Church Hospitality Audit 3.0 for 2014 is Released

The gospel should be offensive, not your church members or your lackadaisical hospitality ministry.  Your hospitality ministry in the church is one of the most important factors in the experience of first time visitors that will influence their personal decision to come back to your church.

After all, your church won’t grow if your visitors don’t return and make friends.

But you may have unintentional barriers that might hinder that person’s decision to return.

Find some with a Church Hospitality Audit

Church Hospitality Leaders find it helpful to have a questionnaire to help them spot and fix items that can quickly remove those unecessary rough edges.

Analyze your Church Hospitality

Use this church hospitality survey form as part of your regular church hospitality review.

This will to help you evaluate how welcoming or visitor friendly your church is.

  • The original version was downloaded over 2100 times since I put it up here over 3 years ago.
  • Updated in 2013, it was downloaded over 5,000 more times.
  • Fresh for 2014, the new version of the Church Hospitality Audit 3.0 is now 20 pages long and helps in more areas.

This free report is now easier to use with more white space for notes of action steps that you’ll discover you’ll need to make.  It now has more observation points to correct and notice.

Sample questions from the Church Hospitality Audit

___ Is your church’s name easy to read from the road?
___ Is it easy to tell which entrance to use for the church office?
___ Does the exterior and overall appearance of your church look well maintained and attractive?
___ Are the restrooms all clean?
___ Do you have adequate lighting in hallways, classrooms, and the worship center?
___ Are the rooms for infants and toddlers both attractive and clean?
___ Are large print bulletins available?
___ Do you have greeters positioned at the entrances to the church?
___ Are members of your church prepared to extend brunch or dinner invitations to your guests?

Download it here

Then share it with a Tweet, Google Plus, or even Facebook.  Spread the word about this free tool.

Don’t stop there

Take the time to review your hospitality systems.

Be sure to review the volunteers and process around your

  • Greeter Ministry
  • Campus
  • Welcome Center
  • Post service reception
  • Visitor Contact information

The ebook I sell on this website can be one way to review your systems.  Check out these additional books available from Amazon that could help.

Your hospitality ministry can also order a personal training from me.  It is a virtual seminar I offer that is travel-free.  You can offer it on any night or day that you choose.  I’ve even had a request on a Thursday for an event on Saturday morning.

Read more about how to get your own church hospitality team training seminar from me.

Photo Credit: LightBulb by Dawn

Break the Barriers Hospitality Training on DVD

You’ve worked so hard to attract church visitors. . . . .

You passionately desire to reach these newcomers for Christ.

You know that Jesus can make a difference in their life.

Perhaps you’ve spent money on advertising like a direct mail campaign or business cards members give away. You’ve designed sermon series to hopefully entice a second visit.

You’ve done a lot of hard work to get visitors to come to your church, but they fail to return.

It’s frustrating to work so hard and then feel like it’s all in vain. It leaves you wondering –

Will our church ever reach new people for Christ?

Visitors are coming . . . . but not coming back

You’ve spent the money on advertising.

You’ve designed the perfect sermon series.

You’ve even motivated the congregation to invite their friends to church!

You celebrate the fruit – they have come, but then the following Sunday, you discover they don’t come back.

I’ve seen statistics that indicate that most churches only keep 1-2 out of every 100 first time church visitors. That’s dismal.

Just to stay stable, you need to keep 3 out of every 100.

In order to grow, you need to keep 5-7 or more out every 100 visitors.

Do you accidentally keep your church visitors from returning?

Read more about Break the Unseen Barriers DVD Set now available for shipping in the US and Canada

What is Evangelism? Group Discussion Guide

Evangelism Training MeetingLast week, I met with a leadership team for the first time to help them brainstorm new ways to grow in evangelism.  I led them in a group discussion on evangelism.

Since this was my first discussion with them, I wanted to get a feel for their experiences and their pre-conceptions about

What is evangelism?

The outgrowth will be future discussions into particular areas.

What is evangelism?

Leading a group discussion on evangelism can be a challenge because the field of evangelism is huge.

In fact I did an evangelism mind map to start thinking about all the different aspects for this group discussion.

If you are

  • gathering a new evangelism team, or
  • starting up a new evangelism work in the local church, or
  • leading some other group discussion on evangelism

here are some discussion questions I used that you might find useful.

Discussion Questions – What is evangelism?

  • How would you describe or define evangelism?
  • How do you think evangelism should be done?
  • How do you do evangelism in your life now?
  • In your journey to faith in Christ, how did evangelism happen in your life?
  • What is the role of the congregation in evangelism?
  • What is the role of the pastor in evangelism?

The Group Discussion on Evangelism

The opening question generated lots of answers that felt like cliches or rote answers — quick bursts of answers from years of hearing it from the pulpit.

  • Preaching the Word.
  • Sharing the Good News.
  • Sharing your testimony.
  • Giving the reason for your faith.

It may seem like a no-brainer question, but this questions reveals assumptions that people bring to the discussion on evangelism.

As the group facilitator, I pushed back a little to help people think through the “fixed answers.”

For example,

  • What’s good news?  What makes it good?
  • Can laypeople do evangelism if it’s only preaching?
  • What are the key elements to the gospel that you want to share?
  • Personally, how do you share?

As we got into the group evangelism discussion, it became clear that on a surface level, these 8 people had great answers, but underneath that surface, I saw

  • Different approaches to evangelism.
  • Different experiences.
  • Different theological understandings.

Avoid conversational drift.

Most opening discussions on the nature of evangelism, if unchecked at this point, tend to drift into colorful theological debates. For example,

  • Do people respond to God’s grace, or do they make a decision to respond?
  • What is the value or lack of value over the “sinners prayer?”
  • Do people have to fully understand their sin first, or can they start following Jesus and learn about sin later?
  • Can people follow first and understand later?
  • Can people follow Jesus before even having a completely biblical world view?
  • What do people have to understand before following Jesus?
  • Can conversions be “false?”

Other times, it may drift into areas of practice and styles:

  • Rush to present the gospel to as many people as possible.
  • Take the time to build relationships of influence with people.
  • Invite people to church
  • Go to the mission field.

The purpose of this group discussion on evangelism was not theological debate, but to expose some of the presuppositions that these group members were bringing to the table.

By exposing the presupposition through careful questions that challenge simple rote assertions, it made for a very rich discussion, and then setup the potential for further discussion into particular areas.

Get a full copy

I’ll send you the full PDF discussion guide that I used.  I want to have it field tested with other users, not just me.  To get it, leave a comment below (or at the blog if you get this via feed).

At least tell me how and with whom you’d use this discussion guide.

I’ll send it to you and then follow up to see how the discussion went.

Review of Beyond Belief by Patrick McElroy

Beyond Belief by Patrick McElroy is subtitled Live a Consistent, Spiritually Powerful life.beyondbelief3

From the back cover:

“a book about breaking free from a spiritually weak life to achieve the consistently powerful one that is available to every believer.

It’s a Bible Study 101 that guides reader to a greater revelation of God.”

Summary of Beyond Belief

The 66-page book is a simple explanation of basic Christian belief and it’s relevance to life today.  The chapters are short, with related Scriptures listed at the end of each.

It uses the basic gospel script of the sharing the Law and then the Gospel.

It covers other basic points such as the authority of Scripture, sovereignty of God, the person and work of the Holy Spirit, prayer, and so forth.

His goal within each chapter seems to want to build a case that the best spiritual life is one centered in a relationship with Christ.

In Chapter 9, he offers a roadmap on how to begin your spiritual life by inviting Christ into your heart.

Yielding to the work of the Holy Spirit in your life, available only to those who have received Christ as Savior and Lord, will change your life today, not just for eternity.

My take on Beyond Belief

Worldview Assumptions in Beyond Belief

The book can be used as a primer or a review in your basic discipleship work.    It assumes the reader has a biblical worldview and agrees with the authoritativeness of Scripture.

As a tool to use in evangelism, the biggest challenge will be the book’s generous use of Scripture.  The assumption of biblical authority runs through the text.

If the seeker reading the book doesn’t yet share that foundation of biblical authority, the proofs offered in the book may seem circular or insufficient.

They might say –- “the bible says it, ok.  So what?”

(Read about handing biblical illiteracy here under the header Seeds already planted)

To use Beyond Belief as a pre-Christian evangelism tool in small groups, the small group leader should be aware of how to handle alternative worldviews and help the seekers discover biblical authority.

Exclusivity of the Gospel in Beyond Belief

I appreciated the simplicity of how he treats the exclusivity of the gospel, and how he affirms that Jesus is the only way to salvation.   I share that belief so I had no problem with it’s presentation.

For my readers who don’t share that viewpoint, this book may seem too fundamentalist to your liking.

Overall reaction to McElroy’s Beyond Belief

The book is simple, short, and can likely be read in one sitting.

As a small group resource, I can see where it can be useful for those who grew up in a church and left and are reaching a season in their life where they are returning to their Christian roots, where there are still seeds of respect for Biblical authority.

Order your copy of Beyond Belief direct from Amazon.

Buy through the link and we’ll receive a few pennies commission to support our work.

How to Make and Use Church Name Tags

This entry is part 1 of 5 in the series Church Nametags

For churches that have considered and want to implement using nametags, today’s post gives you some thoughts about how to make and use nametags in church.

1.  Preprint church name tags for your regular attendees

One church set up two large registration areas.

One has preprinted tags for regular attendees and blank name tags for first-time guests.   To get a name tag, each guest completes a registration information card.

The next week, those guests have preprinted name tags waiting for them.

Another area has preprinted name tags for staff and core volunteers such as the prayer team or ushers.

First time guests are somewhat easy to identify because their name tags are handwritten.  This can help your ushers and greeters connect them with more information and resources about the church.

Yet, this “obvious” distinction may have an unintended consequence of showing a visitor that they are yet “different” as the nametag is not like the others.  You know your local culture to be able to discern how people might feel about this.

2. Handwritten name tags every Sunday

Another church has a stack of labels every Sunday.

All members and visitors fill one out as part of their “culture.”

All are handwritten, avoiding some of the concerns of the pre-printed ones

This takes administrative burden off the staff, but requires that your regular members understand the reason for doing this every week.

One church shared with me they preprint a theme logo, plus the branding of the church with its phone number, name, and website.  Sometimes they will use an image for a special event that week, like a Baptism, or communion.

3.  Distribution of name tags

Churches need to design a system that works for them.

Some will have a board of some kind near entrances where members can obtain their name badge and return it when the service is over.

Visitor centers or guest information booths will have greeters staffed to provide name tags for visitors.

4.  Recollecting name tags

Some may have one central area near the entrance, and make announcements in the bulletin about how to return the nametag.

Inevitably, some will get ripped, accidentally taken home and put through the wash, or just somehow lost.

Part of your ongoing maintenance of a name tag initiative is replacing lost ones, torn ones, or overly doodled nametags.

I’m familiar with churches where about every quarter, leadership reminds people of the reason behind the name tags and that begins a new wave of organizing, using, and distributing.

Let me ask you this?

  • What style of nametag do you use that you have found effective?
  • How do you distribute them?
  • How do you recollect them?
  • How do you maintain them?

Share your thoughts in the comment field below (Feed or email readers: click through to find the comment field).

See also

For more church hospitality tips on welcoming church visitors, buy your copy of How To Welcome Church Visitors.

How To Welcome Church Visitors