Friday, February 07, 2014

7 Do's and Don't's of Welcoming Guests to Your Congregation

Melody Maxwell has some good thoughts here on some ways to welcome and not welcome folks who are new to your church.

As an introvert, and someone who does not appreciate new things nearly as much as others, it is important to be considerate of folks like that who may feel that way as a guest.

Here are the bullet points and my short comments.

1) Do have knowledgeable greeters and clear signage.
This can be frustrating being in a new building and have no idea where to go and what your inner church lingo means...especially if you have a clever/catchy/relevant name for a specific ministry. 
Is it a place I want to go, or is it only for the really young, really old, widowed, or toddlers? If there are still places/ministries, that people don't know what they are or who might be interested, after seeing it or hearing about it once or twice, maybe the sign or description needs to be more clear.
2) Don't automatically sign me up for your mailing list.
This is fair.
3) Do you have a website with updated information?
An easy to navigate updated website seems very important in these new times. Especially if we want folks to look and see if a church's beliefs are lined up with Scripture, as well as things as simple as what ministries are available. Teaming this with number 1 above can be helpful. Basically, clear communication for the uninitiated.
4) Don't make me stand out?
I used to cringe at the whole, "if you are a visitor raise your hand, or stand, so we can point it out" thing. I would never raise my hand, and it is possible, in some cases, I would not return if I had gone there alone.
5) Do encourage church members to be friendly.
Some people are naturally better at this. It seems silly to have to point this out, but my disposition is to stay in my own head, so it is helpful to be reminded. Just like we never outgrow the Gospel, we never outgrow the reminder to be friendly toward people who are not our friends.
6) Don't be pushy.
I think people are more sensitive to this than in the past, but most folks bristle at the car salesman pitch, so don't be one in church. Seems fair.
7) Do realize this may be hard for me.
One reason I am a church member is that I am not interested in joining a new church and all that being the "new kid in school" entails. Again, some folks like this, but I think their are many folks who don't. 

I thought the post was a good one to remind us of things we mostly know, but it can be good to remember.

No comments: