Generospitality Part Four – Three Terrible Messages Your Welcome Team Sends

“‘For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat; I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink; I was a stranger and you took me in;”  – Matthew 25:35 CSB

In your church, love begins every week with your welcome. From your church’s website to your worship bulletin, every step of your hospitality systems will either speak to the love found in your body, or it will reveal one of three conflicting shadow mindsets. Instead of communicating, “We are expecting you to visit this Sunday because we love you and want you to know Jesus does too,” some other message will be received by first-time guests. It will likely be some form of these three:

“We think you can figure out where to go and sit because we are only tolerating your presence until we approve your theology.”

“We desperately want you to come back again because we need you to help us survive another week around here.”

“We are surprised you actually showed up because most of us have been looking for a good reason to leave for years.”

One or more of these messages are communicated every week when our hospitality systems fail to reflect the “love for strangers” that the Acts 2 Church modeled for us. Our meeting places and ecclesiology might look different from those spiritual ancestors, but our welcome should be just as warm – if not more so.

Statistically speaking, anywhere from 2-8% of your congregation this Sunday will consider themselves a guest. Are you ready to welcome them with love? Have you ever thought about what their experience might be as they seek the Lord in your midst? What will their experience be from website to welcome lunch? These are critical questions to ask because your hospitality sets the pace for your generosity.

There are seven moments in your weekly welcome that should serve as critical gauges of your church’s hospitality systems. Each moment is a checkpoint that every guest will experience on a typical Sunday, and a place to steward a love for others, motivated by God’s desire for us. At Auxano, we call these the “Seven Checkpoints” of the Guest Experience and every church, no matter the size or tribe, will lead guests through each this Sunday.

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Bryan Rose

Bryan Rose

As Lead Navigator for Auxano, Bryan Rose has a strong bias toward merging strategy and creativity within the vision of the local church and has had a diversity of experience in just about every ministry discipline over the last 12 years. With his experience as a multi-site strategist and campus pastor at a 3500 member multi-campus church in the Houston Metro area, Bryan has a passion to see “launch clarity” define the unique Great Commission call of developing church plants and campus, while at the same time serving established churches as they seek to clarify their individual ministry calling. Bryan has demonstrated achievement as a strategic thinker with a unique ability to infuse creativity into the visioning process while bringing a group of people to a deep sense of personal ownership and passion.

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comment_post_ID); ?> Thank you Ed for sharing your insights into the Church Growth Movement. I have my reservations with Church Growth models because it has done more damage than good in the Body of Christ. Over the years, western churches are more focused on results, formulas and processes with little or no emphasis on membership and church discipline. Pastors and vocational leaders are burnt out because they're overworked. I do believe that the Church Growth model is a catalyst to two destructive groups: The New Apostolic Reformation and the Emerging Church. Both groups overlap and have a very loose definition. They're both focus on contemporary worship, expansion of church brand (franchising), and mobilizing volunteering members as 'leaders' to grow their ministry. Little focus on biblical study, apologetics and genuine missional work with no agenda besides preaching of the gospel.
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comment_post_ID); ?> Thank you for sharing such a good article. It is a great lesson I learned from this article. I am one of the leaders in Emmanuel united church of Ethiopia (A denomination with more-than 780 local churches through out the country). I am preparing a presentation on succession planning for local church leaders. It will help me for preparation If you send me more resources and recommend me books to read on the topic. I hope we may collaborate in advancing leadership capacity of our church. God Bless You and Your Ministry.
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