FaithBridge Church (Manchester, New Hampshire)
Each month, we revisit a series of posts called Guest Services Road Trip. We’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.
Matt Hasty is the Assistant Pastor at FaithBridge Church in Manchester, New Hampshire. FaithBridge is the union of Grace Haven Baptist Church (an inner-city church plant from 2005) and South Main Street Church (established in 1883). They see a regular weekend gathering of 100, and describe themselves as a vibrant, loving, multi-generational congregation with many foster & adoptive families.
Matt has been a part of FaithBridge for eight years. Connect with him via email.
What are the top books you’ve read on the topic of guest services and/or volunteer culture?
What does your training process look like for your greeters?
Usually we do a one-on-one conversation when recruiting new volunteers. Additional training is handled via meetings after church and / or through emails.
How is your greeters team structured? Do you ever release greeters to lead in other ministries?
We have greeters in parking lot & in the lobby. Teen volunteers are paired with an adult (non-family member) volunteer. The greeters report to the exaltation ministry team leader (exaltation team is responsible for all volunteers). As the Assistant Pastor, I serve as a member of the exaltation ministry team.
Talk about your assimilation process. What specific steps do you have to move someone from first-time guest to follower of Jesus?
1. Attend service, fill out visitor cards, join in fellowship hour after the service (greeters not on duty are on the lookout to befriend new folks and invite them to fellowship opportunities).
2. Greeters & other small group leaders will invite new folks to an appropriate small group.
3. Sign up for Discover FaithBridge, a 5 week class about the church. Class deals with who we are as a church and what we believe (including salvation, baptism, etc.).
4. Get baptized (if necessary).
5. Attend a meeting with a pastor and elder (prior to becoming a member) – share testimony, discover volunteer opportunities.
6. Join the church and begin serving.
Is guest services a “silo ministry” in your church? In other words, does your discipleship team, kids team, worship team, mission team, etc. view it as an essential part of “their” mission?
All of our teams work together (managed by the overall exaltation team). New folks are guided into small groups, then into additional roles (kids ministry, greeters, etc.).
What is one of your best practices / ministry hacks that you’re especially happy with?
Many of our greeters are always on the lookout for new folks, whether they are officially “on duty” or not. They organically meet and welcome guests into the family. This shows folks that the “everyday folks in the pew” are also friendly (not just those who are supposed to be).
What is a challenge you’re currently facing on your greeters team?
Our current challenge (pre-COVID) was encouraging new folks to submit the connection card (in the new member materials).
Our post-COVID challenge (our first service happened on June 7) will be how to continue welcoming new folks in this strange reality of social distancing.
What has been one of the biggest mistakes you’ve made in leading your team and/or implementing a guest services culture?
One of our biggest mistakes is not having enough ongoing trainings for current team members. Folks slip into bad habits (spending too much time with fellow members instead of engaging visitors).
How do you define success on a weekend…either personally or professionally?
Seeing first-time guests being engaged in conversation and being welcomed into after service fellowship time. Then seeing those same first-time guests turn into recurring visitors (especially folks who are just beginning to come to church).
What is an idea you’d like to experiment with or implement over the next six months?
We are switching all materials to digital – I am interested in learning and implementing text / email services.
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