How a Mere 18 Inches Can Start a Counter-Culture Revolution

Look at this picture. What do you notice?


These guys that change oil and rotate tires made a small adjustment to their store that could also make a big difference in a first-time guest’s perception of your church:

They came out from behind the counter. 

By turning the computer screens around and standing next to the customer, a type of counter-culture revolution started. According to the mechanic, without the physical barrier in front he feels more connected to each customer and a higher level of trust exists, as they can see what he sees on the computer screen.

And who does not need more trust from their mechanic?

Most churches need a revolution from the “counter-culture” as well. Moving about 18 inches out from behind the typical welcome center desk…

… communicates readiness. Removing the barrier helps host team members feel more accessible to someone new, almost as if guests were actually expected. Take a walk around your church hallways or lobby. Which counters are ripe for removal and which should reside against the wall?

… forces simplicity. Church communications clutter diminishes when it can no longer hide in cabinets or shelves under the counter. Take a look at everything on and behind your welcome desk. Thinking next steps, ask yourself: What are the one or two most important pieces of information a guest needs right now?

… builds intention. Volunteers who are not standing behind a counter move from a passive posture and naturally become more engaged with their surroundings. Take an evening and schedule some training. What skills and practices will help lead your host team members from reactive welcoming into proactive hospitality?

Counters are great when dispensing a product in coffee shops and fast-food restaurants. However, even tire stores can see the relational benefit of moving out from behind desks to serve and engage people where they are.

Isn’t it time to start a counter-culture revolution in your church?

Would you like to know about how your environment can be more engaging? Connect with an Auxano Navigator and start a conversation with our team.

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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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Recent Comments
comment_post_ID); ?> Are there any reliable statistics about the percentage of church plants that fail after 3 years in the US?
— Jon Moore
comment_post_ID); ?> I am a senior citizen who has lived in many areas of the US, the farthest south being Virginia DC area. There are several church plants in the area--some failed, some doing well. One of the sadist failures was a plant in NW Washington near a large Presbyterian Church (I had been an elder in the church, so I knew the area) where changes in church doctrine was driving many away from the PCUSA churches. There were many mature Christians who lived in the area who were very willing to participate and give generously to the church. Its failure was a loss. The pastor and his wife lived in a VA suburb, wanted something that would appeal to their tastes, which included "praise music". There was a professional piano teacher and several people who had sung in choirs in the area. Their suggestions were completely ignored. Forget that there was joyous participation in singing hymns and silence by many for the praise music. The experienced church leaders that were attending were expected to seek the wisdom of the pastor who did not live in the area rather than have any role in leadership. There is another church plant in Northern Virginia that seems to be going the same way. My take: the pastors should get past their high-school and college days culture and get to know and appreciate the people of the community. Do not try to reproduce Intervarsity or Campus Crusade. Hymns are not a sin and "uneducated" (never graduated from college) should not be ignored as uninformed or stupid. People who have served in and/or live in the area are needed in leadership and not just to serve coffee and give. We all need to pray together and serve God in the community in which there is to be a plant. Glenna Hendricks
— Glenna Hendricks
comment_post_ID); ?> I like it Mac and do agree with your opinions on the matter. Thanks much
— winston

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