Fill In These Hospitality Gaps ASAP

On a recent episode of the My Ministry Breakthrough podcast, Danny Franks tells the incredible story of a parking lot volunteer that eventually became a church planter in China. It all started with a conversation with some visiting exchange students and a leader taking the time to do more than only help someone park their car. This ordained moment fuels Danny’s calling as Pastor of Guest Services at the Summit Church in Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina. And it also challenges him to ensure that, each weekend, there is always at least one more volunteer than he actually needs. You can listen to the whole conversation here.

Without that backup volunteer in place, conversations that change everything are hard to have. To stop and talk means that a welcoming task will likely not be done. Gospel opportunities exist on your church campus every weekend, but your hospitality team may not be ready to recognize and respond to them. Here are five holes in your hospitality to fill asap.

This weekend, put someone else…

…on the sidewalk.  The gap between your front doors and your guest parking spaces can feel like a long walk to the first time guest. Playing zone in your hospitality means that someone minds that gap, ready to receive a warm handoff from your parking lot team and walk alongside your guests into the front doors. Do you have anyone smiling on the sidewalk?

 …in the parking lot.   The parking lot typically contains the most transactional hospitality moments every weekend. Everyone wearing a vest will necessarily be correctly positioned and focused, to keep every car moving and every pedestrian safe. Do you have anyone else out there who can engage in a relational moment if needed?
…at the back doors.  The invitation to return next Sunday may be more critical than the welcome this Sunday. It is easy to think of hospitality as merely a “before the service” need. However, the questions a first-time guest might have after worship could be much more important than those they have prior. Do you have people at the doors as everyone exits the service?

…in front of a counter.   The worst place for a hospitality leader is behind a desk. It is too easy to hide behind a table, to carry on a conversation with another volunteer behind a counter, and to forget that their first priority is to serve the guest. Do you have anyone positioned out in front of the counter, focused and poised to help?

…in the church office.  The office phone rings all week, and there is typically an operator or receptionist ready to give a warm welcome and connect callers to the appropriate extension. But on Sunday mornings, callers are likely looking for information or maybe even just reaching out for help. Do you have someone answering the phones on Sundays or will callers get an impersonal recording?

As the leader, it is up to you to recruit that “one more” volunteer to help provide the warmest welcome possible.

> Read more from Bryan.


 

Want to know more about Guest Experiences at your church? Let’s talk! Connect with an Auxano Navigator here.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

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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COMMENTS

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Recent Comments
comment_post_ID); ?> I ask: “How long have you been coming here?” It’s works in every situation.
 
— Russell C
 
comment_post_ID); ?> Excellent information, thank You
 
— Thomas TC Gotcher
 
comment_post_ID); ?> […] source: https://www.visionroom.com/leadership-and-the-power-of-listening/ […]
 
— Bolstering your Leadership Armoury-Part 2- Leadership series – Toyer M–All things testing
 

Clarity Process

Three effective ways to start moving toward clarity right now.

6 Non-Threatening Ways to Talk to First Time Guests

Q: 

When I spot a guest in the lobby that I don’t recognize, how can I approach them without coming right out and asking “Is this your first time?

A:

Hats off to you for recognizing that the “Is this your first time?” question can have a negative nuance associated with it. True, on the list of icebreaker question hills we should die on, this one is admittedly low on the list (“I don’t know who you are or who you think you are, but you’re sitting in my pew” is probably a much bigger deal.)

Here’s why I say it’s negative: I’ve found that “Is this your first time?” can put a first-time guest on the defensive. It’s a knee-jerk reaction to a question that makes them feel like an outsider and scramble to build a narrative that bridges the gap between you and them.

We should do all we can to absorb the awkwardness on behalf of our guests. That means we take the burden of weirdness off of their shoulders and place it onto ours. And that translates even into the small details of beginning a conversation.

So let’s say you’ve spotted that first-timer across the lobby (see six tips here for how to do just that). How do you kick off the convo? Here are a few of my favorite practices:

Walk slowly through the crowd. Making a beeline toward a first-time guest can make them feel like they’ve been put on the spot. It may be better to warm them up by letting them see you talking to lots of people, not just targeting them.

Start with generics, move to specifics. Eye contact, a smile, and a “good morning” always serves as a good kickoff. You don’t have to go in for the kill from the first moment.

“I’m not sure we’ve met.” This is my personal favorite line to use. You’re shouldering the responsibility for knowing them, acknowledging that you may have met before (which is great for forgetful folks like me), and giving them an opportunity to open up in conversation.

Assess their longevity. Now is the time to figure out how long they’ve been around, so that you can best help them. After initial small talk, you can ask, “How long have you been attending?” If they answer a few months or more, you have the opportunity to see how their connection process is going. If they say a few weeks or less or – even better! – this is my first day, you get to play the hero by being genuinely excited to meet them and suggest a simple next step.

Don’t assume their desire for proximity. Some guests may prefer to fly solo on their first visit. Others may really be looking for a friend. You can help with this by asking if they have someone to sit with, someone to go to lunch with, someone they’re meeting, etc.

Find a way to follow up. Remember their name and make a point to find them after the service just to check in. If appropriate, give them your contact info or swap for theirs. The first visit is a big deal, yes, but it’s often what happens just after the first visit (like a personal note) that will determine whether a guest comes back.

How do you start conversations on the weekend?

> Read more from Danny.


 

Want to know more about Guest Experiences at your church? Let’s talk! Connect with an Auxano Navigator here.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Danny Franks

Danny Franks

Danny Franks makes his living as a Connections Pastor at the Summit Church in Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina. He also makes a life as the husband of an out-of-his-league hottie and the dad of three cool sons and one sweet princess. His blog, dfranks.com, is a reflection of how he interacts with all of these.

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COMMENTS

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Russell C — 08/27/19 9:23 pm

I ask: “How long have you been coming here?” It’s works in every situation.

Recent Comments
comment_post_ID); ?> I ask: “How long have you been coming here?” It’s works in every situation.
 
— Russell C
 
comment_post_ID); ?> Excellent information, thank You
 
— Thomas TC Gotcher
 
comment_post_ID); ?> […] source: https://www.visionroom.com/leadership-and-the-power-of-listening/ […]
 
— Bolstering your Leadership Armoury-Part 2- Leadership series – Toyer M–All things testing
 

Clarity Process

Three effective ways to start moving toward clarity right now.

The Gospel Lives in “Good Morning”

It’s fairly easy for volunteers on your team to state what they do. It’s also pretty easy for most volunteers to talk about how they do what they do. However, few volunteers can actually articulate WHY they do what they do.

The reason? Stating WHY goes to values, and values are often talked about but more often misunderstood.

A church without values is like a river without banks – just a large puddle.

Values are the shared convictions that guide the actions and reveal the strength of the church. They are the values that represent the conscious and collective soul of your church because they express your most deeply held ideals. They define your ministry’s ethos.

Values are filters for decision-making and springboards for daily action. They are the constant reminder of what is most important to your church.

As with any organization, your church has a set of shared values underneath the surface of everyday activity. The problem is that they stay weak because they are unidentified and unharnessed in guiding the future.

The role of the leader is to identify the most important values and pull them above the waterline of people’s perception. Once they are in clear view, the leader can nurture their development, enabling the church to do more of what it does best.

What is true of your church as a whole is also true of individual ministries in your church.

THE QUICK SUMMARYPeople Are The Mission by Danny Franks

Danny Franks, Guest Services Pastor at Summit Church, shows church leaders how to take a more balanced approach to the design and implementation of a guest services ministry. He introduces a new model for welcoming people to your church that is both guest-friendly and gospel-centric.

Your church’s preaching and worship styles may draw a crowd, but to keep a crowd, people must sense that you love them, that you expected them, and that you can’t wait for them to return. Finally, here is a book that tells you how to make that happen.

A SIMPLE SOLUTION

It’s easy to give a volunteer a job description and then point them in the right direction. Anyone can assign a task. And for the most part, just about anyone can execute most tasks.

However, a good leader does not just assign a task. A good leader starts with creating a compelling vision for the task. A great leader continually casts this compelling vision so there is no doubt why a ministry exists.

The main thing of the church – our why for existing – should be defined by God’s Word. And the primary message of Scripture is Jesus and that Jesus changes everything.

The good news that Jesus brought – real forgiveness of our sins and reconciliation with our Creator – does indeed change everything. It changes the way we live, work, and play. And it changes the way we structure our worship services and our annual budgets. When the gospel is the main thing, it will change everything. It will renovate our curriculum and reengineer our business meetings.

So rather than adapt to a formula, cut and paste a few principles, or tackle a list of action steps, take just one action step: imitate Jesus. Let’s remember that the one who sought us is still seeking others. Let’s keep in mind that the one who sought us is still seeking others. Let’s keep in mind that the Great Commission doesn’t just challenge us to make disciples at the ends of the earth but in our backyards. Let’s be salt and light, love people well, and set our weekend services up for great hospitality.

We need to keep reminding people that though we pour coffee, we are not there primarily to pour coffee. We direct traffic, but we are not traffic cops. We want a smooth, error-free service, but we don’t show up so that the weekend service will run more smoothly.

We do all that we do as a living, breathing, example of the grace of God, our small acts of service serving as a witness to God’s goodness in the life of an unbeliever.

Danny Franks, People Are The Mission

A NEXT STEP

People Are The Mission author Danny Franks writes, “We need to remind our teams that hospitality is a catalyst.” He continues, “That’s why it’s important to push the vision for serving guests at every opportunity.”

One of the best ways to communicate vision is through stories. As a leader, you should build up and maintain a “story repository” of at least ten great stories that relate volunteer heroics, ministry wins, and life change in action.

If you don’t currently do this, here’s a way to start. At your next team meeting, conduct this exercise:

You are in charge of a space expedition. Your purpose is to establish a colony on a distant planet. This colony must replicate the very best characteristics of your church’s hospitality ministry – but your spaceship only has ten seats. Uncover the heart of your hospitality ministry by selecting volunteers who will fill these seats.

Discuss among your team individuals to go on the journey. Who represents the “best of” your hospitality ministry? Use these questions to help you with your decision:

  1. What values do they live by, regardless of recognition?
  2. How do they demonstrate the values?
  3. Will their values be valid 100 years from now?
  4. What’s their “story” of serving on the hospitality ministry?

The resulting ten people and their “stories” should be the start of helping people connect the dots between the way the people served and how Jesus saved. They can demonstrate how the work they did helped pave the road toward a gospel awakening that a guest experienced.

Excerpt taken from SUMS Remix #99-1, released August 2018.


 

This is part of a weekly series posting excerpts from one of the most innovative content sources in the church world: SUMS Remix book excerpts for church leaders.

Each issue SUMS Remix takes a practical problem in the church and looks at it with three solutions; each solution is taken from a different book. Additionally, a practical action step is included with each solution.

As a church leader you get to scan relevant books based on practical tools and solutions to real ministry problems, not just by the cover of the book. Each post will have the edition number which shows the year and what number it is in the overall sequence. (SUMS Remix provides 26 issues per year, delivered every other week to your inbox). 

> > Subscribe to SUMS Remix <<

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

VRcurator

VRcurator

Bob Adams is Auxano's Vision Room Curator. His background includes over 23 years as an associate/executive pastor as well as 8 years as the Lead Consultant for a church design build company. He joined Auxano in 2012.

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COMMENTS

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Recent Comments
comment_post_ID); ?> I ask: “How long have you been coming here?” It’s works in every situation.
 
— Russell C
 
comment_post_ID); ?> Excellent information, thank You
 
— Thomas TC Gotcher
 
comment_post_ID); ?> […] source: https://www.visionroom.com/leadership-and-the-power-of-listening/ […]
 
— Bolstering your Leadership Armoury-Part 2- Leadership series – Toyer M–All things testing
 

Clarity Process

Three effective ways to start moving toward clarity right now.

Everyone on Your Church Staff Is On the Welcome Team

Church staffs are infamous for building silos. Most of the time, it’s innocent: we get busy working in our corner of the world, and we forget that there are other ministry leaders running alongside us who would benefit from knowing what we do (and vice-versa).

But in a worse-case scenario, silos mean that your ministry is limited to the walls of your ministry. And in a guest services world, that’s harmful. After all, if the parking team and seating team understands the “win” behind caring for your guests, but your kids team and worship team doesn’t, well…that doesn’t ultimately help your guest. And if your finance team doesn’t understand why you spend so much money on your first-time guest bags, well…that might mean no more gifts for your guests.

So how do you transfer your DNA to other staff members? How can you help them understand the importance and the impact of a strong hospitable culture, regardless of the team they lead or the title they hold? Here are a few things we’ve been experimenting with on our team:

1. Create a hospitable culture from their first day on the job.

Most vocational first days are a mixture of excitement and letdown: excitement because we don’t really know what to expect; letdown because what we get usually isn’t what we expected.

The truth is, we don’t often plan well for our new employees’ first days. And our church was no exception. Last year we revamped our new employee orientation, approaching it more from what they need to feelrather than what we need them to know. Our Guest Services team worked closely with our personnel team to make the first week something special. We provide new team members with a “first day ambassador:” a friend who is assigned to them for the day, we find out their favorite snacks and have them available as a small treat, and we craft the normal tedium of orientation meetings around the exciting parts of our culture.

I recognize that our staff is on the larger side – meaning we host orientations every month or so. But creating a culture of hospitality is entirely scalable. And you can set an expectation for new staff just by making sure they’re treated well from day one. So the question for you: how can you create a powerful moment for your new staff member?

(For more ideas on this, read chapter two of The Power of Moments by Chip and Dan Heath.)

2. Make your guest services training a requirement for all staff.

At our new staff orientation, we ask a few of our staff teams to spend some time talking about what they do, how it creates our overall culture, and what this means for the new hire’s role, regardless of what their role is. My team talks about the why behind guest services, and how a healthy, guest-friendly culture applies to our workweek (pick up the trashanswer your emails, etc.)

But we take that ten minute conversation one step further. A couple of years back, we started making our guest services training mandatory for all staff members. (I swiped this idea from Christ’s Church of the Valley, who requires all of their staff to go through both their hospitality and security training.)

Twice per year I’ll provide lunch and a customized training for our newer employees. We take them through our normal Guest Services training that our volunteers experience, plus we include some high-level staff training that helps them see the thousand-foot view, and helps them understand why a strong guest services culture is a gospel issue, not just a standalone ministry. The “aha!” moments that this training creates has been invaluable to us, and has helped all of our team see that first impressions isn’t just for first timers, and a hospitable culture isn’t the responsibility of one ministry area.

3. Have ongoing “teaching moments” in staff meetings.

A ten minute orientation talk and a one-time mandatory lunch isn’t enough. Look for opportunities to drip your guest services culture on an ongoing basis. My goal is to look at the what of any new staff procedures through the lens of the bigger why, and as those procedures are communicated, my team will sometimes jump in to add the why to the what.

For example, if we’re scheduling an office or campus clean-up day, my team might piggyback with the facilities team to talk about seeing what our guests see. If we’re rolling out a new phone system, my team might join the front office team to talk about the importance of actually returning phone calls. (Spoiler: you should.)

[related post: Make the Maintenance Guy a Guest Service Pro]

4. Practice what you preach.

It’s one thing to talk about the importance of guest services, hospitality, and quality. It’s quite another to deliver those things to your own staff team month after month, meeting after meeting, event after event.

So make it a habit of making the most of office culture, staff meetings, and other “in the family” events. Don’t tell your team that they should dress up their tables for meetings, but have nekkid tables in your own. Don’t expect your staff members to be alert to new guests on the weekend if you’re just barely getting by on quality during the week. Demonstrate what you want them to replicate, and don’t let your normal routines be too terribly normal.

5. Make yourself available as a resource.

Finally, DNA transfer happens best when it follows your example. For that reason, play the role of the servant-in-residence and serve your staff any way you can. That might look like helping your student team think through the outward focus of an upcoming event. It could mean helping to train your kids volunteers or small group leaders on how to be more hospitable in their own ministry. Or it could mean that you organize a parking team and serve at an event that you have nothing do with. I believe that serving begets serving and quality begets quality. If you take the lead, others will eventually follow.

[related post: Q&A: How Do I Get Beyond the Guest Services Silo?]

How do you transfer DNA from your ministry to other ministries on your staff team?

> Read more from Danny.


 

Want to know more about Guest Experiences at your church? Let’s talk! Connect with an Auxano Navigator here.

Download PDF

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| What is MyVisionRoom? > | Back to Execution >

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Danny Franks

Danny Franks

Danny Franks makes his living as a Connections Pastor at the Summit Church in Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina. He also makes a life as the husband of an out-of-his-league hottie and the dad of three cool sons and one sweet princess. His blog, dfranks.com, is a reflection of how he interacts with all of these.

See more articles by >

COMMENTS

What say you? Leave a comment!

Recent Comments
comment_post_ID); ?> I ask: “How long have you been coming here?” It’s works in every situation.
 
— Russell C
 
comment_post_ID); ?> Excellent information, thank You
 
— Thomas TC Gotcher
 
comment_post_ID); ?> […] source: https://www.visionroom.com/leadership-and-the-power-of-listening/ […]
 
— Bolstering your Leadership Armoury-Part 2- Leadership series – Toyer M–All things testing
 

Clarity Process

Three effective ways to start moving toward clarity right now.

The Significance Behind Recruiting One More Volunteer

On a recent episode of the My Ministry Breakthrough podcast, Danny Franks tells the incredible story of a parking lot volunteer that eventually became a church planter in China. It all started with a conversation with some visiting exchange students and a leader taking the time to do more than only help someone park their car. This ordained moment fuels Danny’s calling as Pastor of Guest Services at the Summit Church in Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina. And it also challenges him to ensure that, each weekend, there is always at least one more volunteer than he actually needs. You can listen to the whole conversation here.

Without that backup volunteer in place, conversations that change everything are hard to have. To stop and talk means that a welcoming task will likely not be done. Gospel opportunities exist on your church campus every weekend, but your hospitality team may not be ready to recognize and respond to them. As the leader, it is up to you to recruit that “one more” volunteer to help provide the warmest welcome possible. Here are five holes in your hospitality to fill asap.

This weekend, put someone else…

…on the sidewalk.  The gap between your front doors and your guest parking spaces can feel like a long walk to the first time guest. Playing zone in your hospitality means that someone minds that gap, ready to receive a warm handoff from your parking lot team and walk alongside your guests into the front doors. Do you have anyone smiling on the sidewalk?

…in the parking lot.   The parking lot typically contains the most transactional hospitality moments every weekend. Everyone wearing a vest will necessarily be correctly positioned and focused, to keep every car moving and every pedestrian safe. Do you have anyone else out there who can engage in a relational moment if needed?

…at the back doors.  The invitation to return next Sunday may be more critical than the welcome this Sunday. It is easy to think of hospitality as merely a “before the service” need. However, the questions a first-time guest might have after worship could be much more important than those they have prior. Do you have people at the doors as everyone exits the service?

…in front of a counter.   The worst place for a hospitality leader is behind a desk. It is too easy to hide behind a table, to carry on a conversation with another volunteer behind a counter, and to forget that their first priority is to serve the guest. Do you have anyone positioned out in front of the counter, focused and poised to help?

…in the church office.  The office phone rings all week, and there is typically an operator or receptionist ready to give a warm welcome and connect callers to the appropriate extension. But on Sunday mornings, callers are likely looking for information or maybe even just reaching out for help. Do you have someone answering the phones on Sundays or will callers get an impersonal recording?

Auxano’s Guest Experience Navigator, Bob Adams, and I are hosting another great year of two-day Boot Camp workshops designed to help you improve your welcome each weekend. Most important, it’s not just about more information, you will leave with training and a plan! Find out more about bringing your team of five to this immersive experience here.
> Read more from Bryan.

 

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

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.

See more articles by >

COMMENTS

What say you? Leave a comment!

Recent Comments
comment_post_ID); ?> I ask: “How long have you been coming here?” It’s works in every situation.
 
— Russell C
 
comment_post_ID); ?> Excellent information, thank You
 
— Thomas TC Gotcher
 
comment_post_ID); ?> […] source: https://www.visionroom.com/leadership-and-the-power-of-listening/ […]
 
— Bolstering your Leadership Armoury-Part 2- Leadership series – Toyer M–All things testing
 

Clarity Process

Three effective ways to start moving toward clarity right now.

Breakthrough Guest Experience Ideas with Danny Franks

On a recent episode of the My Ministry Breakthrough podcast, Danny Franks tells the incredible story of a parking lot volunteer that eventually became a church planter in China. It all started with a conversation with some visiting exchange students and a leader taking the time to do more than only help someone park their car. This ordained moment fuels Danny’s calling as Pastor of Guest Services at the Summit Church in Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina. And it also challenges him to ensure that, each weekend, there is always at least one more volunteer than he actually needs. You can listen to the whole conversation here.

Here are some key breakthrough ideas with Danny:

  • When God says “I am doing something…” words begin to create worlds.
  • Learn why nobody wants to give their life away to show up and help somebody find a parking space.
  • Why serving on a hospitality team is a lot of fun for about three weeks but becomes a lousy hobby if there is no substance.
  • If all we are calling people to do is show up to check off a box, they will only be excited for a short time. Train for this instead.
  • How vital is a welcoming ministry in a church where there is so much emphasis on the gospel and missions?
  • Is a First Impressions ministry essential? Answering this question with the Gospel is critical, here’s why.
  • Could it be that there roles in the church that we are presenting as family chores? Serving should never feel like taking out the garbage.
  • There are plenty of opportunities to offend people and make them uncomfortable when you see with first-time guest eyes.
  • We can do everything possible to make 60-75 minutes inside the worship service flawless, but if we are not thinking through what somebody sees first, it may not matter.
  • Do we need to ask – what do they see first?
  • Make sure that the messages from the stage hold up to the messages on the sidewalk.
  • The gospel is offensive but nothing else should be, especially your welcome.
  • Guests far from God may disagree with points of your sermon, but they cannot argue with the love of your people.
  • There are all kinds of offenses on a Sunday that we can fix… the gospel is one offense we shouldn’t try to fix.
  • If we make it feel like we love people, we planned for them, and we cannot wait for them to come back, people hostile to the gospel will eventually take hold.
  • Helping people understand the purpose behind needed changes is critical to keeping volunteer hearts engaged.
  • The why behind The Summit’s hospitality begins and ends with the gospel.
  • The big win of the weekend is that everyone hears the gospel communicated.
  • The Summit First Impressions Plumbline: The gospel is offensive, nothing else should be
  • The Summit First Impressions Plumbline: The why is more important than the what.
  • The Summit First Impressions Plumbline: Everything speaks.
  • The Summit First Impressions Plumbline: The first visit should set up the second visit
  • The Summit First Impressions Plumbline: Make it personal – every weekend is someone’s first weekend, meet people where they are
  • The why has to be more caught than taught. People should understand what matters most beyond just hearing words at a training meeting.
  • Leaders must be present and in conversation to ensure that culture is stewarded well from campus to campus.
  • Stories are the most significant indicator of cultural health.
  • Asking guests about their experience is a way to hear from guests and listen for systemic issues in your hospitality experience.
  • The first time guest experience is a health indicator for the entire church.
  • Stats don’t grab people’s hearts the way stories do… tell stories to motivate and to cultivate the results you want to see.
  • Gospel discipleship in every ministry means that people can move from parking cars to planting churches.
  • The majority of guest services conversations are transactional, but are your people available to connect beyond the welcome and into the relational?
  • The bare minimum number of volunteers result in the bare minimum number of gospel experiences.
  • You always need more volunteers – more people engaged in the mission creates more opportunities to engage people.
  • There has to be a passion for the guest experience… your volunteers need to see welcoming people as more than just family chores.
  • Nobody dreams of being a guest services pastor, but the reality is that Biblical hospitality is a critical component of following Jesus.
  • Guest Services are a biblical virtue expressed on an organizational level.
  • Essential Qualities of a Great Hospitality Leader: People person, Attention to detail, Dreamer not afraid to take measured risks
  • We don’t always need to learn something new; we need to revisit the truth over and over again.
  • Leaders sharpen their tools by reading – and not just leadership books.
  • You can engineer EPIC moments to engage First Time Guests.
  • Relax… let go of the perfect plan and the ideal event. Outside of salvation, there are very few things in ministry that are as life and death as we think they are.
  • We can sacrifice people on the altar of our idol the plan.
  • We are not here for the plans we are here for the people.

Listen to the whole podcast here.

If you want to learn how to create an exceptional Guest Experience at your church, check out Auxano’s Guest Experience Boot Camp coming up January 29-30 in Newport Beach, CA

Click here for more information and registration.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

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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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. (Some would say those guys were nothin’ but a good time.)

No, I mean funny more in an odd sense because – though poison is deadly – it’s often unnoticeable until it’s too late. It can be tasteless, odorless, and seemingly harmless. And then…bam. You’re gone.

Poison can wreak havoc on biological systems, but it also can kill cultural systems. Take your guest services culture, for example. Apply the poison of a toxic greeter, and the deadly effects will soon spread throughout the attitude and actions of every volunteer. Tap into the toxicity of an unhealthy approach – for example, not having a plan for serving guests – and soon your church growth and health will stagnate, decline, and die.

So how can you spot a toxic guest services culture? Like poison, it’s often unnoticeable until it’s too late. But there are three attitudes that might indicate toxicity amidst your team:

1. Having a guest services plan is a necessary evil.

We’d never say that. Nobody in their right mind would formulate those words and force them off of our tongues. Of course we want guests in our churches. No guests mean no growth. But in the way we plan for, resource, and maintain our guest services culture may very well reflect our core belief that this is more trouble than it’s worth. Caring for guests interrupts the status quo, because suddenly it’s not about us and what makes us comfortable. And while the above statement may never be articulated, it’s assumed by heavy sighs and eye rolls every time you bring up the need for a plan.

2. “We’ll do whatever it takes to bring ’em in.”

I refer to this as the “shock and awe” plan. We want guests to like us enough that they want to come back a second time, so we pull out all the stops when they show up the first time. We go way beyond inviting environments and assault the senses with a sense of desperation. Our all-encompassing goal is to get first-timers to take notice of our church, yet we fail to help them take notice of Jesus. And by the way…this is often an accusation lobbed at megachurches, but small churches can overdo it, too. It feels a little like the single male seminary student who uses the “God told me to marry you” line…it’s too much, too soon, and it’s off-putting.

3. We don’t need a team, because we’re already friendly.

I’ve been in a lot of churches, and I’ve yet to find one that’s not friendly. A quick five minute glance around the sanctuary or Sunday School room reveals people who are freely trading hugs and high fives, catching up on the news of the week, and even praying for each other’s needs. But there’s the rub…most church people are friendly to each other…to those we already know. It takes a great deal of intentionality to move beyond friendly to each other in order to be friendly to “others.” And if that intentionality isn’t intentionally installed, it’ll cause the culture of welcoming guests to shrivel up and die.

> Read more from Danny.


Learn more about the danger of a toxic Guest Experience – start a conversation with Guest Experience Navigator Bob Adams.


Want to learn how to create an EXCEPTIONAL Guest Experience at your church? Check out Auxano’s Guest Experience Boot Camp, coming to Cincinnati, OH on August 7-8.

 

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Danny Franks

Danny Franks

Danny Franks makes his living as a Connections Pastor at the Summit Church in Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina. He also makes a life as the husband of an out-of-his-league hottie and the dad of three cool sons and one sweet princess. His blog, dfranks.com, is a reflection of how he interacts with all of these.

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comment_post_ID); ?> I ask: “How long have you been coming here?” It’s works in every situation.
 
— Russell C
 
comment_post_ID); ?> Excellent information, thank You
 
— Thomas TC Gotcher
 
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— Bolstering your Leadership Armoury-Part 2- Leadership series – Toyer M–All things testing
 

Clarity Process

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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. You don’t need to invest in expensive training, read a mountain of books, or hire a ringer from another church staff to up your guest services game.

There’s one solution that will bring about change starting next weekend. One solution that will allow you to see many of the things that you would otherwise pay a “professional” to spot:

Invite a friend.

It’s really that simple. If you have an unchurched friend that you’ve been investing in, praying for, and hoping against hope that she would come to faith in Christ, just invite her to come with you to a weekend service. Suddenly, everything that a guest sees…you will see. It will all come into crystal-clear focus. You’ll take notice of whether others take notice of her. You’ll witness every awkward encounter. You’ll hear every clumsy transition. You’ll see every fleck of peeling paint, every piece of trash on the bathroom floor, and every smudge on the lobby windows.

There’s something about inviting our guests that makes us take notice of all the guests. When our friends show up, things get personal. Priorities get realigned. Items that were once a “good idea one day when we can get around to it” suddenly move up the chain to be of utmost importance.

Don’t get me wrong: you’ll still need a plan of attack, you might want to consider an outside consultant, and you may want to pick up a few books. But getting a jumpstart is as simple as sending a text:

“Hey, want to come with me to church this weekend?”

> Read more from Danny.

> Learn more about Danny’s book, People Are The Mission.


Learn more about the power of connecting with your Guests – start a conversation with Guest Experience Navigator Bob Adams.


Want to learn how to create an EXCEPTIONAL Guest Experience at your church? Check out Auxano’s Guest Experience Boot Camp in Cincinnati, OH on August 7-8.


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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Danny Franks

Danny Franks

Danny Franks makes his living as a Connections Pastor at the Summit Church in Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina. He also makes a life as the husband of an out-of-his-league hottie and the dad of three cool sons and one sweet princess. His blog, dfranks.com, is a reflection of how he interacts with all of these.

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comment_post_ID); ?> I ask: “How long have you been coming here?” It’s works in every situation.
 
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— Bolstering your Leadership Armoury-Part 2- Leadership series – Toyer M–All things testing
 

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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. Invite volunteers to serve in the system. Execute the system week after week. Lather. Rinse. Repeat.

I say that it’s easy because, after all, we are ministering to the masses. Blocks of people move through our pre-engineered process. They go from point A to point B, guided by our unseen hands as we help take them from a place of connection to a place of commitment.

Creating an inviting environment for guests is pretty simple, because guests plural are nameless, faceless entities.

But what if this weekend – rather than saying we’re here to serve our guests – we looked for a particular guest to serve?

What if we moved past the many to see the one?

What if we set aside our systems and struck up a friendship?

What if we stopped making assumptions about what our guests want and stop to discover what one person needs?

What if we breathed a silent prayer as we walk down a sidewalk or make our way through the lobby, asking the Holy Spirit to reveal to us the one person he’s putting in our path?

What if we asked the question, “Who am specifically serving today? Right now? In this moment?”

 

So…who are you here for?

> Read more from Danny.


 

 

 

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Danny Franks

Danny Franks

Danny Franks makes his living as a Connections Pastor at the Summit Church in Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina. He also makes a life as the husband of an out-of-his-league hottie and the dad of three cool sons and one sweet princess. His blog, dfranks.com, is a reflection of how he interacts with all of these.

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comment_post_ID); ?> I ask: “How long have you been coming here?” It’s works in every situation.
 
— Russell C
 
comment_post_ID); ?> Excellent information, thank You
 
— Thomas TC Gotcher
 
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— Bolstering your Leadership Armoury-Part 2- Leadership series – Toyer M–All things testing
 

Clarity Process

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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. Families are returning from vacation, people are getting back into routines, and church parking lots and pews are fuller than they were during summer. At our church, we typically see a 30-35% attendance bump from the end of July to mid-August (there was one year that it hit 52%!).

So how can you take advantage of the next few weeks in order to be prepared for the influx of guests? Here are seven ways:

Refresh your volunteer training. 

Go back to the basics with your current vols. Remind them why your team exists. Whether you’re meeting with them in person or sending out text / email updates, spend a few minutes over the next few weekends helping them get their heads back in the game. [Related post: Need an Inexpensive Option for Team Training?]

 

Invite new people to serve. 

New guests mean new opportunities for your members to step up their game. Invite all of your current vols to shoulder-tap their friends. If your attendance numbers bump by 1/3 like ours, make it a personal goal to bump your volunteer numbers by the same. [Related post: 20 Ways to Get More Volunteers]

 

Review your systems. 

Sure, you remember last Easter or fall when a lot of people showed up and you had to seat them in the lobby or park them at the business down the street. But now, how will you prepare based on what you know? Now is the time to pull out the playbook and talk to your team about what will happen when (not if) additional space is required (and please, let’s not call it overflow. That’s what toilets do.) [Related post:10 Ways to Make Your Seating Team More Effective]

 

Practice your language.

How will you greet your guests when they arrive? Sure, you may cover this with your volunteers…but what about the people on stage? How will your worship leader encourage people to scoot in once worship has already started? How will your lead pastor greet the throngs, acknowledge the bump, and invite them back? How will your announcement guy give practical next steps? [Related post: Six Times to Talk to Your Guests]

 

Check your supplies. 

Do you have enough first time guest gifts? Worship guides? Information cards? Communion cups? Now is the time to order them. [Related post: First Time Guest Bags: An Intro]

 

Clean it up.

Don’t neglect your facility or your parking lot. Take a minute to walk around this week and spot what needs to be fixed or freshened up: remove those VBS posters. Weed that flower bed. Windex that lobby door. [Related post: Pick Up Your Junk]

 

Pray. 

This isn’t the last resort, but the first. If we believe for a moment that the guest experience rises and falls on a clean facility and well-trained volunteers, we deceive ourselves. No, we must pray for the Holy Spirit to compel people to come, to open their eyes to the gospel, and to woo them into a relationship with Jesus. [Related post: Is Your Guest Service Team in a State of Desperation?]

> Read more from Danny.


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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Danny Franks

Danny Franks

Danny Franks makes his living as a Connections Pastor at the Summit Church in Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina. He also makes a life as the husband of an out-of-his-league hottie and the dad of three cool sons and one sweet princess. His blog, dfranks.com, is a reflection of how he interacts with all of these.

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comment_post_ID); ?> I ask: “How long have you been coming here?” It’s works in every situation.
 
— Russell C
 
comment_post_ID); ?> Excellent information, thank You
 
— Thomas TC Gotcher
 
comment_post_ID); ?> […] source: https://www.visionroom.com/leadership-and-the-power-of-listening/ […]
 
— Bolstering your Leadership Armoury-Part 2- Leadership series – Toyer M–All things testing
 

Clarity Process

Three effective ways to start moving toward clarity right now.