I started my career post college as a golf pro. I was the one standing behind the counter at the course taking money, scheduling tee times, etc., etc. Some guys would think that is a great job… I’d beg to differ, but that’s another story.
There were quite a few things, however, that I picked up working at various golf courses that have had a transcendent impact into how I view ministry and ministry operations.
I remember vividly working at a golf course for a pro who evidently showed how stressed he was on a daily basis. While he was far from the best boss I’ve ever had, he did share with me something that has stuck with me. A small statement that I have remembered and used to this day.
“Josh, there are hundreds of golf courses that guys can choose to play. There are many within 40 miles that are very similar to ours, they are well maintained, provide challenge, and are in the same price point.
What is it that brings people to our course and keeps them coming back with all the alternatives? The SERVICE they receive when they walk in the door.”
I have used that statement numerous times throughout my life to share with people the importance of customer service.
“But we’re a church, we don’t have customers….”
You are correct, I agree, you don’t have customers. However, I would contend that you are being discreetly judged every Sunday.
Let’s agree that consumerism creeping into worship is a vicious trend in our churches that we need to avoid. I’ll buy that.
What I am saying is that as church leaders, we need to put our best foot forward at all times. The first impression a guest receives when they step foot in the door is often the impression that will stay with them. What was their impression?
– Is your church friendly? – a guest will perceive your friendliness in the first 10 seconds of walking in the door
– Is your church relevant? – a guest will figure that out as soon as they walk in and see you have not updated the fixtures since 1950.
– Do you truly care about new people coming to your church? – a guest will find out as soon as they pull in the parking lot and try to find the correct entrance.
It’s a funny thing about human nature, we get comfortable with our surroundings. We can walk into the church building, walk past the same outdated fixtures and signage without a thought. Remember, there are people that are not comfortable and have no idea where they need to go.
[quote type=”center”]the experience of a first time guest will either be your best publicity, or your worst enemy[/quote]
In the business world they tell us that people will share with 1 other person a good experience, and 10 other people their bad experience. With social media, these numbers grow exponentially.
What Impression are you Giving Your first Time Guests??