You may be wondering where I'm headed with this.
Here's what I mean. Visiting another church is a great way to get fresh ideas, insight, and vision. Here's some tips.
Call in advance. This will give you (and them) the best experience. They can prepare to receive you, have materials ready to give you and adjust their schedule, etc. as needed.
Come with a list of questions. Think ahead about areas you want your ministry to grow in and have questions ready.
Visit a ministry that is where you want your ministry to be. Find a ministry that is at the next level or is excelling in areas that you need help in.
Visit on a weekend to see their ministry in action if possible. You will get the best ideas if you can see it real time. Just be aware that they have ministry going on and still have to function.
Take lots of notes and pictures. Write it down or take a picture so you don't forget. (ask for permission before taking pictures and don't take pictures of kids)
Don't give them advice or feedback about their ministry unless they ask for it. You're there to learn, not to critique. (btw - if they're wise, they will ask for your feedback)
Send them a thank you note. They took time out of their schedule to invest in you. Let them know you appreciate it.
Go back and debrief with your team. What fresh ideas did you get? What did you see that you can implement? How can you apply what you saw to your ministry?
We've gotten most of our best ideas from visiting other churches.
Your turn. The floor is yours. Do you visit other churches? What are some other tips for visiting other churches.