Generospitality Part Six – One Last Reminder About THIS WEEK’s Guest

Therefore, be imitators of God, as dearly loved children, and walk in love, as Christ also loved us and gave himself for us, a sacrificial and fragrant offering to God.  – Ephesians 5:1-2 CSB

First-time guests may not remember any of the points in your message or any of the words of your music, but they will remember every moment of your welcome.

A culture of joyful, or joy-full, generosity rests on a foundation of careful, or care-full, hospitality. A church that shows their love for strangers is a church that shares their love with each other, for the advancement of God’s Kingdom. Every step we take toward welcoming strangers with love moves us forward in sharing with the body in love. If the Early Church couldn’t separate loving each other from loving every other, then we shouldn’t try to either.

Consider what may be the most important metric for you to monitor: new givers. How many new people or families began to live in obedience through Biblical generosity this last year? For the most part, many of those first-time givers were also first-time guests. Your culture of welcome set the standard for their commitment to giving from the first time they visited your website. Smiling faces, manicured hedges, and helpful signage all speak to the love your church has for the stranger, those whose names we’ve not yet learned. Your church will demonstrate generosity in their hospitality before you ever communicate about giving in a membership class.

It remains then that Generospitality changes everything for you, your church body, and for your guests. Loving each other, and then loving every other, are actions that will change everything for someone this Sunday.

Stop and consider your guest one last time.

Right now the Holy Spirit is at work in someone’s life, stirring him or her to be your guest this Sunday. Some kind of crisis or challenge has moved them to make this the week they finally attend your worship service. The risk of going to your church to find God will finally be less than the risk of facing another week without Him. Your guest this Sunday will have seen your building or your website. They have likely heard someone else talk about your church. Chances are high that a friend or family member already attends and extended an invitation. They have probably prayerfully invited them for years. Of all the reasons why and how, one simple fact remains: they are coming.

This is their week to attend, and this is your week to love.

This Sunday will be the next opportunity to love each other in generosity. It will also be the next opportunity to love every other, through hospitality. It’s your chance to love by means that change the direction of someone’s life as well as the destination of their eternity. This Sunday, the Lord will add to your number those who are being saved.

Are you ready?

> Download the Seven Checkpoints of an Engaging Guest Experience Tool here.

> Read more from Bryan

 


 

Want to improve your church’s Guest Experience? Learn how at the Guest Experience Boot Camp coming to West Palm Beach, FL February 26-27!

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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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comment_post_ID); ?> I agree 100%, you can tell if a church is doing this it grows, if there's no growth there's poor leadership..
 
— Dennis Whiterock
 
comment_post_ID); ?> Great work Bubba! Its exciting to see how God has blessed your faithfulness over your lifetime into remarkable, fruitful, Kingdom expansion! Jesus DID say, "without Me you can do nothing!" (John 15:5). No surprise that He rewards "thick and thin" prayer with great fruitfulness! :)
 
— Mike Taylor
 
comment_post_ID); ?> I loved this presentation. It helped greatly as I organized an Outreach Ministry of The Shepherds Care. Thank you. Esther Callaham Mahgoube Emmanuel Pentecostal Church New Jersey
 
— Esther Mahgoube
 

Clarity Process

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Generospitality Part Five – The Seven Checkpoints of an Engaging Guest Experience

Your guests feel your hospitality, or the lack thereof, as they navigate a shared set of moments across your campus environments for the very first time. Called the Guest Experience Checkpoints, these moments are common to every new worshipper and will set the tone for how they feel about your worship service. These seven checkpoints also shape each guest’s desire to come back the following week. It is important to understand that all of these experiences will likely occur in the first 11 minutes a guest is on your campus.

This means that the Seven Checkpoints often take place apart from the moments that leadership has prepared for, and invested the most pre-Sunday time in: the worship set and the sermon text. Before a G chord gets played or a Greek verb gets parsed, most of your guests have already formed a permanent impression of your church. The team-centered tool download below gives you the opportunity to unpack each checkpoint with a fun, tongue-in-cheek assessment and provide key Go Ahead actions.

In each case, the goal is to move away from the typical hands-off “we think you can figure this out” Sunday morning approach. What if your Sunday experience communicated to the guest “we are expecting you to be here” every week? The goal is to build confidence in your guests, through each of these moments. Great guest systems communicate that we are ready for you this morning and that we are anticipating God to do a work in you. These seven checkpoints will help your team be great stewards of your church’s first time guest experience and demonstrate Biblical hospitality to a community waiting to know they are loved.

Download the Seven Checkpoints of an Engaging Guest Experience Tool 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.

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Recent Comments
comment_post_ID); ?> I agree 100%, you can tell if a church is doing this it grows, if there's no growth there's poor leadership..
 
— Dennis Whiterock
 
comment_post_ID); ?> Great work Bubba! Its exciting to see how God has blessed your faithfulness over your lifetime into remarkable, fruitful, Kingdom expansion! Jesus DID say, "without Me you can do nothing!" (John 15:5). No surprise that He rewards "thick and thin" prayer with great fruitfulness! :)
 
— Mike Taylor
 
comment_post_ID); ?> I loved this presentation. It helped greatly as I organized an Outreach Ministry of The Shepherds Care. Thank you. Esther Callaham Mahgoube Emmanuel Pentecostal Church New Jersey
 
— Esther Mahgoube
 

Clarity Process

Three effective ways to start moving toward clarity right now.

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.

> 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.

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Recent Comments
comment_post_ID); ?> I agree 100%, you can tell if a church is doing this it grows, if there's no growth there's poor leadership..
 
— Dennis Whiterock
 
comment_post_ID); ?> Great work Bubba! Its exciting to see how God has blessed your faithfulness over your lifetime into remarkable, fruitful, Kingdom expansion! Jesus DID say, "without Me you can do nothing!" (John 15:5). No surprise that He rewards "thick and thin" prayer with great fruitfulness! :)
 
— Mike Taylor
 
comment_post_ID); ?> I loved this presentation. It helped greatly as I organized an Outreach Ministry of The Shepherds Care. Thank you. Esther Callaham Mahgoube Emmanuel Pentecostal Church New Jersey
 
— Esther Mahgoube
 

Clarity Process

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Generospitality Part Three – How YOUR Welcoming Impacts THEIR Giving

Let brotherly love continue. Don’t neglect to show hospitality, for by doing this some have welcomed angels as guests without knowing it. – Hebrews 13:1-12 CSB

For today’s church, our generosity promotes our hospitality. And similarly, our hospitality proves our generosity. The way we love each person inside our congregation influences the way we love every person outside of our church. Welcoming with love into our church will set the tone for giving with love around our church. These two concepts really cannot be separated. It is hard to imagine a church full of selfish people being very welcoming to outsiders. And likewise, it seems impossible that an unfriendly people will ever be very generous with their resources.

Even though our current church models often separate the functions of generosity and hospitality, we have multiple instances of New Testament authors instructing the Church to hold both generosity and hospitality together as a unified front of loving people. The most known example is found in Hebrews 13. Here we see the author wrapping their letter to the Jewish followers of Christ, landing the plane after a strong message on faith throughout the generations. And we get a simple affirmation to let brotherly love (philadelphia) and a strong warning to not neglect hospitality (philoxenia). Generosity toward each other and hospitality toward every other are not separate biblical concepts.

In a similarly instructive pattern, Paul brings those two concepts to the Roman followers of Jesus as he clearly describes the practice of life in Christ in Chapter 12. Verse 13 places generosity and hospitality as one concept of love, with two directional expressions. Share with the saints in their needs; pursue hospitality. (Romans 12:13, CSB). Not even an “and” in there to connect two different thoughts. The audience would not have known these to be different systems, only that they were called to be generous as they love each other inside the body and be hospitable as they love every other outside the body.

The more Auxano serves as strategic outsiders in churches across the country, the more we believe that a congregation expresses love through welcoming and giving. A church will never give with generosity if they are not living every Sunday with hospitality. Sadly, many leaders fail to connect these concepts in either theology or missiology. We teach sermons and offer 12-week “discipleship” courses on generosity, but rarely mention hospitality apart from a random announcement geared toward filling Easter volunteer positions.

The problem remains that your hospitality will always set the tone for your generosity. Loving the stranger every Sunday by way of our welcome makes it easier to love each other by way of our offering. This does not mean that better systems to receive and enfold your guests will always guarantee better and more consistent givers. However, you can be assured that church members who do not love the people they do not know, will never fully love those whom they do.

> 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 >

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What say you? Leave a comment!

Recent Comments
comment_post_ID); ?> I agree 100%, you can tell if a church is doing this it grows, if there's no growth there's poor leadership..
 
— Dennis Whiterock
 
comment_post_ID); ?> Great work Bubba! Its exciting to see how God has blessed your faithfulness over your lifetime into remarkable, fruitful, Kingdom expansion! Jesus DID say, "without Me you can do nothing!" (John 15:5). No surprise that He rewards "thick and thin" prayer with great fruitfulness! :)
 
— Mike Taylor
 
comment_post_ID); ?> I loved this presentation. It helped greatly as I organized an Outreach Ministry of The Shepherds Care. Thank you. Esther Callaham Mahgoube Emmanuel Pentecostal Church New Jersey
 
— Esther Mahgoube
 

Clarity Process

Three effective ways to start moving toward clarity right now.

Generospitality Part Two – The Early Church Practiced This ONE Thing

“I give you a new command: Love one another. Just as I have loved you, you are also to love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”  – John 13:34-35  CSB

Beyond gathering, eating, singing and serving, the Acts 2 Church pursued one practice above all others: The early church loved people.

In context, the love of the first century church would have been quite revolutionary. The Hebrews earned love. The Greeks intellectualized love. The Romans debased love. And within each of those people groups, love was exclusive to those on the inside, rarely extended to anyone, not a part of “their tribe.” Then along came the early followers of Jesus who perfected love. They demonstrated the lavish love of Jesus, to every people group, albeit somewhat begrudgingly at times. Clearly hidden in these verses is a caring for others that made these people of “The Way” unbelievably attractive to a watching world.

But theirs was not love as a generalized and ethereal concept, like when my mom used to tell me to love my little brother and not lock him outside the house in his underwear. I had no clue what that meant apart from just being nicer to him, which didn’t seem nearly as much fun. It appears that the Early Church understood love to be more than an idea of behavior or more words. For them, caring for people was more than a catchy scriptural saying painted on their walls inspiring everyone to “love God and love others.”

For these early followers of Jesus, love went beyond the words and consistently manifested itself in two distinct parts. First, love for each other, the insiders, marked by their generosity. They gave to all who had a physical need among them. At the same time, the Church demonstrated love for the stranger, the outsiders, marked by their hospitality. They welcomed all from outside of the church who had a spiritual need. These were twin concepts. Like a coin with two sides, love appeared on the inside of the church through giving, and on the outside through welcoming.

Think about this for a moment. The early church, if any generation of Christians, were a group of people in possession of every reason to circle the wagons and focus on survival. But, after being given a boldly public platform at Pentecost, they left the upper room and immediately reached out to those outside of themselves. The lost without Christ were drawn every day to a new religion, one built on relationship over rules. The Lord added to the early church every day through their love, expressed inside the body as generosity and outside the body as hospitality. It would have been unimaginable for a first-century believer to claim the name of Jesus without also pro-claiming the love of Jesus. This love exploded throughout Jerusalem through their giving, or loving the ones they knew, and in their welcoming, or loving the ones they did not yet know.

Love for those in the body of Christ, brotherly love, motivated the generous heart of the Early Church, found throughout the New Testament as philadelphia. Love for those outside of the Church, literally love for the stranger, moved the welcoming arms of the Early Church, known to all as philoxenia.

It is, and always has been, that simple. Be generous and love those inside of the Church. Be hospitable and love those outside of the Church. Even today, how your church loves makes a difference.

> 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 agree 100%, you can tell if a church is doing this it grows, if there's no growth there's poor leadership..
 
— Dennis Whiterock
 
comment_post_ID); ?> Great work Bubba! Its exciting to see how God has blessed your faithfulness over your lifetime into remarkable, fruitful, Kingdom expansion! Jesus DID say, "without Me you can do nothing!" (John 15:5). No surprise that He rewards "thick and thin" prayer with great fruitfulness! :)
 
— Mike Taylor
 
comment_post_ID); ?> I loved this presentation. It helped greatly as I organized an Outreach Ministry of The Shepherds Care. Thank you. Esther Callaham Mahgoube Emmanuel Pentecostal Church New Jersey
 
— Esther Mahgoube
 

Clarity Process

Three effective ways to start moving toward clarity right now.

Generospitality Part One – The Missing Piece of Every Church Growth Model

Now all the believers were together and held all things in common. They sold their possessions and property and distributed the proceeds to all, as any had need. Every day they devoted themselves to meeting together in the temple, and broke bread from house to house. They ate their food with joyful and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. Every day the Lord added to their number those who were being saved. -Acts 2:44-48 CSB  

In my early days of ministry and seminary, these verses from Acts were the Holy Grail of church leadership. Rick Warren had just inspired us to live and lead Purpose Driven, and the vibrant picture of an effective and evangelizing church harkened back to the Early Church. We all wanted to be the church to which the Lord was adding to every day, and we all worked hard to restore parts of that Eden-like utopia of the Acts 2 Church. Well, all but the persecution parts, nobody was pursuing getting beaten or stoned.

In those days, we worked hard to be Purpose Driven and organized every ministry and job title in one of five ways to become effectively attractive. Then we wrote songs, dramatic sketches and leveraged the arts, like Willow, to become sensitive to those seeking Jesus. Or we created a culture of leadership like Andy and built churches for people who gave up on the church but not on God. And some of our churches grew, and then hosted conferences of their own. But most of our churches did not experience that hoped-for exponential growth of Acts 2.

Soon enough, a new generation emerged and brought a natural course correction in ministry practice, buoyed by their conviction that church was not singularly about the weekend after all. This new generation raised the intellectual bar on church growth and filtered everything through a Missional Church lens. Community in, and outside of, the church became the new Acts 2 standard. We needed to meet together, eat together and serve together… to do life together. We began to resist the large gatherings inside the church walls, and instead, shifted resources and energy to breaking bread daily and letting that be our witness to the world. We would even use words if necessary. Today, this missional renaissance has now survived its adolescence to emerge as a mature, and surprisingly reformed, disciple-making young adult.

All of these ideas and practices of church leadership over the last two decades are right in many ways. Purpose, creativity, community, and development are all evident in these verses from Acts 2. God has used each of our movements through the years to accomplish His will. However, it remains clear, today more than ever, that many of us still miss the beautiful simplicity of what was happening in those early days of Christianity. There was a different kind of movement underneath all Luke captured. Beyond gathering, eating, singing and serving, the Acts 2 Church pursued one practice above all others.

> 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 agree 100%, you can tell if a church is doing this it grows, if there's no growth there's poor leadership..
 
— Dennis Whiterock
 
comment_post_ID); ?> Great work Bubba! Its exciting to see how God has blessed your faithfulness over your lifetime into remarkable, fruitful, Kingdom expansion! Jesus DID say, "without Me you can do nothing!" (John 15:5). No surprise that He rewards "thick and thin" prayer with great fruitfulness! :)
 
— Mike Taylor
 
comment_post_ID); ?> I loved this presentation. It helped greatly as I organized an Outreach Ministry of The Shepherds Care. Thank you. Esther Callaham Mahgoube Emmanuel Pentecostal Church New Jersey
 
— Esther Mahgoube
 

Clarity Process

Three effective ways to start moving toward clarity right now.