Teach Yourself to Smile

 

That’s right. I said, ‘Teach Yourself’. Just because you have a face and positive emotions doesn’t mean you have a good smile. Don’t believe me? Check out my post, “The Problem With Your Face!” When I realized that my habitual smile looked more like a scowl than anything else I realized I needed to fix it. Here are a few steps I recommend to get you started:

STEP 1: EVALUATE YOUR ‘REAL’ SMILE.

First, it’s important for you to get a good, solid evaluation of your smile. I’m not talking about the pasted smile you put on when you are taking a picture. I’m talking about the smile you use every day at home, work, in the store, etc. You’ll need input from more than yourself too. This will require a good dose of humility on your part.

Here are a few suggestions:

  • Look in the Mirror
    As long as you aren’t embarrassed being with yourself too much, this one is really easy. The next time you are alone in the bathroom spend some time smiling at yourself. The best way to do this is to just ‘pretend’ you are in different scenario’s and smile like you would at those times. While doing this, ask yourself, “Is this what I want people to see?” The first time I did this I became very frustrated. I found that I didn’t really know how to smile except when I was getting my picture taken or was laughing. I spent a lot of time trying to figure out what to do with my facial muscles and worked on retraining them.

    But don’t stop there. Just because YOU like your smile doesn’t mean others do!
     

  • Ask Someone You Trust
    This means you have to admit that you might have a problem and need help. I know enough about us leaders that this one hurdle may be bigger than the smile itself. Assuming you can get over whatever pride you may be carrying, find someone you trust to give honest feedback. You’re not looking for someone who is afraid to hurt your feelings. That’s totally counter-productive. Find someone who will honestly evaluate your natural smile and ask them their opinion and thoughts. Then, as they give you feedback, just listen, ask clarifying questions and resist the impulse to defend yourself if the evaluation you receive is less than you expected.
     
  • Ask a Stranger
    OK. Maybe that’s going a little too far. You’ll have to decide. But consider this, your most trusted friends are used to seeing your face every week. It’s possible they will not be capable of giving you an objective opinion. So ask a stranger. Next time you are sitting in a waiting room or standing in a line, humble yourself and ask the person next to you for some feedback. You might start by simply smiling at the person before saying something like this: “Excuse me. I know this might sound really weird, but I am a public speaker and recently I’ve been wondering what kinds of first impressions I make when I smile. If it doesn’t make you too uncomfortable, could you just rate your impression of my smile just a moment ago as well as right now while I’m talking on a scale of 1 to 5 with 1 being that I seem really mean and 5 being that I seem very friendly and approachable? Again, just let me know if you’d rather not. I know it’s a very strange request.”
     
  • Ask a New Acquaintance
    Finally, you can ask someone you have recently become acquainted with. Perhaps it’s a pastor or leader from another church, a new attendee in your church, or a next door neighbor. You could use a similar approach as above and solicit their feedback.
     

STEP 2: DEFINE YOUR NEW SMILE

Next, you need to begin working on your new smile (assuming you need to). This isn’t something you will accomplish in one sitting. It will likely require a concerted effort on your part over a period of days, even weeks before you find the smile you are really looking for. Here are more suggestions:

  • Focus on Your Muscles
    Ask yourself what muscles you are using when you are truly smiling. There are over 50 muscles in your face. It’s highly likely that there are some that you almost never use and don’t even know are there. In fact, a good 20 minutes of ‘smiling’ could leave your facial muscles feeling sore. That’s a good thing. Find and consciously discover the new muscles you are using. You’ll need that knowledge later when you want to smile but don’t have a mirror in front of you to make sure you’re doing it right!

    A lot of research has shown that great smiles use the orbicularis oculi muscle. This is the muscle that surrounds your eyes. Good smiles will produce a slight squint in your eyes that help transform the smile from a ‘fake’ smile to a genuine one – sometimes called ‘laugh lines’. 
     
  • Ask Yourself How Your Face Feels
    This sounds weird but it works for me. I’ve discovered that when I’m smiling properly my cheeks touch the bottoms of my glasses and I can feel a different kind of pressure on the edges of my mouth. Again, that’s great knowledge to have when I’m out and about. About the only time I can genuinely ensure I’m smiling while talking to people is during a Skype call where I can see myself at the same time as the person I’m addressing. Since you and I don’t live on Skype we need some ‘help’ making sure we’re getting it right.
     
  • Get More Feedback
    You’ve developed a new smile and you like it. So you begin turning on the charm everywhere you go . . . and people start running. What gives? Try going back to Step 1 and get more input. For all you know, your new ‘smile’ still says things you never intended (and never said before). The last thing you want is for your first impression to be, “I’ve lost my marbles and hope you know where they are!”
     

STEP 3: PRACTICE

You spent most of your adult life perfecting that grumpy look. I guarantee you won’t ‘fix’ it in just a couple of weeks or even months. They say it takes 21 days to build a new habit, but in this case I suspect we’re talking more like 6 months. Practice, practice, practice. Check out your smile in front of the mirror often. Look it over every day. Until you know you are representing the ‘real you’ stay on your guard whenever you respond with a smile.

 

The Problem With Your Face

Your face probably lies . . . a lot!

You think you know what your face is saying, but it’s very possible you don’t. I discovered this the hard way. For years I thought I was expressing a kind, friendly expression everywhere I went.

Here are two examples:

  • A few years ago I was driving to work and passed by a church attendee walking in the parking lot. She saw me and lifted her hand in a brief wave of greeting. I made eye contact as I passed by, moved my mouth muscles into what I considered to be a ‘greeting smile’ and nodded. Immediately, I got the impression I should ‘check’ what my smile looked like. So I looked up into the rear view mirror and repeated the smile, only to be horrified to see a scowl looking back at me!
     
  • I remember sitting in my office across from a young couple in our church. The young man was interested in a job and had brought his wife along to discuss details and options with me. At one point in the conversation, he made a great comment that solicited a positive emotion inside of me. In a purely automatic response I again, moved my facial muscles in a modicum of a smile and nodded thoughtfully. A few moments later, I remembered the ‘scowl’ from the parking lot and realized that I had just frowned at him when I should have been smiling!

Most people smile at least a few times a day without even thinking about it. At least, they smile on the inside. Something happens that brings a small measure of joy into our hearts and we respond, either intentionally or unconsciously with a smile or nod.

The problem is, for MANY of us, our outward reactions don’t even
come close to our intention or genuine feelings.

This was true for me. One day my wife mentioned something about my ‘frown’ and I finally started paying attention. I was appalled and embarrassed. What I thought was a thoughtful or gentle smile was a total frown. I’m not exaggerating. My mouth automatically turned down on both sides creating a perfect frown. Ugh!

Since then I have been having an almost daily battle with my face – forcing it to truly express what I think and feel instead of what it (as if it has a will!) naturally expresses.

As a pastor, public speaker and Jesus follower with a strong desire to encourage and strengthen those around me, this became a very important issue for me. I’m afraid to think too much about the number of people I have given a negative impression about me, or worse, Jesus Christ, because of my expression.

The Scary-Mad Man

A while back our church hosted a national speaker and pastor for a conference. He brought one of his pastors and associates to assist him during the conference. Since I was sitting behind him, I engaged him in some breif conversation before the service. My first impression was less than nice. He seemed extremely unfriendly and antisocial. If I didn’t know any better, I’d think he was mad at me.

What shocked me was when the national speaker got up and introduced him as one of the kindest, passionate man with a huge hunger for God. I realized I had fallen for his scary expression. He seemed to be constantly frowning, even when it seemed like he should be happy.

It’s sad to say, but this has happened to me more often that I want to admit, and often from pastors and christian leaders that are, or should be, held with a measure of respect and esteem.

In his book, Enchantment: The Art of Changing Hearts, Minds, and Actions, Guy Kawasaki said, “What does it cost to smile? Nothing. What does it cost not to smile? Everything, if it prevents you from connecting with people. While smiling sends a very clear message about your state of mind, not smiling creates an opening for many interpretations, including grumpiness, aloofness, and anger – none of which helps you enchant people.”

It turns out little orphan Annie had the right idea, “You’re never fully dressed without a smile!”

How is your smile, really? 

Check out “Teach Yourself to Smile” to learn some great tips on how to smile!

How To Know If Guests Will Want To Return

I visited a popular Mexican Restaurant with my 14 year old son a while back.

He was convinced I would love the place. I was doubtful, which means I went into the experience already critical of what might happen. As you might expect, I had a terrible experience while my son loved it and was left scratching his head why I hated it. Here’s my short list:

  • The line was long, so I had to stand and wait for 10 minutes.
  • The floor was a simple, and dirty, concrete floor.
  • They didn’t serve ground beef, which is what I love on my taco salad.
  • They didn’t have any normal lettuce for my taco salad.
  • I had to pay extra if I wanted some nacho’s (where I normally go they are free.)
  • The ice machine was broken and the soda was warm (really.)
  • The place we chose to sit at was dirty and I had to clean it off myself first.

Most people reading that list will agree with me that I had a right to complain, and not want to return. And yet, there was a line of regular customers (like my son) who loves the place and will come back over and over, despite some minor (or even major) problems with the overall experience.

Why is that? Because loyal customers don’t need to be treated extra special to remain loyal. But that’s not true for first-time guests! Successful organizations will know how to roll out the red carpet for new people, and they will know how to invite them to return for a second visit!

THE SAME IS TRUE FOR THE LOCAL CHURCH!

How to know if your guests will want to return.

There are several proven strategies that, when embraced by local churches, will ensure most 1st time guests will be likely to come back for another visit. Here are just a few.

VIP Treatment the Moment They Arrive

The best greeter teams are those that know how to identify and host guests. From the moment guests arrive on the scene (as early as the parking lot in some cases) there are people available to kindly direct them to others who will then explain where things are, what to expect and, if necessary, help them find a seat. The most anxious first-timers will begin to relax and focus on God when their worries and fears are dealt with within the first 2-3 minutes after they arrive.

A Warm & Welcoming Environment

The moment churches forget they are hosting guests is the moment they stop caring about the floors, windows, bathrooms and rest of the building. That’s the moment when the church has decided to hold outsiders at arms length and just focus on insiders. This will be immediately obvious to visitors and may play a much larger role in deterring their return than just about anything else. First time guests should never be distracted by a dirty or run-down facility.

Handling Kids With Care

Church leaders and greeters will do well to always treat the children and teens of first-time guests with the utmost respect and care. They will over-communicate where they will go and what to expect and they will exceed those expectations. Many long-standing church attendees around the world will confess in private that the real reason they came back was because of their children. Alternatively, ignore children and offer them a bad experience and your guests are almost sure to never return again.

Friendly Attendees

It makes a huge positive impression when the regular attendees are genuinely friendly and reach out to first-time guests. The subtext behind this environment is, “People are really nice here, and I can use friends who are nice to be around. Maybe I should come again.” I’ve visited churches who would label themselves as friendly, but who treated me like I was invisible. And I’ve visited those who are so obviously friendly towards outsiders. The difference between the two might be compared to the difference between the winter weather in the northern versus the southern United States.

Strategic Follow-Up

Unless your first-time guests are already committed ‘church goers’ it’s unlikely that your guests will think of coming back anytime soon. After all, they hold no loyalty toward the church or God yet. For the truly unchurched guest, church attendance might be viewed as something to do on a rainy day, when they think about it or simply when time permits. So churches need to strategically follow-up with their guests, preferably within hours or a day or two of their visit. And they shouldn’t forget about their guests after their ‘obligatory follow-up’ either. Rather, churches should consider methods by which they can occasionally invite past guests to upcoming events or sermon series that may potentially draw them back to the church for another visit.

 

10 Tips For Effective Guest Follow-Up

 

A while back my wife and I were invited to dinner with another couple in our church. From the moment we arrived until the moment we left we were treated like honored guests. The food was great, the fellowship was great and the overall experience was just very relaxing and enjoyable.

The next morning we discovered the host family had sent us an email thanking us for joining them for the meal and we found a post on Facebook announcing their joy in spending time with us. I was really impressed that they were still thinking of us even after the official ‘event’ was over with. It was definitely a Romans 12:13 experience.

“Contribute to the needs of the saints and seek to show hospitality.”

There are so many things the local church can learn and should emulate from my experience with this family. The one I’d like to highlight in today’s post has to do with the importance and value of effective guest follow-up.

Consider this scenario:

It’s Sunday afternoon and Tim & Joanne just finished lunch with their two teenage kids. Conversation centered around everyone’s impression of the church they visited that morning for the first time. Everyone was in agreement that they enjoyed the service and the people were mostly friendly. Since attending church is not something they normally do as a family they found it a novel experience, to say the least. That said, nobody suggested going back next week.

Two days later Joanne and her daughter are sitting in the living room watching TV when a commercial comes on, distracting them for a moment. Joanne mentions that she received a nice letter from the pastor expressing how glad he was that they visited and letting them know he’d love to talk with them sometime if they have any questions about their first visit to the church. This sparks a lively conversation about one aspect of the service that they did find awkward (the singing). Before the show resumed, the daughter wondered if they should try visiting again some Sunday. 

Fast forward three weeks to a Saturday afternoon. Everyone is driving back from a baseball game when Tim announces he had just received an email that morning from one of the greeters of the church inviting them to come visit the church again sometime. He asked his family, “What do you all think of us going back tomorrow morning?” After some discussion about schedules, everyone agrees to give it another try.

A simple little story that highlights just one thing: the potential influence of guest follow-up. In this scenario, had the church not reached out to that family again, it could have been months or even years before they ever came back. The busy-ness of life and schedules hold a greater demand on their time.

Church was hardly the center of this family’s attention or priorities, but they decided to visit again. I wonder what might happen after they have come a second time? Will their conversation at lunch that Sunday result in a die-hard commitment to the church for the rest of their lives?

I doubt it very much. Assuming they have another great experience (which is sometimes ‘iffy’) they may find themselves a little more vested than a month ago, but not enough to become regular attendees yet. Thus, the importance of a second time guest follow up.

I’m a firm believer in consistent, intentional and friendly follow-up to Sunday service guests.

I believe there is a RIGHT way and a WRONG way to follow up with church guests. In fact, poor guest follow up might actually end up being worse than no follow up at all. Check out some of these tips for great guest-friendly follow-up.

10 Follow-Up Tips

1. Decide to Follow Up.

One of the biggest reasons church’s don’t follow-up is simply because they are already busy and overwhelmed. Follow-up is just one more thing to do and often it gets shoved to the back burner for more urgent tasks. What most pastors and leaders forget is that effective follow-up may ultimately be one of the most mission-critical things you do besides the Sunday morning experience. Your passion to see lives transformed means you should be committed to finding ways to encourage people who need what you have (Christ’s Transforming Love) to return again and again until they have received it. Make a decision this week to start or begin evaluating your guest follow up.

2. Ask Permission.

Nobody likes to receive communications without at least some small amount of permission first. It’s not necessary to literally ask a person if you can send them information; but it’s usually wise to create a system whereby they give you their email, phone numbers, and mailing address (as opposed to surprising them by sending them communications by looking them up). The simple task of having them write out their information is implication enough that you just may DO something with that information. For example: Asking them to fill out an information card during their visit to the church.

3. No Pressure.

Please don’t pressure your guests to come back or make them feel guilty if they don’t visit again! This is, perhaps, one of the worst ways to communicate with new people in your church. Whether you are sending a letter, email, Facebook message, or calling them on the phone, remember to treat them as you would want to be treated were you in their shoes. Guests want to feel valued and special when they hear from you. This also means that you shouldn’t presume that they will or will want to visit the church again in the near future.

4. Be a Giver.

The focus of your follow-up communications should stay solely on serving your guest. What can you give to them to help them in this season of their life? You know they may be interested in your church, so GIVE them information they are interested in receiving about your church, with no strings attached. Ask them about their experience on Sunday and if they have any questions about anything. You also know that, whether they know it or not, people usually attend church because God is drawing them. If possible, find out what’s going on in their life that you or your church can help them with. Ask them if there’s anything they would like prayer for. As a bonus, if you can find ways to literally give your guests gifts I’m sure they won’t be too upset. For example: Include a $5 gift card or see if a business owner in your church would be willing to give out free coupons to guests for their product or services.

5. Look Out.

In this article I discuss the difference between Insiders Looking In, Insiders Looking Out, Outsiders Looking In, and Outsiders Looking Out. Taylor your follow up with an ‘Outsiders Looking In’ or an ‘Outsiders Looking Out’ perspective. Remember the world they live in and that their lives are probably already complicated and full.

6. Follow Up More than Once

It is very common for churches to send one follow-up to guests and then to never contact them again. Unfortunately, one follow-up is rarely enough to encourage repeat visits for every guest. Fact: Your guests will probably NOT attend your church consistently at first. They may visit two, three or more times over the course of several months before they start attending weekly. Fact: Your guests have NOT decided to make your church their church home after visiting two or three times. They may say they like your church and the people, but they are not vested in attending regularly yet. Follow up after each guest attendance – at least the first three if not more. Consider following up more often in between visits as well. For example, I know a church that sends a letter to all the guests who visited their church the previous month.

7. Build Follow-Up Systems

There is no way you will be consistently successful in guest friendly follow-up without some systems in place to accommodate what amounts to a highly administrative part of church work. Check out this article I wrote about the Systems/People Matrix. This means you need a simple system for collecting guest information, processing it, tracking it so that you know how often your guests have attended, clarifying which type of follow up should happen (first time follow-up, second time, etc.), and getting the right tasks to the right people in order to actually do that particular follow up. Note: there’s no way around it, you will need a secretary or an administratively gifted individual to champion your follow-up systems.

8. Be Relevant

What worked last decade probably isn’t relevant today. Letters are nice in certain communities and for the older generations they are probably great. But take into consideration your demographics and who you are trying to reach when you choose your methods of follow-up. At one church I worked with for many months they chose to follow-up with a mix of phone calls, letters, emails and Facebook posts.

9. Be Personal

Another way to say it is, “Be friendly.” It is altogether too easy to write an email or letter that sounds formal and businesslike. Not good. Work hard at ensuring the tone of your nonverbal communications are down to earth and friendly. Work just as hard at your verbal follow-ups. You may even consider writing out a script that could be used to ensure your language is friendly over the phone. For instance, “Hello, this is Pastor Bill from the Community Church. I was wondering if I could speak with Tim or Joanne? Oh, hi Joanne. (1)Am I catching you at a bad time? Great. (2)How are you today? . . .  (3)Joanne, the reason I’m calling today is simply to follow-up on your visit to church this last week. (4)I was wondering how you liked the service and if you had any questions about your experience . . . . . . Hey, one more thing before I let you go. (5)Is there anything I can pray for you and your family about this week? . . . . OK. (6)I’m so glad we were able to connect for a few minutes. Have a great day! Bye now.” Notice the script includes several key phrases I wouldn’t want to forget to say. I also phrased them in a conversational way to help me keep the conversation informal.

10. Follow Up in Bite Size Chunks

You’ve heard the phrase, “Don’t bite off more than you can chew.” It applies here. Please develop your Guest Friendly Follow Up, but don’t try to go from zero to hero in one week. Build your follow-up systems in small pieces to ensure the systems work. A few months ago I was coaching a pastor and he told me he was ready to take another step in his follow-up systems. We developed a system where a particularly nice and caring man in the church gets a list of 2nd time guests once a month and calls them to pray for them and invite them to an upcoming special event or Sunday service again. It was one step forward. He spent several weeks getting that strategy up and running, and then came back and started talking about what should happen after that.

Five Questions Every Church Must Answer

The answer to these five questions will drive what you do as a local church. They will impact the activities and programs you host. Ultimately, they will determine your effectiveness in reaching both your community and your congregation for Jesus Christ.

1. How do we attract people to our church?

Sadly, many church leaders fail to seriously address this question. They assume people will visit the church because they see the church building and a welcome sign on the front lawn or they assume regular attendees will regularly invite people to the Sunday Service. They scratch their heads and wonder what people’s problem is. One pastor once told me that first time guests were often heard making comments like, “Your church is the best kept secret in our town!”

In Matthew 5:14-16, Jesus said, “You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.”

Your community doesn’t need to see your building, they need to see “the light of the world” in you and your congregation. They need to see that your church is a place where transformation takes place. Where lives are changed. Where people meet the True and Living God. You need to find ways to shout from the mountain that God actually shows up at your church each week. People need to get the feeling they are missing out on something important.

What is your church’s strategy to attract people?

2. How do we assimilate guests into our church?

Of the five questions, this is what pastors ask me more than any other. It can be very frustrating to see 3-4 guests walk through the front doors every week and yet not experience growth as a church. Sometimes guests will even return for a second or third visit, but eventually they sort of just disappear and we never know what happened. What makes matters worse, they usually tell us they really enjoyed the service! We can’t help but secretly ask ourselves: Was it something I said? Did someone offend them? Are we weird and just don’t know it? Why won’t they come back?

More often than not, the problem is that church leaders and longstanding members have blinders on. They are unable to properly see the church environment through the eyes of a guest or newcomer. This is fairly normal and to be expected, but that doesn’t mean it’s a good thing. Creating a ‘guest culture’ should be high on every church’s priority list and should include finding ways to ensure guests have a positive experience and are tactfully invited to come again.

Another reason why this question is hard to answer is because we fail to properly define ‘assimilate’ when we ask it. Is it when they have visited 3 times or 6 or 8? Is it when they join a small group or get involved? Is it when they become a member? It may be different for every church, but at some point, newcomers need to feel like they are one of the ‘insiders’ at your church. We need to make that as easy as possible!

In Acts 15, Paul said, “It is my judgement, therefore, that we should not make it difficult for Gentiles who are turning to God.” In other words, we need to pay special and close attention to our new attendees as they are “turning to God.”

What is your church’s strategy to assimilate people?

3. How do we connect people with one another in our church?

I often tell church leaders, “You can make a lot of mistakes as a church and people will keep coming if they are connected.” Certainly, the answer to this question is an important part of ‘how do we assimilate people.’ But it’s more than about just getting newcomers to stay. It’s about having a church where people truly care about one another, and show it in practical ways. A church that successfully accomplishes this doesn’t have to rely on the pastor(s) to do all the ministry in the church, because people organically minister to one another all the time.

In today’s culture, getting people to ‘connect’ with others in the church is a LOT easier said than done. But it is a necessity if we are to go beyond the ‘superficial’ in ministry to one another. And despite the indoctrination of social media in the world, nothing will ever truly beat face to face interactions. Getting people to actually do that is a challenge some pastors have literally given up addressing. No matter how discouraging or hard it may be, we should ‘not grow weary in doing good’ and continue forward until we have discovered ways to do it for our church community.

The author of Hebrews so aptly reminds us, “And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another – and all the more as you see the Day approaching.” That passage isn’t just talking about the Sunday morning experience. It’s talking about small groups, medium groups, even 1 on 1 connections – all so we may “spur one another on toward love and good deeds.”

What is your church’s strategy for connecting people?

4. How do we disciple people in our church?

Any church leader who doesn’t know what the “Great Commission” is has missed his calling. It’s Christ’s final mandate to His disciples, and to each one of us. Entire sermons, series, books and even volumes of books have been given to us to explore Jesus command to us to spread the Gospel around the globe, as well as in our own communities. It’s hard to miss the four primary commands found in this passage:

“Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.” Matthew 28:19

Go. Make Disciples. Baptize. Teach.

From what I’ve seen, local churches can be all over the place on answering this question. Some of the reason may be differences in opinion or even theology. But I think the biggest difference is in intentionality. Are we doing church the way we’ve always done it, because that’s what church’s do? Or are we intentionally choosing to do {put program/activity/service here} because we really believe it will disciple people? Only you (and God) can answer that question!

Either way, discipleship should be a critical part of your church’s service to the congregation. This is going to include helping people learn how to discover God for themselves through activities like Bible reading, prayer and missions trips; teaching them Godly principles regarding evangelism, parenting, relationships, stewardship, etc.; and equipping them to overcome the world, the flesh and the devil by living a victorious life.

What is your church’s strategy for discipling people?

5. How do we engage people in our church?

An indicator of a healthy church is found in the level of involvement of the attendees in the ministries within your church and to your community. When the congregation relies almost entirely on the pastor, something is broken. The “body” has turned into a malformed entity that will never effectively serve it’s mission in the community. Last week I spoke at a small rural church that is run entirely by volunteers. It’s an active church with several great programs and activities for it’s attendees. But there is nobody on staff. They are hopeful to eventually hire a part time pastor, but in the meantime, they have discovered something powerful – when the body works together, ministry can and will happen.

Getting people involved tends to be something many church leaders talk about a lot, but struggle actually doing. The barriers they face are often complicated to completely unravel. It often seems easier to just do things themselves and rely on a few key influencers in the church to handle the rest. But this cripples the body of Christ. Paul was quite clear in 1 Corinthians that we all make up different parts of the body of Christ:

“But in fact God has arranged the parts in the body, every one of them, just as he wanted them to be. If they were all one part, where would the body be? As it is, there are many parts, but one body.” 1 Cor. 12:18-19

Helping people find their place in the body is going to serve both the volunteer and the rest of the body. Even if people aren’t placed perfectly, the whole body will benefit and grow. That growth will bring change, which will force people to adjust what they are doing and where they serve. With good leadership and a lot of time, people will eventually drift towards their sweet spots of ministry.

What is your church’s strategy for engaging people?

More to Come!

I’m so excited to have just launched guestfriendly.org!

This website hosts resources and services which I am providing churches and ministry leaders to help them succeed in attracting and keeping guests each Sunday. It also offers practical advice on how to effectively administrate and lead various aspects of ministry in the local church.

If you are looking for previous articles on leadership, productivity or older posts about church ministry, check out my website at www.waynehedlund.org.

In the meantime, subscribe today and stay tuned for more posts to help your church succeed in fulfilling it’s mission to reach your community!

~Wayne