People People are the Best Welcome People

This isn’t rocket science. It’s not brain surgery. It’s not even pastorally profound. It’s pretty common sense stuff. I want people on our guest services teams who are:

  • People-peoplePeople who love people

There was a time in our church when greeters just needed to be able to brush their teeth and smile. Those days are long gone. They must bathe, too.

Oh, yes, and they must like people. No, they must love people.

Our guests and the guests in your church (or business) will intuitively know when our teams don’t care. You know it when you experience it.

You’ve experienced the super market clerk who gives you no eye contact, doesn’t speak to you until she tells you the total amount of cast you owe, and scowls to her associate in the next lane about how long she’s been at work. You’ve bumped into the church greeter who brushed his teeth, but hadn’t smiled since 1952. And today he can’t remember why. We know when people really love, really care.

If your teams aren’t people-people, your guests will know. They’ll know when your team…

  • frowns
  • complains about what’s wrong
  • can’t leave soon enough
  • rigidly performs the tasks of their role without connecting relationally
  • shows signs of fatigue
  • is indifferent or even rude.

But, when you team is made up of people-people, your guests will engage. They will know they matter. And when they know they matter to us, they’ll be more open to hearing and accepting that they matter to God.

And isn’t that the point?

Read more from Mark.


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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

What say you? Leave a comment!

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)
 

Clarity Process

Three effective ways to start moving toward clarity right now.

Three Bottom-Line “Musts” for Your Church’s Guest Services Ministry

I’ve been asked lately about some bottom-line “musts” to establish and/or take guest services excellence to the next level. This isn’t an exhaustive list (that’s why I wrote a few books on the topic), but these core essentials will provide a foundation to make your serve to guests excellent and personable.

  • Leadership: 
    • Are the right leaders in place?
    • Do they carry the DNA, mission, vision and values of the church?
    • Do they hold the experience of the guest as a top priority over personal convenience?
    • Are they gifted leaders – not merely doers (although they may “do” fantastic work)?
    • Do these leaders have chemistry, trust and love for each other?
    • Do they model the level of personable service you want every team member to practice?
  • Values:
    • Are values defined and communicated (whatever those are… Team, Engagement, Next Steps, People Matter, etc)?
    • Are teams using those values as lenses to serve guests? That is, are they operating from a motivation of values rather than mere technical training or a task list?
  • Systems:
    • Are systems defined and functioning so guests are served well?
    • Are systems facilitated and owned by team members who utilize those systems to serve people?
    • Do systems help team members understand their schedule, expectations, and feedback loop?

Of course if you’re providing guest services in the local church, it’s assumed, but should be stated – the love of God in Jesus motivates everything you do. It is the number one driving value. Helping people experience the grace of God is the point – or there is none.

Read more from Mark here.

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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

What say you? Leave a comment!

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)
 

Clarity Process

Three effective ways to start moving toward clarity right now.

The 4-Point Email: Sharing Best Practices with Your Team

Excellent guest service – whether in a local church, community non-profit, retail business or service industry – is really the compilation of lived-out best practices. Those benchmark behaviors that may be simple and common sense, but they are set as standards of practice by everyone in the organization.

Best practices can be produced in a board room.

  • Respond to questions within 48 hours.
  • Answer the phone before the fourth ring.
  • Do what you do with excellence.

It can happen: best practices can come from the board room. But not most of them.

Most best practices come about in the moment. A one-time occurrence implemented by one team member that gets discovered and, because of its impact on communicating value, is repeated as a norm throughout the entire team. That’s what happened with our guest services four-point report .

A couple years ago our volunteer usher leaders began to email each other following each weekend of services. By Monday afternoon an email was circulating, celebrating highlights and asking questions about how to solve a challenge that had popped up. The email created conversation that birthed an ongoing best-practice-making machine. The Four-Point Email was born. It’s this simple:

  •  Share a highlight from the weekend.
    • Anything positive counts.
    • A story about a guest interaction.
    • A high point from the service itself.
    • A nugget from a team member.
  •  Tell about a challenge the team encountered and how it was solved (if one existed at all).
    • crying baby in the middle of the service.
    • The need for more wheel chairs than we had on hand.
    • An overcrowded room with standing room only.
  •  Tell about a challenge the team encountered that you still need help with.
    • You dealt with it as best you could, but ultimately you know a long-term solution is still needed.
    • Not enough handicap seating.
    • Confusing signage.
    • Lack of information about an event or ministry.
  •  Finally, share the name of an up-and-coming leader.
    • We’ll all pray—for that person and for the leaders who will be pouring into him/her.
    • This person may not be named an apprentice yet, but we all have our eyes open and our mentoring radar on.

This four-point email keeps the communication going well past the weekend. Weekend teams are not isolated; they are united. Unique approaches are not limited to any one leader; they are sharedBest practices are not protected by a team; they are celebrated and practiced by the entire ministry. 

How are you establishing and implementing best practices?

(Revised excerpt from How to Wow Your Church Guests: 101 Ways to Make a Meaningful First Impression, Best Practice #94, pages 131-132)

Read more from Mark here.

Download PDF

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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.

See more articles by >

COMMENTS

What say you? Leave a comment!

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)
 

Clarity Process

Three effective ways to start moving toward clarity right now.

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…

Read more from Mark here.

Download PDF

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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.

See more articles by >

COMMENTS

What say you? Leave a comment!

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)
 

Clarity Process

Three effective ways to start moving toward clarity right now.

Volunteer Culture: Debunking the Myth that Volunteering Takes More Time, Part 5

In the last post and next couple posts about creating and cultivating a volunteer culture, I’ll pull from my second book, Lasting Impressions: From Visiting to Belonging, to review some common myths that prevent people from stepping up to serve in the local church (or any organization).

Myth #2: “Volunteering Requires Too Much Time.”

This myth may or may not be true in your church. If the only way to volunteer at your church is by serving every week for hours at a time, the above statement may not be a myth; it may be an unfortunate reality.

  • Debunk MYTH #2
  • Create first serve opportunities. We picked up this concept from Willow Creek Community Church. At Willow first serves are “one-time serving opportunities offered at a variety of times and tapping into a wide range of skills and areas of interest.” Their mantra is “Come once and check it out. No strings attached.” People are invited to help prepare the auditorium for weekend services, care for cleanup during services, assist with maintenance projects and more—one time. It’s a first serve.
  • Provide a variety of schedules for serving. There are roles in our children’s ministry that require a weekly serve for sixty—ninety minutes each week, so that our children experience consistency with the adults and students who lead them. There are other volunteer roles in children’s ministry and almost every other department that are as infrequent as once a month. Volunteers can serve in some areas on a seasonal basis, such as our Green Thumb teams who spruce up and maintain the landscape of our campus during the spring and summer months (We’re in the snow belt of Northern Indiana. There are other unique and courageous teams who clear snow and de-ice pavement during the other months.)
  • People make assumptions. People know people who serve 2, 5, 10, 20 hours a week. They assume that’s what’s required to volunteer – so they don’t. People will live their assumptions as reality unless you say otherwise. Find creative ways to allow people to serve without requiring them to quit their jobs to do so.

Adapted from Lasting Impressions, Group Publishing

Read the rest of the series here: Part 1; Part 2; Part 3; Part 4.
Read more from Mark here.
Download PDF

Tags: , ,

| What is MyVisionRoom? > | Back to Environments >

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.

See more articles by >

COMMENTS

What say you? Leave a comment!

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)
 

Clarity Process

Three effective ways to start moving toward clarity right now.

Volunteer Culture: Debunking the Myth that Volunteering Takes More Time – Part 4

For the next several posts about creating and cultivating a volunteer culture, I’ll pull from my second book, Lasting Impressions: From Visiting to Belonging, to review some common myths that prevent people from stepping up to serve in the local church (or any organization).

MYTH #1: “There’s no room for me; it’s all being done already.”

  • You and I know nothing could be further from the truth. Unless it’s really true, of course. Maybe your staff is doing it all. Maybe you’ve structured things in such a way that there really are not new opportunities for new peeps. True or not, people tend to believe the myth.
  • For instance, at Granger our guests and returning guests pull into the parking lot where they are directed by a traffic team to an open parking space. At the front door of the building they are greeted by one or more volunteers who welcome them to the service. A team is ready at the children’s check-in area, with campus guides available if the family needs assistance getting to children’s launch zones or rooms. There are friendly teams of people throughout the children’s center and each classroom with a prepared room for the session’s activities. When they visit the restroom they discover that someone has cleaned the space, stocked tissue and deodorized.

In the auditorium they discover that someone has prepared a printed program, while someone else has prepared the space with seating, lighting and ambient music. During the service it’s clear that there were teams of artists who practiced and presented music, media and drama. The pastor was prepared with a message relevant to their world. Everything was thought of; everything was covered. “They must have all the volunteers and staff they need,” thinks the normal Granger attendee.

My guess is this is a common myth in your church as well. Every staff and volunteer leader knows it’s a myth. There’s always room for more volunteers.

  • Debunk MYTH #1
  • Talk about it. Don’t assume people will figure this out on their own. They won’t. Say the myth aloud from the platform. At Granger it’s a myth we frequently speak to, directly and simply: “There are abundant opportunities to make a contribution. There’s room for you.” And then we’ll point to the variety of areas where our people can jump in and make a contribution. It seems too simple: talk about it. But the simple is easy to overlook. So, I’ll say it again, talk about it.
  • “Chunk” new roles: In their book Simply Strategic Volunteers, Tony Morgan and Tim Stevens use this phrase to talk about breaking any volunteer project or role down to its many parts. If you have one volunteer responsible for getting the toddler space ready for the weekend, chunk the responsibilities to include more people: toy washers, floor cleaners, people who copy, cut or collate activity sheets. One person doesn’t have to do it all. As roles are chunked you create more opportunities for volunteers.
  • Make sure it’s a myth. If I hear a ministry area in our church boast of having enough volunteers, there’s generally a “come to Jesus meeting” called. If you have teams who can’t find ways to involve more people it needs to be addressed. In more cases than not, that team has stopped dreaming, become cozily settled in their “we four and no more” team of friends or hit a lull in their creative approach to include more volunteers. Only in our band where there are limited instruments do we occasionally find ourselves in a season of “enough.” Tony Morgan puts it this way: “The church can’t afford to have “Not Hiring” signs posted at the door.”

Adapted from Lasting Impressions, Group Publishing

Read Part 1,  Part 2Part 3

Read more from Mark here.
Download PDF

Tags: , ,

| What is MyVisionRoom? > | Back to Environments >

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.

See more articles by >

COMMENTS

What say you? Leave a comment!

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)
 

Clarity Process

Three effective ways to start moving toward clarity right now.

Volunteer Culture: Debunking the Myth that Volunteering Takes More Time – Part 1

I’m often asked what it takes to move a local church from staff-led ministry to ministry led and carried out by teams of volunteers. It’s certainly not an overnight process to make such an intentional change.

Here’s part one of several responses to the question: how do create a culture of volunteering where people choose to step up and serve?

It starts with vision. Someone with respected voice and leadership must cast vision for volunteering, for volunteers serving. That someone will likely be the senior communicator, lead pastor – whatever the role – the person leading the church. Our founding pastor Mark Beeson has taught and practiced for years that the people of the church are the ministers; pastors and other staff empower and equip them to do so. Mark has taught, cast vision, and ramped up volunteer leaders. He has led the way.

I’ve seen a number of churches claim a desire to empower volunteers, but apparently it’s all supposed to be managed behind the scenes through a leader who’s charged with the new initiative: involve our people. However, without vision being cast to the entire church, it will not happen effectively. If it’s a paradigm shift, the senior leader must paint the picture: both why the current strategy can’t continue like it is, and what benefit comes from this new preferred future.

Just in case the senior leader is at a loss for how to teach this value, the scriptures paint quite a convincing paradigm for volunteer-driven ministry. Just sayin’.

Here’s what’s coming in future posts on creating and cultivating a volunteer culture:

  • People are busy with a full slate of family activity, personal priorities and work. How and why would people alter their schedule to volunteer, to serve through the local church?
  • The church calendar is full. How easy is it for people to make a significant contribution?
  • Meaningfully involving professionals in the church community is especially challenging. How do we leverage their leadership as volunteers?
  • Serving with friends matters. Task is important; so are relationships.
  • What role does serving play in spiritual formation?

Read Part 2 of this series here.

Read more from Mark here.

Download PDF

Tags: , , ,

| What is MyVisionRoom? > | Back to Environments >

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.

See more articles by >

COMMENTS

What say you? Leave a comment!

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)
 

Clarity Process

Three effective ways to start moving toward clarity right now.

Volunteer Culture: Debunking the Myth that Volunteering Takes More Time – Part 2

In our local churches we sometimes operate in a fantasy land, ignoring the reality that our people are living outside the four walls of the church. We create programs, activities, and opportunities for people to volunteer their time and talent as though our people are sitting around with nothing to do.

When we do ask them to step up and participate, we’re often vague, and sometimes shaming.

It’s as though we think people walk through the front door of our church saying, “I want my life to count. I want to make a difference. Everything I’m doing now, I’ll stop to be involved here.” I wonder if we see a blank slate in the lives of our members and attendees and think it’s our job as pastors and staff to “fill ‘er up!” Really?

None of us really thinks that. We know better. But sometimes we don’t lead like we know better.

  • The weekend bulletin/program is filled with a menu so large people are overwhelmed looking at it.
    • We forget that people already have a full menu. They work jobs that already require more from them than they feel they can give. They are the taxi service to get kids to school, soccer practice, school games, dentist appointments, shopping and over-nighters. They have their own doctors’ appointments, gym schedule, cleaning and social lives. People are busy! Aren’t you?
    • Then on top of that menu – not in place of it – we lay out an extensive array of opportunities for involvement. We tend to categorize the options: volunteer opportunities, Bible studies, group life, weekend services, etc. However, not all, but many people see the menu as a whole. “I can choose to volunteer, attend a class or be in a group. I can’t do everything.” Meanwhile the local church is communicating, “You need to be in a group, attend midweek classes, volunteer through a church ministry, be in the weekend service and spend time with your friends who need you to be Jesus in their lives. And don’t forget your family. Oh, and here’s one more all-church project we need everyone to prioritize.” Really? How’d we come to think people live a 9-day week? 
    • Trim. Trim. Trim. Here’s the simple truth: too many options on the menu means people won’t choose. It stresses them out. They’re paralyzed. Or they’ll choose and end up backing out. “Buyer’s” remorse. 
  • People can’t figure out how to volunteer.
    • People want to help. They want to be involved. They want to make a significant contribution with their time and talent. 
    • If you want them to help, you’ll need to make onramps visible and easily accessible. Host a ministry fair, a volunteer expo. a VolunTour or Backstage Pass. Make a clear pathway through your website. 
  • The what – the task – is communicated without the why. 
    • I just wrapped up a lively lunch meeting with four men from our Elkhart campus. The focus was connecting new people. The foundational conviction was people must hear and embrace the vision to make a connection at all. All four of these men spoke from their own experience. The why behind the what at Granger Community hooked them. Knowing why, the what was easy. 
    • If people are going to give up time in the middle of their work day like these men did today; if they’re going to give time on the weekends; if they’re going to stay late and show up early – they deserve to know “why.” It informs and motivates the activity of serving.

Here’s the recap…

  • Reduce the menu. Don’t overwhelm your people with too many choices.
  • Make onramps to volunteering visible and easily accessible.
  • Cast vision. Explain the why behind the what. Give context for the task.

Next post…

  • Invest in people; don’t merely expect them to invest in your ministry.

_________________________

Of course, while you’re waiting for the next post, you should pick up THE handbook on all things volunteering by Tim Stevens and Tony MorganSimply Strategic Volunteers (also here).

And then, hop over to ENGAGED (Verb), the blog of Kim Volheim, our director of volunteer involvement at Granger Community.

Oh, and I did write more about this topic in Lasting Impressions (also here).

Read Part 1 here.

Read about Mark here.

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| What is MyVisionRoom? > | Back to Environments >

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

What say you? Leave a comment!

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)
 

Clarity Process

Three effective ways to start moving toward clarity right now.

Volunteer Culture: Debunking the Myth that Volunteering Takes More Time – Part 3

When your church decides to intentionally develop a culture where it’s normal to volunteer, where it’s natural to serve, it’s easy to make it all about the task. And when it’s all about the task, we can make it all about our church. It’s all too easy to forget that it’s first about Jesus and people. I know – shocking. Earth-breaking. But true. Here are a couple examples.

  • The objective, the task alone drives the recruitment of volunteers. 
    • Often churches look at the ministry goals in front of them and go into recruitment mode to get the task of ministry done. And why not? We do have a mission. We have an agenda. There are clear goals with distinctive objectives that must be accomplished. However, even with clear vision cast, the task shouldn’t be the lone motivator for inviting people to serve. 
    • People matter. Inviting them to serve is an opportunity to invest in their personal development, their spiritual growth. Their participation on the team should encourage new friendships, invitations to take steps in their journey, and constant learning to live out the character of Christ as a servant.
      • Make it normal for people to connect outside of their serving time. Time to share a meal, play a game, enjoy worship, just be. 
      • Encourage conversation beyond the task: what are some steps toward Jesus we can take together as a team? What is God up to in our personal journys? Provide space for that dialog. 
      • Create intentional systematic ways to share prayer concerns. Follow up with cards, phone calls and emails. Build a culture of care in your serving environments.
  • Leaders appear arrogant about their church. 
    • Sometimes our promotion of our teams, our ministry objectives, our volunteer opportunities can sound like they are somehow more important to the kingdom than the volunteering our people are already doing in their kid’s school, their neighborhood association, the Red Cross or the community soup kitchen.
    • This past week I learned of another woman in our church who I didn’t know as a volunteer. She wasn’t part of any team. She didn’t appear to have lifted a finger to help our ministry. I was so wrong. Since being diagnosed 10 years ago with cancer, the local oncology clinic has called on her to sit with, listen to, provide encouragement to new patients who’d learned they have cancer. She’s been pulling people back from the edge of hopelessness for the past decade. She’s loved like Jesus, prayed with people, shared scripture and hugged new friends. She has volunteered her time. She’s given her life. That counts for the Kingdom. It is the Kingdom.

 Recap:

  • Invest in people; don’t merely expect them to invest in your ministry.
  • Celebrate every expression of servanthood for the Kingdom – even if it’s not in your local ministry.

 

Read Part 1 and Part 2.

More from Mark Waltz here.

Download PDF

Tags: , ,

| What is MyVisionRoom? > | Back to Environments >

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.

See more articles by >

COMMENTS

What say you? Leave a comment!

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)
 

Clarity Process

Three effective ways to start moving toward clarity right now.