I read the book “Raving Fans” by Ken Blanchard and Sheldon Bowles. The author states that people are so accustomed to poor service that when we are treated special we feel like royalty. Many churches struggle to provide adequate service let alone exceptional service with staff and volunteers. Blanchard suggests that companies [churches] ought to strive to make “raving fans,” customers who are absolutely thrilled with the experience they had while purchasing goods or services [or attending church]. Everybody knows that happy customers come back. Unhappy customers go elsewhere.
I think that churches have a lot to learn from Blanchard's approach to customer service. In his book he offers three insights to creating raving fans that you and I can use in our respective ministry positions.
If you want to create raving fans of your ministry you need to DECIDE WHAT YOU WANT. Do you want to have an adequate ministry or an exceptional one? Do you want people to have a neutral experience or a thrilling experience? What kind of ministry do you want to provide? Once you decide what kind of ministry you want to provide you can take the first action step to make it happen. In other words, get a clear vision for your ministry. Picture what your ministry could be like then figure out how to make it happen.
The second secret to creating raving fans is this: DISCOVER WHAT THE GUEST WANTS. Do they expect you to provide top notch ministry? Or do they expect you to simply meet the minimum requirements? What kind of preconceived image does the guest have of your ministry? Search to find out exactly what the guest expects.
The third secret to creating raving fans is: DISCOVER WHAT THE GUEST WANTS: PLUS ONE. This principle says that you need to consistently deliver a ministry experience that exceeds the guest’s expectations. For example: If people expect the sanctuary to be clean every week, we could exceed their expectations by offering them a spotless sanctuary after every service at both campuses week after week. If they expect one person to greet them as they walk through the front doors on the weekend, we could exceed their expectations by placing two people outside the front doors, another inside and even others by the sanctuary to greet them with a friendly smile and welcome. If they expect their kids not to like your kids ministry, work to exceed their expectations by giving their kids a phenomenal experience by using technology, relevant lessons, and by having an inviting, friendly environment. The same is true for Student Ministries or any other ministry.
I want to challenge you to begin to dream big dreams about your ministry. Decide what you want your ministry to look like. What kind of vision do you have? Then discover what guests want and meet their expectations; plus one. Go the extra mile, take the extra time, do whatever it takes to create raving fans. Over time this creates momentum and raving fans that will be a megaphone for God’s glory.
God calls each and every one of us to serve him with all of our hearts, minds, and actions. This is what it means to make disciples. He is not honored when we do His work half way. We want people to be raving fans of God. It brings glory to Him, and satisfaction to us.