The Internet's Best Practices for Ministry

Welcome to our site. Our mission and dedication is to equip leaders for innovative ministry. Explore. Read. Share.

Welcoming Guests and First Impressions

The sermon starts in the parking lot, and the impression you make for your guests on Sunday morning during the first 10 minutes will be indelible.

Technology and The Church

Leveraging technology for ministry can be an incredible blessing. But it can also be fraught with problems and pitfalls. Learn how to use technology well.

Vision and Leadership

Our God longs for leaders to request of Him to do that which they cannot. Faith filled vision, leadership and risk are key ingredients for ministry.

Preaching and Communication

You know and understand how challenging it is to communicate. It is hard to get and capture people's attention. Learn how to communicate effectively.

Creativity and Innovation

Being creative means asking the right questions and making new associations. Discover new and creative ideas for your ministry.

Not-so helpful helpdesk

This is a picture of a sign found on flickr.

People come to your helpdesk on a Sunday morning at church to ask questions. And your church volunteers and staff are there to help answer those questions and put the Sunday morning guest at ease. That is it's purpose, pure and simple.

Here are a couple of questions to ask about the effectiveness concerning your helpdesk/information desk/guest services area or whatever you may choose to call it:

1. Is there always someone there who is able to intelligently answer guest's questions? Do they smile and do they communicate interest when people walk up?

2. Is the helpdesk easy to locate and clearly marked?

3. Is there information easily available for your guests to take with them? A map of the church, instructions or how to check and register children, a guest packet etc?

4. Is there an opportunity and an easy method to ask for information from the guest?

Can you add anything to this?

Fresh Eyes

It is amazing what you can notice when you have fresh eyes going into a new place. Too often we don't accurately see everything we need to because we are used to seeing it all the time.

Ask someone who has never been to your church to come and get an honest evaluation and assessment of how you are doing at your Sunday morning worship experience. You may be surprised!

Here is an example from Ron at assimilation blog

I went to church last Sunday.
To a church with a reputation as a well-oiled machine.
Surely, I would be greeted warmly
And asked if this was my first time.

I parked the car and walked to the entrance.
Several people walked right past me.
No one asked my name.

I walked into the foyer.
People everywhere, heading to their seats.
No one asked my name.

I gladly received a bulletin from one of the ushers.
No one asked my name.
Not even the usher.
In fact, if I hadn't offered to shake her hand
That wouldn't have happened either.

During the brief greeting time,
No one asked me if I was new.
No one asked my name.

After the service,
People let me walk right by.
No one asked my name.

This is a flagship church in my area.
Preaching, excellent.
Worship, fantastic.
Just didn't get the attention
I assumed guests should receive.

Am I upset? No.
This is a scenario that could happen
In any given church on any given Sunday.
Unless there is an awareness of guests
And a strategy to envelope them.

I did not feel welcome,
But I did have a great time.

How would a person with no
Previous church background have felt?

Makes me wonder,
What's happening at my church?
Do we have enough interaction with guests?
Are we asking their names?

Of course, we're the friendliest church.
Says who?
Outsiders see things differently.

Creating The Right Environments

Behind the Leaf blog has an interesting post about creating a comfortable environment. Here is an excerpt from that post...

"Sometimes, we don’t talk about things that are very comfortable. Jesus said we were to take up our cross (be willing to die). Disciple left behind their nets (quit their jobs). The truth often hurts because the Word of God is sharp and it cuts.

I don’t know who originally said this, but we want to create a safe place for people to hear a dangerous message. So while we may communicate some uncomfortable truths, we want to create a comfortable environment for guests. We want people to come in and feel like they belong there - like they are not an outsider. We design our Sunday morning experience with guests in mind, because we don’t want people to stay guests. Here’s some things we do to help create this environment:

1. We play secular tunes in the lobby and as the preservice.
2. We serve coffee.
3. We explain stuff.
4. We ask people for their information.
5. We prepare for and expect guests."

Read the whole post here: Behind the Leaf

At Big Creek church we are all about creating that WOW experience when a visitor comes on Sunday morning. Now although, we don't and won't play tunes in the lobby, we serve coffee, provide clear and assessable information, we ask people for their information and we anticipate guests. Our goal is to do this well, because we believe that this is sets the table for a visitors Sunday morning experience.

How are you doing in these areas? Would you add to this list or subtract from it in any way?