by Mark Waltz, Pastor of Connections & MultiSite

We recently completed a teaching video that apparently many have asked for over the past few years. This is not the complete six-hour Guest Services/First Impressions training that I teach, but it is packed with many of the best practices from that workshop.

WiredChurches is now making this training tool available for other churches. My hope is that these short training videos can be used as stand-alone resources to train your teams or used to supplement your local training program. Here's a brief synopsis of each element:

  • Section 1: People Matter (Time: 21:30)
    • How do you meet people right where they are? 
    • How do you prepare before you serve so your serve is genuine?
    • How can your own experiences prepare you to communicate authentic value and care for others?
  • Section 2: Your Serve Matters (Time: 30:46)
    • How do you navigate the tension between the values of experiencing community with teammates and welcoming new guests?
    • What if you threw out team labels for the sake of one single focus?
    • What rules will kill your serve to new guests? 
    • How do you create your own best practices?
  • Section 3: Team Matters (Time: 35:20)
    • What does empowerment really look like?
    • What's the trick to recruitment?
    • How do you develop community on your team when the task has to be done?
    • How do stories impact the power of your team's serve?

Order your downloadable video here.

To hear more from Mark and get more of the inside scoop from Granger's leaders, register and bring your team to ReInnovate Conference 2013 on October 15-16.


It can be so easy to forget the power of a first impression. 

Think back to your last job interview, or maybe even your first date: how much time did you invest in making sure your first impression communicated the right message?

First impressions matter! 

We recently hosted men and women for our Summer Coaching Networks who came from all over the country to learn from Mark Waltz, GCC's Pastor of Connection and Multi-Site.

First Impressions ResourcesHere's just a few highlights from the first hour of the session:    

  • With vision, you need to know where you are so that you know where you can go
  • Analogy of being in a shopping mall and planning which stores you want to visit
  • You can’t get where you want to go until you are honest about where you are. What steps are going to be required, how do you take them, and where are they going to lead.
  • You can’t be any other place than where you are because you’ve taken the steps you’ve taken

What one or two words comes to mind when you see these images:

  • Starbucks
  • BMV
  • The person to your right
  • Last hotel stay
  • US Postal Service
  • Your local church
  • Last movie preview you watched
  • A Walmart store

As a true test of first impressions and associations, imagine a photo of a boarded up, run down home. What do you think of? A quick survey of the room, none of the answers were about the structure we were looking at – all of them were judgments about the people (homeowners) we have never seen or met. 

Your first impressions – or associations – with these images matter. 

If you missed this session, get tuned in from more info on the upcoming Fall Coaching Networks sessions.

If you are a senior pastor or a pastor/director responsible for adult connections or assimilation ministries of any flavor - I'm inviting you to apply for this coaching journey.

  • It will be intensely practical. Highly conversational. Interactive. And limited to 12 leaders.
  • We'll study. We'll read. We'll learn together. We'll explore your specific questions, issues and church dynamic.
  • We will get specific about cultivating culture, building teams, casting vision, designing environments for connecting, serving and growing.
Here are some reasons you don't need coaching:

  • You don't have, nor do you expect to have, new people seeking Christ in your church.
  • You've already read a book on connecting people in your church. Should be enough.
  • You seldom hear another leader lend any value to your leadership, 'cause they just don't know what you're up against.
  • You have shelves full of conference notebooks you haven't looked at since you put them there years ago. Waste of budget dollars.
  • You have a job description. You know what to do. Nuff said.
  • You love working in isolation and don't appreciate the power of collaboration and team.
  • You wear a large red cape under your pastor/director suit.
However, if you read this list and think that maybe, just maybe, there would be value in...

  • Networking with other church leaders who have a wealth of experiences to share.
  • Identifying with someone else's passion for people seeking Jesus.
  • Tracking with processes, systems and strategies, from not just one church, but several churches.
  • Another practitioner listening to my unique setting, challenges, and goals and offering strategic, practical advice.
  • Getting out of my familiar surroundings to hear and engage fresh perspectives.
I want to help you. Let's help each other.

Okay - let's do this. Right now—the deadline is February 15. Check it out. Download Connections Strategy Coaching Summary. Apply from the link inside the document. No excuses.

Not as connection-minded, but still looking for insight and practical wisdom in your area of ministry? Get the info for our Executive Pastors and Communications Coaching Networks.