, many churches either fail to use it or fail to maximize its capabilities if they do.

  • 1 Key to Serving Your Guests Well

    Editors Note: During our August focus on Guest Experiences, we are honored to have some of the best voices in the world of Customer Experience provide guest posts for the Vision Room. As you read the content below, simply think "Guest" where you see the word "customer" - and you will benefit from the knowledge and expertise of some great minds.

  • Develop Specific Training to Produce Engaged and Guest-Focused Leaders

    How does Disney develop the world’s most engaged, loyal, and Guest-centric employees, year after year? The simple explanation for Disney’s success can be attributed to the levels of support and clarity of purpose found in Disney’s employee training. Training cannot be limited to ‘Here’s what you need to do, now go do it.

  • Getting Ready for Fall: 7 Steps to Success

    Yes, it’s currently blazing hot in most parts of the country. But fall will be here before we know it, and with cooler weather comes an attendance surge for most churches.

  • The 10 Commandments of Welcoming Guests

    Editors Note: During our August focus on Guest Experiences, we are honored to have some of the best voices in the world of Customer Experience provide guest posts for the Vision Room. As you read the content below, simply think "Guest" where you see the word "customer" - and you will benefit from the knowledge and expertise of some great minds.

  • Welcoming the Unchurched to Church

    I recently read an article from a professional "mystery worshiper" who works with churches to help evaluate and improve their friendliness and guest relations. It was a good and helpful article.

  • Make This Fall Your Most Welcoming Ever!

    Summer is here. And before you know it, school will be starting again.

  • Turning the Summer Slump into a Summer Hump

    There’s just something about summer that makes our hearts and minds swell with its endless possibilities. Both school and the sun are out – and calendars seem to beg for adventure and change of pace.

  • Engaging People with FOMO *Fear of Missing Out

    Supply and demand is not only a fundamental economic principle, but a cultural assumption. When the supply of a product or service becomes scarce, it becomes more valuable.

  • You Can Not Multiply if You Will Not Mobilize

    Ministry where a few people are doing the work and the church is expecting them to keep doing it can be terribly frustrating. How do we mobilize people in the rows of our congregations to action, to ministry, to mission? Here are three things that need to happen to mobilize your people.

  • Great Vision, Bad Execution: 6 Common Mistakes

    It’s a delight to watch teams get clear on the future. But it’s a fright to see that hard work of visioning go south when it comes to execution.

  • Purpose Without Priority is Pointless

    How can you lead your team to believe “Less is more” in a “More is more” world? Every day, ministry leaders spend too much time, managing too much church “stuff,” for too little life-change. It is safe to say that the church in North America is over-programming her calendar and under-discipling her people.

  • Your Volunteers: Training Your Greatest Ministry Asset

    Once you have recruited a volunteer – moving them from a come-and-see to a come-and-serve mindset – you’ll need to train them. In the follow-up to ‘Your Volunteers: Recruit,’ Chris Mavity’s ‘Your Volunteers: Train’ addresses three critical components to training: the differences between training and equipping, training for the long term, and the four characteristics of healthy training – but what, exactly, does each mean and entail? Training v.

  • How NOT to Run a Church

    Something’s driving your church.   There are a variety of things that run a church…the challenge for many church leaders is no one is really quite clear on what that is.

  • Eight Reasons You Are Wasting Your Resources

    Most churches keep their members so busy they don’t have time to do ministry. Indeed, I spoke to a lay elder of a church recently who told me he simply did not have time to get to know his neighbors because he was so busy in his church.

  • How Cultural Understanding Drives Church Effectiveness

    In each era and each cultural environment, the church defines its missiological quest in culture. Now, that does not mean that everything is on the table.

  • How to Focus Better by Failing Faster

    Congratulations - your church has just completed its third year in a row of growth! Weekend worship attendance is growing at 20% per year; your offerings are ahead of budget; and participation in small groups has increased steadily toward your goal of 75% of worship attendance. These are only the leading indicators of a successful growth curve.

  • Problem or Opportunity? The Choice is Yours

    When your plans change, how do you respond? As a leader in your church, you are responsible for the planning and execution of a large number of events or activities on a regular, recurring basis. On some occasions, you may be planning a very large, once-a-year type of event.

  • 5 Reasons Why Disciples Need Ministry Tools More Than Sermons

    The discipleship results of your ministry are not defined by content of your preaching alone.  One significant factor that impacts disciple-making is tool-making.

  • Momentum Swing: 5 Steps to Take

    Momentum is a leader’s best friend. If you’ve led in a local church for any length of time, you’ve probably experienced seasons of high momentum and seasons when momentum has faded.

  • Momentum Swing: 7 Questions to Ask

    Chances are you would like what every leader would like—momentum. All of us hit both personal and organizational plateaus.

  • Health Doesn’t Just Happen: 2 Ways to Avoid Drift

    Organizations and churches drift away from their identity and mission. Without constant care and godly leadership, drift pulls a church from her core message and mission.

  • One Secret Shared by Every Exceptional Team

    Does your team have a vague or undefined strategy, and therefore your leaders are inventing their own? Auxano Founder Will Mancini believes that over 90% of churches in North America are not functioning with strategic clarity. Many churches have some kind of expression for mission and values, but not for strategy.

  • Momentum Swing: 5 Things to Know

    Next to God’s favor, there’s nothing a leader desires more than momentum. Momentum is a force that is greater than the sum of all your leadership energy, effort and resources combined.

  • How Your Church’s Outward Focus Can Solve Inner Problems

    Church revitalization is a very real and important topic to many today because statistics indicate that the majority of churches are plateaued or declining. So, since the majority of churches are not growing, if you’re a church leader, pastor, or Christian leader reading this you’re probably in a church that needs revitalization.

  • Learning How to Improvise When Your Plans Change

    Below is a new weekly series posting content from one of the most innovative content sources in the church world: SUMS Remix Book Summaries for church leaders. SUMS Remix takes a practical problem in the church and looks at it with three solutions; and each solution is taken from a different book.

  • In the Numbers: Embracing Stats as a Vital Ministry Tool

    I love statistics! I know what you’re thinking. .

  • 8 Mistakes New Pastors Make

    I met one of the most stupid rookie pastors I’ve ever known. The year was 1984.

  • Is Your Church Making the Same Mistake Over and Over Again?

    It’s one thing to make mistakes in leadership. It’s another to make the same mistakes over and over again.

  • Bigger and Better: Scaling the Organization Without Losing the Excellence

    The team I lead recently read Scaling Up Excellence together. Every year I assign books to individual team members and also to the team collectively.

  • 8 Mistakes New Pastors Make

    I met one of the most stupid rookie pastors I’ve ever known. The year was 1984.

  • 7 Ways to Help Your Church Guests Feel Welcome Without Selling Out

    We will do anything short of sin to reach people who don’t know Christ.  To reach people no one is reaching, we’ll have to do things no one is doing.

  • Two Big Problems with Copying Your “Competition”

    Are you copying your competition? In the book, “Create Distinction,” I examine the aspect of “copycat competition” extensively — however, here’s just a thought for today: If your approach — organizationally or individually — is based on imitating the competition, then you’ve got two big problems: If you successfully imitate them, the best you can hope for is second place in the market. You will be bound by their success and level of innovation, because you aren’t focusing on creating your own.

  • Does Your Church Accommodate Visitors or Expect Guests?

    Beginning today is a new weekly series posting content from one of the most innovative content sources in the church world: SUMS Remix Book Summaries for church leaders.  SUMS Remix takes a practical problem in the church and looks at it with three solutions; and each solution is taken from a different book.

  • The Basic Checklist to Meet Today’s Guest Expectations

    - a note from the Vision Room Curator: During August we are focusing on Guest Experience in churches, but some of the most powerful learning for churches can occur by reading about customer service - all you have to do is substitute the word "Guest" every time you see "customer. " The following content was graciously supplied by Annette Franz, a customer experience expert.

  • The Big Little Deals in Welcoming Guests

    To design most effectively for our guests, we learned that we had to observe them up close, waiting in lines with them, going on rides with them, eating with them. Going out into the park taught us how guests were being treated and how they responded to sensory information, what worked and what didn’t what their needs were and how we could meet them in entertaining ways.

  • 6 Questions We Need to Think About When We’re Thinking About the Weekend

    It’s pretty easy for us to think about what we think about when we think about the weekend experience at our churches (feel free to re-read that sentence. I won’t be offended.

  • People People are the Best Welcome People

    This isn't rocket science. It's not brain surgery.

  • 6 Strategies of a Guest-Focused Culture

    - a note from the Vision Room Curator: During August we are focusing on Guest Experience in churches, but some of the most powerful learning for churches can occur by reading about customer service - all you have to do is substitute the word "Guest" every time you see "customer. " The following content was graciously supplied by Shep Hyken, a customer service and experience expert.

  • 4 Lessons Your Hospitality Teams Can Learn from a Hotel Concierge

    A remarkable hotel concierge has an insatiable appetite to serve guests with professionalism and to deliver personalization through what can often be perceived as monotonous tasks. Have you experienced the attentiveness and gracious care from a hotel concierge? They have an intuitive nature to know what you need and how to make things happen while balancing ten other things at the same time.

  • 5 Characteristics of a Guest-Focused Culture

    - a note from the Vision Room Curator: During August we are focusing on Guest Experience in churches, but some of the most powerful learning for churches can occur by reading about customer service - all you have to do is substitute the word "Guest" every time you see "customer. " The following content was graciously supplied by Annette Franz, a customer experience expert.

  • The Power Behind Unexpected Moments of Beauty

    My son and his fiancé elected to get married in a large antique church in mid-town Atlanta. Their choice of church was driven in part by the magnificent stained glass windows in the sanctuary.

  • 3 Questions to Improve Your First Impressions

    Your first time guests often decide if they will return within the first ten minutes.  Some are more forgiving and will give you a second chance, but most won’t.

  • Your First Chance at a Great First Impression

    While onsite with a church near Orlando this week during a Guest Experience consultation, I emphasized the importance of a Parking Team in the church parking lot. After completing the consultation, I stopped by Walt Disney World for a field trip to observe the real pros at parking: the Cast Members who work on the parking teams at Walt Disney World.

  • Every Weekend Matters: 6 Strategies for Holiday Hospitality

    We’re barely ankle deep into the summer season around these parts. The mountains and beaches are calling, and people are responding.

  • Growing an Irresistible Welcome

    Have you been to Walt Disney World? Did you leave with a "can't wait to come back" attitude? You're not alone. In 2017, more than 20.

  • 10 Ways to Reach More People Without Investing a Dime

    So you want your church to accomplish its mission and reach people. But so often in church leadership, it’s easy to believe growth can’t really happen unless you spend money on some new initiatives.

  • 8 Steps Toward a Successful Church Revitalization

    There is one type of church revitalization that is more successful than all others. The church closes its doors for a season, and then re-opens, usually with a new name and new leadership.

  • Four Errors of Church Strategy

    A church benefits from both spiritual and strategic leadership. The latter must not overpower the former, as spiritual leadership must trump strategic leadership—but both serve a church well.

  • How Cultural Relevance Demands Church Response

    Ministry in the local church has changed. My reference isn’t to 150-200 years ago, church has changed dramatically in the last 25 years.

  • The Importance of Movement in Your Ministry

    Movement is the sequential steps in the process that cause people to move to greater areas of commitment. Movement is about flow.

  • Speaking the Truth in Love to the Culture

    The Bible says, in John 7:13, “No one had the courage to speak favorably about Jesus in public” (NLT). Even some of history’s greatest spokespeople for the gospel have struggled in their resolve to proclaim the truth boldly.

  • Distill It Down to the Smallest Pattern

    My friend is excellent at taking the complex and making it simple.  I love having her on the team because she really makes it possible to replicate.

  • Church Attendance is Not a Chore. It’s a Gift.

    A sparse sanctuary can discourage a pastor. Surveys show that, in the past twenty years, the definition of a “faithfully attending church member” has fallen from three times a week to three times a month, resulting in sparser attendance in many evangelical churches, even if membership has climbed or plateaued.

  • The Sermon Starts in the Parking Lot

    My story is many years old, but its impact still lives with me today. On a Sunday morning, I was walking outside the worship center and greeting people as they came into the church where I was serving as pastor.

  • 5 Calculated Risks to Build a Healthy Structure

    Let’s face it. The way we manage churches usually makes absolutely no sense whatsoever to the outside world.

  • 6 Ways Your Team’s Commitment to Discipleship Impacts Programming

    Discipleship is the process of becoming more and more like Jesus. As we behold the glory of Christ, He transforms us into His image with ever-increasing glory.

  • 6 Ways to Close the Backdoor Through Follow-Up

    The church of 150 in attendance averaged two first-time guests a week, or 100 a year. How many joined the church? Only three.

  • To Reach Your Community, You Must Fall in Love with Your Community

    "Give me Scotland or I die!" That's what John Knox said of Scotland. I would say: To fall in love with your community, you have to die--to yourself, to the mission and to your own preferences.

  • The Idea of Evangelism Makes Me Uncomfortable

    I often meet Christians who are uncomfortable with the idea of evangelism. Whenever I dig down to the root of the discomfort, I encounter issues related to the nature of truth, what it means to follow Jesus, and the role of worship.

  • 20 Questions to Help You Unpack the Genius of Teams

    More than ever, organizational success now comes down to teams. Of course, teams have always been vitally important.

  • 6 Issues Hindering the Great Commission Outreach of Your Church

    The conversation was both predictable and profound. It was predictable because I have been asked a similar question many times.

  • 2 Choices the Pastor MUST Make to Ensure Emotional Survival

    I was having coffee with a fellow pastor who needed more than caffeine to pick himself up. Summer attendance was down.

  • Scheduling: An Active Way to Pursue Obedience to Jesus

    I have grown to love my personal calendar. I know different people treat their time in different ways; I’ve found that I thrive most in a structured environment.

  • The Only Problem with Incremental Change is that it Brings Incremental Results

    So you want to bring about change but you’re afraid of the pushback that you know the change will create? Totally understand that. So you’re tempted to do what many leaders have done.

  • Don’t Stop Until Your “Decisions” Lead to Discipleship

    One of the most exciting moments within the life of a church is when someone comes to know Jesus Christ as Savior. We celebrate having new believers in our churches, but are we leading them to become lifelong disciples of Jesus? Are we helping them continue through the transformation process or are we leaving them in convert mode? Conversion is not the end.

  • 6 Tips to Closing the Values Gap

    I say a lot of things I don’t actually do. I don’t intend to lie, or even drop the ball.

  • 9 Reminders for Utilizing the Internet as a Mission Field

    As in any practice, there are extremes. Some pastors and staff steadfastly refuse to get involved in technology, social media, or blogs.

  • Have You Considered Going Mobile with Your Strategy?

    Each day, 3,300 women wake up in America believing abortion is the only realistic solution to an unplanned pregnancy. In this tragic decision, not only does a human life cease to exist, but a woman’s life is changed forever.

  • The 11-Minute Difference: 7 Checkpoints to a Great Guest Experience at Your Church

    When a first time guest drives onto your campus, they will decide within 11 minutes whether or not they are coming back. Yes, the decision is made before your guests experience worship and the content of the sermon- the two elements that demand most, if not all, of our time and attention in preparation.

  • 8 Tools to Help Get Everyone on the Same Guest Experience Page

    - a note from the Vision Room Curator: During August we are focusing on Guest Experience in churches, but some of the most powerful learning for churches can occur by reading about customer service - all you have to do is substitute the word "Guest" every time you see "customer. " The following content was graciously supplied by Annette Franz, a customer experience expert.

  • What Would It Take to Elevate the Dignity of Each Guest in Your Church?

    The guest that enters our church should feel welcomed, comfortable, and honored. I am obsessed with exploring the answer to one question: What would it take to elevate the dignity of each guest in our church?  I attended a Guest Services Conference this week, and also had the opportunity to speak during a session to the group of influencers.

  • Use These 3 Ps to Deliver Guest Experience Magic

    Guest Experience Magic may be defined as: An unexpected experience with a touch of style, grace, and imagination the Guest remembers with fondness and a smile. Creating an unexpected, unpredictable, and valuable experience that is both memorable and reproducible.

  • Make Your Guest’s Experience Purposeful

    - a note from the Vision Room Curator: During August we are focusing on Guest Experience in churches, but some of the most powerful learning for churches can occur by reading about customer service - all you have to do is substitute the word "Guest" every time you see "customer. " The following content was graciously supplied by Shep Hyken, a customer service and experience expert.

  • 10 Commandments to Help Deliver a Guest-Friendly Culture

    I travel a lot and spend a lot of time in different churches. I have had a church consulting firm that did “guest” visits as part of our services.

  • Seven Checkpoints: The Critical First Eleven Minutes at Your Church

    If you ever check out multiple churches in a short period of time, you will likely be surprised by the differences in hospitality expressed to first-time guests. In some churches a guest knows exactly where to park, is graciously welcomed, escorted to the children’s area to drop off kids, and introduced to several helpful people.

  • Set HIGH Expectations for Your Guests This Weekend

    A Note from the VisionRoom Curator: My friend Scott McKain is an internationally known authority who helps organizations create distinction in every phase of business and teaches the “Ultimate Customer Experience. ” During our special August emphasis on Guest Experiences, Scott graciously agreed to let us use a blog post on customer experience.

  • What is the Value of Your Guest Experience?

    What is the value of your Guest Experience? Go back and read the previous sentence again, this time attaching the mathematical meaning to the word “value. ” That’s value, as in a numerical quantity that is assigned or is determined by calculation or measurement.

  • How to Raise the Guest Awareness of Your Congregation

    Every church in America has a guest problem. They may have a huge number of guests showing up each week (a great problem).

  • If Guest Experience Were a Hymn

    Hymn singing is a ritual in just about every religion on the planet.   It helps a collection of people share a common expression of belief in a manner that is joyful or celebrative.

  • The Disconnect Between Principles and Practices at Your Church

    One of the most glaring divides in the life of many churches is the divide between principles and practices. A principle is an understanding about how to do things; a fundamental truth about the way things ought to be.

  • 8 Obstacles to Executing Your Church’s Strategy

    If your staff and volunteers don’t know your church’s strategy, they invent their own. Many times, this is not the fault of the volunteers but a failure on the part of senior leadership.

  • Developing an Assessment Culture that Provides Truth Today and Direction Tomorrow

    I hate bad stats. They undermine the credibility of Christians and can confuse the issues.

  • 7 Ways to Prepare for More Baptisms in Your Church

    We were recently on a leadership team retreat, taking time to reflect on what God is doing at our church. I’m honored to serve at Liquid Church and I count it a privilege to play a small part in what it’s doing.

  • Open Your Ministry to the Power of a Generation

    Encouraging a healthy and welcoming community among all generations. How is your church tapping into the power of the 20-something generation? Maybe you know you could do much better, but have been challenged by not really knowing what you can, and should be doing.

Recent Comments
comment_post_ID); ?> I have found out more. I guess it's all about backing? ReNew doesn't have that. We are a mission church, in a small downtown area. We are a wonderful church though. I guess we also needed everyone to attend and possibly be of service all the time. If I could have it all over to again, I'd participate more, open my mouth more,....IDK, I still am holding onto God's intervention somehow. We have until Sept. 30th.
 
— Linda Speaks
 
comment_post_ID); ?> We are experiencing our church closing at the end of the month. We are all heart broken and agree that this is the best church family we've ever had. I personally can say I am not used to my attendance weekly being so important. I have never been to a start up church. We needed 3 things, an associate pastor, everyone's involvement and money. I cannot believe that the best church for so many people is closing. Being g a forever optimist, I can't help but think God will intervene somehow.
 
— Linda
 
comment_post_ID); ?> I agree with your 3 must-haves. I would add that the rectors have to call on every member who attends, at least once a year. The existence of a "calling commitee" is just an excuse to avoid making the effort. This is part of #3. If a rector does not like to call on parishioners, then she/he should not be a rector, but should find a different ministry. Carter Kerns, former senior warden, Diocese of Eastern Oregon and lifelong Episcopalian Tel# 541-379-3124
 
— Carter Kerns
 

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