Wow. It’s not a word you hear much anymore, but it’s a word that holds a lot of power. To create “wow” is to create something that impresses or excites. To create “wow” is to create something worth talking about. Create a big enough “wow”, and you begin creating crowds.
I was recently talking to a young pastor about his frustrations with the lack of growth of his church over the past five years. During one of our conversations, he told me the people in his church aren’t good at inviting others to attend, and he believes this may be a key reason why they’re not growing.
It’s a reasonable thought, and one I’m sure you’ve had as well. If no one is inviting, then no new people are going to show up.
Here’s what I’ve learned, people talk about the things that “wow” them. Your church people have no problem talking with their friends about the new Star Wars movie, the Powerball jackpot, or the latest Donald Trump headline.
They talk about the things that excite them. So, if your church people aren’t telling their friends about your church, there’s a good chance that it’s just not worth talking about.
So, how can we change that? How can we create excitement? How can we create a wow?
We can do this by asking ourselves five questions.
- What experience do you want to turn into a “Wow”? Its tempting to say the entire church experience, and while that may be our ultimate goal, you’ll have much better success by focusing on one area at a time. I believe kids’ ministry or first impressions is the best place to start.
- How do you want the guest to feel as a result of the experience? For kids’ ministry, I want the parent to feel that their child was safe, their child had fun, and their child learned about Jesus, in that order. It doesn’t matter how good you are at teaching a child about Jesus, if the parent didn’t feel like they were safe or had fun, they will not return.
- What is the guest expecting to experience? This can go a couple of different ways depending on a guest’s past church experience. If they’ve had a negative experience in church, their expectations are going to reflect that. For most people, they expect a church to be friendly, they expect a church to be welcoming, and they expect to feel loved.
- What does it look like if we fail to meet that expectation? We fail to show love when our greeters aren’t friendly, our ushers offer a bulletin without a smile, and our pastor uses language only insiders can understand. When we fail to meet expectations, guests don’t return, and church members stop inviting.
- What does it look like if we exceed that expectation? We exceed expectations when we have kids that don’t want to leave church, we have greeters that remember guests’ names, and when we preach a message that guests can take and apply to their daily lives. When we exceed expectations, guests keep coming back, and church members keep inviting.
Evangelism isn’t dead, but your church may be. If you want your church to start inviting, you have to start creating a wow.
I’d love to hear about some wow experiences you’ve created in your church. Let us know in the comments below.