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February 2, 2017, 7:00 AM

Greeters: An Important First Impression

Greeters: An Important First Impression
from Dennis Fredricks, Director of Missions SRBN

Thom Rainer touched on a critical topic in one of his recent posts. I often hear the question, “How do we get them (guests) to come back?” There are many veins that could be explored in answering the question, but let’s focus on Thom’s insight - Why Greeters Are Important in Getting Guests to Return.

Greeters are important to the first impression your church makes with guests. So, today, we talk about where greeters should be, what they should do, and how to train them.

Some highlights from today’s episode include:

  • Every church may think they have greeters, but many actually don’t.
  • If I led a church, I would have greeters in the parking lot.
  • Door greeters are an extension of your church security because they are the first line of defense.
  • Greeters should be able to recognize guests and help them find their way when they arrive.
  • Consistency of greeters helps them to know members and recognize guests.
  • The worship center greeter may be the most important one because typically guests sit down, and no one talks to them.
  • Greeters need training. They need more than just to say hello and shake a hand.
  • Greeters are a part of your church’s outreach, hospitality, and evangelism efforts.
    (Growing Healthy Churches - Why Greeters Are Important in Getting Guests to Return – Rainer on Leadership #298)

As members of the church we are familiar with the grounds and buildings. In our familiarity, we forget that when our guests arrive on campus they are usually very unfamiliar and don’t have a clue where to go. It’s surprising how difficult we can make it for them to find their way. Well trained greeters can remove the confusion, mystery and fear that guests might be facing.

The first step in a successful greeter ministry is enlisting members who have a sense that greeting is a ministry. The Greeters Ministry is not the “lesser” ministry, but a critical ministry to encourage people to come back. A warm smile and welcoming voice creates and atmosphere of acceptance and diminishes hesitation.

Brother Rainer makes it clear that your greeters need to be visible. Parking lot greeters bring the first point of contact for guests. Remember first impressions are important and greeters are part of that first impression. When the car door of our guests opens, the experience begins; the question is what kind of experiencing are they experiencing? When the guest quickly peruses the parking lot, do they sense all is well by the way the greeter approaches them? Are they welcomed warmly and do the parking lot greeters know where all age groups meet and what the schedule is? Do they have an information packet to give the guests? Train your greeters.

Every church I have ever been to says they are the friendliest church in town. I wish that were true, but that hasn’t always been my experience. Could we admit that sometimes we are friendliest to those that we know? A greeter in the worship center can help guests not only find a seat, but introduce them to other members. Hopefully members will welcome them to sit with them.

Did you notice Thom Rainer’s last bulleted statement? “Greeters are a part of your church’s outreach, hospitality, and evangelism efforts.” That’s why I encourage you to see the Greeters Ministry as not the least of ministries in your church. They are your church’s ambassador to the guests from their arrival to their departure. Oh, by-the-way, do your greeters give your guests a friendly departure message? One that would make them excited about coming back! 

 

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