Are Christmas Eve Services tailored for the once-a-year Church goer?

Church Pastors brace for the influx of once-a-year-worshipers who will visit their church on Christmas Eve.  Having record attendance one day a year is not the ideal scenario, because all church leaders want to build a congregation, a group of like-thinkers and believers who will commit themselves to the mission of the church. They need the financial commitment and volunteerism of faithful church members in order to reach more people. However, the once-a-year service attender will make up a huge percentage of worshipers this Christmas Eve. So the question for all Pastors is “do I cater the services to the once-a-year visitors, making hospitality a priority, preaching the Nativity Story as it is presented by Hollywood, so as to be familiar; or do I kick it up a notch and make the service resonate with the longtime attenders as a service of reverence on one of the most holy days of the year?”

There are a couple of undeniable facts about Christmas Eve attendance:
1. If the mission of the church is to ultimately reach more people, than even once-a-year visitors create potential. Creating outstanding hospitality and seeker-friendly services aid in effectiveness of ministering to the “unchurched” visitor, creating a possibility of re-visits.

2. As much as the long-time congregation gives to create a worshipful environment, they are going to expect a worshipful experience, which will include a seat (in a standing room only service), a parking spot (in an overcrowed lot), and a service that does not include the secular elements of the Grinch, Santa and Rudolph.

Which route will your services take this year? Tough decision, that needs much prayer.

Either way, make sure that your Hospitality Team is out in full force, you have spectacular signage, and your members make room for your visitors. Make no mistake, they’ll be coming!

Join the Displayit at Church Email Mailing list for ministry tips, ideas for creating effective ministry environments and more.  Our monthly email is our chosen vehicle for providing discounts, secret promo codes, special pricing and product information for leaders on the front lines of ministry.
Blessings,
Bev Manson
Blessed with the gift of gab and hospitality, Bev served as a staff member for a fast-growing church  for almost a decade. Discovering her talent for helping people step out of their comfort zone, she began recruiting volunteers to serve in Children’s Ministry.  As the church grew, her focus became the influx of visitors and the need to make sure they didn’t get lost in the growth. For this, she developed a full team of trained volunteers to create the “WOW,  from the Street to the Seat”. Her success with this program lead to speaking engagements at churches across North Georgia, prompting a string of WOW experiences!   Now, as Marketing Manager for Displayit at Church, she loves sharing her tips, tricks and ideas, that can make a real difference.  “We’re all on the same team, the Jesus team.  Let’s work together for the greater good!”

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Type B Coffee Server: “Decaf, really? What a perfectly good waste of water.”

I’m a firm believer that a church, (after all, it’s “God’s House”) should be the “friendliest place in the world”,
a five star welcoming venue. To accomplish this, a church needs to recruit and train the TYPE B personalities
in the membership. Type B’s are individuals who do not get stressed easily, are patient, non-aggressive, laid
back and hold a relaxed, creative, imaginative, artistic, and friendly approach to life.

Admit it, after reading that definition, we would either all like to be TYPE B’s, marry a TYPE B,
or work for a TYPE B. Even though we are all fearfully and wonderfully made (Psalm 139:14),
each of us have gifts that are best suited for certain work, so let me challenge you to find the
Type B’s in your church for SERVING COFFEE on Sunday mornings.

Serving Coffee? Sound like a waste of good talent just to poor coffee? NO! Because it’s not
about the coffee, it’s about the “serving” of the coffee. It’s about the smile, the welcome, the
“patient, non-aggressive, laid back, friendly approach to life”. (refer to paragraph 1). It’s the
coffee server who goes beyond “regular or decaf? “It’s about the coffee server who sweats
friendliness and can’t contain their welcoming abilities. Instead of “cream or sugar?”, they
engage in warm conversation: “Hey, have we met before, if we have, don’t tell me”, “Is this your first time here,
well let me buy you a cup, and the coffee for it.”, Our Fall Festival is next Saturday, would your family like to
join us for the bar-b-que?”.

This type of genuine relaxed exchange provides HUGE benefits to the first time visitor. The relaxed
low stress personality of the TYPE B person transmits thru the air to the visitor.
It immediately allows them the opportunity to respond to the TYPE B server (or not),
ask questions, introduce his family, or if nothing else; get coffee. I once heard a coffee server
say “Decaf? Really. What a perfectly good waste of water”. Everyone laughed. Visitor is now
an active church member.

Whatever the outcome of the welcoming exchange, the residual effect is that the first time visitor
perceives that they have been welcomed by someone “in the know” or “part of the team” and
they know they are welcome in this place.

Most importantly, it is often a primary part of the visitor’s decision on whether or not there will be a second visit.

Join the Displayit at Church Email Mailing list for ministry tips, ideas for creating effective ministry environments and more.  Our monthly email is our chosen vehicle for providing discounts, secret promo codes, special pricing and product information for leaders on the front lines of ministry.
Blessings,
Bev Manson
Blessed with the gift of gab and hospitality, Bev served as a staff member for a fast-growing church  for almost a decade. Discovering her talent for helping people step out of their comfort zone, she began recruiting volunteers to serve in Children’s Ministry.  As the church grew, her focus became the influx of visitors and the need to make sure they didn’t get lost in the growth. For this, she developed a full team of trained volunteers to create the “WOW,  from the Street to the Seat”. Her success with this program lead to speaking engagements at churches across North Georgia, prompting a string of WOW experiences!   Now, as Marketing Manager for Displayit at Church, she loves sharing her tips, tricks and ideas, that can make a real difference.  “We’re all on the same team, the Jesus team.  Let’s work together for the greater good!”

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Promote an upcoming sermon series to get standing-room-only attendance.

You’re scheduling your sermon topics for the next quarter and have lots of topics you want to expand on with your congregation.  You want a body in every seat, every week of your multi-part series to yield full impact.  How do you encourage everyone to be in attendance each week to get the whole story?  Promote it.  Steal a practice from marketing professionals and advertise (market) the series.  Like the experts in Hollywood, create your version of  video trailers and movie posters.  Create interest and excitement. You want it to be a “don’t miss this” program, so tell them that it IS a “don’t miss this” message.  Hint: You’re going to need more than three paragraphs on the front page of the bulletin.

Think video (we’re now trained to focus when we see video, more than printed words).  Think graphics (big, bold, bright). A simple “video trailer” can be produced with an iphone, a microphone and later shown as part of the announcements or downloaded to your church website.  Another cost effective product for promoting a series is The Exchange Wall Frame.  Advertising websites contend that colorful posters or art are like “eye candy” and 93% more likely to get attention than just text. A wall mounted frame with a fabric graphic (that looks like high quality art) can be custom designed to promote a series, but can be easily swapped out with a different graphic messages. This is how it works:

One Frame, Multi Graphics, any size to fit your wall space.

One Frame, Multi Graphics, any size to fit your wall space.

Join the Displayit at Church Email Mailing list for ministry tips, ideas for creating effective ministry environments and more.  Our monthly email is our chosen vehicle for providing discounts, secret promo codes, special pricing and product information for leaders on the front lines of ministry.
Blessings,
Bev Manson
Blessed with the gift of gab and hospitality, Bev served as a staff member for a fast-growing church  for almost a decade. Discovering her talent for helping people step out of their comfort zone, she began recruiting volunteers to serve in Children’s Ministry.  As the church grew, her focus became the influx of visitors and the need to make sure they didn’t get lost in the growth. For this, she developed a full team of trained volunteers to create the “WOW,  from the Street to the Seat”. Her success with this program lead to speaking engagements at churches across North Georgia, prompting a string of WOW experiences!   Now, as Marketing Manager for Displayit at Church, she loves sharing her tips, tricks and ideas, that can make a real difference.  “We’re all on the same team, the Jesus team.  Let’s work together for the greater good!”

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Binge Hospitality…rotating volunteers for unceasing acts of welcome.

We’ve heard the urban slang terms like Binge Watching, Binge Eating, Binge Drinking…. doing a certain act in a marathon way, excessively and continuously for some (usually brief) period of time.

Have your church experiment with Binge Hospitality, a continuous marathon of friendly, well-informed volunteers who cheerfully rotate (serving once or twice a month) to serve as greeters, information hosts, Coffee Servers, Parking Lot attendants or Ushers. These welcoming, warm-hearted servants will give a positive meaning to the term “binge”. And, well, this could be just the “Bingeginning” of a real good thing!

Remember:  Receiving a warm welcome within the first 10 minutes of a guest’s visit usually determines if there will be a second visit!
Join the Displayit at Church Email Mailing list for ministry tips, ideas for creating effective ministry environments and more.  Our monthly email is our chosen vehicle for providing discounts, secret promo codes, special pricing and product information for leaders on the front lines of ministry.
Blessings,
Bev Manson
Blessed with the gift of gab and hospitality, Bev served as a staff member for a fast-growing church  for almost a decade. Discovering her talent for helping people step out of their comfort zone, she began recruiting volunteers to serve in Children’s Ministry.  As the church grew, her focus became the influx of visitors and the need to make sure they didn’t get lost in the growth. For this, she developed a full team of trained volunteers to create the “WOW,  from the Street to the Seat”. Her success with this program lead to speaking engagements at churches across North Georgia, prompting a string of WOW experiences!   Now, as Marketing Manager for Displayit at Church, she loves sharing her tips, tricks and ideas, that can make a real difference.  “We’re all on the same team, the Jesus team.  Let’s work together for the greater good!”

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If I had a choice, I’d never go any where that makes me uncomfortable…

A few years ago I accompanied a friend of mine to court. I’d never been in a courtroom before. It was packed with people I didn’t know, in all stages of life, in all circumstances in life and all there looking for something. I mentally separated them into the “Haves” ($2000 suits, polished shoes, use of the court “language”, looked like they belong there) and the “HAVE NOTS” (orange jumpsuit, unfamiliar with the verbiage, uncomfortable with their situation, choosing to be somewhere (any where) else).

This is how “Church” and “Church People” look to unchurched, people, searching. They somehow (Divine intervention?) find their way to your venue, are unfamiliar with the church “process” (what’s going to happen next?), the church verbiage (“Season of Epiphany pamphlets will be distributed by today’s Liturgists in the Narthex.”), and uncomfortable with the whole situation. Within minutes they can begin wishing they were somewhere (any where) else.

I contend, that GIVEN THE CHOICE, no one choose to go anywhere that makes them feel uncomfortable, inferior, unwelcome, on display, intimidated or unworthy.

The REAL BOTTOM LINE is that when a first-time visitor is looking for something that they feel can be found at your church; but feels uncomfortable or unwelcome, there will be no second visit.  You’ve missed the chance, missed the point. Train your congregation to know the real bottom line and make a difference.

Join the Displayit at Church Email Mailing list for ministry tips, ideas for creating effective ministry environments and more.  Our monthly email is our chosen vehicle for providing discounts, secret promo codes, special pricing and product information for leaders on the front lines of ministry.
Blessings,
Bev Manson
Blessed with the gift of gab and hospitality, Bev served as a staff member for a fast-growing church  for almost a decade. Discovering her talent for helping people step out of their comfort zone, she began recruiting volunteers to serve in Children’s Ministry.  As the church grew, her focus became the influx of visitors and the need to make sure they didn’t get lost in the growth. For this, she developed a full team of trained volunteers to create the “WOW,  from the Street to the Seat”. Her success with this program lead to speaking engagements at churches across North Georgia, prompting a string of WOW experiences!   Now, as Marketing Manager for Displayit at Church, she loves sharing her tips, tricks and ideas, that can make a real difference.  “We’re all on the same team, the Jesus team.  Let’s work together for the greater good!”

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A note from the winner of our Display Donation.

A letter from the winner of our $1000 Shopping Spree: RealLife Church, Mountain Home, Arkansas; working hard to make a difference in their community. Accepting our gift; allowing us to be one small part of their ministry. Displayit at Church shares our blessings every day, and we always get more in return. Thank you, RealLife, for all you do for others.

Displayit (Bev),
We are so excited about this! Thank you from all of Real Life Church, we are very appreciative of this. We can’t wait to look at some things from Displayit.com to see what we can get to help us “reach one more” for Jesus.

Thank you so much for this gift and helping us change lives!

Also can not wait to see our backdrop that we have coming already and to share with other churches, church plants, and our denomination about your company.

Have a blessed day,

Jennifer Daniel
Real Life Church
Mountain Home, AR

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And He walks with me… Andy talks with me…

I love “In the Garden” , the lyrics remind me that Christ is always with me. Remember the joke that is a parody of that same hymn;? “Andy walks with me, Andy talks to me…” said the little Sunday School boy whose best friend was “Andy”.

I have a confession. Andy talks to me too; my friend, Pastor Andy Stanley. Oh, well, I don’t actually know Andy Stanley personally, but when he talks to me through pod casts, I find that he’s like that best friend who will tell you the real truth, even though you don’t want to hear it. That friend that cares for you so much, they push harder to make you a better person.

Recently, in a series Andy presented about the difficulties we have making good decisions, I remember that Preacher Point #3 was to pay attention to the tension. That’s not just a cute rhyming sentence. He said to especially pay attention to the relational tension. For me, this means to quit dodging the “truth” by discounting the words that come from the “tension bearer”.  As I am often fond of saying “Don’t shoot the messenger”, but on a larger scale.

To Andy’s point: If any decision causes even a nano-moment’s hesitation or tension; pause and rethink the decision. DO NOT pacify your conscious by telling yourself “it’s not that big a deal” or “I deserve this”. Pause and ask yourself WWJD. Cliche? Yep. Helpful? You bet.

Blessings,
Bev Manson
Blessed with the gift of gab and hospitality, Bev served as a staff member for a fast-growing church  for almost a decade. Discovering her talent for helping people step out of their comfort zone, she began recruiting volunteers to serve in Children’s Ministry.  As the church grew, her focus became the influx of visitors and the need to make sure they didn’t get lost in the growth. For this, she developed a full team of trained volunteers to create the “WOW,  from the Street to the Seat”. Her success with this program lead to speaking engagements at churches across North Georgia, prompting a string of WOW experiences!   Now, as Marketing Manager for Displayit at Church, she loves sharing her tips, tricks and ideas, that can make a real difference.  “We’re all on the same team, the Jesus team.  Let’s work together for the greater good!”
 

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Middle School and High School youth see the big picture, when it’s really big.

Marketing companies are spending millions of dollars trying to figure out Generation Z (Your High School and Middle Schoolers) and creating fast-paced, loud, colorful, visual, digital ads to influence them to react the way the marketers want them to.  Unlike many other generations, these youngsters are making decisions, sometimes permanent decisions, at a much younger age and their global exposure will weigh heavily into their decisions. If retailers and marketers are studying this generation, looking for their spending characteristics, shouldn’t Churches be using this same information to reach this group?

Although the report below pertains to retailers, it contains some interesting characteristics that parents and their Ministry leaders should know.
Gen “Z”ers  are:
Savvy: Gen Zs are socially conscious and brand conscious.  Before they purchase (or in your case, visit/commit ), they have Googled info about it, they also get “real time” feedback from their friends.  Some may even tweet about their first visit as it is happening.  They’ll also delay making instant decisions in order to seek counsel or opinions from their friends. This is another reason that a very welcoming, no cliquish atmosphere be established for your youth groups.

Line of Vision Shopping:  They don’t look up when shopping; they navigate at eye level.  If this is true of merchandising, rethink where you are positioning literature and displays. Go big, bold, bright.

Music:  Music signifies “open for business”, while silence suggests closing time.  Is the praise music cranked up before your youth arrive?

Practical: These 12 to 17 year-olds have watched their parents manage the pressures and anxieties of the recession. It’s had an effect on them. Though they are brand concious, they are not necessarily brand loyal.  Gen Z tends to be fairly frugal as compared to their “entitled”Gen Y forerunners.

Media motivated: Gen Z kids will grow up in a highly sophisticated media and computer environment, resulting in an Internet learning style to capture their attention, gather their information and form their opinions. Is your staff communicating effectively with this group of quick thinking, saavy kids?

No bait and switch: there is a huge display of frustration when a Gen Zer is told about a program, product,or service; only to find out that they can’t have it, belong to it or afford it.  Is  your Youth Ministry following through with the commitments they are making to these kids?

Blessings,
Bev Manson
Blessed with the gift of gab and hospitality, Bev served as a staff member for a fast-growing church  for almost a decade. Discovering her talent for helping people step out of their comfort zone, she began recruiting volunteers to serve in Children’s Ministry.  As the church grew, her focus became the influx of visitors and the need to make sure they didn’t get lost in the growth. For this, she developed a full team of trained volunteers to create the “WOW,  from the Street to the Seat”. Her success with this program lead to speaking engagements at churches across North Georgia, prompting a string of WOW experiences!   Now, as Marketing Manager for Displayit at Church, she loves sharing her tips, tricks and ideas, that can make a real difference.  “We’re all on the same team, the Jesus team.  Let’s work together for the greater good!”
 

Thinking about incorporating big displays with media technology? Check out the Flat Fabric Frame Display with Monitor Stand from Displayit at Church. (Monitor not included).

 Fabric Frame with Monitor stand, Sunglasses

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Hello is not enough. Engage, Listen, Offer Assistance; now That’s what I’m talking about.

Hello. Hi!. Good Morning. Just a smile… all are greetings, but…
Guide your Hospitality Team to take HELLO a few steps further. Now, that’s a REAL H-E-L-L-O!!!!

    • H_ _ _ _.  Hello.  Welcome.  My name is Jenna, and we’re really glad that  you’re here today.
    • E_ _ _ _ _. Engage.  Nod, Smile. Keep eye contact. Don’t look down or away. Give them 100% of you.
    • L_ _ _ _ _.  Listen. Remember: You don’t know what brought them here today.  This is not story time, or Pick-ur-brain time.  Listen to what THEY want to say.
    • L_ _ _ _ _   _ _ _ _  _ _ _ _.  Listen, some more, then act.
    • O_ _ _ _  _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ . Offer Assistance. Don’t point to where you want them to go or leave them to navigate on their own. Offer to walk with them, escort them.

Blessings,

Bev Manson
Blessed with the gift of gab and hospitality, Bev served as a staff member for a fast-growing church  for almost a decade. Discovering her talent for helping people step out of their comfort zone, she began recruiting volunteers to serve in Children’s Ministry.  As the church grew, her focus became the influx of visitors and the need to make sure they didn’t get lost in the growth. For this, she developed a full team of trained volunteers to create the “WOW,  from the Street to the Seat”. Her success with this program lead to speaking engagements at churches across North Georgia, prompting a string of WOW experiences!   Now, as Marketing Manager for Displayit at Church, she loves sharing her tips, tricks and ideas, that can make a real difference.  “We’re all on the same team, the Jesus team.  Let’s work together for the greater good!”
 

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Your visitors are searching, “Give ’em a sign!”

Somewhere along the way in my involvement with Church Staff and/or volunteerism, I picked up an unofficial ratio that really made an impact on me.  “Drive through any U.S. neighborhood, and on the average, every 4th home represents a family that attends church, that’s only one in four homes. “Statistically, when surveyed,  40% of U.S. citizens report that they are Christian, but in when reporting attendance figures, Churches report that this is really only half true.

There are many many theories about the reasons for the decline in church attendance, but let’s just tackle one today.  DOES YOUR COMMUNITY KNOW THAT YOU HAVE A FELLOWSHIP OF BELIEVERS THAT MEET TOGETHER, AND THAT THEY ARE WELCOME TO BE PART OF THAT BODY OF CHRIST? Signage is important to visitors.  It may be something that has become “invisible” to you and your congregation, but visitors are searching for a sign.  Ask yourself these questions?

  • Is your building easy to see from the street or hidden from certain angles?  It’s time to put a SIGN-UP, sandwich boards or flags in a visible area.
  • Is it easy for guests to find key rooms, such as the nursery, restrooms, worship center, or Youth department? Decide now to be proactive by using banner stands, wall signs, or ceiling signs for directions.
  • Does your current signage use acronyms or slang terms for direction? Revamp the signage to include an explanation. (BLAST: Bible Learning Adventure STations or SLAM: Student Life in the A.M).
  • Does your parking lot require a certain traffic flow to be effective? Time to increase the number of all-weather sandwich board signs to place around the parking lot.
  • Do you have a designated area as a “WELCOME” Station? If not, consider a portable counter/podium to use on Sunday, then easily remove and store during the week.

photo76

Well, “Here’s your sign”. www.displayitatchurch has products that cater to the needs of churches who are proactive in eliminating confusion so that they can focus on ministry.

Blessings,
Bev Manson
Blessed with the gift of gab and hospitality, Bev served as a staff member for a fast-growing church  for almost a decade. Discovering her talent for helping people step out of their comfort zone, she began recruiting volunteers to serve in Children’s Ministry.  As the church grew, her focus became the influx of visitors and the need to make sure they didn’t get lost in the growth. For this, she developed a full team of trained volunteers to create the “WOW,  from the Street to the Seat”. Her success with this program lead to speaking engagements at churches across North Georgia, prompting a string of WOW experiences!   Now, as Marketing Manager for Displayit at Church, she loves sharing her tips, tricks and ideas, that can make a real difference.  “We’re all on the same team, the Jesus team.  Let’s work together for the greater good!”
 

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