Mark Waltz is a unifying force at Granger Community Church where as pastor of connections, he oversees adult relational connections, including groups, guest services and volunteer strategies. Mark's book, First Impressions: Creating Wow Experiences in Your Church, addresses the issues of guest attendance growth and volunteer development, offering strategies for making high-impact first impressions. His new book, Lasting Impressions, picks up where First Impressions leaves off. How do you help visitors to your church find a place of genuine belonging?
Mark's ministry expertise is complemented by his marketplace experience, which includes retail management, employment training and recruitment. These combined experiences make Mark a sought-after trainer and consultant for churches desiring to improve their serve to their guests. Mark has occasionally tailored his presentations to address guest relations in the private sector where relationships are the bottom-line to success.
His priorities before pastoring, writing or training are his wife of 27 years, Laura and their daughter, Olivia. A trip to the mall, a night at the movies, or a week at the beach are a few of the favorite pastimes Mark enjoys with them.
Mark Waltz takes common sense "customer service" principles and applies them seamlessly to the church. This book will serve as a great "aha" for many churches as they discover what it means to really value the new people who come through their doors. And, by doing so, the number of new people will multiply. Mark's experience both in the business world, and in one of the fastest growing churches in the country, shines through each chapter. It is full of illustrations and is easy to read. Highly recommended.
Mark Waltz has done church leaders a favor by writing this engaging and insightful book. There are a number of good books written for businesses and marketplace leaders about how to deal with customers. However, most church leaders are uneasy when using words like "consumer" to speak about new church attenders. Waltz does a fantastic job of drawing out key customer satisfaction principles without losing the appropriate heart of the gospel. This book remains biblical to the core, yet manages to shake some of the old churchy ideas that have kept people from trying or returning to the church for many years.
I plan on using this book as a basic resource to guide my leadership of our First Impressions ministry teams. There are sections on print communications that will speak directly to some questions that our communications team is considering. There are a number of sections that will speak to our ushers and greeters.
The biggest asset of Waltz's work is that it is both inspirational and practical. It gives me more motivation to know that the small choices that we make from weekend to weekend have huge implications, while giving me a number of tools to help us do a better job of allowing people to worship in a comfortable, distraction-free environment. If we get this right, the outcome for the Kingdom will be awesome!!
This book gave me numerous ideas on how to improve, strengthen, and streamline the hospitality ministries at my church. The book has also inspired me to strive for the "WOW" for every new face that come to my church.
I would highly recommend this book. It provides great ideas and advice for creating a great experience for guests. After reading this book and attending a workshop at Granger Community Church, my church has started its own First Impressions ministry. It's off to a great start and there are plans to expand this ministry in the future.
First Impressions - Creating WOW Experiences in Your Church is a very easy to read book that has a significant number of useful ideas which can be used and modified for use in the church environment. Many of the suggestions are common sense but not easy to implement. Using the suggestions will put you closer to the customer - in your church. To look at practices in the church from the point of view of customer service will not please all church goers, but it makes sense when we stop to think that everything we do at church "speaks" - it sends a message. Are we sending the messages we want to send by having that pile of clutter in the corner? When we great newcomers, do we immediately sign them up to serve on a committee? - it could scare people away. This book provides many ideas and observations worth considering. I do recommend this book to you.
I was really looking forward to reading this book, hoping the word "wow" referred to creative and fresh ideas for welcoming people to church. I was dissapointed after reading it as I felt, while all valable advice, little was new or inspired me. A lot is more valid (like managing parking) to larger churches.
This book is a quick read because the chapters are short, the information is suitable for all churches and it may be that you "can't put it down". You may think that the information related to 'big' churches doesn't apply to your local church...that's likely, but don't stop there! Consider the merits of doing the things you CAN DO in your church.
Several copies were purchased and loaned to 8 members of the church who are among the "movers and shakers'. Written instructions were pasted inside the front cover to 'read this book in the next seven (7) days then pass it on to one of the names 'below' who has not had their name checked off.'
After all those on the list have read the book, the group has planned to meet to share the ideas that can be implemented in our church.
I am currently working through this book with our first impressions person at Parkway. For us it is helping us see the church in a new light. It really isn't brain surgeon ideas...but it allows our teams to expand their sight with the church.
Sometimes people get comfortable or can't see the church larger than it currently is...this book is a great tool to open the eyes of your teams...
Also Mark is great and doing this stuff at one of the greatest churches to date...