How to Get Feedback From First Time Guests with Ryan Wakefield (001)

July 2017

Subscribe and Review


Text in Church co-founder and host of Coffee with Pastors Tyler Smith speaks with guest Ryan Wakefield. Wakefield is a pastor with Summit Park Church and works for Church Marketing University, and has taken a unique approach to engage visitors and improve his ministry by utilizing surveys for outreach and valuable feedback.

Show Notes

[00:55] Smith introduces Ryan Wakefield, pastor at Summit Park Church in Kansas City.

[01:29] Utilizing a Master’s degree and marketing knowledge to improve ministry and fellowship.

[05:23] Wakefield’s main optimizing tool is the use of surveys, especially for new visitors.

[08:43] Wakefield explains the catalyst for implementing surveys – valuable tools to catalogue both positive and negative experiences.

[13:30] Smith points out that the surveys (and feedback) are driving the culture for Wakefield’s church.

[15:52] Survey Monkey is a way to engage new visitors via automated emails with survey links.

[18:48] The Coffeehouse Hot Seat

[24:49] Advice to stay laser-focused on your church’s main goals.

“Only churches looking to improve their service were looking for feedback.”

Coffee With the Pastors

Ryan Wakefield: Innovative Outreach

Ryan Wakefield is a man on a mission. Originally from Ozark, Missouri, he now utilizes his Master’s degree and marketing knowledge for his ministry at Summit Park Church in Kansas City. From running the children’s ministry to eventually leading the marketing team, Wakefield has worn many hats. However, his passion is outreach. As someone who is driven by spreading the Good Word, he has tapped into some unique platforms to increase visitors, fellowship, and ministry outreach.

One of Wakefield’s most invaluable tools has been implementing a survey, especially as a means to engage new visitors. “Surveys have made a huge impact on our church,” says Wakefield. “I would challenge pastors to (use surveys) to give your visitors a way to provide feedback.”

From Negative Experience to Positive Epiphany

The idea of a survey was borne out of a personal experience, a not so positive one as it turns out. While dining out with his family, Wakefield noticed there were no customer survey or feedback forms to lodge his grievances about the staff and service. Though frustrated, Wakefield had an epiphany; only companies looking to improve their service were searching for feedback. Wakefield was able to capitalize on the experience and provide a means to reach visitors to his own church. “On our survey we ask questions about their experience, not just checking the boxes.”

Depending on the answers, Wakefield can get an idea about areas that can use improvement and areas that he can celebrate with his team. Always wary about budgetary means, Wakefield suggests that pastors look into Survey Monkey as a tool, especially for smaller churches. The online survey will provide up to ten questions – free of charge – which can reveal a goldmine of feedback.

The Coffeehouse Hot Seat:

What book, other than the Bible, has impacted you the most?

  • How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie – “Teaches us to focus on the needs of others, not just ourselves.”

What is your favorite online tool or resource?

  • “Survey Monkey has had a huge impact on our church, also utilizing”

What is it about your ministry that keeps you up at night?

  • “Meeting families and lives that are changed by God, finding Jesus. Our (team’s) meeting starts with these stories.”

What are you most excited about for the next 90 days?

  • “How can I help other ministries reach more families and use social media to engage?”

Parting Advice:

Wondering about how to improve your own ministry’s engagement? Wakefield offers this one piece of parting advice: “Focus on ways to reach out spiritually, find those lost people, and bring back this mindset to your ministry.”