[VIDEO] Through The Eyes Of A Guest By Andy Needham

All right, so what is it like for a guest? It’s so easy to forget that. It’s such a hard thing for us to retain. The first thing I want to talk about is the culture that we create for guests. And I have three things that I want to mention to that, which is this idea of a culture of hospitality. We see the word hospitality throughout scripture. We need to be good hosts in our communities.

I have three things that I think are really important and that I think about for our conferences, but I think we can also think about for our church. The first word here is awareness. We use this word with all of our volunteers. It’s one of our pillars. We want our volunteers to be aware, to be seeing, and looking, and trying to understand what is around us. To see what visitors see. And this is difficult because we always drift away from awareness. It is always a drift for all of us. Familiarity is the enemy of our awareness.

The second thing is empathy. And I always think about this when I’m trying to figure out how to get people in the building, and think about this as a church. But where are the pain points for your visitors? Where are the places where they’re most likely to get confused? What is it that their, whether fears or insecurities, or their doubts about this experience that they’re walking into that they’ve never been to before. Where do we see that? And we need to have empathy. This is an incredibly Christian, Christ like reality to feel the pain of those that we’re serving.

And the final thing is follow up. And I say here: love people, use systems. Make sure that we don’t get that the other way around, all right? Some of us nerds like to love systems and use people. And let’s make sure that we are loving people and using systems.

I can’t stress enough how important follow up is. But I also want to tell you that that’s part two of this workshop that has one part. I’m not going to be able to get really, really deep into that. It’s a very important thing. Once somebody does darken the doors of your church, what happens next after they leave is one of the most important things. And I just kind of want to recognize that.

One of my friends, Mike, who’s at a great church in Rochester, New York, he Tweeted this out a few days ago. I thought that this was great. I just decided to quote him. You can follow him. He knows I’m quoting him, so he’s expecting hundreds of more followers today. “Churches need to remember that every interaction is a bridge or a barrier to the gospel.” I thought that’s a really important lens for us to think about because we’re going to talk about some things that seem almost like strategy, or marketing, or just nerd talk. I love nerd talk.

But just to remember that all these things that we’re talking about, that we are talking about people in New England who have may have never darkened the doors of a church, people in New England, who there only context is a guy waiving smoke around. People in New England who are choosing to come to our churches. Everything that we do is either a bridge or a barrier to them.

And I like to do things really well. I want to create great experiences for people. This is really important to remember, too. The point of excellence is not to impress people. The point is not for them to walk away from your church and say, “Wow. What a great church.” We want them to say, “What a great Savior.” And that’s an important distinction.

We work to solve problems, and remove distractions, so that Jesus can be center stage. We don’t want there to be anything that could get in the way that could trip. We don’t want there to be an obstacle course in order to get to the cross. We want to remove everything that is possible that we can possibly control that is in our control. Any friction, any distraction, anything that would take the attention away from Jesus.

We’re going to have time today to talk about three areas that I think are really important, which you can see on this slide here before the door. We’re going to talk about the [foyerd 00:11:06] to the chair, and in service elements, all right? And again, if this session was longer, the fourth one would be follow, and we could do a whole session on that idea.

Let’s talk about before the door. And you’re going to see, I hope we have some fellow nerds in here, because we’re going to talk a little bit about technology here today. Here’s what I want to start with. This is the new front door of the church. This is the new front door of the church. It’s really important for us to remember that. When people walk onto your property, they already have impressions, and ideas, and thoughts about who you are, and what you do based on what they experience before they come to your church. A lot of that is framed by the experiences that you create.

Nearly every guest, we started serving in our church. I was trying to get our board to put up some money for a new website. And so I just started asking visitors. I didn’t ask them. I did ask them, “Where’d you find out about us?” And there’s different … A friend invited me, or I drove by and I saw the sign, or whatever it was. It didn’t matter how they found out about us. They all went and checked out the website first. That’s the front door.

If you had a bad front door on your church building, you’d fix that problem. But sometimes we don’t think about this as intentionally as we could. It’s a challenge, because technology’s a moving target. It’s difficult, right? If I was doing a 45 minutes session on social media, I could get up here next year and teach a completely different seminar because all the world would have changed in the course of 12 months. And we feel that.

The web changes fast. If that five year old website that you have, it’s like having that overhead projector on the stage displaying lyrics. It can get the job done, right? We can have a worship session here with an overhead projector. It would function. We could have the lyrics up there, but it’s not the best way. And it’s not the way that people are expecting to experience it.

We’ll talk about website, but I want to start with this question is, how do people actually find you online? Because there’s actually something before your website. There’s something that happens before most people go to your website. You’re website is really only one part your web presence. It’s only once element of everything.

Now, it’s the most controllable, right? There’s a lot of things online that you cannot control about what people say about you. It’s the most customizable, it’s the thing that you have the most control over. Many churches only focus on their website. You might think that the answer would be social media, but I actually even want to go outside that box. It’s something so obvious, that we miss it. Is that most people, when they go to your website, when they go to find Grace Church in Avon, Mass, they don’t know that Grace Church’s website is thatsgrace.org.

There’d be no way for them to know that. But they might have heard of Grace Church. They might have been on a little league team with Sean, or something like that. What they do, is they go to the Google. That’s right. And this is pretty much universal, that when people go to browsers, even if they type in your name at the top in that bar right there, they’re not typing in a website. It’s going to Google. That is where.

We need to think about this, and we need to realize this, that top bar … And here’s the thing. Guests rarely start at your website when researching you online. They’re going to end up there, they will. We’ll talk about that a little bit. But that’s not the first place that they go.

I’m not talking about Ad Words either. That’s a whole other, again, another seminar, which is the advertising side to make sure that you show up when people search for you. I’m just saying if people search for you, there’s a lot of things that you can control.

And so, I’m going to use Camp Berea as an example, because this is the world that I live in all the time. And some of the things that I’ve been learning because I help oversee some of our guest experience pieces. If you Google Camp Berea, what comes up? This just shows you. Obviously our website’s here to the left. And some people will jump right into that environment. And they’ll just go right to the website.

But then there’s this other thing over here, which is Google’s version of our website. My question to you is how many of us have taken the time to look at that, or to work on it? And I’m going to tell you some reasons why that’s super, super important. There’s a lot of power and value in this environment here. There’s a lot of things here.

If you go on mobile, if you took your phone out today, and you typed in Camp Berea into Google, above the fold is only that little box to the right. You don’t even see the links until you scroll. The first impression people get of your environment online is often what Google decides is in that box. But you do have some say over that.

You can claim your business listing on Google. And they’ll let you edit some of those things. But here’s some things to notice in this. These are just some rapid fire things. The first thing is just is your address correct? This is tied to Google Maps. When that family decides that they’re going to come check out Riverbank Church, they’re going to go, and they’re going to see this on Google Maps. Is your address correct? Simple, right? You would be surprised how many churches don’t have that.

What photos show up? This is kind of a cool thing that I found, is that you can add your own pictures onto Google about your organization. If you want to put pictures of your sanctuary, if you want to put pictures of your kids’ experience, you can put all those things on here. You would not believe how much power that has. I got notified by Google the other day. I added four or five pictures that one of our pictures had 50 thousand views. Fifty thousand. Our website does not get that many hits. But one picture that I added to Google, had 50 thousand views. That just has incredible, incredible power.

Here’s a massive one. And I’m going to share a story about this. I was helping my friend Matt, whose got a great church. And he asked me to do sort of a secret shopper experience at his church. To come in, and visit his church like somebody who had never been there before, and to make a bunch of observations. I was like that sounds really fun. It was great. I loved doing it.

I was like, okay, what would a person do when they would go to his church? I took my phone out in my driveway. I know how to get to his church. But I’m like I typed into Google Maps. I said, where is this church? And up popped this little notification that says, this business may be closed right now. This was at 9:00 AM on Sunday morning. “This business may be closed right now. Do you still want to go, yes or no?” I clicked yes, because I was planning to go there.

But, the thing is, if your hours only list your office hours on your website when people are going to Google Maps, they are probably being told that your church is closed on Sunday. That is not the message we want to send them. A simple thing. You might already have this right. Probably for 90% of you, but for the other 10%, I just saved you a very terrible message that you’re sending to everyone who’s thinking about going to your church, that your business is closed on Sunday. That was probably worth all of my time. Are you open on Sunday? Yes, I hope so.

And then the final thing is this, that ratings are really of high value. My suggestion to you is not just to get your family to go on their and add reviews, but we’ve actually made an effort as an organization that when we have people come, obviously our contact’s a little different with camps and conferences. When we send out emails, we’ll put a little thing at the bottom. Could you leave us a review on Google?

That has a lot of meaning for a couple reasons. One is the obvious one, that people actually look at them and read them. Having some good testimonials on Google is really important. The second thing is this … The world of SEO, which is a whole other thing, search engine optimization. One of the things that they weigh a lot more now than they used to is reviews. If there’s a church down the road that has fewer, and you have more, you’re probably going to show up a little bit higher. Not so say that churches should be competing for ratings.

It’s a simple thing, it costs people nothing. If you want to say, “Hey, you want to know a free way that you can help our church? That’s awesome. Do you have a phone? All right, take it out. Review our church. Write three sentences about why you love coming to Grace Community church.” Simple, simple thing, but it will have a massive impact on your visitors.

All right, everybody tracking so far? All right, everybody’s changing their Google settings right now. That’s good. All right. The other thing is just super obvious. And again, this is one that we could take hours unpacking this, but social media. And I do run a lot of social media channels for our organization. It could be another seminar. But I just have time today to hit like a 30,000 foot view. For some of us, this is our wheel house. We love social media. For others of us, it just seems like this overwhelming I don’t want to keep up with all these apps. It just seems so tough.

There’s an opportunity and a challenge here. Here’s what I want to say to you. If you can’t do them all, which many of us can’t right? You don’t have full time social media manager. Just pick one or two of them to do really great. Just pick one. And if I were going to pick one or two, I would say Facebook and Instagram. Now other people might disagree with me, and that’s fine. You can pick whatever one you want. But just find a place to engage.

The reason I say Facebook is a lot of the demographics that people who will be choosing your church, depending on what your church is structured like. Facebook’s another place that they will search you out to try to find out who you are, and what you’re all about. It’s like Google and Facebook honestly, I mean people is getting their news from Facebook as well, which is scary. That’s another thing.

This is also a great place to engage volunteers. Just honestly, all you got to do, start looking at the different people in your church, see how takes amazing pictures, who has the most followers, who’s kind of in the game on this stuff, and say, “Hey, you want to be on our social media team?” They’re like, “What’s that all about?” Like, “You are the social media team. Congratulations.”

And then from there, just give them feedback. We’ll check in with you every couple weeks. If I see something that’s kind of off where we’re going or whatever, but just give him some simple ideas. Tweet one thing from each of our messages, or snap a picture every week of somebody. Just find ways to engage people. Don’t feel like if that’s not your wheel house …

I know a lot of pastors didn’t get into pastoring so that they could be great at Instagram. That’s okay. But there are people in your church who love this stuff. It can have a huge impact for almost no money. Again, cyber stock somebody in your church and find out who’s doing well.

Now, there’s a hundred other things that I could get into on this from tools to make graphics, to apps that are awesome to schedule things. And I’d be happy to talk to you about any of that stuff. You can email me. I use a lot of different tools for this. Two things I just want to mention, one is called Canva, C-A-N-V-A. And this is like Photoshop for dummies. This works really well for me.

It’s a web base. It also has an app based version. There’s like a pro version, and a free version. Both are pretty awesome. But here’s the most amazing part. Are you ready for this? This is amazing. They give it free to non profits, so it’s free. Doesn’t cost you anything. You can just send them your 501c3 certificate, and they’ll give you the whole thing for free. We were paying for it, we’re not paying for it anymore.

And here’s the thing, too. Any of these online tools, we use Buffer, which is another scheduling thing. Always ask if they have a nonprofit discount. Even if you can’t find it on the website, I Google usually. Like Canva for nonprofits, it comes up. Some companies don’t advertise that they give nonprofit discounts. But Buffer for example, I think it’s like usually $99 a month. I wrote them saying, “Do you have a nonprofit discount?” “Yep, 50% off.” Awesome, I just saved $50 a month. That’s how I sell it to our business manager. But always ask if there’s a nonprofit discount for online tools. And that could apply to anything that you use for your church. Especially in the social media area. It’s a huge thing.

Again, this is the front door of the church. I want to show you a massive trend, which some of us, it’s kind of obvious once you look at it. I want you to just look at this graph right here. It might be a little bit hard for you to see. There’s two lines that are intersecting. The top line at the back half of 2007, the darker blue one, is desktops. Those are people that are looking at the internet on some sort of a laptop. Probably in 2007 it was a netbook, right? Remember those things? And it’s going that way.

And then the bottom line is mobile. So, 2007, but you just see this intersection. And as of 2013, those two lines converge. And this is not even up to date information. It only goes up to 2015. Mobile is where the internet is right now. It is increasing by the day. What is happening, and I’ve looked at statistics for our organization, we’re about 50/50. We’re about 50/50 right now. Maybe the constituency of our camp is a little bit behind where the average user is. But even that, we’re at 50% of the people who hit our website are on a mobile device.

I’ve been with Berea for about 18 months before we came on. Before I came on board, we had an out of date website that wasn’t mobile friendly. It was a mess. When I say that the front door of the church is represented by these devices, I think the better way to say it is that this is the front door of your church. This is it. This is where people are learning about what you offer, and who you are, and they’re making assumptions based on what they see through Google, through social media, and through your website.

What does that mean? There’s some obvious implications in that space there, which the first thing is this. Design for mobile first. Design for mobile first. Any solution that you look at, and there’s all kinds, and I’ll mention a couple solutions for your website here today. It’s easy because when we design, we often are on desktops, right? We’re designing around this large screen, that’s 15 to 27 inches if you got the wicked cool iMac.

But what’s happening is people are experiencing them on these screens. Always be thinking about that first. It also impacts your Google rating if you don’t have a mobile friendly website. Google has shifted because they saw this trend. They said basically if a website does not have a mobile version, we’re going to de emphasize it on search ratings. If you do not have a mobile friendly website, you are not getting the full benefit on Google, which is an interesting thing.

As it stands, it’s tough to get people engaged on your website. For us, the average page visit for us is 43 seconds. Yes, that’s right. And the average visit is two minutes and 30 seconds. That’s how long most people interact with our website. You can find out these things. There’s different analytics tools, which I can talk to you about at some point when you really want to talk nerd.

Again, this is kind of to the credit of Berea as an organization is that we had thousands of people coming to our camp every year. Amazing, but we didn’t have a mobile friendly website. That was one of the things that I really focused on when I came in. What we did when I started that project, I didn’t start by calling a designer. I actually just drew a picture of what I wanted our website to look like on a phone. It’s called The Wire Frame.

This is my poor man’s, I made this in Power Point. It was pretty lame. I just said this is what I want our website to look like on the phone. Everyone that I would talk to who I was going to work with potentially is a partner to build our website. I said, “Can you make this? This is what we want.” Everything else that we got to do, if that can’t happen, it doesn’t matter.

And so, it took a while, and it took a long time to build it, but this is what it looks like now. If you go to Berea.org, and it’s pretty close similarly of what we built. This is really, really important for us to think about.

Another thing that churches mess up is that the front page of your website becomes like the inside of your bulletin. That everybody’s just fighting for space. We want to have the Women’s Tea on Thursday, and the kids thing on the other day. And everybody wants to have, give me a slider, and I want another moving thing and a photo. And list my event on the front page. Now we could debate all day long who your service is for. Is it for the people inside the building, outside the building? I’m not here to have that debate. I could tell you one thing. I don’t think it’s up for debate. Your website should be for your visitors.

If they’re only going to be there for 43 seconds, if they’re only going to be hanging around for two and a half minutes, I don’t really want them knowing about the bake sale. It doesn’t matter. I want to make sure that they know and they can answer their questions.

I want to give you a couple of, you can just write these down, couple churches that I think are doing this super well that are in New England. And there’s a hundred others. And some of you are among them. Faith Community Church in Hopkinton. Their website is fcch.org. The same guy who designed that website is the one who I worked with with Berea. Fcch.org. They’ve done two redesigns in the last three years because they were going from that old model where everybody has a webpage on, every ministry has a link, to no. Our website is a clear path for visitors to understand who we are. That’s a great one. Fcch.org.

I think that this church does a great job with it. And it’s a very different looking website, but very much an external, so that’s grace.org. And then another one is Kennebec Church up in Maine. Dan and his team up there do amazing stuff. They’re doing amazing things in Augusta. Kenne, I’m not even going to try to spell it. Kennebecchurch.org is that one. You can Google it, and get it close, and you’ll get it. Just like what a normal person would do when looking for it right?

So what should your website, what do guests want to know when they go to the website? Some of this is so obvious, but here’s the bar. Does your website answer these questions in less than 43 seconds? And here’s what I think that they’re asking. When and where are services? You shouldn’t have to click six times to find out where you’re at. People don’t want to click more than once. Honestly, it should be something that may be even on the front page of the website. Your address, the times of the services.

People want to know what to expect. They want to know … Church means a lot of things to a lot of people, so they want to know what they’re going to wear. And what they don’t want to do is show up in a suit if everybody else is in jeans. And they don’t want to show up in jeans if everybody else is in a suit. They want to know what to expect to wear. If they pull in the parking lot, and everyone’s not dressed like them, they’re just going to do a lap and go.

And what am I going to hear? I would encourage you to do something that is a very short version of your key presenter, so your pastor, that if you could do it on video, I mean, it doesn’t have to be really amazing video. But just decent, quality video that’s respectable that’s lite three minutes long of your pastor speaking. That you chose. That’s like them telling a story that connects to scripture. I mean, they can go and find the archives of the podcast, and stuff like that.

But I’m not even talking if you’re a video driven church, or have all that technology. I’m just saying, could you put three minutes of your pastor somewhere really easy for people to see? So they’re like that’s the guy. That’s what they want. That’s what people need to have.

And then what is there for my kids, right? They want to know that they’re going to be safe, that things are clean, that you have a system, if there’s a check-in. Maybe warn them about that. It’s a really important thing. When and where are services, what should I expect to wear and hear? What is there for my kids? Any comments on this part? I’ve got one more thing to say on this online stuff, because we’re going to move into the foyer in just a minute here.

Questions, comments real quick? Yeah, go ahead.

Speaker 2: [inaudible 00:31:16]

Andy Needham: I’m going to talk about that in just a minute. Okay. Never is the answer. No, not never, but no. We’ll talk about that in a second. That’s a good question. I’ll just talk about it. With the app thing, it’s trendy, it’s cool. We all want to pull out our phone and be like, “Look, it’s my icon. It’s our church. It’s amazing.” Here’ the thing, people do use apps, but 95% of the uses of apps is Facebook, Twitter, Instagram.

Most apps on your phone, you could probably … Just think about yourself. How many apps do you have on your phone that you use every single day? Not very many. You are chasing your tail trying to have that controlled experience. Now, I’m not saying it’s never strong. There are churches that have apps that are good. But I think that having a phenomenal mobile experience that’s on a browser, is going to stand the test of time. You can keep changing it, and updating it, and not having to go back to that same company that you just paid a couple grand to when they don’t keep their technology up to date. I mean, you’re kind of in their sandbox at that point, right, if they don’t keep things up.

I would just encourage you, if you do an app, the only way that I would say that I could see some value, I just don’t think people are going to be as engaged. I would actually suggest that you’re better off having two websites. One for your own people, and one for visitors. Then you already have an app. I think it’s easier just to say whatever it is, go to … Like our church has chapelcares.com. We’ve got some work to do on there, so don’t go looking at it. You can. I did that five years ago.

I would say we have two domains, chapelcares and chapelthecross. If I was going to recommend to them a strategy right now, I would say keep both domains. Make one of them for visitors, and that’s the thing that goes on all of our literature. And then in your bulletin or your announcements, you say go to the other domain and have that by your site.

Again, there can be debate on this thing. We can’t go to verse and scripture and be like though shalt not have an app. I really think a lot of churches fall in love with ideas like that because it makes them seem cool, when I don’t know that it actually has as much value in terms of long term engagement for people. That’s my two cents on that. Yes, go ahead.

Speaker 3: [inaudible 00:33:35].

Andy Needham: Yeah, yep. Yes, so there are ways. It’s not simple sometimes. They kind of make it tough. For example, here’s the thing that happened with Camp Berea, was that they used to list us as a camp ground. Everybody who has their RV is like let’s go to Camp Berea. It’s like, no, no, no. We’ve got kids here. This is a kids camp. We’re not doing that.

And we had to like petition them over, and over, and over, and over again. And then they finally changed it. There are ways to petition them on that business listing. I mean, first thing is to claim your business listing. That’ll give you some power, because they’ll kind of verify, too. They’ll go to your website and make sure that you actually who you say you are. I don’t remember all the processes. It’s been a while since we’ve done that. But they might verify in email, or something like that.

Some of those things can be done. They’re just not super simple. That’s a good question. It’s unfortunate. I mean, that’s a bummer. Any other questions? All right. Here’s my shotgun of other things that I would love to expand on, but I don’t have time to.

No more than five top level menu items on your website. So that bar across the top? Don’t have more than five things on it. Keep them simple. You can have drop down menus. Don’t do an app. I wasn’t just making that up. And then keep it current and changing. Google looks for this now, more than having those keywords or anything like that. If your website is current. And there’s nothing worse than a visitor hearing about your Christmas presentation right now on your website. Just make sure that you have stuff up to date. I got to keep firing.

Short video, stock photos are okay. But honestly, the world’s kind of moving away from stock photography. Here’s one thing that I want to give you that is worth all of your time. This has been transformational for us as an organization. It’s live chat. You can actually have this little thing down at the bottom. Anytime you have someone at a computer, they turn it on, and guess what? It’s free. It’s amazing.

What you can do, you can also have an app, so you get to volunteer to do this. But you can go to this website, tawk.to, and you just drop this code into your website, and you tell it when to turn on, and you can have people. All right, just give me five minutes. This is going to be fun. So, again, you can get all these slides. I’m going to skip ahead here a little bit.

Man, I knew this was going to happen. All right. Foyer to chair. Let’s see here, okay, it did come up. Okay, so I was talking to some people online about the foyer experience. And I got a lot to comments that were like this: “Hey, greet me at the door, give me a smile, show me where to go.” All right? A lot of people said that. I love this other guy, this is Nathaniel. He says this: “Gauntlet style handshake, insistent door guards are a turn off.” I love that. I was like, dude, I’m using that in my break out. That is amazing.

And so the idea here is that give people the right, yeah, and it’s like I’m giving you a handshake no matter what. It’s going to happen. So again, back to this culture awareness empathy. Way finding, huge issue in a lot of churches. They’re like, “Go down to the Bethel Room.” “What? Where’s that?”

People want to know this. Where do you find your restrooms? Where’s the kid check-in? Where’s the auditorium? Where’s the Welcome Desk? Simple and clear. This is one that actually I got from my wife Bethany, who did a design for our church. Plan your foyer around a full foyer.

A lot of people put their signs like at head level, and then all of a sudden, it gets full, and they cannot see where to go. It’s a massive mistake that we see over and over again. And then rename rooms to make sense for first timers. If you go at bunch of classrooms, rather than calling them the Bethel Room, and the Smith Room, or whatever, that’s the A hallway, that’s the B hallway. This is what we do when we run conferences. We rename, just so it’s like it’s an A Room, it’s down that hallway. Super simple, but so many churches do not think this through.

This is an example of what we did in our church. Obviously, our foyer is my favorite part of our building. We had really bad way finding. That’s foam board. We have a large format printer, and then we had a carpenter build the inserts. That’s all it was. Cost probably like $15 for every single sign that we built. It wasn’t like we went out and spent a fortune. And that is how we did our space.

Couple things on the shotgun. Clean up your dirty spaces. Don’t give them a huge packet of paper. Be sensitive to introverted guests. Here’s a huge one. So many churches get this wrong. You have that guy that everybody knows, who is just on visitors like nobody’s business. And not following everything that you say. And you don’t confront him, and you don’t deal with that issue because it’s too awkward and too difficult. And people aren’t coming back to your church because of it. That’s really harsh to say, but I see that happening a lot at churches.

Where do you find visitors before the service? They’re in the sanctuary because they come on time, unlike your regular people. This has been a practice of mine, because I lead worship a lot at our church. It’s like the visitors are the first 15 people in the room. I walk around and I talk to them. And most of them are visitors. They’re there early because they didn’t know what they were walking into. It’s a huge thing.

In service, again, we’re just going to fire through things. Introduce the people on your platform. Here’s one way we did that at Berea. I stole this from a church. We just always put the names of whoever’s on stage on the screens. We ask them to introduce themselves, but we always do that. We just put the … There’s Matt. And you can do that bottom corner or whatever. It’s just a really simple way.

Here’s the one that’s surprising to a lot of people. Most visitors don’t like your greeting time in service. It’s a tough one. I go back and forth on this. This is not like the app thing. I could go either way. A lot of times, this is a big turn off for people. Maybe at the end of the service, you just say make sure you say hello to someone on the way out. If no one comes and says hello to them, you just really sabotage your experience.

There’s been a lot of talk about this today. Crafting simple language, but especially around giving and communion. I had a guy who came to our church … There’s a whole story I could share. He came up to me after and says, “What’s the deal with the crackers and the juice?” I was like, “Dude, I’m so glad you’re here. This is awesome.” We need to have simple language where we say … Just find that language in your church. There’s ways to do it that you can let people have freedom there.

Your connect card, keep it simple. This is interesting, and again, you can get this on the slides. This is some research by Barna about what millennials, don’t you love that word, are willing to give you for information? 82% will give you a first name, last name 53, email address 33, it keeps dropping down. We create these connect cards that are like, give me your social security number and the name of your dog, and all that kind of stuff. That’s just something. There’s some great examples of good welcome cards. I know I’m running over time here.

Follow up intentionally is the last thing that I would say. You would be shocked how many churches don’t actually have a system to follow up with people. It’s amazing. Here’s a couple things. This is my last slide. And I’m sorry for having spent a lot of time on the first part. Couple things that would be great for you. Prochurchtools.com. This guy from Niagara Falls, Canada, does an amazing job. He definitely nerds out a lot, but it’s really good.

Secrets of a Secret Shopper by Greg Atkinson. And he was actually on Carrie’s podcast. It wasn’t the latest now, because the new one came out today. But if you just look up Carrie Newhoff’s podcast, really, really good stuff that resonates with this. And then there’s my website there. And if you want these slides again, just email me andy@berea.org. That’s right.


Brian Beauford

Brian helped Grace Church get started and has played a role in almost every ministry at Grace over the years. Brian now oversees, the weekend experiences, communications, marketing and location expansions.