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The church is called to serve others. A great service environment helps to achieve that objective.
In order to provide a great service environment, there needs to be training and consistency in practice for what is taught.
Consistency in practice is the key to any great organization!
Whether you are a restaurant (serving great food), a cleaning company (providing spotless results), or a church (interacting with the community) – consistency in practice is the secret to success.
What Is The Difference Between
Great Service And Mediocre Service?
So what is the difference between great service and mediocre service? Here’s an example.
We have all experienced going to the new restaurant. We visited and the food was great, the employees were helpful, and the facility was spotless and welcoming.
Then in some cases (not every restaurant falters), it seems like a few years later, the food is mediocre, the employees are apathetic and the facility is simply not clean.
I often wonder, how did this great restaurant falter?
The answer is apathy and losing sight of the big picture.
Great Service Behaviors Need To Be Stoked By Passion
Churches can be similar to other organizations. When things are new and there is excitement in the air, everyone is on the same page and is committed to providing a great experience for visitors and guests.
However, if that passion is not stoked, it is possible – that over time – behaviors can change.
This is when employees and volunteers lose consistency in practice.
Quality organizations understand the importance of hiring the right people, orienting them to the organization, and continually defining what success looks like.
For a church, success is its ability to serve others in an effort to achieve its mission.
The ability to achieve a mission is dependent on everyone who supports the organization. In a church, this is its members and volunteers.
Both of these important groups of people encompass the mission and are the hands and feet.
Members fund the church and volunteers are the labor engine to get things done.
How To Create A Great Service Environment
A service environment is a deliberate act of setting expectations and training on desired behaviors.
Many churches create standards of service and share the importance of great service in volunteer orientation.
This is an important step to getting employees and volunteers engaged in the process of fulfilling the mission.
But how do you sustain great service over time?
3 Tips for Sustaining a Great Service Environment
1. Be Clear About The Service Vision
Sustaining a great service environment for the long haul – requires clarity.
Employees and volunteers need to truly understand what it is the organization is trying to achieve and how what they do supports that effort.
Clearly state expectations for behavior and provide specific examples of what is, and what isn’t a best practice.
For instance, volunteers need to understand not only what is expected but more importantly what NOT to do in any number of situations.
Everyone Sees Great Service
From A Different Perspective
Remember that not everyone working with your organization has a picture of what great service looks like.
Communicate to the lowest common denominator and be specific.
For instance, if a volunteer is helping to answer church phones, make sure they have a phone script so they understand what to say to people calling the church office.
Or another example might be to provide a script for how to handle a difficult parent of a child in children’s church.
Our response to challenging situations can dictate the outcome – either positive or negative.
Teach volunteers and employees how to respond to those difficult interactions so that all interactions have a positive outcome.
2. Repeat The Expectations Often
It takes effort and repetition to sustain something.
Repeat your expectations often. Make a practice of highlighting one specific behavior and back it up with the “why” behind it.
For instance, when training volunteers for children’s church, provide behavior expectations for dealing with difficult parents.
Talk about the importance of those first impressions and be aware that there might be something significant going on in a parent’s life that is triggering challenging behaviors.
This challenging parent might desperately need to be in church and it is crucial to help them get there.
It is in these critical moments that we can either demonstrate God’s love – or chase someone out the door.
Choose to demonstrate God’s love.
3. Model The Desired Behaviors
The beauty of the body of Christ is its diversity of members. However, we all have different life experiences that influence how we respond to daily life.
For instance, a volunteer who works a professional job may have experienced customer service training. Whereas another volunteer or employee may not have had that life experience.
Everyone Learns Differently
We all have different learning styles but most people model what they observe.
Take the time to interact with members and visitors to model the expected service behaviors.
For instance, if a situation warrants compassion, show compassion, if a situation warrants listening, listen, and if a situation warrants celebration, show enthusiasm!
Sometimes a challenging person simply needs someone to pray for them. Teach employees and volunteers to recognize this need and to reach out with a hand of prayer.
You might be surprised at how your employees and volunteers will follow your lead.
The World Needs Christians To Show Christ’s Love
The world is hurting and it is the church that can help heal its pain. We are the church and we are called to change the world – one person at a time.
Put forth the effort to create an environment where people feel loved and helped by others and you will be well on your way to shining God’s love on all who walk through your doors!
Learn more tips for managing your church by enrolling in our Church Administration Course. Use coupon code take25off to take $25 off any of our training packages.