I have a new friend, her name is Hope. Hope just turned 16 and she is more fun than a rollercoaster, friendlier than a new puppy, and happier than anyone I know!! She’s pretty amazing!! We were over at her house for a cookout, (We’re friends with her parents, it was their cookout, we don’t actually hang out with 16yr olds!!) and as I was talking I said “oh my stars.” If you know me well, you know I say that probably way too much, but I wouldn’t be me without saying it!! For the rest of the night, every time Hope saw me she would say “OH MY STARS.” By the end of the night I think I fell in love with that saying all over again!! The next day, Hope and her mom jumped in the car for a little mini vacation to Niagara Falls! They had a blast and Hope posted an Instagram picture with a caption that had, that’s right, you guessed it, OH MY STARS in the text! She shared with her dad that the reason she put it in her post is because “Stacey says it.”
She talked to her dad, and then she talked about me. You might be thinking that sounds like gossip but not the way I’m thinking about it!! Put your guest experience glasses on and look at it like this!!
When you serve on any first impression team you get to talk to people (guests) and you get to talk about your people (your church or organization)! As I talk to people who are attending our church I start with “How long have you attended here?” If it’s their first visit, I ask how they found us and then, I listen. Next, I ask about their family, and then, I listen. I do my best to ask questions that will allow me the opportunity to get to know each guest I am blessed to serve! From there, I start talking about people!! If it’s a family with a high school student, I get to tell them about our awesome student ministry and I get to brag on not only our incredible high school pastor but also the team of people that surround him who will be pouring into their student! If they are empty nesters looking for a small group to connect with I get to tell them all about our get connected process and the incredible team of people who will help them find a group that fits them to a “T.” What if the guest has a question about the senior pastor? I know how I would answer! “The person you see on the stage is the same person you see off the stage! He has a passion for people to cross the line of faith and he is focused on the people in our community!” That’s just how I feel about my senior pastor, I’m not giving you words to say, I’m just trying to make the point that we need to know our people so when we talk to new people we can talk about our people!
To some people it may seem intimidating to strike up a conversation with people you have just met, if that’s you, you should probably serve in a ministry that is not focused on the first impression!! We’ve got 1-7 minutes before a guest decides if he or she will return to our church. Talking to people about your people will help them decide if your church is the best fit for them! Talk to people, then talk about people. Easy peasy lemon squeezy, right?!!