This is the second of five chapters in a 25 part blog series titled: The Five Elements of a Fully Implemented Connections Strategy, published over a five week period. Everything I have posted here is the result of my own personal experiences, from serving on church staffs, volunteering as a lay leader, and being brought in as a paid consultant. It is my hope that these posts will help you and your church get better at connecting with guests, not simply to increase your attendance and membership, but ultimately to grow the body of Christ. Implementing a Connections strategy (or “Assimilation” strategy) is a long term process, and one that relies on a culture of continual improvement. This chapter has five entries, which will all be linked below the post as they are published.
2.3 Guest Services: Printed Materials
When it comes to printed materials at the guest services location, keep it simple, and keep it clean. Here’s what I mean:
Keep it simple: As in, create these materials and have them at your central location
- your beliefs and values
- core ministries
- next steps to connect, serve in community
- discipleship/membership process
Keep It Clean:
Put someone in charge of this area with the authority to say “no” to non-essential advertisements.
- no political stuff
- no business cards
- no fundraisers
- avoid anything that doesn’t involve the entire church
- “Everyone should have the opportunity to promote their stuff” A real quote from a staff member at a large church. Just imagine a display area with disorganized piles of printed materials left unmanaged for several months. That’s what one church had.
- Unbranded Materials: It doesn’t cost a lot of money and gives guests the impression you know what you’re doing. Also makes it easier to promote what is essential and keep thinks simple. Some of you think branding is only for soulless corporations. If so, see above (and below).
- Confusion. One church had a wall full of various promotional materials, many of with out of date information and some even promoting ministry programs that hadn’t existed in years. The guest services team did not know what roughly half of the materials were, and when guests had questions, they admitted they weren’t sure why the materials were there, blamed it on their senior pastor, and rolled their eyes. All of this with first time guests! First impressions…
- NOTE: Your best leaders will always want to promote their favorite causes, events, etc. When you encounter resistance (you will), consider it a matter of building the right culture, and not a sign of disrespect from your people.
Some Suggestions For Printed Materials
- Less words, less paper. Less mess provides a clear strategy to communicate exactly who your church is and where the guests fit in.
- Prioritize Guests. Don’t flood them with too much information. Remember, each guest has a story. We want to connect Jesus to their story more than we want to connect them to our programs. Never forget that.
- You don’t need a lot. Stacks and rows or oddly matched papers full of clip art, different fonts, and out of date information is embarrassing. And confusing. Keep it simple!
- Clarity. Don’t print anything with terminology that someone who is new to your church will find difficult to understand.
Next: 2.4 Guest Services: The Guest Packet
Main Series Page: The Five Elements of a Fully Implemented Connections Strategy
Element Two: Guest Services