Guest Experience #4 – Face ‘What’s in the Way?’

“What’s in the way?”

This is part 4 in my series of posts walking you through the “Strategic Process” by exploring the guest experience in a hypothetical church scenario. The premise of the strategic process is based on the book, “Being Strategic” by Erika Andersen. You may read the rest of the series by clicking on the links below.

The Strategic Process includes Five Steps:

      1. Define the Challenge
      2. Clarify ‘What Is?’
      3. Envision ‘What’s the Hope?
      4. Face ‘What’s in the Way?’
      5. Determine ‘What’s the Path?’

Today we will Face ‘What’s in the Way?’ In this step we hope to identify any external or internal roadblocks that might prevent us from reaching our goal. This is where we compare the results of Clarify ‘What Is?’ with Envision ‘What’s the Hope?’  What might prevent us from reaching that goal? What’s standing in the way?

Understand, there’s a difference between the brainstorming you did in Clarify ‘What Is?’ and Face ‘What’s in the Way?’  The big difference is this.  In Clarify ‘What Is?’ we are looking at what we know about ourselves, the good, the bad, and the ugly. In Face ‘What’s in the Way?’ we are identifying what could end up stopping or sidetracking us from reaching our goal. It is a fine but very important distinction.

  • Internal Barriers: There are barriers that I would identify as internal barriers. These are the mindsets, beliefs, habits, fears, etc. that may prevent us from getting ‘there.’ For instance, there are key leaders in your church who are very critical of this vision, you have a fear of failure or the pastor before you already tried to address this area and failed These would count as internal barriers.
  • External Barriers: There are also barriers that I call external barriers. These are physical things or situations that may come against your goals. For instance, you and all of your leaders are already maxed out and have not time, nothing has been budgeted to address the area you want to improve.

Note: It’s not important that you identify a lot of barriers, or any barriers. What is important is that you take this step seriously and ensure you haven’t missed any barriers that may be present.

In Face ‘What’s in the Way?’ we will follow three guiding principles. you’ll find these are the same principles we applied to the question, Clarify ‘What Is?’:

  • Become a ‘Fair Witness’   (try to be objective in your evaluations)
  • Pull Back the Camera   (look at the big picture)
  • Sort for Impact   (identify what is most relevant to your problem and it’s potential solution and organize them into groups when possible)
Here we go:
Let’s apply this step in our hypothetical situation regarding the Guest Experience, and in particular regarding the goals regarding the host ministry we identified in my last post.

HOST MINISTRY: greeters, parking attendant, cafe host (coffee), friendly, trained to host guest in building, chairs saved for guests in sanctuary.
  • INTERNAL BARRIERS: many at church like the back seats in the sanctuary for themselves, some may have a hard time with us selling coffee/pastries in the sanctuary – feeling it is inappropriate.
  • EXTERNAL BARRIERS: we are in the middle of a capital campaign, many of our leaders are focused on the campaign.
Go to “Guest Experience #5: Determine ‘What’s the Path?'”


Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

You may also like