Welcoming people to church is a very important part of our
ministry. It can be a very nerve-wracking thing to come to a strange
church, let alone if no-one comes and talks to you. Failure to warmly
welcome can put people off in the blink of an eye. The flip-side of
this, of course, is that good welcoming does wonders. If people have
a good experience at the door of the church, they are probably more
likely to have a good experience in it. Welcoming is a profoundly
Christian thing to do because God, in Christ, has welcomed us all
into his family. There is no one who does not deserve to be warmly
received when they come to church.
- Frequency: Welcoming volunteers are generally put on the
roster every 6 weeks or so.
- Before the service: arrive 25 minutes early
What does a win look like?
- Everyone who arrives has been greeted with a smile and feels
- Everyone is given the right handouts as they arrive
- Every newcomer who would like a welcome pack receives one during the greeting time
- The offertory bag is passed to everyone at the right time
Keys to winning
All the handouts will be in the
dispatch box for your congregation, with a pink manifest sheet
that lists the contents – do look at this sheet!
The welcomers' job begins before
people start arriving for the service. At this point the things to
- Locate the offertory plate
- Start folding and assembling
handouts. Handouts consist of
a white service sheet (1-3
sheets of paper each), folded
a yellow insert with the news
and sermon outline
sometimes, extra leaflets or
brochures – these will be mentioned on the manifest sheet
- As people arrive at church
and you give them a handout, say hello. Make eye-contact. Give
them a smile. It all sounds corny, but it makes a difference. If you spot somebody new you can offer them a welcome pack at this point if you like.
Stay on the door for at least ten
minutes after the service has started
- Early in the service there
will be an official welcome, at which point it's a welcomer's job to
hand out the welcome packs. When the welcome begins, come down to
the front with the welcome packs and wait
(it's not a bad idea to sit down in the front pew). Generally after
the welcome packs have been mentioned the congregation will be
invited to say hi to each other – this is your cue to walk
slowly down the aisle, holding up the welcome packs and looking out
for anyone who wants one. If new people don’t want them,
that’s fine; we don’t need to put too much pressure on.
- After this, it is good for one
welcomer to stay near the back so that they can greet anyone who
happens to wander in during the service.
- The final task for the welcomers
is to pass around the offertory plate. This is normally done during
the final song. Start right at the front so that the congregation can see the plate coming and get ready. At the end, take the plate up to the communion table.