Oct 16, 2018

Walk & Talk

As a leader,  you should often move away from your desk and get out among the people you are leading.

As a leader, you should also be available on Sunday to meet and greet guests and interact with families.  Don't set back and wait for them to come to you. Walk to them and talk with them.

That's what great leaders do.  They spend time walking and talking with those they are ministering to.

When you get out among the people and talk with them, they will see begin to see you as approachable.  And that's a good thing.  Great leaders create a culture where team members can ask questions and personally analyze decisions that are made.

Walking and talking with your team will help you identify and correct misalignment sooner.  Walking and talking with team members leads to trust. 

Relax as you walk and talk with your team.  If your communication with them consists of rigid responses, your team members will pick up on it and reflect it.  Keep the conversation as relaxed as possible.  Watch your body language.

Dress appropriately.  Don't wear a suit if everyone else is wearing jeans and a polo.

Look and listen more than you talk.  Your posture should be seeking answers more than giving answers to your team members' replies. Give them your undivided attention. When they see that you're interested in what they have to say, they'll be more open and receptive, and you'll build rapport.

Share the vision.  This is a great way to share the vision of the ministry with people individually.  Show people how their role helps the ministry fulfill the big vision He has ordained for your church.

Don't just talk business.  Strike a balance between work and their personal lives.  Talk about their family, hobbies, personal interests, etc.

Don't be a stalker.  You don't want people to feel like they are always being watched.  Don't walk around at the same time each day.  Be spontaneous.  Walk in different areas of your ministry each week.

"Walking slowly though the crowd" can bring great benefits.  Get out of our office and "walk and talk."  Get out of some of the 500 meetings you have scheduled to attend this next week and spend many of them walking and talking instead.

No memo, no letter, no gift, no phone call, can take the place of you walking among your volunteers and personally connecting with them.

Oct 15, 2018

Top 50 Brands Gen Z Kids Like

I often talk about how children's ministry leaders are like a missionary.  A missionary learns the language, cultural preferences, music, foods, etc. of the people he/she is trying to reach.  This helps the missionary create connection points.

We are missionaries to kids.  And if we are going to connect with them, then we need to do the same thing a missionary to another country does.  Learn about what they like.  Learn about what they play.  Learn about what video games they like.  You get the point.  

To help with this, here are the top 50 brands that Gen Z (today's kids) kids like.  I want to encourage you to look thru this list, better yet, look through this list with your team.  Ask yourselves questions like...

Why do kids like this?

What can we learn from this?

What ideas from this can we incorporate into our children's ministry?

What changes should we make to stay relevant for today's kids?

Here are the top 50 brands Gen Z kids like...

1, YouTube
2. Netflix
3. Iphone
4. McDonalds
5. Oreo
6. MM's
7. Doritto's
8. iPod
9. Xbox
10. Google
11. Fortnite
12. Hershey's
13. Nike
14. Crayola
15. Playstation
16, Cheetos
17. Lays
18. Reeses
19. Disney
20. Skittles
21. Nintendo Switch
22. Lego
23. Chips Ahoy
24. Avengers
25. Kit Kats
26. Pop Tarts
27. Instagram
28. Snap Chat
29. Kraft
30. Cartoon Network
31. Black Panther
32. Nick
33. Coke
34. Snickers
35. Halo's
36. Sour Patch
37. Game Stop
38. Minecraft
39. Starburst
40. Amazon
41. Elmer's
42. hulu
43. Pepsi
44. Goldfish Crackers
45.YouTube for kids
46. Roblox
47. Taco Bell
48. Lunchables
49. Under Armor
50. Bing

Oct 13, 2018

Top Ten Kid Stars on YouTube

It is truly amazing what kids can do if they are only given an opportunity.

We talk about kids being the church of tomorrow, and yes, that is true.

But they are also the church of today.

And it's time we start giving kids more opportunities to serve at church and in the community.  For way too long, we've told kids to sit still and be quiet in church. Then we wonder why, when they grow up, they are sitting on a church pew and not making an impact for God's kingdom.  It's because we told them to sit still and be quiet.  Habits formed early in life tend to transition into adulthood.

I am listing these top 10 You Tube stars to show what kids can do when given the opportunity.  They can bring creativity and freshness to the table.  They can bring new perspectives, if we will step back and let them lead strong.  They can create amazing content.

1. Ryan's Toys Review

Ryan is a 6-year-old who reviews toys for viewers multiple times a week.  He is the most subscribed child on YouTube with 9.4 million subscribers and more than 16.5 trillion video views.  

2. EvenTube

Evan, is a 12-year-old toy reviewer.  His earns over $1.3 million dollars a year through his channel. His channel has over 4.6 million subscribers.

3. Kids' Toys

Kids' Toys features two sisters, Quincy Faye and Laurice, who review the latest children's toys.  They live in the Philippines and have over 2.4 million subscribers.  They've had 2.9 trillion video views in 4.5 years.

4. Seven Awesome Kids

Seven Awesome Kids shows the lives and thoughts of girls 0-12 every day of the week.  It showcases the girls wild imaginations through funny skits. They have 1.8 million subscribers.

5. EthanGamer

Ethan is 10 years old and has become a social media star.  He has 1.7 million subscribers.  His content is age-appropriate and he has an enthusiastic attitude which draws a new generation of social media users.

6. BabyTeeth4

Jillian and Addie, ages 12 and 9, are the stars of  babyteeth4.  The two sisters are famous for their kid candy reviews, which feature their funny, honest reactions to candy. They also have two other series which have drawn in tens of millions of views.

7. B2CuteCupcakes

This channel is ran by a 12-year-old social media star named Bee.  Bee has a bubbly personality and demonstrates DIY's, trends, toys reviews and kid life hacks.  

8.  Hulyan Maya

Hulyan and Maya are the stars of the YouTube channel called Hulyan Maya.  They have over 1.4 million subscribers.  They test toys out.  They are bringing in over a million dollars through their channel and have been featured on NBC's Today Show.

9.  Hailey's Magical Playhouse

Hailey’s Magical Playhouse is where 6-year-old girl Hailey comes to play.  She does things like toy unboxings, surprise eggs, costume dress-ups, and other indoor and outdoor play activities.  She has 1.3 million subscribers.  She loves Disney as well and brings characters into her show.

10. Naiah and Elli Toys Show

Naiah is 5 and Elli is 6.  They have a toy parody channel.  They love doing silly skits and funny 
commentaries when they unbox toys.  They have 1.2 million subscribers.

When we begin turning kids' attention to making a kingdom impact,  we will see many of them rise to the challenge.  As we give them the space and time they need to express themselves creatively, we will see them turn thousands of people into followers of Jesus. 

Oct 11, 2018

5 Things Guest Services Teams Should Focus On

I believe your guest services team is a crucial part of your church's ministry.  It has been said that people decide in the first 8 minutes if they will return or not.

Those 8 minutes are usually spent interacting with your guest services team.   So you can see how important your guest services team is.  Your guest services team is a make or break factor with guests.

That being said and acknowledged, preparing them to lead is one of the most important things you will do. 

What training should you provide for them? 

What should they focus on? 

What are the wins for them?

Let's look at 5 key things you should teach and train your guest services team about.

Guests' parking.  Reserve the best parking for guests.   

Think about how you feel when you are at Target or Walmart or Costco and you find a great parking spot up close to the building.  You enter the store feeling lucky to have gotten such a great spot and not having to walk from a mile away to finally get into the store.  

That's the way guests feel when you reserve parking for them.  You're making a great impression with them before they ever enter the building.  Guests who have to spend those first 8 minutes circling the parking lot, looking for a parking place, probably won't come back.  I have personally seen guests drive away in frustration because they were no good parking spots left.

Smiles.  This may sound so simple that you don't feel like it's important.  Believe me.  Whether your team smiles or not is a big deal.  Trust me.  It is huge. 

I often ask for feedback from first-time guests.  One week, I received feedback from a guest family that said we did a great job explaining the security process and making them feel safe.  But...they said the lady at the door never smiled at them.  Out of all the positive experiences they had on their first visit, they remembered the bland facial expression of a volunteer. 

Think about your own interaction with places of business.  How does it feel when you are met with a bland or even frowning face?  It gives you a negative connotation doesn't it?  That's exactly how your guests feel when they are not met with a smile.  Guests will always remember how you made them feel.  And a smile goes a long way in making people feel welcome.

Teach your team to smile.  Smile.  Smile.  Smile.  And smile some more.

p.s. You should fill your key guest services positions with people who are naturally positive and upbeat.  One "Negative Nelly" can cause guests to not return.  You want people who are naturally a people person in those roles.  All the training in the world can't override a person who was seemingly baptized in pickle juice.  

Walking rather than pointing.  Create a plan that enables you to always walk guests to their room.  This means you will need extra team members in your guests services area that can step away and walk guests to their rooms without leaving you shorthanded at registration.  

Think about the difference it makes in your perception when you ask for help in a store and they are able to walk you to the item you are looking for.   Compare that to how you feel when they point and basically say "good luck with that."  It can be a huge factor in whether or not you return.  Same goes with your guests at church.

Not making guests wait.  No one likes to wait.  That's why we scan the checkout lines at the grocery store and try to find the shortest line, right?  And when you can't find a short line, it is frustrating, isn't it?  Especially if you have children with you.

You don't want your guests to have that experience, right?  One of the best things you can do is create a separate check-in area that is reserved for guests.  Remember, you only have 8 minutes to make a great first impression and you don't want them spending 6 of those minutes standing in a line.

Making the experience personal.  Guests want to know that you genuinely care about them and their family.  They don't want to feel like they are just another number to be counted and rushed to the place where they should be on campus. 

Focus on making guests feel known and genuinely welcomed.  This doesn't mean having them stand up and publicly humiliating them.  That can have the opposite effect.  Instead, here are a few ways you can make it personal.

Call them by their name.  The sweetest sound to anyone's ears is their name.  Use their name several times during your interaction with them.

Send them a handwritten note.  Make the note personal by writing in a few facts you learned about them.  This let's them know they are not an afterthought, but that you were really listening as they responded to your questions. 

Catch up with them after the service.  Many guest service teams consider their role ended once church starts.  That's okay, but if you want to make a GREAT first impression on families, spend a few minutes talking with them after the service.  Thank them for coming.  Make small talk about something they shared with you before service started. 

This doesn't mean cornering them.  You can sense when they are ready to go.  Don't talk so much they get that glazed look in their eyes that says, "Please let me go.  I'm hungry and lunch is waiting."

Incorporate these 5 things into your Guest Service teams and you'll make a big impact on guests and will see many of them return.

Your turn.  The floor is yours. What are some other things guest service teams need to focus on?  Share your thoughts, insight and ideas in the comment section below.