This past Saturday evening, I had the chance to visit Oak Leaf Church, a campus of West Ridge Church. This campus is portable, meeting at a music venue in Cartersville, GA creatively named the “House of Rock“. Each time I visit a new church, I try to clarify a few takeaway concepts to apply in my own experiences. These are the takeaways from my Oak Leaf visit:
1. When you’re portable, brand everything.
Just about everything at
House of Rock Oak Leaf Church is branded. From the parking lot, to the front patio, to the lobby, to the auditorium, it is impossible to forget where you are. Even the bathroom stalls had temporary Oak Leaf posters up. In a portable location, you constantly have to remind people that they are not in House of Rock, Washington High School, Regal Cinema, but are actually in your church. This is especially difficult since many visitors probably visit that business or school as it is during the week. So make the space your own. It must look and feel very different every time you are there.
2. Allow your volunteers to really own their roles.
I was directed into the parking lot by a young, 20-something year old male. Where most parking volunteers just mildly wave an orange flag in a vague direction, this guy stood in the middle of the street, leaped in the air, and swung the flag like he was hitting a home run every time a car came by. Was it a little weird? Yes! But did I laugh out loud and immediately feel a little more comfortable about my visit? Absolutely! I can’t imagine that anyone ever suggested to this volunteer, “Hey, it’d be really great if you acted ridiculous in the middle of moving traffic!” But this young man was given permission to own his position in his own way. And his way made my visit, and I am sure that of many others, memorable from the very start.
3. Treat everyone like a first-time guest.
On every single seat at Oak Leaf is a visitor information card. Could they have just kept them at the Guest Services center? Yes. Would that have been a lot easier? Surely. But would every single guest receive one? Nope. So to ensure that every guest is treated appropriately, we must treat every person as a guest.