Jonathan Martin Creative arrives in full force!

15 04 2008

The team from JMC arrived today they are building, unpacking and painting. This is going to happen quick!





Disney, Bible Man and Jonathan Martin Creative

14 04 2008


Well last few weeks have been fun, crazy and busy.

The last four weeks we have been getting our church ready for Jonathan Martin Creative. They showed up yesterday and started sketching on our walls. The buildings they are drawing are huge.

Our indoor playground is fully functional and has received my sons seal of approval.

Read 3 new books. Inside The Magic Kingdom, Be our Guest, and The Starbucks Experience. Currently reading Creating ever-cool.

Spent 2 days in Disney.

Took my son to see bible man. You haven’t lived until you have been in a room with 600+ kids under the age of 10 chanting Bi-ble Man. I received a tour of Grace Fellowship Church’s Children’s ministry. So great to see what God is doing in other churches in our region.

Customer Service Chapter 5: Nordstrom’s (Do you go the extra mile?)

23 01 2008

nordstrom-01I used to live in the northwest. Nordstrom’s was HUGE. In all my years in Portland, I never heard anything but positive things about them. What makes it even more amazing is Portland has quite an eclectic crowd. Many are very anti big business.
What makes a company get so much positive buzz? They will do anything for their customers. Seriously anything.

What will you do and what do you do for the guests who come to your church. What we do matter so much more than what Nordstrom’s does, why are we not more passionate about our guests?

…..His personal shopper just smiled and coyly mentioned something about “magic.” He pressed a little further; he really wanted to know where they had gotten the tux. The personal shopper said she immediately began working on his request after he left and, through her connections, she found an Armani tux in New York. After calling New York to inquire about the tux, the distributor informed the personal shopper that they had put it on a truck bound for Chicago that very day. The personal shopper worked another web of contacts and, coordinating with the distributor, located the truck. The personal shopper then called the Nordstrom in that area and dispatched someone to meet the truck at a rest stop and retrieve the tux from the container.

Keep in mind that my friend had to press her for this information. She would have never told him the story unless my friend had asked.

Not only did Nordstrom go to those heroics to find the tux, the personal shopper was aware of my friend’s time constraints and instructed the local Nordstrom to quickly alter the tux according to his measurements. It arrived in Portland, via overnight carrier, the next day, ready to wear.

The kicker? Nordstrom doesn’t even sell Armani tuxedos.

Check out the whole story here

Customer Service Chapter 4: Starbucks (Are you creating an environment?)

18 01 2008

I know, I know friends don’t let friends drink Starbucks.

I worked at Starbucks for a year when I was in College. I loved it. I love coffee so it was a natural fit. I would also like to add they were a fantastic company to work for. I know that many try to throw things through the front window, of what they see as a corporate evil. During my time at Starbucks one thing I learned was the value of environment.

One thing that has made starbucks loved by so many people is their ability to create an experience. From the smell of beans to the lighting to the iconic color pallet. It was a place you wanted to visit. I got to know quite a few of the “regulars” (people not coffee). I was amazed at how much money people would spend because of environment.

How does this translate to us? This is something that I have been thinking a lot about because I am the project manager for our churches renovation of our lobby and kids wing.

Questions I have been pondering.

If environment matters everywhere else why do I pretend it doesn’t at church?

If people are proud of their church are they more likely to tell others?

If a few coats of paint and some elbow grease will help someone who is new feel comfortable isn’t it worth it?

If I accept things as is with no thought of change because of familiarity what do people who are new think of my church?

Does the flow and feel of my church convey who we are and what we “actually value”.

You Tube Friday: Customer Service Chapter 3: Neiman Marcus (Are you authentic?)

18 01 2008

Are you authentic? I think authenticity is one of the most important qualities of a leader.

What does it mean to be authentic?

1. Care more about those you lead than your own image

2. Have a realistic view of your actual values

3. No matter your size always be willing to leave the 99 for the 1.

4. Reinventing yourself needs to start with values transformation not clever marketing. (Neiman Marcus is a perfect example of this.) Great commercial to bad it reeks of inauthenticity.

Katya has a great post about this. Check it out.

Customer Service Chapter 2: Lowes’ (Do you have a lot of stuff and no experts?)

16 01 2008

lowes logo

Today I want to talk about the need for “right” information.

I am not a super handy man. I can get by but that is another post for another day. Being a home owner forces you to visit Lowes from time to time. Lowes is a large store with lots of stuff, lots of people and lots of everything. Except one thing…. accurate helpful information.

I can’t count how many times I have hunted down someone wearing a blue smock to tap into wisdom about paint, plumbing, sheet-rock you name it. Only to be meet by blank stares followed by shoulder shrugs. Worse yet is when you are given inaccurate information.

Children’s ministry like many things is very much dependent on accurate information. We need to get the right answers to the right people so that we can reach everyone God has called us to reach. If our children’s ministries become about lots of stuff and lots of people we have failed.

Crowds don’t matter to God, but each individual in that crowd does.

How can we bolster authentic communication in children’s ministry?

1. Nice Big, Good looking signs. (BTW I am guilty of this one) I am not as passionate about signs as I should be. We are changing our signs with our kids wing remodel. For more on people who are passionate about signs check out Matt’s blog he is a great children’s pastor with a great blog and is OCD about signs.

2. Clear vision – God matters most! Each individual person matters second most!

3. Communicate where people are and how the liked to be communicated to. Mix it up – Don’t just use the church bulletin or phone-tree mix it up. Use email, facebook, texting, blogs, video and good ole face to face communication.

4. Write it out. Something I am doing right now is working with our albany campus pastor Gareth Gilpin on a policy handbook that is short to the point and makes sense.

5. Keep parents in the loop – Our job is work in concert with parents not in competition with them. We are to be another voice in the lives of their kids telling them they can do all things through Christ Jesus.

Customer Service Chapter 1: Tiffany’s (Do your values translate to a personal level?)

15 01 2008

Do the values of your church permeate your organization?
Tiffany’s is know for a few things.

1. Breakfast (just kidding)
2. Blue Boxes
3. Fantastic Customer Service

This Christmas I bought my wife a ring Tiffany’s for Christmas this year, here is what happened.

1. They guaranteed christmas delivery. It came three days late
2. It finally arrived but was scratched
3. The logo was tarnished

What they did.

1. I called. I was upset. They were fantastic.
2. They wrote a letter of apology.
3. They gave me a gift of Perfume for her.
4. They offered to return it to any store or pay the postage and mail it in.
5. Most importantly they were sincere.

What happened next.

1. I called Tiffany’s to see if I could have a friend return it with my receipt. They said no problem. So far so good.

2. My friend goes into a Tiffany’s store with the ring in the box with the original receipt. The lady at the Tiffany’s store said the ring looked worn (which is why we were returning it, ironically enough) and would not exchange it.

3. Luckily the manager intervened and the situation was rectified.

The bottom line.

Tiffany’s is all about the experience. The blue box comes with a large amount of expectations. They responded in an overwhelming way to my situation because they understand that they have expectations that need to be fulfilled. However, one employee who doesn’t get the values of the organization can put a bad taste in your mouth. That one employee who either doesn’t understand or buy into the experience you are trying to create can taint your organization, department, church. You know your values have translated when the person at the counter is passionate about the same thing that keeps the CEO up at night.

Do you check in people know what the “actual values” of your ministry are?
Do your sound people know?
Do the greeters and car parkers know?

Bottom line People matter to God – make sure you get the memo out.