The key to growth as a church, youth ministry, or a business is getting first-time guests to come back. And as any good manager of a hotel, a store, a restaurant, or an attraction knows, the key to getting guests to come back is not actually the rooms or the product or the food itself; it's how guests feel when they're there. It's about hospitality. No matter how much effort and time we spend on excellencestirring worship time, inspiring sermons, a good coffee blend in the foyerwhat our guests really want when they come to our churches is to feel welcome, comfortable, and understood.
Written by a church consultant and a hospitality expert, The Come Back Effect shows church, ministry, and even business leaders the secret to helping a first-time guest return again and again. Through an engaging, story-driven approach, they explain how service and hospitality are two different things, show how Jesus practiced hospitality, and invite leaders to develop and implement changes that lead to repeat visits and, eventually, to sustained growth.
|Publisher:||Baker Publishing Group|
|Product dimensions:||5.40(w) x 8.40(h) x 0.60(d)|
About the Author
Jason Young is a hospitality, leadership, and emotional intelligence coach and communicator. He is director of guest experience at Buckhead Church and North Point Ministries, a nationally known network of churches with 36,000 people in average weekly attendance. He has also worked with numerous organizations, including Ford Motor Company, Life.Church, and Chick-fil-A. Jason has written for numerous publications and enjoys posting helpful content at jasonyounglive.com. He lives in Atlanta, Georgia.
Jonathan Malm runs SundaySocial.tv and ChurchStageDesignIdeas.com, reaching more than 70,000 church leaders each month. He has begun multiple businesses and consults with churches regularly on guest services and creative expression. Jonathan had the privilege of directing Echo Conference in 2013, a church conference with over 1,000 attendees. He lives in San Antonio, Texas.
Table of Contents
Foreword Andy Stanley 9
Authors' Note 15
1 Focus on Feeling as Much as Function 17
2 Create a Culture, Not a Job Title 33
3 Know the Guest 49
4 Be Fully Present 67
5 Think Scene by Scene 83
6 Recover Quickly 97
7 Observe Details, Because Everything Communicates 115
8 Reject "Just Okay" 129
9 Choose Values over Policies 145
10 Reach for Significance 161
Appendix: Example Psychographic Sheet 179
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
In The Come Back Effect, authors Jason Young and Jonathan Malm explain the importance of attending to experience of guests at churches and other ministries. Young and Malm draw on their personal experiences, both positive and negative, to draw the reader in. Although Young and Malm present some valid points and perspectives in The Come Back Effect, overall, the content carries a tone of marketing. I recognize that my experience of growing up in the church influences how I feel when I walk into a church. Others likely do not have this same experience. Yet, I repeatedly felt that the focus of The Come Back Effect was to impress people, instead of drawing people back by building relationships. At one point, Young and Malm use the cunning marketing ploys of a popular clothing brand to encourage churches to attract guests using all senses. While readers may consider the point of creating experiences using all senses, the comparison between a crude clothing brand and evangelism seemed unfitting. Still, readers will consider hospitality from a different perspective after reading The Come Back Effect. Small gestures will have greater meaning, and the importance of acknowledging the perspectives and feelings of visitors will spark conversation among ministry leaders and volunteers. Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book from the publisher in order to write an honest, unbiased review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.
Young and Malm ("YM") in The Come Back Effect seek to make a church's visitors feel welcomed, loved, and at ease. They offer suggestions that can promote the hospitable atmosphere the church ought to inculcate in her weekly gatherings. YM's distinction between "service" and "hospitality" is duly noted. We can be like Martha, so wrapped up in serving our guest that we neglect to be with them (20). Second, their point that you need to budget for hospitality if you claim to be hospitable is fair enough (45). Finally, focusing on "values" for your team rather than on policies allows greater freedom to achieve your desired ends, especially hospitality (146). Nevertheless, the book suffers from fundamental misconceptions of the church and her purpose. As helpful as their practical tips and tricks can be, they are rooted in a perspective that misunderstands and prostitutes the church. The Come Back Effect is a case study in the interrelationship between bad theory and bad practice. I have no desire to rehash arguments made by the discernment trolls from underneath their bridges, but they rightly point out serious flaws in the "seeker-sensitive" ecclesiological model, of which Andy Stanley is a chief example. YM's relationship to Stanley litters the pages of this book, and his influence is clear. Such deference is made to the "seeker," the guest, and the customer that one quickly forgets for whom the church was instituted. (Yes, your Sunday School answer is appropriate here: the church is for Jesus.) Sunday worship ought to discomfit an unbeliever. Such unease comes not from being unwelcome but from the stark discrepancy between members of god's kingdom and members of the anti-kingdom. The hospitality in this book goes beyond being hospitable to selling the experience of the church, which turns worship into a commodity and the elements into grotesqueries to be hidden away. The supernatural strangeness of the Christian body is swept under the rug, hidden behind baskets of breath mints and clever branding. A church more concerned with appealing to visitors than extolling Jesus Christ will not remain a church for long. It may retain its facilities and its membership, but the sine qua non of the church--the unadulterated worship of Jesus--will be understated again and again, for the sake of relevance. At what point does a church decide it will pander no further? The Come Back Effect is so steeped in marketing and the hospitality industry's understanding of hospitality-as-sales that the consideration is not even raised; in this respect, its frequent callouts to business-owners is unsurprising. The Come Back Effect could use a robustly theological account of the church. Its helpfulness is undone by this lack.
I thought that this book was spot on with what it contained. The writers did a good job in laying out the purpose and describing the best way to bring hospitality back into the church. The examples of how we aren't doing enough as a church were for the most part spot on. The one section that caught my attention was the part where someone needs $5,000 for a new music screen. They are approved. Someone else needs $10,000 for new curriculum. They are approved. Then another needs about $100 from a local deli to serve sandwiches to the homeless. They are encouraged to look for ways to pay for it on their own. OUCH! In a strange way, I think that is how some churches do look at the ministry. And when you see it in that perspective you realize that things are just a bit upside down. I would definitely recommend giving this book to leaders of the church and those on the hospitality team. Even those who are in the service ministry. This is a great book in opening the church doors and truly bringing in those who are seeking a welcoming church. It's one thing to say you are welcoming another to actually put it into action. This book was provided to be by Baker Books and was under no obligation to leave a review. All opinions are my own.
The Come Back Effect by Jason Young and Jonathan Malm is a book that I will use both when interacting with people at my church but also in growing my business. The keys are easy to put into practice, but they are keys that need to be used in order to be effective. Jason and Jonathan place the keys in an easily laid out manner, making them easy for people to follow, authentically. I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher and was under no obligation to post a review.
I’m going to begin this review in a rather unorthodox manner. With this book it works. Please don’t look at this and think this is an “I know everything so I wrote this book” kind of book. Authors Young and Malm tell us that they don’t know everything. But what they do know is incredible. The Comeback Effect is full of rich information that will help both the church and the business. And it’s full of humor. There were times I was cracking up while reading. Very common sense, the chapters are short enough to read quickly. But I truly have half of the book highlighted. While an easy ready, I gleaned a lot from it. What really stood out was to stop looking at the guest experience from my point of view, but to look at it from the guest’s point of view. Pretty obvious but seldom done. If you are involved in the area of hospitality in the church or in business this book is a must read! I received a complimentary copy of this book but was not required to leave a review.