First impressions and care matter in making disciples. If we make negative first impressions (individually or as a church), we may not get a second chance. It is also difficult to disciple people who don’t return or who drop out.
What can we do to ensure more positive first impressions? One of the most practical actions you can take is to enlist and train greeters. Enlisting is not enough. Those enlisted need training in what to say and do.
I will never forget being met at the church door before Sunday School by the elderly greeter woman who said to me, “Who are you and why are you here?” If I had been a lost person or a scared prospect looking for a church home, I might have gotten back in my car.
Chuck Lawless has written a helpful blog post entitled 11 Places to Use Church Greeters. I want you to encourage his entire post. Lawless shared concrete practical ideas which can help churches of every size. Small churches may combine some of the eleven locations (but be careful in doing so):
- parking lot entrance
- throughout the parking lot
- all entrance doors
- welcome center
- sanctuary entrances
- throughout the sanctuary
- each hallway intersection
- in each Sunday School class
- at all church fellowships
- at doors and parking lot after worship
- on the church website.
Enlist, train, and release greeters and watch guests return. Greeters in the sanctuary, classes, and fellowships can strengthen ongoing relationships with members and help to reduce dropouts. Make disciples and keep them connected!
For more ideas about greeters and assimilation, check out these posts: