Easter Sunday is just days away. Considered to be the largest single church attendance day of each year, some churches report that attendance more than doubles on Easter, and other churches report the necessity of adding additional services to handle parking and seating. Even the neighborhood “I don’t need to go to church to have religion” arrive early to get a good seat for Easter Services. Is your church ready to welcome those in your community who plan to visit?
You’ve still got a few days to add volunteers to your Hospitality team. Considering that a visitor’s FIRST IMPRESSION of your church is their LASTing impression, make that first one great.
Five Minute Crash Course in Hospitality (For Front Line Hospitality volunteers)
- 1. Don’t ASSUME you know why someone is visiting. (Not everyone crosses the threshold as a “last resort for answers to their problems”, is angry at the previous church or new to the area). Smile and welcome them and let God take it from there. HE KNOWS their needs.
- 2. Keep an open body stance, this creates interest. Crossing your arms communicates that you want to put a barrier between yourself and them, keeping your hands in your pockets communicates that you are slightly ambivalent to their needs. Open body stance communicates that your are available for them and welcome them.
- 3. Don’t stand too close. About two feet of space creates a fair sense of safety, but honors their boundaries.
- 4. When you are “on duty”, DO NOT gather with other team members appearing to exclude others. Look for those who are looking for someone “in charge” (that’s you!).
- 5. Be sensitive to those who want to remain invisible or anonymous. They are just checking your church out. You don’t want it to be the wrong church for the wrong reasons.
- 6. Don’t be a know-it-all, using a bunch of churchy language, making them feel unworthy or illiterate in the ways of church. Speak with them as if you were welcoming family to your home.
- 7. Smile! They need to feel the love you have for Jesus and his believers, and they need to feel it from you…. for them.
Seems simple, right? I think so too. These are all the things I would do naturally, but believe it or not; this is not “common sense”. Not everyone is gifted with the ability to be welcoming to strangers, and feel awkward or ill equipped to do so. Even though this is a simple starting point, it is a starting point. Add to this list the other components that are important and unique to your church. As a ministry leader, make it your priority to communicate with your team so that they understand that they are NOT just holding a door or handing out a bulletin, THEY ARE THE MAKE OR BREAK opportunity for a 2nd visit!
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Blessed with the gift of gab and hospitality, Bev served as a staff member for a fast-growing church for almost a decade. Discovering her talent for helping people step out of their comfort zone, she began recruiting volunteers to serve in Children’s Ministry. As the church grew, her focus became the influx of visitors and the need to make sure they didn’t get lost in the growth. For this, she developed a full team of trained volunteers to create the “WOW, from the Street to the Seat”. Her success with this program lead to speaking engagements at churches across North Georgia, prompting a string of WOW experiences! Now, as Marketing Manager for Displayit at Church, she loves sharing her tips, tricks and ideas, that can make a real difference. “We’re all on the same team, the Jesus team. Let’s work together for the greater good!”