Sunday, December 9, 2007

Welcome Ministries Series - Part 1

As I promised in my original post, I wanted to share with you a few things that have affected me personally from reading Mark Waltz's book, First Impressions, Creating Wow Experiences in your Church.

As I began thinking about where I wanted to start I began to get confused. There were so many things in the book and at the conference that got me excited, challenged me, made me think, made me question that I didn't know where to start. So I stopped, sat back and thought. In a big generalized statement what did I walk away with. Lets start there and then narrow in on things.

Here we go...

The biggest nugget for me is this....Welcome Ministries (or First Impressions) is a process.

Ooohhh...deep isn't it! Okay, I told you last time that these were not going to be new revelations, just things that impacted me.

I have learned that we can pick any one spot or area to begin our Welcome Ministry. It doesn't really matter, as it will quickly begin to change as we learn what the culture of our church is and how it is we want to effectively reach our guests. What we think may work today, may not work tomorrow. What we don't think will work, may be the best thing we could do.

It is a process...

As with any process, there is learning curves, trials, reviews and implementation periods. During these times the ministry will be growing and learning, much like a child. We will learn about the people in our church, we will learn about the people visiting our church, and we will learn about ourselves.

It is a process...

As with any process, we will not reach our end goal on day 1. We will have to move in steps. For example, a child must first roll-over before it can crawl. It must crawl before it can walk (in most cases)...and it will walk before it can run. We may find that in a given area of ministry we have identified an end goal. However, moving straight there is not always possible due to resources, people, space, etc. So we will take the first step, then the next and so on.

It is a process...

Now with all that I have said, please do not loose sight of what our primary goal is. As with all ministries, our goal is to "do anything and everything that helps our guest see Christ". Everything else in the process follows that.

Lastly, let me say this. What a relief! What a relief to know that none of us have to have an answer when we start this ministry. I believe that as long as we stay focused on the primary goal I just mentioned and truly seek God, He will begin to direct us where to place our focus, and out of that the process will begin.

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