Thursday, August 2, 2007

First Impressions

One of the great privileges I have in my role on staff at NorthStar Church is to work with our Hospitality Team. This team is composed of amazing volunteers who do everything from parking to greeting to ushering to making coffee on Sunday mornings. The Hospitality Team is not really in the spotlight (nor would they want to be), but the work they do is absolutely vital to what happens in our worship services each weekend. They set the stage for life change.

First impressions, they say, are lasting ones. It's absolutely true, particularly in the "church" world, where many people will drive onto a church property or sit in a service for the first time. Studies have shown that the vast majority of first-time guests at a church will make the determination in the first 12 minutes whether or not they will come back again.

Amazing, isn't it? So, you can see why it's so important to have traffic folks, warm and friendly greeters, and service-oriented ushers helping people to their seats. Before they ever sing a song, or hear the words a Pastor speaks, the "impression" has been made - good or bad.

The same can be said in every aspect of our lives - whether it's in business or social circles. The very first few moments we interact with someone (or choose NOT to interact with someone) tells a story. It tells who we are, who we are not, and whether or not it's safe for someone to make an investment in us - as an individual or as an organization.

So, the next time you meet someone for the first time, or you personally interact with a customer, keep in mind that the first few moments are the most precious - and ones you're likely never to change!

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