Look at this picture. What do you notice?
These guys that change oil and rotate tires made a small adjustment to their store that could also make a big difference in a first-time guest’s perception of your church:
They came out from behind the counter.
By turning the computer screens around and standing next to the customer, a type of counter-culture revolution started. According to the mechanic, without the physical barrier in front he feels more connected to each customer and a higher level of trust exists, as they can see what he sees on the computer screen.
And who does not need more trust from their mechanic?
Most churches need a revolution from the “counter-culture” as well. Moving out from behind the typical welcome center desk…
… communicates readiness. Removing the barrier helps host team members feel more accessible to someone new, almost as if guests were actually expected. Take a walk around your church hallways or lobby. Which counters are ripe for removal and which should reside against the wall?
… forces simplicity. Church communications clutter diminshes when it can no longer hide in cabinets or shelves under the counter. Take a look at everything on and behind your welcome desk. Thinking next steps, ask yourself: What are the one or two most important pieces of information a guest needs right now?
… builds intention. Volunteers who are not standing behind a counter move from a passive posture and naturally become more engaged with their surroundings. Take an evening and schedule some training. What skills and practices will help lead your host team members from reactive welcoming into proactive hospitality?
Counters are great when dispensing a product in coffee shops and fast-food restaurants. However, even tire stores can see the relational benefit of moving out from behind desks to serve and engage people where they are.
Isn’t it time to start a counter-culture revolution in your church?