Five Ways to Welcome Guests
Making guests welcome at your church is serious business.
Also of Interest
Making guests welcome at your church is serious business. Church consultant Gary McIntosh knows the truth of that statement: after moving to Tulsa, Okla., and encountering a chilly reception in various congregations, his grandparents stopped going to church. They never regularly attended for the rest of their lives.
"We must get ready for company!" writes the Biola University professor in his book, Beyond the First Visit." "Company's coming to our church every Sunday, and what visitors perceive in our welcome will influence their feelings and response to church and the Lord for years to come."
Five ways he recommends hosting your guests:
Don't just make this a simple checklist, McIntosh says. He advises putting these statements on paper, with room beneath each one, and then noting ways your church accomplishes these objectives.
When finished, take a different colored pen and write a second list of additional ways you can fulfill each goal. Consider reviewing the lists with appropriate groups in your church.
For churches that want to move beyond their doors and advertise themselves or a special event that may attract newcomers, McIntosh offers a set of questions churches should answer as they produce a flyer, brochure or other mailing:
From the Pulpit
Finally, pastors must remember they are the key to launching any initiative, procedure or evaluation. The pastor has the main voice of the congregation because of preaching on Sunday morning and other weekend services, McIntosh told Church Central.
"Whoever has the voice to cast the vision seems to have tremendous influence," he says. "I think we've all known for years if the pastor blesses something from the pulpit, it gets done. If the pastor chooses not to bless it, it doesn't get done."
"I don't think the pastor has to start every ministry. That's not good. But the pastor has to lead, in the sense of giving permission to people. The pastor can say to the congregation, 'If you've got an interest in a certain area and want to start a ministry, we'll be glad to help you.'"
Copyright © 2008 Church Central. All rights reserved.
Join the BuildingChurchLeaders.com Facebook groupFollow us on TwitterSubscribe to the Building Church Leaders RSS feed
Meet Our Editorial Advisors
More from Christianity Today