GENERATIONS & A chart comparing Generations X, Y & Z by Dr. Jan Paron for #GCRN18 #GreatCommissionResearchNetwork

by Dr. Jan Paron, 10/18/18, Great Commission Research Network annual conference, Orlando, FL, graduate of the Missional Coach program..

(bio from web) Her work reflects experience in urban ministry and leadership, diversity, strategic planning, grant writing, children and adult literacy, teaching children of poverty, differentiating instruction, and curriculum development. Currently, she is a dean and professor with the All Nations Leadership Institute. She was one of the Institute’s founding members.

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GUESTS & Ideas for churches based upon the #Disney “5 Principles of Hospitality” explained by former #Disney executive to #GreatCommissionResearchNetwork #GCRN18

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by Rich Taylor, former head of Disney Entertainment speaking to the Great Commission Research Network, Oct. 18, 2018 (commentary in italics by Bob Whitesel D.Min., Ph.D.)

Disney has 5-rules of hospitality.

 

 

  1. Anticipate – Look ahead to anticipate what will your guests need.
    • Walk the venue beforehand.
    • What will be the guests’ needs: childcare, restrooms, open seating?
  2. Arrival – What they experience on arrival.
    • What is the experience in the first five minutes?
  3. Great Experience – the Disney Experience.
    • What is the cumulative experience of the guest.
    • What will they feel after the first 15 minutes?  
    • What will they focus upon?
    • What will they remember?
    • Technology:
      • Don’t over-rely on technology. Be prepared for technology to fail and to have a Plan B.
      • Don’t rely on the latest technology, because the latests technology still has the bugs being worked out.  Adopt proven technology.  This would mean we should be “advanced incumbents” rather than “early adopters.” See this chart for a comparison.  
    • Selection:  Use people that are “naturally friendly” in Taylor’s terminology, which we might define as those with the “gift of hospitality.”
    • Training is another key.  Give them regular training at regular times for which they can plan.
  4. Departure – This is your last opportunity to make a guest feel great. When I went to theatre the other night, everyone welcomed us and said goodbye.  It was well done. But the valets were disinterested and unconcerned. What did I remember from the evening? The valets!
    • Have a departing gift, acknowledgment,
    • Have a banner that says “Thank you for visiting – we hope you encountered God.” of something like that that can be seen as they leave.
  5. Savor – If it has been a good experience they will savor the visit and the most important thing for Disney is that they will come back.
    • Visit growing churches to see what they are doing that is working.  You can’t do everything but you may be able to replicate something they are doing.
    • Follow up with them, right after they leave.  Send visitors an email that arrives on their way home.
    • Get feedback.
      • If they are a repeat visitor, ask them what you did well (and they will tell you what they enjoyed).
      • Have anonymous “ideas cards” that guests can fill out.

GUESTS & The 4 biggest blind spots of churches according to #LifeWay #agree

Commentary by Dr. Whitesel: I have conducted mystery visitor, Sunday worship analysis at hundreds if not thousands of churches. This article by Aaron Wilson is based upon the research of the FaithPerceptions.com group, and an interview with their founder Melanie Smollen. Read the article to find great summation of what I found.

Basically I see there are repeatedly four “missteps” (Wilson class them “blind spots”) in churches,  regardless of size, culture or polity. Here is a summation of each with my personal analysis followed by a link to Aaron’s excellent summation.

BLIND SPOT #1: FRIENDLINESS IS ENOUGH

Most churchgoers feel they’re friendly to visitors, because they’re friendly to the people they already know. But as a mystery visitor most Sundays of the year, I found that churches overlook and under engage guests. That is, unless a church is intentional in reaching out to guests and utilizing those people with the gift of hospitality, see 1 Peter 4:9, Rom. 12:9-13, 16:23, Acts 16:14-15, Heb. 13:1-2). Also see the chapter on spiritual gifts in my book Spiritual Waypoints (an overview can be found here: https://churchhealthwiki.wordpress.com/2015/04/29/spiritual-gifts-list-how-to-help-others-discover-their-ministry-calling-spiritualwaypointsbook/).

Usually a church leader will have an anecdotal experience about some guest that has been reached. And, I’m sure these are valid experiences. But they are just that, anecdotal and usually outliers.  Therefore I agree with  analysis number one.

For more read Aaron’s article and interview with Melanie Smollen here … https://factsandtrends.net/2018/08/17/the-4-biggest-blind-spots-of-churches/

GIVING & How to move people from being donors … to being patrons. Recovering patronage as partnership.

Commentary by Dr. Whitesel: People often ask me why I have given so much of my energy, time and enthusiasm to Wesley Seminary over the years. The reason is brought out by the historical difference between being a “supporter” and a “patron.” Here’s an explanation of the difference from an interview by Fred Smith, president of The Gathering, an international association of foundations giving to Christian ministries with Roberta Green Ahmanson, a former newspaper religion reporter who writes on the relationships between art, religion and culture.

“From Donors to Patrons – A Conversation: Recovering patronage as partnership” by  Fred Smith and Roberta Green Ahmanson, The Comment Magazine, Cardus Communication (a faith-based think tank), 8/3/18.

… I called Roberta Green Ahmanson and we had a conversation about what it means to be considered a patron and what the role of the patron is—not just in the arts but in every discipline.

Fred Smith: Let’s jump right into it. What is a patron?

Roberta  Green Ahmanson: A patron is not only one giving financial support but who gives influential support, favour, encouragement to a person, institution, work, or art. From ancient times to the present, governments, institutions both secular and sacred, and individuals have been patrons of the arts. They have done it to deify themselves, to entrench social order, to maintain or increase status, to feel good, to benefit others, to foster the art they love … and sometimes even to glorify God.

A patron is not only one giving financial support but who gives influential support, favour, encouragement to a person, institution, work, or art.

FS: …It’s not a self-centered fascination with being considered a patron. It’s also more than investing in art for the return. There is something deeper in the relationship with the artist, I would assume.

RGA: Absolutely! … Patrons put their money and themselves out there and hope and work for the best. You are doing it for the love and joy of the work first, not for the return. A donor could be giving out of benevolence or mild interest, whereas a patron wants to participate and help guide the enterprise. A patron has almost a parental feel to it in terms of care, love, and truth-telling. A patron has more stake in the game. They don’t lose interest so easily.

A donor could be giving out of benevolence or mild interest, whereas a patron wants to participate and help guide the enterprise.

… I think that’s what we would both describe as an essential difference between donors and patrons. Patrons are in a unique relationship with both the art and the artist. It is not only supporting the art but, at times, being co-creators, critics, and in the original sense of the word, advocates. That is why not every artist wants a patron and would prefer having major donors…

Read more at … https://www.cardus.ca/comment/article/from-donors-to-patrons-a-conversation/

 

GUESTS & Questions to ask your greeters to find out if they have the “gift of hospitality” (Rom. 12:9-14).

Commentary by Dr. Whitesel:  Dr. Mark Collins is a missional coach candidate and a leader in Canada who oversees church renewal and consulting for his denomination. As a “missional coach” candidate, he and other leaders follow me each year at their own expense to learn my consulting practices.

This year Mark shared (and gave me permission to share here) a training exercise for greeters.  It can help them (and you) ascertain if they have the gift of hospitality (1 Peter 4:9, Rom. 12:9-13, 16:23, Acts 16:14-15, Heb. 13:1-2) and the chapter on spiritual gifts in my book Spiritual Waypoints (an overview can be found here: https://churchhealthwiki.wordpress.com/2015/04/29/spiritual-gifts-list-how-to-help-others-discover-their-ministry-calling-spiritualwaypointsbook/)

Give your greeters, ushers and/or hosts the following questionnaire.  Answers are in bold in the following questionnaire.

“Welcome to Our Church”

A Training for Greeters. Ushers. Hosts.

A person coming into our church for the first time will feel: _________, or _________ or _________ or _________ or _________.

It’s our Job to let them know they are _________and _________.

Creating the Wow Factor

  • _________ the door open
  • _________ with coats and kids
  • _________ materials & gifts to give
  • _________ them with care
  • _________ them

How to identify first time guests:

  • Watch the _________
  • Watch for _________
  • Ask “____________________________________?” or more to the point “____________________________________?

How to greet guests:

  • Welcome, ___________________________. 
  • Ask open ended __________________
  • Connect them to the right _________
  • _________ them for coming, _________ them to ask any questions
  • _________ don’t _________

Navigating Your Guests through Classic Church Culture 

  • Kids Check In and Kids Ministry Orientation in General
  • Locating Bathrooms
  • The Calm Before the Storm (Pre-Service)
  • Foreign Moments in the Service (singing, kids dismissal, sacraments, prayer moments, altar time, offering, greeting time, dismissal
  • The end of the service
  • Lobby Time / Coffee Time

The End of the Service is Crucial

  • _________ the first time guest in any activity that is planned.  ___________________________” “___________________________ 
  • Enquire about their experience. “So … __________________?  or “___________________________?
  • Empathize with their experience.  __________________” or “___________________________ 
  • Invite them to take the next step by ..
    • _________ what the steps are
    • _________ the information you need
  • _________ there is follow-up. 

Some Reminders …. 

  • Don’t _________ they don’t want to talk to you.  Err on the side of friendliness
  • Always _________ people to other people.  Never try and fly solo. 
  • This is your _________ and you want to make sure they have a good time. 
  • People will come for the _________ but stay for the _________ 
  • _________ with your whole face. 
  • _________ words they don’t understand. 
  • You are there __________________ not for you.  They are the most important people in the room.
  • The __________________ moves in the lobby too. 
  • If you can’t be _________, find another _________
  • _________ your welcome and questions. 
  • No one __________________ 
  • Engage but don’t _________. 
  • Retaining visitors is _________ to the health of a church. 

Everybody is looking for 2 things.  To be _________ and to be _________.  If we can provide those things, we’ll have a welcoming church.  


“Welcome to Our Church”

A Training for Greeters. Ushers. Hosts

A person coming into our church for the first time will feel: nervous, or scared or unsure or tentative or mad.

It’s our Job to let them know they are expected and welcome.

Creating the Wow Factor

  • Hold the door open
  • Help with coats and kids
  • Have materials & gifts to give
  • Handle them with care
  • Honor them

How to identify first time guests:

  • Watch the eyes
  • Watch for mannerisms
  • Ask “How long have you been coming here?” or more to the point “Is this your first time?

How to greet guests:

  • Welcome, I’m glad you’re here.
  • Ask open ended questions and listen
  • Connect them to the right people
  • Thank them for coming, invite them to ask any questions
  • Walk don’t point

Navigating Your Guests through Classic Church Culture

  • Kids Check In and Kids Ministry Orientation in General
  • Locating Bathrooms
  • The Calm Before the Storm (Pre-Service)
  • Foreign Moments in the Service (singing, kids dismissal, sacraments, prayer moments, altar time, offering, greeting time, dismissal
  • The end of the service
  • Lobby Time / Coffee Time

The End of the Service is Crucial

  • Engage the first time guest in any activity that is planned.  Would you like to join me?” “Can I get you a coffee?
  • Enquire about their experience. “So … what did you think?  or “What was something you didn’t expect today
  • Empathize with their experience.  I remember my first time” or “sometimes this church can be overwhelming
  • Invite them to take the next step by ..
    • Outlining what the steps are
    • Getting the information you need
  • Ensure there is follow-up.

Some Reminders ….

  • Don’t assume they don’t want to talk to you.  Err on the side of friendliness
  • Always connect people to other people.  Never try and fly solo.
  • This is your party and you want to make sure they have a good time.
  • People will come for the show but stay for the connection
  • Smile with your whole face.
  • Avoid words they don’t understand.
  • You are there for them not for you.  They are the most important people in the room.
  • The Holy Spirit moves in the lobby too.
  • If you can’t be friendly, find another ministry
  • Practice your welcome and questions.
  • No one stands alone.
  • Engage but don’t pressure.
  • Retaining visitors is key to the health of a church.

Everybody is looking for 2 things.  To be loved and to be needed.  If we can provide those things, we’ll have a welcoming church.

#StMarksTX

GEN. Z & Post-millennial generation ‘more tolerant’ of Christianity, but view atheists as having more fun. #TheUKGuardianNewspaper

Commentary by Dr. Whitesel:  2 things to remember about Gen. Z:

  1. Congregational good deeds are making non-churchgoers view churches in a more positive light.
  2. But non-churchgoers still view Christians as not fun people to hang around.

Take into consideration these perspectives of Gen. Z when ministering among and to them.

Post-millennial generation ‘more tolerant’ of Christianity” by Harriet Sherwood, The UK Guardian Newspaper, 7/12/18.

… Just over half of members of Generation Z (18-24-year-olds) responding to the ComRes survey said they had a positive experience of Christians and Christianity, although two-thirds said they never went to church.

Across all age groups, only 7% said Christians were more fun than atheists. Among 18-24-year-olds, 38% indicated they would have more fun socialising with an atheist than a Christian, compared with 11% who said Christians were more fun to socialise with. Most respondents expressed no view on the subject.

Over recent decades, surveys have established a trend indicating that many people in younger generations have rejected organised religion and the institutions of faith in favour of an amorphous spiritualism. In 2016, the authoritative British Social Attitudes survey found that 71% of 18-34-years-olds said they had no religion, up from 62% the previous year.

Half of the Generation Z respondents in the ComRes survey said they disagreed with the statement that Christians were a negative force in society, with 12% agreeing. In the next age group, 25-34-year-olds, 14% agreed with the statement. The average across all age groups agreeing that Christians were a negative force was 10%, compared with 51% disagreeing.

Two-thirds of 18-24-year-olds said they never went to church; attendance by the remaining third ranged from once or twice a year (20%) to several times a week (2%).

…The ComRes survey was carried out to mark the publication of a book, Faitheism, by Krish Kandiah, a Christian academic and founder of the adoption and fostering agency, Home for Good. ComRes questioned just over 4,000 people in March this year.

Read more at … https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/jul/12/post-millennial-generation-uk-more-tolerant-of-christianity

GENERATIONS & The surprising reasons members of Generation Z become Christians: #Family #ChristianSchool #SundaySchool #Bible

By Aaron Earls, Facts & Trends, LifeWay, 3/28/18

A recent survey sought to find out the spiritual temperature of British members of Generation Z. Researchers were so shocked by the results they delayed releasing the results until they could analyze it more.

More than 1 in 5 British people (21 percent) between the ages of 11 and 18 describe themselves as active followers of Jesus, with 13 percent saying they are practicing Christians who attend church.

The perception had been that Christianity was much lower among British teens. “There was disbelief among the team [of researchers] because it was so high,” Jimmy Dale, the Church of England’s national youth evangelism officer, told the Telegraph.

The survey, commissioned by Hope Revolution Partnership, a Christian youth organization, also asked young people why they became Christians.

While almost half (45 percent) say their growing up in a Christian family was one of the most important reasons they became a Christian themselves, many listed some unexpected reasons for their faith.

Researchers asked: “When you think about the reasons you became a Christian which two or three of the following, if any, were most important for you?”

Here’s how the members of Generation Z responded:

45% growing up in a Christian family
17% going to a religious school
15% Sunday School
15% reading the Bible
13% visiting a church building
13% going to a church wedding, funeral, christening, baptism, confirmation
12% going to a regular church service
11% a youth group
10% a spiritual experience

Even fewer spoke about other church youth activities or specific courses on Christianity popular in England like Alpha or Christianity Explored.

Read more at … https://factsandtrends.net/2018/03/27/the-surprising-reasons-generation-z-become-christians/