Saturday, April 30, 2011

Encouraging Emails

One of the many privileges of doing what I do is getting a fairly steady stream of encouraging emails into my inbox. These come from all sorts of people - Kerith regulars, visitors, people who have been at a conference, all different sorts of people. And people have all sorts of reasons for writing these emails - an act of kindness from someone in our community, a sermon that really spoke to them, a service that touched them, a course which has changed them or something else the church has done which has helped them in some way.

I recently got one of those emails from a guy called Gary Schwammlein. Gary is the Executive Vice President of the Willow Creek Association, and is in large part responsible for the global reach of the Global Leadership Summit, which now runs in over 70 countries and reaches well over 100,000 leaders every year. Gary wrote to me after seeing the feedback from the John Burke / James Emery White conference we hosted last month, and I really wanted to share it with you all as it relates not to something I have done, but to all of us as a church, and the culture we are building as a community, not only in our conferences but in all that we do.

I hope it encourages you as much as it encouraged me.


Dear Simon,

I reviewed the feedback comments from attendees at the recent Willow event at your church . What really caught my attention were the comments from participants about the way they were served at your church. Its very seldom that we get this number of positive comments about the way  guests have been served. You ought to be rightly proud of your leadership and example and that of Ben and the volunteers in your church.  Thank you seems so small and insufficient a gesture to express the gratitude we have at Willow for your years of service done with such excellence.  We appreciate you highly.

Please let your volunteers know that their service inspires us to give our very best in what we do, and let them know that their kindness and ways of serving their guests does not go unnoticed. Below are a number of the comments I extracted from the feedback we received. May it be an encouragement and serve as a blessing to you and your people.

I appreciated the great welcome I received from the large Kerith team of people making us feel valued and providing such a great venue.

...and the army of volunteers who combined to produce a brilliant conference.

.We were exceptionally touched by how friendly the welcome team was at Kerith Community Church and were appreciative of the constant tea and biscuits which were of exceptional standard I might add

As for the venue, it was second to none and the volunteers were so helpful and kind ...  must be commended.



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