10 Mind-Blowing Facts to Fuel Your Hospitality Ministry

Every month for the last decade, the Auxano team conducts ministry observations during weekend services. We call it the Guest Perspective Evaluation. Here is why I keep this strategic component in Auxano’s toolbox. Okay, each reality by itself may not be mind blowing, but when you put them all together the case is staggering and couldn’t be more compelling.

#1  You will have more guests in one year than you think. Our “information gathering” in churches doesn’t even capture the majority of guests.  Auxano research shows that five to eight percent of your worshipping community will self-identify as guests. Therefore the number of guests in one year is:

[ (Ave. weekly worship attendance) x (.05) x (52)]

#2 Many of your guests are going through situations that make them more responsive to God.  These are the folks that are most likely to be moving, changing jobs, getting divorced, having kids, etc.

#3  Your guests are assessing very quickly whether or not they are coming back. This happens much faster than we think. For example, read  The 11-Minute Difference.

#4  Your guests represent step one of accomplishing the Great Commission- these are the people coming to you!  How much does your church spend on foreign missions? Compare that to how much we invest into the fish that swim to the boat before we cast a net.

#5  A guest who is attending may represent years of prayer, service and invitation by a church member.  My mom and I attended church without my father for 12 years. The first time my Dad came to church with us, imagine how I felt about the church and the hospitality of the people. All I could think is “Don’t screw up!”

#6  Studies show that guests will talk about their initial experiences 8-15 times with other people. Serve guests well and multiply your message.

#7  A welcoming ministry is a great “shallow end of the pool” to get people involved in service for the first time. Yes, you have plenty of intimidating places to serve like worship, small groups and children’s ministry. So why not leverage an easy place to start?

#8  Building a great ministry to guests nourishes a culture of hospitality because of the concrete reminders to the entire congregation that guests matter.

#9 Investment in a welcoming ministry is an investment into every other ministry your church offers.  I ask churches to dream about what ministry they might start. I then tell them to get it done by first having great guest services. Do you want an amazing prison ministry? Maybe the next Chuck Colson is visiting next week.

#10 We are commanded in Scripture to be hospitable. The Greek word philoxenia literally means to “love strangers” and is used in Romans 12:13 and Hebrews 12:3.

Download PDF

Tags: , , ,

| What is MyVisionRoom? > | Back to Environments >

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Will Mancini

Will Mancini

Will Mancini wants you and your ministry to experience the benefits of stunning, God-given clarity. As a pastor turned vision coach, Will has worked with an unprecedented variety of churches from growing megachurches and missional communities, to mainline revitalization and church plants. He is the founder of Auxano, creator of VisionRoom.com and the author of God Dreams and Church Unique.

See more articles by >

COMMENTS

What say you? Leave a comment!

KnowLiveShare — 11/01/12 11:16 pm

Great tips. My mind is blown. Our community invites new friends to serve first on our Greeting & Hospitality team as a way of getting to know people and begin a habit of serving together. Then, after a season of initial discipleship, they are able to serve in other areas according to their gifting.

Recent Comments
In this era, we have the opportunity of professional church staff today who utilize their gifting to shape the image and atmosphere of the church organization. But the 100% real impact on the church visitors is genuine evidence of changed lives by the gospel and the active growing discipleship (just as it was in the first century church). One demonstration is financially rich believers ministering equally together with poor believers (how odd, and incredibly miraculous; all humble and bow at the foot of the cross.). It is the awesome contrast of church members vocations, race, gender, age, maturity, gifting, humility that demonstrates to visitors "there is a Spirit in the place". That first-time guest list of 10 are "physical excuses", not spiritual excuses. Those don't tell the story. The condition of facilities and publicly greeting people have zero to do with it. The power of God in and through believers lives dedicated to impact other people with their relationship bridge-building of acceptance of the lost around them. Empowered believers are infectious, loving, helpful, giving, self-less, dynamic, compelling, bold, Christ-filled. As I have been in many church settings domestically and internationally, the facilities can be poor, and yet the fellowship can still be rich. We need to operate with first church humility. People come to Christ on His terms, not on our human abilities of hospitality. A huge catastrophe in a community, disaster relief brings lots of people into churches – many come to the church in those terrible conditions no matter the physical condition of the local church. Off the condition of facility, and onto the condition of God's people (living stones).... and everything else will grow.... and the other physical issues will be corrected by the staff.
 
— Russ Wright
 
"While I understand the intent behind this phrase" Expound please. What do you understand to be the intent behind that phrase?
 
— Ken
 
Thank you for this article! I'm the pastor of a small church. My gifting is in teaching and we are known for aiding Christians in becoming Biblically literate. Visitor's often comment on God's presence being very real in our services. But we just don't seem to be growing. I have some soul-searching, etc. to do and this article provides some solid ground from which to proceed. Thank you again.
 
— Jonathan Schultheis
 

Clarity Process

Three effective ways to start moving toward clarity right now.