Church Visitors and John, My New Dry Cleaner

I have a new dry cleaner, his name is John.

This is a pretty big deal for me because John’s store is fifteen minutes out of my way, and I pass easily a half dozen dry cleaners on my way to see him.  Most people reading this will think me nuts for being so passionate about my new dry cleaner, because a dry cleaner is a dry cleaner… right?  So, why am I so excited about John?  It isn’t because his website is the most incredible around, or because of the English/Korean NIV that is within his reach whenever I walk in (though, I think that is kinda cool).  It is because John understands the importance of connection.

A couple of weeks ago I had just gotten back from a trip to Baltimore and was getting ready to leave again for Atlanta and I needed to get my shirts cleaned so that I wouldn’t smell funny at my meetings.  Because of the quick turn around between my trips, I needed to drop my shirts off late Saturday and have them ready first thing Tuesday morning so that I could hop my flight.  For some reason, this was a difficult request for the normal list of cleaners that we had used.

Then I met John.  I walked into his store, handed over my shirts, and he promised them back in time for my next trip.  I left his store and went about my day.  Tuesday morning came and I went in for my shirts.  He saw me, said “hi”, and grabbed my shirt… without asking for a name, phone number, my receipts (which is fortunate since I had forgotten them… again), or anything.  On Friday, two and a half weeks later, I dropped off another batch of shirts and he remembered me… and now calls me by name.

People like to be remembered.
People love to be called by name.

This Christmas season our churches will have the opportunity to connect with many seasonal visitors for the first time.  I am willing to drive fifteen minutes out of my way to use a dry cleaner who remembers me and calls me by name.  Do the staff in your parking lot and at your front door inspire people to wake up early on a Sunday morning and come back to your church?

How are YOU developing the teams that have first contact with visitors?


About the Author: Matt Steen

I love Jesus, Theresa (my wife), the Redskins & Capitals, and am currently living in Waco, Texas where I am studying the finer points of BBQ (while working on my MDiv and MBA at Baylor University). When not studying, I serve church leaders through and am the Director of Connections for Harris Creek Baptist Church's Downtown Campus.