So it’s been one crazy week and we’ve had this dream of updating our stage for the past year… Problem: no money. No problem. $400, a wild imagination, some incredible guys who figured out how to get things done and long hours and in the space of 5 days we take our stage through the following evolution… special thanks to Andy Hayes, Jon Chen, Angel Luckina, Joe Guzek, Paul Landon and Randell Lex.
I’ve twittered and written about my favorite show on TV on a number of occasions… for those that have not heeded my advice and check it out here’s a mouth watering sample… BBC America Monday 8pm and lots of other times throughout the week.
It’s been a busy week on for both the church and the childcare center fronts. Lots of painting and constructing. Here’s a few photos.
It snowed, but that’s no excuse not to have church. Had an incredible service this morning, music, art, dance, media… I’m so blessed to be around such talented people who wanted to work together to create an experience that would glorify God. Got home, watched a movie and shoveled the driveway twice… 2ft and counting. Off the Chicago for the Packers v Bears Monday Night Football game… -27 degrees should be fun times.
Enjoy the photos.
Recently a good friend of mine sent me email he had received from Bill Marriott (obviously a corporate email, but I really appreciated the attempts to make the experience a personal one… which is a mantra for the Marriott group). Anyhow it was a letter to rewards customers thanking them and sharing a little of what’s ahead for 2009. What caught my attention was check out “my blog.” Bill Marriott has a blog? I’m intrigued.
One of the best stories I’ve ever heard and a letter I read all the time when talking about the kind of culture we’re trying to create at Cornerstone is one a lady wrote to Mr Marriott when she ended up in one of his hotels on business and really needed to get back to home for her sisters funeral. She thanked him for the thoughtfulness, attention to detail and personal care that the Charles and the night staff treated her with. They had treated her as an individual. Anyhow when I saw that Mr Marriott had a blog I had to check it out… he’s a man running a huge corporation, travels to 300 of his hotels every year to give them his version of the white glove test and he writes a blog. Genius! You should check it out. Mr Marriott tells personal stories of why he does things the way he does, and why his hotels have ended up being the kind of hotels they are. He gives people the opportunity to share their stories, ideas and experiences – good, bad or indifferent. He’s having a conversation with his guests. Very smart and totally sincere.
I think the key to great customer service is to listen. The guest may not always say something, but if you listen carefully you’ll hear something, see something, perceive something that will allow you to serve them. Mr Marriott has created a culture on this idea, and created venue or vehicles by which his guests can participate, and they do so. I’ve noticed an increasing number of churches doing online surveys for their guests which is a great step. But if the Church is one of the only organizations on planet earth that exists for the benefit of it’s non members (and of course so that they can experience the kind of change those who have crossed the line of faith are experiencing) then how do we work at creating a culture, venues and vehicles where people are served. In the words of the Marriott organization it’s the “spirit to serve.” Let the conversation begin.
On a personal note, I’m so proud of what God has done amongst us at Cornerstone this fall. We’ve spent the entire fall and now the Christmas season talking about and putting into practice service as a value… and people have jumped in and been dreaming ways they can serve and make a difference. Whether it’s how we treat people when they come through our doors, deliver a Thanksgiving foodbox, serve at a homeless shelther or partner with an organization that’s already making a difference in our community. It’s that “spirit to serve” that has permeated our culture this fall. Way to go Cornerstone!
Yesterday was an incredible Sunday at Cornerstone. Rob Morris from Love146 brought the heat and reminded us what Christmas and Advent is all about. One incredible talk that required quite a few Kleenex. Cornerstone, you responded and gave an incredible offering to pour into Love146 and make a difference in the lives of kids. Thank you for your generosity.
On a personal note, we ended up at a couple of parties which was a whole lot of fun. We were invited to a party hosted by one of the parents from our scouts group… each year they host a party and ask everyone to bring items to support a local charitable organization. This year it was school supplies and crafts for kids… I love the generosity and thoughtfulness! I capped off the evening with 2.5 hours with a bunch of heading banging heavy metal musicians who hooked up with some classical musicians and put on this incredible light show (At one point I was heard to scream “all I want for Christmas is an LED curtain”). Enjoyed the event, but the squealing guitars did get a little too much after about 90 minutes. Maybe I’m just getting old. Trans Siberian Orchestra for those who are wondering.
Anyway the take away from this weekend and I guess this entire Christmas season, is that as we’ve sought to live it out a little differently and find small, creative but meaningful ways to make a difference it has become a contagious exercise for us personally and for the many people I’ve talked to. To give really is more incredible than receiving.