Mayhill Baptist Church (Mayhill, New Mexico)
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 Henslee is the Senior Pastor of Mayhill Baptist Church in Mayhill, New Mexico, a role he’s held for 3+ years. Mayhill Baptist is a rural congregation (130 in weekly attendance) in the mountains of New Mexico. Get in touch with Matt via email or on Twitter.
What are the top three books you’ve read on the topic of guest services and/or volunteer culture?
What does your training process look like for your greeters?
We’re a volunteer-based ministry, as I’m the only full-time staff member. Those that serve as greeters have a really simple and straightforward training process:
- Expectations (smile, no one goes unwelcomed, look for ways to help)
- Equipping (simply where to be and when, what to hand out, and where all the supplies are)
How is your greeter team structured? Do you ever release those volunteers to lead in other ministries?
Our team primarily consists of couples that rotate weekly, many of which do serve in other areas. That is a helpful element, because they can more easily answer the questions our guests have.
Talk about your assimilation process. What specific steps do you have to move someone from first-time guest to follower of Jesus?
Aside from those that come forward to profess faith, everyone that visits Mayhill receives a welcome packet with a gift. Those that fill out the visitor information card in the packet will a letter from me early in the week, then a follow up phone call, and then they contacted by appropriate leaders from the church based on their life station.
Is the greeter team 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?
No, though it takes constant reminders and re-orienting to the primary mission of the church and our call to make disciples that make disciples. You don’t just play an instrument in the praise team, you lead us to worship Jesus and help disciple us through the words we sing; you don’t just teach a lesson to kids, you partner with their parents to disciple their children, etc.
What is one of your best practices / ministry hacks that you’re especially happy with?
Mayhill had been an older congregation. My family added four kids to the previous few. We added placards to the pew-offering-box-thingies with a personal welcome to parents of young kids. Those served as both a reminder to make the most out of worship with their little ones, and a way to remind our members why those little ones are welcome. Now, we’re a much younger church…not because the older folks have left, but because they’ve bought into loving on and caring for the young families.
What is a challenge you’re currently facing on your greeting team?
Over the years, our Sunday School classes have become very mixed in regards to ages (they had been based on age, but it changed over time), which makes it harder to connect a family into a small group because the mix is so wide.
What has been one of the biggest mistakes you’ve made in leading your team and/or implementing a guest services culture?
I have missed some opportunities for follow up in big events because I’d simply forgotten the importance of getting information on visitors.
How do you define success on a weekend…either personally or professionally?
I want to know that everyone has been told they are loved and everyone has heard the Gospel.
What is an idea you’d like to experiment with or implement over the next six months?
We’d love to try more modern ways to follow up or connect with our guests, other than the archaic visitor cards.
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