When was the last time you visited a church for the first time? If it has been a while, chances are you have forgotten what it feels like. It can be intimidating for sure, especially for people who are visiting to see if they want to join.
For those of us who have been in the church a while, below are some practical ways to display the love of Christ to guests each week.
- Open the door – A simple gesture that can go a long way.
- Speak first: say “good morning” – Silence is awkward.
- Ask if they need assistance – Help them find their way around (especially if they have kids).
- Tell them your name – It’s easy to get all into a conversation and accidentally keep your name a secret.
- Ask their name – Most people will naturally reciprocate onces you’ve introduced yourself. It's less intimidating because you have already told them your name.
- Invite them to sit with you – They may not take you up on the offer, but asking will make them feel like you are glad they came.
- Introduce them to another church member – This can go a long way. Help them build multiple points of contact. During a return visit, they have a greater chance of knowing someone or being remembered.
- Introduce them to a staff member – Specifically try to connect them with the staff member that might best meet their needs.
- Introduce them to the Pastor – This always means a lot and can help build a relationship between them and the guy who will be preaching to them for at least the next 30 minutes or so!
- Invite them to your small group or Sunday School class – Bring them with you, don’t just point the way. Going into the group with someone, even if they just met you, will make their entrance so much less awkward
- Invite them to lunch – This is the perfect way to get to know them in a more casual setting.
You can make a difference in people’s lives and help connect them to the church you love so much. But it takes intentionality. Open your eyes. Look for guests. Then, take the initiative to make them feel welcome.