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One thing all successful church staffs who are servant motivated have in common is that they have a genuine church congregation-friendly attitude. You must view your church congregation as the most important part of your job and sincerely appreciate that they choose to worship with you.

Communicating and establishing relationships are really the essence of your job. They don't have to take a long time, and they often happen in an instant. The bad news is that offending a church congregate can take just as little time.

When someone calls a church on the phone and the telephone rings 10 times before someone picks it up, what kind of connection has that church made with you? More than likely, a negative relationship has been created before any ministry is transacted. These connections, as simple and quick as they are, are moments of truth for the church member.

Some simple yet high profile opportunities to create positive moments of truth include the following:

• Answer the phone with a greeting before identifying yourself or your church. Doing so starts the conversation out on the right foot.

• Become more aware of your facial expression when a member of your congregation approaches you. A smile works much better than a grimace. Church attenders often judge your mood on how you look when they approach you.

• Don't take it personally when a church congregate complains. Think of a complaint for what it is, an opportunity to get valuable feedback from your church member. You listen better if you don't feel threatened.

• Always offer options when you can't give a visitor or a member of your congregation exactly what they want. They can live with a "no" if it is softened by alternative recommendations.

• Before transferring a caller to another extension (if you must), ensure that the minister/ministry is available before completing the transfer. A dead end transfer creates a negative impression.

The Congregation-Focused Church
A congregation-focused church staff has one eye on the numbers (nickels and noses) and the other eye on how best to serve its congregation. This church has learned that the effectiveness of its ministry is the product of listening to church members and acting upon their needs.

Following are some qualities that characterize a congregation-focused organization:

• Recognition is earned by staff who balance job efficiency with church congregation satisfaction.

• Department Heads focus their attention on supporting staff in doing their jobs well so that the staff can focus their attention on taking care of church congregation needs.

• Promotion is based on good servant skills as well as on seniority.

•Training staff is a high priority with a focus on both service and interpersonal skills.

• Staff endeavors to know who their church members are and verbally appreciate that they choose to worship with you.

• A participative management style is common throughout the church, and staff feedback is sought on key church congregation issues before decisions are made.

• Long-term thinking is the rule rather than the exception.

One congregation-focused church does regular visitor tracking to monitor church congregation satisfaction. The results are then forwarded to the church leadership. Information such as how one church ministry compares to another (receptionist, parking lot attendants, greeters ministry, children's ministry and nursery) is made available.

Staff training is based on these visitor-tracking results and a yearly awards forum is held to acknowledge those staff whose congregation-friendly attitude scores are the highest.

It Pays To Please
Church members love those church staff members that treat them the way they like to be treated—they'll even travel great distances to attend services! Here are some recent survey statistics that prove the point:

• When a church congregate is treated with care, he or she tells 9 to 12 people on average.
• When a church congregate receives poor service, he or she tells up to 20 people. If the service is really poor, 91 percent of first time visitors won't go back to a church.

Another survey found that 98 percent of church staff-congregate interactions were faster and more efficient when the minister took the time to establish a relationship and create a rapport with the church congregate.

Addicted to Ministry
Finally, the goal of any congregation-focused church staff is to model themselves after Paul's encouragement to the church at Corinth. Make members of your company sense how important they are to you and to God.
I beseech you, brethren, (ye know the house of Stephanas, that it is the firstfruits of Achaia, and that they have addicted themselves to the ministry of the saints).
(1 Cor. 16:15)
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Author Biography

Phil Winn
Web site: Living Word Christian Center
A lifelong Minnesotan, Phil graduated from North High in Minneapolis in 1963. At age 17, he enlisted in the National Guard and received his commission as an Army officer in 1966. After graduating from the University of Minnesota in 1970, he took a position a hospital representative for Novartis Pharmaceuticals. The same year he married his college sweetheart Annie Haviland.

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