The "Wow" Factor

The "wow" factor. It's when you go above and beyond what is expected.

The "wow" factor normally begins in the parking lot. Think about when you’re riding around in the parking lot of a store like Wal-Mart, Lowe’s or Publix. You are looking for a place to park. Once in a while, the seas of cars will part and there it is...a great parking spot that is in the front. You smile and quickly pull in. You walk into the store whistling a tune and happy that you were blessed to find such a great parking spot. When you create great parking for guests, that’s the way they will feel as they walk into your church. You’re off to a great start in providing them with a great experience.


I always get tickled when I see the best parking spot designated for “Pastor Parking.” I know these churches mean well. They want to honor their pastor and that’s a good thing. But I believe you will see more fruit if you will reserve the best parking for guests. In fact, at several churches where I served, the pastor, staff, and key volunteers would intentionally park in the worst parking spots. When I served at a church in Las Vegas, this meant that the staff and pastor parked in the dust and dirt in an empty lot beside the church. Was it annoying? Yes. Was it worth it? Definitely.
In addition to having handicapped parking and guest parking, consider offering reserved parking for nursery and preschool parents. Make this parking as close to the children’s ministry entrance as possible. We forget what it’s like to get out of the car. Get the stroller ready. Unbuckle a child and get them in the stroller. Grab the diaper bag and other items needed for young children. It can be challenging to say the least. That is especially true for a single mom or dad.


 “Whoever compels you to go one mile, go with him two.”                                                      Jesus in Matthew 5:41

In Biblical times, if you met a Roman soldier on the road, by law he could command you to carry his equipment, bags, etc. for a mile. Jesus acknowledges this, but then he challenges His followers to not stop at the minimum requirement of a mile. He encourages them to continue and carry the soldier's equipment for another mile.

Throughout His life and ministry, Jesus set the example of going the second mile. He went above and beyond what was expected. He culminated this by going all the way to the cross and giving His life for us.

If you want to see God work in a great way in your ministry, then you will discover that it happens on the second mile. There is plenty of room on the second mile. Many people are not willing to put in the time and effort that it takes to have a second mile ministry.

What does the second mile look like in your ministry? 

When you deliver beyond guests’ expectations or add a personal touch, it will bring the “wow” factor for your guests. Regular service leaves guests with a slight smile on their face. Excellent service leaves guests with their mouths hanging open because you went way beyond what they expected. It causes people to stop for a second and think “I can’t believe they did that much for us. They must really care.”

What is the "wow factor" in guest services? I believe it's when you go above and beyond to meet the needs of a family. It especially becomes a wow factor when you do it in a creative, unexpected way. The wow factor must emanate from the desire to be the hands and feet of Jesus. Just as Jesus went above and beyond to meet people's needs, so we are called to embody that same attitude today.

Yes, there can be costs involved in the wow factor. It can involve attention, time and sometimes a financial investment. The normal factor is what people expect and yes, it should be done with excellence. But it's the wow factor that really impacts people.

This is an excerpt from my new book "Be Our Church Guest" which will be available for purchase in December.  Stay tuned for more details.