We basically left the school the way we found it on Sunday morning at 6am. I asked our awesome plant manager to take out some of the cafeteria tables but 1/2 of them were left set up the way they are Mon-Fri. When you walked in it was still a cafeteria. Everyone sat at the tables instead of the normal seats in rows. We even left the trash cans out and everything! (See the video below)
We had a local sign shop make us 36 x 24 signs to put on the walkway poles where a volunteer normally would be. We had signs for greeters, children's ministry and the coffee and donuts! Yes no coffee and donuts! (See the video below)
We actually had the kids come into the service but when the parents went to where they normally check their kids in we gave them a goodie bag with crayons, coloring pages, some candy and a little American flag for Memorial Day. For the most part the kids we well behaved, it was a distraction, but that was the point!
Cardboard Cut Outs.
We also bought some cardboard cut outs to be a fake greeter and tech team. For the tech team they found the 3 Stooges... no comment :-) (See the video to see Mia and the tech team)
We made up some really nasty programs that people had to fold themselves... take a look:
Our staff had little gifts and treats for our current volunteers to show a little love. Some even had a drawing for a $25 gift card. Others gave out food. I had a cooler of drinks and donuts for the set up guys back stage. Little things that made them feel like they were in the know.
Other Creative Stuff.
We tossed out some beach balls during the first song just for fun. I did a posterboard countdown from 10 - 1. We put the offering baskets so the people in the seats had to be their own usher. And, I used a giant notepad for my message notes.
As we have looked back over a couple days now it was a huge win I think. We got new people to volunteer and everyone now knows what we are willing to do each week to make sure our guests feel welcome and like a VIP. To see my message just use the message player at the top of my blog here.
If you are thinking about doing a "No Show Sunday" send me an e-mail. I would love to share what we learned and learn from you as you do it even better! Here is the re-cap video of how it looked: