Published: 2 years ago

The Seven Deadly Sins of Guest Services

We know that it’s easy for culture to leak. It’s easy for our vision to lose it’s stickiness. If we’re going to continually transfer DNA to our staff and volunteers, we must continually come up with new ways to say old truths.

That’s what this post represents.

We recently rolled out a “Seven Deadly Sins” document here at the Summit. It’s a simple way to stress the biggies of our hospitality model. Consider it a guest services manifesto, if you will.

Click to download the PDF to use with your teams.

So what are our seven deadly sins? What are the things we avoid at all costs? Read on:


1. No on-ramp or ongoing care for new volunteers.

Our church-wide standard is that we offer monthly First Impressions training at least ten times per year. Putting volunteers in place without training is a natural byproduct of not offering training, and it means that we fail in passing along the “why” behind our “what.” Lack of follow up or clearly defined next steps for potential volunteers may lead them to believe they are not needed.


2. No outward posture.

The point of guest services is to point people to Jesus. We can’t serve our guests if we’re in a huddle with our friends. The Summit’s guest services teams should be proactive, outward-facing, and intentional so that we will see our guests before our guests see us.


3. No attention to detail.

Handwritten signs, dirty bathrooms, litter on the sidewalks, and supply closets short on supplies are an abomination to a guest services team. Every gum wrapper should be considered our gum wrapper. Every flickering light and squeaky door should catch our attention before it impacts our guests’ experience.


4. No “attend one, serve one” expectation.

A healthy volunteer is a worshipping volunteer. Our standard is that all of our volunteers will be able to fully engage in an entire worship service, and then fully serve for another service. This expectation allows our entire team to focus on Jesus and our guests without the two being in conflict with each other.


5. No skeleton crew.

Related to “attend one, serve one,” we will have no ghost towns. Every guest who shows up – regardless of what time – deserves a warm greeting and clear instructions on what looms behind closed doors. We will always have 10-15% of our team present at key locations any time a service is in progress.


6. No inclusive language.

We do not have visitors but guests. There is a profound difference in the two words…one is an afterthought, the other is planned for and honored. We will speak directly to guests at appropriate times throughout the service, interpreting what they are witnessing (baptism, communion, offering, etc.).


7. No first time guest follow up.

The first visit should always set up the second visit. If a guest trusts us with their contact information, we should serve them by contacting them within 48 hours to thank them for their visit, provide additional next steps, and answer any questions they may have.


Click to download the PDF to use with your teams.


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