Be Our Guest…

So I’m reading through the book Be Our Guest: Perfecting the Art of Customer Service that the Disney institute put out and I read this paragraph last night and couldn’t help but think, “This needs to become my mindset!”

Check it out:

“At Disney, exceeding guest’ expectations is the standard call of duty. If you study the Disney them parks, you can see how that works on myriad occasions each day. It shows up in the willingness of a restaurant hostess to not only provide directions when you are lost but to leave her post to guide you to your destination. It appears at the end of some late-night shopping when the cashier takes time to find out who you are and where you are staying and then recommend the free boat ride back to your hotel and offers a map to the dock. It is this plethora of little wows, many which seem fairly insignificant at the time, on which Quality Service depends. If the little wows are delivered consistently and continuously, they add up to a big wow.”

So many questions and thoughts come to mind when I read this paragraph:

  • Do we lead our weekend guest to where they need to go or do we just point them to where they need to go?
  • Do we take the time to find out who our weekend guest are?
  • Are we consistent?
    • Are our bathrooms consistently clean?
    • Are our grounds consistently well kept?
    • Are we consistently following out our mission?
      • “To set and environment of warmth and acceptance, to help people feel welcomed and wanted, to help people feel like they belong.”

I think we have a lot to learn from an organization like Disneyland when it comes to our approach to 1st impressions in the church.

The first 90 seconds…

 “Don’t forget to show hospitality to strangers, for some who have done this have entertained angels without realizing it!”    Hebrews 13:2 (NLT)

 Hospitality- is the attitude and practice of providing the atmosphere and opportunities, however risky, in which strangers are free to become friends, thereby feeling accepted, included, and loved.  The relationship thus opens up the possibility for eventual communion among the host, the stranger and God.

  • Greeters and Ushers are ministers of hospitality

“The consistent practice of hospitality by greeters and ushers provides a wonderful model for the entire congregation- It Can Change The Life of Your Church”

 The characteristics of great hospitality:

  • I received a pleasant greeting
  • They gave me clear instructions
  • They were warm and friendly
  • Their greeting was sincere
  • Their concern was genuine
  • They gave me immediate attention
  • I felt welcomed, wanted, and accepted

 

How do we achieve these types of experiences in the church?

 Most people begin forming impressions very quickly.  These impressions start forming in the parking lot:

  • Did they get a “good” parking spot?
  • Did they get a spot at all?
  • Is our building and grounds clean and well kept?
  • Is there plenty of signage?
  • Is our signage informative and directive or just pretty to look at?

The parking arrangements and the appearance of the building convey impressions that are very strong and lasting.  The fact is, people already have impressions of who we are even before we actually physically greet them.

The first encounters we have with people, however are even more important.  The first 30, 60, or 90 seconds will play a crucial role in whether or not a person will have a positive feeling about their first encounter with our church.  If those first few seconds are positive, people are most likely to continue to feel positive about the encounter.  If those first few seconds are negative, people often begin to look more critically at everything else that is said or that happens.

The Crux of What We Do!!!

As the First Impressions Team we are the front-line of hospitality for Cross Point!!!  We are the initial point of contact for our weekend guest; we are their first impression!!!  Our role is to set the environment, to help make Cross Point an atmosphere of warmth and acceptance, our goal is to help people feel welcomed and wanted, to help them feel like they belong!!!

“From the street to the seat are 90 of the most important seconds on Sunday.”

The Bottom Line: Hospitality Matters!!!

“So reach out and welcome one another to God’s glory. Jesus did it; now you do it!” Romans 15:7 (The Message)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               

*Adapted from The First :30 Seconds by: S. Joan Hershey