by Executive Pastor Mark Waltz

I’ve been asked lately about some bottom-line musts to establish and/or take guest services excellence to the next level. This isn’t an exhaustive list (that’s why I wrote a few books on the topic), but these core essentials will provide a foundation to make your serve to guests excellent and personable.

  • Leadership:
    • Are the right leaders in place?
    • Do they carry the DNA, mission, vision and values of the church?
    • Do they hold the experience of the guest as a top priority over personal convenience?
    • Are they gifted leaders—not merely doers (although they may do fantastic work)?
    • Do these leaders have chemistry, trust and love for each other?
    • Do they model the level of personable service you want every team member to practice?
  • Values:
    • Are values defined and communicated (whatever those are: Team, Engagement, Next Steps, People Matter, etc.)?
    • Are teams using those values as lenses to serve guests? That is, are they operating from a motivation of values rather than mere technical training or a task list?
  • Systems:
    • Are systems defined and functioning so guests are served well?
    • Are systems facilitated and owned by team members who utilize those systems to serve people?
    • Do systems help team members understand their schedule, expectations, and feedback loop?

Of course if you’re providing guest services in the local church, it’s assumed, but should be stated—the love of God in Jesus motivates everything you do. It is the number one driving value. Helping people experience the grace of God is the point—or there is none.

Have you heard about our Workshops? They are one-day intense and focused, interactive learning events on Tuesday, October 13 and Wednesday, October 14 with lunch provided. So come with your team on either or both days (20% discount if you attend both days). Learn more about First Impressions, Creative & Communication Arts, Students, Groups and Kids’ Ministry. Register today!

by Jason Miller, Teaching Pastor

I have a print of the Sistine Chapel’s ceiling artwork hanging on my wall. It’s the scene they call The Creation of Adam, and it shows God’s hand reaching out towards Adam’s. The details are interesting: God’s hand is stretched, making an effort, while Adam’s is limp and apathetic. But while the details of the image stir up a lot of reflection, they aren’t the main reason I bought it at IKEA a few years ago. The basic idea of the whole thing is what really gets me: God is making Adam alive.

I like this because Adam isn’t Christian or Evangelical or American. He predates all of that. He transcends all of that. His name can be translated “mankind,” meaning in some way his story is our story. All of ours. And in reaching out to Adam, God isn’t making him a denominational convert or asking him to sign a 10-page doctrinal statement. He’s simply giving him life.

Later in the Bible, in the New Testament, Jesus and Adam are lined up in a few passages, and the writers say that Jesus is a second Adam of sorts. This helps me, because if Jesus’s story has something to do with Adam’s story, then Jesus’s story might also be bigger than a Christian story or an Evangelical story or an American story.

I was praying recently, or at least I was trying to pray, and after struggling for a while, I expressed something to God that was true and from my heart:

I don’t want to be a Christian; I want to be a human.

Continue reading on Jason’s Blog...

by Mark Beeson, Lead Pastor

I went to the very center of the room, adjusted the settings and laid my little camera on the floor. With the lens aimed straight up at the ceiling, I set the timer for a two-second delay and pressed the shutter. The result is this picture. It’s the ceiling at the site of Caiaphas’ Palace—the place where Peter denied Jesus.

I was profoundly moved in the dim light of that lonely moment. I prayed a quiet prayer: “Strengthen me Lord. I am certainly no better than Peter. When I’m tempted to fall away, help me stay true. Make me a faithful disciple.”

Unfaithfulness is disappointing.

All of us long for honorable relationships. We want those committed to us to be faithful. We long for people to keep their promises. Even as sin breaks relationships, we still desire faithfulness. We want it. We need it.

I have good news.

No matter what, even when we sin and fall away, GOD remains steadfast, faithful and true. We can count on GOD. His unfolding plan of redemption and restoration intercepts our free-fall in sin.

GOD is faithful.

Continue reading on Mark’s Blog...