Romans 12:13 “Practice hospitality.”
One of the great blessings each local church has is showing hospitality to everyone. How can we be a Church where people can feel at home to worship God and connect with others? Here are some practical steps we can take together to create church wide hospitality.
Guests, Not Visitors
Start thinking of your newcomers “guests,” not visitors. Visitors can either be welcome or unwelcome. Guests, on the other hand, are always welcome. You don’t necessarily prepare for visitors, but you prepare for guests.
Just Say Hi! — The Ten Foot Policy
Being a friendly church goes beyond just making eye contact with each other and giving a small smile. Make an effort to say a friendly “Hi!” or “Good morning!”. In his book Beyond The First Visit, Gary McIntosh, recommends “The Ten Foot Policy.” Whenever you come within ten feet of someone, say hi!
Everyone Is A Greeter!
Welcoming others is not just for the Greeter Team. Let’s all pay special attention to new guests. If you see someone you don’t know, go over and say hi before worship service starts. If you are every worried about accidentally mistaking someone who’s been coming for a while as a new guest, consider saying “nice to see you” instead of “ nice to meet you”.
Don’t Just Point the Way. Lead the Way.
Instead of just pointing the way, be willing to escort your guests around your church, or find someone who can help if you are physically unable to. Help introduce guests to the children’s ministry leaders and volunteers, show them where to get refreshments and help them find a seat.
No One Sits Alone
It is hard going places alone, and even harder when you get there to sit awkwardly by yourself while others enjoy talking and catching up. A great way to show God’s welcoming spirit is to sit next to someone sitting by themselves. Then get to know them and worship with them.
The Five-Minute Rule
Some of the loneliest times for a church newcomer are before the service begins and right after the service ends. During those times consider looking for someone you don’t know to greet and talk with. Try to not to do any church business or talk to your friends until those five minutes have elapsed. Who knows? The person you greet might be someone who’s been coming to your church for years, or someone feeling alone on their first Sunday.
So the next time you come to worship, my prayer is that you would be embolden by the Holy Spirit to welcome one another in Love. When You Know Jesus. You Show Jesus.