The Secret Sequences & Systems of Ministry Innovation

Sequencing matters. Service matters.  Systems matter.

And so do people.

When sequencing and systems fail to help our guests effectively experience quality service, or take practical steps toward desired outcomes, people are not valued. We don’t communicate that they matter. At least we fall obviously short.

Our connections team has been assessing processes, systems, staffing and teams that most effectively help our people take their next step toward Jesus – particularly, new guests to our church. Although someone’s very next step after an initial weekend service may be to come back the next weekend, we can’t assume that is the only step a guest may want or need to take.

How do people meet others? Find a sense of belonging? And in doing so take a step on their journey toward and with Jesus? 

Sequence matters. And that means opportunities must be carefully planned and offered.

Environments, services, gatherings, resources – all matter. They help people meet, focus, grow and figure out their next step.

Systems matter. Clarity makes the next step even possible.  Following up communicates care.

Susan Abbott over at theIdeaStudio talks about sequencing as a way to innovate the guest’s or customer’s experience. No, she is not observing church ministry; she is looking at fast food delivery systems and insurance claims processes. She suggests that by altering the sequence of events, an organization can discover process innovation.

She offers this exercise:

Consider the sequence of delivery of the elements in your consumption chain. Write them on a piece of paper. Mix up the papers. Describe a sequence for each random mix you come up with. Try not to reject it out of hand … see if you can think of a way to make it work.*

Okay, this whole exercise goes south if you think of your church guests as a “consumption chain,” so don’t. You get the point. What helpful sequencing might come of this exercise in your ministry team? Non-profit? Marketplace business?

If you’re brave enough to give it a shot – report back through a comment.

Our team is going to dive into it. I’ll let you know…

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Mark Waltz

Mark has spent the past 25 years serving and leading people. While many of those years were focused within the local church, he brings marketplace experience from retail management, as well as career development and training. Regardless of his work or ministry context, he is about investing in people, because he believes people really matter. Think of him as a "people advocate." A sought after consultant and trainer, Mark has helped local churches of all sizes improve their guest services experience. Today Mark serves as executive pastor at Granger Community Church where for the past fourteen years he has been a unifying force, overseeing adult relational connections, including groups, guest services and volunteer strategies. As Granger’s chief guest services practitioner he still inspires teams of volunteers who make Granger Community Church a relaxed, rejuvenating and relevant experience for members and guests. Mark also oversees Granger’s multisite campuses.

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COMMENTS

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Recent Comments
What happens when u dont have a meeting place any more. And u was forced out because the buliding wasnt available any more.
 
— Debra
 
If someone wants entertainment they're going to the wrong place. Church is not a place for entertainment...or in my opinion a barrage of coffee and donuts. Why are churches today bringing the world INTO them? Then there's the thing with children...age appropriate??? These little guys can pick stuff up in service. Besides Jesus said Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven. Mt. 19:14.
 
— Laurie
 
I love the intentionality here as well as the challenge to look at the data. That's missing so many times. I would like to offer a contrarian's take. Church members and regular attenders have so many ways to get information: Announcements, bulletins, social channels, relationships, and email being among the options. But brand new people are likely going to check out the website and that's it. It might be wiser for churches with limited time and resources to focus their website almost exclusively to guests. This group of people isn't looking for a calendar of events but wants to know about regular programs. They probably aren't interested in watching all of the messages but instead may want to preview one of the services. For the times we need church members to go to websites (sign up for camp, join a group, etc), we're probably better off designing and promoting a specific page rather than cluttering up the homepage.
 
— Michael Lukaszewski (@mlukaszewski)
 

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