The Church That Dazzles!


Dazzle: “to overpower with too much light” or “to confuse, surprise or delight by being or doing something special or unusual.” Do you know of any organizations that use the word “dazzling” to describe themselves? When is the last time your church dazzled?

Anyone with a connection to Ann Arbor, Michigan cannot fail to know about Zingerman’s. With three University of Michigan graduates in my family, I have been to both Zingerman’s Delicatessen and Zingerman’s Roadhouse more than once.


Zingerman’s dazzles! Started as a deli in 1982 by Paul Saginaw and Ari Weinzweig in an historic building near the Farmer’s Market in Ann Arbor, Zingerman’s has expanded into a collection of small food-related business in the Ann Arbor area that are operated by partners who share ownership.

  • Imagine how your congregation might dazzle if your church mission statement reflected the energy and pleasure of Zingerman’s mission.

We share the Zingerman’s Experience; Selling food that makes you happy; Giving service that makes you smile; In passionate pursuit of our mission; Showing love and care in all our actions; To enrich as many lives as we possibly can.

Does your worship elicit joy? Do guests to your church feel the love and leave with a smile on their face? Do your ministries enrich the lives of church members as well as those you serve?


  • Imagine how your congregation might dazzle if you followed Zingerman’s Guiding Principles.

Great Food!

Authentic worship services that engage all the senses and surprise with their creativity are essential to attract new people.

Great Service!

Is your primary focus on serving guests who come to your church as well as people in need outside of your church?

A Great Place to Shop and Eat!

Here is how Zingerman’s describes it. “We provide a dazzling environment for our customers and staff. It’s neat! It’s clean! It’s Zingerman’s! Floors are swept and mopped constantly, windows sparkle, employees fall to the floor, colliding with each other as they race to clear each table before the guest has hardly moved away from it.”

How do your church buildings and programs sparkle with energy?

Solid profits!

Is your church serious about cultivating generosity and stewardship for the sake of God’s mission in the world?

A Great Place to Work!

Does your staff love what they do and have fun, and do you treat them well?

Strong Relationships!

Do you encourage each other to increase in grace and hope and become your best selves?

A Place to Learn!

Are you providing continual opportunities for spiritual growth?

An Active Part of Our Community!

Would your community notice if you weren’t around anymore?


  •  Imagine how your ministries might dazzle if you had a long term vision for your congregation.

In 2006 Zingerman’s began creating a vision for the year 2020. The vision was written by the managing partners of Zingerman’s Community of Businesses and reviewed and enhanced by hundreds of staff members.

Zingerman’s 2020 Vision document says, “We’ve successfully applied the model of sustainability to all aspects of our work. Today in 2020 everyone and everything we engage with – in our personal and professional lives; our business and community; our customers and staff; our suppliers and environment – are better than they were when we embarked on this vision fifteen years ago. We have created a community of businesses where people willingly bring their whole selves to work. We feel free to express ourselves and tap into our deepest creative potential. We believe in what we are doing and integrate our sense of purpose into who we are.”

Does your congregation have a vision for the future? Can you see beyond 2016 or even beyond the next month? Do you know where you are headed? Any congregation can begin to dazzle by looking at each aspect of its ministry with new eyes.

How can your building dazzle? It doesn’t have to be new, but it also doesn’t have to look cluttered, tired or dirty.

How can your nursery dazzle? Parents today expect that we are ready and capable of caring for their little ones with tenderness and competence. New toys and equipment and friendly faces indicate to parents how much we really care about families.

How can your worship dazzle? Great leaders bring their most creative planning to worship, with high energy, inspiration, opportunity for silence and meditation as well a constant challenge to connect faith with the world.

How can your electronic and print communications dazzle? Adapting to the changing face of electronic communication through an attractive church website and social media is no longer an option.

How can your staff and congregation members dazzle? Guests have positive first impressions when they are cheerfully engaged with smiles, hospitality and genuine warmth.

How can your programs dazzle? Vital churches understand that families, couples and singles are all looking for opportunities to grow spiritually, nurture their children in the faith and make a difference in the world.

Zingerman’s Vision for the Year 2020 includes this paragraph, “We know that we are a small presence in the universe; we make and sell food. Rather than focusing on a few grand gestures, we take hundreds and thousands of small actions with great passion and great love. We are changing the world with every transaction.”

Every church can dazzle! And every disciple can dazzle! When we believe that we change the world with each handshake, each hug, each kind word, each song, each Sunday school class, each youth group meeting, each outreach project, each hospital visit and each prayer, it will happen. How will your church surprise and delight by dazzling this week?

2 thoughts on “The Church That Dazzles!

  1. Each one of us is an important link that can expand or contract our vision and mission to make disciples of all. We never know when we will have the opportunity to dazzle or even better, be dazzled. If we expect to be successful, we are more likely to succeed. What a journey it could be.

  2. Fantastic use of Zingerman’s Guiding Principles to create guidelines for our church…and every church. I encourage you to include this in the next Steeple Notes to make it available to our entire congregation. What a difference it will make!

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