When in the USA recently, one of our church staff members visited two large, well-known churches. The facilities and church services were first class, but at both churches ... no one spoke to him. Sadly, this is all to commonplace today. Have we become high-tech and low-touch?
Here is a great article by Will Mancini called Smiling is Not Enough: Top 10 Mistakes of Church Greeting Teams.
The team at Auxano enjoys playing the role of “secret worshipper” when we take a church through our visioning process called the Vision Pathway. We call it a guest perspective evaluation. As I prepare to debrief a church again tomorrow, I want to share some general insights on welcoming ministry and hospitality for guests. Here are the top ten mistakes I see when volunteers are helping me as a first time guest:
#1 Volunteers have not thought in advance about my next step as a guest so they don’t know how to guide the conversation with me.
#2 Volunteers are talking with friends and don’t notice me.
#3 Volunteers are doing task work and are not available or responsive the moment I show up.
#4 Volunteers generally hesitate when I initiate with a question.
#5 Volunteers don’t know where the most pertinent information is located.
#6 Volunteers tell me what to do with no information or tools or other people to help me.
#7 Volunteers generally look preoccupied, distracted or unsure of themselves in their non-verbals even when being friendly.
#8 Volunteers are unaware of the basic “how to” questions for checking-in children of every age.
#9 Volunteers don’t introduce me to others at the church.
#10 Volunteers gave me written information that is not important, pertinent or strategic (sending me on a b-line to the trash can).
If you want more resources on welcoming ministry and church guest services, check out VisionRoom.com and follow Bob Adams who works as Auxano’s Vision Room curator and guest services maven. Here is a list of resources on his blog.