As we pour out all we have to provide the very best possible worship experience for our guests this Easter season. It is so important for us as ministry leaders to ask, does every staff and team member own the guest experience or are we leaving it up to our First Impressions Connection Teams? Have we reduced the details in the tasks down to the one life that will be touched as a result of our efforts and will we get the chance to meet that one? What does owning the guest look like for each one of us no matter the role we play when we serve. Here are some things to look for
- Have all of the places and spaces your guests encountered been cleaned? And I mean spotless? When you go to Disneyland or even when I go the the gym, every team member is cleaning, picking up, paying attention to paper products in the rest rooms, etc. For me, if I go into a bathroom and it isn’t spotless, I probably won’t come back. If you see something – do something!
- Does everyone seem happy to be there? What is the level of energy and excitement in your teams? You can crank up the music, have the coolest lights and venue, but if your team is not passionate about that one guest, people will know that authenticity is missing. Be a smile meter. Check yourself to make sure you are looking up, looking people in the eye and smiling and help those who have their head down buried in the task of the moment.
- Does everyone take time before and after services to intentionally seek out new people or do they stand in a circle with their friends, never noticing anyone other than their circle? There is so much time to connect outside of service with friends and family. People need to know that they are noticed, that they matter and that you care. They need to know Jesus cares and the only way that message comes across is from you. Too many people feel invisible and if we don’t notice them, they will think they’re right and not worth it.
- Do you have a team huddle? Do you equip every team member with the tools to help any guest with anything they may ask for or need? I know it annoys me when I go into a store and the person I ask for help sends me to another person and then another. It is up to us to make it as easy as possible for our guests to get connected and eventually into the community of our church.
- Have you communicated the why? Why are we even here? What or who has God assigned to us on this day and how will we steward what we’ve been given? There are people we know who resist the message of Jesus even while on their deathbed – they don’t think it matters. They don’t think they matter. There are people broken and hurt who have no hope and Easter service is their last hope. There are families falling apart and they are desperate for God to show Himself real, alive and relevant to their situation. People are desperate and that desperation is only soothed by Jesus and they only meet Him because of us.
- Remember, guests don’t know your culture. They may not know to stay in their seat until service is over, to stand, sing, raise their hands, etc. They may come late and leave early. Many new quests have a coat of armor on that keeps people at a distance, so they come off as harsh, gruff, they may not smile or shake your hand. Many guests have a wall built up to hide who they really are so they won’t be disappointed once again, so they are defensive and may not want to obey your rules. Great Guest service puts you in their shoes allowing you to communicate with love, expressing the culture of your house and yes, even allows for you to sometimes bend the rules for their sake and ultimately – their salvation.
Great guest service is making your guests feel as if you were expecting them, that you have clearly prepared for them, and that your are able to anticipate their needs and respond with great service before they realize they even have need. Here is one recent story that exemplifies the end in mind with great guest service:
Corbin came to church two weeks before Easter after being invited several times by his cousin. Corbin was hesitant and nervous about what to expect before he ever got here. He wondered, “Where will I go? Where will I sit?” Corbin says as soon at the Parking lot team member realized that he was a first time guest, he was completely taken care of. He was escorted to a greeter at the front door, introduced to an usher who found him a great seat and as we so often hear, the message was meant just for him. Corbin gave his life to Jesus on this Sunday. He connected with us at the tents and his life is forever changed because of all of you.
The tiniest of details that may not matter much to us, matter greatly to our guests. Simply doing what you do seems like no big deal to you because you do it all the time. But, our guests recognize that you have taken care and time to prepare for their arrival. They see your heart, your passion and your compassion for them.
I pray this Easter, when people hear God’s call to, “Come Home”, that they come like never before and feel the love of Jesus as they experience Him through us. Happy Easter!