Learning from Marriott Hotels

My wife Louise and I recently traveled to Scottsdale, AZ so that I could be seen for a medical procedure. When we travel we do our best to find a Marriott Hotel, consider us the loyal customer type! Our recent hotel stay reminded us why we chose Marriott.

As we walked up to the property a man immediately said, “Hello, welcome to Marriott. We are glad you are here. Can I take your bags and replace it with a bottle of water?” Our next stop, checking into the hotel. A young lady said, “We are glad you chose to stay with us.” She continued, “Thanks for your loyalty to us here at the Marriott. Because of that loyalty, we have upgraded your room. Enjoy your stay with us, we are glad you are here.”

After a long day of travel, we both slept great that night. As I made my way to the bathroom in the morning, I saw a bug scurry across the floor. It was so large it looked like you could put a saddle on it. He had a few friends with him and they were not in the mood for company so they made a break for it and held up under the bathroom sink.

Immediately, I thought to myself if Louise has the same encounter I just had, she may have died of a heart attack or certainly let a scream rip so loud the entire Scottsdale community would hear of it! Without sharing the details with Louise, I made my way back to the lobby and advised the front desk of my findings.

The young lady at the front desk was gracious and compassionate. She said, “Mr. Moulton I am so sorry this happened to you. We want to make sure you and your wife have a great stay with us. Allow us to make this up to you.” She immediately waived the room charges for that night and then proceeded to upgrade our room yet again to one of their largest suites. We continued our lengthy stay with no other encounters with bugs.

We did start to notice that this hotel had a commitment to excellence and the staff was friendly, very friendly. It was the kind of staff who seemed happy to be at work. You don’t see that every day! But then my wife watched a new employee being trained by the pool. His task, make sure all the pool lounge chairs are even or in a straight line. From the naked eye, they all looked straight to us.

The person doing the training said the words to the new employee that floored us. He said, “Every detail matters, it all matters.” The person doing the training then proceeded to move the chair about a half inch forward. There you have it, modeling the little things because details do indeed matter at the JW Marriott Camelback Inn.

Here is what I learned from my experience at Marriott

  • The front desk person was trained to listen to the entire story
  • The front desk person was trained to take responsibility
  • The front desk person was able to make a decision on the spot, to right the situation and satisfy the client
  • It is possible to have happy employees who love their jobs
  • Employees are trained to understand that little details matter

There would be some that say a hotel is a hotel, they are all the same. Louise and I would beg to differ. Little things do indeed matter and doing the little things adds up in this case to a client for life. Well done Marriott!

Social Media Strategy and Expectations for Key Leaders

Social Media Strategy and Expectations for Key Leaders

A famous author once said you can’t hit a target you can’t see. So what is the social media target you want your team to hit? If you don’t know, trust me they are hitting a target, just not likely the one you want them to hit.

You have likely already had to deal with the aftermath of an overzealous leader letting it rip in the Social Media stratosphere. If you haven’t, you will! Assuming, of course, you have no strategy in place.

Friend, you need to cover the topic of Social Media in your training as you would for any other important topic when processing a new employee or volunteer. The reason, to protect the reputation of your church and those who call the church home.  Unfortunately, it only takes one person to create the wrong kind of buzz and stir up the hornets’ nest.

When a team member lets loose on Social Media I think most of us can agree it causes more harm than good. Many times it causes dissension or division, and rarely do we see folks come to a blood stained cross!

So what do you want to see from your key leaders as it pertains to interacting on Social Media?  That is a question you need to ask and then place those thoughts on a sheet of paper.  If you find yourself with writer’s block, ask yourself what you don’t want to see and soon the words will start flowing.

You will quickly come up with your list. Let’s call that list your rough draft.  Get another set of eyeballs on your list. Ask a trusted team member or two what you may have missed. Continue to tweak until you have a written Social Media Strategy for Key Leaders.

Make it simple, for example here is what we want to see:

  • Be seen as a person who is gracious and kind
  • Celebrate what God is doing in your life or the church
  • Promote events; men’s, women’s, singles, guest speakers
  • Bible verses
  • Share resources that are approved by your church
  • Celebrate family moments. Bragging on your kids, wife, etc.
  • Encouraging others
  • Modeling Humility, Care, Love

Here is what we don’t want to see

  • Posting toxic or contentious topics
  • Crude jokes
  • Spilling your dirty laundry
  • Pictures of friends and family in bathing suits
  • Pictures of people partying
  • Responding to posts or going back and forth with others on a volatile subject

The lists are meant to get you thinking. You need to create lists that best serve your church.  The intent here is to have a standard and to have the Social Media conversation. Dealing with it on the front side may save you pain on the back side. Lastly, we are called to honor Christ in all that we do and that includes our conduct with Social Media.

Does Your Leadership Team Exercise Maturity While Using Social Media Platforms? Part 2

The story depicted in Part 1 of this blog post has become commonplace. Social media at one time was the darling of the church. It provided a helpful way to communicate with our church family and even allowed us to reach outside of the church community.

Countless churches have benefited a great deal from social media, seeing improved communication and reduced costs. Social media is simple and in most cases free, hence the reason why just about every evangelical church in America uses it.

So how do we ensure that social media continues to add value to the churches we serve and minimize the potential negative impact? It ultimately comes down to clearly articulating your social media strategy. Here are 5 simple steps to help your church to develop a Social Media Strategy.


  1. What does your church want to achieve by using Social Media?
  • Get some of your key leaders in a room with a whiteboard and spend 45 minutes going over what you want to see social media do for your ministry. Write everything down! Then distill that list down to 3-5 items.


  1. “We never want to see this!”
  • With those same leaders in the room, talk about what you don’t want to see on your social media pages. To get your mind going, think of what you have seen on other pages that was divisive or unhelpful. Write it down! What you don’t want will help get you closer to what you do want.


  1. Who currently has password access to Social Media at your church?
  • Take inventory of what team members are currently posting to your social media platforms. You may be surprised how many team members have logins and post sporadically.  If possible, keep the number limited to no more than two. Less is more and helps you to stay consistent and on message. Change your password if necessary!


  1. Expect unintended consequences.
  • For example, if you have agreed as a team not to use social media to post on hot topic issues such as Politics & Social Issues, many will be disappointed. Be patient with those who may not agree. Ensure they know you realize these topics are important and your church is committed to addressing them in different ways. Still, you need to learn how to say no to a lot of requests.


  1. Get Started
  • Your social media strategy can change but you must get started.  If you continue your ministry without a plan for social media you will likely pay a price. Again, get started!


Sample Social Media Strategy

  • We use Social Media to achieve the following 3 things:
    • Inform and communicate: what is going on in the church, upcoming events, dates, times, addresses, etc.
    • Celebrate wins: baptisms, pictures of women’s events, etc.
    • Paid advertisements which promote our church or events


Next Week’s Blog:

Social Media Strategy and Expectations for Key Leaders


Does Your Leadership Team Exercise Maturity While Using Social Media Platforms? Part 1

Maturity for some, well, it’s like the color gray. How many shades of gray does your team play with? We have all been there when someone on the team lets a post get out of control on Social Media and it garners attention and a high response.

The calls and emails begin to trickle in. The dialogue starts something like this, “Hey Pastor, what do you think about that post on Facebook?”  Immediately, you get a front row seat and begin to gauge the perceptions of those who have brought the matter to your attention.

Your next move is to view the post yourself and you find yourself perplexed. Wondering, what in the world was my leader thinking!  Just when you think it could not get any worse it does. Your leader has decided to respond to each person who disagreed with him and he does so publically for all to see.

Clearly, he is passionate about his position and even uses Bible verses to drive home the point! Much of what was said was true, yet it was not so much what was said but how it was said.

Eventually, the post loses steam and it’s no longer a subject matter for the masses, yet it has not left your mind. As a Pastor, you know you must have a conversation with this leader.

You desire to show your leader a more excellent way.  You begin the dialogue and quickly you realize your leader thinks he did a good thing! Of course, he recognizes he got a little heated but he lets you know that Apostle Paul got heated on many occasions as well.

Trying to keep the meeting on track and knowing this is a coaching opportunity, you thank him for his zeal and love for the truth and you remind him of what God’s Word says as it pertains to grace. You share with this brother that we are to use both Grace & Truth. You point this brother to verses on humility and the fruit of the spirit. He nods his head up and down and then says the unthinkable.

“Pastor, I think we see Social Media and the use of it differently!”