THE 5 PRIORITIES OF A WEEKEND EXPERIENCE
Our environments “from the street to the seat” are of major importance to us. Worship and the teaching may be absolutely fire, but if the environment is terrible – then our guests will have already made up their mind prior to even hearing worship or the teaching. Having a dirty, cluttered environment with horrible and unclear signage can affect people greatly in this area.
An organization only has about 10 min to give a positive first impression, so we need to make it a positive experience before the service even starts most of the time.
Teach all 1st Impressions teams to be welcoming, warm, and encouraging
Have simple yet inviting décor (think of a good coffee shop)
Try to answer questions/concerns before guests even have them
Read “Making Magic” by Lee Cockerell
With the parenting culture in the United States shifting to a “child-centric” model, we all have to bring our kids ministry along in some ways as well. Because of this culture shift, parents may completely judge the entire church off of the excellence level of the kids ministry. For us, this means striving to be excellent in safety, community, and gospel. Notice that “fun” wasn’t mentioned? That because fun HAS to be the underlying theme throughout everything in our kids ministry, you can’t even put it in a priority order. If we keep kids safe, parents drop them off. If kids feel like they’re making friends with other kids and leaders, they’ll stick around. Once we do those two things well, we now have the privilege of teaching kids about Jesus Christ. Then we get to break the stereotype of church by helping kids have fun throughout it all.
Once again, the worship/teaching can be off the charts – but if parents don’t feel like their kids are being prioritized, they’ll never come back.
Help teach your entire church about prioritizing kids and to recognize them as guests as well
Be understanding toward parents in your service with children
Make safety with children your #1 priority in kids ministry
Read “A New Kind Of Leader” by Reggie Joyner
While some people’s minds have been made up by the time they hear the teaching, it’s an incredible important facet of the day. Why? Because it is the ONLY responsibly a campus CAN NOT and SHOULD NOT delegate. While South Hills is a multi-campus organization, much of the culture of the specific campus will be formed by teaching and personality of the campus pastor.
The teaching should be 30-35 min, relevant, funny, life-giving, and practical. If you ever have any questions, check out the teaching grid for more information.
Give the preparation of your message the BEST time of your week
Check out your grid
OVERVIEW–what you MUST do
OUTLINE–what you MAY do
Understand your demographic and make your message for THEM
Read: “Made to Stick” by Chip and Dan Heath, “The Homiletical Poet” by Eugene Lowry, “Communication for a Change” by Andy Stanley
Once again, some people’s minds have been made up by this time in service. However, because of reaching “unchurched” people, a large amount of guests will have a certain idea in their minds of what “church music” is supposed to be like. We have the opportunity to surprise them and shatter their perception. On top of that, it can be a first “spiritual encounter” for many of our guests as we guide them into an experience with God.
Worship should be made up of 3-4 current/relevant worship songs and led by someone who is pastoral and relevant themselves.
Start within your resources, but demand excellence and preparation
Understand your demographic and worship is being led
Listen to: Mosaic MSC, Hillsong (any of them, really), Bethel, Elevation
Now that guests have had interaction with so many different areas of our church, the big question is, “What now?” It’s the entire idea of “Next Steps”. Every single person in every single seat has some sort of a “Next Step” to take, we need to provide clear roots to those next steps.
Not only that, but we need to be a church of actual “connection”. This also means that our Campus Pastors and other team members are out and talking to people before/after and even sometimes during services. One of the greatest things a guest could say is, “I can’t believe he/she was out just talking to everyone, they’re so approachable.”
Encourage all different types of “Next Steps”, mostly through the “Connection Card”
Make “Next Steps” part of regular verbiage, even during teaching
Encourage team members to be out talking to people
Lead by example as a CP and go out and talk to people
Read: “The Customer Rules” by Lee Cockerell, “Deep and Wide” by Andy Stanley