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.

Download PDF

Tags: , , , ,

| What is MyVisionRoom? > | Back to Communication >


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 >


What say you? Leave a comment!

Recent Comments
I like it Mac and do agree with your opinions on the matter. Thanks much
— winston
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

Clarity Process

Three effective ways to start moving toward clarity right now.