Leading Change
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How Do New People Experience Your Ministry?

Have you taken the time to learn how new people experience your ministry either by directly asking them or indirectly observing their responses? 

Check out this short video of two guys from Europe visiting Walmart for the first time. So many of their observations surprised me (and were hilarious!).

A couple observations from their point of view:

  • Iced Tea is served in the equivalent of automotive gasoline containers.
  • Why do any other shops exist when you can buy everything at Walmart?

After three years into building a ministry I noticed the culture change that my team pursued started to take affect. The upside was the majority of our current students were aligned to our mission, vision, and values. The downside was that we started to become less aware of how new people experienced us, since we worked so hard on change.

A couple questions that we asked ourselves frequently to stay in touch:

  • Who are we drawing into our ministry? Do they reflect the goals of our ministry?
  • How often are we explicitly stating our mission, vision, and values at the various activities and events we hold? It’s crucial to live things out but most new people need you to spell it out in detail.
What are some things you do to make sure you are creating the right experience for new people? 

Can’t see the video? Click here to watch it in your browser.


  1. So funny – I actually saw that “cheese and ham loaf” last night at walmart and thought the same thing – what the world??

    Great post – great stuff to consider.

  2. I should make a corresponding video here in Europe – where as an American things are really different and often strange. I couldn’t mock things as well though because I don’t speak the language yet used on the packaging of things. For me shopping involves lots of guessing and looking at the pictures on packages.

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