I had the joy of attending a shared Family Experience at The Crossing in Quincy Illinois this past weekend. In this quiet Midwest town something wonderful and “no so quiet” is happening. Each month they host a service where kids bring their parents to learn. Kids and parents learn together, (did I mention they have 6 campuses?!) After the service I thought through some of the glaring big wins there.
#1 There will be much more to talk about together because families shared an experience together. Bigger impact with opportunity.
#2 Worship was current, and interactive. When I saw the fourth and fifth grade boys behind me participating-I had to smile.
#3 The volunteers invested to learn their lines. They in turn served many by that offering they made ahead of time during their busy week. They were energizing and kid focused. The leaders were pumped!
#4 They invited more people in to the serve. I actually had the pleasure to watch a parent ask to sign up to be a small group leader. They cast vision to join them in so many areas to serve on the weekend. People who served looked happy to be there and were focused on the arriving families. The place just looks like a FUN place to be!
#5 Investments were being made in relationships. I walked by a mean foursquare game with a leader and kids during arrival time. Conversations were happening as they played. Oh how I love arrival times. It’s a BIG ministry time we often miss. They lean in to this time!
#6 Their church endorses and promotes the shared family weekends that happen each month at the Crossing. The pastor pre-recorded a casual welcome video that played 5 minutes before things started. Families knew about upcoming events, upcoming sermon series and what’s happening as their family service launched. Their pastor shared how much they appreciated attending their family service. I sensed everyone knew the door of opportunity a regular shared family experience was. Did I mention they were in their first season of doing this? Big Orange thanks to the team at The Crossing. You rock!
It’s no big announcement to say that we are all human. We make mistakes. You have opportunities every moment of your day to succeed or fail at whatever you do. Relationships are sticky. Walking out your faith leading ministry is stickier as people are involved. People who we serve with are human! We humans make mistakes and fail. And reputation is everything when it comes to credibility. Proverbs says it very simply, but so true as “even a child is known by his doings.” We are all known by our doings. As a ministry leader I hope you will keep on believing the best in people. I hear how volunteers don’t show up on time, or show at all. I hear of people not stepping up to serve. People will let you down at times, (you will too) but I don’t want you to let that stop you from believing the best in people you serve with as you lead ministry.
I hope you will resist any hardening of your heart when people let you down. As a leader keep believing the best in people. Ask people to fill big roles in ministry. Help others step out in something new as they serve. Ask big asks. They may fail, but you keep being their cheerleader. Keep believing the best and pulling out the best in people as you lead ministry. I have been astounded by the positive answers I have received when asking big asks and believing the best. Keep asking and believe the best!
The gal at Starbucks set the customer service bar pretty high today. With a smile at the drive through she gave me my hot drink made the way I requested. Then, she said it. The killer customer service line… “Let me know if that’s not perfect for you! Have a nice day.” I drove away with and said out loud THAT’S customer service! She had been trained in a genuine, undeniable fashion that her role was to serve and be sure you are happy with what you have ordered.
I hope those who lead ministry to kids and families are taking the Starbucks lead in customer service. Yes, at church! It should be there more than anywhere else. Every greeter in your ministry should ooze “I am happy you are here today!” Every registration person should convey the message that they are happy to see kids and parents! Make eye contact. Make conversation. Bend to address kids at eye level as they arrive. It sends such a great message. And I believe it opens the door for ministry.
Have you thought if your “people” persons are on the front lines of your ministry? It’s a strategic ministry move. You get ONE opportunity to make a great impression. Kids know a sincere hello and welcome. Its really a win for all involved when you think about customer service and first impressions! Sharpen your customer service skills!
I had a recent conversation with a leader who confessed to ummmm, well dabbling. This leader shared with me that they dabbled with many different types of kids’ programming. They followed the step by step lessons. But they never stopped to have any real conversations about a long term strategy in their church to reach kids and families.
Then, they attended the Orange Conference in 2010 and heard the first concepts about having a strategy rather than just programing in place.Today they squeeze out every opportunity to partner with parents on the weekend. They equip and fuel Moms and Dads with tools to walk out their faith daily on what was taught on the weekend. Worship happens every day. Family worship isn’t a Sunday event. Conversations, moments and prayer around a key Bible story or Biblical virtue all spark a family to live out loud what is taught on the weekend. They are set for a long term WIN as parents and as church leaders now with a strategy in place. Got strategy?
“When you’re finished changing, you’re finished.” Benjamin Franklin
In my home state people comment that if you don’t like the weather, stick around – it will change. In the tech world you’d better be on your toes as change happens fast, and if you don’t watch suddenly you are left holding your PDA trying to figure out what happened. I’m not one to have the need for every gadget out there, but I will certainly use anything that brings a better result to what I am doing.
Church leaders need to take note of what Benjamin Franklin said about change. If you don’t, you’re done. Embracing change can look different for each team. It’s the think steps or personalities that may be causing us to get stuck in resisting change. My hunch is that it is both ego and fear based too. “If we change what will people say? What if it doesn’t work? This the way we have always done things.”
No one is questioning doctrine, core beliefs or the infallible Word of God. It’s the method of how that glorious Message is being shared that must be changing to keep it fresh. And no one church has it all together. When you neglect to embrace change, it helps people to compartmentalize and think “church world” vs “my world. These worlds should never be separate! Change brings the collision of these two world for people to live out their walk daily. Our mission is to tell the Good News to a lost world. Change is good.