Food Service Ministry is a new idea for many churches, but the Global Association of Christian Hospitality Professionals (GACHP) is the first–and only–professional church food service organization available to churches who want to get involved in this area of ministry. This article addresses the many ways you can take advantage of this organization’s resources, and the fast track I recommend for lasting success.

The GACHP has been proud to be able to Inspire and Equip hundreds of Christian Hospitality Professionals around the nation for the past eleven years. However, like any organization, we can only offer the services and programs that we have, we can’t force them on the individuals involved with us and nor would we want to. Everyone is on their own journey in growth process, which means that everyone is at a different place in their ministry and in the service careers.

With that in mind, this year we are challenging every person involved in Christian Hospitality ministry to simply take a single next step towards growth in success, whatever that next step might be. The following is a basic list of ideas that one could make toward higher success and greater excellence that the GACHP recommends. It is not meant to be the exact path to everyone’s journey, merely a suggested path. Your path may be a little different and in a different order. Like everything else in life, you get out of something only to the level in which you put into it. Will you take the next step to your ministry’s success?

#1 Attend a National Conference
Perhaps you have only just heard about the GACHP and not yet attended one of the conferences we have held for the past ten years. Our conferences are the life blood of our organization. Not only are they the place where we get inspired and equipped to the next level in excellence but it is also where we get our spirits refreshed and renewed and our calling to ministry more secured. If you can’t attend ours attend another organizations conference or perhaps one day seminar or webinar to attend that will inspire and equip you in some way.

#2 Become a Member
Most of the GACHP conference attendees have been to 2 or more of our conferences. They have found tremendous value in the annual events. However many of those, once they leave to go home; don’t take it to the next level. Our membership includes many benefits including access to several hundred downloads of material that can and will help take your ministry to the next level. Again, if membership with us is not possible or applicable, find a group that you can belong to that does understand your world. We were never meant to do this alone.

#3 Get Certified
The GACHP is passionate about elevating the position of Food Service or Hospitality Director in the eyes of church leadership. We don’t believe it is important to do this to elevate the individual leaders themselves, but rather it is important to show church leaders how important it is to hire a professional in this area who also has a heart for ministry. That is why we strongly recommend getting certified through our organization and/or others that promote professionalism and excellence.

#4 Get Involved In a State Chapter
We firmly believe that getting involved is so important to growing in our ministries and our careers that if you had to choose between attend a few local chapter events and going to the national conference, that the local chapter will have a much greater impact on your ministry directly. Getting involved with other ministry leaders in your general area is like getting connected to a Sunday School class verses just going to the worship service only. Though we all certainly enjoy learning in a large group setting, you will have more deeper and meaningful growth in your life when you start to meet regularly with others in your world.

#5 Get Mentored
One very good way to take you ministry to the next level is get involved in a mentor relationship with another GACHP member. This need may be for a short season or ongoing. Perhaps it might be about a specific area of your ministry you need help in. This mentor relationship could be something as simple as knowing you always just have someone to pick up the phone and call with a question, spend time with at conference or even go and visit their ministry in action.

#6 Consider Inviting A GACHP Consultant To Your Ministry
Fresh Eyes! That is what we call it when someone who is not a part of our ministry comes to visit us. They bring something we can never again offer to our own facility, a fresh pair of eyes to see things that we may have not seen for years. A certified GACHP Consultant can offer that when they come and assess your ministry. Each consultation includes a comprehensive recommendations report that can strongly support your vision and goals for your ministry as you seek to take your ministry to the next level. It may be a Christian cliché but it is true nonetheless, iron really does sharpen iron.

#7 Get Involved
Finally, if you have done all these steps and are still looking for more, we believe the best way to keep growing is get involved in service and support to the GACHP. You can do this in a variety of ways including but not limited to; writing an article for the website and newsletter, volunteering at a conference, serving on a GACHP committee or even as a member of the board, volunteer to teach a breakout class at the next conference or lead a discussion at a chapter meeting, start or help another person start a local chapter, become a certified GACHP Consultant or perhaps you only have time to be a part time mentor for someone. You can also give to the GACHP scholarship fund so that others can come who otherwise might not be able afford to come.

Each of us can look at these steps and probably see where we are in our path to growth. We are challenging everyone this year to simply take that one next step that is right for you.

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