Courtesy Netflix
by Executive Pastor Mark Waltz

You can always tell when the script is being used. You know what I mean. You’re engaged in lively conversation over a meal and your server interrupts with the scripted dessert monologue. Or your talking with customer service on the phone and you don’t feel heard at all, because the same script is repeated over and over regardless what you say.

I hate the script. It’s annoying and sad. Annoying, because I feel insulted. Sad, because the service representative isn’t empowered to think and interact like a person.

Netflix customer service rep Michael wrote his own script. Maybe you heard about it. If not, I’ll brief you. (If you already know about this, you’re already this far into my post—you might as well finish it out. Humor me.)

Customer Norm entered an online chat to find a solution for a non-stop, repeating cycle of Parks and Recreation. He got more than a chat. He was welcomed into a conversation with “Captain Mike of the Good Ship Netflix.” Norm played along and introduced himself as Lt. Norm. Here’s a portion of their chat:

Continue reading on Mark’s Blog...

by Mark Waltz, Executive Pastor


We’ve done some informal surveys and discovered that when people decide to go to church for the first time, or they decide to go to church again after years of not attending anywhere, they often do so with a fair amount of fear. They have not-so-fond memories, or they’ve heard stuff through popular media, and they enter our church—or any church—with a fair amount of hesitation, even fear.

  • How will I know where to go?
  • Will they ask for my money?
  • How will I know when to sit, stand or kneel?
  • Will I be the only “normal” person there?

We want every person who decides to attend our church—especially those filled with fear and apprehension—to feel “at home," welcome and accepted. We want them to know we expected them; we’ve prepared for them.

Remember: we want our guests to feel “at home.” We want them to experience “familiar.” We want them to be able to drop guards and fears that keep them from experiencing the wonder of God’s love through the message of Jesus Christ.

Continue reading on Mark’s blog...

Article adapted from How to Wow Your Church Guests: 101 Ways to Make a Meaningful First Impression.

by Tim Stevens, Executive Pastor

I’ve said it before, and it’s still true today: One of the most enjoyable things I get to do is lead a Coaching Network for Executive Pastors. In a few of months, I’m going to offer this again. I will be meeting with 12 church leaders for a coaching experience that begins in September and concludes in December. I’m designing it specifically for Executive Pastors (or leaders in a similar role) who want to take their leadership to the next level. I’m not quite sure how to describe it, but here is my best attempt:

  • It will be personal. Highly practical. Intensive. Relational. Collaborative.
  • Think less conference or workshop–and more hands-on graduate study program.
  • We will drill down on building teams, hiring and firing, developing a healthy staff culture, leading change, budget and money issues, communication strategies and more.

It’s not going to be cheap or easy. It will involve an investment of money and time, and a commitment to travel (Granger isn’t “on the way” to anywhere). But for those who join me, I promise it will be an experience that will enhance your ministry and take you to the next level of personal leadership. Here are some comments from my most recent group that just finished up last month:

  • “It was like getting three masters-level courses on being an Executive Pastor.” (Dale Roddy, Crossroads Church, Oakdale, PA)
  • “The leadership resources that Tim provided and led makes me feel like I jumped a few years in the process of development.” (Billy Creech, Lake Center Bible Church, Portage, MI)
  • “Without the opportunity to learn from the workshop sessions and the other pastors, it would have taken me nearly a decade (of successes and failures) to learn it by experiencing it first-hand. This saved us money by a factor of at least 10!” (Anonymous)
  • “The full disclosure and transparency shown to us was very much appreciated. Add to that the networking with other Executive Pastors, and the Granger resources that were given to us, and the entire experience has been the best investment to my growth since being in ministry!” (Tim Hastings, Oakridge Baptist Church, Salisbury, MD)

If you are interested, there is good news and bad news. The good news: Registration is open now, and if you act quickly, there is a good chance you can be involved. But here is the bad news: This may be the last one held at Granger and hosted by and with the Granger team. Once these 12 slots are gone—the network will be closed.

Download information here: Executive Pastors Coaching Network Fall 2014

I’m really praying that God will put together an amazing group and can’t wait to see what happens!

Not an executive pastor but still looking for insight and practical wisdom in your area of ministry? Need to be stretched, challenged and encouraged? Good news! If you're involved in communications or connections, we also offer intense, practical and personal training for you. Download the Communications or Connections & Assimilation Coaching Networks information to find out if either of these is right for you.