347. Leave the Greeters Alone

347. Leave the Greeters Alone

I talked about this during the “Thought of The Week” but I have a feeling that some missed it, so I am also writing about it. One of the biggest turnoffs for church visitors is people crowding together at the entrance. It communicates a cliquey, inside-oriented community to them, even though it may not be. I know some people want to chat with the greeting team because they know them well. But that can happen after the service.

Imagine you are bringing your non-Christian friends to church whom you have been praying for dearly. What kind of welcome do you want them to receive?

During my research month in 2018, I visited a young adult service in a well-known church on Tuesday evening. There were 6 greeting people lined up and all greeted me. But I didn’t feel welcomed. I felt intimidated. They all knew each other. I didn’t know any of them. That is what groups do to new visitors, regardless of the intention.

On the other hand, at a different church I visited, greeters came one at a time to talk to me. I felt welcomed. Simply because it was 1-to-1. It was personal. Having to deal with groups can be intimidating even for a long-time church attendee like myself. How much more for non-Christians who are visiting the church for the first time?

So, please clear the way at the entrance, so the visiting VIPs will have space they need and won’t feel intimidated. Greeters are the very first faces our VIPs will encounter. Let them do their job to the best by staying away from them before the service. Church visitors hear many messages as they walk into the church building before they hear “the message”. A crowded entrance communicates a message that is not welcoming, which can hinder them from hearing “the message” of God’s welcome.