A tale from the road to Catalyst:
I was fortunate enough to find four (!) interesting college / young adult ministry settings to visit in Louisiana. At one, I faced an all-too-normal situation: Missed opportunities to connect with a visitor.
Of course in this case, I was the visitor.
First, when I needed directions: A nice Greeter walked me to my destination, but it was actually silent almost our entire walk. Kudos for actually walking me to where I needed to go, but I was a “captive audience” for 3 or 4 minutes. Why not take that opportunity?
Second, when I was filling out the info card at the welcome table: The gal manning the welcome table seemed nice, but we didn’t talk once I started filling out the card. People can write their own name and address while chit-chatting, so why not use that time to connect with me?
I don’t mean to be picky, but I’m just trying to think like a minister. And that’s the point: I bet if the minister himself was walking me to the destination, or if the minister himself was manning the welcome table, we would have been chatting up a storm.
Most of our volunteers won’t naturally think like that. And why should they? They’ll do the job they’re assigned – like getting people to their destination, or getting people to fill out information cards. But they don’t see the bigger picture unless we’ve shown it to them.
Since very few (if any) of us college ministers are actually able to be omnipresent, we need to be really good at supplying our “surrogates” with all the tools, information, training, and gumption they need!
Written from the Baptist Collegiate Ministry at LSU