Creating A Climate of Hospitality, Part 1

What is the temperature in your church? Is it warm, cold, indifferent, just right? Do you need to reset the thermostat?

2 Cor. 13:12 says, “Greet one another warmly in the Lord.” Is their warmth in the greeting ministry of your church? Do people really feel welcomed and loved? Who is responsible for greeting people the moment they pull up on your parking lot and as they walk inside your building? Could someone visit your church this Sunday and not be welcomed by someone? Most churches consider themselves to be very friendly. The truth is they are, but only to each other!

It is vital for all churches to do their very best to make sure that every guest and member feels loved and welcomed.

Many of our churches are involved in “Find It Here.” In March, over one and a half million homes in Kentucky will be given a packet of information about our churches, a gospel tract, and an invitation to attend worship on Easter Sunday, April 4.

Is your church ready for the guests who will come on that day? For that matter are you ready this Sunday for those the Lord brings to your church?

THIS IS A TEST…Take a moment and rate your church on Sunday morning in the area of being friendly and showing genuine hospitality? On a scale of 1-10 where are you? Is there room for improvements? there room for improvement?

Creating a climate of “hospitality” is key to growing a Christ centered church and reaching people. If guests do not feel welcomed when they visit our churches they will not return and we have lost the opportunity. If you are reading this then maybe the Lord desires for you to be the one who finds the thermostat and raises the temperature in your church.


  • FACT #1: Your church cannot grow without guests.
  • FACT #2: Your church cannot grow if your guests don’t come back!
  • FACT #3: You never get a second chance to make a great fist impression.
  • FACT #4: Your church cannot grow if people join, and then drop out!

This whole process of connecting people to the church (from the parking lot to the pew to joining and serving) does not just happen by accident. Someone must assume the primary role in raising the level of hospitality in your church by raising the temperature of friendliness.

This begins with a greeter ministry. One of the most effective things you can do is to have greeters in place each Sunday to warmly greet folks as they enter our buildings. What do greeters do? Glad you asked. Here is a job description for greeters that I’ve used. Feel free to adapt it and use it in your church.

*Prior to Bible Study/Worship

  1. Greeters should be present at their assigned door (or Sunday School class if you are a Sunday School greeter), 20 minutes before worship starts. Wear your name tag.
  2. Immediately verify that all needed materials (Bible study room list, name tags, etc.) are available for use. Greeters can give out bulletins but it is better for ushers to do that at the worship doors and greeters give out handshakes!
  3. Stay at your door until 10 minutes after Worship begins for late arrivers.

*Greeting Time

  1. Smile, introduce yourself, and communicate a warm, caring attitude. (If you are at a door, open the door.)
  2. Say “Good Morning and welcome. We are glad you are here today.”
  3. Call people by their name – if someone is unfamiliar to you, introduce yourself. Our goal is to greet all members and guests by name.
  4. Try to get to the guests quickly before they start walking away. If someone from your church stops you to talk, introduce them to the guest and tell them you will get back with them at a later time. The guest is your priority.
  5. Two greeters should be assigned at each entrance door so that when a guest is escorted to their Bible study class, worship center, nursery, etc. there is still a person at the door to help others.
  6. Our goal is to make people feel comfortable and at home – shake hands (if you are not sick). Be attentive and watch for their body language. Take a personal interest in everyone you greet.
  7. Use genuine compliments.
  8. As a greeter “be prepared” to answer questions, give directions, or escort guests to the worship center or a Sunday School class.
  9. Assist the guest in filling out the guest registration card. (Note: Some churches do this during worship or Sunday School.)
  10. If you escort the guest to a class, introduce the guest to someone in the class.
  11. Make sure that parents go with you as you take preschoolers and children to their classes so that they know where to meet the children after Bible study.
  12. Use the warmer term “guest” instead of “visitor” because you want them to come back.
  13. After a guest walks away, watch to see if they appear lost or confused and offer assistance.
  14. Make good eye contact and remember to welcome everyone, members and guests!
  15. Use your greeter team for special events beyond just Sunday worship times.

TRUTH…If a church keeps everyone it reaches, it will grow. If it doesn’t, it will simply maintain or decline. About 80% of churches in Kentucky are plateaued or declining!

One reason…when people visit our churches they are not warm but cold. We can change that by “turning up the thermostat of hospitality” in our churches. Let’s begin now by getting ready for the guests that the Lord will send your church this Sunday. Now where is that thermostat?


  1. Thanks again Bob, check out my new blog on “Will they find it here?”

  2. Thanks Bob, Hope all is well with you. Give me a call sometimes and let’s get coffee and talk shop.

  3. Great words of wisdom! Told by a man that knows and key is getting the greeter to engage the visitors and guests. It is not a time for greeters to greet each other.

  4. Thanks brother. Check out my second blog on this same subject!

  5. this is great. this can help our church and others that i know about.

    moses l radford, pastor of first baptist church nicholasville ky

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.