I get the opportunity most weekends during worship to be on the corners watching and greeting new families and visitors that come in through our doors. It can be super overwhelming as you are trying to say hello to that family that was here 3-4 weeks ago, say hello to my friends, get that one fringe kid connected with the youth pastor, go up and comfort that nervous mother with a child who won’t stop crying to let them know everything is ok, all while keeping your eyes pealed for those new faces to say hello to and help in making them feel at home.
We have an incredible minister, Gloria, who coordinates all of our volunteers at our church. We have the door greeters, and the welcoming wagon, and the first impressions crew, we even have folks who call all our visitors to chat with them, and our senior pastor is great at remembering peoples names meeting those new faces, introducing them to the whole church, letting folks know who is who as well. We seem to have a lot of it in place.
But I can’t help but think about those ’1st timers’ and what their thoughts are when they walk in those doors for the 1st time. Are they overwhelmed? Underwhelmed, annoyed, excited, shy, frustrated, feeling of “These people don’t really care”.
I have visited a lot of churches where I feel like I was just greeted by the Walmart greeter. It is so cold, so unreal & unauthentic. I know, I hope I know anyways, the sincerity of the heart behind it is to try & help people feel welcomed to your gathering. But something that hit me this weekend is the truth that if they don’t feel welcomed on Sunday do you think they will feel any more welcomed later on in the week by a mailer?
You can’t catch every new visitor, well you could actually & should but I’ll cut you some slack, but what are somethings that your ministry does that welcomes people authentically into your gathering? Do you have teams? What do they do? How do you gauge your effectiveness?
I think we do a good job at Faith Community. But I know we aren’t perfect. We are wanting to move beyond our staff being the greeters & face & better at equipping our entire gathering to be the smiling face, helping hand, & welcoming host for those who come through our doors. So what do you do?