New visitors should be able to explore and meet new friends in churches.It's been awhile since many of us have been first-timers, so some churches have forgotten how to make visitors feel welcomed.If you learn to welcome new members and introduce them to your church, you can make the experience memorable and avoid some common mistakes.
Step 1: Pick specific greeters for visitors.
Visitors should be welcomed as soon as they park in the parking lot.It's important to make first-timers feel welcome at church because it can be intimidating for a lot of people.For this reason, it's common for churches to have greeters posted in the parking lot, so that new visitors know where to go and don't get frightened before they get to the building.For this job, choose warm and friendly church members.It can be an excellent way of giving younger members something to do before the service.Make sure the greeters don't use accusatory or unwelcoming language."What do you need?"Assume that everyone is in the right place."Hey there!"Welcome!How are you doing today?Help out by listening and helping out.
Step 2: Take a moment and introduce yourself.
The visitors should not be pressured to make the first contact.Visitors should be comfortable to relax and sit back if they want to, or to have conversations and make friends.Introduce yourself and your family, and get the names of the visitors.Visitors shouldn't be treated as "visitors."No one wants to go to a place that makes them feel strange or different.Make them feel welcome by asking them questions and learning about visitors.They should look for common ground to help them feel welcome.
Step 3: Show visitors around.
Many church members forget what it's like to visit a church for the first time.Most first-time visitors don't care about doctrine or the content of the sermons, they just want to find out where to park and listen.They just want to be welcomed.Make the experience easy and stress-free by slowing down and focusing on helping visitors get comfortable.Make sure visitors know where they can park, where to get a cup of coffee, and how to hang their coat.If you want to ask a question, get a pamphlet that outlines the service for the day.If time permits, give a quick tour of the building.If visitors seem interested, show them the room where the service will take place and any other attractive facilities.The history of the congregation can be interesting for new visitors.Say hello to people.
Step 4: Let visitors know how to join without being pressured to do so.
You shouldn't assume that all visitors will know how to sign up, or that they should ask for information, because many churches have different procedures and steps involved.Make it available to guests, but don't make it mandatory.If visitors are interested in information, ask them questions and find out what they're looking for.If someone is visiting because they live out of state and are staying with relatives, there's not much point in forcing materials on them.Don't worry about selling them on the church if you make them feel welcome.The easiest way to engage visitors is to get them to sign the guest book so you can get in touch with them later.
Step 5: When to back off.
Some guests might just want to be left alone and enjoy the sermon.You can get to know them later if they have an enjoyable experience.Don't assume that standoffish or silent guests are displeased or uncomfortable, they may just be looking to sneak in for a quiet service.Visitors who tend toward this will be identified.They will have a name if they want to ask questions and learn more.
Step 6: There are genuine conversations.
The greeters should engage in genuine interactions with first-time visitors and practice their active listening skills.Help the new people feel welcome by showing an interest in where they come from, what they're looking for, and who they are.You can learn visitors' names.
Step 7: Visitors should be helped to connect with people.
It is possible to make a new visitor feel welcome by helping them form bonds with regular members.People feel intimidated at a new church because they don't know anyone.When they've made new friends, do your best to help the process along.If you're interested in joining a church, you should meet the pastor before you leave.After the sermon, make an introduction.Don't force it if the visitors are not interested.
Step 8: You should invite new people to sit with you.
After introducing yourself, invite the new visitors to sit with you and your family, so they will feel welcome, as if they've already made a friend at the church.A crowded church auditorium can be intimidating for new visitors, but if you give them one less thing to worry about, the experience will be better for guests.
Step 9: Children should be provided during the service.
It's a good idea to make it available to first-time visitors if they're interested in having children, because many larger churches have babysitting services in place.Some visitors may not even be aware of the service, and it can be an embarrassing thing to ask.It's not unreasonable for visitors to be uncomfortable leaving their children in a nursery at a church they've never visited before.Try to accommodate new guests as much as possible.
Step 10: New visitors to the church should be invited.
You should invite new visitors to Sunday morning Bible study classes and weekly church get togethers.They can be invited to upcoming one-time events, such as a weekend picnic.Make them feel welcome.You can invite visitors out for a meal.If after-church gatherings are common at your church, make visitors feel welcome by inviting them and including them in the festivities, as if they were a member.Informal get-togethers at the buffet can give guests a feel for the congregation and a sense of welcome.It might be what they're looking for.
Step 11: Go ahead and follow it up.
If you collect contact information from the guest book, send a follow-up note to visitors.Sending a short note expressing how much you enjoyed meeting the visitors would be a great way of inviting them back to the church.
Step 12: Visitors shouldn't be pressured into joining immediately.
If you find out that visitors are looking for a new church and are considering joining, don't put a bunch of paperwork in their face right away.Make the experience pleasant for the visitors and let them decide if they want to be a member or not.It's up to them if you're available for questions and help.
Step 13: Visitors shouldn't be seated in the front row.
It is discouraged to make a big deal out of new visitors.People don't want to be made to feel like a zoo animal their first time in church with a bunch of strangers.Don't put them in the front row for everyone to see.
Step 14: Visitors shouldn't be made to introduction themselves.
It's a good idea to force visitors to get up in front of a room full of strangers and talk about themselves.Don't make visitors stand up and talk for a long time, even if you want to make them feel welcome.Say something like, "It's good to see new faces today!"Don't make people feel uncomfortable by drawing too much attention to them.Some visitors may be very open and have things to share.If they show an interest, encourage them to do so.Visitors should have access to prayer requests and other opportunities.
Step 15: Don't have anyone from the church "out" visitors.
Some churches will have an escort walk around during the service to take attendance and to note any missed visitors as a way of targeting them later.Visitors should not be made to feel like they are being checked by the cops.Visitors should be able to sneak in and leave after.
Step 16: A welcoming song shouldn't be organized.
Some churches have welcoming rituals that include a welcome song for new visitors.Talk about awkward.Don't do this practice.
Step 17: Not having specific "visitor seating" is not something I have ever done.