Every Monday I post one of The Basics. The Basics are simple steps every church can take to grow. They are the same steps that led my church from 87 people in attendance to over 700. These steps have helped my church see hundreds of people saved and baptized in just a few short years. Most of these steps you can take this week without even having a board meeting. These are The Basics.
On any given week of the year, millions of guests step foot inside a church. How they are greeted plays a huge role in determining if they come back. Greeting ministry should be one of the easiest things to pull off each week for a church, but over and over again I see churches that are doing a horrible job at it.
Some churches make the mistake of not even having a greeter ministry, which is like inviting guests over and saying “just let yourself in.” Others make an even bigger mistake of having the wrong people serve as greeters. I can’t tell you how many stories I’ve heard of guests who have been turned off before they ever walk through the church doors. All it takes is a wrong look or a poor choice of words for a first-time guest to become a last-time guest.
So, how can we make sure that doesn’t happen? How can we have a greeter ministry that gives a great first impression?
- Greeters should be people who smile. I know this sounds obvious, but you’d be amazed at how many sour-faced greeters there are in churches all over the country. What makes it worse, are pastors and ministry leaders that allow this to continue to happen week after week. If you have a grumpy greeter serving in your greeter ministry, immediately move them out of that position.
- Greeters should open the door. NewSpring Church in South Carolina has a policy that says no guest should ever have to open a door. They place volunteers at every entrance of their church to open the doors for their guests. You should do the same. It’s a simple way to serve your guests, and a great first impression of your church.
- Greeters should be good at remembering names. One of the most valuable tools in ministry is a good memory, especially when it comes to remembering names. Greeting guests with a smile and handshake makes a good first impression. Remembering their name when they come back a second time makes a great second impression. By remembering a person’s name, you’re placing value on them, which makes a huge impact on people.
- Greeters should reflect who your church is trying to reach. If your church is trying to reach young families make sure you have couples with young kids greeting. If you’re trying to reach empty nesters, make sure you have older adults greeting. This doesn’t mean you can’t have diversity within your greeters, you should. But it wouldn’t make sense to have only retired adults greeting in a church that’s trying to reach young people.
If your greeting ministry reflects these four simple ideas, you will automatically see more guests come back to your church.
What are some other ways we can make the church more welcoming to guests?