Today’s blog post is specifically for pastors or church staff people. If you’re not one of those, you can go back to watching Dog the Bounty Hunter, or whatever it is that unpaid Christians do in their spare time. (Personally, I memorize chapters of Amos, but maybe that’s just me.)
If you read this blog on a regular basis, you know that I heart guest services in the local church. This spring, I’ve been very fortunate to spend time with some of the most talented guest services practitioners in the country. These are people who toss out terms like “guest touch points” and “volunteer on-ramps” like Dum Dum pops in a Main Street parade. I’ve learned a tremendous amount from them and gotten a glimpse inside how they do first impressions at their respective churches.
The network was the brainchild of Mark Waltz from Granger Community Church, the guy who literally wrote the book on First Impressions. Mark brought together 13 of us for some intensive and insightful conversations on the role of volunteers, guests, and community within the local church. The experience had a profound impact on me, and I walked away as a stronger leader and with a greater vision for my role here at the Summit.
(And a pocket full of Starbucks gift cards, but that’s another story.)
Why am I telling you all this? So you’ll be overcome with jealousy and spend the rest of your days wishing you could walk in my shoes. No seriously, I tell you because Mark is doing it again this fall. That’s right: you’ll benefit from the guinea pigs that were known as “our group.” But if the movie career of Tracy Morgan has taught us anything, it’s that being a guinea pig ain’t too shabby.
If you’re a lead pastor or guest services director, or you’re a lead pastor who oversees a guest services director, or you’re a guest services director who has a teddy bear of a lead pastor, you need to be there or get your person there or lavish empty praise on the teddy bear…um…lead pastor in order to get there. I’ll be honest: if I didn’t look so sketchy in a mullet wig and aviator sunglasses, I’d go incognito and attend all over again.
So get into the conversation. Learn, grow, stretch, and figure out what’s next. Registration for the fall opens in the next few weeks, and you can keep your eyes peeled to Mark’s blog for more details.