Yesterday, we had our staff brunch at The Bridge at a new place in Downtown Silver Spring called Urban Butcher. We discussed Chapter 9 of Deep & Wide by Andy Stanley and the importance of creating irresistible environments. All churches have environments. Our environments communicate a message. We can allow the environments to speak for us or we can be intentional about crafting the message we want to communicate.
If we were honest, we would probably admit that we struggle to maintain a high standard of excellence in our environments. Sometimes, lack of resources, time, energy, or creativity causes our environments to suffer. Furniture gets old and dilapidated. Clutter pile up. Our children continue to break furnishings. Equipment experience wear and tear. Employees fail to respect and honor customers. Seeking to creating irresistible and engaging environments can seem like an up hill battle at times. Though it’s difficult, it’s not impossible.
Here are some things we said that we look for in a restaurant that is often true of church environments, at least in the culture that we are in.
1. Customer Service
The way customers are treated is vital. One of our team members said she appreciates when workers takes ownership. They are willing to serve and attend to a table, even thought they are not the primary server for that particular table. Every Sunday, we have first time guests. We want them to feel welcomed and valued. Those that are serving must take ownership and go the extra mile.
We all have different tastes. This was apparent by the dishes we ordered. Some look for savory food on a menu. Some desire all-natural ingredients. Some appreciate for variety. But at the end of the day, we all want good food. The content that we present in our environments are important. The content we present must be meaningful and helpful. Messages should be Scripturally based and apply to the lives of those who attend and are called to reach. Presentations should be engaging. Lessons and information should be beneficial to the audience. What’s the point of going to a restaurant if the food isn’t good?
We often look for an atmosphere that is clean and comfortable. Design and decor matters. Creating a warm and welcoming environment, for us, also involves our decor. Because we are a portable church, our equipment endures much wear and tear. This is a tension that we are always facing.
We mentioned that we like to see restaurants evolve. We like to see when changes and improvements are made over time. We like to see new things added to the menu; tweaks are made in the decor. We like to see when the owners are committed to innovation, creativity, and change. We too must always evolve as a church. If our community is always changing and people are always changing, then we should also change.
What about you? What are some things that you’re wrestling with as it pertains to environments in your church or organization? You can leave a comment by clicking here.