Reinvent  Relationships

                         Learn  to  invite,  welcome  &  befriend

A Siebert-Funded  Coaching Project to Build Thriving  Communities

Goals for Short-Term Cohort Groups

1 | Relate around a Shared Theme
Create a culture of extravagant hospitality.
Identify the gaps between what is and what might be.
2 | Review Your Results
Complete the Self-Assessment Hospitality Audit.
List potential WOWS and pressing issues.
3 | Rethink What's Possible
Paint a picture of your preferred future.
List who you can enlist in the project.
4 | Reinvent  Your Future
Create a road map with a few key strategies & many sprints.
List your first three "faithful next steps."
Confidentiality is key to creating a safe, sacred environment.

A  COVENANT for our COHORT GROUP  |  Our commitment to one another

  • Attitude: We invite you to be positive, present, playful, proactive, open-minded, Spirit-driven.
  • Actions: We invite you to be on time, ready to contribute, speak your truth, and share what you need from others.  
  • Assumptions: We invite you to question your assumptions, rethink  norms, stretch your imaginations,  and invent your futures. 
Everything that's shared in the group, remains within the group.

An overview of the 5 cohort sessions

What changes do you wish to navigate? What do you want to be different?
1 | Assess your hospitality

How would you describe your congregation’s hospitality norms and practices?

  • What does your church do well when welcoming and befriending people?
  • What are two “growth areas” for your church-related to welcoming and befriending people?
  •  Who is charged with overseeing this important ministry
  • How do they measure their success?
  • What would like to be different six months from now?

SPRINTER TASK:  Complete the Church Hospitality Audit.

What do new staff need in the first 90 days to start strong?

  • What’s stirring from last week
  • What learnings arose when completing the Church Hospitality Audit?
  • In what ways do you welcome people before they show up for worship or an event?
  • Do your voice messages, website ,and social media sites engage and inspire newcomers?
  •  What are the four touch points you wish to pay particular attention to?

SPRINTER TASK: Complete the Touch Points Planning Form.

2 | Identify touch points
Setting and reviewing goals

Are people’s goals connected to your purpose and priorities?

  • What’s your history/ norms for setting staff goals?
  • Do staff share their goals with each other?
  • Do you have a staff/leadership covenant? How often is it referred to?
  • What happens if a staff member’s goals are not reached?
  • What criteria is used to evaluate staff?
  • Are these criteria related to the church’s goals or mission?
  • How might you make staff members work more transparent?
  • What prevents staff from collaborating with each other?

SPRINTER TASK: List 3 ways staff are "out of alignment" based on what's needed.

Are your staff working as a team?  What gets in the way?

  • What do you need to start or stop doing?
  • What are staff doing that brings out the best in each other?
  • What are staff doing that hinders each other’s best efforts?
  • When and how do staff celebrate with each other?
  • Do you have staff members that are NOT team players
  • If so, what impact does this have on the team?

SPRINTER TASK:  List 3 ways you will recognize/celebrate people's contributions.
Increasing engagement & collaboration
Helping staff review, reflect & refocus

What’s the purpose of annual reviews? What if people looked forward to them?

  • Who is responsible for leading the check-ins and/or annual reviews?
  • What is the purpose of reviews? What are the benefits of performing reviews?
  • What course corrections typically occur as a result of annual review conversations?
  • Who is part of the annual review process and what is their role?
  • If you could change one element of your review process, what would it be?

Participants will be invited to share their next steps for "staffing and supervision." 

     Sample PLANS and NEXT STEPS  taken by other church leaders

                                                      A sample plan will be added before each cohort session

EXPERIMENT  1  |  List 3  wow experiences to create for guests. 

EXPERIMENT  2  | Enlist worship leaders as part of the hospitality team

PLAN  1 |  Improve our process for selecting paid and unpaid servants

PLAN  1 |  Improve our process for selecting paid and unpaid servants

  • Add assigned coach to communication lists; send helpful church documents.
  • Introduce the Google doc “map;" customize as needed; confirm meeting dates.
  • Determine where visioning documents will be stored; who has access to them.
  • Decide how the team will be introduced to members; set a commissioning date.
  • Take a team picture (to be used at various times throughout the project).
  • Read Angela’s book, Always On; watch Angela's video, discuss with TC team.
  • Add assigned coach to communication lists; send helpful church documents.
  • Introduce the Google doc “map;" customize as needed; confirm meeting dates.
  • Determine where visioning documents will be stored; who has access to them.
  • Decide how the team will be introduced to members; set a commissioning date.
  • Take a team picture (to be used at various times throughout the project).
  • Read Angela’s book, Always On; watch Angela's video, discuss with TC team.


EXPERIMENT  4  |  Learn as a Team about Agile Leadership & Innovation

  • View and discuss leadership Learning Modules.
  • View and discuss Rich Relationships Learning Modules.
  • Describe how rich relationships, spiritual practices, and innovation support a thriving congregation.
  • Describe what is "present,"  "missing," and "emerging" in your ministry setting.

Tools and resources to support your efforts

  • Add website.
  • Add blog.
  • Add download.
  • Add download.

Videos worth watching

INTRODUCTION  |  Creating  a  Culture  of  Extravagant  Hospitality

Hospitality Info

                                                         Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others , as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms ( 1 Peter 4 : 10) . 

Every good host knows hospitality doesn’t happen by accident . The meal won’t magically appear . The rooms don’t clean themselves . You need a plan and a list of tasks, and hopefully you can share the jobs among several different workers. You need a schedule so everything’s ready on time . You know “welcome” means more when it doesn’t stop with the mat at the front door. What’s true for hospitable homemakers — and well - run hotels and restaurants — is even more important for local congregations . The hospitality ministry at your church have a profound impact on your members and guests. Creating WOW experiences for guests greatly increases the likelihood that they'll return a second or third time. This guide explains why, and then shows you how to plan experiences that show first - time guests what Christian love looks like.  If you’re leading a hospitality ministry, hopefully you will benefit from detailed job descriptions of your role, you’ll be challenged by examples that describe how your particular responsibility can make a difference.

Hospitality – – true biblical hospitality – – is much richer and deeper and more meaningful than standing at a door passing out a bulletin. Hospitality is about turning strangers into friends. It's about inviting people into our lives, our conversations, and our friendships. But first let’s consider, what is the end goal?  

“When your guests return for a second look , you’ve won 80 percent of the battle of gaining new regular attenders and have drastically increased the chances that they will begin a journey with Christ . ” – – Nelson Searcey The end game is lives transformed by the gospel as they begin a relationship with Christ and grow in faith year after year . The journey of one’s spiritual growth may start when that person walks through the doors of our church for the first time . You have been given the awesome responsibility to see they’re so welcomed and so loved that they will return for a second visit , and a third visit , and eventually assimilated into the body and grow in their faith . Welcome . That’s a word we all long to hear . To know we’re welcome , loved , and accepted is a deep desire . Our opportunity as workers in our church’s hospitality ministry is to help meet that longing for the many who enter our church doors . “ Hospitality means primarily the creation of free space where the stranger can enter and become a friend instead of an enemy . Hospitality is not to change people , but to offer them space where change can take place … . It is not to bring men and women over to our side , but to offer freedom not disturbed by dividing lines . ” – – Henri Nouwen The book Secrets of a Secret Shopper describes the challenge that has motivated this handbook . Imagine you’re hosting a small group in your home . Imagine you’re hosting a birthday party . Imagine you’re having friends over for dinner . Can you picture one of these scenarios ? When you have company over , what do you do ? You clean house ! You prepare . You want to welcome your company with open arms and make sure they feel right at home . This is what this book is about .

Every week thousands of guests visit our local churches . We need to clean house , prepare , and be ready to host them . All of us need to have the mindset and expectation that company is coming. How we prepare for and welcome “company” or guests to our churches says a lot about how seriously we take the Great Commission. You know God dearly loves you. Through the hospitality ministry of your church, you have the chance to share that love with others.

One definition of hospitality is, “ the quality or disposition of receiving and treating guests and strangers in a warm, friendly, generous way.” One website describes the experience of hospitality as when you're away from home surrounded by strangers and yet you feel welcome.”  Hospitality is firmly rooted in the Bible and the way of Christ. In the New Testament , the Greek word translated “hospitality” literally means “love of strangers.” Hospitality is a biblical mandate , and we see it both commanded and commended throughout Scripture. Starting in the Old Testament, we are told to welcome the stranger. Some translations say to welcome the newcomer. “When a foreigner resides among you in your land, do not mistreat them. The foreigner residing among you must be treated as your native- born. Love them as yourself, for you were foreigners in Egypt. I am the Lord your God ” ( Leviticus 19 : 33 - 34 ) .

When Jesus was asked what is the greatest of all the commandments , he summed it up by telling us to love God and love your neighbor as yourself ( Matthew 22 : 36 - 40 ) .This is the essence of hospitality . ” 3 Jesus ’ sobering words should haunt us all : “ For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat , I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink , I was a stranger and you invited me in , I needed clothes and you clothed me , I was sick and you looked after me , I was in prison and you came to visit me ” ( Matthew 25 : 34 - 36 , italics added ) . Hospitality is also a specific hallmark for church leaders . In 1 Timothy 3 : 2 and Titus 1 : 7 - 8 , Paul lays out important guidelines and criteria for church leadership . He tells the leaders of the church they must be known for being hospitable. While hospitality may sometimes be perceived as a unique gifting for some people , Scripture is clear that loving strangers is a biblical mandate to anyone who follows Jesus . Throughout the Old and New Testaments , God specifically commands his people to practice hospitality. When we welcome strangers into our church and show love to them , we emulate his love and compassion – – the same hospitality he showed us as he welcomed us , not as “ foreigners and strangers , ” but as “ members of his household ” ( Ephesians 2 : 19 - 20 ) . A church that welcomes strangers and practices true hospitality is a community where God dwells . Are you a part of a church that loves strangers ? Would your surrounding community say you are a church of love and compassion where anyone would feel welcome ? Do the hearts and attitudes — not just actions — of your people reflect a true desire to bring others into God’s household ? Do you see how your congregation’s hospitality can lead strangers to feel the love of God and experience transformation that will affect their eternity ?

teams are a beautiful thing to behold and a sign of a thriving and healthy church . Don’t be afraid to let teenagers serve alongside you .

First  Impressions  Matter

Hospitality Info
You never get a second change to make a first impression.
First Impressions “ My pleasure . ” Those are the two famous words heard from every Chick - fil - A employee across the US when you say , “ Thank you . ” The phrase is important because it communicates a desire to serve another person . The phrase is remembered because it is the same at every location across America . The phrase is impactful , because it is a breath of fresh air in today’s hurried world and stands in stark contrast to the response and attitudes you may experience from many who are hired to serve you . Chick - fil - A’s goal is to treat every guest “ with honor , dignity , and respect . ” The company is committed , through key actions they call Second - Mile Service , to create remarkable experiences for guests . 5 Have you thought about creating remarkable experiences for guests at your church ?

The following quote is widely attributed to Walt Disney : “ Whatever you do , do it well . Do it so well that when people see you do it , they will want to come back and see you do it again , and they will want to bring others and show them how well you do what you do . ” Imagine your hospitality ministry serving people so well they want to come back to your church . In fact , they want to bring others and show them how well you honor and treat your guests . What a wonderful goal for volunteers in this ministry. As Bob Goff’s bestselling book title reminds us : Love Does . Love is a verb . We must put feet and action behind our talk about and commitment to the love of Jesus . This means we are the hands and feet of Christ to a broken , hurting , and lost world .

He said to go and make disciples ( often called the Great Commission , Matthew 28 : 19 - 20 ) and love your neighbor as yourself ( often called the Great Commandment , Matthew 22 : 39 ) . Go and tell people and be sure to love people . It’s always about people . As Danny Franks says , “ People are the mission . ”Ministry — your ministry — is about people . Your hospitality team will influence the culture for your whole church . People first .
Andy Stanley writes , “ We must remove every possible obstacle from the path of the disinterested , suspicious , here - against - my - will , would rather - be - somewhere - else , unchurched guests . The parking lot , hallways , auditorium , and stage must be obstacle - free zones . ” 10 The point is well taken that we have an amazing opportunity to create an environment that is warm and welcoming .

                                                                                                                         “Hospitality is not to change people, but to offer them space where change can take place .” – – Henry Nouwen

We need to be the gospel , not just proclaim it with words . We need to live out the gospel and demonstrate our faith by putting it into action as the book of James teaches us .

 When you invite an unchurched friend to visit your congregation , you’ll see in a new way how your congregation looks to outsiders . You want everything to be perfect for your guest . The Entrance . You bite your nails as you wait in the lobby to greet your friend and guest . You hope the parking lot attendants are smiling , waving , and pointing your friend to first - time guest parking . You hope your friend is greeted warmly as she and her child walk up . You pray that the check - in procedure for your first - time guest is smooth and efficient . You hope your guest’s child is greeted by comforting , welcoming faces , giving your friend the confidence needed to drop off her child in a foreign environment with strangers . You hope the children’s ministry rooms are clean , safe , and secure . When you walk your guest to the Information Center , you pray she will encounter someone who knows and does the job well . You think , This is my friend for whom I’ve been praying for three years . Can you make her want to come back ? Can you help her see Jesus through your actions and words ? The guy at the Information Center does his job . Your guest receives a welcome packet , which includes a note from the senior pastor and info on the vision and values of the church . Then she is pointed toward the worship auditorium . The Service . Together , you and your invitee walk into the auditorium and determine where to sit . The back isn’t an option because it’s difficult to see the front , and you don’t want your guest to feel disconnected . You hope someone will come introduce himself or herself and welcome your friend . Why ? Because friendliness puts people at ease . It helps them feel welcomed and safe . So , you sit with your friend and make small talk , all the while trying not to worry . Then it hits you : The sermon ! What if the pastor talks on sin ? What if he preaches on Hell ? And then you almost have a heart attack . What if he preaches on money ?
Questions & Reflections
  • When is the last time you visited a church?
  • When is the last time you were the guest? 
  • When is the last time you walked into unfamiliar territory and felt lost and outnumbered ?

Do you have an idea, insight or resource related to this cohort?