Published: 11 months ago

Compass Christian Church (Chandler, Arizona)

Each month, we revisit a series of posts called Guest Services Road TripWe’ll travel the country from the comforts of our couches, interviewing leaders who are in the trenches of ministry. Do you have an idea for GSRT destination? Have a leader I need to talk to? Want the inside scoop on churches that seem to be doing this hospitality thing really well? Let’s talk.


Jaimi Henline is the Guest Experience Director at Compass Christian Church in Chandler, Arizona. CCC is a church that meets in two locations with 2,800 people in weekly attendance. Their mission is to lead people to find and follow Jesus, and evangelism and discipleship is at the heart of their mission.

Jaimi has been a part of Compass since May 2017. You can catch up with her via email.


What are the top three books you’ve read on the topic of guest services and/or volunteerism?

Be Our Guest (Kinni), How to Win Friends and Influence People (Carnegie), Beyond the First Visit (McIntosh)


What does your training process look like for your Guest Experience volunteers (initially and/or ongoing)?

This is an area we are currently evaluating. Each area that I oversee has a different process in how they train their volunteers. For example, the greeters are taken on a two week journey to each greeting location before given a “final destination” for serving. During the first week they work alongside someone who has been greeting for a while, then are eventually paired with a longtime greeter at their position.


How is your Guest Experience Team structured (org chart, leadership pipeline, etc.)? Do you ever release Guest Experience volunteers to lead in other ministries?

This also is an area we’re evaluating, as my position did not exist prior to my hiring. I am the paid staff director. Each area that I oversee has a lead (parking, cafe, info center, living room, greeters and ushers). Under the leads are assistant leads that ideally would be doing the “hands on work” during service.


Talk about your assimilation process. What specific steps do you have to move someone from first time guest to a follower of Jesus? 

Our current assimilation process has just been put into place (do you see a trend here?). When someone attends our weekend service they are pushed to visit our “Living Room” where they’re encouraged to take three steps:

  • Rooted – a discipleship/small group experience. Since Rooted is only offered three times a year we have other options that are ongoing.
  • Attending a New Here Lunch with staff and pastors.
  • Attend Discover Compass, which is our membership class.

Our next phase is authentic community followed by missional service. Each of those have their own simple steps as well.

From a staff standpoint, after a guest’s visit we will get their info from Living Room, send an email from senior pastor, call them during the week, and send a thank you post card from the volunteer or staff they connected with at the living Room.


Is the Guest Experience Team a “silo ministry” at Compass? In other words, do other ministry areas view guest services as an essential part of their mission?

Since my position and this ministry is brand new to our church, the ministry itself is seen at times as a silo ministry. But as far as the leadership teams, absolutely not. We are working together to help everyone understand that Guest Experience involves ALL ministries on the weekend.


What is a challenge you’re currently facing on your Guest Experience Team?

We are struggling with getting volunteers who are still learning the area and the church. Our bigger struggle is getting volunteers who are not yet retired. No offense to those retired…but I believe my generation and those right above me play essential roles in getting other people of our ages into churches!


How do you define success on a weekend…either personally or professionally?

I think that an area I have noticed is our volunteers have a dependence mindset, whether that’s centered on me or our pastors. I want them to get to a place where they are empowered to do their job without having to get “confirmation” from a paid employee!


What is an idea you’d like to experiment with or implement over the next six months?

I have so many eager (and hopefully not naive) ideas I want to implement. One of those is our first interaction with our guests (whether we have a tent outside or waiting until they get inside) to present them their steps. Others include volunteer care, such as an incentive to get our current volunteers to bring others on board with some fun recognition. There are areas of training that I am hoping to implement as well. The biggest, though, is learning how to structure the teams to where the dependence is not on myself!


See all posts in the Guest Services Road Trip series.


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