volunteer

Volunteer Owned Best Practices...by Email

Excellent guest service - whether in a local church, community non-profit, retail business or service industry - is really the compilation of lived-out best practices. Those benchmark behaviors that may be simple and common sense, but they are set as standards of practice by everyone in the organization.

Best practices can be produced in a board room. 

  • Respond to questions within 48 hours. 
  • Answer the phone before the fourth ring. 
  • Do what you do with excellence. 

It can happen: best practices can come from the board room. But not most of them.

Most best practices come about in the moment. A one-time occurrence implemented by one team member that gets discovered and, because of its impact on communicating value, is repeated as a norm throughout the entire team. That’s what happened with

Guest Services | The Basics

I've been asked lately about some bottom-line "musts" to establish and/or take guest services excellence to the next level. This isn't an exhaustive list (that's why I wrote a few books on the topic), but these core essentials will provide a foundation to make your serve to guests excellent and personable.

Your Teams Are People, Too

We know it, no one needs to remind us. Or do we need to be reminded? The volunteers and staff who make up our ministry teams matter as much as the people we're serving. Our teams are people, too.

As I've had conversations with volunteers and staff on my various teams over the past couple weeks, I've been reminded. People matter. People need value. These people are my first "customers" or "guests".

Just this past week or so, I've been reminded - they will experience value when:


    Breakfast Barricades

    I live in northern Indiana in the path of the snow belt from Lake Michigan. We call it Lake Effect. I think that's intended to remind us that we get to enjoy the water and beaches of the great lake... when it's warm. I bring all that up to say that when it finally starts getting warmer, we Hoosiers find ourselves in the path of the department of transportation - fixing pot holes. Some days I prefer the snow.

    Today was one such day. This morning on my way to a breakfast meeting I approached the main thoroughfare out of my neighborhood and discovered

    Volunteer Culture: It Won't Just Happen, Part 5

    In the last several posts about creating and cultivating a volunteer culture, I’ve pulled from my second book, Lasting Impressions: From Visiting to Belonging, to review some common myths that prevent people from stepping up to serve in the local church (or any organization).

    Myth #2: “Volunteering Requires Too Much Time.”

    • This myth may or may not be true in your church. If the only way to volunteer at your church is by serving every week for hours at a time

    Volunteer Culture: It Won't Just Happen, Part 4

     MYTH #1: “There’s no room for me; it’s all being done already.”

    • You and I know nothing could be further from the truth. Unless it's really true, of course. Maybe your staff is doing it all. Maybe you've structured things in such a way that there really are not new opportunities for new peeps.

    Volunteer Culture: It Won't Just Happen, Part 3

    When your church decides to intentionally develop a culture where it's normal to volunteer, where it's natural to serve, it's easy to make it all about the task. And when it's all about the task, we can make it all about our church. It's all too easy to forget that it's first about Jesus and people. I know - shocking. Earth-breaking. But true. Here are a couple examples.

    • The objective, the task alone drives the recruitment of volunteers. 
      • Often churches look at the ministry goals in front of them and go into recruitment mode to get the task of ministry done. And why not?

    Volunteer Culture: It Won't Just Happen, Part 2

    In our local churches we sometimes operate in a fantasy land, ignoring the reality that our people are living outside the four walls of the church. We create programs, activities, and opportunities for people to volunteer their time and talent as though our people are sitting around with nothing to do.

    When we do ask them to step up and participate, we're often vague, and sometimes shaming.

    It's as though we think people walk through the front door of our church saying,

    Volunteer Culture: It Won't Just Happen, Part 1

    I’m often asked what it takes to move a local church from staff-led ministry to ministry led and carried out by teams of volunteers. It's certainly not an overnight process to make such an intentional change. 

    Here’s part one of several responses to the question: how do create a culture of volunteering where people choose to step up and serve?

    It starts with vision