Imagine you’re in charge of Google’s plan to bring fast Internet to America’s cities. You need a bit of cooperation from city governments.

If you put yourself in Google’s shoes, you’ll know how church visitors feel.

Obscure rules that hinder entry. Inefficient communications. Hard-to-get information. Unwillingness to share. Indifference.

Government Challenges for Google

Those are a few of the hurdles the company faces in bringing Google Fiber service into new markets. In “Want Fiber? Do more to get it, Google exec tells cities” GigOm Staff Writer Jeff John Roberts reports on the difficulty of working with city governments.

Roberts cites Milo Medin, VP of Access Services at Google Fiber, who identifies some of the challenges local governments pose.

  • Byzantine permission processes
  • Ineffective communications (a fetish for faxes!)
  • Inaccurate information
  • Blocked access to key telephone pole infrastructure

Church Challenges for Visitors

Churches make the same mistakes.

They make it hard – in some cases extremely hard – for guests to

become second time visitors. Return guests find it difficult to join the shared congregational life.

City governments don’t purposefully hinder Google’s entry just to keep them out. But that’s the net result. It’s what happens when policies and rules that made sense aren’t regularly reviewed and revised.

Dittoes for churches. They aren’t trying to keep visitors from becoming part of the congregation. But ill-considered policies and rules are just as effective as a “Keep Out” sign posted on the front door.

Hospitality To-Do List

  • Answer all questions before your guest asks!
  • Map a clear and simple path for people to follow from first visit to complete engagement.
  • Put the entire guest experience into a staff member’s or reliable lay leader’s portfolio.
  • Quit Sunday behaviors that feel weird to visitors.
  • Have hospitality team members visit other churches.
  • Relentlessly train hospitality services.

If you like your results, keep doing what you do

“If you make it easy, we will come. If you make it hard, enjoy your Time Warner Cable,” Milo Medin, VP of Access Services at Google Fiber told a Washington D.C. audience on Tuesday.



  1. For crying out loud, will you get rid of the ritual handshake during the worship service? Remember, at least half the population is introverted. You may think you’re being hospitable, but you’re not. You are forcing people into a discomfort zone with an old ritual that no longer means anything!