Introducing the “Hospitable Culture” Series
For the last year or so, our team has been asking a lot of questions about a lot of things. Some of those are borne out of scale: as our church grows, how do we adapt? Some are borne out of strategy: is the way we’re doing things really the smartest way of doing things?
But there’s one primary question that I keep going back to: one that lands somewhere beyond scale and strategy, and lands in the realm of … (I’m desperately trying to alliterate here, bear with me) … saturation:
What if hospitality isn’t something we do, it’s simply who we are?
Think about it: so many times, we relegate Guest Services to a specific team with specific tasks. We put on the t-shirt, stick on the name tag, and run through our weekly paces of doing the things: parking cars, holding doors, and helping to find seats. And if we’re not careful, when we take off the name tag we can take away our sense of responsibility to still be hospitable to others.
I’m convinced that if hospitality is a biblical mandate to both the individual and to the congregation, then it can’t be contained to a single team. If we get it right on Guest Services but get it wrong in other ministry areas, then we’re not really getting it right. Hospitality must be part of the DNA strand that makes up our entire culture. It has to work its way into every crevice of our organization.
It can’t be something we just do. It must be who we are.
So in this series – occuring monthly throughout the year – I want to take you on the journey with me. In my own role this year, my goal this year is two-fold: to practice the spiritual gift of poking my nose in where no one has asked me to (Paul talks about that somewhere in Titus, I’m sure of it), and to take hospitality beyond a team in order to make it our culture.
In this series, we’ll ask the question, “How does a hospitable culture apply to _______?” And we’ll fill in that blank in any number of ways:
- Small groups
- Kids ministry
- Student ministry
- Local outreach
- The front desk
- The worship team
- An election season
- Our onboarding processes
- Our facilities
- Our communication strategies
But here’s the thing: I need your help in filling in those blanks. What areas of your church could use an infusion of hospitality? Maybe it’s a specific team or department. Perhaps it’s a weekend issue or a Monday-Friday problem. Send me your ideas or comment below, and I’ll work as many of them into the series as I can.
One last note: these questions around “hospitable culture” served as the foundation for a new topic in our One-Day Workshops. Guest Services 2.0 – along with other ODW topics – will be coming back this fall. Plan to join us then as we really dig into these questions of saturation.