What are you doing to help your guests feel welcome? This is more than just doing the right things. It gets down into your genuineness, your unrushed care, and your desire to connect. Do you look at them as invited guests or as uninvited visitors? Are you trying to be friendly or to develop lasting friendships? Are you doing a job or trying to create relationships?
I want to suggest these actions below, but look behind the action to your attitude. Add prayer and our Lord's concern to all you do. Which of these actions do you have in place? Which need to be added? Which need the addition of the right attitude?
- provide church greeters to welcome and register guests and take them to classes
- refer to them as guests rather than visitors
- when inviting guests, meet them at a specific location; your presence will be reassuring
- enlist class greeters in all youth and adult classes to greet members and guests
- call people by name
- use name tags
- listen to class participants and seek participation
- add relationship-building activities into the lesson each week
- don't water down the truth or use churchy words
- don't embarrass guests by asking them to read or pray aloud without their prior permission
- set out to make a friend with every guest
- invite them to enroll--we all like to be invited!
- greeter introduces guest, sits with guest, and takes to restroom/children/worship after class
- greeter calls guest to thank him/her for attendance, invite to a class fellowship, and to ask and pray for prayer requests
- assign guests to care groups to lovingly follow up
Want to measure how well you are doing? Rate each of these fifteen actions for your class on a scale of 1 to 7, with 7 meaning you are doing a great job and 1 meaning you are doing a poor job. A score of 70 or more means you are taking seriously the task to make your guests feel welcome. No matter what your score, work to improve it because guests matter. Be revolutionary in your welcome!