stretching our hearts to win theirs
If you read the homepage, you’ll know that “Winning the Welcome” means putting our focus and efforts into how our guests feel before they enter the auditorium.
Why’s that important?
Imagine a new friend invites you over for dinner. You’re not exactly sure what to bring, but you want to make a good impression. If you’re mostly an introvert like myself, you’ll be running through possible conversation topics on the drive over.
As you enter their neighborhood, you’re already drawing conclusions. You’re inadvertently making assumptions about a person by where their home is, what their flower beds look like, what’s hanging on their door, and when they finally answer – the smell of their home. (No one walks in a home like, “Yes – a litter box! I’m gonna like these people!”)
Piecing together someone’s identity based on their surroundings can be helpful if you’re a detective, but you’re not. You want to be their friend and if they invited you over, we can assume they want to be your friend too.
It’s kind of the same way with church, right?
The facility needs to look six o’clock newsworthy – not because we care about having the best of the best – but because there’s a certain level that people expect. Who wants to hang out at a place with overflowing trash cans, stains, a funky smell, or rock hard chairs?
Our team makes a statement about who Brazos Fellowship is before our guest even parks their car.
The parking team lovingly hands our guests over to the greeters. Friendly smiles, high fives – anything to make that family feel like they belong here. Our greeters hand them off to our Concierge Team at the Welcome Desk, where they’re greeted with a “Good Morning! How can I help you today?” They introduce themselves, ask questions, and then walk them where they need to go. Our new family either experiences the wonder and whimsy of our kids area or enjoys fresh coffee before heading into the auditorium.
Boom. Here we are. All of that has to happen before someone is ready to hear Pastor Will’s message. That’s a significant amount of time to shrug off as meaningless. Let me be clear – it’s probably the most important part of a Sunday that our guests will experience.
If a guest doesn’t feel comfortable where they are, they will not come back.
They may completely disagree with Jesus or a Christian idea, but if the lights glow in their kids’ eyes while they’re telling about the story they learned in class and the songs they danced to, or the small group leader that let them help with the activity – they will come back. Almost every single time.
The atmosphere we create will either push them away from or draw them closer to Jesus, even if they don’t notice it happening.
So, what you do matters. Not just as a volunteer, but as a person. This blog isn’t going to teach you how to be a better volunteer – that should be the byproduct! We want to stretch our hearts in order to win theirs.
We have to push ourselves to be the best version of us that we can be so that we can be better for them.
It’s important that we know why we do what we do so that our team can maximize it’s effectiveness for the glory of God. It’s not about us, friends. Please don’t feel like you have to make me or your team lead happy, or that someone will shake their finger at you for anything less.
Our goal is to love people so well that they want to know what makes us this way. And then we can pull them aside and say, “Let me tell you about this Guy that saved me when I didn’t deserve it. This Guy that said, ‘No matter how far you go, I’ll always come for you.’ The Guy who spread His arms wide enough to fit a Roman cross and didn’t get off until He earned me a spot in heaven.”
That’s what we’re fighting for. We’re clearing the path to Jesus.