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Rating Church? 'Secret Shoppers' Helping Pastors

It's a new wrinkle to an old concept: Pastors are using "mystery shopping" to evaluate and improve people's experiences at their churches. Read Transcript


DON'T BE NERVOUS.

I'VE GOT TO BE STRAIGHT

WITH YOU.

YOU'RE ON UNDERCOVER BOSS.

Reporter: FOR

UNDERCOVER BOSS --

YOU HAVE TWO NEW SERVERS

WHO JUST STARTED.

THEY ARE UNDERCOVER MYSTERY

DINER WAITRESSES.

Reporter: TO MYSTERY

DINERS, IT NOT ONLY CREATES

POPULAR TELEVISION SHOWS, IT

IS ANSWERING THE PRAYERS OF

SOME CHURCH LEADERS.

THE CONCEPT OF THE SECRET

CHURCH SHOPPER IS NOT

ORIGINAL TO ME.

Reporter: BUT THOMAS

HAR HARRISON HAS ADD ED THE

ANGLE OF MYSTERY

WORSHIPPER.

EVEN THE AMERICAN MEDICAL

ASSOCIATION RECOMMENDS TO

THEIR DOCTORS TO HAVE SECRET

PATIENT SHOPPERS.

Reporter: AND THIS

FORMER PASTOR GETS CALLS

FROM CHURCHES ACROSS THE

COUNTRY TO SECRETLY CHECK

THINGS OUT.

I NEVER KNOW, WHEN THE

PHONE RINGS, IF IT IS NEW

YORK OR CHICAGO OR

LOS ANGELES OR SOME OTHER

PLACE.

I HAVE THE MOST INTERESTING

QUESTIONS THAT PEOPLE ASK

ME.

Reporter: HARRISON

FINDS SOME MOST INTERESTING

THINGS ON THESE VISITS.

I'VE NOTICED POISON SUMAC

GROWING IN THE FLOWERBEDS

NEXT TO THE MAIN ENTRANCE.

FOUR FOOT TALL.

CHURCHES ARE CLUTTERED.

THEY HAVE COLLECTIONS OF

MATERIALS IN VARIOUS

PLACES.

AND THERE SEEMS TO BE NO

ORDER.

IF YOU THINK ABOUT IT, WE DO

THAT AT OUR HOME, TOO.

THERE HAVE BEEN OCCASIONS,

HONESTLY, WHEN I HAVE

ENTERED THE WORSHIP FACILITY

AND EXITED AND NO ONE HAS

SPOKEN TO ME.

Reporter: HARRISON

ATTENTION TO DETAIL IS ONLY

EXCEEDED BY HIS HEART, FOR

HELPING CHURCHES REACH MORE

PEOPLE TO HEAR THE GOSPEL.

WE FOLLOWED HIM ON A VISIT

TO MASON CITY CHRISTIAN

CHURCH IN ILLINOIS.

I'M REALLY EXCITED ABOUT

WHAT MR. HARRISON -- THE

MINISTRY HE HAS, AND I WANT

TO SHARE IT WITH A LOT OF

PEOPLE, BUT I HAVE TO KEEP

THAT TO MYSELF.

Reporter: PASTOR JOE

BAZINO INVITED HARRISON, BUT

HE IS JUST A BIT NERVOUS

ABOUT WHAT HIS CHURCH

MEMBERS WILL THINK WHEN THEY

FIND OUT.

IT IS ALMOST LIKE YOU'VE

BEEN PUNKED.

I THINK THERE WILL BE A GOOD

RECEPTION.

I'VE BEEN WORKING WITH MY

LEADERS HERE AT THE CHURCH,

DOING A LOT OF LEADERSHIP

TRAINING.

Reporter: WHEN THE

PASTOR FIRST CAME TO LEAD

THE MASON CITY CONGREGATION,

IT WAS MEETING HERE IN THIS

BUILDING AND HOVERED TO

ABOUT 200.

IT QUICKLY GREW TO 400

MEMBERS STRONG AND

RELOCATED.

BUT IT HAS HOVERED AT THAT

400 NUMBER FOR THE PAST FEW

YEARS.

SINCE WE MOVED INTO THE

LARGER BUILDING, WE HAVE

BEGUN TO ATTRACT PEOPLE FROM

SURROUNDING TOWNS AND

VILLAGES AROUND HERE.

SOME DRIVE 30 MILES.

SOME DRIVE 40 MILES.

WE'VE ALSO NOTICED IN OUR

CHURCH THAT WE'VE HAD PEOPLE

COME, BUT THEY'LL STAY FOR A

WHILE AND THEN THEY'LL

LEAVE.

AND WE TRY TO SEEK TO REACH

OUT TO THEM.

SO THERE HAS BEEN A LITTLE

BIT OF -- FOR LACK OF A

BETTER WORD, A REVOLVING

DOOR.

MANY TIMES THE EXPERIENCE

THAT A GUEST WILL HAVE AT A

CHURCH DETERMINES WHETHER

THAT GUEST RETURNS TO BECOME

A MEMBER OR NOT.

Reporter: WITH THAT IN

MIND, HARRISON PAYS CLOSE

ATTENTION TO HOW CHURCH

MEMBERS GREET GUESTS.

AFTER ALL OF THESE YEARS,

ONE STORY STILL STANDS OUT.

THOUGH HE WOULD NEVER REVEAL

WHERE IT HAPPENED --

DURING THE FELLOWSHIP

TIME, WHERE EVERYONE IS

SHAKING HANDS, A WOMAN

BEHIND ME LEANS OVER PAST ME

TO SHAKE THE HAND OF THE

WOMAN IN FRONT OF ME.

AND IN THE PROCESS DOESN'T

SAY HELLO, MOVE, YOU'RE IN

MY WAY, OR ANYTHING.

SO I FEEL ABANDONED WHILE

EVERYONE ELSE IS SHAKING

HANDS.

AND I'M JUST STANDING HERE.

AND PRIOR TO THAT, I HAD

BEEN BUMPED FROM MY SEAT TWO

TIMES.

Reporter: HARRISON

URGES CHURCHES TO MAKE

REACHING PEOPLE WHO ARE NEW

TO THE CHURCH EXPERIENCE A

TOP PRIORITY.

SO AFTER EVERY VISIT, HE

DELIVERS A 30 TO 50-PAGE

REPORT TO HELP THE CHURCH

IMPROVE.

IT IS BASED ON THE FIVE-STAR

CHURCH, A BOOK DEDICATED TO

CHRISTIAN EXCELLENCE.

THE SAME GOD WHO CALLED

US ALSO MADE US.

AND THERE ARE OCCASIONS WHEN

I BODY DOES NOT FUNCTION THE

WAY GOD INTENDED OR

DESIGNED.

AND WE HAVE TO GO TO A

DOCTOR OR A PHYSICAL

THERAPIST.

AND THE SAME GOD THAT HEALS

US ALSO PROVIDES THESE

OCCUPATIONS.

SO IT IS ALL ABOUT

DIAGNOSIS.

IT IS A SNAPSHOT OF WHAT IS

HAPPENING IN THIS

CONGREGATION AT THIS MOMENT

IN TIME.

Reporter: AND THAT'S

THE PICTURE PASTOR BRAZINO

HOPES WILL HELP HIS MEMBERS

MAKE A DIFFERENCE.

ALL OF US, AS PASTORS, WE

HAVE BLIND SPOTS.

AND NO MATTER HOW MUCH

RESEARCH WE DO OR WE SEEK TO

IMPROVE WHAT WE'RE DOING FOR

THE GLORY OF GOD AND THE

EFFECTIVENESS OF HIS

KINGDOM, I THINK THERE ARE

AREAS WE ALL COULD IMPROVE

ON.

Reporter: EPHRAIM

GRAHAM, CBN NEWS, MASON

CITY, ILLINOIS.

EMBED THIS VIDEO


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