Published: 10 months ago

Three Things Necessary to Shape Your Vision

Each year we host a series of One-Day Workshops, events designed to help you and your team take a deep dive into one subject. Find out more about upcoming ODWs here.

Here’s an excerpt from the Guest Services Workshop.

Leaders like to talk about vision. Many, many words have been spilled in books, blogs, seminars, and seminary classrooms on how to craft it, how to refine it, and how to regain it when you feel like you’ve lost it. When it comes to shaping a vision for your guest services team at your church, I’ve found that three things are absolutely necessary:

1. Context

What works for us in Raleigh-Durham, NC may not work for you in Billings, MT. What works in a traditional stained-glass-and-steepled building may not work in a high school gymnasium. In other words, you can’t cut and paste a guest services plan from one church and assume that’ll work for your church. Context matters. To figure out your context, you can’t start on the inside and look out. Rather, you have to start from the outside and look in. What is the flavor of your city? What is the vibe of your neighborhood? How are people used to being treated at your local grocery store, strip mall, or doctor’s offices? Look at your surroundings and let that inform (not dictate) the way that you approach your guests.

2. Collaboration

Repeat after me: my guest services team cannot be an island. My guest services team cannot be an island. My guest services team cannot be an island. If you capture lightning in a bottle and discover the secret sauce to making guests feel welcome…but your kids’ ministry totally ignores the new people…then you have an imbalanced system. If you help your guest services volunteers refine their language and their talking points to serve guests well…but your announcement guy never acknowledges them from the stage…then you will never fire on all cylinders. Everyone on your team and everyone in your church needs to see guest services as their job, not just a job relegated to the “official volunteers.”

3. Ownership

It’s a great thing to have a team that focuses on our guests. It’s not a great thing when that team doesn’t have someone focusing on them. A team without a leader will eventually lead to apathy or chaos or multiple visions that pull in different directions. Someone has to own the vision. Someone has to lead the team. There has to be someone with whom the buck stops, someone who is held accountable, someone who is in charge. That someone doesn’t necessarily need to be a paid staff member, but they do need to be recognized by the staff as the resident expert on how people and systems and resources align in order to bring guests in and help them stick.

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