Commandment No. 6: Thou Shalt Be Consistent
Guest post: Dawn Nicole Baldwin
How many times have you been excited about a new restaurant? The reviews sounded fantastic. The place is buzzing with excitement as you arrive. The host is friendly and the wait staff is attentive. While waiting for dinner to arrive you slip into the restroom.
It's filthy. There's water everywhere. Wadded paper towels strewn about along with other things you wish you didn’t see.
Suddenly your impression of this restaurant has dramatically shifted. If this is what the bathroom is like, I wonder what shape the kitchen is in? Do I want to think about how the food might be prepared?
Experiences matter. Oftentimes as organizations, we focus our energies on marketing and advertising. But that’s just the beginning. The question that needs to be asked is not just how to get them in the door, but how can we get them to come back. People experience your church through a variety of “touch points” that form their impression of what’s important to you as an organization.
So ask yourself:
What does a weekend service feel like from the perspective of a first-time guest?
Is it easy to find a parking spot, check the kids into the children’s ministry and find the service? Is it easy for them to know what are the next steps if they want to be more involved?
Are we who we say we are… really?
If our outdoor sign says we are a “welcoming” church, do we intentionally try to make them feel welcome or are new people treated like outsiders? If our brochures have stock photos of young people on the cover, is that consistent with who shows up on Sunday? If we say families are important, what types of resources do we have available to ensure they stay strong?
Consistency is key to ensuring your values as an organization are carried throughout the entire experience of your church. Otherwise, you could be selling yourself short if you claim to value excellence in ministry and pour all your efforts into a slick brochure but overlook what they actually experience once they arrive.
Less Clutter. Less Noise.: Beyond Bulletins, Brochures and Bake Sales by Kem Meyer
First Impressions: Creating Wow Experiences In Your Church by Mark Waltz
Lasting Impressions: From Visiting to Belonging by Mark Waltz
Read the other commandments
Dawn Nicole Baldwin is a frequent speaker on brand strategies and innovation in ministry, an author-in-progress and occasional blogger. A former staff member of Willow Creek Community Church and Big Idea Productions [creators of VeggieTales] and current founder and lead strategist of AspireOne, a strategic branding firm with a passion for helping churches reach people more effectively. She’s had the privilege of consulting with some of America’s most innovative and influential churches such as Granger, Seacoast and Willow Creek but prefers to be known for stretching imaginations, connecting others and striving to make a difference.