You don’t need to lay out a five year plan. You don’t need to bring in an outside consultant. You don’t need to invest in expensive training, read a mountain of books, or hire a ringer from another church staff to up your guest services game.
There’s one solution that will bring about change starting next weekend. One solution that will allow you to see many of the things that you would otherwise pay a “professional” to spot:
Invite a friend.
It’s really that simple. If you have an unchurched friend that you’ve been investing in, praying for, and hoping against hope that she would come to faith in Christ, just invite her to come with you to a weekend service. Suddenly, everything that a guest sees…you will see. It will all come into crystal-clear focus. You’ll take notice of whether others take notice of her. You’ll witness every awkward encounter. You’ll hear every clumsy transition. You’ll see every fleck of peeling paint, every piece of trash on the bathroom floor, and every smudge on the lobby windows.
There’s something about inviting our guests that makes us take notice of all the guests. When our friends show up, things get personal. Priorities get realigned. Items that were once a “good idea one day when we can get around to it” suddenly move up the chain to be of utmost importance.
Don’t get me wrong: you’ll still need a plan of attack, you might want to consider an outside consultant, and you may want to pick up a few books. But getting a jumpstart is as simple as sending a text:
“Hey, want to come with me to church this weekend?”