People We Can’t Keep Are People We Can’t Send
There are all sorts of not-so-healthy reasons to improve the guest services culture at your church:
- You want people to like you.
- You want to hit the Outreach 100.
- You want to outdo the other church across the street.
But there are better reasons. More practical reasons. And reasons that don’t have as much to do with your own trajectory as it does the trajectory of the gospel:
We can’t do anything with people we can’t keep.
If people have a less-than-ideal experience, they may not return. If people try to take a next step but we don’t follow up, they may not engage. If we don’t earn a baseline of trust, they may not be willing to listen to the grander Story we’re compelled to tell.
People who feel cared for will come back. Skeptics who know we love them will come back. Cynics who are surprised by our follow-up will come back.
And when they come back, they’ll hear the gospel again. And again. And again. And again.
And some will eventually respond to that Story. And God will immediately begin a brand new story in their soul.
But we don’t get to be a part of that story if we botch the opening paragraphs.
People we can’t keep are people we can’t disciple.
People we can’t keep are people we can’t develop.
People we can’t keep are people we can’t send: to their cubicles. To their neighborhoods. To the nations.
A healthy guest services culture is about way more than parking cars and pouring coffee. It’s a mandate from the gospel, it’s a reflection of the gospel, and it leads to the propagation of the gospel.