7 Ways You’re Underutilizing Your Parking Team
Those of us in ChurchWorld know that there are some segments of ChurchPeople who are just too easy to stereotype: pastors are going to preach past their time limit and inflate attendance numbers. Sweet little Jesus Grandma Ladies are going to fiercely protect the key to the reception supplies closet. And youth pastors are going to miss reading this post because it went live at 6:00 a.m. and “brah, that ain’t cool. Speaking of cool…let’s do an icebreaker.”
But one of the most-stereotyped areas of the church is the parking team. Through the years, I’ve heard something similar to this said many times: “We don’t know what to do with that guy. Let’s just stick him in the parking lot.”
No, no, and no. Your Parking Team should not be viewed as an entry-level team populated by the lesser-thans who have no other marketable skills in the kingdom of God. As image-bearers serving image-bearers, we’d do well to remember that they are the first faces our first-time guests see. So why not call them up to be the very best team they can be?
Here are 7 ways we can “level up” our Parking Team vols:
- Added security. In our day and age, having extra eyes in the parking lot can only serve as a benefit. And assuming you’re utilizing a skeleton crew, your team can provide all-morning coverage.
- Pick up the trash. Whether you’re in a portable or permanent facility, every piece of trash is your piece of trash. Buy some trash grabbers and buckets, and let them pick up during slow times.
- Circle the wagons. Invest in a kids’ wagon or two, and encourage your team to invest in young families. They can help harried moms get their crew from the minivan to the building.
- Add creative theming. At one of our campuses, the parking team had a several-year season when it was primarily populated by college students and young professionals. These guys took it upon themselves to have themed days: a few times each year, they’d dress as superheroes. Or Jedi (those batons make great light sabers). Or toss on Santa hats. The kids loved it. The adults laughed at it. The team learned how to break the script (as Chip and Dan Heath say) and catch people’s attention.
- Help with set up or tear down. Your team can assist your normal set up / tear down crew by taking care of all things signage outside. Or getting an early start on picking up cones. Or whatever else you might need.
- Form the umbrella brigade. I believe that when the rain comes down, that’s your team’s time to shine. Buy a batch of umbrellas and encourage your team to walk people to the building. (See a full list of rainy day gear here.)
- Watch for ministry opportunities. If we believe that the sermon starts in the parking lot, we must recognize every volunteer’s responsibility to share the gospel in word and demonstrate it in deed. Empower your team to look out for people who may need an encouraging word, a lingering conversation, or a moment of prayer. Coach them to watch for the low tires on the widow’s car and take action to fix it while the service is happening.
Photo credit: Audra Potter