A Remarkable Greeter

I experienced a little deja vu this past weekend. Lois and I visited one of the campuses of The Chapel, a fou-campus multi-site church in the northwest suburbs of Chicago. An older man, Alex, greeted us as we came in. He asked a simple question as we entered, "Are you new to The Chapel?" I told him we were visiting relatives close by and had heard about their church through my niece. He proceeded to give us the history of the place, a guided tour, introduced us to the campus pastor, and gave us every brochure they had. 

A few things stood out about Alex:

  • He didn't fit the younger demographic of the church.
  • He explained that he's the Megyver of the church. He can fix most things, and he knows technology since he started into computing in 1964. 
  • He was a leader in the Lutheran church that was going under, and it's his signature on the deed they gave to The Chapel when they took over leadership four years ago.
  • He knew we were new because he stands at that door for every service every weekend. 
  • He was excited about his church!

Keith (our Hudson Campus Pastor) was talking to a group of leaders recently, and he said my wife's name came up several times. Seems a lot of people who came when we meeting at the school were deeply impacted by her warm welcome and were amazed when she remembered their name the second time they came. She's not that good with names, she was simply there every week and worked hard and intentionally at memorizing names. Seems Dan Berglund's name came up too. He was always at the door welcoming people, wearing an orange jump suit in the winter, making sure no one slipped on the ice.

Alex's campus is growing. They have three services in their 200 seat auditorium and have plans for expansion. I can tell you from our experience and the stories we heard all the time, our greeters have made a huge difference in our growth.

It's a different kind of experience at the Woodbury campus now because of our size, but a helpful (and not overly friendly) greeter still makes an important difference. A personal touch in a larger campus is noticed. We get those kind of comments on the cards from first-time guests all the time. And for Hudson, the impact can be even bigger. 

Can I put out a challenge, though? I think we could do even better if we had a few people who were there every week so that they could become more familiar with the faces and names of our first-time guests...people who saw this as a crucial ministry where they can make a significant impact. Yes, we need a lot of people who will work once per month on a rotation, but we only need a few that will be there every week. Are you one of those people?

Book Highlights: Focus


Focus: The Top Ten Things People Want and Need from You and Your Church is the third book based on REVEAL research. The gist of the book is to look at what people want from their church and what they actually need for spiritual growth and vitality. Then they do the same thing for what people want and need from their senior pastor. The idea is to help church ministries and pastors prioritize.

Top Highlights:

  • Based on their research what people want most and need most match. People's top want is spiritual guidance and that's their top need. 
  • Spiritual guidance = helps me develop a personal relationship with Christ; challenges me to grow and take next steps; provides a clear pathway that helps guide my spiritual growth; church leaders model and consistently reinforce how to grow spiritually; helps me understand the Bible in greater depth.
  • Belonging (not meaning ownership but affiliation, like with a favorite sports team) is the second most powerful driver for satisfaction and needs to be prioritized by churches, even though it is not a spiritual growth driver, otherwise they won't stay around for spiritual guidance.
  • Although "encourages me to take responsibility for my own spiritual growth" didn't factor for satisfaction, it is one of the most important needs and therefore needs to be creatively prioritized.
  • People want preaching and vision casting from their senior pastor but most need spiritual challenge for growth. No match.
  • The match comes when you look at what people want out of preaching/vision casting: Bible learning, modeling spiritual growth and challenge to grow and take next steps.
  • One of the huge surprises: for senior pastors, the role of leading the church had four times the impact on satisfaction with the church's role in spiritual growth compared to the role of teaching/preaching. Even the best sermon doesn't have nearly the spiritual impact as do the day-to-day decisions a senior pastor makes about how to lead a church--specifically the decisions that deliver spiritual guidance through the church.
  • We catalyze their spiritual growth by helping them understand the Bible in greater depth, by challenging them to apply Scriptures with specific next steps and by modeling how we are taking those steps ourselves.