From NEXT to the Studio

Posted by David Hill on

Why and How We Changed How People Take Next Steps at North Point

Many great ideas eventually become like old couches. You know…that old couch in your grandmother’s living room that used to look nice but now looks old. No one sits on it because it’s not comfortable. But no one ever mentions getting rid of it because it has become a permanent, “special” part of the house.

At North Point, we recently came across something that was becoming an old couch. It was once the answer to a problem. Now it wasn’t as effective. It still worked, but not as well.

NEXT was our environment to help people take next steps towards community and join volunteer teams. Many people attended NEXT and became more engaged in our church. Over time, we noticed decreasing attendance, and a growing number of the people who attended were not following through with the steps they indicated they wanted to take.

One of our staff values is “Make It Better.” We always want to improve organizationally. So, we decided to make the process of how people engage with our church better. We created the Studio.

The Studio is our one-stop-shop for guests (anyone who is not paid to be at North Point) on Sundays. They can take steps toward volunteering, getting in a small group, connecting with our Care department, getting more information, etc. – all in this one location. New guests receive our new guest gift in the Studio too. It’s open before, during, and after every service.

While the ultimate win may be the same, the two environments are very different:

NEXT

The Studio

presentation to the guests

conversation with the guests

predetermined content – we told them what we wanted to tell them

guest’s questions guide the conversation – we talk about what they want to talk about

offered one or two times each month after each service

open every Sunday all Sunday

staff members represent the church

volunteers represent the church

an environment to attend (like a class)

a location to drop by

guest’s contact information collected

guest’s contact information collected only if step taken

guest could choose as many areas of interest as they wanted

guest only chooses one (maybe two) areas of interest after conversation

multiple staff get the guest’s information not knowing how interested they truly are

a staff member gets the guest’s information knowing this is the next best step for them

 

What are the wins of the Studio?

The Sunday Win

We win if every person has an easy and fast way to ask questions and take their next best step.  This means we need to describe the Studio well and clearly on our web site, from the stage, and in print pieces. We need to create the physical space for this environment in the right location. And we need to have the right people in the environment who are warm and friendly and who can help an individual determine their next best step. These volunteers need to be the masters of sincere, helpful, and brief conversations.

The Follow-Up Win

If you don’t have a solid follow-up system, your Sunday environment is a waste of time. How is a guest’s information and their desired step collected? How is this information passed off to the right leader of the ministry area the guest wants to take a step with? Who chooses who the “right leaders” are in each ministry area? What does the conversation between the person and the ministry leader sound like? What is the goal of the conversation? How do you track everything that happens after Sunday? All of these questions and more make up the follow-up system.

The Ultimate Win

We win if a person takes his or her next best step. The Sunday Win and the Follow-Up Win should both lead to the individual taking a step. If a step is not taken, you must evaluate what is going wrong. Where is the breakdown in the process?

Currently, we are seeing two of the three wins happening – The Sunday Win and the Follow-Up Win. We’re able to track the number of people we’re talking with in the Studio and compare it to the number of people who attended NEXT. We’re able to talk to our ministry area leaders about the conversations they’re having. We’re able to track the guests through the follow-up system.

The Studio is too new to know if individuals are taking their next best step. We’ll be able to track that soon. If they are, then we’re winning! We’ll still constantly evaluate it and look for ways to improve. If they aren’t, we’re not winning. Then we’ll have to dissect the entire process and “Make It Better” again.


 

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Wondering how North Point does something? Email Christy 

She’s our Customer Advocate. You can think of her as your personal expert, answer-finder, coach, and maybe even new best friend. Or, if you want to hear her Southern accent, call her at 1 (866) 866-5621.

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