Our satellite church in Galveston – Coastal Community Church – will be making its “First Impression” on curious seekers this Sunday with its first preview worship gathering. This is a good time for a reminder we make first impressions every week too. I picked up these ideas in an article I read a few weeks ago.*
It’s nice when the greeter at the door says hello, and it’s great if the pastor or church leaders have a moment to speak to guests, but what really makes a difference is when you offer a sincere hand of friendship to a guest.
Try these ideas:
— Say a prayer as you enter worship every Sunday. Ask God to guide you to those who need a warm welcome and to give you boldness to show His love to them.
– Intentionally watch for new people. It’s uncomfortable to be a first-time guest, but just one person — that’s you — can help put them at ease.
– Just say “hello.” Introduce yourself, and repeat their name in conversation. Make a goal to call them by name when they return.
– Speak to each person who sits in your area. A simple “Hi, Teresa” can mean the world, even to regular attenders.
— Keep an index card in your Bible to discreetly write down names, or take notes on your phone. You’ll discover that many people sit in the same general area each week.
— If practical, introduce them to someone else before they leave, especially someone with whom they may have something in common.
— If they seem comfortable with you, offer a “next step.” Invite them to join you after church for lunch, or for coffee one day this week, or even to visit your small group.
Let me add one more thought. Every week…every week, people walk through our doors just needing to know someone cares about them. Be careful not to get caught up in long conversations with fellow BPF folks and miss an opportunity to be that person who cares.
*Adapted from “Welcome Visitors to Church”, by Diana Davis