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Tagged with “service” (5)

  1. The Talk Show ✪: Ep. 159, With Marco Arment

    The Talk Show

    ‘Phil Z’, With Special Guest Marco Arment

    Saturday, 25 June 2016

    Marco Arment returns to the show. Topics include WWDC 2016, Phil Schiller and Craig Federighi’s appearance on the live episode of this show during WWDC, the purported removal of the standard headphone jack from the upcoming new iPhones, and more.

    Download MP3.

    Sponsored by:

    Wealthfront: An automated investment service with over $3 billion in client assets under management.

    Ministry of Supply: Dress smarter. Work smarter. With Audible, you’ll find what you’re looking for. Get a free 30-day trial.


    The Talk Show: Live From WWDC 2016.

    Diagram comparing USB-C to Lightning.

    Apple Insider: “Apple Pulls Legacy Non-Retina MacBook Pro From Retail Store Displays”.

    Apple discontinues the Thunderbolt display.

    This episode of The Talk Show was edited by Caleb Sexton.

    —Huffduffed by theprd

  2. The Talk Show ✪: Ep. 153, With Ben Thompson

    The Talk Show

    ‘Chock Full of Whimsy’, With Special Guest Ben Thompson

    Friday, 6 May 2016

    Ben Thompson returns to the show to talk about Apple’s recent quarterly results, what we think is going on with iPhone sales, Tim Cook’s misleading guidance, Apple Music, and a lot more.

    Download MP3.

    Sponsored by:

    Wealthfront: An automated investment service with over $3 billion in client assets under management.

    Automatic: Your smart driving assistant. Get $20 off with this link. With over 250,000 audiobooks, you’ll find what you’re looking for. Get a free 30-day trial.


    Yours truly, last week: “Apple and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Drop in iPhone Sales”.

    Ben, two weeks ago: “Apple’s Organizational Crossroads”.

    Neil Cybart: “iPhone Warning Signs”.

    Due, an iPhone reminder app that I’ve been using daily for years.

    Gary Allen, now-deceased writer behind IFO Apple Store.

    Mini Microsoft.

    Dodger Trayce Thompson, brother of Golden State Warrior star Klay Thompson, hit a run in Tampa that never came down from the rafters.

    This episode of The Talk Show was edited by Caleb Sexton.

    —Huffduffed by theprd

  3. Chris Vacher on Nurturing a New Worship Venue at Your Church | unSeminary

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    Welcome to this Thursday’s edition of the unSeminary podcast. This week I’m super-excited to be talking to Chris Vacher, also known as Chris from Canada, who is an excellent leader at C4 Church, east of Toronto.

    Chris got this week’s session started by filling us in on his ministry at C4. The church was founded 30 years ago and has changed locations twice, both times moving eastward, or more into the suburbs. What that means, is that C4 is now deeply entrenched in the Durham, Pickering, Ajax area. There are about 500,000 people in that location.

    Those of you who are familiar with suburban ministry know what that means: Most people who live in this area are commuting into the city of Toronto. That translates into crazy schedules and not a ton of “community” focus.

    C4 has been in their current location since 1999, and Chris was brought on staff as the Worship Pastor about 18 months ago, and then last summer became the Creative Arts Pastor. That means he oversees almost everything that happens on Sundays: the music, the creative communication, all of the design, video, film, and all the production.

    C4 has about 2,000 people, which is a BIG number for a church in Canada! Not many churches of this size exist in Canada, so C4 looks for people to learn from, both within and outside the Canadian borders.

    This background information brings you up to speed on the topic for today:

    How do you deal with such tremendous growth?

    Toronto is a huge city, which sometimes surprises people. It is, in fact, the third largest metro area in North America, so when the Vachers moved from the West side to the East side of the city, it wasn’t like moving across town. Chris and his family found themselves having to learn how to “do life” and how to lead ministry in a whole new way.

    One of the first things on Chris’ plate was helping to decide what to do when a church building is maxed-out. Chris explains:

    We were having one service in our main auditorium (about 900 seats) and we were full!

    C4 has a God-given vision to be a regional church of 10,000 people, and it’s impossible to be that church meeting in one service in one location. They had already decided to be multiple services church in multiple locations, but when Chris arrived, a year and a half ago, they had already hit the first barrier to that vision. What were they going to do?

    Hold multiple services?

    Open another location for services?

    Start another venue in their current location?

    C4 made the decision to do multiple venues in their current location. Here’s how they narrowed down the three options and arrived at that decision.

    Three options: One decision

    Multiple Services: C4 was currently holding a 10 am service. Should they add an 11:30 service or an 8:30 worship time? And if so, typically you would replicate everything. You would offer kids programming twice, the pastor would preach twice, etc. Or you could offer two different styles of worship: Traditional and contemporary or café-style, but basically still the same content repeated twice.

    Second Location: This may be a more common and more effective way to reach more people. Worship could be set up in a school or other church building.


    C4 had a fellowship hall in their building, not huge, but they used it for wedding receptions, Junior High ministry events, etc. They considered converting that area into space that could be used on Sunday mornings at the same time as the main service, offering a second venue.

    The reasons that drove C4 to decide on the multi-venue service were this option was much less risky than opening a new venue off-site. They could control the content that was offered, they would not have to pay rent on a second location or buy lots of new equipment. They would not have to ask people to leave an environment they were comfortable in.

    Also, C4 felt they were not ready, volunteer-wise, to duplicate services to add a second service. To do that would take a lot of volunteers, and they simply were not prepared to staff two services with volunteers, mostly in the areas of kid’s ministry and hospitality and connections.

    Auditorium B: Not Amateur Hour

    Chris was very quick to point out that what went on in Auditorium B was in no way “less than” what happened in the main auditorium on any Sunday. The praise band was live and not “Junior Varsity.” The worship leader was “live.” The welcome and transitions out of worship, the announcements, the offering, congregational prayers and close of service were all “live.” The teaching was live by video.

    C4 asked people to volunteer to attend worship via RSVP in Auditorium B for 10 weeks. They made the ask vision-driven by announcing, “We’re full. There’s lots of people coming and we have to make room.” Baptisms, Communion, Easter were all held in the multi-venue site just as in the main auditorium.

    Auditorium B ran for ten weeks: March through the spring. In the summer, they went back to just the main auditorium, as attendance was down. In September, C4 reopened the multi-venue, but by October, both venues were full! In December, they had to launch a second service in the main auditorium, so they are currently at 2 services in one location, instead of 1 service in 2 locations. But! They are starting to get full again!

    C4 is starting to talk about off-site venues, but they still have Auditorium B as an option.

    What about you?

    If you are thinking about the need to add additional service times, an off-site venue or adding an on-site venue, here are some things to consider:

    How do you feel about video teaching?

    Estimate your costs

    Estimate your risks

    If you’re interested in knowing more about C4 church and their exciting growth and ministry, visit them online at or you can find Chris at

    Episode Highlights

    00:36 // Rich introduces Chris Vacher to the show.

    01:09 // Chris introduces himself and talks about C4 Church.

    02:58 // Chris talks about the growth of C4 Church and their decision to go multisite.

    06:31 // Chris talks about electing a multi-venue as opposed to a second service.

    08:54 // Chris talks about C4’s second venue, auditorium B.

    12:56 // Chris talks about the process of transitioning people from the main auditorium to auditorium B.

    15:05 // Chris talks about the initial issues with space in auditorium B.

    16:22 // Chris talks about C4’s process for learning.

    17:26 // Chris tells how seasons impact the venues.

    19:01 // Chris talks about the impact of the Add and Multiply campaign.

    20:43 // Chris highlights the attendance split for the two services.

    21:37 // Chris and Rich discuss video training.

    24:49 // Chris talks about being a chicken owner.

    26:11 // Chris offers contact details.

    Episode Transcript

    Rich – Well hey everybody, welcome to the unSeminary podcast. Thanks so much for tuning in, I hope you’re having a great Thursday as we count down to this weekend at your church. I know you’re super busy, there’s a lot of things you could be spending your time on today and I’m just privileged that you would take some time, honored that you’d take some time to spend with us today.

    I’m super excited to have Chris Vacher with us today. He’s from C4 Church, a friend of the podcast, he’s been on before, east of Toronto, welcome to the show Chris.

    Chris – Hey man, it’s great to connect, always fun talking with you, whether it’s in person or over the internet or podcast, however it is, to spend time with you.

    Rich – Nice, well it’s going to be good to talk to a Canadian today. Chris’s handle is chrisfromcanada, all over the place, so it’s always fun to interact with Chris. Chris is a great guy, a great leader and so why don’t you give us a sense of C4? Tell us a little bit about your ministry.

    Chris – Sure, so C4, we are in the eastern suburbs of Toronto and the church was founded about 30 years ago. We’ve moved locations a couple of times and both times we moved we moved eastwards, so more into the suburbs. So we are deeply entrenched in… So Durham region, Pickering, Ajax would be Oshawa foresees about 500 thousand people in this region. Most people would be commuting into the city of Toronto and so a lot of people who do suburban ministry familiar with just crazy schedules and not a ton of community. So we’re kind of right in the middle of that.

    We’ve been in this location since 1999 and I’ve been on staff here for a year and a half. I was hired here as the Worship Pastor and then last summer became the Creative Arts Pastor. So overseeing all of our worship, everything on Sunday, our music and then all of our creative communications, all of our design, video, film, anything anyone would see and then also our production as well.

    We’re a church of about two thousand people, which people who know ministry in Canada, 2 thousand’s a big number for a church in Canada, there’s not a lot of churches of that size. So we look as hard as we can for people to learn from me that are in Canada or other places, because we know there’s people ahead of us making some really good decisions and we want to learn from them as we just… and do everything we can to reach more people for Jesus in this region and see God do some amazing, amazing things.

    Rich – Absolutely, C4 is a great church. If you’re not tracking along with it you really should. They’re doing all kinds of really interesting things and I think are great communicators and just doing good stuff for sure.

    So now you guys, as you’ve been growing, which is a great problem to have, it’s a gold-plated problem, why don’t you describe some of the bumps along the way? How have you dealt with that growth?

    Chris – Yeah, so I came here a year and a half ago and we were new to this region, new to this area and if you don’t know Toronto people are often surprised when they find out how big Toronto is. Toronto is the third largest metro area in North America, we just passed Chicago last year I think. So it’s a huge city and we moved from the west side of Toronto to the east side of Toronto, which is not really like moving across town, it really is moving across the province.

    Rich – Right.

    Chris – So we came to a new area, a new place, meeting all kinds of new people, learning how to do ministry in a new way. I personally had to like get up to speed real quick and figure out how to do life and do ministry in a new context with new people, leading in a new kind of church and one of the things that was on our plate, sort of right as soon as we came here, was we were doing one service in our main auditorium, about 900 seats, and we were full, maxed out. We have a vision here at our church, we really believe God’s promised lots of things to our church. One of the things that we’re going to be a regional church of ten thousand people. It’s very unCanadian to say to put a number on it.

    Rich – Yeah very unCanadian.

    Chris – But we really believe, we’re speaking to our elders and to our leadership in lots of different, very specific ways around that number of ten thousand. So obviously we can’t be a church of ten thousand meeting in one service and one location.

    Rich – Yeah right.

    Chris – So we had already decided, a while ago, that we were going to be multiple services and multiple locations. So I came here a year and a half ago and we were sort of already up against that first barrier; what are we going to do? Are we going to do multiple services, are we going to launch another location or are we going to do something different, maybe another venue, you know, a building?

    I guess this is what we’re going to talk about today, so what we decided is, we decided to do multiple venues. So I’m sitting in what we call our auditorium B, this is our stage drop behind us.

    I guess the three options on the table were, do we do a second service? We were doing a 10 o’clock service time, so do we add an 11:30 service or do we add an 8:30 service, which basically for people who don’t do multiple services, the typical way would be you just sort of replicate everything.

    Rich – Yes.

    Chris – And you offer kids’ programming twice and it’s the same service content twice and the preacher preaches twice or you would do different styles; traditional and contemporary or café style or something. But basically the same content repeated twice or do we launch a second location and you guys are pros at that, multi-site churches becoming, I think, a more common way and a more effective way to reach more people. So do we launch a second location and then meet in a school somewhere or use another church building and we [Inaudible 00:05:46] for another spot? Or do we do multi-venue, which we had in our building a fellowship hall, you know, which is a room, it’s not a huge room, it’s a room that we actually used it for our junior high ministry on Sunday morning and for alpha and for wedding reception dinners, there’s a dance floor in the middle of the…

    Rich – Nice, that’s fantastic.

    Chris – But could we convert that into a space that could be on Sunday morning at the same time as our main service, on Sunday morning, a second venue?

    Rich – Right.

    Chris – So we made the decision to do that.

    Rich – What drove that because I think the kind of more traditional route would be, let’s just add a second service? What was it that led you guys to elect, okay no, actually let’s do it in a second venue? Then we’ll talk about what the venue actually is.

    Chris – Yeah, well there would be lots of things and people have, if it’s a new concept they get freaked out, “We’re not going to be one church anymore. We’re not going to see people anymore. How is the pastor going to go back and forth from room to room? What about worship?” But at the core, and these wouldn’t be the only ones, but I would say these would be the two things. One pro multiple venues and one against multiple services.

    Rich – Okay.

    Chris – So the pro for multiple venues was vision driven because we knew to be a regional church of ten thousand people, we were not going to be one service in one location. We had already made that decision.

    Rich – Right.

    Chris – So it was just like, at some point we have to do multiple venues.

    Rich – Right.

    Chris – Man if we did a venue onsite, that’s way less risky than doing a venue offsite. I don’t know what the percentage would be of offsite campuses that fail at a first shot, but we thought, man if we did an onsite venue, we can control the experience, we’re not paying for rent, we don’t have to pay for a ton of equipment, we did have some startup cost, we’re not going into a new neighborhood or a new location, we’re not asking people to leave what they’re familiar with. So that was the first thing, it was really vision driven, onsite, safe venue.

    The second one which is sort of against multiple services is, we weren’t ready at the time to duplicate some of our volunteer teams and that would be mostly in kids and in hospitality or connections.

    Rich – Okay.

    Chris – So to take our full kids’ offering, we do from birth from up to grade four for kids and then grade five up to grade eight is for junior high in the morning. That takes a lot of volunteers on Sunday morning. Greeters, ushers, all that stuff and we felt to ask people to serve two services on a Sunday with three year olds, it’s not going to work out.

    Rich – Yeah exactly.

    Chris – So those two things, where we felt at the point we were at we weren’t ready to double our serving teams and we knew we were going to eventually be multiple venue. So those two things working together were sort of like, “Man let’s try this.”

    Rich – Let’s do it. So what does it look like? Can you kind of describe what’s happening when you say multi-venue? Obviously it’s a smaller room, what is the experience like if I came to that venue?

    Chris – Yeah, so our main auditorium, about 900 seats, about 200 in the balcony, so a good sized room. We put a ton of energy into our Sunday morning. Sunday morning is our main event for us. We say like every Sunday is the Super Bowl, it’s a big deal for us. We didn’t want our second venue, or auditorium B to be amateur hour. So what we talked about is we have live worship, live hosts, live teaching by video.

    Rich – Okay.

    Chris – Live worship, live hosts, live teaching by video. Our auditorium B seats about 220 people.

    Rich – Wow that’s good.

    Chris – We spent some money, like we put in this black curtain, there’s a TV above my shoulder here.

    Rich – Yeah.

    Chris – There’s two screens, you can see the ‘Kingdom King’ that’s a neon sign, it’s turned off right now.

    Rich – Nice.

    Chris – We love neon and Kingdom King is our annual theme. It’s a stage element that was present in our main auditorium that we brought over to auditorium B, we found that was really important.

    So we have a live host, a host for us on Sunday morning does our welcome, does our transitions out of worship, announcements, offering, congregational prayer. They also do the close of the service, so there’s three segments for the host.

    So we have a live host in the main auditorium and in auditorium B. A live worship, that was really important for us, that’s sort of a key part of the C4 worship experience, it’s not coffee house, it’s not acoustic. We were actually really careful, it’s actually not the quiet venue, it’s still loud in here, in this room. So one week I might be leading or one of our worship leaders will be leading in the main auditorium with their team, the next Sunday they’d be leading in auditorium B. It wasn’t the junior varsity team.

    Rich – Right, right, right, right.

    Chris – That was really… because we were asking people to give up their seat in the main auditorium and come to auditorium B to make more room for new people in the main auditorium.

    Rich – Right.

    Chris – So we didn’t want to dumb down the experience and say like, “Oh you know, sorry we couldn’t give you the real deal, here’s the leftovers.”

    Rich – Right.

    Chris – Then live teaching by video.

    Rich – Right.

    Chris – That was a language decision where we didn’t say video teaching but we said live teaching by video and we did it, I mean literally as easily as we could.

    We have one camera in our main auditorium. We already had it there because we had a one camera podcast where we just video the service. We had some tech guys, I’m not a tech guy, but I know what I want for a final product. There’s a cable that comes out of the camera that gets sent from the big room to the small room and then we use ProVideoServer, the guys that make ProPresenter. So if people are familiar with using ProPresenter from Renewed Vision, they have a sister product called ProVideoServer. We looked at all kinds of solutions like PVRs, security camera software, we scoured a way to do it on the cheap. ProVideoServer isn’t cheap but it’s not… you could spend a lot more money than what you’d spend on ProVideoServer but we found that it was the right solution.

    Rich – Right.

    Chris – So we have, in our tech booth and auditorium B, one Mac mini that runs ProPresenter, one Mac mini that runs ProVideoServer. So the teaching feed comes into the ProVideoServer, Mac Mini goes into our switcher and out to our projectors. We don’t get tricky with multi cameras, all that stuff, it’s literally just one camera feed being sent over from the big room to the small room.

    Rich – So what happens? So obviously you invested a bunch of time, effort and energy. I love the language stuff there, I’m sure people picked up on that, because I think you can… I’ve stubbed my toe on that stuff in the past, if you don’t think that stuff through, there’s unintended consequences when you use, you know, language like video teaching or whatever you can end up there. So what ended up taking place? Did it work? Did people..? Because that’s going from the main room, even though it’s only… I’ve been in your building, it’s probably 200 feet or 100 feet, it’s close but emotionally that’s a big difference, what happened?

    Chris – So what we did is we had the opportunity to make it visionary and to say, “We’re full, there’s lots of people coming.” You can feel it right? You can feel the pain. We had just gone through and Easter weekend where we were jammed out, we had people… sorry a Christmas where we had people in the isles, it was packed.

    Rich – Right.

    Chris – So we went to people early in the year and said, “It’s full, you know that there’s more people coming. We just have to make more room, we have to make more seats.” So we actually asked for 150 people to RSVP.

    Rich – Okay, nice.

    Chris – We used that language, you know, we said, “Just like you would make a reservation for a restaurant we want you to RSVP and we are asking for ten weeks.” We launched a trial and we told people, we invited people to help us learn. It goes back to this, you know, it’s better to fail onsite than offsite. “We know this is our future so please help us learn this. We need 150 of you in auditorium B every Sunday and here’s the first date.” We did a dry run the Sunday before. The dry run Sunday, we had our highest attendance ever.

    Rich – Oh my goodness, wow.

    Chris – Not a coincidence, we’d been planning for it and in talks for a long time and March 23rd 2014 we had our highest attendance ever and coincidentally March 30th was our first Sunday where we opened up a couple of hundred more seats.

    Rich – Wow.

    Chris – So we ran for ten weeks and numbers would have varied between 110 to maybe 230 up and down, it never felt empty at the service.

    Rich – Right.

    Chris – The seasonal pattern followed the way it did in the main auditorium but essentially that’s what we did. We just asked people to step up and to say yes to make more room in our main auditorium.

    Rich – So if you only have 220 seats and you’re pushing up against 230 some weekends, what happened then? That seems like, okay it’s working, like it’s great, again it would be great if it was, “We averaged 150 and just kept going,” but it sounds like you were pushing up against that.

    Chris – Yeah so the first couple of weeks we setup we actually… I said we could seat 220, we actually setup about 250 chairs.

    Rich – Okay nice.

    Chris – So the first Sunday it was rammed in here, it was hot, people were squished in and we thought, “Man nobody’s going to come back if the experience is like this, so let’s actually take away chairs. We’re still opening up more seats than we need, so let’s take away some chairs, so that when this room is full, even people who want to be in auditorium B, they will feel good about that even if they have to sit in main auditorium.”

    We did baptisms in here, we did communion in here, we did Easter Sunday in auditorium B, we felt like everything that we would do in our main auditorium, we should replicate that in auditorium B and not have it feel like a secondary experience.

    Rich – Yeah I think this is a great. For churches out there that are thinking about, particularly you guys that are thinking about multisite and I know a part of the punchline is you’re going to end up launching another campus here.

    Chris – Yeah.

    Rich – But I think this is a great first step because you’re learning there, there is a part of it where even just whoever’s doing the teaching, being in front of a camera, learning what that’s like, you know, learning to kind of how, how do they deal with that, that’s all win all around.

    Chris – Yeah.

    Rich – That’s fantastic.

    Chris – And we didn’t just say that we wanted to learn, we actually, like we were really intentional about it. So every Sunday we had… we don’t do comic cards a lot here at C4, we did comic cards on the seats, every seat, every Sunday.

    Rich – Interesting.

    Chris – And the first five weeks it was literally just rate the experience.

    Rich – Right.

    Chris – “Did you enjoy being in auditorium B for the service? Yes or no?”

    Rich – Right.

    Chris – “Did you enjoy watching the pastor onscreen?” The sort of valuations, some questions were one to ten, but basically it was the experience. The second half of those ten weeks, the last five weeks, we started asking missional questions. “Would you invite a friend with you to attend a C4 venue like this?”

    Rich – Right.

    Chris – “If there was a C4 venue like this closer to where you lived, would you choose to attend that venue rather than our main service?” It was really interesting but we were really intentional about asking for input and trying to learn and man we learned a ton.

    Rich – Very cool. Good so then does it continue to run today?

    Chris – No. So we ran it for that initial ten weeks, end of March until whatever, May.

    Rich – Yeah.

    Chris – Then, like a lot of places do, summer attendance changes and so we went back, just to our main auditorium for the summer. September hit, we relaunched auditorium B and by September we were out of a learning mode. So now this is like a full-fledged venue for us. Please God we continue to grow so that by the time we got into October/November, we were staring to fill up again our main auditorium and then the question started to ramp up, “Okay now what? Now what do we do?”

    Rich – Right, right, right.

    Chris – So what we decided to do was in December we launched a second service and so we went from one service time in two locations to two service times in one location. So right now we do 9 o’clock and 11:15 in our main auditorium.

    Rich – Right.

    Chris – We’ve been doing that since December, it’s now middle of April, it’s starting to get full.

    Rich – Right.

    Chris – We’ve had record attendance multiple times.

    Rich – That’s great.

    Chris – We’ve done that, so we know we’ve got auditorium B as a release valve, as an option for us, even just for one service. We could do 9 o’clock in two venues, 11:15 in our main auditorium, maybe vice versa and then we’re also still in big conversations and planning about this offsite venue as well.

    Rich – Very cool. So was there anything that you learned from launching the venue that then you kind of took and applied that to going to multiple services?

    Chris – Oh yeah. Well I guess I said one of the reasons we didn’t do multiple services back in the spring was, part of the reason was our volunteer teams, we didn’t feel like we had capacity to double our teams in hospitality and kids. By the time we got through our ministry last year we felt like, “Okay maybe we can now ramp this up,” and so we did a big campaign that we called Add and Multiply and that was our lingo for going to two services. We told people we’ve added a venue and now we need to multiply and do a second service, because the communication around that always gets tricky.

    Rich – Right.

    Chris – Especially because we were asking everyone to change. We had a 10 o’clock service time and we didn’t have a 10 o’clock service anymore, we were going 9:00 and 11:15. So we were asking everyone to change.

    Rich – Right.

    Chris – So, “Man don’t tell me what to do, I’ve been coming to church for 10 o’clock since…” “No you haven’t but…” So we use that Add and Multiply, we’ve added a venue, now we need to multiply into services and we use that same language for serving.

    Rich – Right.

    Chris – We were asking people to add to their serving, you know, “You might serve occasionally, would you consider serving regularly?” Then we said we also need to multiply our teams. “If you have never served before”, like you might say, “this is the perfect time.”

    Rich – Yeah time to get in.

    Chris – Yeah it’s the perfect time to get in, and so we use the Add and Multiply for the venue and service time but also for our volunteer teams and man the response was massive, it was awesome.

    Rich – Nice, very cool. Well just for curiosity sake, how did the kind of attendance split out between the two; the 9:00 and the 11:15? Where did that land for you?

    Chris – Well I think everything… I think the general accepted is like you’ll see 60/40.

    Rich – Yeah.

    Chris – So 60 at the earlier and 40… So we’ve been around there.

    Rich – So wait a second. 40 at the second? Your second service is smaller?

    Chris – Yeah, our second service is smaller.

    Rich – Very interesting.

    Chris – Part of that I think is weather, we’ve had a brutal winter. So it’s now nicer weather, it’s starting to, it’s actually starting to even out in our adult numbers but our kid numbers are still 60/40 at the earlier.

    Rich – Okay, interesting.

    Chris – But our adult numbers are yeah, pretty even.

    Rich – Great, so you’ve created a bunch of space at that 11:15 service, which is great.

    Chris – Yeah.

    Rich – That’s fantastic.

    Chris – Yeah we’ve created a bunch of space but we’ve had some Sundays where we’ve been pretty full.

    Rich – Yeah.

    Chris – It’s awesome.

    Rich – That’s incredible.

    Chris – Yeah.

    Rich – Nice, well is there anything else you want to share, just around all of this, around multiplying venues and service times before we move on?

    Chris – I guess to say like, if you’re thinking about it, go for it. There’s conversations you’ve got to have like, “How do we feel about video teaching?” I think pastorally you should wrestle through that so that you’ve got… if you’re in pastoral leadership you should wrestle through that, so you’ve got a handle on it, because people will ask.

    Rich – Right.

    Chris – It cost less money than we were expecting it to, to do it well.

    Rich – Interesting.

    Chris – It costs money, it’s not free.

    Rich – Right.

    Chris – You could do it for free or for really cheap, but it’s worth the investment because we had a couple of hundred people and they were choosing to be here. On Sunday morning, sleep in, work on the garden, go to kids’ soccer, whatever it is, they’re choosing, the least we can do is create a great environment and a great experience for them.

    Rich – Right.

    Chris – So invest in the experience for people when they come and it costs less than we thought and the other thing would be, and this has been proven but it was a good learning for us, like video teaching works.

    Rich – Right, right.

    Chris – It really works and the clincher for me, we had a Sunday, one of our first Sundays in auditorium B, our pastor, he loves to tell stories, he’s got little kids and suburban that’s great, he tells stories about his kids and the goofy things they do. He was talking about going to the grocery store and saying like, “You know the grocery store and my kids doing this…” and he says something like, you know, “Who’s ever been in that kind of situation before?” and in auditorium B…

    Rich – People put their hands up?

    Chris – Yeah people all across the room put their hands up and that for me was the clincher that they were watching on video but they were interacting the same as they would in a live experience.

    Rich – Yeah it’s so true. Yeah I’ve seen that in so many different venues where people assume if… everyone has a reason why it won’t work in their community, you know, like I’ve talked to folks in California and they’re like, “Well you know, this is the entertainment industry, it won’t work here.” They are like they’re in some part of the country where they perceive that they have a higher level of intellectuals, “I’m not sure this will work.” Or it’s the other way, it’s like, “Well this is like Bluegrass Country, it’s not going to work here.” But generally it works, it works as a strategy for sure.

    The other thing I love, I hope people just underline this as we kind of wrap up, is I love that, I think, so many churches get to the point where you got to and they get paralyzed and don’t find a way to multiply and actually that limits the work of God in your church right? Which I know is a scary thing to think about but it’s true right? If you don’t… there’s a part of this that’s like a faith step where it’s like, “We’re going to try this thing and see what happens,” but it is possible for us to slow things down, to slow down the momentum, you know, we’re feeling.

    Chris – Yeah.

    Rich – Well Chris, I really appreciate you being on the show today. Thanks for taking time out. We’ve come in about 25 minutes, so we’ve had a great conversation, but one thing I want to ask you about before we leave, is I follow you on Instagram and I’m following you on Twitter and what is this about chickens? What is happening in your life with chickens?

    Chris – So I have a wonderful wife, she’s amazing, we’ve been married for 12 years and she’s a country girl and we have four kids, we have two dogs and a cat, so it’s not like we’re looking for more things to do right?

    Rich – Oh my goodness.

    Chris – I don’t know, I mean chickens, it’s something we’ve been talking about for a few years. There’s something, I don’t know, there’s something kind of romantic about like…

    Rich – Raising some chickens.

    Chris – A little backyard, raising some chickens, having some eggs.

    Rich – Yeah.

    Chris – Although we’re a suburban church, our house isn’t in a suburban neighborhood, we live a little bit out of town, we’ve got a little bit of property.

    Rich – Yeah.

    Chris – So we’ve been talking about it for a few years and the time was right and so yes, we are now officially chicken owners.

    Rich – Fantastic.

    Chris – 16 little chicken meatballs arrived at our house last week. The kids are fascinated, the dogs are fascinated, the cat, like she’s terrified.

    Rich – Right, right, right. Well particularly as they grow.

    Chris – So they’re in a big rubber container in our living room for a couple of weeks, then move to the basement for about a month, then we’ll kick them outside. You’ll love this because, I mean the real reason is so that my kids can have a job and sell eggs and make some money so that we can go back to Disney.

    Rich – Nice.

    Chris – That’s the real reason, I know you’re onboard for that.

    Rich – That’s great. Well Chris I really appreciate you being on the show today. If people want to get in touch with you or with C4 how can they do that?

    Chris – So me personally: chrisfromcanada everywhere, so chrisfromcanada on Twitter. chrisfromcanada on Instagram. Periscope, are you Periscoping?

    Rich – I haven’t, you know, I’m an android guy. I was looking for it but I don’t think they have that app yet.

    Chris – Ah, sorry to hear that, I’m sorry to hear that.

    Rich – I know.

    Chris – You can do a whole podcast on Periscope, it’s awesome.

    Rich – Yeah it’s cool.

    Chris – So people can track me that way and I love connecting with people all over the place, mostly because I learn so much from people who are doing stuff differently from me. So I love to connect that way. C4: is our main site and then on social media it’s c4churchdurham, we’re in Durham region, so c4churchdurham on social media. is our website.

    Rich – Nice, well thanks so much Chris, I really appreciate you being on the show, taking time out, I know you’ve got a lot going on but I really appreciate you taking time to be with us today.

    Chris – Anytime Rich, thanks man.

    Rich – Thanks, bye.

    —Huffduffed by theprd

  4. Greg Atkinson on 4 Keys to Creating an Irresistible Church | unSeminary

    Podcast: Play in new window | DownloadPodcast (video): Play in new window | Download | EmbedSubscribe to the unSeminary Podcast: [iTunes] [RSS] [Stitcher] [TuneIn] // [VIDEO iTunes] [VIDEO RSS]On today’s podcast we have church consultant, author and pastor Greg Atkinson. We’re talking about four areas that every church should work on to become more irresistible in the coming year. This episode is overflowing with helpful thoughts on how to make your church the kind of church that people will want to attend and to tell their friends about. We based this conversation around a chapter of Greg’s book “Church Leadership Essentials“. Listen in on this episode for some practical insights on things you could improve at your church in the coming weeks and months.Greg Atkinson // [Website] [twitter] [Church Leadership Essentials: What Every Pastor Needs to Know]Interview Highlights00:30 // Greg’s ministry experience01:10 // Greg is the editor of an online magazine02:00 // Greg’s new book, ‘Church Leadership Essentials’02:20 // Becoming a more irresistible church in 201402:45 // Becoming more irresistible in the area of First Impressions03:16 // First Impressions begin online before a guest has attended your church03:20 // Guests should know that they matter to us before they hear that they matter to God03:49 // The fastest growing churches in America expect guests05:30 // Greg asks ‘is the pastor approachable, accessible?”06:02 // Rich recalls a time when he was mislead to an empty new comer room08:25 // How humbling that the pastor of one of the largest churches in America is still available to speak with after each service10:06 // Walking slowly through the pews11:00 // Becoming more irresistible in the area of Children’s Ministry12:16 // Kids environments must always be Clean, Safe and Secure16:40 // Paint goes a long way17:17 // Impact of impressive Kid’s environments is greater on parents than kids19:52 // Becoming more irresistible in the area of Security20:11 // A mega church that Greg failed in the security area25:59 // What’s involved in good ushering28:57 // Becoming more irresistible in the area of Attractional Worship29:55 // Church success is dependent upon people inviting their friends31:56 // Greg reminds us that we don’t want to offend a guest by anything that is within our control33:59 // Greg’s book – Church Leadership Insights: What Every pastor Needs to KnowLightning Round HighlightsHelpful Online Resource // Gmail, Google HangoutBooks That are Having an Impact // Emotional Intelligence 2.0 by Travis Bradberry, Dangerous Calling by Paul David Tripp, What the Plus by Guy KawasakiInspiring Ministries // Crosspoint, North Point, NewSpring, SeacoastInspiring Leader // John MaxwellWhat does he do for fun? // Date nights with his wife, hanging with his kids, movies, guys night outCheck This Out // 8 Effective Ways to Follow Up With Guests at Your ChurchInterview Transcript //Rich – Well, welcome to the unSeminary Podcast. Rich Birch here, your host. We have got a real treat here to kick off the new year today. We have got speaker, writer, consultant, Greg Atkinson with us. Greg is a 20 year veteran of church work. He’s a real expert in so many different areas and a gift for us as we kick off the new year. He’s actually left the local church environment to make himself more broadly available to serve churches all across the country, ultimately around the world. Also is working with an online magazine right now. Greg welcome to the show. Why don’t you tell us a little bit about the online magazine you are working with these days.Greg – Thank you for having me. I am in a season right now where I am speaking, and writing and doing some freelance writing. Working on some book projects that will be coming out in 2014, 2015. And I am the editor of Christian Media Magazine. It’s an online magazine and we are going in a new direction. We just have a whole new look. A whole new feel. We went through a rebranding process and are coming out in the new year going strong trying to reach church leaders of all types to get them to read the magazine, to learn about media resources for them.Rich – Nice. Very cool. We will link to that in the show notes so people can get a sense of that and learn more about that. It’s obviously a great resource for people to get plugged into. Well one of the things you wrote, you have written a number of books and we will talk about your book a little bit later. One of the books you wrote recently, I have it on my kindle so I apologize to those who can’t see that….’Church Leadership Essentials”. It’s a fantastic resource you should check out. If you over the holiday season got your new Kindle, you should buy this book. It’s only $5, common! One of the chapters in there we what to really drill into for churches, because I think a lot of churches can benefit from this, is How to be Irresistible. How to be more irresistible as a church. You actually talk about 4 different things in there and I think that’s a great for all of us. It would be great if in 2014 our churches were more irresistible than they were in 2013. So let’s talk about those 4 areas. What’s the first area churches should think about when they want to be more irresistible?Greg – Well in the book, and in my writing and my teaching I talk about 4 areas and the first area is First Impressions. And that, as you know, starts before they come to the actual campus. I include online presence in that. I Include your use of social media, your website. Most people nowadays will check out your church online before they ever come to it physically. Once they get there, Mark Waltz from Granger has a great quote in his book where he talks about how you’ve got 10 minutes somewhere between the parking lot and the children’s center 10 minutes will pass. They should know they matter to us before they hear about how they matter to God. So I like to focus on those first 10 minutes and letting people know that they are welcome, they are loved and that we were expecting them. One of the things I found when I work doing my consulting is that the fastest growing churches in the country actually expect guests, they aren’t surprised when they show up.Rich – Oh wow. That’s good.Greg – It’s like they gear everything towards the first time guest. Everything from Welcome Centers to Children’s check in, to signage, to parking lot greeters, everything is geared towards that first time guest. So they are ready and waiting for that first time guest to show up. Just having that good first impression in that first 10 minutes.Rich – Ya that’s good. Is there something that you’ve come across that some church has done on that first impression stuff that has been particularly intriguing to you? Wow, that’s something I’ve never seen before. To kind of make those first time guests feel extra special and welcome as they arrive.Greg – A lot of churches that I have worked with will do some kind of either a VIP room after the service, or a Guest Central after the service, or a meet the pastor. Some kind of opportunity where you go into a separate room, decorated like a party atmosphere, I love the VIP rooms that churches do and they have the little giveaways, maybe a little bag with goodies in it with stuff about the church to welcome people. And then you get to actually physically shake the pastors hand and some of the other key leaders at the church. Some kind of way that they get to actually make that connection on the first visit. Actually, when I consult with churches, one of the things I look at in my report is ‘Is the pastor approachable, accessible?” And that’s something that visitors are looking for, are they going to get a chance to talk with him, to hug him, to pray with him. So that’s something that I like to see is at the end of the service, to have some kind of guest central or visitors spot where people can come in and meet key leaders.Rich – That’s amazing. That’s a great tip. My wife Christine and I, when we were first married, it was within the first year. We were looking for a new church. We had moved into a new community. And we went and visited, it was kind of one of those churches that was going and blowing in town, it was doing a great job. And during the service the church said ‘we’ve got this new comer room, we’d love for you to be there’ You probably see where this is going. And they had some signage out in the foyer saying here’s where the newcomer room is. And it was a little bit weird because it was downstairs and kind of off in a corner but we were like, oh this is fine. So we go and we stand and there’s sure enough a big sign, ‘new comers’ in front of the door. And we go in there, and we just stand there. And there’s no one there in the room. And I was like, and I’m like a Christ Follower. I love Jesus, big-time. And we are standing there feeling so awkward, what’s going to happen next, and no body came in. So we just kind of slinked back out the door.Greg – That’s poor execution.Rich – We slink back out to the parking lot. You know, that’s a great church. I’ve often thought of that with the guest services stuff at our church, because that’s a great church. They do a great job and are doing a lot of fantastic things. And there are are weekends when things go wrong and your normal system doesn’t happen. But you know what, the reality of it is, there are people that visit every weekend so you have to nail that stuff 52 weeks of the year, or however many weeks of the year you do services.Greg – You gotta give it attention. You’ve gotta give it your presence. You’ve got to make it a priority. One thing I like to help churches do as a resource is to brainstorm creative names. I mentioned you could call it a VIP room, a Guest Central, a New Comers Welcome. One of my favorites is Erwin McManis in LA calls it the After Party. And so they have a party after each service and you can meet each pastor, and Erwin if he is there live. Love to throw out different ideas.Rich – That’s fantastic. On that front, still to this day, Bill Hybels, you know I find this humbling, after all these years he will hang our at the front and talk to every person and shake a hand and interact. I think there are a lot of pastors of churches that aren’t 30 thousand people, or however many Willow has gotten to these days, who are like “i’ve got things to do, I’m a busy person.” I commend Bill on that! He’s willing to stand around. I had brought a friend to Willow in the last year and we were at their last service, we did the tour thing and poked around and popped into the auditorium at the end and sure enough, this is now an hour after the last service and Bill is still hanging around, shaking hands, talking to people. And I was like, hmmm, that’s a humbling sign for me because I think I am often just rushed on Sundays.Greg – It speaks volumes. When I consulted with 12Stones in Atlanta, their pastor Kevin Myers, they were just recently named the fastest growing church in the nation, but he’s down front praying with people, hugging people, crying with people, counseling with people after each and every service. We all have that potential to be rushed, like you talked about, it’s human nature. I wrote a chapter in the book about walking slowly through the pews. That is something that I learned many years ago, nearly 20 years ago from my veteran uncle who had been a minister for many years. He came up to me after one of the services and I said, ‘What did you think?’ I was a worship leader and I thought I had done a good job leading and I thought that was all that mattered. And he said “Greg, walk slowly through the pews. You rushed right by people, you just rushed down the aisle, and you were always in a hurry to get places, and you didn’t make eye contact and shake hands and speak to people.” And so I never forgot that, and we always have to be intentional about walking slowly through the pews.Rich – That’s a good bit of wisdom for sure. So first impressions, that’s the first area. What’s the second area we should be worrying about in 2014 if we want our church to be more irresistible than last year?Greg – In Childrens Ministry, we as evangelical modern churches we are often trying to reach parents with young kids. And how you welcome kids when they come, how your rooms are decorated, all that speaks volumes, what they learn, is it just babysitting or do they actually learn stuff about the Bible and about God. Great churches send kids home with devotional material, or homework to go over with their parents. I love the ORANGE philosophy and the thought of partnering with parents where we send resources home, at my church, with the kids for them to show their parents, and the parents bring it up over dinner. ‘Ok, this Sunday you talked about Daniel. What did Daniel do? Then the discussion. Actually in some ways it’s like a reverse discipleship because a lot of the parents aren’t strong Christians at all. But the big three that I always talk about, and there’s a chapter in the book about this, is Clean, Safe and Secure. Clean: If a parents drops off a child and it is a wreck. it’s not clean, it’s not sanitized, presentable, it’s not nice neat and tidy. It’s going to give a negative first impression. Again, they are going to feel like you weren’t expecting guests and they’re going to get a negative impression, and you don’t want anything negative in the first 10 minutes. Clean, Safe and Secure. Safe means that there’s nothing dangerous in the room, there’s no jagged corners or corners sticking off the edge of some rusty table that a kid could fall and cut their eye open on. It’s got to be safe. And last, secure. It’s got to be secure. How you get in, how you get out, how a child get’s checked in. That’s why so many churches use database systems like Fellowship One, where you get the name badges, and you have to have a matching number to check the child out. And also secure meaning there’s not a back door that’s unattended in the children’s facility where the kid could wander out into the street and get kidnapped or picked up. In my church there’s one way in and one way out of the children’s part of the facility and those were monitored by security guards. We had a great security team. And you didn’t get out with a child unless you had a matching sticker. It was very secure. Clean, Safe and Secure.Rich – Very cool. On the children’s ministry front are there some common low hanging fruit that churches could implement even in these first months of the year. I think a lot of times people get overwhelmed when they go to a church like North Point or Mariners out west and be like ‘oh my goodness, this is Disney World, we are not going to be able to do this.” But are there some low hanging fruit that, people could do, even right away to help improve their children’s ministry.Greg – Ya, we recently, the church where I was most recently the campus pastor, we were a multisite church and we moved into a new facility. I wanted to do something like North Point, Mariners, kind of a wacky world theme. Where Wacky World comes in and decks out the walls but we couldn’t afford it so we hired a local designer, a local print shop to make us those appliqués that stick to the walls, that look like Wacky World. So it was done very economical, very cost effective, but it looks professional. It looked like something I’d seen because my old church I was pastor at in Dallas, they had used Wacky World so I was familiar with what their stuff looked like, and it looked like it, but it was done by a local print shop so it was very economical. My thing is excellence in all things, so if you can shoot for excellence, it doesn’t have to be Wacky World if they are not in your budget and you can’t afford it, but if you can try to, you know I was looking at a church…I visited a church two weeks ago and they are a great church, a large church, a mega church, but walking down the halls to their children’s facilities, they were just bland. It was like khaki, or cream walls, just walking all down the hallways. There was no vibrant color, nothing inviting, nothing exciting letting me know that I was in the children’s wing of the building. Just real drab and bland.Rich – Absolutely. Ya, the environment piece is a huge deal. It’s amazing. Even if you are a church listening here today and you are thinking I’m not even sure we can afford to get some printing done, well you should look into it because it’s not as expensive as you think it is. But even if you can’t afford that, you would be amazed by what you can do with paint.Greg – That’s what I was going to say, paint will do it.Rich – Absolutely. You can paint some walls. We just went through a renovation of a facility and people are blown away by the kids environments but when you step back and look at it, it’s mostly paint. There’s some environment stuff too but mostly what you are impacted by. There was a study done recently, I believe it was by Cogun I need to go back and check the reference on that, where they basically went in a studied and asked kids and parents and families in these church environments where they’ve had the kind of Wacky World environment pieces and the impact that it’s had on them, and what they feel about the church, if it’s the kind of place that they can invite their friends. It’s interesting, what they found is, the kids…those environments, very quickly, within a couple of weeks, they just become paint on the walls. It just becomes kind of expected. They think of course I go through a slide to get into my kids environments. But listen, for parents, it almost lasts for years.Greg – It’s the parents. It speaks volumes to the parents.Rich – Absolutely, years later you are thinking ‘oh my goodness, I can’t believe my kids get to go down a slide to the kids environment!’Greg – That’s what I wish church leaders would realize. They think, ‘they are a 3 year old, what do they care, let’s give them some crayons and let them color.’ They don’t realize we are trying to reach the 20-30 something parents that the kids are precious to them, their pride and joy, and when they come to a church that is inviting and welcoming to kids and has that Disney Land kind of feel, colors and attractive, compelling looking appearance, it just speaks volumes to the parents. And that is included in that first 10 minutes. Making that first impression when they think my kids are happy, I am happy, and because it is clean safe and secure and I am not going to worry about their safety so I can worship and actually pay attention to the message and pay attention to what God wants to do in the service. I can allow God to speak to me. I am not worried if my child is going to go out that back door, or hit is head on that rough corner of the table. They are not worried when it’s clean, safe and secure and they can focus on what God wants to do on their hearts in the worship service.Rich – Absolutely. That’s a huge lesson. That’s one of those things I wish more church leaders would take to heart when it comes to their physical facility. OK first impressions, children’s ministry. What’s another area that we can invest in this coming year to make our church more irresistible?Greg – Yes, the third area is security. A lot of churches don’t think about this. That clean, safe and secure, the word secure there, that applies to adults as well. They want to feel secure. I worked with, I’m not going to say which church it was, but it is a well known giga church, mega church with a well known worship leader and pastor. Amazing church. And I worked with them as a secret shopper and I did my report and the last question says would I return to this church. Would I come back as a guest and I said no. And they were stunned and shocked but they were also pleased that someone was honest with them. That someone would shoot straight with them. And that’s what a consultant is supposed to do. I’m not just supposed to tell you what you want to hear. And they said ‘tell us more about this. Why wouldn’t you come back? We have some of the best worship in the country?” And I said but you’re not secure, and I didn’t see any security present. I didn’t see any people with ear pieces in. I didn’t see any police officers roaming around which should happen in mega churches. I didn’t see anything around to let me know that I was safe. We live in a world now…I’m a movie guy, I love movies. And just the other week at my local theatre there was a shooting that I was almost there and I would have saw it and it would have wrecked my life for the rest of my life to have seen it. But a guys wife went out on a date with another guy, and the husband came and gunned down, the guy shot him 5 times in the movie theatre parking lot, and everybody around that was going to a movie saw it and I was this close to being there and seeing it. You know, there has been a number of church shootings. There’s been kidnappings and disgruntled parents coming in and grabbing their kids out of kid classes. A divorced dad taking their kids without their mom knowing. So security, if you want tour church to be irresistible, and if you want it to be welcoming and inviting and again that God factor. You want people to focus on Christ and the worship service, you don’t want them worrying about are their lives in danger. You gotta have security measures in place. So when I work with churches, and I only work with very large churches, but I’m looking for the people with ear pieces in their ears. I’m looking for people with the walkie talkies. I’m looking for the people with guns on them. I’m looking for the people that give me a dirty look if I try to go somewhere that I am not supposed to go. Because I’ll try to get into children’s ministry areas that I am not supposed to get into as a secret shopper. And I’m looking for people to stop me and say ‘whoa, where do you think you are aging?” and I’m testing that security as a secret shopper. It’s just something that in this day and age, as much as a I hate to say it, now we are in 2014, you got to be secure and you have to take security seriously. We had an incident about 2 months ago at my church where I was campus pastor where a guy came in drunk. And he was known, he was a guy I had been counseling about alcoholism, and had been trying to get him into AA, and he was too proud to get into AA. He said he could beat it all on his own. He needed to be in AA and he had a reputation for being very violent when he got drunk and getting into a lot of bar fights and beating people unconscious. He was like a MMA fighter, lethal. He could really hurt people. And so he came up to me on a Sunday morning and said ‘Man, I’m sorry, I failed. I went out to a concert last night and I have been drinking all night and I’m so sorry.” And he was just wreaking of alcohol and I patted him on the back and said ‘I love you man, maybe God will speak to you today.” And he went into the service. As campus pastor I went to all our security guys, we have two police officers, off duty police officers who just always carry guns with them. And then we have ushers and security folk and some ex-military guys and I just went to each of them and I pointed the guy out. And I said he’s drunk and if he makes a move for the stage, tackle him, don’t let him get to the stage. And I just had to point it out. And that’s just me doing my job to keep our church secure and safe. Thankfully nothing happened. He left, he cried after the service, he said that God was speaking to his heart and he left but who knows how many drunk people show up to churches on a given Sunday. But I had every eye in there on him security-wise, trained on him just watching him to see if he made any sudden moves to rush the stage and so just gotta take precautions.Rich – That’s obviously, pardon the put, but that’s a sobering thing to talk about. It’s the kind of thing that we don’t think about a lot but it’s the kind of thing that a lot of us go back and loop back on our security procedures for this coming year and say what is it that we need to improve on this front. Maybe we need to be a bit proactive.Greg – This is something that doesn’t get talked about all that often. Some of it is just within your first impression ministry you have parking lot, you have greeters, you have people that attend a welcome center or information center or guest central. But you also have ushers and you don’t want to forget the art of good ushering or good ushers that not only seat people, but are active and attentive during a service. We had a situation, it was a year ago last January, where we were, I’ll never forget it because it was our last service in our old facility before we moved campuses. We were getting ready the very next week to move to our new facility as a campus and this was our very last service in our old building and it was a very special, meaningful service and I shared memories from people because we had met in that building for 5 years and I shared stories. And as I’m talking, I’m up front sitting on a stool sharing stories form people having a very powerful meaningful moment, this women with dementia started walking up to the front started screaming and yelling at the congregation, and talking about her husband thinking she was cheating on him and her husband had been dead for years, he wasn’t even alive. Her husband thought that she had done something with her husbands brother and she talked about people climbing through her window and she was just talking out of her mind and in my mind I was thinking where are the ushers ushering this women our of here. I didn’t want to be the mean bad pastor that tells this woman to be quiet. So I was patting her on the back saying ‘ok, ok, ok’ and I’m just patting her on the back and thankfully she wasn’t mic’d. I didn’t hand her a microphone so most of the people couldn’t hear what she was saying it was just gibberish, but I was hearing the nonsense that she was saying. So we had a meeting after that where we said, ‘if something like that happens, if you see anyone like that come up to the stage that shouldn’t be coming up to the stage you need to just grab a hold of them and say please come with me we need to usher you out. Just ushering, just basic ushering. I’ve seen, I remember in college seeing someone rush the stage and try to take a swing at the pastor as he was preaching. I’ve seen a lot of stuff in my days. Twenty years of ministry, so security is important. You want people to feel safe at church. If somebody tries to run a the pastor and try to take a swing at him, you remember years ago Charles Stanley, Andy Stanley’s dad got punched in the face. So when stuff like that happens people don’t feel secure and safe so we just have got to take precautions. That’s all I’m saying is take precautions.Rich – That’s good. That’s a good one. Alright so First Impressions, Children’s Ministry, Security which we just talked about. And what’s the fourth area that we could be looking at this coming year.Greg – That would be excellence in attractional worship. And that means that you put everything you’ve got into that. Whether you meet on Saturday night or Sunday morning or Sunday night into that worship experience, or worship experiences…giving it everything you’ve got from worship flow, song selection, authenticity, your communication, preaching, teaching, sound, video and lights, making services memorable and powerful. I think of that passage where it says go out and compel them to come in. Things are done in such a way, and we really had this at my last church, it was such an amazing worship experience that people wanted to tell their friends about it. And I remember years ago attending the evangelism conference at Willow Creek and hearing Bill Hybels talk about the success at Willow Creek has always been and will always be people inviting people. And that was hard for me to hear because I am a marketing guy, I am big into marketing. I could market with the best of them. I’m big into marketing. But I needed to hear it’s about people inviting people. At the end of the day it’s about word of mouth. Word of mouth will always be the best form of marketing. So when you craft services where people can encounter the living God and where they are guest friendly and you don’t use churchy talk, you don’t say anything in which you would have to explain and get into the Greek and get into theological reasons of why you would have to use that word. We try to avoid all churchy lingo and try to talk just like you and I are talking right now, just common, casual conversational language. And make it where our people feel safe. So you have your core there, where your people are attending and they trust you and love you. And trust is that key word, they have to trust you. They have to feel comfortable. They have that person that they have been building a relationship with at work or at school and they say ‘hey, why don’t you come check out our church. I think you would really like it. It’s not like any other church. Come give it a shot.’ And then everybody tells those stories of the week that their guest that they have been inviting for so long finally shows up and they have that cringe factor. They are thinking oh I hope everything goes all right. I hope the pastor say something stupid. I hope he doesn’t preach on money today. They have that cringe factor and they see that the stakes are high and they want it to be a great service for their guest that they have been praying for. So we as pastors, as worship leader, as service programmers, we are always aware and sensitive to the fact that it is somebody’s first time at our church. And that happens every Sunday, it is somebody’s first time at our church and we want to make sure that they are not offended by anything that is out of our control. If they get offended by anything Gospel, we can’t help that. The Gospel can be offensive. But if they are offending by bad lighting, or poor communication, or music that’s not done with excellence and you have an off day musically it just turns people off. So just doing your best when it comes to the actual worship experience.Rich – Absolutely, that’s one of those lessons to let just soak in. There’s a lot there. There’s a lot to unpack but continuing to invest in what happens Sunday from your own teaching, to what happens in the musical piece in the morning and all those individual elements. Maybe you take one or two of those and say ‘I am going to spend three months with our musicians so say ‘how can we bring this up? How can we bring up the quality from there?’ Then we take another 3-6 months and work just on teaching, on that piece. Work your way through the service to bring the quality up so it does have that attractional outsider focus. This has been an incredible conversation. I want people to understand, today we, this is a bit awkward, but this whole conversation has been based on one chapter of Greg’s book. Now, I’m not a book sales guy, but you really should pick up this book. Today we’ve been talking just about one piece of this and we’ve pulled a lot out, it’s been like a 1/2 hour conversation and the thing I love about this particular book ‘Church Leadership Insights: What Every Pastor Needs to Know, it’s similar to the kind of content that we do at UnSeminary. It’s really practical and it’s stuff that they just don’t teach you in seminary. They are not wrestling through this kind of content. I think it’s the kind of thing you could pull apart, you could use it for training with your team, buy a bunch of copies and use it in that environment. Or just walk through it and say what difference does this chapter make in our church and how do we just go out and apply that. Is there anteing else on this content that you want us to wrestle through before we move onto the lightening round?Greg – I was just going to say, when I first came to my campus they were in decline and they were struggling and I was actually the third campus pastor in three years and they had dropped down to a very low number of people and were really struggling and so I just went into evaluation and assessment mode. I had been a consultant before I came to the church so I looked at the weak links and they were first impressions, children’s ministry and worship. Those were the weak links at the church. So I hired a part time children’s minister and if money is an issue don’t let it because I could have had a lay leader do it, a lay leader be the children’s minister but I hired a very part time kids pastor to oversee kids and take that to the next level. And then we had a transition with our worship. We had an interim worship guy. We had a transition and then did a nationwide search to find a worship guys and it was great. We found a guy who was from a North Point Strategic Partner Church, one of Andy Stanley’s strategic partners church. And he did a great job. He got our concept of church for unchurched people and reaching the lost and he took our worship to a whole new level so we started slowing turning things around. And then honestly, first impressions was always a work in progress. We doubled or tripled our team in size but we kept adding greeters, we added a parking lot team, we added two people to the information center and started expanding the role of ushers and just started putting a lot of beef and emphasis into those areas. So it was, when I write about this, this is what I was dealt when I came to this campus as campus pastor, these were the week links that I had to address. So all of my writing is born out of experience. And like you said, it’s not stuff they teach you in seminary, it’s not stuff they teach you in BIble College. This is just stuff you learn the hard way so I hope it helps people.

    —Huffduffed by theprd